Uk Ironman Triathlon Tips

Become an Ironman
Sherborne Castle Dorset on September 7th 2008.
2.4mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2mile marathon run

Expect the air to be misty or foggy around the lake early morning.
The start has been delayed in the past due to poor visibility.
Have extra food and drink ready by bike.
If start is delayed you can have some food (gels) and drink while you are waiting.
The start has been delayed by over 70 minutes in the past so be prepared. In the past athletes not prepared had eaten gels and drinks from their bikes and as a result ran out of their food early on the bike! Aim to keep warm before the start.
Have a pair of old trainers to keep your feet warm walking to the start.
If the start is delayed you will need to keep your feet warm, otherwise you could have cold feet all day.

SWIM 2.4 MILES (2 clock wise laps)
Two lap swim next to Sherbourne castle.
The start is 220 metres from where you enter the lake.
Shortest route is start on the left and keep to the left bank until you can see the turn. The lake turns to the left half way to the turn in the shape of a lazy 7.
2 Clock wise laps then 220 metres back to where you entered the lake.
Water temperature depending on wind chill and how much sun has warmed up the lake race week.
59 – 67 degrees. Wetsuits compulsory.
Strong swimmers keep to right hand side of start, weak swimmers or slow starters keep to left.
Helps if you breathe to right to see buoys and lane ropes.
Water is available at the entry and exit of the lake.
Expect to have a funny lake taste in your mouth when you exit the swim.

There is a table as you exit for glass inhalers etc.

BIKE 111.7 MILES (3 laps 2070 MTS/ 6791 FT)
Gatorade is supplied in 500ml bottles. Will changing one bottle keep you going to the next feed station? This all depends on the air temperature, how much you need perspiration rates and the speed/time it takes to get to the next feed station.
Mistakes to AVOID.
Don’t throw away a 750ml if it has more than 500ml in it and replace it for bottle that may not be full at the feed station.
Avoid a litter violation time penalty and ONLY discard bottles at designated places usually before a feed station, clearly marked for example “Throw empty bottles” Discard drinks bottles”
Most roads are closed for the event, rolling closures see website for up to date information.
Avoid very HARD tyre pressures for this event. The open tarmac surface makes it tough due to high resistance it causes. Expect the ride to leave you battered and very tired by the time you get off the bike. Especially if you normally train on smoother roads.
3 lap route in a figure of 8 course, 36 miles per lap.
Fast technical descents with slow grinding hills and some spectacular scenery – stay focused. You will need to work on feeding long before the climbs and drink where possible on the easier parts of the hills.
Spin you legs on the down hills rather than locking your legs and building up fatigue.
Front tyre pressure should be 7 bar (6.895 bars =100 psi) rear 8 bar (7.584 bars =110 psi). Pump tyres to manufacturer’s recommendation and what you are use to.
This will help with better bike handling and leave you less fatigued in the neck and shoulders.
Have a giblet for the bike to keep you warm (save energy for the ironman rather than using it to keep warm) and protect you from the spray from the back wheel should it rain. If rain is forecast use toe warmers (neoprene covers that go over the cycling toes)

RUN 26.2 MILES (3 laps elevation 600mts/ 1968 FT)
Pepsi and Gatorade will be given out in 250ml cups. Expect the cups to contain about 150-200ml of fluid. You may need two cups to get 200-250ml.
Very challenging run.
Consisting of around the lake, castle and around the town of Sherbourne three times.
Lots of turns take them wide and maintain your pace rather than going around corners at acute angles, this will mean you will have to speed up again, which uses up energy and may cause you to stop and walk. Keep your effort evenly spread throughout the Ironman marathon.
Optional tip.
Fresh clean sunglasses give new clear visibility and can pick you up.
Also run kit available should it be very hot (can be cooler) or should heavy rain occur throughout the bike then you have fresh clean kit to run in.

Good grass surface to run on.
SRM bike mechanics will be in the Transition for those last minute bike problems.
Less than 10 of the all the athletes will usually take less than 2 minutes to exit swim get bike and exit transition across both timing mats. Most people are 4-6 minutes.
The Elite take 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes 30 seconds from coming off the bike to exiting the transition zone.
Spend time making yourself comfortable and remember to take everything you need including food in back pockets.

Each age group is allocated a certain number of places for the Hawaii Ironman. To qualify you either have to finish in the top number of places or go to the roll down and see if no one who finished in front of you wants to go.
World Championships qualifiers have between the dates of 9th September 2008 until 11th September to log onto the WTC official website and REGISTER their Hawaii Qualification Slot.


Mark Kleanthous 2005 UK Ironman Finisher 11:27:26 position 173rd


Need a training programme or help or coaching for the UK Ironman or another Ironman Triathlon then click on or

Mark is a level 2 British Triathlon coach and has successfully finished 31 Ironman triathlons and coached age group and professional triathletes to compete in most of the Ironman races around the world including qualify for the World Ironman championships in Kona. Mark has raced in 18 countries and knows what it takes to be successful for each world wide Ironman.