July 23, 2024
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July 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

How to Train for an Ironman: Part 2

An Ironman Triathlon is:

2.4 mile swim.

112 mile bike ride.

26.2 mile run.

140.6 miles in under 17 hours.

What happens if it takes you more than 17 hours? You get disqualified:(

It’s a staggering amount of mileage in a short amount of time, but this number alone doesn’t tell the whole story. Starting in May, when the last eight weeks of training commence, the volume of miles looks like this:

Since I run before work, the longer the run, the earlier the wake up.

By the point I was doing 18 and 20 mile runs, I was going to bed at 11 p.m. and waking up at 2 a.m. to run.


I love running in New York City. The streets are always lit. Since it is a grid, there is no chance of getting lost. There are plenty of landmarks to run past and there’s no danger of wild animals.

I knew that ultra runners compete in events where they run for 24 straight hours, so I wasn’t worried about training on minimal amounts of sleep.

My body is ok with sleeping for two to three hours a night, running for four hours and then teaching a full day of classes.


In the last eight weeks of training, there were long swims that lasted for almost two hours.

With breaks? No breaks. Flip turn at the wall and keep on swimming. I kept repeated my mantra: Nose facing the bottom of the pool, arms outstretched. I wasn’t bored, but when the swim was done my arms were sore and I was starving.

And…there were 100 + mile bike rides.

With breaks? Only time I stopped was for red lights, stop signs or to buy more water. Spending the day, riding my bike, with the sun in my face is one of my happy places. I would pedal north, rolling through town after town. Teaneck, Leonia, Fort Lee, Englewood Cliffs, Alpine, Sparkill, Piermont, Nyack, Congers, Havestraw, Stony Point, Bear Mountain, West Point, Storm King Mountain…

How long did those rides last? Over eight hours.

At that pace, won’t you be disqualified at the Ironman for being too slow? I trained on 9W, a stretch of road with many more hills than the actual race.

The end result was that in eight weeks I:

Swam 47,000 meters

Biked 800 miles

Ran 155 miles

These numbers are incomprehensible to me. The swim is double of what I had expected.

The bike averaged out that I was doing 100 miles a week, every week. The run…as someone who once struggled to run more than three miles at a time, I am just speechless.

I had a total caloric burn of:

And those were just workout burning calories.

I burn an average of 1,500 calories a day without training. So in eight weeks, my total burn was about 165,000. To avoid losing too much weight, I increased my caloric intake. To find out what I ate, you will have to wait another week…

 By David Roher


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