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Five Tips For The First Time Ironman

  • By Aaron Hersh
  • Published October 25, 2011
  • Updated December 30, 2013 at 8:15 am

Preparing for your first Ironman is unlike anything you will have ever done before. Tech Editor Aaron Hersh did just that recently and thought he’d share his top Ironman tips for newbies to the discipline.


No matter how many short-distance triathlons you’ve raced, nothing can totally prepare you for the demands of an Ironman. After completing his first (Ironman Coeur d’Alene), Senior Tech Editor Aaron Hersh shares several tips that can make the jump in distance a little more manageable.

1. Do High-Quality Long Runs
Instead of running long bricks every weekend, do most of your long runs on semi-fresh legs so you can run them faster.

2. Pack In Advance, Then Don’t Stress
A ton of time, energy and money can go up in smoke with a seemingly small mishap that takes you out of the race, so cover the details in the days and weeks leading up to it. Pre-race stress can have the same effect, so go through the logistics in advance, then take confidence in your preparation.

3. A Minute Saved In The Swim Is Worth A Minute
Once you’re comfortable swimming 2.4 miles, there’s a good chance you’ll finish your race faster by adding an additional ride, run or even transition practice to your weekly training schedule instead of a swim. Remember, walking about 100 meters of the marathon takes a minute.

4. Don’t Hold It
If you have to go to the bathroom, just go. Pull over to use the Porta-Potty. It isn’t going away, so take care of it quickly.

5. Drink Coke
It’s counterintuitive, but the same drink dispensed by the soda fountain at McDonald’s can give a supernatural kick in the late stages of the marathon.

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