Why Ironman70.3 and not 140.6

In the last couple of months, I have been asked why I’m competing this year in an Ironman70.3 rather than a full Ironman. Why not go for the full challenge of an Ironman as some people do for a challenge or/and charity!

Those questioning were not judging me but they somehow made me feel answering with “why don’t you do it yourself”! But that’s not the way to react, or is it….…..

So why not the full Ironman this year? There are a few reasons why, including £££££ (the cost of the event, accommodation, and so on), training v daily life/family time but most of all I do not want to rush into it. I have a sporting target as a Triathlete to complete an Ironman but I also want to complete it in a good time. Since starting competing in Triathlons three years ago, I have and continue to enjoy the training, the challenges, the camaraderie between Triathletes and the great atmosphere and support at all events. All events are different in their own way and offer different challenges, which I look forward to every single time.

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After completing different distances, I did a 70.3 race locally two years ago…… And suffered! I really enjoyed it and feel proud to have completed but I now can admit I wasn’t ready for it. I thought I would be OK, physically and mentally, as you do, but believe me, I wasn’t. But what a great experience it was!


Since then, my wish to complete a full Ironman event has grown on me even more. I am competing in the Staffordshire Ironman70.3 race on the 14th of June with a couple of sprint Triathlons, a 10k road race and a half marathon prior to that. AND I CANNOT WAIT! I am exciting that the longer days are around the corner which means open water swimming at the lake starts soon, the 11th April to be precise where I am going to swim the miles to get my swim in great shape for the big event in June.

So, my aim after this season, which by the way will end with my first full Marathon just before Christmas! is to work hard on my swim and body strength over the winter, and concentrate on long running races in 2016, with hopefully a couple of Marathons …….. for a target of a full Ironman in 2017!

As you can see, I’m taking my time to get to the Ironman, I am taking my time to reach the best of my abilities, I’m taking my time to make sure I do not rush and therefore stress my body, but most of all I’m taking my time because I love every minute of that journey, of my quest for the holy grail of Triathlons.

I’m taking my time because I can ……..


10 thoughts on “Why Ironman70.3 and not 140.6

  1. I think it’s a completely sensible strategy. There’s nothing worse than doing an event before you feel ready for it (even if you’ve done all of the training). I did my first marathon only a year or after I started running and although I was happy with my time, I just don’t think I had the leg strength that consistent training over a few years has given me now. I also know that the faster I can be at each individual discipline the less arduous my final goal will be. Good luck for this season 🙂

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  2. Thank you. And good luck to you to. Definitely doing the right thing after getting injured. And once you get used to open water swimming, you’ll be flying through open water triathlons. Much better than indoor pool swims. Have a great time in Spain!


  3. I agree, a 70.3 is huge. I think your timeline is dead on. I read an article where a coach was discussing how he trains athletes for an IM. He noted there are two main types of IM hopefuls. 1) the bucket list….want to get one done and move on to other things. 2) the M-dot tattoo….those who want to have full IM’s as part of a long term lifestyle, who will be competative (and may be hopeful for a Kona slot).

    Group 1 had a three year plan (year 1-olympic, year 2-one or two 70.3, year 3 full IM).
    Group 2 progressed much more slowly.

    I think that is reasonable approach. I did one 70.3 year 1, three 70.3’s year 2, and one 70.3 about two months before my full in year 3. I didn’t have a breakthrough 70.3 until my last one and I would have failed at the full in year 2.

    I thought that I would keep doing the 70.3’s but I have none on the schedule for this year (just sprints). I am a little burnt out on cycling and training. I may or may not come back to 70.3’s (never doing another 140.6). But a three year training plan is appropriate. You don’t want to go any faster …

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  4. a goal without a plan is just a wish! And it looks like you have a plan. I’m at a much lower level than you (only done two sprint tris) but people ask me ‘what are you training for this year?’ ‘Have you entered this/that?’. No this year I’m ‘just’ training. I’D got injured training for two running events so packed it all. And i’m spending 2015 improving strength, getting in a training routine (I’m not very consistent) and trying new things (like open water at the lakes) and going on a solo cycling/training week in Spain (me and my bike) + family life doesn’t allow for much this year. So I know where you come from. I really enjoy reading you posts. Sounds like you’ll be properly ready when you do the “full” distance! Great attitude!

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