I should probably Buzzfeed the title with “… and number four will amaze you.”

Anyway having done one ironman I’m clearly an expert (not), but there were a few things that I discovered that I hadn’t really seen mentioned elsewhere before the race. Originally written for a friend who was doing his first Ironman later in the year.

  1. (Maybe you’ve run marathons before, I hadn’t, so this one maybe old news …) An Ironman marathon is a long way, you can fall apart and have plenty of time to pull back together (somewhere around mile 10 I was not in great way with fluid/heat but there was time to “just keep moving forward” and things picked up).

  2. Talk to people, both aid station staff and other competitors (and I say this as the wallflower at parties). I’d have gone stir crazy in my own head for 13.5 hours, but because its long at low intensity it was actually a really social event (including the bike despite drafting rules).

  3. Wear a distinctive/fun top. You get more cheers. Smile (alot), same thing. (Actually I’ve learnt this from all my events but in a sport of 1000 identikit black tri-suits its worth repeating).

  4. Have savoury recovery available afterwards. I have a sweet tooth but just wasn’t been able to face any chocolate/sweet/cake/… for several days after finishing - salt and vinegar crisps though were manna from heaven!

  5. Give yourself no decisions to make, in transition or otherwise. Volunteer asked if I wanted help repacking my transition bag in T2 and I was so out of it I couldn’t process the question.

  6. Find some advice on minimising battery drain on your watch, I thought I’d done this (bluetooth off, “smart” GPS sampling) but the battery died within 2 minutes of crossing the line despite a nominal 24 hour life if fully charged so I may have missed somethings.