The IronMan race is a grueling triathlon race meant to be the ‘toughest of its kind’ in the world. Yet hundreds – if not thousands - of people register to participate each year. Could you be one of them?


The race consists of three events: A 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike race and a 26.2 mile marathon run. Each section is completed without breaks and usually with a time limit of 17 hours. Most people just want to complete the course, but an elite few aim to finish in under 9 hours!

IronMan events take place all over the world each year. UK races in 2016 are being held in Exmoor, Bolton, Staffordshire and Pembrokeshire. Events get booked early and many people register a year in advance. So if you’re keen – sign up and get training now.


People of all shapes and sizes compete in Ironman. You are never too old, too fat or not fit enough to train for an IronMan. The oldest competitor at Ironman UK in 2009 was 73 years old, and the winner was just 20 years old.  There are also many stories of people who went from couch potato to IronMan. Truly, the biggest barrier to entering is your mind.



Firstly, allow a year to train for an IronMan event. This advance planning will put you in the best physical shape for success.  Most people thinking of doing IronMan will have already done training for a regular triathlon. If you haven’t done one – book a triathlon  now.


 Your training plan will depend on your existing fitness levels. However, the average entrant should expect to put in 20 hours or so of training in the months building up to the race, including all three swimming, running and cycling.

These official training guidelines will give you an idea of what’s needed. Also, here are some IronMan training plans designed for specific fitness levels. Many people find using gyms very useful as instructors can help draft a training plan to suit your needs.


Your body needs to be in tip top condition so you  should feed it real, nutritious food. Make sure you eat right before each training session. Wholesome, real food is your best friend. This IronMan nutrition guide will also help you get started.  Plus, it’s a long way ahead, but here’s a brief glimpse of what to eat on race day itself.

Do you want to start training? Click here to find the closest gym to you.

The Author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for PayasUgym. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.


craig t.
3 December 2015

craig t.

I would love to do one of these one day but haven't even done a triathlon yet! Do you have to do a basic triathlon before you do an Ironman?

Matthew C.
1 December 2015

Matthew C.

I work full time office hours and managed to get in training for an ironman by cycling to work and running at lunchtine, swimming on a weeknight. I did that for nearly a year, increasing the amount all the time, and only then felt ready for it. As it happened, I had to pull out due to injuries, but I had made it through the training and will do another one!

Trevor D.
28 November 2015

Trevor D.

wow. Good to know that age is no barrier, although I suspect joints might be. But still inspiring stuff.

Emma C.
28 November 2015

Emma C.

Some people at work do this every year. They are your typical 35 year old male looking for a new challenge. Personally, I couldn't spare the time to train. But I guess men have more free time outside of work!!

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