How to choose an Ironman

There are numerous things to consider when choosing an Ironman.
    – Location
    – Time of year
    – Bike course hilly/flat?
    – Run hilly/flat?
    – Swim Ocean/Lake or Cold/Hot?

I ran across this really well done Iron Distance Triathlon Selector for just this purpose of making your decision easier. So, if hills are your thing and you live in the U.S., IMLP is the top dog now that IMSG is no longer a full 140.6(though still a bucket list place to go for a 70.3).  If you like 5-6 hours of straight aerobar time, then B2B or IMFL is a sure thing.












One of the criteria I like to consider is the destination, because I get to see a new place.  I hope I can race forever, or at least until I choose not too.  I have been fortunate to be healthy and able.  I love to swim, bike, and run. Getting to do all 3 at the same time at a great location allows me to visit places outdoors that I probably would never get the chance to see otherwise.  I mean honestly, how often do you get a chance to bike through the cactus filled desert of Arizona(and then see Sedona and the Grand Canyon afterwards), or bike in the Laurentian Mountains of Canada, or swim in the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico?

But these things are all just a big pipe dream if you don’t actually make it to the starting line.  Last year when we signed up for Mont-Tremblant in August, I have to admit I was a little star-struck by the location. The pictures that I’ve seen of the area are just gorgeous.  "Sign me up", I thought. And so that’s what we did. 

But now, I am having to put my money where my mouth is. Training for a mid-August race in Canada, while living in the Southeastern United States has been tough.  All of the high volume training happens in June and July, which is rough in NC. It’s hot and really humid.  Training for IM Florida and IM Arizona(both in November) is a thing of beauty as you build the high volume distances in September/October.

In June and July, it doesn’t really matter if you start your long run/ride early on the weekend.  When you finish, the temps are approaching 100F. I’ve been drinking so much water and electrolytes lately, it’s just ridiculous. Yesterday on a 75 mile long ride, I drank nearly 140oz of water. That’s more than a gallon in 4 hours.

So, to ease the suffering planning for next year we started thinking about doing a race earlier in the year. Sure, September/October is nice in NC for training, but we also want to do some non-training outdoor stuff in the Fall. So, what about a June race? Hhhmmmm, that puts the high volume in April/May.  I like it! There’s only one obvious choice…Ironman Coeur d’Alene!


I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest, and Coeur d’Alene looks like the perfect spot to check it all out.  1 year to go and I can’t wait!

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