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Five Tips For Tackling Your First Ironman

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.

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Here are five tips from a first-timer. Photo: Nils Nilsen

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.

RELATED: The #1 Workout To Get You Ready For Ironman

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.

RELATED: Tips From A Pro – Nailing The Ironman Run

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.

RELATED: Avoid Swimming Anxiety In Your Next Race

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.

RELATED: (Embarrassing) Lessons From The Pros

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.

RELATED: Muscle Cramping 101

Follow Aaron on Twitter @Triathletetech.