My goal for Challenge Roth 2013 is to go sub-10 hours. I want to see the hours on my watch in the single digits when I cross the finish line.

Just like Patrick Rhone I have my fear of failure, and my thought process is almost exactly like his. Setting goals and fear not reaching them is natural. But not a reason not to set goals.

A good goal is a goal that’s a little scary.

Last time I did an Ironman distance race was back in 1997 in Fredericia, at the ripe young age of 26, and I managed 10:07'17". I’ll be 42 when I try to do better. But, Roth is possibly the fastest course in the world, at least for a strong cyclist, so that’s in my favour.

My time budget for the race is as follows:

  1. 1:05 swim
  2. 0:06 T1
  3. 5:00 bike
  4. 0:04 T2
  5. 3:40 run

That’s 9:55 in total, the transition times are very conservative. Still, not much time to waste, and I’ll have to set a personal best in all 3 legs, but not by much either.

So, what to do to make it happen?

Loose Weight

I am loosing weight at a steady and sustainable rate right now, using Madlog to track my food intake. It works, and I learn a lot. Because that’s what you inevitably do when you weigh all you food and track calories and macro nutrients.

Originally I intended to only use Madlog for the weight loss part, but I’m thinking I might continue all the way. It’s a great way to get a good honest look at what I really eat.

I expect to reach 80 kg around March 1st, then I’ll see if I can sustain it a little longer and get a little leaner, but the training load at that time will be higher, and that makes it harder to go to bed hungry.


I need to swim 1'42"/100 in fresh water in a wetsuit to pull it off. I’m not entirely sure what benchmark to use to see if I’m ready. I’m thinking a set like 6-8×400 at a 7'00" send-off for a 20" rest (that’s 1'40"/100) would be a good one to aim for. Or a straight 2000 m training swim at 1'42" pace or better.

I’m open for suggestions.

I train in a 50 m pool, so times should reflect that.


I have a super bike now, with a disc wheel, even. Much faster than the Principia TSL I used in 1997.

I totally get a kick out of having a super cool bike. But it is also objectively much faster. I remember lusting after those Zipp frames and wheels back then, and now I have one! Hard to not feel great about that.

I’ll have to get some riding done, but for me it’s not hard getting fast on the bike. It’s just a matter of doing the work.

And I’m already well under way with all the spin classes I do. I’ve found it helps me get some cycling done, much more than the turbo trainer. And riding outside this time of the year sucks so much I won’t even bother trying.

So I think I’ll arrive in spring having done more cycling over the winter than ever before. It’s a good start.


My run legs are much more durable than ever before, it takes a lot (of stupidity) to get injured now. Gravitating heavily towards a Pose Running/natural running type of technique, starting about 6 years ago, has helped me tremendously. And just lots of years of moderate training I guess.

And I can do 5'05"/km off a hard 2 hour bike now, without it feeling like more than comfortably hard. Currently at a heart rate around 165. I’d like to see that go down to 155 or lower, as that’s the heart rate I’ve averaged before in an Ironman marathon. And I don’t think that’s impossible in 6 months.

I was always a weak runner in triathlon. And I still am, but I feel really confident in my run right now, more than my swim and bike. It’s a good feeling.

Thanks to Aleksandar/OOB Coaching for good pointers on how to set goals.