If a car travels at 60mph, how long will it take me to complete a Half Ironman?

Happy New Year!

So 2015  has finally hit… which roughly speaking means that I have only 162 days to go until i take the next step in my triathlon adventure and undertake the Staffordshire Half Ironman…!

Being realistic & in order that I may set my sights on completing this, I need to set myself some goals / a target time for completion.

Right – so first of all – what is a Half Ironman?

For those of you that are unfamiliar, a Half Ironman, or 70.3 as it is often called, is exactly that –

  • 70.3miles / or 113 km

Comprising of…..

  • a 1.2 mile / 1.9km swim
  • a 56 mile / 90km bike ride
  • and a 13.1 mile / 21.1km run

So, now you know the distances – how long will this take me?

In real terms, estimating a time for a Half Ironman is slightly tricky.

If a car travels at 60mph for 1 hour, it will cover 60miles in 1 hour, 120miles in 2hours and so on and so forth.


Herein lies the problem.  I am not a car.

In my previous post I mentioned that a triathlon is just about scaling.  Well, in truth it is.   However, it is not quite as simple as that.  I need to be realistic – I can’t just scale a 750m swim up to a 1.9km swim as I am not likely to swim at the same pace for the full distance – similarly for the cycle and run.

So, setting a goal is not simple.  Firstly it has to be realistic and achievable.

The following website has a great little article on Half Ironman and goes some way as to answering the question “How long does it take to compete a Half Ironman?”

In order to set a goal I need to look at my data – ie. my previous performances in each discipline.

The Swim…

First off, swimming is not my strongest discipline – however, one thing can be said, I am pretty consistent.

  • Swim / 750m – 27m:17s / 22m:01s / 17m:15s / 17m:09s / 17m:19s

Now, mathematically, if I was to aim for a 750m swim pace of 17mins, my 1.9km time would be around 44mins.

Realistically though, a good overall Half Ironman time is not going to come from the swim – on the contrary, a swim 2 minutes faster could cause a cycle or run 20mins slower –  I’ve seen it happen on the TV!

What I want to do is complete the swim in a time that sets me up for the final 2 legs of the day.

With that in mind, I am going to slow my pace down by 10% on the swim and aim for 48mins for the 1.9km, and use the swim as a warm-up for the rest of the race.

The Cycle…

  • Cycle 47m:34s (21.2k) / 44m:29 (22.5km) / 41m:32s (21km) / 43m:26s (20km)

Applying the similar logic to the cycle, it is my intention to maintain an average speed of 28km per hour for the full distance,  which will mean I will complete the course in approximately 3hours:20mins.

The Run…

  • Run

Having completed a few runs in 2014 of a similar distance, I am confident that I can complete the half marathon in 2 hours.

In total…

  • Swim – 48m for the 1.2 mile / 1.9km swim
  • Cycle – 3h:20m for the 56 mile / 90km bike ride
  • Run – 2h for the 13.1 mile / 21.1km run

Total time = 6h:8mins … Plus transitions!

Now referring back to the link from earlier – this seems pretty fair!

So – my target goal is sub 6hr 20mins inclusive of transitions.

This useful little calculator confirms these times also!

So that’s itIn 161* days I am going to complete the Staffordshire Half Ironman sub 6hr 20 mins!

*yes …it’s now past midnight, and I am now 1 day closer…. best get the turbo setup …. that’s something for tomorrow methinks….!


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