Lost in Alaska

I’m brand new here, (never posted anything nor tried a “plan” here), but looking for input on anything anyone has tried.
I’ve put in for the multisport plan. I’m in Juneau, AK and a lot folks here locally signed up for the newly awarded IM Juneau. I did too. I swam a year and a half of high school, so I’m okay in the water, but I’m 240 and 5’8" so I need to get trimmed down for this venture. I am no stranger to walking for 26 miles, as I rucked a lot in the army. Anyway, I hope this place I signed up for helps.


Welcome to the party, Alaska! :+1:t2:


I strongly recommend including the Mental Training Program in your preparation. It’s the secret weapon.


Good luck!

That’s a big goal, congrats for taking it on. When I was training for an IM I needed to drop 50+ pounds. In two years I managed to go from 250# to 190#. I know you don’t have that much time but let me share some unsolicited advice.

I did two things that really helped me.

  1. Double up on rides. Doing back-to-back rides meant the second ride was beginning already tired. It was helpful both physically and mentally. I did that 3 to 4 times a week for the first few months.

  2. One day a week I did a long ride, fasted. I would not have anything when I got up and would do a two hour ride. No calories on the ride as well. These were not killing your body rides but not a stroll in the park either.

Good luck!


Well, I guess I should have weighed myself before posting that. I put on more weight than I thought. It’s more like 253.
I hope to find support on this forum though. At only 5’8” I finally had to realize I am fat. Maybe I did bite off more than I can chew here for this IM next year. Still, that entry fee kind of tells me I HAVE to see this through.
My co-workers (two of them) are in the race and always talking smack about fitness, so I figured a year would be enough time to give it a try. Even though I’m 51 years old. Mid-life crisis?? Lol
Anyway, I did a treadmill test today and was able to get only three miles done in 30 min. That hurt a lot more than I thought it would.
I swam Monday and I looked at doing 5 x 100’s but I’m not like I was that year I swam in HS on the team. My best 100 (yards not meters…I checked the pool), was only a 1:14 and I thought I was putting in a hard effort (I did back off at the end because I was getting out of breath). That was with a lot of rest between 100 yards.
I’m waiting for a bike to be shipped here so the only thing I can do for now is ride the stationary bikes or spin bikes
Anyone wanna chime in? Am I gonna die trying to finish this thing next august?

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You’ve got a big task but plenty of time - don’t overdo things now and risk injury, illness or a mental burnout. Increase activity in small steps and don’t make too many uncomfortable changes in your life/habits all at the same time. Good luck!


Thanks for the input. Are there coaches who provide training on these channels? I’m not super tech-savvy, but I keep seeing the word “coaches” on here.
In response to on of the inputs, I appreciate any and all advice that helps me get across that finish line. I do have to make one serious lifestyle change however. This is also part of why I’m trying this Ironman Challenge in Alaska. I have struggled with alcohol after PTSD from many trips into combat. My buddy said that quitting alcohol in itself will help greatly with the weight loss, so I’m not going to try and starve myself.
I just want to make it across that line.
Thanks again for all who responded. Any coaches? Lol

Sometimes coaches will chip in the conversation. If you want dedicated advice, you can book a call (at cost) with a coach. That wouldn’t be too bad an idea actually with such a big goal.

Seconded. I’m also in my fifties and have a big event coming up in the summertime. Given the amount of time and energy I’m pouring into preparation, I figured $60 for a half-hour consultation was a reasonable investment. As it turns out, it was. Without providing a detailed plan (that’s a different service), Coach Andy helped me structure the next nine months to ensure I’m ready to crush it on the day of the event.


Yeah, maybe. But you don’t begin an undertaking like this with the idea that it is going to be easy. The better question may be, can you do it. To that, I say yes.

Figure out (and a coach could help you here) what you need to do each month. What are the milestones. Make adjustments as you learn more about how your body is adapting to the load. DON’T beat yourself up if you miss a target, learn from it.

Come race time you will not have done everything you wanted to do to prepare, you might not be at the weight you want, blah, blah, blah. SO WHAT.

When the day comes, do your best and have fun.

You CAN do this!



This will likely become my online log of my goal to complete IM Juneau.
I tried a spin/run. Thought I was gonna die. Being over 50 now, recovery is gonna need to be a thing. Still 253lbs @ 5’8”.
Saw my nasty gut in the mirror and felt like going back to drinking again and forgetting about this whole venture.
Been through Iraq three times, and Afghanistan twice. Africa, Uzbekistan, etc…. So I can’t quit this.
No running tomorrow. Instead, I’ll grab my pack and my rifle and see if I can walk up the mountain and see if I can get a couple deer. Hours of hiking / hunting is still something.
Diet will be good for this venture. I’m swearing off MCD’s and I’ve got three freezers full of salmon and halibut to get through another year. Helps having a boat.
Day 3 down

Hi @PoopyPantz77 . You can definitely do this.

Will it be hard? Yes. But you know that, and you wouldn’t have signed up for it if it was going to be a walk in the park.

Will it be rewarding? Yes, and in so many different ways.

I think the best thing about singing up for a challenge like this is that there are so many milestones on the way for you to work towards. It’s not one simple thing of “got to finish an IM next year”, there are things on the way. Like the first time you hit a half-marathon in training, the first 100mile ride, the first 20lbs lost, the first time you do a run session where you didn’t think you were going to die, etc etc. They help you focus along the way because if there’s nothing but the race next year, it’s easy to back off, but when you’re only ever weeks or months from the next check point you have something immediate to think about.

There will be people in that event who are fitter than you, faster than you, leaner than you and talk it up more than you. And there will be people who are slower than you, and less experienced than you. In my only full distance IM some people didn’t make it to the end of the swim. Another lady finished with a time of 16hrs1min. The cut off time was 16 hours, she didn’t qualify for the medal. But she was still ecstatic at finishing and didn’t care about the medal. She got the biggest cheer of the day
It’s not failure if you don’t win the race (you won’t win, of course. Those guys up-front are something else) but it’s a massive success even if you only get half way to your goals. But I can tell you, if you get half way to your goal you’ll be super-motivated to keep going.

There are a lot of supportive poeple on these forums. Everyone does this craziness for their own reasons, own demons, but we all recognise the effort, the struggle, the pain. And we all keep coming back for more (we’re all a bit crazy, but in a nice way :slight_smile: ). Tell us, use us, we all learn from each other. There’ll be things you learn and experience in your training that will help us to. No one knows everything but everyone wants to know more.

It sounds like your military background has given your a lot of experience in pushing through long efforts/hikes. You’ll find that to be one of the most useful things for the IM. It is absolutely not an event where you can just go hell for leather as fast as you can and ride the pain barrier until it’s done. You’re talking about a 12+ hour slog where you are keeping your effort at the level you don’t blow up. Use your experience. You’ll be lining up with people who have a 10k mentality. Their challenge is to not collapse too quickly. You are already more prepared for what is ahead of you than they are.

The wealth of experience in these forums is immense even before you add in the coaches. The set training plans in the app are wonderful and go up to IM distance. Others mentioned the option to pay for a chat with a coach - if budget allows it I would recommend that. They can offer tips and ideas to help you with your plan. For a different fee they can put together a personalised plan for you which takes in to account all aspects of your goals and lifestyle. Maybe that’s something to think about? These guys are pros.

Good luck, stay on it, let us know how you get on.


P.S. I don’t mind admitting to being a bit jealous. I predominently do 70.3 events and I like travelling round europe to them as they are often in pretty cool places, places I perhaps wouldn’t visit otherwise. I’ve always wanted to go to Alaska (I’m a big skier also). My sister went several years ago and it really looks like a stunning place. You have an amazing part of the world on your doorstep and being able to train and race there must be wonderful. Nice!

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OK @PoopyPantz77, vet to vet, been there done that.

I came from the same place - though granted not as far as you have to go, but it IS doable. I was pushing 200lbs at 52yo when I signed up last fall. My initial SUFF results were pathetic, and I was slow, tired, sore, and unmotivated.

One year in, 25lbs down, big improvements in health and quality of life. SUFF metrics not quite so pathetic. Completed the Tour de Sufferlandria (granted in survival mode), and just keeping at it every day. Still tired and sore a lot, but continuing to progress. 53yo today and feeling a lot better.

So vet to vet, embrace the suck and drive on. You will thank yourself.



I never tire of that pic of GLM. What a legend.

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My boyhood/young cyclist hero in the ‘80s, w. Davis Phinney. Granted as an American there weren’t a lot of options, but just a great champion, role model, and all around guy.

His TDF wins were some of my very favorite, w. Hinault and Fignon. That Paris TT for the win in 1989 is still my favorite stage race of all time. Still have the WCP videos of all his TDF’s and World Championships.



I will die on this hill. :smirk:


Everyone here has taken the leap for a big goal. We are all here to support you. I mentioned above that I went from 250# to 190#. I should have added, that was for my first 70.3, which I finished at age 60. In 10 days I will be 66. Those are just numbers, they don’t define me.

I have made 2 unsuccessful IM attempts (well one and a DNS). The first, I caught the flu from my daughter the day before the race. I was already at the race city so I decided to give it a try after not getting much sleep overnight. In the first 1000 yards of the swim I contributed my breakfast to the ecosystem of the lake and I was done (yes I moved well out of the swim course feeling that was coming).

A few weeks before my second attempt I had an accident on a training ride. I broke 12 bones, was hospitalized for 5 days and 10 weeks of PT.

I have not given up. It is still on my bucket list.

So please do keep us updated. Your story can help inspire others, including me.


Happy Birthday!

Always inspiring reading the background stories on this forum :blush:

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Thanks for the support! It does make me realize too that I’m not only gonna have to put in the time, but also have some luck along the way. Crashes, sickness, mechanical problems on event day……etc. so many things that can stop me cold. Don’t laugh, but I hadn’t thought much about those things but you helped paint an even clearer picture of what I got myself into. If I do make it, it’ll be that much sweeter. Keep at it !


I just wanted to add something to what has already been said. More of a mindset than any particular goals:

When taking on a challenge like this, the question is not whether you will finish the course. The only question is how long it will take…

Even crashes, mechanicals and illness will only delay the inevitable a bit longer than expected. In that case it may be your next event.

The goal is there. The will immovable. The outcome is certain.

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