| Can I finish an Ironman without truly training for the marathon portion?

Can I finish an Ironman without truly training for the marathon portion?

the matt asked:

I’m a former collegiate runner who hasn’t been able to run for the past 5 years because of arthritis and very little cartilage left in my hips. I’ve turned to cycling as my exercise outlet and have become quite sufficient in that discipline along with being able to swim just fine as well. While I’ve run several marathons years ago I now only run (more like shuffle) 6 miles a week. I have been training for an Ironman without really devoting any time to the run because of the hip ailment as well as extremely tight lower back and sciatic problems. I even get numbing down my leg after just a few miles. I stop and stretch until it goes away and then hobble on. Yes..it’s ludicrous to even attempt an Ironman in my condition but I want to do just one and then hang ‘em up and just cycle and do the occasional mini triathlon. So…any takers on whether I can even finish it? I’ll take any last minute advice on specific stretching that might help me get there as well. Fire away!
Ultrasound technician

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4 Responses to “Can I finish an Ironman without truly training for the marathon portion?”

  1. Kyle M on March 29th, 2009 12:36 pm

    definately seek a docters opinion on the subject. If he says you can do it, but he would advise against it, do it. If he says dont do it for the life of you, dont. you need a professional opinion, not the opinion of a bunch of bored 15 year olds.

  2. Kraftee on March 31st, 2009 6:39 am

    Have you perhaps already answered your own question?
    “numbing down my leg”
    “hobble on”

    I don’t know the nature of your hip problems, but if it involves dysplasia, the longer you go untreated, the less likely that you’d be eligible for a periacetabular osteotomy. Or if it’s old-fashioned arthritis and you’re young (meaning under 50) pushing yourself like that will not make your hip better. Hip replacements don’t last forever so doing what you can to preserve the joint now may get you a few more years out of the old hips.

    PS: I’m not a bored 15-year-old”!!

  3. Lionheart on April 1st, 2009 6:33 pm

    It would be bad advice to suggest that you could attempt a marathon after swimming 2 miles and biking 110, with no training that included running. It would be insane to think you could do it with the type ailments you describe.

    You sound like you truly respect the sport so do the respectable thing and do not attempt this. Fix the problem first, if possible. Others have come back from worse.

    Besides, do you really want to come that far and fail because you didn’t train for the run? Or worse yet put your cycling and swimming in danger by really messing yourself up on the run?

  4. runningviolin on April 3rd, 2009 9:05 pm

    Well, it may be possible as I have run a marathon with my longest run being only 7 miles, but after doing the other 2 events, in all likelihood, you will be walking the marathon. Is there a time limit to finish it? My first instinct would be to tell you that no, you cannot do it, but there’s no accounting for the determination of the human spirit so if you have the will-power, you may just be able to pull it off but at what cost? I can’t really lecture you on not running injured because I did a marathon a month after injuring my Achilles tendon. The race was on my birthday so I was determine to do it and finished in a decent time but with both ankles swollen and had to go to physical therapy and take 2 months off from running. :( Have you tried going to a good sports chiropractor for your hips and other problems? My daughter has hip dysplesia and the chiropractor helped her some.
    Good luck with whatever you decide!