How many triathlons should you do before an Ironman distance? How many years should you train for it? How many sprint, olympics, and 70. 3's should you do before attempting the full Ironman? Thank you. Essentially — I don't know if there is a absolutely correct answer to this as I've seen and heard just about all level of training when I've discussed this with other triathletes. I've completed 5 Ironman Triathlons in the past 5 years. If Ironman is your goal, then Sprints and Oly's aren't really necessary, except to get race experience or as early season fitness tests. 70. 3's are a good starting point to experience the mental fatigue of the race, which is the hardest part of an IM. There is an adage that says "the Ironman starts at mile 13 on the run", which means that fitness will carry you the first 127 of the race, then your body starts to push back. HARD. IM is more about training for this specific race, as the other races simply aren't long enough to give your body enough stress to adapt. The short answer to the question is, depending on your finish time expectations, I would recommend 8 months of training, in which time you do one 70. 3, a marathon (for confidence), and as many century rides as you can (4 minimum). You'll need a minimum of 10-15 hours per week of training (even more as you're peaking) to have a successful day. I wanted to "do and IM" and was excited about the tattoo as I planned my training, but after I finished the race, I realized that the training made me an Ironman, not the race. It was an absolute honor to race with others who had sacrificed so much time and money, strained personal relationships and careers, and were suffering as much as I was. An Ironman is a life-changing and beautiful event, one that you won't understand until you cross that finish line. I hope you commit to it, as it will teach you more about yourself that anything else ever could. Good Luck..