How fast to go to Hawaii / Dad’s 12 Hour Goal

So how fast do you need to be, to be one of the fastest Ironman triathlete’s in the world…that is to say, good enough to qualify for the World Championships in Hawaii?

Well, in my age category this year at Ironman Florida, and the next few oldest categories:

  • 09:35:08 Moats Kevin M55-59 1/84 
  • 10:26:28 Norris Randall M55-59 3/84 
  • 10:47:02 Saucier Marc M55-59 6/84 
  • 11:38:36 Park David M60-64 1/43 
  • 11:36:34 Weinbrandt Richard M65-69 1/16 
  • 13:38:44 Lettner Tommy M70-74 1/8

So 3 out of 4 of my faster Ironman finishes would qualify me for Hawaii…at the age of 70….geez.

Right now, it looks like a 10:30 gets me in the hunt in my 55-59 category, or in 2014, at age 60, a 11:30 to win the age category…today…as long as faster guys don’t come along and age up at the same time…I can see how on a really good day I could get to 12:30

In my end of season wrap-up with Coach Gale a few days ago, we were discussing the goals for the season ahead.  Her view was, without going into all the details of why, was that my current ‘top potential’ with lean body weight, my body holding up, training dialed right in, and a great race day, and great day at the race, was most likely an 11:45 Ironman…I was leaning more to the ‘under 12:30 range’, so think that I’m going to settle on a 12:00 ‘training goal’ for 2011…I could have said, 12:15, but 12:00 is a nice round number.  It feels _very_ ambitious to me, and therefore a good starting point….considering that my fastest Ironman to date was a  12:57 in 2008, a 13:22 in 2009, and 14:29 in 2010.

The race time goal a year out, to some degree, establishes initial training guidelines, and will probably be adjusted throughout the year, and by race day, depending on how training progresses.  If I said that my goal simply to finish under 15 hours, that training plan would look quite a bit different than one at 12:00.

We’re not anticipating that my total hours will go up dramatically…more back to the annual 500+ range that it’s been, than the 400 from last year…punch up the speed and intensity rather than hours, and stay healthy…time to get serious 🙂

Oh, I was asked the other day if I factor ‘getting older’ into the equation.  Nope…at least not yet…I still feel that my ability to improve my performance from my current level exceeds whatever decline in performance may be built in due to aging.

Many years ago, I wore out a book by Bob Glover and Shelly-lynn Florence Glover, called the Competitive Runners Handbook.  I loved a chart that they had that listed times for a marathon by age category, with the Percentile ranking, and what it meant…like 65%, ‘Advanced Competitor’…the highest ranking I achieved in the marathon.  I’ve extrapolated it to the Ironman Florida percentiles for my age category…not really totally scientific for a lot of different variable reasons, but enough for my purposes here.

…so what would it take for me to get to:

  • 11:32…this would be 11/84 in the 55-59 category…87% percentile: Semi-elite (85%)
  • 12:00… 21/84…75% percentile: Local champion (75%)
  • 12:30… 26/84…69% percentile: Advanced competitor (65%)
  • 13:00… 40/84…52% percentile, so a big group of guys in the 12:30-13:00 category: Basic competitor (50%)

soooo, Ironman Hawaii isn’t in the cards…yet…as it is, I’m definitely already exceeding my DNA…but ‘Advanced Competitor’ or even ‘Local Champion’ sounds pretty good to this short, stocky, balding 56 year old fullback 🙂

To predict your Ironman time from another triathlon distance (have also read to take your time for a half ironman, double it, and add 1 hour to get a ballpark number):

To play with the Ironman numbers yourself, and switch from Imperial to Metric at the top of the page at:


PaceTimeCumulative Time
Swim1:45/100 yards1:13:55
Transition 18:00
Bike20 MPH5:36:00
Transition 27:00
Run10:30 min/mile4:35:0611:40:01


PaceTimeCumulative Time
Swim1:55/100 yards1:20:57
Transition 18:00
Bike19.5 MPH5:44:36
Transition 28:00
Run10:35 min/mile4:37:1711:58:50


PaceTimeCumulative Time
Swim2:00/100 yards1:24:28
Transition 110:00
Bike19 MPH5:53:41
Transition 210:00
Run11:00 min/mile4:48:1212:26:21

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