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How fast should you be in each IRONMAN® leg to finish in less than 10 hours?

Triathlete cycling

Let’s take three IRONMAN races that are considered to be the fastest and analyze the performance of athletes who manage to finish it sub-10 (times 9:55 to 9:59) in 2019.

tl;dr: you can be (relatively) slow in one discipline and still finish sub-10, so Anything is possible™ 🙂


Course (from event page): Swim – lake; Bike – flat; Run – rolling

Sub-10 finishers in range: 9 athletes (of 910)

Slowest1:08:57 (1:49 min/100m)0:05:385:18:38 (34 km/h)0:05:10 3:55:22 (5:35 min/km)
Fastest0:56:49 (1:30 min/100m)0:02:594:55:03 (36.6 km/h)0:02:063:29:13 (4:58 min/km)
Average1:01:23 (1:37 min/100 m)0:04:055:09:17 (35 km/h)0:03:133:39:23 (5:12 min/km)

Fun facts:

  • An athlete, who was slowest both in the swim, T1, and T2, ran a close-to average marathon and showed 3rd fastest bike time.

IRONMAN Barcelona

Course (from event page): Course: Swim – ocean; Bike – flat; Run – flat

Sub-10 finishers in range: 52 athletes (of 3379)

Slowest1:23:24 (2:12 min/100m)0:09:045:19:41 (33.9 km/h)0:13:07 4:08:10 (5:53 min/km)
Fastest0:51:49 (1:22 min/100m)0:02:554:43:04 (38.2 km/h)0:02:343:09:28 (4:29 min/km)
Average1:06:17 (1:45 min/100 m)0:04:584:57:25 (36.4 km/h)0:04:223:44:17 (5:19 min/km)

Fun facts:

  • Fastest swimmer had slower-than-average bike (5:09); run and T’s were close to an average
  • Athlete, who was slowest in T1 and bike (and had a not impressive swim), showed impressive 3:09 marathon

IRONMAN Copenhagen

Course (from event page): Swim – ocean; Bike – rolling; Run – rolling

Sub-10 finishers in range: 53 athletes (of 3078)

Slowest1:27:12 (2:18 min/100m)0:09:225:19:20 (33.9 km/h)0:07:19 3:59:12 (5:40 min/km)
Fastest0:57:15 (1:30 min/100m)0:03:424:40:57 (38.6 km/h)0:01:583:08:17 (4:28 min/km)
Average1:07:30 (1:47 min/100 m)0:05:215:00:35 (36 km/h)0:04:193:39:47 (5:13 min/km)

Fun facts:

  • The slowest swimmer was not impressive on the bike either (5:13), but flew through the marathon distance in 3:08
  • Slowest runner was well above the average in swim and bike.
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