Only three percent of age group athletes qualify for the Ironman World Championship. With such small odds, it begs the question: what exactly does it take to vie for a slot at triathlon’s biggest event?


In 2016, we started interviewing TrainerRoad users who have made their Kona-qualifying dreams a reality. We kicked things off with the impressive Scott Bowe, a sub-9 Kona qualifier and the fastest amateur at the 2015 Ironman Arizona.

A year later, we featured professional triathlete and Kona veteran Matt Russell and his quest to break 8 hours at the 2017 Ironman Texas North American Championship. And finally, last year we interviewed Emmett Kelly, a 35-year-old IT technician and father of two who increased his FTP 10% and qualified for Kona with a 09:34:28 finishing time.

This year, we reached out to 29 TrainerRoad users who are participating in this year’s Ironman World Championship. We asked if they could share what it took for them to get to Kona, their one best piece of advice for those aspiring to be in their position, and how they use TrainerRoad.

Each athlete, of course, is different. The majority are self-coached, while others have a coach. Some have participated in Kona many times before, while for others it’s their first time. Of the group, there are even a few athletes who earned their slots the non-traditional way: through the Ironman lottery, Executive Challenge, and Legacy programs —proof there’s more than one way to get to Kona. But despite these athletes’ differences, their advice is mostly united. Hard work, consistency, and patience cannot be underestimated.

To learn more about each athlete and how they made it the 2018 Ironman World Championship, listen to the latest special episodes of the Ask a Cycling Coach podcast and dive into their advice below.

Tony Weeks: 4.23 FTP/kg; AG 45-49

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Wales
  • Overall: 10:31:42
  • Swim: 01:00:04
  • Bike: 05:40:32
  • Run: 03:37:40

David Nicholls: 4.77 FTP/kg; AG 30-34

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman South Africa
  • Overall: 9:26:42
  • Swim: 00:57:12
  • Bike: 05:06:35
  • Run: 03:17:20

Wes Thompson: 3.76 FTP/kg; AG: 45-49

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Australia
  • Overall time: 10:17:28
  • Swim: 00:59:46
  • Bike: 05:11:55
  • Run: 04:00:58

Jeffrey Sankoff: 3.82 FTP/kg; AG: 50-54

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Boulder
  • Overall time: 10:41:50
  • Swim: 01:05:45
  • Bike: 05:05:27
  • Run: 04:19:23

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

A ton of hard work, a lot of focus and dedication to the goal and most of all, consistency in training volume and quality. Then, on the day of the race where I qualified, it took planning, execution of that plan and of course, the ever important quality of luck — luck that nothing would go wrong and luck related to who else showed up.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Qualification for Kona is a team sport. Make sure you have absolute buy-in from everyone who will be affected by what is needed to succeed especially family.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

Because I have a job that is extremely demanding on my time, TrainerRoad allows me to maximize my efficiency and ensures that I get the maximum quality workout every time I ride indoors. I generally always use the workouts that my coach prescribes either as a free ride or by constructing the workout in Workout Creator. I can then be sure to hit all of the intervals I am supposed to and make every workout count.

Ross Tremblay: 4.24 FTP/kg; AG 25-29

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Lake Placid
  • Overall time: 9:43:40
  • Swim: 1:07:03
  • Bike: 5:17:13
  • Run: 3:11:30

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

A supportive wife and great training partners. No way would I have been able to do this without my wife’s patience (of course she gets to go to Hawaii now) and training partners that drove me to push harder. I specifically want to call out Colin Martin on team Every Man Jack, who would be in Kona too if it weren’t for a flat.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Be consistent. The fitness and discipline I have now weren’t built in a year. You need to be patient and take a long-term consistent approach to reach the right level of fitness. It can be done, you just need to stick with it.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

I’ve been using TrainerRoad for years now and listening to the advice on the podcast on a weekly basis. I haven’t used a coach in years, just TrainerRoad plans. I followed the long distance base, build, and specialty plans for IM Lake Placid (where I qualified) and then again for Kona.

Tom Glynn: 4.13 FTP/kg; AG: 55-59

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman North American Championship Texas
  • Overall time: 9:59:55
  • Swim: 1:09:39
  • Bike: 4:50:29
  • Run: 3:47:00

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

Years of practice!

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Patience — it’s a long haul. It took me 7 years to qualify for the first time.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

I think I’ve been using TrainerRoad since you started years ago! I love the structured workouts and this year I integrated Best Bike Split into your program. Some years I use it a lot, others less, but I always have it when needed!

Dan Streetman: 3.27 FTP/kg; AG: 50-54

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Florida
  • Overall: 10:47:13
  • Swim: 01:19:55
  • Bike: 04:50:38
  • Run: 04:26:50

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

First, it takes luck. You have to have a good day. But that luck needs to be met with a lot of sweat and a lot of data so you know how to take advantage when the conditions are right. This will be my 7th Ironman and I’ve focused on improving every year. TrainerRoad has been a big part of the sweat and the data that’s helped me to improve.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Stay consistent. I learned that I can’t cram for an Ironman. TrainerRoad allows me to train year round, and vary my training based on the right phase for that time of year. I self-coach myself and I love using TrainerRoad workouts to match my plan.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

I qualified as part of the Ironman Executive Challenge program. I love my job running global sales and marketing for a leading software company, but it requires that I travel nearly every week to see customers and partners. I can always find a place to swim and run, but time on my tri bike is precious. TrainerRoad enables me to make the most of every moment on the bike.

Eric Hodska: 3.87 FTP/kg; AG: 50-54

  • Qualifying Race: IM 70.3 Hawaii
  • Overall time: 4:39:52
  • Swim: 00:29:41
  • Bike: 02:26:26
  • Run: 01:38:17

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

I won my age group at the Honu 70.3 qualifier. I have limited time so every session was thought out and focused. All my bike training was done indoors using TrainerRoad in erg mode.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

It’s not as simple as just believing in yourself. Research events for times that qualified there and be realistic in if you can reach those time goals. Stay consistent – consistency in training is key. And work on your limiters.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

Most of my bike training was done in erg mode on TrainerRoad. I focused on one threshold session, one sweet spot session, and one endurance session. Any other rides were easy aerobics.

Ian Gray: 3.81 FTP/kg; AG: 40-44

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Copenhagen
  • Overall time: 10:00:47
  • Swim: 00:57:47
  • Bike: 04:54:31
  • Run: 04:00:31

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

Consistent training (no missed workouts) under the guidance of a knowledgeable coach. I was just not consistent and organized enough during the years I tried to KQ on my own.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Talk to your family ahead of time so that everyone is on board and understands the sacrifices that will be required. Commit to getting workouts in (ie early morning) during times that minimize the impact on others.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

Probably 80% of my rides were indoors, from shorter interval work up to 6-hour rides. really believe in the specificity and efficiency of indoor training. Especially if you have a family.

Ryan Karr: 3.73 FTP/kg; AG: 18-24

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Lake Placid
  • Overall time: 11:20:04
  • Swim: 01:09:39
  • Bike: 05:53:10
  • Run: 04:06:57

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

Balance. Dedication. Mental training.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Set goals the right way. Break the big goal down into smaller goals until they become measurable. Then set process goals to complete every day in order to achieve the measurable goals.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

I used the BBS mid-volume full distance to peak for Lake Placid.

Jonathan Bernard: 3.81 FTP/kg; AG: 40-44

  • Qualifying Race: NA

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

Just chance. I am competing in Kona this year but I didn’t qualify. I’m one of the 40 lucky winners of an entry slot for the 40 years of Kona. In fact, it will be my first Ironman, as I only did half Ironman before. In my wildest dreams, I sure see me in Kona, but not before a couple of years. I’m a pretty good runner but not yet a good swimmer.

For the bike, I began to ride only 3 years ago. I’m beginning to be pretty good too, thanks to TrainerRoad. I do almost all of my workouts on TrainerRoad. I really like the fact that with my Tacx Trainer, the only thing I have to do is to turn the pedal. Nothing else to take care off. Not to say it’s easy, but I really enjoy it. I like to push myself.

I like the safety of riding indoors. No car drivers that honk at me just because I’m riding a bike. Every week, starting about 6 weeks before my event, I do a long ride outdoor because TrainerRoad can’t replace everything. I think that we have to feel the wind and the outdoor elements to be really prepared.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Work hard.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

Year round, following the training plans that are proposed.

Jeffrey Capobianco: 4.15 FTP/kg; AG: 45-49

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Lake Placid
  • Overall time: 10:24:03
  • Swim: 01:11:04
  • Bike: 05:28:25
  • Run: 03:36:38

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

Consistency! My first ever triathlon was Ironman Lake Placid in 2005. Kona wasn’t even on my radar. My first few years in the sport, I raced one race a year, IMLP, and trained very sporadically, we’re talking 20 minute jogs 2-3 times a week. My wife thought that I was going to hurt myself if I continued on this path; she said, “if you want to do this, then do it”.

That year I actually trained with some consistency and did fairly well. That put me in the ballpark and the next year I was fortunate enough to qualify. That luck continued, and this is my 9th time in Kona! I will never take for granted the honor it is to race here.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Enjoy the journey, while being patient and persistent. I know that’s not just one thing… If I had to pick just one, I’d say enjoy the journey. Thankfully, my wife is also an Ironman and fully understands the commitment. We’ve got three great girls and they’ll all be there on race day.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

To maximize my limited training time. Between work and family, there is little time left for training. I know that I need to make the most of it. Trainerroad keeps me focused and on task.

Meagan Bradley: 3.76 FTP/kg; AG: 40-44

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman North American Championship Texas
  • Overall time: 9:37:43
  • Swim: 00:57:16
  • Bike: 04:37:42
  • Run: 03:55:33

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

To qualify for Kona, I had to manage and balance my life well. I don’t have many hours in the week, so efficient, effective training is paramount!

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Be consistent and confident. You can only rely on you come race day, so be your biggest cheerleader each and every day!

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

I used many of the loaded sessions. I’d also create my own if my Coach at Top Step Cycling would advise me to do a specific interval workout. It’s really easy to create customized. TrainerRoad also kept me within my zones on easy days, tempo days and hard days. Being that I live in flat South Florida, TrainerRoad made it possible for me to push the same power I may find myself having to push going up an 8% grade in Kona! And NO stop lights. Just straight up pedaling!

Lee Weatherhead: 3.71 FTP/kg; AG 40-44

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Chattanooga
  • Overall time: 9:39:55
  • Swim: 00:49:33
  • Bike: 03:40:38
  • Run: 01:31:47

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

Believing in myself and my pushing my training to new limits.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Get your daily nutrition dialed in so you can push your body and be properly fueled.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

I used the training programs within TrainerRoad to build my FTP and endurance.

John Robertson: 3.57 FTP/kg; AG 40-44

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Australia
  • Overall time: 9:40:58
  • Swim: 01:01:54
  • Bike: 05:00:22
  • Run: 03:31:23

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

I had to put everything else on hold & everything came 2nd as a priority to training for this race.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

You must be prepared to do 20+ hours of training a week, eat healthily, get up early most mornings, go to bed early most nights. And be passionate & love the sport. If that’s not you then it won’t happen.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

I used TrainerRoad for the past 2 years with a Wahoo Kickr. My coach would select the workouts, allowing her to see the training stress score on each made it easy to combine it with my training peaks account

Raynard Picard: 4.07 FTP/kg; AG 35-39

  • Qualifying Race: IM Lake Placid
  • Overall time: 9:39:39
  • Swim: 01:04:13
  • Bike: 05:17:39
  • Run: 03:09:12

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

Lot’s of training and consistency!

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Be patient, it will come if you’re consistent.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

Really helped to do those very structured and hard sets!

Dmitriy Stryzhov: 3.58 FTP/kg; AG 40-44

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Boulder
  • Overall time: 10:32:22
  • Swim: 01:09:38
  • Bike: 05:16:11
  • Run: 03:57:14

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

Health, desire, and a little luck.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Dream, set a goal, discipline in execution on the way to the goal!

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

Three workouts a week in winter and two workouts a week since spring I did at home on the machine using TrainerRoad.

Campbell Hanson: 4.42 FTP/kg; AG 40-44

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Western Australia
  • Overall time: 8:12:20
  • Swim:(Cancelled due to shark sightings)
  • Bike: 04:36:08
  • Run: 03:31:24

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

Overcoming an injury-filled build up.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Be prepared to put the work in.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

Spent the early winter lifting my FTP using TrainerRoad

Alan Hartley: 3.18 FTP/kg; AG 60-64

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman New Zealand
  • Overall time: 10:54:22
  • Swim: 01:08:04
  • Bike: 05:40:43
  • Run: 03:57:18

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

Consistency in training and having no major weaknesses. It may take a few attempts but don’t give up.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Be realistic of your chances and go for it! You must have the work ethic and never give up attitude.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

I used it for rained out or cold mornings. Sometimes I was short on time and TrainerRoad was a more efficient use of time.

Jo Cinter: 3.21 FTP/kg; AG 50-54

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
  • Overall time: 6:12:33
  • Swim: 00:34:33
  • Bike: 03:12:48
  • Run: 02:17:14

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

A lot of run/rides chasing my husband (Ed Price) who also qualified.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Work less.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

I started using TrainerRoad in July after hearing my husband talk about how great it was. I was hesitant at first, mostly because I was afraid to try something new. I had not used power before, so I wasn’t sure if I would like it. But I am so glad I did. I could feel myself getting stronger as the weeks went on. I began with the build phase for a few weeks then at 8 weeks out I started doing the specialty phase. I averaged two trainer workouts (Tuesday and Thursday) during the week and an occasional workout on Saturday. I also did many of the swim workouts. I thought it was just great. We will see if it pays off next Saturday!

Chris Nasser: 3.70 FTP/kg; AG 30-34

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Chattanooga
  • Overall time: 09:30:07
  • Swim: 00:49:36
  • Bike: 5:13:41
  • Run: 3:21:43

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

I coach and train with a lot of athletes in the Atlanta community. Being a coach, I made sure to listen to my coach. He pushed me when I needed pushing and tamed me when I would try to go too hard. I trained first thing in the morning so there would be no excuse to skip later in the day…that meant for a lot of early mornings. I followed a plan that built early speed/strength and later season endurance. A smart training block sets you up to be at the starting line feeling happy, healthy, and confident.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

On race-day, play it smart! Don’t get too excited then ride harder than you should on the bike, this does not set yourself up for a solid run. On the run, you’ve got to start smart…an Ironman can be won or lost in the last hour of that run…make sure you are the one still running in that last hour!

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

Most of my weekday rides with intervals and structure were on the trainer. My coach would write custom workouts and also prescribe me some of the stock TrainerRoad workouts…I’ve done Shasta at least 20 times in my lifetime. TrainerRoad kept me honest, it saved me time, and it made my training productive. It was very easy to compare my results after each workout.

Paul Rogan: 3.34 FTP/kg; AG 50-54

  • Qualifying Race: NA

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

I made it to Kona through the Ironman Legacy program having completed 12+ Ironman races.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Train hard on the bike!

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

In Canada, we just had four weeks of cold, wet and even snowy days. I used TrainerRoad’s Full Ironman Training Plan to finish off preparing for Kona and give me focus during those long indoor rides on the trainer. After a short recovery, I will be back to using TrainerRoad as I work towards increasing my FTP for next season!

Dave McLoughlan: 3.91 FTP/kg; AG 50-54

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman New Zealand
  • Overall time: 10:03:55
  • Swim: 01:05:06
  • Bike: 05:09:02
  • Run: 03:41:04

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

Two years of blood sweat and tears and a truckload of support from the family.
I was 115kg and a smoker back before my kids were born. After a health scare 10 years ago I decided I needed to get healthy for my family. I started by cycling to work which encouraged me to enter the round Taupo cycle race. I wanted more so did a try a tri in 2010. I got the bug and my first Ironman was Taupo 2014. I took a year off to renovate the house in 2016 and I missed it so I made it my goal to qualify for Kona. 2017 I qualified for Penticton long distance but I missed out by one spot for Kona, the person 4 seconds in front of my qualifying. My wife pushed me to try again the following year and coming 2nd in my age group at Taupo I achieved my goal. It was a tough slog, balancing running my own business, a young family and training.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

You need support! Firstly you have to have your family on board, it needs to be a joint goal. Then get a great coach. I am coached by Rob Dallimore at Foot Traffic. Your boss, employer etc is on board to help manage your time.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

Because of my time restrictions through the week, my sessions were done on TrainerRoad getting maximum benefit out of my time. My coach would put my sessions I was required to go into my program letting me know what TrainerRoad sessions to do.

Dave Lundberg: 3.82 FTP/kg; AG 50-54

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Wisconsin
  • Overall time: 10:51:03
  • Swim: 01:02:20
  • Bike: 05:27:21
  • Run: 04:11:43

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

It took a decade of hard work and 20 plus races before qualifying. I focused on Ironman Wisconsin and became quite familiar with that course. My two Kona qualifications have come from that course.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

My experience has been the long slow road so I can speak to that. You must find ways to motivate yourself to put in the massive training required. If you don’t put in the time, it won’t come to you. The longer the journey though, the sweeter the reward when you get there. Hold onto that thought.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

I used TrainerRoad in combination with a Wahoo Kckr leading up to Kona. Minnesota weather is nothing like Kona conditions so indoor training is a must. My wife also qualified for Kona this year as well. We’ll sometimes do the same TrainerRoad workouts together.

Kevin Berg: 3.13 FTP/kg; AG 60-64

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Florida
  • Overall time: 11:17:20
  • Swim: 01:04:42
  • Bike: 05:34:42
  • Run: 04:26:36

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

A lot more work than I thought it would be! I did six 140.6 races before qualifying, and I realized that if I was ever to have a chance to get to Kona that I needed to commit to a more rigorous training.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Don’t think about qualifying for Kona. Unless you are consistently finishing first or second in your age group, your focus should be entirely on your next race. With good training and a little luck, Kona may come to you.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

TrainerRoad was very important to my road to Kona. The ability to import or create workouts that were specific to the training periods are essential. Proper use of a smart trainer with TrainerRoad provides key workouts that build performance gains.

Erica Bolvin: 3.42 FTP/kg; AG 40-44

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Coeur d’Alene
  • Overall time: 12:03:16
  • Swim: 01:06:03
  • Bike: 06:27:44
  • Run: 04:18:13

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

Dedicated, day-over-day training; even on days when I didn’t want to. On race day, riding to my power numbers and not letting other people affect my effort or mindset. An Ironman race truly isn’t over until you cross the finish line.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Follow a structured bicycle training plan and trust the process.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

TrainerRoad is the bike portion of my training plan. My coach (who is also my husband) built my swimming and running training around my TrainerRoad training schedule. He mapped out a full year of periodized training based on the 6- to 8-week cycles that TrainerRoad follows and we chose races that supported the training plan both in race distance and in how they fit into the suggested race weeks in the program.

I like the program because it’s based on metrics so I can tell when I’m tired, when I’m just being lazy and when I’m increasing in fitness. As a Pacific Northwest athlete, we only have a few months of good weather to ride outside anyway; but honestly, the structure of the plan has earned me more fitness than riding outside could.

Geoffrey Steffens: 3.38 FTP/kg; AG 50-54

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Santa Rosa
  • Overall time: 9:57:04
  • Swim: 01:06:03
  • Bike: 05:05:35
  • Run: 03:39:54

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

That is a tough one. Commitment and support from my wife. A vision of a series of steps that progressed to qualification.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Be patient, all the workouts and time that you put in are a small piece of the big picture. Make sure to focus on the process as well as nutrition and recovery.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

So many workouts….developing endurance, FTP testing, sweet spot, workouts, over and under with threshold work! The time commitment of training was so benefited by allowing me to achieve quality indoor workouts on my smart trainer without leaving home.

Roger Thompson: 4.28 FTP/kg; AG 45-49

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Canada
  • Overall time: 10:12:08
  • Swim: 01:06:03
  • Bike: 05:30:00
  • Run: 03:38:59

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

Patience, and consistency.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

Consistency…day after day. There is no silver bullet…just being intentional and consistent.

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

I used TrainerRoad, and its plans, during the season to maintain consistency and an appropriate “build” to be prepared.

Dana Bullard: 3.09 FTP/kg; AG 40-44

  • Qualifying Race: Ironman Florida
  • Overall time: 10:24:05
  • Swim: 01:11:59
  • Bike: 05:10:53
  • Run: 03:52:33

What did it take for you to qualify for Kona?

I placed second in my age group at Ironman Florida.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to qualify for Kona?

I think the biggest thing you need is perseverance. With fewer and fewer Kona slots being available, it is more difficult to qualify. It took me 8 Ironmans of being very close to qualifying before I finally did it. I kept training hard and racing because I knew my time would come if I would persevere. This is now my 4th Kona and I am so excited to be racing again!

How did you use TrainerRoad leading up to the Ironman World Championship?

I train mainly indoors due to childcare, weather and safety concerns. I had been using a Computrainer for about 10 years but was looking to make a change. During the summer, I purchased a Wahoo Kickr and a TrainerRoad subscription to go along with it. I couldn’t be happier with that decision. My biking has come a long way in a short amount of time. Although it makes the workouts harder, I love how the software forces you to work hard. I also love the flexibility to do a preloaded workout or to create your own with Workout Creator.

Both TrainerRoad and Workout Creator are very easy to use. I have done several outside rides in the training leading up to Kona to check my progress and I have seen a significant increase in my average power after just a few months of using the Kickr and TrainerRoad. This year’s Kona will be my first race since starting to use TrainerRoad but I feel that I will have the best Kona bike split that I have had.


Start your triathlon training with TrainerRoad.



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Chelsea Hejny

Chelsea Hejny is a writer who covers cycling and training topics. When she’s not interviewing cycling experts and coaches for an upcoming article, she’s helping share TrainerRoad’s latest and greatest content, like the Train Smart, Get Fast email series. Sign up for it to learn how to become a stronger cyclist.

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