So .. .you want to do an IRONMAN (or 70.3)
My suggestions on what you will need to make the leap into training for long distance triathlon
If you reading this blog, you've likely either talked to triathletes, done one of the 3 disciplines reguarly and/or done a sprint triathlon at some point. You are really wanting to finish a 70.3 or 140.6, but scared you can't do it, or don't know what you really NEED to get started. Here are some of my recommedations and why.
The basics you will need: access to swimming (recommend both pool and open water access), a bike, helmet, running shoes.
MUST HAVE: BIKE FIT
When you go to a sprint triathlon you will see all kinds of bikes out there. Mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, road bikes, triathlon bikes. They can all do the job at getting you through a shorter course distance within the time limit. However, when you make the leap to longer courses (70.3 and/or 140.6), I highly recommend you make the leap and invest in a bike that FITS you. That is more important than the brand, or the price or the color. Invest in a BIKE FIT from a professional, so you are sure you are on a bike that fits you. This is not something you will know off website size charts. Everyone is different. I also recommend either a road bike or a TT Bike. If you try to do a 70.3/140.6 on a mountain or hybrid, you will have to work way harder and the bikes are just not made to go at the same speeds. A road bike will be more versatile and climb up hills easier; a TT bike is made to be more aerodynamic.
Needless to say, you can definitely go with a used road bike and be successful at finishing your race. Just make sure it FITS you! That is #1.
MUST HAVE: GOOD RUNNING SHOES
Make sure you go to a running store and have your running gait analyzed and get shoes that fit you and your feet. A good pair of shoes is essential. Wear them only for running/walking, track your mileage on them. Switch them out every 300 miles or if you start to notice that the "pep" is gone in them.
MUST HAVE: GOOD FITTING TRIATHLON KIT