IRONMAN Lanzarote: A Challenge for Athletes of All Levels

Get ready to push your limits and conquer one of the toughest endurance races in the world – IRONMAN Lanzarote. Nestled in the stunning Canary Islands, this breathtaking course will test the resolve of even the most experienced athletes. From the scorching heat to the challenging terrain, you will need all your strength, determination, and grit to complete this triathlon. But don’t be intimidated – this race is open to athletes of all levels, from first-time triathletes to seasoned pros. Gear up and brace yourself for the ultimate test of physical and mental fortitude – IRONMAN Lanzarote awaits.

Ironman Lanzarote Athletes
Ironman Lanzarote Athletes @Club La Santa

IRONMAN Lanzarote Overview

Welcome to the world of IRONMAN Lanzarote, where athleticism, determination, and adventure collide. This grueling competition features three exciting races that present athletes of all skill levels with a new and exciting test of their stamina and determination. Anyone, from seasoned athletes to first-timers, can expect to be challenged and rewarded with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Learn why IRONMAN Lanzarote is the pinnacle of physical and mental challenges by delving into the finer points of this incredible event.

Event Information

  • IRONMAN Lanzarote takes place annually in May.
  • You can sign up for the 2023 IRONMAN Lanzarote at https://www.ironman.com/im-lanzarote-register. There are 2000 spots available.
  • The event includes a Pro Race and an Age Group Race.
  • There is also a relay option for people who want to take part but cannot run the whole distance by themselves.
  • Participants must finish the race before the 17-hour time limit is reached.
  • The IRONMAN Lanzarote Festival starts and ends at Club La Santa.
  • It provides qualifying slots for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Swim

The 3.8 km swim at IRONMAN Lanzarote is the starting point of a thrilling and challenging journey through the island’s rugged terrain. Participants dive into the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the stunning scenery of Playa Blanca’s breathtaking coastline. The swim consists of two 1.9 km loops, with participants following a line of buoys offshore, navigating the rolling waves, and testing their endurance as they make their way toward the first transition area.

The swim offers a unique combination of beauty and challenge, with conditions varying according to the wind, ranging from glassy and smooth to an uncomfortable swell. The fastest athletes complete the swim in about 45 minutes, while most participants finish within an hour to 1.5 hours. The cut-off time is 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Bike

The 180 km bike ride of IRONMAN Lanzarote takes participants on a breathtaking journey through the rugged terrain of Lanzarote, surrounded by stunning landscapes and challenging courses. The course is a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, with steep inclines and technical descents that test an athlete’s resolve and push them to their limits.

The bike phase is considered the most difficult part of the race, with a course that heads out from Puerto del Carmen, inland towards Tias, then south to El Golfo, before turning north for several hours of climbing into a headwind all the way to Mirador del Rio, and finally coming back down the center of Lanzarote and into Puerto del Carmen.

Palm Trees Swaying with the Wind in Puerto del Carmen Beachfront
Feel the sun, sand, and breeze in Puerto del Carmen – @pkazmierczak

The course is 180 km long and climbs over 2,500 meters, with nine aid stations along the route providing energy drinks, water, and fruit to help keep athletes fueled and hydrated. Pro athletes complete the course in around 5.5 hours, while most age groupers finish in 6 to 8 hours. With a cut-off time of 18:30, every pedal stroke counts, and athletes must push themselves to the finish line to achieve their ultimate goal of becoming an IRONMAN.

Run

The 42.2 km marathon run at IRONMAN Lanzarote is the grand finale of a test of endurance and willpower. Participants face the ultimate challenge, pushing their physical and mental limits as they tackle this grueling run through the scenic coastal town of Puerto del Carmen.

The course features three loops along the promenade, with the first loop stretching to Playa Honda and the next two reaching Matagorda before turning. The flat course may seem like a blessing, but the scorching Lanzarote sun adds an extra layer of difficulty.

The pro athletes can conquer the marathon in around 3 hours, while most will complete it in 4 to 6 hours, and some may cross the finish line close to the midnight cut-off. This final run can often make or break a competitor’s performance in the race.

Note: IRONMAN Lanzarote and Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote are two different races. What was discussed was the full IRONMAN Lanzarote. IRONMAN 70.3 Lanzarote is a half-distance triathlon that consists of a 1.9 km swim, a 90 km bike ride, and a 21.1 km run. The full IRONMAN race is considered one of the world’s most challenging races, while the IRONMAN 70.3 is more manageable for those who are less experienced or prefer to tackle a shorter distance. Regardless of which race you choose, both offer a spectacular and challenging experience for athletes of all levels.

Preparation and Training Tips

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the sport, the challenge ahead can seem daunting. But don’t worry; with the right preparation and training, you can be ready to tackle the full IRONMAN or the 70.3. In this section, we’ll share some essential tips for preparing and training for IRONMAN Lanzarote, including general fitness tips and specific race preparation advice. So strap on your helmet, lace up your shoes, and get ready to read on!

General

Make time for extended training. Preparation for IRONMAN Lanzarote is a demanding commitment that requires time, effort, and dedication. Participants should expect to invest several months in training to increase their endurance and strength.

Do multi-sport training. An effective training program for IRONMAN Lanzarote includes a combination of long swims, bike rides, and runs, as well as strength and conditioning exercises to boost endurance and minimize the risk of injury.

Be prepared for various environmental conditions. It’s crucial for athletes to be ready for the race’s challenging conditions, including wind and heat. The dry and hot island can significantly impact hydration, so it’s recommended to regularly replenish fluids at aid stations and to properly hydrate before the race. Sun protection is also vital, as sunburn can occur during the run.

Attend training camps. Training camps, like Club La Santa, Sands Beach Resort, and Walktopro/Sport Else, offer IRONMAN preparation and can last a week. Experts suggest 4 weeks of training before the event, which can be done independently or with professional help from the camps.

Acclimatize. A week of training on the island prior to the race is helpful, but optional, for acclimation to the island and the race’s specifics.

Don’t skip the course briefing. Attend the race briefing for updates on start times, course routes, and aid station locations.

Check the course. IRONMAN Lanzarote course is clearly marked on race day and usually the day before. Get familiar with the location and landmarks, as buoys may not be easily visible due to glare from the sun during the swim start.

Train your legs in Lanzarote-like conditions. Training your legs and including hill work can improve their strength for the bike portion and help them acclimate to the terrain in Lanzarote for the run.

Cool down. Take ice and cold fluids at aid stations to bring your temperature down.

Swimming

Start in the right spot. Secure your starting position early, as the start line can quickly become congested. If you wait too long, it can be difficult to reach the front.

Find an advantageous position. If you’re a slower swimmer, it’s best to start at the back and right of the group to avoid the initial chaos and swim in clear water. Faster swimmers should position themselves near the front and be ready for a more intense start.

Transition 1

Have a shoe strategy. The first transition is on a sandy beach, and the distance from the tent to the bike is significant. It’s best to keep your shoes on the bike or carry them to your bike instead of running with them on.

Keep it simple. Avoid making race day complicated by pre-determining what you’ll need and only bringing those items. Avoid added stress by limiting choices on race day.

Biking

Ride smart. Sometimes it’s better to let other athletes go by and keep within an intensity cap.

Avoid regularly spiking power. This is to avoid easily building fatigue with surges over small bumps in the road.

Take advantage of recovery periods.Timanfaya is the first true climb, and the long descents from the top of Fire Mountain to La Santa are much more manageable. Take this opportunity to recover.

Work on your bike skills. The wind is a major challenge during the race, so strong biking skills are crucial, especially when maneuvering through downhill sections in an aerodynamic posture.

May skip the aero helmet. Some previous participants do not recommend having an aero helmet as it can become very uncomfortable.

Get the right kind of rim. Deep rims are fine as long as they are designed for use in crosswinds. Otherwise, avoid them. Deep carbon-rimmed wheels will act as a massive sail. Discs are not recommended.

Choose a suitable cassette. Some experts recommend an 11-23 or 11-25 cassette for gearing. This allows you to climb well while also leaving power for the downhills.

Safety first. Do not take any unnecessary risks. Even though you’re trying to win and beat your personal best time in a race, safety should be a top priority.

Transition 2

Better shoe situation. It’s a long way from the dismount line to the change tent; leaving shoes on the bike makes it much easier and faster.

Running

Longer runs are better. Consider increasing the length of your sessions instead of the number of sessions you do each week. Most of the time, three long runs a week are better than five short ones. This strategy also gives you more time to focus on your swim and bike prep sessions.

FAQs

Welcome to the FAQs, where we answer the most commonly asked questions about IRONMAN Lanzarote. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first-time participant, this section is designed to help you navigate the ins and outs of the event with ease. So take a deep breath, get ready to expand your knowledge, and read on to discover the answers to your IRONMAN Lanzarote questions!

When does IRONMAN Lanzarote take place?

The Club La Santa IRONMAN Lanzarote celebrates its 31st edition on May 20, 2023.

How long is the IRONMAN Lanzarote swim, bike, and run course?

The swim is 3.8 km, the bike is 180 km, and the run is 42 km.

What is the cut-off time for IRONMAN Lanzarote?

The deadline for finishing the IRONMAN Lanzarote is 17 hours after the race begins.

Is there a relay option for IRONMAN Lanzarote?

Yes, but relay registration is only for the 70.3 IRONMAN event, which will take place on March 18, 2023.

How can I register for IRONMAN Lanzarote?

The Tier 3 registration is still open till May 1, 2023 for €599.

What is the weather like during the race?

Lanzarote in May has warm temperatures ranging from 22 to 26 degrees, with the possibility of hot spells reaching the high 30s. At night, the temperature drops to around 17 degrees but can feel cooler if it is windy. The ocean temperature is warmer than northern Europe at around 22 degrees. There is a low chance of rain in May as the island is in its drought period, but if it does rain, it is usually a quick shower.

May is known for its windy conditions, with normal wind speeds around 10 to 15 km/h, but it can gust up to 40 km/h with accompanying hot air from the Sahara, so it does not feel cold when it’s windy.

Are there any age restrictions for IRONMAN Lanzarote?

Unless otherwise specified in the Event registration process, you must be at least 18 years old to participate in the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3.

Can spectators watch the race?

Yes, definitely!

For the swim race, you need to be on the beach by 6:30. Then you can walk along the beach and watch the swimmers. Make sure you’re back at the start/finish area by 7:45 to see the pros run up the beach, quickly change, and then take off on their bikes.

Then, for the bike race, the area between the starting and finish lines is a great place to watch. You can also head to El Golfo or Timanfaya to take beautiful pictures with a volcano in the background. Another great option is to drive up north to Mirador del Rio to witness an intimidating ascent or head south to Arrieta to witness some serious speed.

The first athletes to arrive on bikes and sprint out of the transition area. The midday hours are the best time to visit because that’s when the most action and fun happen. Then you can take a stroll down the route and watch the runners from the roadside.

Make sure you’re at transition at 11:30 p.m., as the midnight cut-off is rapidly approaching, to witness the heartfelt scenes of the final finishers receiving their medals. Anyone still out there when the clock strikes midnight will be disqualified.

Can I use a road bike or a triathlon bike for the bike course?

Yes, you can use either a road bike or a triathlon bike for the bike course of IRONMAN Lanzarote. However, triathlon bikes are designed specifically for the demands of a triathlon and may offer advantages such as a more aerodynamic riding position and better handling. It is recommended to use the bike that you feel most comfortable and confident riding on, considering the race’s conditions.

Are there any restrictions on what kind of wetsuit I can wear for the swim?

Yes, there are. Find the wetsuit restrictions here.

Summing Up the IRONMAN Lanzarote Experience

IRONMAN Lanzarote is an epic challenge that requires strength, endurance, and determination. It’s a true test of an athlete’s skills, where they push their limits and reach new heights. From the scenic bike course to the thrilling run, the event is filled with incredible memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newcomer, IRONMAN Lanzarote offers a thrilling adventure for athletes of all levels. So, gear up and get ready to conquer one of the most challenging IRONMAN races in the world.

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