The run is without a doubt the easiest part of an ironman. If you just want to finish, heck you can actually just walk the marathon and still finish.
The swim is pretty doable. If you put in the training, it's rather easy actually. Not a lot of effort to swim 2.4 miles at a moderate pace. Again, with training, it's the easiest part.
The bike is the hardest of the 3 disciplines. Just sitting on a bike for 5-8 hours is tough. My back was hurting by mile 60 and never stopped. And I did a 100-mile ride previously.
The overall hardest part is nutrition. It's not easy to eat bars, drink gatorades, for 12+ hours.
My stomach was fried by the time the run started in my first, and only, ironman. Didn't help that I took a big gulp of river water (ohio river swim) accidently.
Then factor in weather. Which if too hot can immediately ruin your day. I did IMKY in 2010 and it was 95 degrees at the start of the bike and my bike temp hit 105.
Factor in forgetting sun-screen for my legs which wasn't pretty later.
My advice for someone just trying to finish an ironman is this...
Learn to swim competently. Do the basic Ironman build-up (usually 30 weeks) and follow their swim tip program. Usually 2-3 swims a week between 1-2 miles. And a few times (can be less than 5) do an open water swim of 1+ miles. You'll easily be able to handle the swim.
For the bike, do a lot of long riders. At least one a week. And do a 100+ mile ride to get used to the feeling of being on a bike forever. You'll be able to finish the bike this way.
For the run....I'm sure you're already an above average runner. Just be able to do a few long runs, but nothing crazy. If you're a good runner you might not even have to even really train much at all. 2-3 runs a week, easy.
Again, you finish the swim with an average pace, you're at under 1:30.
You finish the bike at a slow pace (say 7:30), you're at around 9 hours when you start the run. You then have 8 hours to finish 26.2 miles.