I’m a firm believer that anyone CAN do an Ironman or Half Ironman event if they truly want to. Yes, it takes work. No one said this would be easy. But it’s not impossible. I wrote a post last week about how slow you can truly go in an Ironman and still finish within the legal timeframes.
This weekend I saw a Coeur teammate of mine, Mary Kate Callahan. She’s a pretty amazing girl, a Dare2Tri athlete who just finished up her sophomore year of college, and is pursuing her Ironman dream this summer. She’s training for Ironman Louisville which is in October this year. It’s not an unrealistic goal for Mary Kate; sure she has to put in the training, and yes it’s different than how I trained for the same event, but it’s definitely achievable!
Here are my tips for anyone in getting from “sign up to start line”:
1. Find a solid training group/coach/program that you can trust in. There are some people I know who are constantly questionining their training every week… why worry that much? Invest in someone/something you trust in to tell you how to prepare for the race.
2. Be consistent in your training. You have to put in the training every week and a little bit every day (or most days – I’m a fan of a rest day once per week!) to make progress without creating injury. And you don’t want to get an injury – accident/traumatic or overuse or any kind. So be consistent, and be safe. Don’t go out and ride 100 miles if you haven’t covered 50 yet. And wear a helmet!
3. Plan financially for your race. This type of an event is not cheap. An ironman entry fee costs $650 on it’s own. And then add in the travel. The mini-trips for training. The gear. While those other discretionary costs are not “required,” you should think about what you’re prepared to put out for this goal. Kelly did a nice post a few years back on how to save on triathlon costs. Know your own personal budget, and how important is this goal in comparison to getting the food on the table for your family. Just be aware, and I think the way to make smart decisions for YOU is to plan ahead.
4. Be kind to your support group. Your family, friends. Tell them what you need in terms of their support during training and on race day. I love my husband – as a triathlete he knows some of what I need. He knows when to push me to help out around the house, versus when I can’t help because I’ve GOT to get this ride in this weekend. And we trade off. Some weekends his hobbies/training/needs take priority. And then some weekends it’s mine. So I have to appreciate all that he does during training. And then again during race day- I know I want my family and friends there to cheer me on, to help me through the hard times, and to support me. Thank you!
I could get into actual strategy related to training or how you actually swim, bike and run, but let’s leave it at these big things. Anyone can do Ironman, but I think to come out sane, you must keep these things in mind.