Taking The Plunge: 3 Tips to Starting Your Ironman Triathlon Journey
You just finished your first triathlon ever, maybe it was a sprint or an Olympic distance but no matter what you are hooked!! That feeling of accomplishment and empowerment has you ready to take on more. There are a couple other sprint and Olympic's you can sign up for, or maybe you already have, but you've got your eye on a bigger prize; the 70.3 and 140.6 distances. You wanna want to strut your stuff down that red carpet and here the words "YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!". It is amazing how in triathlon you can go from questioning how you will be able to finish a sprint distance to chasing that 140.6 mile dream. To me that is what makes triathlon so beautiful, the ever changing goals that it allows us to have. The ability to constantly reach for the stars.
Unsure on what you need to do in order to get started? Here are my three tips to getting started on the 70.3 and 140.6 Journey.
Be willing to make the commitment
While you can kind of fake your way through an Olympic or a sprint (though I don't recommend it) you cannot with a 70.3 or a 140.6. You have to be willing to be 100% committed and you have to do the work. 70.3 and 140.6 is a lot of miles and it is anywhere from 5 to 17 hours of exercise depending on the distance, that is a lot you and you have to be prepared for it. That does not mean you have to be "pro status" or put in 20 hours a week even 15 hours a week but it does mean you have to put the work in. You cannot continue to push workouts or skip workouts because of other things.
You have to be willing to accept that your bedtime may be closer to 8:30 pm rather than 10:30 pm because you have to get up early or saying no to drinks after work because you have a 5+ hour training day the next day.
Not only do you have to be committed to the workouts but everything involved with training from managing your nutrition, recovery, mobility, and getting proper rest. It all plays a part in getting you to the finish line and it is all important.
Lastly, you have to be willing to make the commitment from a financial standpoint. Do you have to have the most expensive gear? No. But you do have to have the gear, the entry fee, nutrition, wetsuit, running shoes, swim gear, etc.
Go For It
If you have sat down and decided that you are willing to make the commitment then this is something I strongly believe in. To many people tell me that they wish they could do what I do (ie: long distance triathlon) and when I say that they can they immediately say; oh I could never do that I have children, or I am too busy, I don't have time, I couldn't go that far, etc. etc. Tons and tons of excuses fall from their lips probably without even thinking about. I am here to tell you that anyone can do a 70.3 or 140.6 you just have to want to and if your first thing is excuses well than you probably don't want to. So if it is something you want to do well than DO IT! Go for it! Take the plunge, bite the bullet, pee into the wind and a whole bunch of other colloquialisms that stand for doing something outside your comfort zone.
So if you want to do it then do it you will find a way.
Hire a Coach
Once you have decided to go for it then the next step would be to hire a coach. Yes, this can be expensive and it is not the most important piece nor completely necessary but I promise it is one of the best things you will spend your money on besides probably your bike. Training for a 70.3 or a 140.6 is stressful and exhausting enough but when you are trying to muddle your way through it for the first time by yourself it doubles that stress.
Humans by nature are extremely tough on themselves and have a tendency to compare ourselves to others. Coaches can help with that, while we care deeply about you as a our client we also have the ability to be objective. We see the bigger picture because we created that picture, and we see the data behind that picture which helps us to be able to put it in perspective for you.
Now that you have some building blocks you can start planning which race you want to tackle. For if you are willing to take the plunge I promise the journey will be one of the more rewarding things you will do and those words "YOU ARE AN IRONMAN" will keep you coming back for more and more!
PS. Wanting to get started and don't have a coach but want one? Let's chat!! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org