by Hua Chin
An Ironman triathlon is not a joke. It is one hundred and forty point six miles. Yes, you read that correctly: 140.6 miles. A 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride followed by a full marathon of 26.2 miles on foot. People often think of it as the ultimate goal, the achievement of a lifetime in less than 17 hours. It is possible, but people must be prepared. It is a full-time commitment. One that can take 20 or more hours a week to train for, and up to a year of daily workouts.
I decided to do one in 6 weeks.
Let’s retrace my steps, and my decision to do something so brash.
As I continue to mature into a still competitive athlete, I cannot lie, I have been bitten by the Ironman bug. Something about getting as much strength and passion out of my body and mind really plays well to my psyche. Why would one push themselves for up to 17 hours of work? Why would someone endure endless blisters, long lonely training runs, and daily triple workouts? Because of the finish line. Because crossing that finish line knowing you put 100% of your soul into completing this seemingly impossible task is rewarding to me.
But it is not for everyone.
As an ex professional athlete, and someone who still can (sometimes) compete at the pointy end of the stick, the Ironman dream works for me. But it doesn’t have to be your dream. Unless you are winning races, qualifying for world championship events, or setting masters records – training should be fun. An everyman athlete should use a training plan as an escape from their everyday life. Working out is a lifestyle not a chore. The moment it becomes a chore, you should reevaluate.