Should I Do an Ironman?Jun 11, 2021
Hello Mojo Sisters!
I'm so excited about the return of racing and it makes us all feel (as Ironman often tell us) "Anything is Possible"
But is it? Have you always secretly wanted to do an Iron distance triathlon but dismissed it as an event that other people do, but not you.
This distance isn't for everyone, but if you have ever had a pang of excitement about completing an Ironman we are discussing exactly that today.
The most popular comment I hear about Ironman amongst ladies is "I could never do that"
Well I think you can, and if you decide its a goal of yours, now or in the future, then read on because I will unpack and challenge some of your main reasons for not hitting that 'book now' button:
It is most likely your head telling you it's not possible, when in fact your body, with adequate training and associated TLC, is very capable. Yes following a plan is very important for long distance triathlons, but like with anything, if you set your mind to it you can achieve amazing things with some hard work
There will be times when training gets tough, but in many aspects of life, if you are willing to suffer a little for your goals you will find it achievable. The name of the game is consistency, and once you get that right, you will be laughing all the way to the finish line!
Perfectionism is the thief of joy
Don't wait until you know you can do a 'good' time. If you are putting it off until you feel you have it all perfect, you may never do it. On my first long distance I had 5 puncture 10 miles into the ride. I thought my race was over having trained for a whole year. Things happen that you dont expect so just get out there and do your un-perfect best.
Oddly, when people ask if youve done an Ironman, nobody ever asks your time anyway!
You dont need loads of extra kit, the kit you use for your sprint triathlons will be just fine. Don't be fooled into thinking you need a TT bike, new trisuit, new wheels etc.
You may however need more sleep (free) and more energy bars!
You don't necessarily need to have completed 18 sprints, 6 Olympic distance, and 5 half Ironman races first before you try a long distance race. Yes it's a very good idea to have done at least one tri beforehand, and if you can do a 70.3 in training then great! But you don't need to spend the deposit for a house and the next decade working up to it as many will have you believe.
Branded v's Non-branded
You don't need to save up for an Ironman branded event, there are loads of non branded amazing events out there in the long distance world. They are friendly, much cheaper and have the exact same sense of achievement. Don't let the branding of Ironman draw you in, then let the cost put you off.
Age is but a number
Think you're too old? If Sister Madonna Buder can do one at 82 years old, I'm not sure you have a leg to stand on!!
The ratio of women participating in long distance events are around 25% of the total field. So yes its not as common for females to race an iron distance but what a great challenge to change that and see more women on the start lines!
Ditch the Insta
We dont need to get caught up in the Lucy Charles Instagram picture perfect style of long distance, or the Kona-esque goals of many top age groupers, the HUGE majority of people taking part in long distance are there to run their own race.
Remember your story is your story, you don't need a big birthday, to have overcome anything significant to achieve it, have chiselled abs or be sponsored with 10,000 + instagram followers.
Your story is your story. If you want to do an Ironman, and the caveats below don't put your off, well girl just go ahead and sign up!
Things to bare in mind:
- The training for an Ironman is typically over 8-9 hours a week, sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more. So make sure you have the time based on your current commitments. If you feel you don't have this time, pop the goal on the backburner until you do, but don't give up on it.
- Suffering with an existing injury? Training for long distance puts pressure on your body for sure, so why not invest some time in fixing the injury, then come back to your goal and get it booked up when you have a clean bill of health.
If you would like to chat more about the possibility of doing an Ironman one day, then send me a message I'd love to chat it through with you.
Have a great day and train safe,