General Discussion Triathlon Talk » "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy Rss Feed  
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2015-03-07 10:58 PM

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Subject: "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy
"Can I do an ironman?" I think is more related to "can I train for an ironman?" Or "can I mentally handle a ironman race day?" More than whether or not my body can physically make it through the race itself.

The endeavour really seems to be more of a logistical/training one than anything else.

So the ironman race itself, to a point, becomes much less relevant to the question "can I do an ironman?".

Thoughts?


2015-03-08 7:31 AM
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Subject: RE: "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy
No personal experience with full IM but I have thought a few times about doing an IM without specifically training for it. I don't know if I "can" train for an Ironman or not, but I do know that with my current job and living situation, I don't want to! I'm a strong swimmer, can bike all day, have run plenty of marathons, and did a HIM under 6 hours. I'm really good at pacing myself and going slow, and am probably fast enough that I wouldn't have to stress too much about swim and bike cutoffs. I'm pretty sure that if I put my mind to it, took my time, and avoided serious nutrition and hydration mistakes, I could finish within the time limit, though of course it would be a longer, harder day without proper training.

Sometimes I wonder if I really did want to do an IM someday, with the goal of simply finishing, if it might be physically easier on my body just to do the event without really training specifically for it--one day of pretty high stress vs. months and months of exhausting training.


Edited by Hot Runner 2015-03-08 7:34 AM
2015-03-08 8:47 AM
in reply to: Jpro19

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Subject: RE: "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy

Originally posted by Jpro19 "Can I do an ironman?" I think is more related to "can I train for an ironman?" Or "can I mentally handle a ironman race day?" More than whether or not my body can physically make it through the race itself. The endeavour really seems to be more of a logistical/training one than anything else. So the ironman race itself, to a point, becomes much less relevant to the question "can I do an ironman?". Thoughts?

I've completed 10 IMs. Training matters. Mental resilience matters, while training and on race day. Your body's ability to endure both training stresses and race day matters.

All in all, the race day itself is a reflection and result of all that has come before. You get out what you put in.

2015-03-08 1:55 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan


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Subject: RE: "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy
Yeah its not really a question of "can you do an ironman". Its whether or not you want to devote the time and $$$ required. I don't know if you are actually considering doing IM or just talking philosophy in general, but i can tell you the whole IM experience for me was awesome and well worth the time. One factor to me that is huge is having someone you know also doing the race. I didn't have a training partner but had a good friend train for the same race. He lived 4 hours from me. But we talked about our training daily and complained to each other. If you have someone to experience it with it makes it so much better. The time spent training seems daunting before you get started but once you get into it it just becomes kinda the norm. I've only raced one IM but I can tell you it was the only race I've done that I've actually had fun during the race.
2015-03-08 9:19 PM
in reply to: Jpro19


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Subject: RE: "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy
Originally posted by Jpro19

"Can I do an ironman?" I think is more related to "can I train for an ironman?" Or "can I mentally handle a ironman race day?" More than whether or not my body can physically make it through the race itself.

The endeavour really seems to be more of a logistical/training one than anything else.

So the ironman race itself, to a point, becomes much less relevant to the question "can I do an ironman?".

Thoughts?


I found the mental side of things much harder than the physical. Half-way through the bike leg I started feeling fatigued and sick, then I got a voice in my head telling me to give up, telling me all I had to do was get off my bike and all this pain would be over with. And that voice hung around till about 30kms into the run leg. I found it quite mentally exhausting having to deal with that side of things.
2015-03-09 8:10 AM
in reply to: Jpro19

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Subject: RE: "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy
I think that what you say is accurate that the real challenge for Ironman is training. I would add this is true of all races - especially long ones- in my opinion.

If you complete your training and put the time in race day is just executing your plan and dealing with whatever surprises pop up.


2015-03-11 4:10 AM
in reply to: Jpro19

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Subject: RE: "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy
I think the mental part applies to your dedication to training.
I appreciate people finishing an IM not only for having the physical and mental ability to do the 140.6 miles on race day. I think pretty much all of us can rough it out for 20 hours any given time.

But to have the mental dedication to put in the training hours for the months needed to get in the needed physical shape is just as much of an achievement in my book. At least for those of us without extreme talent for endurance sports.

So yeah, I partly agree with you. Although I don't agree that it is a logistical issue - I see how it can be an logistical excuse, but if you have the right mindset and mental drive surely you will overcome logistical "challenges" with ease.
2015-03-11 12:34 PM
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Subject: RE: "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy
Can I do an Ironman? Yes, 99% of the adult population can do an Ironman. The real question is, should I do an ironman? That's where the commitment and desire to train enters the picture. I don't think there's any shame in answering that question "no".
2015-03-12 1:35 AM
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Subject: RE: "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy

Originally posted by Patrick E Can I do an Ironman? Yes, 99% of the adult population can do an Ironman. The real question is, should I do an ironman? That's where the commitment and desire to train enters the picture. I don't think there's any shame in answering that question "no".

Really? You think 99 out of 100 of the general adult population can swim two laps in a pool, let alone 2.4 mikes open water? Bike? 20 miles? 50? 112? Run a mile? 3? 10? 26.2? in a row?

No. Years on this board tell me that many motivated, dedicated individuals can't physically accomplish the distances despite ample commitment and desire.



Edited by brucemorgan 2015-03-12 1:36 AM
2015-03-12 4:21 AM
in reply to: brucemorgan


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Subject: RE: "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy
Originally posted by brucemorgan

Originally posted by Patrick E Can I do an Ironman? Yes, 99% of the adult population can do an Ironman. The real question is, should I do an ironman? That's where the commitment and desire to train enters the picture. I don't think there's any shame in answering that question "no".

Really? You think 99 out of 100 of the general adult population can swim two laps in a pool, let alone 2.4 mikes open water? Bike? 20 miles? 50? 112? Run a mile? 3? 10? 26.2? in a row?

No. Years on this board tell me that many motivated, dedicated individuals can't physically accomplish the distances despite ample commitment and desire.




I think you're taking him a bit literally. I guess the point he was making , which I agree with, is that doing an IM in 17 hours does not require a high level of fitness nor does it require much training. You can do the entire swim leg breaststroke, leisurely ride at 22km/hr and then walk the entire run leg and still make the cutoff. Most people that are relatively healthy could do this with little to no training. This is based on the assumption they can swim and know how to ride a bike.
2015-03-12 9:43 AM
in reply to: zedzded

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Subject: RE: "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy

Originally posted by zedzded
Originally posted by brucemorgan

Originally posted by Patrick E Can I do an Ironman? Yes, 99% of the adult population can do an Ironman. The real question is, should I do an ironman? That's where the commitment and desire to train enters the picture. I don't think there's any shame in answering that question "no".

Really? You think 99 out of 100 of the general adult population can swim two laps in a pool, let alone 2.4 mikes open water? Bike? 20 miles? 50? 112? Run a mile? 3? 10? 26.2? in a row?

No. Years on this board tell me that many motivated, dedicated individuals can't physically accomplish the distances despite ample commitment and desire.

I think you're taking him a bit literally. I guess the point he was making , which I agree with, is that doing an IM in 17 hours does not require a high level of fitness nor does it require much training. You can do the entire swim leg breaststroke, leisurely ride at 22km/hr and then walk the entire run leg and still make the cutoff. Most people that are relatively healthy could do this with little to no training. This is based on the assumption they can swim and know how to ride a bike.

I was going to type something similar to Bruce. I agree that there are people can "just finish" an Ironman with not much training - but when you throw in all those caveats like knowing how to swim, bike, and being "relatively healthy" you are cutting out a huge percentage of the population. 

I think about times when one of my "relatively healthy" friends asks to join in on a swim or a bike. They are NOWHERE NEAR being able to even complete a sprint triathlon, simply because it's totally foreign to them. Even something like a "brisk walk" to a lot of folks is a 20+ min/mile. Throw in someone who is obese, chronically sick, injured, asthmatic, arthritic, etc. (which I think is also a big chunk of our population) and we still think the number is close to 99%? I don't, not by a long, long, long shot.



2015-03-12 1:08 PM
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Subject: RE: "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy
Originally posted by zedzded

Originally posted by brucemorgan

Originally posted by Patrick E Can I do an Ironman? Yes, 99% of the adult population can do an Ironman. The real question is, should I do an ironman? That's where the commitment and desire to train enters the picture. I don't think there's any shame in answering that question "no".

Really? You think 99 out of 100 of the general adult population can swim two laps in a pool, let alone 2.4 mikes open water? Bike? 20 miles? 50? 112? Run a mile? 3? 10? 26.2? in a row?

No. Years on this board tell me that many motivated, dedicated individuals can't physically accomplish the distances despite ample commitment and desire.




I think you're taking him a bit literally. I guess the point he was making , which I agree with, is that doing an IM in 17 hours does not require a high level of fitness nor does it require much training. You can do the entire swim leg breaststroke, leisurely ride at 22km/hr and then walk the entire run leg and still make the cutoff. Most people that are relatively healthy could do this with little to no training. This is based on the assumption they can swim and know how to ride a bike.


This is a correct interpretation of my post. Perhaps I was being a bit flippant with my 99% comment. I didn't mean that anyone could just roll out of bed and do one; obviously a fair amount of training is involved. In fact, that was my point - you have to commit to the training and actually prepare to complete one of these. I do think that most able bodied people, IF they train appropriately, are physically capable of completing an IM in 17 hours. I'm always amazed (and impressed) by the variety of people in transition right before the start of an IM race. It's not just full of 30 year old hardbodies, but a great representation of people of all ages and various shapes and sizes!

Edited by Patrick E 2015-03-12 1:13 PM
2015-03-12 3:25 PM
in reply to: Jpro19

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Subject: RE: "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy
I think the real question is why do I want to do an Ironman? An Ironman is a journey which is going to start many months or years before you reach the starting line, and continues long after you reach the finish. During that journey you will have many ups and many downs. Getting through the downs requires you to stare yourself in the mirror and ask yourself why? Those moment you need to have an answer and an answer you believe in strongly enough to keep going.

I have completed 7 - 140.6s and will be doing my 8th this June. For each race I had a reason for putting myself through the journey, a reason I could use to prop myself up when the journey got rough, a reason to keep going when things got ugly. If you want to do something badly enough you will find the time and energy to put in the work. It doesn't guarentee sucess but it guarentees that at the end of the day you know you put your best effort forward on that day and can hold your head high.

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2015-03-12 4:55 PM
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Subject: RE: "Can I do an ironman?" - my philosophy
I agree with these thoughts. Very interesting and I do agree with the idea that most reasonably fit triathletes could do an ironman on limited training. I do really agree with the last poster that an ironman is much much much more than the event itself. The journey is key. I've had this experience (albeit with the 70.3 distance x3) how the training is the adventure and the race caps it off.

Thanks for sharing ideas.

Now let's be real, the average person can't run 2 miles without visiting the ER afterwards and receiving some oxygen and IV fluids.
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