Ironman Training – Mindset

“You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable”

Rich Roll

When asked about the stats involved in a full Iron distance event, there are a number of comments that I regularly hear:

  • “I could do the bike, but would struggle on the swim” “Oh you wear a wetsuit, yeah I could probably do it then”
  • “How the fuck do you run a marathon after that?”
  • “I’d love to do one but my other half would go mad with all the time taken for training
  • “I’ve got a young family so could never find the time. otherwise I would definitely do one”
  • “I’m not a runner, my legs are too short and I’m the wrong build”

We can all find reasons not to do things, even things that we feel really passionate about. Committing to anything that involves consistent effort in order to achieve your goal will require a change of mindset, deciding to go long at an Ironman event is not something everyone can do, but that is what makes it special.

Finding the Time

We all have the same number of hours in a day and we all have commitments we need to prioritise, family, work, social events etc. so where do we fit in the 12 to 15 hours of training a week needed to prepare for a long distance triathlon?

1. Create a family calendar

I use Google Calendar but iCal or any alternative will work. Enter your families commitments for the month, e.g. ballet drop off, football practice, date night. I enter in my Wife and Daughters work and school hours too as its surprising where you can find time for a 30 minute run once you have all of these commitments blocked out in a monthly calendar view. I also have a separate colour for each family member so I quickly know who is doing what.

2. Get up earlier

I get up at 0515hrs every morning and I start work at 0700hrs, getting up an hour earlier to smash out a run is tough (I’ve done it) so twice a week I set the alarm for 0500hrs, put my running gear on, catch the train, jump off at Clapham and then run to work. This gives me a 10km run twice a week and I’m showered and at my desk at the same time as normal, plus any day started with a run is going to be a good day. Could you get up an hour earlier and fit a session in? Most gyms are open from 0630hrs, some even offer a free creche for members. Try it once or twice a week, work out what works for you and then add it to the calendar.

3. As above but run home

Instead of running to work as detailed above, put your running gear on after work, catch the train and get off approx 10km from home and run the rest of the way. Its a great way of ending the day, it really helps me wind down, by the time I get home I have completely forgotten about work.