Today some of the members of a Facebook page I follow did and Iron Man triathlon. For those of you who don’t know that entails a 2.4mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a marathon run (26.2 miles). I believe that most have a time limit in which you have to complete it. Anyway people ask you do you do that and the answer is the same as the one for sprint triathlons like I do, you train for it.
Being the best swimmer in the world doesn’t help you on your bike. Being a marathon runner does not prepare you for the swim. You have to put in adequate time in each sport to stand a chance of completing the entire event.
I know of a few people this year that were not successful in their triathlon attempts and several of them had medical issues that arose and kept them from being successful. I think that if you talked to the rest of them you would find out that they just didn’t get the right amount of training in. It’s a delicate balance and other than doing the distances in training you are always unsure whether what you’ve done is enough.
If you watch your elite athletes, they are constantly training to stay in the game so to speak. So when you are getting up in the dark to get your training in visualize the finish line!
So this will only be helpful to potential triathletes or newbies like me. I was not prepared for my Tri. I thought that I had done enough training but I was slow in the water (I swim daily) and the bike almost killed me even though I had done the distance in the park where I ride. I don’t run due to knee issues but the walk was not bad. Not my fastest but not bad.
I think the worst thing was that as soon as I began to tire on the bike I lost my mental game. I began to think that I couldn’t make it. If Nancy Daly hadn’t come up next to me and convinced me to continue, I was going to stop and rest and try to start again. She rode with me and talked to me the last 3 – 4 miles.
So what’s my point? Make sure that you can do the distances with ease. The water is always an unknown but at least be comfortable with the distance. Ride, ride, ride and do your 5K runs/walks often. Lastly have a positive mental game and don’t let anything take you out of it. I can’t imagine an Ironman but lots of people do them. They must have a serious mental game because sheer will has to help you finish something that physically punishing.