Interested in tackling an Ironman in your future? You might be wondering if you are ready. Can you REALLY do this? While everyone is different in terms of abilities, goals and schedules, there are definitely a few common factors each successful Ironman athlete possesses. Here is a quick overview for you to determine if you are ready for the challenge of completing an Ironman:
- You have good time management skills – No matter your ability, Ironman training eats up a ton of time! You’ll need to factor in not just your workouts, but travel time to get to and from said workouts as well as time to get your gear and equipment together and then cleaning, washing and organizing it when you are finished. We already lead very busy lives. Adding in an Ironman is going to take a lot of creativity to figure out when you can fit in which workout and make it work within your life.
- You know how to prioritize – This one is key. There will always be other things you “could” be doing other than training, preparing or even resting. There will be events or parties that come up that you really want to go to. However, a dedicated Ironman athlete is going to pass on those late night bar hopping sessions and friendly get-togethers because he/she knows that it will completely trash the next morning’s long workout.
- You have friends & family to support you – Training for an Ironman is not just about race day, it’s about the journey and all the training, learning and preparation for the big event. Some of your other responsibilities may have to fall by the wayside. You will need people there to pick up the slack. Additionally, Ironman training can be a huge mental drain and you’ll need people to pick up your spirits, be positive and supporting you in your goal of completing the Ironman.
- You know how to deal with setbacks – Ironman training takes a long time. It could be six months, 8 months, 12 months or even longer. In that time, you are going to face numerous setbacks. Things like illness, injury, overtraining, missing several workouts in a row, or just mentally or physically not being ready to train. This happens to everyone, but the way to be successful is knowing how to deal with those setbacks and not let them ruin the path to your goal.
- You listen to your body – This can be tough for the dedicated athlete. You have a training plan or race set in front of you and you want to complete it. However, you feel something that just doesn’t seem right. You could be dreading to get up and go out for that long run and your body is just saying no, even though the plan has you running 18 miles. LISTEN to your body. There is always a little room for error in any training plan. Your coach will help you through this and help you identify what it is that you need to change or correct. If you find yourself wanting to push through those workouts despite the fatigue or pain, you will likely find yourself sidelined and never make it to the start of the Ironman.
- You have to WANT this – There is no amount of peer pressure that will get you through everything it takes to complete an Ironman. There must be a deep drive inside of you that you need to accomplish it for yourself. You need to understand your “why”, embrace it and jump in with both feet. This has to be important for YOU. On those tough training days and even in the dark times during the event, the thing that will keep you going is your “why”.
If you are ready to start training for your first Ironman, please contact me! I specialize in helping first-time Ironman athletes get to that finish line. I would love to help you make your dream a reality.
Train Right, Tri Right,