FIT & HEALTHY
Preparing for this grueling race challenges physical, mental, and emotional strength
Ironman Training The grueling Ironman triathlon puts physical and mental limits to the test.
The Ironman triathlon, held annually since 1978 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, has become the ultimate feather in the cap of weekend warriors and professional athletes alike from all over the world. “These atheltes think, ‘Wow, I’ve really expanded my potential beyond what I imagined,’” says Dave Scott, the first six-time Hawaii Ironman World Champion, a pioneer of the sport, and a coach for more than 30 years. Scott also set records as the rst to complete that 140mile swim-bike-run race in 10 hours, then in 9 hours, and then in 8.5 hours, and was the first athlete inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame. “That experience of accomplishment is the biggest benefit of competing in an Ironman event,” Scott continues. And, he says, the lessons learned also apply to any other type of fitness or life pursuit.
Training for a major athletic event requires commitment, says Scott, which many people fear. If you’re just going to the gym to feel and look better, skipping a day may not seem critical, but the stakes are higher in a training schedule for a challenging race. ere’s no way to “make up time” because the human body needs consistent training to withstand the demands of race day.
Not surprisingly, fear of failure is common—not being able to complete a grueling race course, for example. And there’s a fear of the unknown.
The weather can change, or something may happen during the race that throws you off your game.
Overcoming these fears is life-changing. “The race itself is very physically demanding,” says Scott. “But the biggest benefit is a huge mental and emotional lift.”
Whether you’re training for an ironman or just getting off the couch and starting to walk, here are Scott’s key tips:
Put your workout or walk on your calendar, every day of the week. For unpredictable days, give yourself a back-up plan to include fitness time. If the urge to procrastinate strikes, always do what you can at the moment. Lace up your sneakers and get out the door, and you’ll feel good. Regardless of the shape you’re in now, training for a race can take tness to a higher level. “A lot of people are complacent, don’t enjoy their job, don’t have a sense of fulfillment,” says Scott. “Doing that race is a great way to step out of the boundary box.”