When you first hear about an Ironman triathlon, your natural reaction might be to wonder if you heard correctly. Could anyone really swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, and finish it up with a 26.2 mile marathon? Is it even possible? And if it is, would anyone who isn’t crazy actually attempt it?
The answer is that doing an Ironman is indeed possible (and no, doing one doesn’t mean you’re insane). You should do an it; here are 3 reasons why:
An Ironman is a great way to motivate yourself
Everyone needs goals to keep them moving. A goal is like a glimpse of the summit when you set off to climb a mountain. When the going gets tough, you can always look up and remind yourself why you’re still climbing: to reach the top. A goal provides a tangible light at the end of the tunnel to strive for through the long hours of difficulty and hard work.
This is especially true for you as an athlete. You must face many challenges during training: cold, heat, fatigue, injury, pain, and loss of will. What will keep you going? At a certain point, simple benefits to your health might not be enough.
But if you know that a major milestone—in the form of an Ironman triathlon—awaits you, you’ll be that much more motivated to keep training at a high level. The excuses you can use to pass up a workout on an unpleasant day will have less power to halt your progress when you think of your goal.
An Ironman is a definitive proof of your mental toughness
For a runner, cyclist, or swimmer to put in the miles is a feat of consistency deserving of respect. But is this as far as it goes? It’s only natural for an athlete to ask if there’s some higher limit to conquer.
Much of sport is about conquering one’s personal limits and answering the question, “Am I tough?” If you complete an Ironman, you’ll answer that question definitively. No one but an exceptionally mentally tough individual can complete an Ironman.
Finishing an Ironman will do great things for your self-confidence. Before completing an Ironman, you might have doubts about your perseverance, your committment as an athlete, or your mental tenacity. But after finishing the race, no more doubts like this will be possible. Only a truly tough athlete can finish a race like this!
An Ironman is the ultimate sporting achievement
One question that distance runners commonly hear from non-runners is, “Have you done a marathon?” Non-runners ask this because finishing a marathon is seen as a sort of ultimate accomplishment for a distance runner. It’s the longest common competitive distance short of the seldom-run ultramarathon. And it carries with it a great deal of lore: stories and photos of marathoners collapsing at the line in exhaustion endow it with a sort of reverent fear and respect.
But if there’s any sporting event which surpasses even the marathon in its extreme nature, it has to be the Ironman triathlon. The Ironman is so intense that the marathon is just the icing on the cake. It only occurs after you’ve spent hours and hundreds of combined miles swimming and biking.
An Ironman is, in a way, the ultimate sporting achievement. And if you’re serious athlete, or aspire to be one, why pass up the chance?
Where do I sign up?
Every athlete needs motivation in the form of a goal to aim for, just like a mountain climber needs to know that there is summit towards which he is moving. An Ironman provides just such a goal for a serious athlete. To finish an Ironman is a clear proof of your mental toughness, and a great item to add to your sporting bucket list. It represents the ultimate sporting achievement, and the experience of a lifetime. What are you waiting for? Sign up and do an Ironman!