Recently I asked a friend to describe me in one word. He told me that word is “drive”. I couldn’t get a better compliment than that because I think that is need to finish an IronMan or doing anything you really want. But what else do you need for an IronMan? You need good material, eat and drink a lot and have fun. Because if you don’t like all the training hours you spend on a bike, in a swimming pool and on your running shoes than you will have a very hard time :-). At this moment I’m training around 15 hours a week. 6 weeks ago I started with my training schedule and I’m doing very good at the moment. The funny thing is that I always did a lot of sports and I even cycled from Amsterdam to Beijing on my own but my body needs to adjusts itself to this training sessions. Every week I have a new ‘pain’ somewhere and that disappears a couple of days later and feels good after that. Of course on of the most important things I’ve learned is to listen to your body carefully. It will tell you went to stop and when you can continue. A couple of days ago I visited my Osteopath. A really good guy who knows what he is doing. He told my that it was not really healthy for any body to do an IronMan but with the right training and nutrition it is absolutely possible. I knew that already and that is why I went out searching for the best training methods and coaches. After that I visited my coach and we did a lot of test to start with my training. To be the best, you have to learn from the best! Not that I want to win an IronMan, but I want to finish in 11 hours and if possible around 10… So I have work to do!
During my trip to Beijing I first started with a 4 day ride and 1 or 2 day rest. But after a while I noticed that my body could do more so from that point I cycled until my body decided I needed to stop. A cool experience that my body is a self regulating machine. But again, without my drive I couldn’t do it at all. I finished my trip on the 29th of July 2010 in Beijing after cycling over 12000km in 102 days. The best experience and adventure of my life. Wonder If finishing an IronMan will have the same feeling or even better?
For the ones who don’t know what an IronMan is, here is the explanation written on wikipedia:
An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bike and a marathon 26.2-mile (42.2 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. Most Ironman events have a strict time limit of 17 hours to complete the race, where the Ironman race starts at 7:00 AM, the mandatory swim cut off for the 2.4-mile (3.9 km) swim is 2 hours 20 minutes, the bike cut off time is 5:30 PM, and all finishers must complete their marathon by midnight.
The idea for the original Ironman Triathlon arose during the awards ceremony for the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay (a running race for 5-person teams). Among the participants were numerous representatives of both the Mid-Pacific Road Runners and the Waikiki Swim Club, whose members had long been debating which athletes were more fit, runners or swimmers. On this occasion, U.S. Navy Commander John Collins pointed out that a recent article in Sports Illustrated magazine had declared that Eddy Merckx, the great Belgian cyclist, had the highest recorded “oxygen uptake” of any athlete ever measured, so perhaps cyclists were more fit than anyone. CDR Collins and his wife Judy Collins had taken part in the triathlons staged in 1974 and 1975 by the San Diego Track Club in and around Mission Bay, California, as well as the 1975 Optimist Sports Fiesta Triathlon in Coronado, California. A number of the other military athletes in attendance were also familiar with the San Diego races, so they understood the concept when Collins suggested that the debate should be settled through a race combining the three existing long-distance competitions already on the island: the Waikiki Roughwater Swim (2.4 mi./3.86 km), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 mi./185.07 km; originally a two-day event) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.219 mi./42.195 km).
Until that point, no one present had ever done the bike race. Collins calculated that by shaving 3 miles (4.8 km) off the course and riding counter-clockwise around the island, the bike leg could start at the finish of the Waikiki Rough Water and end at the Aloha Tower, the traditional start of the Honolulu Marathon. Prior to racing, each athlete received three sheets of paper listing a few rules and a course description. Handwritten on the last page was this exhortation: “Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life“, now a registered trademark.
With a nod to a local runner who was notorious for his demanding workouts, Collins said, “Whoever finishes first, we’ll call him the Iron Man.” Each of the racers had their own support crew to supply water, food and encouragement during the event. Of the fifteen men to start off in the early morning on February 18, 1978, twelve completed the race. Gordon Haller, a US Navy Communications Specialist, was the first to earn the title Ironman by completing the course with a time of 11 hours, 46 minutes, 58 seconds. The runner-up John Dunbar, a US Navy SEAL, led after the second transition and had a chance to win but ran out of water on the marathon course; his support crew resorted to giving him beer instead
One of the most impressive movies from the IronMan is the ‘Crawl’ from Juli Moss. This was also the moment the IronMan went world wide in the media and started to be popular all over the world!