I’ve been reading Jacques Steinberg’s book “You Are An Ironman” for the last few weeks before I go to bed.  He follows 6 triathletes for about a year as they train for Ironman Arizona.  It took me a few nights to get into the read because it seemed a bit big-wordy and journalistic rather than conversational (yes, I’m a bit lazy and shallow), but now I am immersed in the characters and am finding tons of motivation and training fodder.

Some of my biggest questions right now are things like when and where should you do other races while training for an Ironman.  I think it’s obvious to do a 1/2 Iron when you’ve worked up to those distances in your plan, but what about the other stuff?  Like right now, I am genuinely still building myself as an endurance athlete and debating whether or not I should do the Huntsville Marathon on December 8th.

My furthest run to date was my first 1/2 marathon (2:14) back in April (after starting running in January).  Since then I have consistently popped off 2-3 runs a week ranging from 3-8 miles and feel pretty good about any of those distances.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I could do a 1/2 in under 2 hours right now.  But a marathon will surely squeeze my bones and muscles like nothing I’ve ever done and I’m wondering whether or not I should push the envelope right now.  The last thing I want to do is lose my enthusiasm, which I feel I’ve built by staying within myself.  But I guess doing a marathon is no different than saying you’re going to do an Ironman, you just have to get ready.  I think my plan is to run a hilly half distance (using the infamous Flying Monkey course) this weekend and make my decision.

The other thing I really like about “You Are An Ironman” is the training decisions these athletes are making.  One of the women has a strategy of always running after the bike.  Even if it’s a mile or two.  If you’ve ever done a “brick” (running after biking) you know how strange it can feel and there has to be something for getting used to it.  As hard as the practice sounds, I am going to do my best to add that routine.

I’m also amazed at the amount of swimming they do.  I love swimming, but the process of getting in the water is a little annoying at times.  Especially if you’re talking about open water swims and having some kind of support while you flail your way into the middle of a lake.  After doing an Olympic, I realize how far I have to go on the swim.  If nothing else, just to feel relaxed and comfortable in the water at the start.  I literally could not catch my breath for the first 10 minutes, and that is not a good feeling when you’re in a rushing river with waves crashing down your throat.

So, tonight I will run with One Hilly 5K with the East Nasties, then talk with a couple of the guys training for Wisconsin about their 1/2 Iron this weekend in Augusta.  Thursday, I’ll get back in the pool, then Saturday run half of the Flying Monkey to make up my mind about Huntsville.

Today’s Diet (so far)
Breakfast – Protein Shake, Coffee, bagel with cream cheese

Ehh… I know.  it’s gonna take time!

"You Are An Ironman" the Book

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