Why I’m not doing an Ironman

Ironman

Ever since I finished my first 70.3 triathlon this summer, I’ve been asked the question… so when are you going to do an Ironman?

An Ironman is the ultimate endurance event. Crossing the finish line after 140.6 miles of swimming, cycling and running is a huge achievement and brings with it a lot of prestige and kudos. I have a lot of admiration for anyone who finishes a long-distance triathlon- it truly is a feat of determination and mental strength.

I witnessed many friends from my triathlon club make that commitment to go long then put in the required training and see it through to race day. Proudly showing off the coveted medal and recapping the highs and lows of their race, it’s easy to swept up in their excitement. I genuinely believe that anyone can complete a long-distance triathlon with the proper training and the right mindset. Anything is possible, as they say. However, I don’t think it is for everyone and right now… it isn’t for me.

A long-distance triathlon is a huge commitment and not to be underestimated. Sacrifices have to be made to fit in the volume of training, often at the expense of a social life or family time. Ironman events are notoriously expensive and not financially viable for everyone. I’m so injury prone, I’m not sure my body could handle the distance.

I think there is a lot to be said for shorter distance triathlons. Sprint and Olympic distance present their own challenges and are endurance events in their own right. You can race more frequently without the recovery time. The race is often done and dusted by mid-morning with the rest of the day to relax and celebrate. Shorter distance triathlons are obviously more affordable, particularly local smaller-scale events.

It’s the time of year when I’m reflecting on my season and planning my races for next summer. I’ve penciled in several local, shorter distance triathlons with goals of improving my time over Sprint and Olympic distance. Running has always been my weakest of the three disciplines, so I’m working hard on improving my 5k and 10k times over the off-season. I’ve also got plans to swim the Solent next summer which is a huge personal challenge.

Never say never, in the future I might consider going long, but for 2017 I’m looking forward to smashing some short distance races. I love this sport and I thoroughly enjoying training and racing. I do triathlon for my own achievement, not to be validated by others.

Here are some of the races I’m looking at for next season, if you fancy joining me:

Monster Mojito– 14th May- Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
Hanningfield Triathlon- 20th May- Hanningfield, Essex
Big East Triathlon– 21st May- Bradwell, Essex
Southend Triathlon– 28th May- Southend, Essex
Thorpe Park Triathlon (National Championships)- 4th June- Chertsey, Surrey
Bridge Triathlon– 18th June- Dartford, Kent
Leeds Castle Triathlon– 24th/25th June- Maidstone, Kent
Monster Sprint– 25th June- Feltwell, Norfolk
Gosfield Triathlon- no date announced- Gosfield, Essex
Owler Triathlon– 23rd July- Ashford, Kent
Maldon Triathlon– 30th July- Maldon, Essex
Monster Standard– 20th August- Ely, Cambridgeshire
Harwich Triathlon- no date announced- Harwich, Essex
The Oysterman- no date announced, Whitstable, Kent

(Obviously I’m not doing all of the above, this is just a shortlist)

What are your race plans for next season?

 

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18 Comments

  1. August 23, 2017 / 12:48 pm

    It’s interesting reading this as I either there’s been an increase in ironman participation recently – or maybe I’m just caught up in the social media bubble where it looks like almost everyone is doing it (it’s probably the latter ha, ha!).

    • August 24, 2017 / 3:19 pm

      Ha ha, try being part of a club! The majority of our members seem to have raced long-distance this year, so I sometimes feel like I’m the only one who hasn’t!

  2. November 4, 2016 / 10:14 pm

    You’re inspiring me a lot to get in to racing again. I need to find something cheaper than OCRs though……and finding a second hand bike will be needed for my first tri.
    Here’s hunting for a bike to get started.

    • November 15, 2016 / 9:49 pm

      Great! I hate to say it but triathlon is not a cheap sport, so I’m not sure you will find it cheaper than OCR, but it’s a lot of fun! I started with a second-hand bike, definitely the way to go

  3. November 4, 2016 / 1:58 pm

    I so understand what you mean! I did a half marathon a few years ago and absolutely loved it, but I know that that’s my limit. A marathon is such a big investment, and I have enough trouble fitting everything in as it is! I know I could do it, but worry that running would become a chore and I’d end up hating it! Good luck for next yr, I shall be living vicariously through your posts (I like the idea of a triathlon but it’s way beyond me!)

    • November 15, 2016 / 9:50 pm

      Thank you! Triathlon is not beyond anyone, its totally possible if you set your mind to it, but I understand that not everyone wants to and that’s cool 🙂

  4. November 4, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    Amazing! Love the goals you have set for yourself, and the fact that you know what your body is capable of. My mum did the half-Ironman a few months ago in June in Colorado, and she told me it was so taxing on her body (and her finances)! It’s so much commitment, so much time and so much money. She told me some of her friends ended up having to opt out after having already paid the non-refundable fee because they injured themselves while training… insane! I don’t think I’ll ever get to go a 70.3 either xD

    • November 15, 2016 / 9:50 pm

      Wow Colorado must have been a great place to race though. Well done to your Mum!

  5. November 4, 2016 / 9:31 am

    I just want to do the Monster Mojito just because it’s got Mojito in the title…and i don’t event know what it is! ha! I think I will have to put my name down for either a 10k or a half marathon, it’s the only way I seem to get off my backside and do something. I seem to enjoy the morning runs when it’s colder so let’s see what the next few months bring…

    • November 15, 2016 / 9:53 pm

      Ha ha! They sound like great goals to aim for- do it!

  6. November 1, 2016 / 7:53 am

    Ironman is not for everyone and it’s so easy to be caught up in the bubble and excitement. It is a huge challenge and I agree with you when you say it is doable if you set your mind to it. 70.3 is the longest I’ve done (once with no cutoffs)
    I feel that an ironman for me is inevitable for me but I’ve got to get myself a lot fitter first…I’m still relatively new to all this training malarkey
    Good luck with your challenges next year. If you fancy a trip to the jurassic coast Bustinskin run some brilliant events xxx

    • November 1, 2016 / 7:22 pm

      Ooh sounds interesting, I’ve heard good things about Bustinskin. I’ve hiked the Jurassic Coast before and it was tough!

  7. November 1, 2016 / 7:07 am

    That’s a long list to choose from!
    I feel the same about running a marathon- at some point I would like to do another one but not this year- the training takes so much time and it takes over your life for those few months, I want to enjoy running and not feel like I have to be constantly looking at a training plan.

    • November 1, 2016 / 7:23 pm

      Agree, it does take over your life and it’s good to just enjoy yourself for a while without being a slave to a training plan

  8. Jess Carlson
    October 30, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    I’ve been eyeing up the Jersey Triathlon. And also the round island challenge but that might have to wait for another year… There’s some good looking races on your list!

    • November 1, 2016 / 7:24 pm

      Jersey Triathlon does look lovely, it’s on my bucket list 🙂

  9. October 30, 2016 / 4:41 pm

    And I thought the 11 triathlons I did this year was crazy. I saw your list and thought “wow!” Then I realized you weren’t planning on doing them all. 🙂 Looks like a fun 2017 no matter what! (And I’m with you on the Ironman – not for me at this point in my life. Maybe when my kids are older. Maybe not.)

    • October 30, 2016 / 4:46 pm

      Wow 11 is awesome! Well done! I probably won’t do them all as I’ve also got individual running, swimming and cycling events slotted in between 🙂

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