Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Do You Have the Time to Take on the Challenge of the Ironman?

As another installment in my series of Ironman related posts, I want to address the time component.

The athletes that I work with often want to know much time they should plan to spend as they are preparing for an Ironman.

If you are contemplating signing up for your first Ironman, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I truly have the time to devote to properly train for an Ironman?
  • Do I have a job that enables me to work flexible or regular hours?
  • Am I willing to sacrifice spending time with family and friends?

Athletes who possess the fitness prerequisites outlined in my post on May 11th should plan to spend approximately six months specifically training for the Ironman. These six months will consist of five or six days per week consisting of one or two workouts each day. The last three months of the training plan will have the most serious time commitments, especially on the weekends for athletes who work a full-time job, Monday through Friday.

For most athletes, working a full-time job is a reality, especially to pay for all the costs associated with this rather expensive sport. The athletes with the most flexible full-time jobs or jobs with predictable hours (ex. 40 per week) will find it much easier to fit in the training for the Ironman. Athletes who travel frequently for their job need to find a place to swim, bike, run and perform strength workouts. Athletes who never know when they will be able to leave the office each day will need to commit to working out in the morning. Those athletes with crazy work schedules can still fulfill their Ironman quest, it just takes a bit more planning and creativity.

Throughout the six months of training and especially during the last three months of training, athletes will have greater success if they are completing their workouts, getting enough sleep, practicing good nutrition, and taking time to properly recover. This might mean athletes will have to forego many late-night gatherings and traveling for special events.

Athletes should talk to their families before taking on the challenge of the Ironman. Athletes will need to explain the time commitment involved with training for such a long-distance event. All members of the family should be willing to accept the sacrifices associated with training for the race. When everyone in the household can be on the same page, there is a much greater degree of success for the athlete to complete his or her goal of the Ironman.

Now that you know the fitness component (see my blog post on May 11th) and the time commitment suggested for the Ironman, you might be thinking you are one step closer to feeling ready to take on the challenge of the Ironman. If you want to discuss your situation with me to better understand if you have the time to commit to training for the Ironman, please contact me at to schedule a free phone consultation!

There is another aspect to consider. Do you have the money associated with the cost of preparing for the Ironman? This will be addressed in my next blog post.

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