The Excuse: I’m overwhelmed by the prospect of doing an Ironman.
The Answer: You dream of having finish line announcer Mike Reilly declare you an Ironman in front of throngs of cheering spectators. But you’ve never ventured beyond short-course triathlons. It may all seem super-overwhelming at first, but a little planning—and a lot of commitment—goes a long way. “It’s not going to be easy,” says Tucson, Ariz.-based elite coach Cliff English. “If it were, then everyone would be doing it. You do need to push yourself, but the feeling of accomplishment is awesome.”
The Approach: Set a realistic goal. If you want to go sub-12 hours but don’t have the schedule that will permit the training necessary to realistically get you there, you should re-evaluate. At their initial meetings, Stock has her athletes be honest about the amount of time they can commit to training and racing. “Some of my athletes make the commitment to do Ironman, which requires a great deal of time and support. Others choose to do shorter distances, and those workouts, while shorter, are intense. Ask yourself: What appeals the most to you? Asking these questions gets you off to a great start.”
Try This: Glean information from experienced triathletes. Whether you want to go long or short, you can find out what it’s really like from someone who has been there and done that.