Just like the 120 Filipinos heading off to compete in Ironman Malaysia’s beautiful Langkawi this Saturday 27th of September you might also want to challenge yourself with an Ironman one day. Here are 10 reasons to do an Ironman for those considering it.
Top 10 Reasons To Do An Ironman
1. The Joy Is The Journey Not Reaching The Final Destination
You will learn a lot about yourself by the time the announcer hails “You are an Ironman.” There will be tears, laughter, pain, joy and many more emotions. Each stroke, pedal and step can help make you a better and stronger person.
Image cortesy of this site.
2. Continually Learning a New Skill
To successfully complete an Ironman you need to be good at swimming, biking and running and need to practice them all. The bike section is probably the most critical as it usually comprises at least half of your Ironman race time. A very good cyclist can almost walk the marathon course and still finish. However, a great runer could miss cut-off if he is not strong enough on the bike.
With Junrox Roque at Sandbox At Alviera Porac Pampanga. Photo courtesy of Maxxis – Sante Barley Tri Team·
You need to practice and continually seek to improve your technique and strength in all three disciplines.
3. Learning About the 4th Discipline of Triathlon – Nutrition
This is very critical as you need the energy to do all the hard training. You need the energy and fuel on race day to get you to the finish line and you need to be able to re-fuel your body after training and the race day as well.
The best decision I made was to go Primed (cut sugar, grains and processed food and drinks) one month before Melbourne Ironman. The extra energy was very helpful and carrying 11% less body weight also helped me to achieve a new marathon personal best of 3:28:26.
4. You Make and Develop Strong Friendships
I am very fortunate that my wife and I share the same passion for triathlon so we get to train together. We are fortunate to have met many wonderful people in our training’s and at our events.
5. Experiencing New Countries and New Cultures
It is great to travel and experience other cultures. We loved Japanese food, statues and hot spas. We loved Melbourne cafes, markets and beach. Each new destination helps expand your mind and empathy for other cultures.
6. Family Bonding
It makes for a nice family holiday and an ideal time for bonding. By the time you are at your Ironman destination you have completed all of your training and you should be in rest mode and getting mentally prepared for your race. We had a wonderful family time in Tokyo, Sapporo and Hokkaido as we prepared for our race.
7. You Get Into Tune With Your Body
The training for an Ironman can be quite demanding and you need to build fitness and avoid injuries. This involves doing the hard training sessions and also resting properly so as to not be over-trained.
If you then get an injury you have to manage this, have a proper rehabilitation and re-set your race day goals if your training is affected.
8. Mental Strength
When I started my Melbourne Ironman I was confident in my nutrition and training. I had experienced an Ironman before and I knew I was well prepared. I used this confidence to help me get to the finish line when the going got tough.
9. You Will Make Mistakes
If you are making mistakes then you are learning from them as well. I learned a lot from my first Ironman in Japan. Mainly about nutrition, pacing on the marathon, mental toughness and the need for a wet suit when swimming!
David Richmond learned not to tinker with his bike set up 2 days before an Ironman and Vic Cruz learned how wonderful it feels to be greeted by a beautiful Australian lady at the Ironman finish line (see featured image).
10. You Get A Lot of Stuff
You get a beautiful medal, a finisher’s shirt to wear proudly every day after the event for a month and self-confidence and pride. They say you need to love yourself to love others. An Ironman doesn’t make you better than anyone else but it makes you better in your own eyes and that is worth more than money can buy.
Good Luck and Save Racing To All the Malaysian Ironman Participants
You can follow the live coverage of your friends and loved ones for the Malaysia Ironman here.