Saturday, January 15, 2011

The 'why?'

Why do an Ironman? Why commit up to 20 hours a week to training, every week, mostly before work and on weekends? Why put your social life on the backburner? Why spend all the money to get there?

Ask any triathlete and the LAST reason they'll give you is "to win". Winning is not a driver of this sport. Tony Abbott recently summed it up at the Port Macquarie Half Ironman in October 2010 by saying "I'm not here to win. I'm not even here to compete. I'm here to participate".

Top candidates include:
  • getting fit (simming, cycling and running will do that!)
  • achieving a goal ("to finish" or "to do it in 13 hours" etc)
  • getting to race day and being around other like-minded people (so supportive and friendly)
  • being able to eat like a pig!!
  • beating your own results, getting better and better (most triathletes have top of the range Garmin or Polar bike/training computers which are worn like a watch and collect data ranging from speed to heartrate, to calorie burn rate etc. It's very easy to become a data junkie!).
  • being fitter at 52 than when you were 25 (for some)
  • crossing the line after a day out on the course and hearing Mike Reilly (the voice of Ironman) announce your name followed by the words "You are an Ironman!".

Once you start on your path towards Ironman - or any event - it's easy to forget why, as it becomes part of your life and you can't imagine not doing it.

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