“Is training for an Ironman hard?”
No. It’s super easy to teach yourself how to swim, how to bike effectively and efficiently, and figure out how to do those two things with enough energy to run a half marathon. *insert dramatic eye roll here*
I have legitimately heard this question so many times over the past 5 months. Yes. It is hard as hell. How many people do you know of who have done a triathlon, let alone a half Ironman? MAYBE one? Yeah, because it’s fucking hard. Anyone who tells you differently is lying to make themselves seem more badass. It’s a façade. It’s hard. I think I’ve been pretty transparent about that. If not, this is your reminder.
I learned a lot about how hard training can be while working on speed work this week. After doing MOST of my tri Friday (my bowels had other plans for me—the run did not get fully finished), and roofing my Grama’s house (yes, that is how we spell it) Saturday and Sunday, my body needed a break. Tuesday was a speed workout bike day for sixteen miles. For once, it would be dope if I didn’t have to bike with the wind blowing every which way. A calm day would be amazing. I averaged a 15.3 mph pace and proved to myself I won’t give up even when chugging along right into the wind. I think Joe P wants to make sure I’m ready, but damn…that hurt a bit!
Wednesday was practicing varying my speed during a run. It was the first real hot and humid day (emphasis on humid) day I’ve trained in this year. It also hurt. My times were slow, but I was able to turn the negativity in my head around, run taller, smile, and keep pushing through. Thursday I was finally able to swim (the pool is not available this week at my usual time). I was able to hit 1600 yards while only using breaststroke for about 100 of those. While I wasn’t fast, I felt good. Something I’ve learned is to accept the fact that I’m not a fast swimmer. But after having the shoulder issues, I decided that I’m happy I can swim under the time cap, regardless of how I wish I could. Tomorrow (Friday) I will be completing my triathlon for the week, as my brothers are coming home in the afternoon from their respective cities for my dad’s birthday. Family first.
I have seven weeks to continue making progress. This is the first time I’ve ever stuck to a program and not given up. I gave up in all of my half marathon trainings. I gave up in all of my attempts to lift heavy all through undergrad and grad school. I gave up on eating well multiple times. I gave up on myself a ton. Yet here I am, over five months in, still not giving up. Not giving up when I was scared to drown, not giving up when my shoulders took a shit, not giving up when I was frustrated with my fear of turning on a bike, not giving up when I wanted to do anything but train. So yes, everyone—this shit is hard, but to me, it’s so worth it.