Earlier this year, I stumbled across a book called IRONMAN Triathlon Training in 6 Weeks…Yep, you heard correctly, 6 weeks!
There are a lot of reasons why people do an IRONMAN, but it is hard to understand why someone would only give themselves 6 weeks to prepare for the torture of a 3.8km swim, 180kms ride and 42.2kms run. I need to clarify though, the book clearly states that the training plan is presented for people who are already fit, healthy and exercising regularly, with its main goal to get a competitor over the finish line before cut off.
It always came across to me as an amazing achievement that I could never commit to. I never thought I would have the endurance, motivation, mental toughness or focus to get through the training let alone the race day. I did my first 70.3 in 2014 and a lot of people told me that racing an IRONMAN would be inevitable, I refused to believe it could be possible.
Spending the day at IRONMAN Melbourne 2015 seemed to change things though. It’s the biggest day on the Australian triathlon calendar and comes with an amazing atmosphere. I’d waited at the finish line for previous years since the race had come to Melbourne, cheering the pro men and women on as they crossed the finish line. For 2015 though, I got my hands dirty spending the day with my local Triathlon Club (http://wstc.org.au/) at one of the aid station for the afternoon. I was the guy who handing out ice to the racers struggling past aid station 12, 26kms into the run leg.
At some points it was frantic, racers streaming through the aid station all needing whatever you could give them…some in pain, some in a daze, some just grateful to get through one more timing point along the course. All different shapes, sizes and speeds passing through, all doing it, all on their way to completing an IRONMAN. When I finished for the evening I walked to the train station back through the run course. The sun had gone down and it was a warm Autumn night, I couldn’t believe there were still so many runners out on the course. The day had changed me, I was inspired and knew that I was going to be racing in the 2016 race. I am going to do whatever I can to be a part of it.
Tri Swim Coach Ambassador
Vince works as an IT Engineer in Melbourne, Australia where he lives with his cat Tim Tam. He has been a runner for longer than he can remember. He competes in distance running races, open water swims and long course triathlons.