Long Course Triathlon
I struggle with the prospect each year of stepping up to the next distance. In 2013 I participated in Olympic distance races and enjoyed each and every one; in 2014, I plan on racing mostly Ironman 70.3. Why is there this desire to keep increasing the distance? Like my wife has pointed out, increasing distance is just increasing the time you suffer out there.
So it got me thinking, dangerous right? In every triathletes mind, is it a question of not if, but when you will sign up for Ironman?
I know a lot of triathletes who’s first ever triathlon was Ironman (now Challenge) Penticton. Some have gone on to finish in multiple years, and some have left the sport all together.
With the prospect of racing in what can arguably be called the toughest endurance event in the world the rewards are huge. There is obviously the bragging rights that come along with crossing the finish line and the satisfaction of fulfilling a goal that you set more than likely a year prior.
There are also the fringe benefits like getting into great shape, changing your view on nutrition, and meeting other triathletes during the journey. Then there is the gear, oh the gear. Having an upcoming race gives you the excuse to buy things you never could justify before.
I have said it before, and I will say it again; a long course triathlon seems daunting to me.
I could handle the swim, actually I think that I would really enjoy it. With that many people on the beach I think it would be an absolute riot to swim toward the first buoy knocking elbows, knees, and feet with the racers around me. The bike doesn’t scare me either; it is all about consistency. Get in the saddle, keep your effort level in check, and eat/drink as much as you can. I could see myself getting a little bored toward the end, but then again, I can’t swim a 400m set without losing count. Some kind of A.D.H.D. I reckon.
The run scares the crap out of me. I ran a couple of half marathons last winter, and I was pretty happy to cross the finish line. I couldn’t imagine turning around and doing it again, let alone coming off the bike. I am not the best runner, but I consider myself to be pretty decent and it still scares me.
I reckon it boils down to something I said to the triage nurse after I crashed; go hard or go home. Endurance athletes are kind of an all or nothing kinda group; give us a challenge and come hell or high water, we will not only finish but do it with a smile on our faces. We will train smart, fuel even smarter, and prepare weeks ahead of the actual race. We will live and breathe it.
Oh, and there is not a single event outside of the Badwater Ultra Marathon that embodies the go hard or go home mentality more than Ironman.
Not that I am going to sign up for Ironman anytime soon. The training hours are way to much for the family right now, and besides, I am enjoying where I am at right now. If it aient broke, don’t fix it right?
Question: Was your first race Ironman? If so, first of all, awesome; second of all, why?