I’m finally headed to Kona to get this thing done. Before the big day I’d like to share a few moments from the journey.
Ever thought about doing a Iron Man race? Today Ben is giving you the inside scoop on how to properly train for your next iron man. He is breaking down the sacrifices, the commitment and why he loved it.
Why did I sign up?
One word, GROWTH. I am a firm believer that on the other side of a challenge there is a new direction for growth.
Ben crossing the Iron Man finish line in Hawaii.
What challenged you the most?
My days of grabbing late night dinners and hanging out with friends and family were numbered. Not enough hours in a day to get it all in. This is a SACRIFICE I made for a season of my life to experience something new.
Finding a place to train
I was hesitant to sign up at first, due to my work and travel schedule. Some cities I could bike and swim, but a majority of the time I just ran.
Having a clean diet is the best diet. I will talk more about this later.
Who inspired you?
The first person I met on a flight back to PDX. His name is Bruce Jerde and he was 65 at the time. He attended his first iron man to support a friend and was inspired by all the competitors. After witnessing the event he had no choice but to sign up. Not knowing how to swim was the only thing holding him back.
So a couple days before we met, he signed up for swim lessons. Then Bruce proudly said he would dedicate the next year of his life to completing a full iron man. He suggested that I look into it. That’s when I took my first step towards the ledge.
The moment that allowed me to jump was the interview I read with Chris Pratt (Actor). He discussed his training regimen before he started to film the movie Guardians of the Galaxy. The training ended up being preparation to complete a half iron man. Within the article he shared his training program and I thought,
That doesn’t look to hard. If he can do it; why can’t I?”
Shortly after that, I signed up for the Half IM and swimming lessons. I was ready to commit to completing a new goal.
What was your training regiment?
First, I want to say thank you to James Williams for being such a big help. He provided me with a training template and guidance for the past 6 to 8 months. We met once or twice a week at the beginning for 30 minutes.
We discussed my swimming technique and other key components to the race. After a month or so we jumped into the training and started to build up my endurance in all three areas.
On my off days I found it helpful to mix in hot yoga or yoga, strength training, massage therapy and a visit to my local chiropractor. I knew my strengths and weaknesses going into this competition, so I searched for help in my weaker areas and stayed patient with the process.
How important is nutrition, rest and recovery?
Nutrition is everything.
It was one of the tougher areas for me; from gastrointestinal issues, to craving foods that slowed down the recovery process. Like I said earlier, eating as clean as possible will only aid the rest and recovery process. A bad diet will produce slower training times and unnecessary stomach aches.
Try to keep healthy snacks around, cook if possible and if you are on the road ask for the cleanest version of the entree.
I continue to tell my self. Once I’m done with this event, I’ll be able to eat all the wings I want. So for this SEASON of my life I need to stay locked in.
Rest is important
Some days you will train up to four or five hours, so sleeping at least 7 to 8 hours is a must. If you don’t, you will see a significant drop off in your training.
Recovery is a must.
Create a routine and commit to it. Try to complete a stretch/foam roll session post work out and before bed. It will help in the long run (no pun intended).
What are your three biggest takeaways?
- The COURAGE to CONQUER all fears head on.
- LONGEVITY and ENDURANCE builds CHARACTER.
- COMFORTABLY sit in discomfort, it’s only temporary.
This has been one of the best experiences of my life. Being able to raise money for Phame Academy (A non-profit organization that helps adults with autism create art and inspire connection) is one of the most SATISFYING things I’ve ever done. Hopefully I’ve INSPIRED others to take that LEAP and join me next year.
Lastly, I’m excited to EXPERIENCE the good, bad and ugly because I know GROWTH is right around the corner.
Stay blessed y’all and Be the example!