IRONMAN Training: It’s all about the journey.

If I told you that training for the IRONMAN is one of the best things I ever did in my life, would you believe me? The IRONMAN Race involves a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run at the end. In total, an Ironman race is a 140.6 mile endurance event that must be completed in 17 hours. Athletes train for months to prepare both physically and mentally for this race. The IRONMAN training can be more grueling than the race itself. I will soon find out for myself as I compete in my first IRONMAN, the IRONMAN Boulder on June 10.

IRONMAN Dreams: How It All Started

I used to do sprint triathlons.  Sprint triathlons involve around a 500m swin, 12 mile bike and lastly a 3.1 mile run to the finish.  I actually got 3rd place in my age group once. I had envisioned doing an IRONMAN someday.  I even bought IRONMAN socks!  However, during this time, an IRONMAN didn’t seem accessible. Life happened, my life changed and I stopped doing triathlons. Flash forward many years later, and my vision to compete in the IRONMAN came back with a bang!  Stars seem to be aligning, and I have that undeniable feeling that if there is ever a time to do it, IT’S NOW!

Ironman Socks
Me in my IRONMAN socks.

IRONMAN Boulder: Deciding to Go for It

As a FitLo Denver Ambassador / Member, I get to experience the lowdown on where to get fit in Denver.  I workout a lot and in a lot of different places.  I figured, surely, I can do an Ironman.  Having the ability to comfortably participate in all the latest, fun and trendy functional workouts there are in Denver gave me the confidence that I could actually do an IRONMAN.  I thought to myself, I’ve always loved to swim.  I used to bike ride from Houston to Austin which was 180 miles and I would do it in two days.  (100 first day, 80 second day).  And I’ve done a marathon before.  Although, I do admit running is not my favorite.  I felt like I was in the best shape of my life. Let’s do this IRONMAN!

The Reality of IRONMAN Training

I soon realized, it’s not that easy to train for an IRONMAN. There are so many different training plans and philosophies. I didn’t want to give up my existing workouts, but I knew I had to add in all the additional swimming, biking, and running.  What became a fun, new challenge, became, “What did I get myself into?”, and I already told people I was going to do it (insert scared emoji). Boy, was that a mistake!  Trying to piece together training on my own left me tired, worn out, and not making any progress.

EDX CrossFit
One of my first classes with my coach, Angelo Gala (EDX CrossFit).

Finding the Right IRONMAN Training Program

Luckily, during this transition phase of my life where I decided to make this, what my coach calls a “bhag” aka “big hairy ass goal,” I was working with FitLo Denver founder on featuring the new EDX Crossfit in Lafayette, CO.   I wasn’t looking for a new home gym per se, but I did need one.  Stars aligned yet again, and EDX CrossFit became my new home gym. Even better, Angelo Gala, EDX CrossFit co-owner, became my IRONMAN coach.  EDX became the place where I could get in workouts and IRONMAN training. Which has proven to be most effective since Angelo is able to incorporate weight training with my swim, bike, run schedule.  This is the perfect combination for me because I did not want to give up weight training.  I even got my first pull up during IRONMAN training.  How awesome is that?!  When I was on my own training, I spent about 3 months spinning my wheels with no progress, now that I have the right coach and training program in place, I’m finally seeing results and I’m less tired.  IRONMANtraining, although the hours are long, has become doable.

The support and feedback I receive from Coach Angelo has been invaluable.  Running might even be slightly more enjoyable now as my coach also helped me fix my poor running form.  (Lol!)  Check out my FitLo Denver Review featuring EDX CrossFit.

Ironman Training at EDX CrossFit

Ironman Training Indoors and Outdoors

With a June 10 IRONMAN Boulder date, there have been some snowy training days over the winter months.  I will avoid a treadmill at all costs. I don’t mind running in the snow as long as there isn’t any ice.  I actually ran in freezing rain or maybe it was sleet?  Not really sure what it was, but I had my hat, so it was good.

Cycling is impossible in the snow.  It’s too dangerous and too cold in my opinion.  As luck would have it one of my favorite cycling studios that I learned about through Fitlo Denver opened near me – Cyclebar Orchard Park Place (OPP).  Cyclebar OPP has been a great training buddy in my IRONMAN journey.  I love that I can spin and work intervals while listening to awesome music.  The owners and staff are a tremendous support to my training, and it feels good to always feel welcome.  I love pulling tracks from their Spotify playlists which keeps my playlists fresh, because if I had to create my own, it would not happen.

Since I’ve been training for the Ironman, I haven’t been able to frequent as many other fitness studios as I have a strict training schedule, but nevertheless, I appreciate Fitlo Denver always giving the lowdown of where to get fit, be with your community, and mingle.  I love that I can still participate in activities even if I can’t do the workout.  These days I look to FitLo Denver for yoga or yoga and mimosas because that will always fit into my schedule and if there is a mingle after the workout, I do my best to be there.

Ironman Training
Taking time to train outside while on a business trip.

Lessons Learned from My IRONMAN Training

I’ve learned that I am not as fast as I thought I was, and not as fit as I thought I was, and if you don’t know, always ask for help.  Proper form is key for the swim, bike, and run, so if you plan to embark on such a journey, take the time to get all that analyzed.  I can tell you from my experience you will feel better, you will prevent injury, and you will enjoy training that much more.  And don’t forget to stretch!  I spend 30 minutes to an hour every day working on my mobility, and making sure I get plenty of sleep.

IRONMAN training has made me faster, stronger, and more fit.  I am humbled by my heart and grateful to have the health to complete what I call the “challenge of my life!”  When race day comes, I’ll be ready to do what I have prepared to do, and what my body will allow me to do.  It will be an experience of a lifetime.  The journey is less than a week away.  Thanks to FitLo Denver and everyone in the community for your support!  All of you inspire me.

Read More: Get the lowdown on where to get fit in Denver.

 

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