No matter whether you’ve a bunch of Ironman Finisher t-shirts hanging at the back of the closet, or you’re currently gearing up to pop your IM cherry, the subject of doing an Ironman tends to come up in everyday conversations (usually coz, let’s admit it, we bring it up on every possible occasion coz it makes us feel bad-ass!).
And when it does, there are a bunch of questions that inevitably follow. The interest is usually well-meaning and genuine, but answering the same question over and over again can drain the soul a tad.
To save you time, I decided to create a cheat sheet. You can now save yourself the excessive energy usage of actually thinking, in order to better expend watts during bike intervals, by just reading out the answer mindlessly. Better still, print off a bunch of these and simply hand one over to anyone who starts asking the questions.
You’re welcome, Triathlon, you’re welcome…
- Is that like a triathlon?
Yes, exactly like one – in fact, it is a triathlon.
- Why would you do that?
To test myself. To push my limits. To stay fit. To set a good example. To not spend every weekend in a bar or binge watching Netflix. To spend more time outside. To socialize with others who share my attitude to life. To… yeah, you’re right, I don’t know…
- Which one comes first and why?
Swim, bike, run. Almost always. Coz if they did it in reverse the rate of drowning would be much higher, as would the number of ripped wetsuits.
- Where do you pee?
Sometimes porta-potties. Sometimes at the roadside. Mainly down my own leg…
- Do you train every day?
Yes, sometimes twice a day. Why is this shocking?
- How long does the race take? Like, 6, 7 hours..?
No, as I’m not the current world champion and world record holder, quite a bit longer than that.
- You must be able to eat anything you like?
Erm, let’s just leave the whole nutrition issue well enough alone – it’s not worth getting into so, yes, I eat like a starved ape-pig after an all-night ape-pig boozefest.
- Where do you find the time?
Mornings, lunchtimes, evenings… is this a trick question?
- Do you know Dave? In accounting? He did a marathon once. I think it was a 16k marathon or something like that.
That’s right, there’s a club for all endurance athletes – we just hang around there sweating… And FYI world, the marathon is an actual distance when running. Not a catch-all term for “a long way”. There are only three possible marathon distances: half marathons (21.1km); marathons (42.2km); ultra marathons (more than 42.2km)…
- Did you win?
There are thousands of participants at each race; some are full-time professional Ironman athletes; some are full-time triathlon coaches, personal trainers, fitness professionals or military. I sit behind a desk most the day and ride my bike as much as I can at the weekends. So, no, I didn’t win.