Start Small, Then Go BIG!
Jeff's IRONMAN Journey
The key is consistency. There will be good days and bad days but if you take it one day at a time and put in the work, you will reach your finish line.”
Jeff’s Journey to Becoming an IRONMAN
Jeff’s triathlon journey begin a few years ago, but in December of 2020 he engaged RTA Triathlon in to prepare him for a feat he once thought impossible. The Ironman triathlon.
Armed with an expert coach who would create a training and nutrition plan tailored specifically to him, Jeff embarked on his journey to complete what is widely considered the hardest one-day endurance event.
Below is a short Q & A with Jeff as well as a few words of wisdom at the very end.
We hope you find it INSPIRING & MOTIVATING.
Q & A with Jeff
WHY and HOW did you get into triathlon?
WHY: I was inspired by a friend who completed IRONMAN Texas in 2013. I could not believe he swam 2.4 miles. Mind blown! Needless to say, that was only the 1 hr 15 min warm up for the bike (112 mi) and the run (26.2 mi).
HOW: I started “small” with shorter distance races (like sprints and olympics) and then built my way up to my first Half (70.3) in 2016. This allowed me to slowly build up endurance and gain triathlon race experience.
In November of 2020, I passed my Certified Financial Planner test. Test preparation for this required over a year of studying 15-20 hours a week. After I passed the exam, I had some free time and needed a new challenge. It was a no brainer. I wanted to train for the IRONMAN triathlon (swim 2.4 mi., bike 112 mi, run 26.2 mi … brag for the rest of your life, as they say)
You recently completed IRONMAN Lake Placid, what was that like?
Ironman Lake Placid was in one word "FUN." Yes it hurts, but it's a good hurt.
You have to be a little twisted to do IRONMAN but it’s definitely worth it.
Hundreds of hours training alone is hard, BUT the excitement of race day and being around other people with the same goal and the cheering fans is just awesome.
What was the worst part of the race?
I had to carry some Pepto Bismol. Enough said!
What will you do differently next time (if anything)?
If I were to do another full distance Ironman again, I would like to build a bigger training base. I wasn't “couch to Ironman,” but 7 months of training is tight. More time would have been nice.
What was going through your head when you crossed the finished line?
"Don't shit your pants!" No, not really (well, kind of actually).
I was just thinking about what I had accomplished. It was totally EPIC and I was very proud of myself!
Don't even think about stopping your watch. Get a good finisher pic.
Any general advice you'd give to others thinking about doing a 70.3 or IRONMAN?
Having done two 70.3's … a full is not "twice as hard." Not even close.
~ Final words of wisdom ~
IRONMAN training is not linear, it is a "process."
You will not feel better, stronger, or faster in every training session. You will have days when you feel so good, you feel invincible as if you could race right then and there. Then, the next week, you wonder, “how am I going to do this?”
You may become injured during training and you’ll have to adapt.
The key is consistency. There will be good and bad days, but take it one day at a time and you’ll get through it. That being said, it’s important to listen to your body and your coach. It can be helpful to have a third tell you when you need to dial it back or continue pushing. I took 4 days off after each KYAH triathlon training camp [LINK THIS]. The training camps really kicked my ass.
Living in Connecticut (and not close to most RTA Triathlon club members living in New Jersey), I trained alone except for KYAH training camp. If you can find a group/team or someone to ride and run with, it makes it much more enjoyable. At the end of the day, I never really enjoyed 100 mile rides on Saturday or 18 mile runs on Sunday, but I love the process!! I knew what I had to do if I wanted to be an IRONMAN.
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