What does it take to do an Ironman?

What does it take to cross the finish line of an Ironman?


  1. Desire…you have to want to do an Ironman. If you lack desire, you will not get to the start line, let alone the finish line.
  2. Determination and Perseverance…there will be times when a workout gets tough, when obstacles get in the way and when life throws you a curve ball. When this happens, hit that ball out of the park!! Don’t quit and give up…instead, fight and push yourself to the next level.
  3. Balance…balancing home, work and triathlon can sometimes be a challenge. It is important to find that balance and maintain it throughout your training.
  4. Communication…it is important to communicate with family and work about what you might need to help you achieve your goals.
  5. Flexibility…sometimes life happens and you are not able to get a workout in as planned. This is when it is important to be flexible.
  6. Discipline…self control to complete workouts, self control to properly fuel your body, self control to set yourself up for the best possible race day. “Discipline is the bridge between your goals and accomplishment.” ~Jim Rohndiscipline bridge
  7. Mental fortitude…Unexpected situations are going to arise…keeping your mental focus during these challenging times (both in training and racing) will put you one step closer to having a successful race day experience. Meredith Kessler says it best…”Don’t let success get to your head or failure get to your heart.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qKDZQs_kTs
  8. Ability to overcome obstacles, adversity and pressure…you will find your physical and mental boundaries. Will you try to push those boundaries, or accept them as is? If you push them, you often get some pretty great stories to share with others 😉
  9. Passion…some people refer to this as obsessiveness, but I like to think of it as passion or love for what you do, why you do what you do and where you want to go. I like to think of it as #swimlove, #bikelove and #runlovepassion
  10. Craziness…some people would argue that you have to be crazy to do an Ironman. I would agree you do need to have some crazy in you, but you don’t have to be completely crazy. However, I also feel that those who don’t take care of their health are crazy.
  11. Don’t Make Excuses…hard work and dedication pay off. You will encounter obstacles or setbacks at some point…they are part of life. However, if you want to make things happen, you have to stop making excuses.
  12. Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable…the things that are worth having, don’t always come easy. Crossing the finish line of an Ironman race is one of those things. There are going to be uncomfortable times when you swim/bike/run for 140.6 miles…now is the time to start getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. When you leave your comfort zone, wonderful things can, and often do, happen.Comfort Zone vs. Uncomfort Zone

What other characteristics do you feel one needs to do an Ironman?


18 thoughts on “What does it take to do an Ironman?

  1. Those are all awesome!! I hate when people sign up for an Ironman because they think it would be “cool” to do one!! Those are the people that are going to struggle through training and struggle to get to the start or finish lines!
    You definitely have to want to do one!! Anyone can! It is just their want level!! 🙂

  2. These are all perfect points. I could not agree more! For me, it had to be all or nothing. So, when training began, that was life! It was all around making life work around the training plan. I think I did a decent job of balancing it all, but some things definitely had to give as a trade off to working for my goal! I give you major kudos for back to back IM years!

  3. For me, it also took patience! There is no quick and easy way to stronger and more fit, and there were those weeks when I felt ‘flat’ and tired and everything seemed hard. I’m not the most patient person, so this was a challenge, but it definitely paid off in the end.

  4. You better believe that I am saving this post – and when the time is right and all is a go – will use it as a great reminder as I reignite my Ironman fire!!!

    1. Yay!! You will be an amazing mother and crossing that Ironman finish line will be so much sweeter with a little one to meet you at the finish line 😉

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