Last year I completed an Ironman. These are some Ironman reflections I have after crossing the finish line.
Do the race your way
‘They say’ a lot of things: “You need to train 6 days per week. It’s impossible to do the race without training on a real bicycle. You have to do a half Ironman before you do a full Ironman. Don’t drink alcohol in the lead up.”
It’s all bullshit if your only goal is to cross that finish line within the race cut off time and get that piece of metal. I trained once per week for 3 months prior to the race. I did my cycle training on a stationery bike in the gym (thanks Holly for that $$$ saving tip). The first triathlon I ever did was the actual Ironman. I drank all the way up to the day before the race.
Admittedly I’m smug about a lot of this. I also acknowledge that I’m a 25 year old male with the ideal body for endurance events (read: tall and skinny). However, the main point here is that there is no such thing as gospel for what it takes to do an Ironman. I’m a strong believer that anyone can do it. At the end of the day it will come down to willpower more than anything else.
Be prepared for the post finish line
One thing that really shocked me was how my body shut down after I crossed the finish line. My core body temperature plummeted and I was shaking uncontrollably. Emotionally I felt destroyed and wanted to ball my eyes out. It was a weird reaction considering the elation I had felt as I ran that final hundred metres before the finish line.