The road to 25 Ironman's
To achieve anything in sport, an athlete must go through a lot of things in life. To be consistently participating in Ironman’s over the past 12 years, I have learnt a lot of lessons, some the hard way. I am often told you make Ironman’s look easy, and I wanted to share a few things I have gone through to get to 25 Ironman finishes, especially while living and training in India.
1. Sacrifice: “The bigger the dream, the bigger the sacrifice one must make.” For any athlete, trying to make it to the top, there are tremendous sacrifices she or he makes. I have missed countless birthdays, family celebrations, weddings, funerals, amongst other things. Understand that once the time goes, it’s not coming back, relationships also change. If you want to achieve something, you will have to travel on a different path than most people, be ready to sacrifice time. Finances must be managed as well, especially living and earning in India, races are abroad which means earn in rupee and spend in dollar, consider that.
2. Discipline: Be ready to get up early majority days of the week to train, I have been doing that since early 90s, from 92 at least few days of the week I have been in the water at 5-530 am, and with running as well as cycling it is the same. Discipline also is important in food, sleep, strength training, each of them must be treated with care, to get optimal results. Remember everyone is talented, but not everyone is disciplined.
3. Consistency: To get to 25 meant be consistent in training, there are days when one gets sick, maybe injured but baring those you get up and get the work done. “it’s better to have 25 average training days, than having 10 good ones.” A lot of times I see people chase speed ext., then they get burnt out & injured and that’s the end of their career. Better to train every day, make it part of your lifestyle and the results will be phenomenal. Go out every single day, and give what you can on that day.
4. Overcoming Failures? “Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records ~William A. Ward.” Thing’s won’t go your way all the time, accept that. Failures are part of growing, learning and bettering yourself. Each race I have done has taught me a lot about myself, and yet I am anxious before the start line, and completely focused as soon as the gun/ canon goes off. A long endurance race is also about experimenting, problem solving to get out of tricky situations.
5. Celebrate! “Enjoy life, Live it, celebrate it.” The best thing in life after a race, heavy training week/ month is to celebrate. With family, friends, whosoever you MUST reward yourself once a while. All of us spend amazing amounts of time training, at work, so the least you can do is celebrate the hard work. I strongly believe in ZERO Diets has led to my longevity in sport (to each their own) but letting go once a while will add to happiness, and a happy person is fun to be around.
25 Ironman’s has been an amazing ride, I am thankful to some many people the list is endless. To whoever that wants to achieve something, I will say be honest, keep moving forward and sky will be the limit. And for those who want to know what’s next, more on that later 😉.