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Why Do You Do An Ironman?

I'm not and wont be an Ironman but a Tri-man at the most but would have to say that it seems most people havent got a clue and are unfit.

I remember back in days before I found fitness I asked why!!!

Now people seem to ask why I climb mountains and run stupid races.

I has to be the age old answer "because its there and I can"


  • agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    So I got asked in a job interview the other day, "It says here that you're training for an IronMan, whats that?"

    Its a triathlon, 3.8k swim..... etc

    And they asked, "Why would you do that to yourself??"

    Just wondering what everyone would say
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Are we answering this question in an interview situation or in a general query situation? Because I have to say my answers would be totally different if I was attempting to impress a propective employer & not have them think I was mad, liable to be knackered all the time, injured, etc etc or if I was answering a sceptical unbeliever in our wondeful sport.
  • AndreAndre Posts: 103
    Exactly, Britspin, it'd be almost impossible to answer that question in any way which wouldn't have you coming across like a bloody madman! Interview questions like this are best swept under the carpet with a coy grin and a shrug, perhaps with a dismissive "It's just a hobby."
  • agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    not just me then good, the only good reason i could come up with was it showing my ability to manage my time well (to ensure i did no work and trained all the time, but didnt tell them that obviously!), which was why i mentioned it in the first place
  • So you don't think saying because I want to devote every last minute outside of work to the pursuit of mediocrity and steady state racing as a viable option!!! [image]http://forum.220magazine.com/micons/m9.gif[/image]
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    I guess viewing work as recovery wouldn't go over well.
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    What a question!

    Some great points the interview answer would be different to the "real" answer.

    What is the "real" answer I have given various answers to this mainly to placate inquisitive mates and to impress folk.

    I think the question can only be truthfully answered to another IM and they don't want to nor need to know!?

    The question has got me searching, and whilst I'll not give the "real" answer, I'll throw out a few truthisms for me: a new focus, something to do, a sporting consolation for having retired from rowing, to see if I could actually do it, I was inspired, to massage my ego ....I could go on and on - its' really got me thinking ...Why?

  • Interview answer: Because I like to set myself very challenging targets in my work life and in my personal life. Targets that require organisation and self-belief to meet.

    Real answer: Because it's bloody good fun and I've run out of Friends box sets to watch.

    (Not that I'm doing Ironman, those guys are crazy. I mean why would you do one of those [8D])


  • I've been asked this by friends, family and work colleagues quite a bit as well (just signed up for IMUK after doing a half last year).

    Thankfully in the kind of training that we do you get lots of time for introspection and self reflective thinking - one of the reasons why I love the sport actually as its a great time to mull over problems and de-stress.

    For me the reason is two fold I think i've decided.

    1/ Up until the age of about 20 I used to be an 18 st fat git who drank 18 pints of beer about 4 nights a week whilst scoffing my face with every fatty thing I could get my hands on. I part of me still still fights to not be that person (I still think i'm inherently lazy and glutenous!). I've rowed to a high level (but what does that mean to most people?), run marathons (lets be honest, not the hardest thing in the world - a fast time is hard but most people don't have a concept of that), but an Ironman? People pale at the thought of it, its the ultimate statement of fitness and lifestyle.

    2/ I was a fit guy 2 years ago when I started doing Triathlons yet I saw the Ironman distance and just thought - not in a million years. There is something inherent in ourselves to want to push your body and mind to the limits, to find out - what will break me? Every new challenge i've done I have always known I would complete. The problem is last year after the 70.3 I started to think, I really wasn't that tired after it and could have gone on. Maybe an Ironman is possible? The problem is, as soon as you think that it becomes an internal challenge to prove to yourself that you can do it.

    So unsurprisingly one reason for image and other people, one for internal strength and belief - or something like that. I just hope after I finish it I don't set my eye on anything else too crazy and think, maybe, just maybe I could do that....
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Great thread!!!!

    I suppose I should really reflect on this one!?

    Haven't done an IM, well,not yet. Am doing a half this season and hopefully a full distance next year.

    @armstrong_jack; I think the temptation to do something bigger, longer, faster,.... is very present!

    (which is actually a good thing for triathletes, but practically impossible for non-active people to understand).
  • jon_gjon_g Posts: 318
    Agree with everyone above! interview answer would be different ot he resonse i give to friends and family. the reason i did ironman was because i wanted to see if i could. and now that i have done one i am trying to see whats next! i'd love to do an ultra-marathon, probably the comrades back in south africa. also want to find a race that is longer than ironman, but not as crazy as a double ironman. not yet anyway....[:)]
  • Really like Armstrong_jack's reply on self-reflection. Definitely I feel that. The training regime for any competitive sport that you take seriously makes you ask the question of yourself whether you are living your life in an effective way. The sheer challenge of something like Ironman means you have to ask that question of yourself more intensely and more regularly than you would otherwise. This can only be a good thing for keeping your life as a healthy and productive journey.

    Plus, on self reflection, it's in the nature of endurance sports that you have a lot of time in your head. Time that you don't necessarily use for thinking of anything or doing anything but spend time with yourself in a focussed way. That's a sort of self-reflection. There's no experience I've found to compare to being half way through a long swim set with your head in the water just listening to the sound of me breathing and focusing on body position. It's like I'm totally at home with myself and completely relaxed. That's a really beautiful zone to reach.
  • nickffnickff Posts: 2
    I would reply that it is the sense off acheivment and my ability to commit myself to a challenge, in work or life!.

    That should impress.

    Nick FF

  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Because you're an irongirl?

  • BARNYBARNY Posts: 157

    Challenging self doubt is one of the most powerful things you can do to yourself.

    Nobody enters an ironman thinking it will be easy. My first one last year and I put my chances of completion at about 75%.. as appart from phsical problems so many other things can happen in a race that long... an ironman is about 3-4 hours longer than your longest training session! "How is that posible?".

    SO why do an ironman.. because I can. Because I will. Because I enjoy people looking at me in disbelief at my accomplishments.... "and then you do a marathon??!!", "hmm yeah!!" ;-)

  • great question.

    for me: because this time last year i was 9st (i'm 6ft) unable to walk well after 4 months bed layden chemotherapy to treat leukaemia that i'll have forever...Everyday life just isn't enough.

    See all you fellow newbies at eton. o.m.g.
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    I've given this more thought. In addition to my other reasons (something to do etc...) pure self indulgence,(because at the end of the day who cares?) and to do the ultimate athletic challenge - which begs the question is it the ultimate sporting challenge?
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Le tour?

    But if it's one we could do?

    Marathon de Sables?
  • agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    things like the arch to arch triathlon, any cross desert races etc

    wonder how many IMs you have to put together before it becomes ridiculous (having read about the deca ironman in 220 this month!!)
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