The Ironman Mindset

“You’ll ache. And you’re going to love it. It will crush you. And you’re still going to love all of it. Doesn’t it sound lovely beyond belief?”
― Ernest Hemingway

I had visualized my race at Ironman Coeur d'Alene. The sun rising over the city as thousands of athletes prepared their transition area. How all basic equipment needs aside, it was the human engine that would bring success to this day.

The prior 26 weeks of training, the 46 hours swimming, 166 hours cycling, 61 hours running, and 54 hours of strength training. It is the individual's ability and skill set in each the swim, bike and run.

My body was primed and ready to crush my goals. My goals were high and realistic. I had committed to reaching them through training.

What I learned that day in Coeur d’Alene in 2015 as I watched athletes dropping out of the race in record numbers as the heat soared to 106 degrees. It is the person's mental strength that allows him/her to travel 140.6 miles. It is their raw will that will ultimately force their body to continue, even when they are exhausted and their body is begging to quit.

Why would anyone want to do this? I tell my child to embrace being uncomfortable, as this is where growth happens. When you fall off a bike the first time, you must get back on if you want to learn how to ride. It is a metaphor for the rest of your life. ​L​ife has many ways of testing and challenging us as humans, but it is being faced with challenges that helps us discover who we are. It helps bring us closer to one another. It strengthens our minds and refines our judgement. You must believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.

It is a test of the mind and body and while I ran to the finish line that day I knew my mind was strong. There was something inside me greater than the course in front of me. I finished strong.

Over the years of coaching hundreds of athletes to the finish line. I have taught athletes this same Ironman Mindset.

In order to be successful in triathlon, it is not enough to just train our bodies.⁠

We also have to train our minds. This is because our minds are what allow us to set goals and achieve them, to persist through difficult challenges, and to finish your race feeling strong and accomplished.⁠

So remember, your mind can be your best ally and your worst enemy!⁠

So train it well! ⁠

Set high realistic goals.

Use positive self-talk.

Use positive mental imagery.

Manage your anxiety effectively.

Maintain concentration to the finish.

If you need help with your training, send me a message. I help give triathletes a competitive edge.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store