A “How About Another Race Story About the Ironman?” Note from Fatty: John Moore, whom I referred to as “The Arizona Guy” in my Ironman writeup, has written his own very interesting Ironman story. I highly recommend it; read it here.
Could I Have Done This Race Without Training?
You might remember that the way I originally got into the whole Ironman mess in the first place was by positing that a cyclist could just pull an Ironman out of his butt, were he so inclined.
So, now that I’ve done an Ironman, you’d think that I’ve answered that question.
Except I probably really haven’t. Because I cheated. Here’s how:
- I swam several times. True, not enough to make me a good swimmer, but enough to make sure I was confident I could at least swim that far — though I was totally honest about having doubts about making the cutoff.
- I ran a little bit, and would have run more if I could. Thanks to doing practically no running for at least a month before the race, I may as well have not run at all prior to the Ironman, but I’m a full-disclosure kind of guy, so there you go.
So, to be truthful, I didn’t just pull an Ironman out of my butt. But my opinion that a cyclist (me, in this case) could just pull an Ironman out of his butt remains unshaken.
Nay, I’ll go further: my opinion is strengthened. Here’s why:
- My Aqua Sphere wetsuit practically did the swim for me. The swimming I did prior to the race might have made me fifteen or twenty minutes faster — or let’s be really generous to me and say it made me half an hour faster — but with the wetsuit I had, I would have finished this swim even with no swim training whatsoever. So let’s say I would have started the ride two hours into the race, instead of 1:30 into it.
- If I had trained more on the bike and less on the swim and run, I’d have been faster on the bike. Probably not a lot faster, but if I had skipped the hours I spent running and swimming and spent them on the bike instead, I’d definitely have been stronger on the road. Let’s be conservative and say I’d have been only ten minutes faster over 112 miles.
- I could’ve walked the marathon in < 8.5 hours. All I’ve got to do is walk 3.1 mph (which is not even “brisk”).
So yeah, I still think a strong cyclist who doesn’t do any running or swimming could complete an Ironman without doing any other training.
The question is, could a strong runner who does no riding or swimming complete an Ironman? I think that’s less likely; the aerobic base and leg strength will cross over to a degree, but probably not enough. Depends on the runner.
Or could a strong swimmer who does no riding or running complete an Ironman? That one’s easy: no way.
But just because I reassert that my original hypothesis is correct doesn’t mean I haven’t changed my mind.
Where before I thought that because a cyclist could pull off an untrained Ironman that triathlons are inherently silly, I now have spent some time racing with these guys, and I like them. I like their cheerful acceptance of pain, I like the way they train in multiple disciplines even though they don’t like some of them, and I like their crazy dedication. They were fun, self-effacing, nice athletes.
Still, I stand fast on my earlier proclamation: I don’t want to do another one.
But I can understand why someone would.
Tomorrow: The 100 Miles of Nowhere
And now, with the Ironman out of the way, I can get on to my really important race, which is the Third Annual 100 Miles of Nowhere.
I understand that 500 of you will be joining me (as race director, I didn’t have to reserve a slot, and I get the t-shirt anyway).
The Runner, her son The IT Guy, and I will be doing the Alpine, UT edition of this race from the comfort of my nice cool basement (there had been talk of doing it in a bike shop, but when only two locals expressed interest in joining me, I decided that I’d just do it at home instead).
Our plan is to watch the second half of the second season of Dexter, as well as the first Iron Man movie, to get us in the mood for seeing Iron Man 2 sometime next weekend or so.
Also, for the first time ever, I will be doing the 100 Miles of Nowhere on a trainer instead of on rollers. This is because both The Runner and The IT guy will be using trainers set to 0 resistance, and I don’t want to finish hours and hours behind them.
Also, in recognition that The Runner and I have been doing a lot of long runs and rides and other training during Saturdays lately, we’re going to start our 100 Miles immediately after getting the twins to bed tonight, so we have all of Saturday open for family stuff.
The thing I liked absolutely best about the 100 Miles of Nowhere last year was reading and posting other race reports, so be sure to email them to me. Just put the body of your report in the email message, and attach the photos. That way I don’t have to mess around with removing word processor fonts and formatting.
Also, keep your reports short, and remember that I won’t be posting all of them, because I’m far too lazy. So don’t get mad at me or anything, OK?
Good luck with your race!