What Training for an Ironman Taught Me

In September of last year pretty much on a whim I decided that I was going to do a triathlon. Transitioning to triathlon had been in the back of my mind for a couple years but never really took it seriously. In a matter of 3 days though I had purchased a bike, signed up for a sprint distance race (which was literally the next month), started looking for a coach and decided I was going to race Ironman Texas in April…yeah, it escalated quickly haha. Also, if you know me personally, then you know that this is very “on brand” for who I am as a person.

For those of you that don’t know, an Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run – yes, all in one day. As you can imagine there has to be a very intentional training regimen when it comes to training for something like this and while there are a lot of things I want share about the overall race experience, I first wanted to share what I learned training for this beast as I think it applies to more than just Ironman.

Time Management

This is a no brainer but 100% the biggest lesson I learned. An average training week consists of 15-20 hours of training depending on the week. Add in a full time job, needing to sleep and maintaining some sort of balance with “life” and it’s pretty comical somedays to say the least. I think that when it comes to time management though, and how you intentionally start to dissect how you spend your time – you will find that you actually do have more time than you think, it’s just a matter of prioritization.

This is a sentence no one wants to hear but you ultimately make time for the things that are important to you. I don’t care what ”it” is that you value or are prioritizing but, it does matter if you are not chasing after it because you don’t have time. I’m not suggesting to give up hours upon hours a week of your life if that is not possible – but find the 30 minutes a day or the Saturday afternoon to do the things that bring you joy and help you grow.


I can honestly say the very best thing that has come from my 8 months in triathlon so far are the relationships and community that I have found. I just gotta say it – finding friends & community as an adult is hard and finding friends that have similar interests and can relate to you is even harder sometimes. I feel very blessed that I have the opportunity to work with a coach and team that values community. I’m going to steal this line from a friend but sometimes you find your people where there is ”instant camaraderie”.

The lesson here is to simply, find your people. Yeah bro, it is intimidating but overall the support system and relationships that you invest in are more valuable than anything else. Life is meant to be done with others and let’s be honest, it’s more enjoyable that way anyways. Last thing I’m going to say on this…

”Relationships are constantly challenging; constantly calling you to create, express, and experience higher and higher aspects of yourself. You create ever more magnificent versions of yourself. Nowhere can you do this more immediately, impact-fully and immaculately than in relationships. In fact, without relationship, you cannot do it at all” – Neale Donald


Not going to lie – this lesson is going to be pretty cliche so brace yourself. Yes, obviously I am referring to food when I talk about fueling (eating is my #1 favorite activity and tbh the true 4th discipline of triathlon) but guys (here it comes) you gotta fuel your mind also. Your mindset is everything, if you start your day with a junk mindset I can guarantee you that your day is going to be a reflection of that. Actually, LOLing at this right now as just this morning I had a pretty crappy mindset and had to literally say ”Ashton, stop it” because I knew where it would lead me if I didn’t.

Make sure that you are feeding your mind with just as much good as your body. Rough days are guaranteed but ultimately you can control how you respond and direct your thoughts. Here are some helpful tips if you want to read more on how to keep your mind in check.

Anything is possible

The mantra of the Ironman is ”anything is possible”. As someone whose personal toxic trait is thinking I can honestly do anything (don’t @ me on this guys, I already know okay) it is a mantra I wholeheartedly subscribe to. I can tell you with 100% certainty that if you want something bad enough and are willing to work hard enough for it – anything is possible. It doesn’t take anything other than showing up everyday and being consistent. I would be lying if I said that I don’t have large goals for myself coming away from these past couple of months (personal and in the sport) but, the comforting thought is that if I show up everyday and work with intention and grit, anything is possible.

Are you showing up for yourself and your goals?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: