My Ironman Journey is a common story in Triathlon, I have met and continue to meet many individuals that for whatever reason, have ‘let themselves go’ but they then re-discover sport and transform themselves. I had a fairly radical transformation, 20 stone beast to a 14 stone Ironman. I learned a few things along the way but at the time of writing, I have let myself drift. Reflecting on my former success I need to now understand what helped me first time round so I can re-discover my former glory!
I originally decided to start my Ironman journey in July 2012. I had managed to obtain a coveted spot for Challenge Roth by entering 3 seconds after it opened on-line. About four months later I was delighted to discover that my wife and I were expecting our first child, only snag being the due date feel on the same day as race day. I’m not sure if I had fully understood the consequences but after a month or so of debate with my girlfriend, a very supportive triathlete herself, she advised me that it wasn’t realistic to do Roth. Determined to complete my journey I managed to find a place at Austria through the amazing Nirvana Europe.
Technically though my Ironman journey didn’t start there it had already started in October 2008. I had sleep walked my way to 30, I’m not sure if I was fat because I wasn’t happy or I wasn’t happy because I was fat but as I turned 30 it didn’t matter any more, I started to gain a new desire for balance and well-being.
I remember reading at the time a self help article in a men’s magazine which really resonated, I needed to change jobs, take up a hobby or sport but whatever I did I should only do it because I wanted to, not because I thought I should.
I started to make changes, I had to regain my self esteem and that’s where sport came in. I was always very sporty growing up but you forget what’s important in your late teens when you discover booze and women, rediscovering sport was the defining moment of my post 30 era. I started to have goals and ambition and also the weight started to fall off. I was motivated by the way sport and in particular running and later cycling and triathlon made me feel and within 12 months I had lost 4 stone and run my first marathon.
When I decided to enter an Ironman it seemed like the next logical step in my journey. I needed the motivation, the fear it gave me to push myself and maintain the new person I had become.
I won’t bore you with another race report and this story is not about training regimes and nutrition, power meters and training holidays abroad, it’s about what I learned and the fundamental principles that helped me change my life.
Post Ironman weight gain is normal but since Austria in 2013 I have also had a number of very significant changes to my lifestyle. I had my first and second child, I have moved house, got married and launched Yellow Jersey.
I think I have uncovered what helped me lose weight first time round and have come up with five weight loss tips, below. It’s time for me to now practice what I preach and regain my former glory. So I have entered Ironman Frankfurt in 2016, entered a local marathon as a short-term goal. Since moving house I have now found a local club to train with and I’ve started using MyFitnessPal to log my daily nutrition.
Top 5 weight loss tips:
- Join a sports club not a gym, make exercise social. I joined Clapham Chasers and met like minded people and made new friends interested in the same things and I even met my wife!
- Set short-term and long-term goals, you have to shoot for the stars but those small steps along the way are what keep you motivated. I started by bringing my park run times down, every month I would get a massive boost as I would shave more time off my PB.
- Have a cause, a purpose something that helps you maintain your resolve, I’m shameless to admit mine was to meet a girl.
- Change something significant in your life.
- Keep a diary of what you eat; this has the single biggest affect on weight loss and I believe it to be a much larger factor than even exercise.
Here are some pictures of my Ironman journey
Kingston Breakfast run, my face was as red as my t-shirt! ….October 2008 my first race, I had spent 2 months trying to shift some weight and decided to do an 8 mile race. Family supported me in my quest, you can see my brother (a keen triathlete with Crystal Palace) just cut off in the shot running next to me.
Fast Forward…..I slowly picked off running milestones eventually running under 3:32 at Brighton Marathon in 2012
My first Triathlon in 2010
Signed up for an Ironman this year? Make sure you have proper Ironman Travel Insurance to cover medical mishaps and repatriation if you injure yourself racing overseas.