Maybe This Can Be the IronWill Logo?

IronWill is my new branding campaign for any Iron-Distance race.  I may even start a whole movement behind this because becoming an Ironman take just that: Will.  You have to be willing to sacrifice time with family and friends.  You have to be willing to sacrifice your Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the very least.  You have to be willing to sacrifice sleep.  You have to be willing to sacrifice PERIOD.

There are athletes out there that are naturally gifted at racing triathlon.  I happen to not be one of those individuals.  What I do have and lots of it is heart.  I have the heart to endure a lot of pain.  That pain will be physical but I think more than anything else it is mental.  I have a knack for tricking my mind into thinking that it won’t be so bad and before I know it I have traveled another mile.  Then it comes time to play another trick and another mile has been ticked off.

My trick to have the will to succeed has been to break down not just the entire race but even the race within the race.  The swim is not 2.4 miles long but instead it is a maximum of 3x 30 minute swims.  A 112 mile bike ride is not 112 miles but 24x 15 minute segments.  Why 15 minutes?  I use my watch to notify me when 15 minutes has gone by so that I can take a drink.  It helps to keep me fueled and hydrated and I don’t have to worry about riding 112 miles but instead just riding 15 minutes.  Now the marathon…..oh the marathon!  26.2 miles of running but I have a plan for that too.  4 hours is 1/6th of an entire day.  That is nothing.  I can spend 4 hours on Facebook or 4 hours on Twitter right?  In addition to the 15 minute segments I am also incorporating the following two processes into the marathon.  First 30 minutes will be aerobic followed by 30 minutes at lactate threshold then back down to 30 minutes of aerobic.  So now I am only running 30 minute segments.  Also, at every while I will walk for 30 to 45 steps.  All of this is to bring my heart rate down and allow me to finish with a solid 5k kick.

This weekend I rode on Saturday for 119 miles and hit the 112 mile mark at 6:00:11.  I took it easy and kept my heart rate low and that has me fired up, but I had to have the will to push through the headwinds and crosswinds that dominated 4/6th of the ride.  When the wind is blowing in your face and your legs are spinning and you feel like it is pushing you backwards you have to buckle down.  You have to push through it and ask yourself do I have what it takes to finish this?  The beauty of that is the reward.  There is always a reward for your hard work.  It could be a PR, it could be finishing something you didn’t think you could or getting that tailwind that pushes you to 24/25 mph without really pushing.

On my swim I got in the water and used the mantra that Coach gave me:  The swim is just something you have to do.  The race starts on the bike.  That meant to just get in the water and not push it.  Just swim smoothly and efficiently.  Following this advice I swam 2.2 miles in 1:10 which projects to a 1:17.  I think that easily could be 1:15 with a bit of a push or smart drafting, but once I got out and started my run is where the fun started.  I started out slow and kept lowering my pace per my race plan.  It was at Mile 15 when I thought about what I was doing and what I was accomplishing.  I was on my way to be an Ironman and thought about all the sacrifices and all the fights I had with myself.  Fighting the alarm to get up early and get in the pool.  Fighting the thought that 1 hour of aerobic spinning is useless.  Fighting the notion that packing up that bag full of bottles with hydration and nutrition is an exercise in futility.  All the while I keep doing it because my will to succeed is stronger than my will to accept status quo.

‎”The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.”
~Vince Lombardi


I have always said that those that are stronger and faster will always be there, but there will never be anybody that works harder than me.  I do the things that others say:  I can’t do that.  I take pride in that.  That is what keeps me going and pushing to find my next level.  I was a 4:39 marathoner just 3 and 1/2 years ago.  Now I am looking to go 4 (really looking at sub-4:00) on the marathon AFTER swimming 2.4 miles and riding 112 miles.  I was a 2:10/100 yards swimmer in the pool and now I am looking to swim 2.4 miles in 1:49/100 yards in the open water.  I do not accept that this is my threshold, but instead think that this is just a starting point.

So with all of that I am now branding this as IronWill.  Who’s with me?

Print Friendly

Related posts:


  1. Maria Simone says:

    Awesome post, Jason! You WILL do this. So excited for you. The first one is the best – oh, that feeling of crossing the finish line! And, really, the whole day is just SO MUCH STINKING FUN! It may seem odd to think of going 140.6 as fun, but it is –

    Segmenting the race is a great idea. I do the very same thing. I tend to use the sections of the course to help me, along with time. This can be helpful if you know the course. And, if you are focusing on the segments, you aren’t worried about how you are going to do the “whole” thing – just the little itty bitty segment you are working on right now. John’s coach said to him once, “You eat the elephant one bite at a time.” Exactly. one segment at a time.

    I’m so excited for you!!
    Maria Simone recently posted..Pushing the edge, silencing the voiceMy Profile

  2. I like it a lot bro. IronWill is great choice. You know your targets and how to achieve them, so it’s just a matter of willpower to get there. I get that.
    Carolina John recently posted..Still SoreMy Profile

  3. Kevin says:

    Cease and Desist order coming from the WTC in… 3… 2…. 1…. haha! I only speak from experience from MI Iron… err… Michigan Titanium :)

    Love the 15 minute thing. I did the same thing at IMWI. Drink every 15, eat every 30. I had a couple of guys pass me as my watch was beeping and everyone liked the idea.
    Kevin recently posted..Race Report: Fisk Knob TTMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      They still have not sent me the letter or faxed to me. Guess my blog has not hit the big time…..haha!

      The 15 minute thing is perfect because you also maintain that constant level of carbs and are not chasing the energy. I train my clients to do this for that reason. I remember one client tell me but I refuel every 3 miles. I asked them so the first three miles are run in 30 minutes and then the next three in 43 minutes and then another 3 in 49 minutes. Is that consistent?
      CTER recently posted..IronWillMy Profile

  4. Yes, great points. I would agree that NO ONE works harder than you and I’m sure that is going to show come race day.
    Shut Up and Run recently posted..Grab Bag FailMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      Thank you my friend. I am ready to race, but more importantly I’m ready to get back to reading your blog on a consistent basis and discussing gas and one-eyed, three legged dogs.
      CTER recently posted..IronWillMy Profile

  5. You are truly, truly amazing!
    Mamarunsbarefoot recently posted..Sand CastlesMy Profile

  6. Jeff Irvin says:

    All the hard work is going to payoff on May 19th! Enjoy the upcoming taper as it has been earned!
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Time in the Saddle ….My Profile

    • CTER says:

      Dude, I cannot wait for the taper. It starts in 6 days…..the schedule is already up and it has the 5 letter word I love to read: TAPER…..
      CTER recently posted..IronWillMy Profile

  7. YES! LOVE THIS!!! That’s the same tactic I use. In fact, I just came back here to get a snippet of something you said from “Mental Toughness Thursdays” and came across this. High five! There are many things I may not be “good” at, but the desire and the will to persevere I *excel* at! Ahhh it’s always the hardest, suckiest things that carve us into the best people we can be! Also, ditto on the numbers game – you gotta break stuff down into manageable pieces. You can’t eat a whole pizza in one bite – it takes a while ;) Hee hee! You can always do anything for one more mile!

    • CTER says:

      You can do ANYTHING for one mile. ANYTHING. My run yesterday was capped with a mile pace that was just like the middle miles. Just bury your head, shut your brain off and think about the pancakes and/or pizza when you are done…….oh yes!
      CTER recently posted..IronWillMy Profile

  8. Matt Oravec says:

    15 minutes is my magic number too. Small sips and small nibbles of food.

    Good stuff man.

    You got this, it’s not a matter of IF anymore, it’s a matter of WHEN!

    It’s close, keep up the good work and remember, even if everything falls to shit on race day, it’s all about FORWARD PROGRESS! That was our motto as soon as we started running. We will ONLY go forward and we will feel good while doing it!
    Matt Oravec recently posted..Not sure where I am atMy Profile

  9. Jeannie says:

    Awesome post and I so agree with you! I am not the best but I sure work hard to push myself to see what I am capable of doing. You’re going to be amazing!

  10. Paul Frank says:

    Thanks, and great information for a first timer preparing for Panama City Fla Ironman Nov 2012. I like the 15min tip and will incorporate it into my workouts. Thanks newbie.

    • CTER says:

      The 15min interval timing is clutch.

      Your blood sugar never spikes b/c you are taking it in consistently.

      Aslo, there is a time on the HIM. It is the same as the full Ironman except you cut the times in half.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: