Everything You Need to Know to Train Like an Ironman

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Whether you’re trying to score a new personal record or simply finding a new fitness past time, signing up for a race can be a great way to get motivated and stay motivated. With options ranging from fun runs to triathlons, there is something for everyone. So if you are just getting into racing for the first time, no matter what level race you are training for, and need some advice, look no further.

While your new fitness regimen may seem like a full-time job at first, it’s only natural to feel overwhelmed when you start something new. But if you stick to it, you might soon find yourself telling your friends that you run triathlons as a hobby. For Tony Pritzker, a businessman who wears many hats, that’s exactly what happened.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Pritzker describes just how busy he is. According to the article, Pritzker is the co-founder and managing partner of Pritzker Group, a private equity and venture-capital firm. As if that wasn’t enough to keep his hands full, he is also a father of seven.

After reading that, your daily schedule probably sounds like a breeze. But even if you find yourself just as busy as Pritzker, at least we now have proof that anyone can start training for a race. In the article, Pritzker explains how training and racing overlap with his social life, and how vacations often revolve around athletic pursuits. One way that Pritzker manages to have a social life and compete in races is by combining the two passions. Running with friends is a great way to balance friends and exercise, and it really helps give you that extra bit of motivation.

Even someone as ambitious as Pritzker didn’t just wake up one morning and decide that he wanted to run a triathlon. He explains in the article how he began running 5K and 10K runs, then ended up running his first triathlon in 1999 and first full Ironman in 2002.

So what is the total count of races that Pritzker has run? According to the article, “To date he has completed 22 marathons, 10 Half Ironman races and 8 Ironman races, plus more Olympic-distance triathlons.”

Pritzker’s exercise routine includes running three days a week, where he will run anywhere from 4 to 8 miles. In addition to this, he will meet with a trainer one day a week for a little over an hour to do cycling training or circuit training, and he meets with a swim class once a week.

According to the article in the Journal, his swim routine is no joke:

The group might start with a 500-meter warm up, followed by a set of 5×100 meter laps, where each 100 meters focuses on a different stroke exercise to improve hand or arm movement through the water. Next they might do a series of 5×200 meter laps with the goal of negative splits, meaning they swim the second 100 meters faster than the first. Another set of 5×100 meter laps might include swimming 50 meters of backstroke followed by 50 meters of freestyle. They’ll finish with six sets of 50-meter sprints and end with a 200-meter cool down.

Pritzker also drinks three liters of water a day. If you are in the process of trying to lock down a routine to start training for any type of race, no matter if it is a 5K or an Ironman, try some of these tips and tricks to motivate yourself and aid your everyday training.

1. A quick workout is better than no workout

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We get it: Everyone is busy, and sometimes things come up. So if it is a run day, and your time gets cut short because of family or work, just remember that a quick workout is better than skipping a workout all together. Even if you can only run for 15 minutes, use it as a way to challenge yourself. Knowing that you only have a short time, vamp up your speed or try some hill sprints rather than a longer, slower run. Using these opportunities to work in HIIT workouts or workouts that your body may not be used to doing can give you a competitive edge.

2. Work out on your lunch break

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Sneaking in a lunchtime run is a great way to take advantage of the time you have. If your lunch usually consists of sitting at your desk and watching YouTube videos while scarfing down a sandwich before your next meeting, try to go for a run instead. Run 1.5 miles away from your office and then turn around and run 1.5 miles back. A great way to do this is to pick a certain day to complete a lunchtime workout each week, prepare your gym bag, and bring a lunch from home ahead of time. If you have your gear ready, you will be way more likely to work out.

3. Stick to a balanced diet

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When you start working out a lot, especially if this workout includes more cardio than usual, it is always important to maintain a balanced diet. More specifically, you need to make sure you are consuming enough nutrients before and after workouts. A great way to do this is to carry around protein bars or healthy snacks so that you do not find yourself hungry throughout the day. Pre-planning meals during the weekend can help you utilize your meals during the week and ensure that you are getting enough fuel.

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