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two years plan to do an Ironman

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I am going to use this blogger to write down my training experience. I hope that I can share with all my friends and others the pain, the struggle, the glory.

A lot of ppl consider me as crazy. Frankly, sometimes I feel that about myself as well. I have decided to go for an Ironman two years from now (Summer of 2007). On July 17th, 2005 (just a week ago), I did a triathlon. The Friday before the race I started to look at the distance of an Ironman. From the look of things, Ironman is the most gruelling race I have ever seen. I feel like I am standing at the foot of a mountain. I don’t know if I can make it to the top. There is no guarantee. There is one thing I know for sure. I am going to give everything I go and everything that God has given me to reach the top. There is no other way.

The distance for an Ironman(IM) is 4 km of swiming, 180 km of cycling and 42 km of running. I did the biking distance last summer and have no problems. The running will be done in 3 months when I entered the Toronto marathon. The swimming, well gotta focus on that. But Cliff, don’t you have to do all of this together at once?  Yes, I do. But once I start to break them into smaller chunks, everything seems more manageable.  More importantly, I can see myself doing it.

So how are you going to train for this?

Step by step. That’s why I am giving myself two years. Technically I think I can do one next year. But if I do so, I will have to give up my time dedicated for Church and work. I figure two years should be enough time for me to build up my base training.

By the end of this year, I will finish a marathon and a triathlon. Next year I will go for a half Ironman (1/2 the distance). Then in 2007 I will continue training and go for the IM.

Just the idea of doing a marathon in October already gives me the creeps On one hand that is a lot of running. 42 km. Three to four hours of non-stop running. I look at my training schedule. I will be training 9-10 hr a week. I thought I can train less than a triathlon (6 hr a week). How wrong I am.

A few things I am going to change from my triathlon training is:

1) More running (obviously). Going to go less to the pool and bike :(.
2) Wake up early to train during weekdays so that I have more time afterwards.
3) Manage my time better so I can still have some sort of social life.

Speaking of social life, that is one matter of my life I know I will have less as I progress my training. Quite hard on my friends and myself too. Triathlon training is easy. The bike, the run, the swim, I don’t mind that. I always love to bike and swim anyways. There is something about going out for those long rides. When you are sweating, your legs are tired, every part of your body wants you to stop. However, there is a small part of you. Deep inside that keep telling you to keep ongoing. Just one more km. Just one more street. Just to the next light post. Somehow, you will finish the distance. Then you stop and set in awe of the ride you just went through.

The hardest part…

The hardest part of being a triathlete is telling your friends you can’t go out on Friday night because you have to train at 6 am on Sat morning. The hardest part of being a triathlete is your friends don’t understand how come you can’t go out to have dim sum with them because you are on a diet. The hardest part of being a triathlete is that the friendship strains and there are a lot of times you feel obligated to go out with your friends b/c you haven’t seen them for a long time.

So is it all rainbow and roses? I can say is no. There are sacrifices you have to make along the way. Am I ditching my friends? No. However, there are times when they don’t understand why you have to train and it becomes difficult.

What can I say? I can apologize for not coming out as often as before. I can apologize for not being able to do things the way I use to. But I will never (EVER) apologize for the diet plan I have. How it change my life and make me more healthy (no beer..woot 🙂 ). I will not apologize for the harsh training I put on myself to make me a stronger, more energetic and healthier person. I will not apologize for the ppl I help along the way by setting a better example (HUMBLE) and encouraging others to change for the better.

Lastly, I believe this is what God has put me on earth to do. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I will find out when I climb to the top of the mountain. All I know right now is to train and train hard. There is a long way to go and I will get there by taking one step at a time.

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