IRONMAN

IRONMAN PhotoBy: Mary Marren

“People who think that an IRONMAN is unattainable – I tell them that it is possible. I can take anyone – a person that does not have an athletic bone in their body and make them into a triathlete if they’re willing to put in the time. I’m the perfect example. I am not a great athlete, just a hard worker.” – John Duke, IRONMAN Legend

Starting off in a small city of Hawaii in 1978, the IRONMAN has grown to become one of the most challenging and well-recognized triathlons there is. Founded by John Collin and his wife, the IRONMAN originally started as a challenge to decipher which athletes were the toughest; the swimmers, the bikers, or the runners.  Today, it has grown into an international event that is open to anyone willing to take part.

The IRONMAN consists of three parts. There is the 2.4 mile swim, the 112 mile bike ride, then the 26.2 mile run.  Seeing that written down on paper can be extremely intimidating, but the IRONMAN website not only has training tips to get you ready, as well as nutritional guidelines to keep you on track.  According the IRONMAN official website, 40% of the people who register for the IRONMAN are first time competitors. So if you’re someone who is hesitant to register because of fear of striking out, don’t be! You’re not alone out there.

Another excellent way to get prepared for the IRONMAN is to try an easier version of it. There is an IRONMAN called IRONMAN 70.3 that is the same events as the original IRONMAN but shorter. The swim is 1.2 miles, the bike ride is 56 miles, and the run is 13.1 miles.  This is still a challenging trek, but it may be the starter triathlon that you are looking for.

If both of those options still seem a bit overwhelming, you could also check out the indoor IRONMAN. Currently, there is an indoor IRONMAN being hosted right here at Whitewater in the William’s Center. All you have to do to register is fill out a short survey monkey.

Web logo

For the Warhawk Fitness Indoor IRONMAN, each person has from March 31st- April 30th to complete the 2 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and the 26 mile run. The only catch is that the whole event must be completed indoors in the William Center or University Fitness Center, thus being the Indoor IRONMAN. Even though the challenge is limited to inside, the intrinsic and external rewards are reason enough to sign up!

Each individual who completes the Indoor Ironman will receive a FREE long sleeve shirt that has the IRONMAN logo printed on it. If you want to work on a team, you have that option, too! You can sign up for the Indoor IRONMAN as a team of 3 people, and will each receive a Warhawk Fitness water bottle. It’s not too late to sign up! In fact, a lot of our participants finish in well under 30 days.

Social Media tshirt design

Besides the awesome prizes, you get to have the satisfaction of completing an IRONMAN. If at any point while reading this you have thought that maybe it would be fun to give the IRONMAN a try, do it! There’s no harm in trying, but never trying may be selling you short. You can find more info about the official IRONMAN event here or the Warhawk Fitness Indoor Ironman here.

Stay healthy, Stay Strong,
-Mary Marren

Indoor Ironman: Tips and Tricks

The Indoor Ironman is one of our most popular events of the year. Hundreds of participants sign up each year with the goal of getting there long sleeve T-shirt and talking home the glory of being a indoor ironman finisher. However, every year most of the participants drop out or don’t finish before the month is over. Some don’t like swimming, some don’t like running on treadmills, and others find the bikes to be boring.  However, there are ways around each of the events to make it easier on you the participants. These tips could be the difference between you finishing, or coming up just a little short.

The Swim:

Swimming is the event that usually knocks people out before they start. These don’t want to swim and aren’t very good at it. Others still attempt it but fins it quite difficult. There are ways, however to make it much easier. First, use fins and a kickboard. During the month, you are able to borrow fins and kickboards from the pool to use to assist you. This is a big help for those who don’t like to swim or don’t know how. Also, if you want an easier way to finish this leg, you can attend the Aqua group fitness class on Tuesday nights and earn yourself 10 laps! These two things can make possibly the hardest event much easier.

The Bike:

112 MILES?!? IS THAT A JOKE?!? Sadly no it is not. That large number seems like an impossible one when you first start completing your miles. Lots of people just sit on a stationary bike and crank out miles for what seems like forever. However, there is a way to get your miles, and have a little fun in the process. The group cycling classes that are taught in the University Fitness Center are a blast! Plus, the new bikes in the studio give you an exact readout of your miles. Being entertained and constantly changing positions can be a huge help while doing this one hour class.

The Run:

The run is difficult for a lot of people because treadmills can be boring. Staring at a wall for 5 hours as you crank out miles doesn’t appeal to a lot of people. So how can you do this event with hitting the treadmill? First, Elliptical and the new cross training machines also count towards your running miles. This can give you a little variety as you go through this leg. Also, the indoor track can also count towards your miles. That way you don’t have to feel like your running in place for a long time. These things are the best way to make the running leg a little less boring.

General Tip:

Don’t wait until the last second on your miles! Having to scramble and bike 40 miles and run 6 miles in one day is not the best way to complete this challenge….Trust me.. I have done it. Make a plan and stick to it as best you can. It will help you a lot in the long run

Overall Indoor Ironman is a blast and is a great way to stay motivated. If you plan it right and follow my little tips. You will be an official indoor ironman finisher!

Stay happy and healthy

Kevin Nelsen

NelsenKJ11@uww.edu

Just Keep Swimming!

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!  The cute song that Dori sings in “Finding Nemo” sounds delightful, but swimming continuously is not always so pleasant. Much like running, swimming can seem redundant and can make working out seem like a chore, and let’s be honest…most of us don’t do chores willingly.

I never took swimming lessons, or was part of a swim team. My mom had a better approach of teaching me to swim; throw her in and she’ll figure it out! It sounds awful, but it worked for me. I did not mind splashing around in the water, but it wasn’t until I started lifeguarding that I started taking swimming more seriously. For the last seven years it has been a standard for my employment, but I never really understood the health benefits or enjoyment that could be had with swimming.

My mom had a healthier approach to teaching me the fundamentals of running than when she taught me to swim. She started training me when I was in the fourth grade, and I quickly fell in love with the sport. I was a competitive runner all the way up to Fall 2011, when I finished an amazing season of Cross Country here at UW-Whitewater.  After my running career ended I soon realized I had to change things up to stay active (I needed a break from running). As a lifeguard at the Williams Center I was required to swim 3,000 meters every month, so I decided it would beneficial to take a swimming class—that way I could do something active, but also get my swimming requirement done.

I have to admit, I was not completely thrilled about the class. Like I mentioned before, sometimes swimming lap after lap is not the most attractive way to workout. However, I very quickly learned that swimming is not only a killer workout, but also is more fun than I gave it credit for.

Ever since taking this class my legs, back, arms, and core have gotten stronger. I have the class just twice a week for 50 minutes and it has already made a world of a difference. To make things even better, I was sincerely enjoying swimming laps and found myself looking forward to my Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

Let me share with you the secrets I discovered that have made swimming laps my new favorite workout: VARIETY!  Continuous swimming when you are just doing the conventional front crawl can make the idea of doing laps daunting, and un-inspiring. So, I highly encourage you to change it up and incorporate varies strokes while swimming. Here is a link to give you a better insight of some basic strokes: http://www.enjoy-swimming.com/swimming-strokes.html.

I try to change the stroke I’m doing quite often. For example, if I’m doing 100 meter intervals I will either do a different stroke for every interval, or every 50 meters. Using a kickboard is also a helpful method. Not only will it help you focus on toning your legs, but it adds in more of that variety I’ve been talking about. Feel free to use fins as well! You can get them from equipment check-out in the Williams Center with your student I.D. Fins can be very helpful when you are a beginner to swimming.

Now, I’m not saying that you should take a swim class, though I recommend it, but I’m encouraging you to give swimming a try. The pool in the Williams Center has different open swim hours throughout the day, so it is easy to find an hour or two that fits in with your schedule. Just one hour of swimming can burn almost 500 calories; more depending on the type of workout http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411721_last,00.html. If you use my variation method, and stick with a consistent schedule (even two days a week was effective for me) you will see the benefit and enjoyment that can come out of swimming for fitness.

 

Madeline Roznos

Warhawk Fitness PR Team