Today is Monday September 6th – less than 3 months away from my second ironman in Cozumel, 3 days away from my 31st birthday and today is also 11 days after testing positive for Covid 19. Thankfully I was vaccinated prior to traveling to Europe so my symptoms were very minor but the timing is not ideal as I was just ramping up my Ironman training. For those of you that still don’t know what an Ironman is it is an ultra long distance triathlon including a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26. 2 mile run. You have only 17 hours to complete this race so you can’t take as long as you want and you have to compete with a sense of urgency. In May during my 1st Ironman I raced in Tulsa Oklahoma I finished in 16 hours and 18 minutes and trust me when I say I went as fast as I could. My Ironman journey has only been 12 months and counting at this point but it has been an integral part of my life since last August (2020) The training program that I have been following has helped sharpen my tools for success in many different areas of my life and it has up levelled my health, nutrition, time management skills and mental toughness each day and month that goes by.
“Massive goals require massive action”– Grant Cardone
When I first thought of doing an Ironman I was terrified. Completing even a marathon is an audacious goal and adding a 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride to that seemed ludicrous at the time. I have never been a runner or an endurance athlete at all – I am a golfer and I played tennis and running miles upon miles was NEVER something that I aspired to do but its not always about the action but about what you gain from performing said action that counts.
At first I just wanted to complete an Ironman to say that I did it. I had no plans on continuing to race Ironman but as my training became more intense as it got closer to the race I became hooked. I started to realize that the training regimen was bringing a lot more clarity to the other areas of my life that were important. The commitment to Ironman training is one that ends up affecting other areas of your life especially your diet.
I started to learn more about nutrition more specifically micros and macros. What type of food I was supposed to eat prior to a training session and what I was supposed to eat after a training session. What I was supposed to eat on my days off and the type of foods that affect my body differently so that I can train my best but also feel my best. I became in love with the process of cooking and the experience of eating.
The more time that goes on the more I realize how important Ironman really is to my life. Training for Ironman is the foundation for everything that I stand on and live for. It promotes health, mental toughness, travel, personal growth and self awareness. Ironman is the #1 priority in my life and sets the standard for how I spend the rest of my time during the day whether its visiting my grandma, spending time with my little brother, on the phone with my mom or coaching the hell out of my clients.
“Each day we are either getting better or getting worse, there is no in between”– Zach Rance
Making Ironman the “most important thing” and why:
1. “Everything else rises” – When I make my training the most important thing everything else seems to fit around it. My work, my diet, my yoga practice and meditation all come second to my training but because all of these things are so involved with my training they seem to rise in importance and the things that don’t actually matter become less important (watching the news, looking at the stock market, musing through instagram, and wasting time) because I promise you with Ironman training there is no time to waste.
2. “It pushes me mentally” – each training session is just as important as the last and as time goes on they don’t seem to get easier. With that being said because I’m able to push my limits and challenge myself and rise to that challenge each day it makes the mundane and tedious tasks during my day easier (staying focused during work, driving, making my bed and keeping my house tidy)
3. “Eat around my training sessions” because I know when and what time I’m doing a training session I have to plan my meals with a lot more intention. I have to plan ahead diligently what I will be eating and when and this provides a lot more discipline during my life in relation to my diet and nutrition. ‘
I have a ton more examples but I like to keep these blog posts short… if you have any questions about Ironman, health, time management skills, or any other topic I touched on here feel free to shoot me a DM on instagram (@zachrancey) or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org