As I prepare for my 4th Ironman, I find myself answering the questions of “why do you keep racing these distances?” and “how many Ironman races are you going to do?” over and over. I usually respond by describing the coast-to-coast community I’ve built around Ironman, the sense of pride and fulfillment in finishing a race, and the comfort in the structure of training. Then, I read an article about Ken Glah in the November/December issue of Inside Triathlon. Ken Glah has finished 29 Kona Ironman World Championships. How has he done this? What keeps him motivated, healthy and engaged in training and competing for nearly 30 years as both an age-grouper and a pro? Here are Ken’s 10 tips for returning to Ironman again and again.
Ken Glah’s Tips for Ironman Longevity
- Change your expectations to fit your training
- Be consistent in your training
- Make training fun and enjoy it
- Get bodywork (massages) to prevent injuries
- Take care of injuries when they happen
- Watch your diet and maintain a healthy weight
- Take a break each year for 4 to 6 weeks to recharge mentally and physically
- Find ways to include family by doing some training with them or basing races around places they would like to visit
- Be a triathlete for life, not a one-time “bucket list” Ironman
- Mix it up with some sprints and olympics
I really like tips 1, 3,5, and 7-10. I definitely need to consider getting more bodywork done this coming year. Which tips do you live by? Which ones do you struggle to follow? What would you add? I may now be inspired to qualify for Kona through the Legacy Program (12 consecutive Ironman finishes).