“I Don’t Want To Do 50 Ironmans On My Own” – How To Run 5k With The Iron Cowboy
Last weekend James Lawrence a.k.a. The Iron Cowboy began a truly epic adventure. Even Ultra-Athlete Rich Roll, known for stretching the limits of what the mind and body can accomplish, has said that this verges on the impossible.
James Lawrence is already the record holder for most 70.3 half Ironmans accomplished in a calendar year (30), as well as most Ironmans accomplished in a calendar year (also 30). This year, the plan is to do 50 full-distance Ironmans in 50 days in 50 states. Watch this quick video to get an overview of the project or skip below to find out more about what’s required to tackle huge goals like this one, how to become and ultra-endurance athlete with no pedigree and no huge financial backing, and why it’s important to be a B+ average.
How It All Started
James’ experience goes to show that you do not have to have a pedigree as a runner, swimmer or cyclist to tackle long-distance triathlons. In 2005, he ran his first 4 mile fun run, and was passed by women pushing baby strollers and chatting comfortably. His wife then signed him up to his first full marathon and even though he felt awful after he finished, he refused to let that experience define him. Rather than avoiding discomfort, he faced his head-on.
Why Is He Doing This?
As an avid proponent of whole foods, he’s doing all of this to raise awareness to childhood obestiy.
“I am doing this as a grasroots effort to let people know there is a massive epidemic in this country. We are obese, it’s a problem. And we need to make some serious changes in our lives. We need to change the way we eat, we need to change our activity levels, and we need to change our lifestyles. We really need to revert back to home-cooked meals, and family time and a lifestyle change. Change is really hard, but hard things come with incredible rewards.”
What’s Required to Tackle Huge Goals
The most important thing you can do when tackling a huge goal is to make the first step. You don’t have to have everything figured out beforehand, or even make a plan that is fully and 100% formed.
If you trust in the journey you believe you are supposed to take, purpose will align with faith and the universe will deliver. James said that he knew that the 50/50/50 challenge was a journey he is supposed to take, even though in the beginning he did not know how it was supposed to happen.
How Is James Going To Do it?
In order to accomplish a huge goal you have set for yourself, you need to break it down into bite-sized pieces. This is how James will approach the day-to-day of 50/50/50:
“Every morning I will think: today’s goal is to swim. And after that the goal is to do the bike. And after that the goal is to do the first mile of the run. And hopefully I’ll look back and I’ll have done 30 Ironman and then at some point I’ll look back and have done all 50”
How Can YOU Do Something Like This?
Often, the idea of what lies ahead of us is more overwhelming rather than the actual tangible task that has to be done that day. James’ advice to long-distance athletes is to forget about the big project during training and instead focus on today’s workout. Focus on what’s immediately in front of you. If you’ve done today’s workout, then your goal for tomorrow is tomorrow’s workout. And by the end of the week, you’ve done all your workouts.
This way, if you’ve set up your roadmap properly, by the time you get to the starting line, you are ready, and it should be no surprise that you accomplish the challenge you set for yourself. Just make sure to plan your workouts so that every step along the way is achievable, and ramp up your volume incrementally so you wont ever have to make a quantum leap that’s outside of your boundaries.
What Are The Most Important Aspects About Training?
Consistence and persistence. These are characteristics that can move mountains. You can’t do something wrong for 20 years, and then expect to be better the next day. If you can change one thing, then you need to focus on what you eat. You have to start with you diet, and once you have brought that to what is healthy for you, you can start to add exercise.
Even tough people view being an ultra athlete as extreme, it is actually a very balanced life. Everything is about perception, and you should not allow other people’s perception to affect your reality.
So how can you be part of this epic journey? James has specifically said that he does not want to do the 50 Ironmans by himself, and encourages anyone to get out there and swim, bike or run a mile, 5k or a whole distance with him. Just head on over to check out his calendar, where you can find the exact locations where James will be swimming, biking and running on any given day. So get out there, join the Iron Cowboy and support his amazing adventure!
He specifically wants to encourage people to show up and run the last 5k of every marathon with him, and you can sign up for that here.
For a full digital connect, you can also follow him everyday via livestream or watch his past days videos on his youtube channel. And in case that’s not enough for you, his doctor will also be posting daily updates on James’ physical state and performance.
Image: ©Iron Cowboy