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Training Advice From a Five-Time Iron(wo)man

by Meghann on July 31, 2012

If you were to hold my hand out right now, I’m pretty sure you couldn’t get it stop shaking. Healthy Living Summit is a little over two weeks away and I’m currently running high on adrenaline and anxiety. We’re in the home stretch now, which is AWESOME because it’s almost here and I can’t wait to share everything we’ve been working so hard on the past few months, but – HOLY COW! – there’s still a lot to get done.

Luckily I have an awesome team this year who are working just as hard to put all of this together. We’re down to the nitty gritty – finalizing cocktail party surprises (photobooth? what? did I just say that?), ordering name tags, and mysteriously requesting everyone’s shoe sizes at the last minute (that was a fun one to track down). When it’s all done it will be worth it. Until then I’m biting my nails and reminding myself “it will all get done. it will all get done.”

I had to gobble up lunch quickly this afternoon between conference calls.

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Pretty much yesterday’s salad between bread. Tomato, avocado, goat cheese, hummus, and some balsamic vinegar. yum.

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Side of blue chips and salsa.

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I updated the Wedding Page! Click over to see my four “somethings.”

Interview with Brooks ID Member Jennifer Pinto

Earlier this week I had the chance to talk with Brooks ID Member, Jennifer Pinto. Brooks I.D. stands for Inspire Daily. These two simple words guide the principles of the program. Brooks I.D. is made up of over 800 members who are active in their running communities and share a passion for the Brooks brand. They are runners who are winners in their own right: Winning their age divisions, accomplishing their personal goals, pushing their own limits, and, by extension, encouraging others to do the same.

The cool part about the program is that it’s not just elite runners – this program is made up of runners of all shapes and sizes who are out there inspiring others.

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Jennifer, of course, embodies all of those things. She started her running career specializing in the 5K and 10 distances at Jacksonville University, before jumping to the world of triathlons in 2005. Admitting she was the last one out of the water for her first triathlon (been there, done that), she has since gone on to compete in FIVE full Ironmans and fourteen Half-Ironmans, including three Kona berths. I’d say that’s impressive.

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I had a chance to ask for her advice on training as I dream of one day attempting my own Ironman finish, and this is what she had to say:

First of all, FIVE full Ironman finishes? Congrats!!!

Thanks it has actually only been 4 finishes and one DNF (I got pulled out of IMTX last year for heat exhaustion at mile 21 of the run)

I’m training for my second half Ironman, with the goal of completing my first full in 2013. What scares me the most is the time commitment required to train for the full. How many hours would you say you spend training each week, and how do you fit it all in?

There are a bunch of ways to train for an Ironman. I would recommend you reach out to a company called Endurance Nation. They create programs around the working family.

For me, my job has me traveling all over the world so it makes it a little harder to train consistently. I like to put in 20 hours a week, but it depends on travel and how my body is handling the load. The biggest thing to fitting it all in is planning. I look at what my coach has me doing for the week and I fit it around my work schedule or any important family obligations.

I am lucky to have an understanding and supportive husband. He does some of my training with me just so he can spend time with me!

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In your opinion, which of the three sports take the most work to train for?

I hate swimming! So I would say that takes the most “work”. If I ever have a kid I am going to start them swimming early because it is so hard to learn the skills later in life.

Bike takes the most time, so that’s the hardest part to fit into a busy schedule.

Running is my favorite so I am always up and ready for a run.

What’s your favorite training workout?

This is a hard one because every workout has a specific goal and I understand what I am working for.

Swimming – I would 20 x 25 pull followed 200 swim

Bike – 5 minute hard/ 5 minutes easy X number of repeats is really the bread and butter workout for getting stronger

Run- we do what’s called an endurance run where we do 3- 5 mile tempo effort within a 10 mile plus run.

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What is your can’t-live-without training gear?

My must-have gear includes: my Brooks Ghost, my Timex Run trainer GPS watch, and my Quintanna Roo TT bike

What are you favorite shoes to run in?

training run – Brooks Ghost,

hard workout – Brooks Launches

Racing – ST5

Any tips for those of us with aspiration to complete a full Ironman one day?

Make sure your family is behind you, you can’t do this without their support (and having them at the finish line makes everything worth it).

Take each training day one day at time, don’t ever look at a whole week. I tried to think about what I have to do today and focus on getting that in.

Lastly, listen to your body. This is supposed to be fun, so enjoy the process!

Thank you, Jenn!

She makes it sound easy, doesn’t she?

Honestly, the closer I get to my next half ironman, the less afraid I get of it. One race at a time. :)

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama July 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Photobooth @ cocktail hour for HLS? Woohoo! That’s going to be fun! :)

I love stories like Jenn’s! So much heart and determination.

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2 Miranda @ Biting Life July 31, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I can’t imagine trying to get ready for HLS, plan a wedding, AND train for races all at the same time. You must be run ragged, girl!

Wow, her story is amazing! I can’t believe she finished (or almost finished) 5 full Ironmans. What a great role model to have on your blog :)

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3 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats July 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Ahhh I am SO EXCITED for HLS!!! Thank you for all the hard work you put into it! It will be my first this year and I’m sure it will be an amazing experience!

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4 Katy (The Singing Runner) July 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Woo hoo! Awesome to see that she is a fellow Dolphin from my alma mater! Go JU!

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5 Dana July 31, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I work for Endurance Nation and know it has helped TONS of people, of all sorts of athletic ability finish half and full Ironman races literally around the world.
If you want some more info go to: http://www.endurancenation.us/

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6 Christina July 31, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Why title this “Five-Time Iron(wo)man” if she’s only completed four Ironmans?

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7 Meghann July 31, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Because, in my eyes, she’s come close enough to 5 to claim it as her own. :)

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8 Candice July 31, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Love this post! Also, wishing I could go to the Healthy Living Summit, especially since it is in MY city! Too much going on that weekend :( boo!

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9 Annette @FitnessPerks July 31, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Okay this is SOOO cool. LOVE it. I am about to complete a Half IM in August–and this helped a lot :)

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10 Laura July 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Wow to all your hard work you put into hls! Out of the original founding members, are you the only one that still plans it? Who is on your team? Good luck in the homestretch!! I know this is when it gets crazy!!!

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11 Meghann August 1, 2012 at 10:27 am

I’m the only one who is still actively planning it out of the original 5. One stopped blogging, two had babies this summer, and the last is very busy. I’ve partnered with HealthyLivingBlogs.com for this year’s event.

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12 Laura August 1, 2012 at 10:57 am

That’s kind of sad to hear, but glad you’ve kept the tradition alive! I loved reading about it years ago..

but i’m sorry, i’m confused…. weren’t the “originals” jenna webber {she still actively blogs and is an author!}, i assume you mean caitlin had a baby, kath is HAVING a baby, and i guess tina is too busy?

anyway, glad you’re still doing it.. do they still attend and support you in keeping the tradition alive?

kudos to you!

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13 Meghann August 1, 2012 at 11:08 am

Yes, Jenna bowed out after the first summit, Caitlin had a baby, Kath is having one (any day now!), Heather stopped blogging last Fall, and Tina is very busy. Tina will be there, and the others are still very supportive of the summit and have been a huge help bouncing ideas off during the process. We’re still a close knit of friends who email each other and gchat pretty regularly.

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14 Laura @ sweatingforit July 31, 2012 at 5:53 pm

This was a very cool interview. I loved hearing that the swim was the most work for Jennifer because it’s definitely the most work for me!

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15 Tara July 31, 2012 at 7:16 pm

This is a cool interview, but there are SO many typos in her answers. It distracts from what she says and I had a hard time getting through it.

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16 Cait's Plate July 31, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Wow – good for Jenn! That’s some dedication and hard work right there!

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17 rae July 31, 2012 at 9:07 pm

You can also get a decent plan from trigeek.com….got my 2 ironmen plans that way.

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18 Jessica @ New Girl, New City July 31, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Each year the HLS comes and goes and I STILL haven’t been! Next year is my year!

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19 Allison @ Running Through Red Lights July 31, 2012 at 11:13 pm

After watching my husband complete his first sprint tri this summer, two very good friends complete half IMs, and reading this post, I’m feeling incredibly inspired to start working toward a triathlon next summer! The thought of accomplishing three physically and mentally demanding events in one day is really intimidating, but the thought of finishing far outweighs the negatives at this point!

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20 Meghann August 1, 2012 at 10:35 am

You can do it!!! It’s hard work, but once you cross that finish line and accomplish your goals, it makes everything worth it. Nothing beats that feeling!

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21 Katie August 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Great interview! I love her advice… A full IM in 2013? That would be AMAZING!

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