“At some point this sounded like a really good idea, but it was best summarized by my good friend who said ‘you should just practice corpse pose (savasana), because that’s how it's going to end' ”
What is IRONMAN?
IRONMAN is an extreme challenge for the supremely fit. The Ironman Triathlon consists of a 3.9-kilometer swim, a 180-kilometer bike ride and a 42.1-kilometer run. It's been said that just finishing is a victory! The idea for the Ironman began as a challenge among a group of Navy SEALs who debated which sport was more physically demanding, running or swimming. A participant must finish the entirety of the triathlon in under 17 hours to be considered complete.
James enjoys yoga, perhaps too much. He believes that if humans adopted “mindfulness”, the world would have a lot fewer problems. He practices yoga, indoor cycling and fitness at YYoga many times a week and has recently ramped up to multiple times per day as he trains for IRONMAN CANADA 2016! We caught up with James to get his thoughts on his outlandish proposal. Here’s what he had to say:
“Most athletes spend 6 months training for IRONMAN, 14-20 hours per week. From the start of my journey back in April I will have a grand total of 3 months to train only with YYoga in order to complete the race under the 17 hour cut-off time! Why? Because I want to test myself and I believe that in order to do this you have to engage an opponent where the odds are against you, and the outcome is unknown. There is some method to the madness however: I’m not trying to win IRONMAN, I’m just trying to complete IRONMAN in 17 hours.
My strategy is to manage my pace to the cutoff time for each sport. The heart rate required to maintain the ‘cutoff pace’ roughly matches the heart rate during an active yoga class… if I can manage my breath and keep my heart rate fast enough to stay ahead of the cutoff times but slow enough to endure 17 hours, then in theory… I’ll be able to thread the needle. However, by not training traditionally, I am inevitably inviting the body to feel immense discomfort, anxiety and be at high risk for injury; triggering the logical mind to take over and suggest rational ideas… like quitting!
This is where my yoga comes into play. I intend to apply the mindfulness training of acceptance. My goal is to accept all that is on race day and be able to stay calm under the extreme duress. Thank you YYoga for accepting this proposal and for supporting me through these 90 days of training. The theory is that the yoga training will at least prepare the body for the immense stress and the meditation will bring me ‘peace with the pain’ on race day.”
Follow James’ Journey!
James has set up his own blog and invites you to join him for a marathon of yoga classes at YYoga Downtown Flow on June 12th, where he’ll attempt to attend classes for 14 hours straight! His schedule can be found here!