Build Confidence with an Ironman Rescue

By Ingrid Loos Miller | Sept. 15, 2009, 1:45 p.m. (ET)
Confidence is crucial to Ironman success, but is hard to come by if you have never done an Ironman before. An Ironman resume forces you to recognize your accomplishments and will show how formidable you already are. The key is to go beyond past races and draw from all aspects of your life. 

No one else will see it, so write fearlessly and pour it on. Don’t limit yourself to one page. Use some of the headings below to get you started. Update it often and review it so you know what it says. This will get you into the habit of acknowledging your successes.

Education: Consider all you have learned from articles, books, classes and clinics.  

Endurance Experience: Note how long you have been training and racing. Describe adventures that required physical and mental endurance. Don’t forget those epic training sessions. 

Personal Success: Remember times when you overcame hardships and followed through on commitments. You may not have made a million dollars, but you did manage to find a job that suited you (hopefully) or convinced an important customer to buy your product. 

Athletic accomplishments count too, but not only PRs and podium finishes. Include skills you have developed. Give yourself credit for improved body composition or a lower Vo2 max. 

Personality Traits: Persistence, consistency, patience, focus, stubbornness, motivation, and self-control are some of the personality traits that translate into Ironman success. Look at your approach to solving problems. Consider how these traits form the foundation of your Ironman quest.

Support & Resources: Family support is crucial to your success. Training buddies and access to group workouts can make training more enjoyable. Be sure you have access to a coach or training advisor, training facilities and help when you need it.   

By the time you are finished with training, you will be primed for the challenge. Recognizing your accomplishments will assure that your race day jitters will come from respect for the distance, not from doubts about whether you belong there.  

Ingrid Loos Miller is a long time endurance athlete and Ironman. Her book, “Ironplanner: Iron-Distance Organizer for Triathletes”  is full of race preparation tools that go beyond training.


The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the practices of USA Triathlon. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.