Thinking about becoming an Ironman? Committing to it isn't just about being fit enough to swim, bike, and run for 140.6 miles—it's also about adjusting your lifestyle so that you can successfully handle the build-up to race day.
So, before you fork over that registration fee, take this quiz to figure out if you're truly ready for an Ironman—or if your current lifestyle's better suited for a shorter race.
How many triathlons have you completed so far?
A. Dozens. I've actually lost track at this point.
B. Five or six. I started with a sprint, then worked my way up to Olympics.
C. None! I'm a newbie to triathlon, but I am totally stoked to try it.
What's your main motivation to go for an Ironman?
A. I've dabbled in endurance events like marathons and century rides, so it seems like a natural next step.
B. I've played the sherpa role enough times at my friend's races that I'm finally ready to try it myself.
C. I've watched the race on TV and just know I belong in Kona. Plus, it would be pretty sweet to get that M-Dot tattoo.
How much money are you willing to invest in your Ironman journey?
A. Whatever it takes. I'm ready to spare any expense to get to that finish line.
B. It depends. If the race requires travel but sounds amazing, or I find a pricey must-get piece of gear, I'm willing to plunk down some serious cash.
C. Not much. I'm cool with borrowing a bike and staying local for races to save a few bucks.
Are your friends and family on-board with your decision to train for an Ironman?
A. Of course. Most of them will be racing right along with me.
B. Most likely. I haven't outlined my exact plans, but they've been supportive so far in my smaller races.
C. Maybe? They have no clue about it, so there's no way to really know.
How hectic is your day-to-day schedule?
A. Busy, but I always manage to make time to workout, whether it's getting up at 5 a.m. to swim or running on my lunch hour.
B. Hectic enough, but I should have the flexibility to make things work.
C. Packed. With meetings, deadlines, and my kids' carpool, I barely have time to eat on some days.
Say that you're out for a bike ride when you run over a nail which does some serious damage to your tire. What's your reaction?
A. No big deal. I'm well-equipped to deal with mechanicals. I'll change the tube and be on my way.
B. I flag down a fellow biker and have him help me get the wheel situated.
C. Complete panic. Then I pull out my phone and have a friend or a family member pick me up.
What type of racing style most accurately describes you?
A. Front of the Packer. I love to win—and I've got plenty of age-group titles to show for it.
B. Even Steven. Slow and steady all the way. If the pace is right, I can go for miles and miles...and miles.
C. Red Liner. If I'm not exerting 110 percent at all times, it's just not worth it.