by Naomi Stewart

A Fit Girl's Guide To Becoming An Ironman...

 In 2015, I took it upon myself to complete my biggest challenge yet – A full distance IRONMAN triathlon. 140.6 miles with a 17-hour cut off time. 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle followed by a 26.2 mile marathon. No biggie.

7 months of training. 6am starts, my mind and body full of nerves, adrenalin and excitement. Did I do it? Of course I did…

Whether you’ve run a marathon and you’re thinking about the next big thing or want to run 5k, 10k or even a half marathon, I’ve compiled a list of fitness tips for first-time runners with added inspo just in case you’ve been lacking some lately!

1. Set goals 

Ask yourself what you wanna achieve, write it down and keep it close so you can keep going back to your goal. If you set out to run three miles, make sure you hit your target. And the following week…. smash that three miles into four. 

2. Eat well

This one’s a given really – eat crap, feel crap. Fuel your body with lots of water, veggies and protein. For endurance and long distance training I used energy gels and bars which can give quick boosts of energy without stitching.

3. Track your progress

I had an app for cycling and running I would take with me every time I went out. It aligns your goals and over time you can see vast improvements in your performance all in one place.

4. Be consistent

Exercise every day, even if it’s just for 10 minutes – your body and mind will thank you later. Set alarms and make time to train. There’s 24 hours in the day – you have time, you just don’t realise it. 

5. Never give up

I didn’t seek any assistance during my training and what I achieved on the day was knowledge that I’d read from websites, chat on triathlon forums from likewise people and at expos I attended. It was lonely, it was difficult and there are times when all I wanted to do was turn back, go home and give up. Keep reminding yourself why you started.

Trust me that feeling when you cross the line is PRICELESS.

Now go kick some ass. YOU CAN DO THIS.