“The Kona Diaries” Day 3, Part 1 – An Interview With Ben Greenfield About How It Feels To Do Ironman Hawaii

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Welcome to Day 3 of the Kona Diaries, in which you’re going to get a stark, honest and open look into the life of one of America’s top fitness experts – and find out what I personally do to design my daily routine for optimum health, get my body into the best shape ever, and prepare my mind to enter the pain cave.

Yesterday, my first day in Kona was spent grocery shopping, napping off the long day of travel, setting up the bike, and spending lots of time with the kids at the beach and in the pool. If you're curious about the type of food items I grab at the grocery store for eating in Kona, you should watch “How To Shop For Healthy Groceries” and “How To Make A Kona Triathlon Wrap”.

Today, the “official” race week began, with Tuesday kicking off the kid's Dip-N-Dash, Parade of Nations, All'i Drive and all the triathlon and fitness folks rolling into Kailua-Kona. In the video below, in which I'm interviewed by Dave Erickson of SwimBikeRunVideos.com, I share a few of my own personal thoughts and expectations for the race.

In this next video, which I'll release this afternoon as soon as it finishes uploading, you'll get an inside sneak peek at more race week festivities, including a ride up and down Ali'i Drive, getting my knee taped up, and capturing the wild, rolling waters of Hawaii.If you have questions about any of this stuff, or certain topics you'd like to see covered in videos or posts over the next week, simply leave your comments below.Coming tomorrow: “Kona Diaries” Day 4 – Dig-Me Beach, The Latest Fitness & Triathlon Tools & How To Register For A Triathlon.

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21 thoughts on ““The Kona Diaries” Day 3, Part 1 – An Interview With Ben Greenfield About How It Feels To Do Ironman Hawaii

  1. Martin says:

    Dude did you see Normann Stadler at 2m55sec in the video walk in the shop Sweet

    1. Ya, team Commerzbank hangs out there all day.

  2. feerlessfood says:

    I'm liking the confidence bro!

  3. Tim Metz says:

    Wow, your fourth year? Ben, I did not know that about you! Q: Is the main focus of your nutritional plan leading into Ironman Kona more
    about creating a strong stomach to be able to handle anything that's out there? Q: Did you eat the same way the first year you
    did the race as now?

    Thanks for diary, it's good to hear the details about the race.

    Tim M.

    1. Tim, in my early years of triathlon I trained my stomach to handle food, and now I focus more on metabolic efficiency and fat loss. I will be revealing my full nutrition plan and race strategy on Friday's post.

  4. Paula says:

    How do you make the steps forward in training? Do you just believe that the years buidling up on each other is enough to get faster every year?

    I hope the week is wonderful for you and your family! Good Luck with the race as well!!

    1. A combination of eliminating small mistakes that add up (through repetitive racing) and also building a bigger and bigger engine each year as I grow fitness on top of the previous year's training. I never really take much of an "rest" off-season, so that helps.

  5. J. says:


    When you train for Ironman Kona, do you track and analyze your swim, bike and run data?
    What is your training like this week leading into the race?

    Good luck!

    1. All my power data will be available on TrainingPeaks.com after the race. During my actually training, I rarely analyze my data. I do quite a bit based on feel because my training is haphazard, unstructured, and nonconducive to analysis, based on it's short and random nature. This is not how I coach my athletes, but how my own sport must be structured so I can spend time with my family and have time to work. If I ever decided to go pro or get much faster, that would need to change.

  6. Vivian Stancil says:


    We will be cheering you on!

    go, go, go!
    Vivian S.

  7. Dennis says:

    does the rest of your family eat as healthy as you do? how do get your kids to eat vegetable wraps when travel? this sounds impossible to do!
    my family enjoys your podcasts and your kona dairy day 3 been interesting.
    good luck racing!

    1. Yes, this is our natural way of eating, Dennis! We teach all the cooking methods we use, what healthy meals we serve our kids, etc., inside the Inner Circle, at https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle

  8. Mendi Kassler says:

    I have always want to go and take my family to the IM race in Kona. Is there a guidebook which tells you about all the events taking place during the week, like the kids race?

    1. Yes. It is called the Athlete's Guide. As a matter of fact, you could google 2011 Ironman Hawaii Athlete's Guide and find it in .pdf format…

  9. Larry says:

    Do you look to beat anyone in your age group when at the World Championships or it is more about racing against the clock with you?

    I liked the veggie wrap. What type of salad dressing and it was low-fat?
    Isn't pineapple considered a unhealthy fruit?

    1. Here it is about just racing and having fun. I'm not fast enough to podium in my age grouper (I'd need to be around 8:50 to do that). Why on earth would pineapple be unhealthy?

  10. suzi says:

    Looks like too much fun! I don't know how you stand taking your in-laws with you, you do have a strong heart! Never, in a life with me! (lol)

    Love the videos. Thanks Ben!

  11. Daniel says:

    Ben, you have raced at Kona four times. Do you set a goal for yourself every time to go? What is it this year for you.

    1. My goal is to have fun and see what happens when the smoke clears. That being said, I think I'll be something like 9:40 this year.

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