[Transcript] – The Official Ironman Insanity Race Report Podcast.

Affiliate Disclosure


Podcast from:  https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/fitness-podcasts/ben-greenfield-ironman-race-report/

[00:00] Introduction

[01:26] Why Ben And Brock Are In Kona, Hawaii

[02:32] How Ben Got A Last Minute Slot At Ironman Hawaii

[04:59] What Ben Has Been Up To Before Training

[07:37] The Mental Tactic Ben Made Use Of For The Race

[18:24] How Ben Ended Up Getting Offered A Bag Of Weed

[19:57] Why Ben Did Yoga During The Race

[25:53] The Takeaways From Ben’s Experience

[31:33.6] End of Podcast

Brock:  Ben, I think your foot is, well your toes are twitching.  What’s going on down there?

Ben:  My foot is twitching, yes.  We’re sitting here in the lobby, the hotel lobby of the King Kam Hotel right beside the Ironman Hawaii pier, and I’ve got an ACE bandage wrapped around my foot with the Marc Pro Electrical Stim going full blast on that foot.  After having hit…

Brock:  You’re going full blast.

Ben:  So far this morning my other foot, both my knees, and my Achilles.  So yeah, I’m healing myself up here with as much as I can.

Brock:  Live from the King Kam Hotel.

Ben:  That’s right.

Brock:  So why on Earth are we sitting in the lobby of the King Kam Hotel in lovely Kona, Hawaii?

Ben:  Alright.  So for those of you who didn’t know, I got talked into racing an Ironman yesterday.  And not just any Ironman, Ironman Hawaii World Championships, here in the blistering heat and wind of Kona, Hawaii.  And it was an interesting day because I just found out this fact two weeks ago, so I’ve had exactly 14 days to prepare to race an Ironman.

Brock:  I think it was actually 15.

Ben:  It may have been 15 days.  But basically, this is something people typically train a minimum of 6 months, and usually 12-18 months to do.

Brock:  So I’m gonna ask the question that I know a lot of people were asking and a lot of people were sort of up in arms about when you announced that you just magically got a slot, the slots that people fight other people, work towards people, it’s a struggle.  Even the pros are having a lot of trouble getting slots these days.

Ben:  People devote their lives to qualify for this race.

Brock:  Yeah.  So how were you able to actually just sort of be awarded or given this great opportunity?

Ben:  So Timex is the oldest running sponsor of Ironman.  Timex has been affiliated with, linked to, a friend of Ironman for decades, and I race for team Timex.  And what happens is that every year, Ironman gives Timex one slot to use for their choosing, and this is all news to me, I didn’t know any of this until they told me.  And so I actually, it wasn’t even a phone call, it was a text from the manager of Timex and he’s like, “Do you want to race Ironman this year?”  And I wrote back and I was like, “Well, that's great.  But that’s crazy first of all because I have not been doing Ironman training, and I’ve swam 500 meters, I’ve ridden my bike 12 miles, and I’ve run a total of 4 miles on actual pavement.  So I told him, naturally, “Yes.”

Brock:  Of course!

Ben:  And he caught me at that moment where I was kind of in Richard Branson mode, “Life is more fun when you say yes.”

Brock:  Absolutely.

Ben:  And so I said yes, and decided I’d deal with the consequences later.  Honestly, we can talk about race day, and what I did to prepare, and how it feels when you go out and do an Ironman when you’re a fit guy, I’m not a couch potato.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  But I’ve always wondered what would happen if just the average fit person was like, “Okay, I’m just gonna go and do an Ironman.”  How fast could you do it, what would the body feel like, what are some of the things you'd have to deal with, and what ultimately are some of the training methods you could use to get the body prepared for something like that.

Brock:  I don’t know if you remember, but last year when you were doing Ironman Canada, I actually had the opportunity to get a slot, that was about three weeks before the race, and I had been training.

Ben:  I forgot about that.

Brock:  I've been doing a lot of marathon training at the time 'cause I was getting ready for the New York City marathon, but I actually ended up turning down the offer because I was just like “No, this is going to destroy me.”

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  I mean the opportunity does come up for people, and I wasn’t as fit as you are right now, but I definitely had the running strength, it was more just sort of the fear.  So maybe now that you’ve done this, you can take the fear out of it for some other reasonable fit folks…

Ben:  Yeah.  For some of our listeners who want to go do an Ironman at the drop of the hat.  It can be done, it just hurts.

Ben:  I’ll tell you how it hurts if you’d like.

Brock:  Okay.  But maybe we should start with how have you been training for, say, the last 4-6 months?  What have you been up to?

Ben:  Oh, well what I’ve been up to is I’ve been racing Spartans.  I've been mud race or obstacle racing.

Brock:  So obstacle racing?

Ben:  Yeah.  I just raced Spartan World Championships two weeks ago.  It destroyed both my knees from crashing hard, literally sliding down the side of Mount Killington in Vermont on my knees.  I’ve been doing lots of bucket carries, chain drags, barbed wire crawls, lots of powerlifting.  Basically just beefing up.

Brock:  Powerlifting in the gym?

Ben:  I’ve been, I think we talked about it a couple of podcasts ago, I’ve got this new barbell with bumper plates in my gym.  But at the gym, clean and jerks, push press, deadlifts, squats.  Getting the body strong, getting it resilient, and really focusing on getting the joints kind of bulletproof for the type of rigors that Spartan racing throws at you.  So like I mentioned, I haven’t been in couch potato mode but I can tell you I've been riding my bike, I’ve been swimming.  And if there’s one thing that I’ve been doing, it’s running, but it’s been running on trails and woods.

Brock:  So none of those long death slogs that people do in preparation for these?

Ben:  No.  Well that’s what was interesting is I was out there and I’m like, “Wow,” and I was at about a mile to go, I’m running down Palani Road and I’m like, “I spent zero hours away from my family on the weekends, riding my bike.  I’ve spent a total of four miles pounding the pavements with a death march style slog outdoors and I have spent…”

Brock:  Four miles is hardly a death march.

Ben:  Yeah.  Zero amount of time staring at the black line at the bottom of the pool.  So it was actually kind of nice to be doing an Ironman without having done any of that.  Any of that family, career, hobby neglect that you end up doing when you're training for Ironman.

Brock:  Now you went to SEALFit, the SEALFit academy.  You did a week-long KOKORO Camp.

Ben:  Yup.

Brock:  And then what was it, the Hell Weekend?  Is that what they call it?

Ben:  Yeah.  So I did the Navy SEAL equivalent of Hell Week for civilians where we did lots of rucking, and beach marching, and drownproofing in the ocean, and all these things that were meant to 20 times what you mentally feel that you’re capable of doing.  And honestly, I’ll blame Commander Mark Divine at SEALFit for being partially responsible for me doing this race because it totally reinvented how I approach physical, rigorous activities.  Like this didn’t sound that hard compared to that.  Like exercising in Hawaii for 10, 15 hours, it seemed like nothing compared to days and days of sleep deprivation and torture from Navy SEALS down at California.

Brock:  Commander Divine calls it “Unbeatable Mind Training”.  You actually did a lot of mind training as well as physical training.

Ben:  Which I used all day long yesterday.  Breathe, positivity, visualization, mini-goals, boom.  Rinse, wash repeat.  Breathe, sitting out there before the swim, one big breath, visualize myself getting to that first turn-around boat, think positive thoughts, make that turn-around boat a mini-goal.  Once I get to that turn-around boat, again breathe, back to shore, visualize, positivity, mini-goals.  So I used that a lot.

Brock:  And you hear that a lot from coaches all the time that, we were actually talking about this over breakfast, when you have an athlete who hasn’t actually hit their physical capability yet, they haven’t actually realized what they’re really, really capable of, there’s often an untapped amount of fitness that’s just laying in wait.  So you’ve actually gotten to a point where you had that fitness, you understand that fitness, and you’re able to really tap into it from a mental aspect.

Ben:  Right.  The engine was there that I didn’t know would or would not be there, it turned out to be there.  Thankfully.  Or else I’d probably still be out on hobby, waiting for a ride back home.  But, yeah.  So that was part of it.  And then also just in the past two weeks, I’ve done a lot of my biohacks.  So I talked about this actually at Dave Asprey’s Buletproof Biohacking Conference.  In the time that I had allotted, I did lots of time in the sauna to build up the levels of heat shock proteins that I’m producing to be able to handle the heat.

Brock:  It was a sauna out there on the race course yesterday.

Ben:  It was very hot.  I did a lot of breath training, meaning resisted breath training so that I was able to get my heart rate up and increase cardiovascular capacity and nitric oxide production without actually stressing my joints.  In this case, I used one of my favorite tools, the Training Mask.  And by the way, we should talk about this thing.

Brock:  Oh, yeah.  We should definitely mention [0:09:17] ______ training mask.

Ben:  So Training Mask, because they knew I was using this thing for Kona so much, literally, my landscapers who are working on our fire pit in our backyard, 'cause I suck at making a fire pit so I’d hire that process out.

Brock:  Fair enough.

Ben:  I have been chopping wood.  I did not do the fire pit, though.  But I’ve been doing yoga in my underwear in the backyard wearing my training mask.

Brock:  So they think you’re a serial killer of some sort.  Or maybe a superhero.

Ben:  It even turned into a yoga session.

Brock:  Maybe they think you're a superhero.

Ben:  Yeah, they thought I was a superhero.  But literally, you feel like a superhero?  But it literally turned even a yoga session into something that was able to get my heart rate up without actually stressing my joints.  And I could do aqua jogging, and I can do cycling, I can do all these things where it automatically makes breathing much harder.  And so I was wearing, just because I used it so much in the past two weeks, I was wearing the training mask hat.  I dunno if you saw this, but during the run, had the Training Mask hat on and it really is, it sounds dumb, but it was a crucial piece of training material for me in the last two weeks just because I had to figure out a way to get cardiovascular stimulus without beating up my joints.  They’re easy to get.  I don’t remember how much they are, it’s like a drop in a bucket.  But they’re offering all of our listeners of this podcast a 25% discount if you go to TrainingMask.com and you just code Kona.  So go to TrainingMask.com and use code Kona, and they’re literally just shipping them out.

Brock:  I thought of your superhero name.  The Masked Yogi.

Ben:  The Masked Yogi.  That’s more inventive than Bane.  So yeah, I did that and again a lot of deep tissue work every single day on the foam roller, every single day with the lacrosse balls.

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  I even opened up my wallet and got a few massages, which I’m not a huge fan of doing, but I was like, “I just need to do everything I can.”  So I went in with really good fascial integrity.  It wasn’t so much training.  My initial plan was to do lots of short tabata sets and high intensity interval training, but I was so beat up from Spartan, I couldn’t even do that.  So I basically spent the last two weeks going into this thing just basically doing some heat, doing some breath training with the Training Mask, doing some yoga, deep tissue work, and massage.  That was the core of my training.

Brock:  Awesome.  So then you get to the start line yesterday, lining up with everybody, jumped into the water.

Ben:  Yes.  And I wanted every shred of energy possible.  I was the last person in the water.

Brock:  Yep.  I saw you just before the race started and looked like you had literally just rolled out of bed.  There were still pillow marks on Ben’s face, everybody.

Ben:  I slept 10 hours before the race.  I actually used Phenibut.  I did use the techniques you may have heard about in the Andy Murphy podcast that came right before this one that we’re recording right now, How To Get To Sleep The Night Before A Big Race.  I had my scene playing in my mind.

Brock:  So Phenibut, they haven’t tested your urine, have they?

Ben:  Uh, no.

Brock:  I guess they wouldn’t need to at this place.

Ben:  It’s just an inhibitory neurotransmitter.

Brock:  Oh, okay.  It’s not a cannabinoid?

Ben:  No, no, no, no, no.  It’s not a cannabinoid.  It’s a gamma-aminobutyric acid releaser.  It just makes you sleepy.  And it’s addictive and you don't want to use it a lot, but I took a little bit of that, just a tiny, tiny, like a pea-sized thimble-full.  You dissolve under your tongue for 60 to 90 seconds, then I just passed out.  When I woke up, I was like, “Crap, I need to drive to the race right now.”  So I literally took the fastest pre-race poo ever and made it down to the race, pumped up my tires, and wandered down into the ocean.

Brock:  Awesome.  And then started swimming.  It sounds like you were talking about the swim earlier that it you got on somebody’s feet and just had a nice leisurely swim.  Leisurely morning swim.

Ben:  So the swim, everybody was saying it was a slow swim.

Brock:  Yeah.  I haven’t compared it against last year, but it was…

Ben:  Yeah, everybody I talked to said it was slow.  Well, I swam 1:05.  ‘Cause usually down here, I’ll swim like, I’ll touch under an hour.  So I was fine with that.  I should say I hopped on feet, but all due respect, I hopped on nubs.  I actually was swimming, I didn’t realize until I started looking forward it wasn’t actual foot I was swimming behind, it was nubs.  I was swimming behind the guy with no feet.

Brock:  Oh, nice.

Ben:  Who was actually a really fast swimmer.

Brock:  Oh yeah.

Ben:  And eventually I passed him, and this is gonna sound super haughty, but I didn’t wanna come out of the water next to a challenged athlete just 'cause it felt weird.

Brock:  Sort of a weird a stigma in your own personal opinion.

Ben:  Yeah.  Which I know that’s my own weakness, my own perception, but I eventually passed him and went on to somebody else and sorta their hip kinda the whole time.

Brock:  That’s a nice place to be.  I like that.

Ben:  Yeah.  So I sat on their hip all the way out, and I looked back, and I looked at my watch at the boat, and I was a half hour in and I’m like, “Wow, I’m actually not swimming much slower than I have in previous years.”  And I was waiting for something to feel weird, shoulders, arms to feel fatigued, low back to become fatigued.  But honestly, and I think its just 'cause I’ve been lifting weights, as dumb as that sounds.

Brock:  And all the yoga too.  You probably have some nice looseness in your shoulders that people like me don’t generally have.

Ben:  That’s right.  My chaturanga poses turned out to help.  So the swim, honestly, cakewalk.  I wasn’t breathing hard at all.  I was looking at the fish at the bottom of the ocean and just chilling because I knew it was such a long day.  I didn’t work hard.  Probably on a scale of 1 to 10, I worked at maybe a 6, possibly a 7 at a few points, right when the gun first went off in the swim.

Brock:  That’s a decent swim for being quite relaxed.  And then it sounds like your relaxation sort of carried into T1.  I saw some comments floating around on Twitter and Facebook about, “What happened to Ben?  Did he have a tea party in T1?”

Ben:  Oh, no.  I totally did.  I put on Shammy cream, I put on arm coolers, I put on my compression sleeves, I put on a bunch of sunscreen, I got all cooled down, I took some electrolytes.  It was kind of weird 'cause I wasn’t in that rush to get on the podium, right?

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  So I was just like, “You know what?  I’m gonna make this thing so that I at least don’t have a bunch of blisters tomorrow.”  And I was also thinking ahead.  I’m racing back-to-back Spartan race in two weeks in Sacramento.

Brock:  Yeah.  This isn't the end of the season, as it'd normally be.

Ben:  I didn’t want blisters.  So that was basically the reason I spent so long in T1 was because I almost used an entire can of Hammer Seat Saver Cream everywhere.  I was shammied up to the hilt.  And then I had another ziplock of Shammy cream in the back of the bike that I put on multiple at times throughout the bike rides.

Brock:  So you had no blisters?

Ben:  The reason I had a, I don't know.  What was it?  Five minutes?

Brock:  It was like seven minutes.

Ben:  Oh, wow.  Yeah, I was in T1 just 'cause I was just like, “You know what?  I wanna come out of the backside of this thing and not be bleeding out my testicles the next day.”

Brock:  So then you got on the bike, and you were telling me over breakfast that the bike was really the only uncomfortable portion of the race.

Ben:  Okay, so my bike was set up for a sprint triathlon.

Brock:  Really aggressive position.

Ben:  Extremely aggressive aerodynamic position because I had no bike, and I shipped all my bike parts down to Timex to build.  They finished it Friday, the day before the race, and I tried it out and I said, “Well, this feels pretty aggressive.  You guys realize I have not been riding my bike.”  And they said, “Well, that’s all we got”.

Brock:  It's that or you’re riding a unicycle.

Ben:  Yeah.  So I rode in that position.  And after about 12 miles, my longest ride, it started to feel a little bit uncomfortable.  At about 30 miles, and I just kinda stuck with it and tried to block out the numbing, pinching sensation that was building in my low back.  After 30 miles, I literally could not turn over the pedals anymore because my back was so numb.  So I got off the bike at the aid station to stretch.  And when I got off the bike to stretch, it’s like my entire lower body collapsed.

Brock:  Oh.

Ben:  All my legs were numb and just turned off.  And I was like “Shit.”  At that point in the race, I was like, “Alright, I'm sticking out my thumb.  I’m going home.”  But then I figured “You know what?  I’m just gonna ride in a normal bike position, avoid the arrow bars at all and just ride that way.”  So I sat up, I did a lot of standing.  I had a very long bike.  I think the bike took me 6 hours and something.

Brock:  Yeah, I don’t remember the exact…

Ben:  My normal Ironman bike is usually a touch under 5 hours or right around 5 hours.

Brock:  The speed was definitely dropping off too as I was watching the tracker.

Ben:  Yeah.  My legs started to feel foreign at about mile 40, like I just couldn’t even feel the muscles at all.  I stopped about mile 45 and I was leaning up against this guy's truck, stretching it again.  I stopped five times to stretch on the bike.  And he’s like, “Hey.  I got a bong in the car.  You just wanna chill for a while?”

Ben:  And this was a volunteer.  And I'm like, “No.”  I'm like, “Honestly, I would but they test for that kinda stuff after the race.”

Brock:  You are from Washington State.

Ben:  His volunteer girlfriend comes around and she hands me a Ziploc bag full of weed.  And she’s like, “Just take this.  You’re being so nice.”  What happened was this other guy rode up and he was a complete ass.  He rode past them, they didn’t have the water bottle held out, and he was like, “You gotta hold the water bottle out!  Don’t you know what you’re doing?”.  Like he was a total ass.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  And so I turned to them and I'm like, “You guys, don’t let that worry you.  Thank you for everything you’re doing.  I know you’re out in the hot sun volunteering,” and then she hands me a bag of weed.

Ben:  I gave it back.  I was like “I don’t really feel comfortable having this on my bike during the race, so why don’t you keep it.  Find me after the race, maybe we can party then”.

Ben:  So I hand it back, and then I keep going, and finally I make it up to Hawi.  And Hawi was far, but I couldn’t ride in my arrow position into the wind.

Brock:  You've got some cleaning implements going past you.

Ben:  Yeah.  It looks like the cleaning lady is walking past.

Brock:  If you hear some rumbling in the background, it’s not us.

Ben:  The vacuum cleaner.  And so I couldn’t ride my arrow position all the way out to Hawi, which is just super windy.  But I’m riding, so I’m like…

Brock:  You're making forward progress.

Ben:  I’m like, “Mini goals.  I'm going to make it to Hawi.”  So I made it to Hawi, and if anybody watched the pre-race video I spent a ton of time making on YouTube, if you go to YouTube.com/bengreenfieldfitness, I filmed all the fancy stuff I’m using in my bags, like my entire race nutrition plan.  And I put X2 performance, and chia seeds, and honey, and all of my ancestral fuels, my special needs bag.  And I get up to special needs, they don’t have my bag.

Brock:  What?

Ben:  At all.  Completely gone.

Brock:  Oh.

Ben:  We spent 15 minutes up there looking for it.  So I basically started doing yoga 'cause I’m like, “Well, I’ll use this time while they look for my bag to get my back ready for the ride back”.  So I’m out there doing yoga, warrior one and warrior two, and by the side of the road, and people are riding by, and I get down on the ground and doing the cobra position.  And finally they’re like, “We don’t have your bag.”  So then they hand me three bags that the other rides had dropped that are just full of random crap like Clif bars, and chomps, and Powerbar gels, and I’m like, “Screw it.”  I’m like, “It's this or nothing.”  So I just took all this stuff, I shoved it into my shorts, into my spandex in my shorts, and I'm like, “I really hope my stomach doesn’t flip.”

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  So I rode back.  From that point on, the rest of the ride, I definitely had that nasty feeling in my gut 'cause I was eating all these fuels I really didn’t want to, but I survived.

Brock:  Well you do have a bit of an iron gut.

Ben:  Yeah.  I mean I freaking train for 7 days on MREs last month.  I can do that, I just don’t like the way it feels and I don’t like that gnawing at the back of my mind on how unhealthy it is.

Brock:  What’s MRE again?

Ben:  Meal replacement or meal ready-to-eat.  It's like the military…

Brock:  Oh, yeah.  The military stash stuff.

Ben:  But anyways, so as I’m riding back, again it’s mini-goals, get down from Hawi and get to Waikaloa, then get to the airport, then get to the energy lab, and then get back home.  And I just got slower and slower.  It’s hard to ride a bike that far.

Brock:  I was trying really hard to find you in T2 but the time kept changing and the winners of the race were getting closer and closer to the finish line.

Ben:  Yeah.  And I just kept telling myself, “I’m just riding my bike through Hawaii.”

Brock:  Just going for a ride.  Having a nice time.

Ben:  ‘Cause I couldn’t get into the arrow position.  It’s hard to feel like you’re racing when you can’t get into your fancy arrow position, right?  So you’re just sitting up and it just felt weird.  So I was back there with all the female age group athletes…

Brock:  That’s a nice place to be, not to sound too…

Ben:  The scenery was nice, the conversations were great.  But anyways, so I eventually made it back into town, I got off the bike, and I started to run through T2, and both my knees felt like they’d been smashed with sledgehammers.  Literally.

Brock:  I’m not surprised you’ve had tape on your knees for days now.  Every time I’ve seen you, Ben, at Compex booth or the NormaTec booth…

Ben:  Marc Pro, and acupuncture, and everything I could do to get this thing, to get these knees healed up.

Brock:  It's fine.  You had a decent run.

Ben:  Well I got into T2 and I’m like, “Dude, it’s over.”  I'm like, “I can’t run on these knees.  I will screw up my knees ‘til Christmas if I do this.”

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  So I went in to, I don’t know if you noticed my T2 time was really long too.

Brock:  At that point, I was not surprised.

Ben:  Yeah, it was wild.

Brock:  T1 I was like, “What is Ben doing by T2?”

Ben:  So I stretched, they put me on a massage table and I did a little bit of ART on my knees.

Brock:  Oh, really?  Nice.

Ben:  I rubbed them down, I put some ice on them, I dipped both my legs in an ice bucket, and then I just finally was like, “Okay, screw it.  I’m gonna at least run a mile and see if I can do this.”  So Hawaii is so weird 'cause you’re inside this tent, everybody’s in there changing, and you know as soon as you step out of the tent, it’s just like [makes sound wave noises], it's just heat pouring down on you.

Brock:  Oh, is the tent air-conditioned?

Ben:  No.  But compared to the outdoors, it feels like it.

Brock:  Oh, okay.

Ben:  So I finally step out of the tent and I’m like, “Here we go.”  So I ran the first mile, I didn’t feel that bad and I kept running.  I ran the second mile.  And then I thought, “Okay.  So what I can do to string these knees along is I’m just gonna stop every 3 miles and stretch them out.”

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  And I did that.  For 26 miles, I stopped every 3 miles, I stretched the knees out, my body, by that point, was already so chocked up on fructose and maltodextrin and everything that I kinda went in between my fat-based energy gels, my Hammer gel, peanut-butter…

Brock:  Oh.  So you had your…

Ben:  I have some of those in a little SPIbelt.  Watch the video if you wanna see how I transported those, it’s all at the YouTube channel.  And I just basically just strung it together.  Mini-goals, right?  Mini-goals. And I knew, if anything, compared to the bike, the run would at least feel more natural.  So I strung my way through it and it was weird being out there running but knowing that at this point it wasn’t like I was gonna podium or anything.  So I was able to just run, not that I ever planned on podiuming the whole race, but there was a little bit less pressure, right?  It was almost like I was racing, but not racing.  It was like I was more racing to do the race than I was to beat people, which was really weird.

Brock:  It’s probably been a long time since you did a race with that sort of mindset.

Ben:  I don’t know if I ever have.

Brock:  Really?

Ben:  I play to win.  And I knew that wouldn’t be the case for this race, that I'd just have to show up and do the race as more of an experiment to see if the body can handle it.  And frankly, if you relax on the run, you run at your pace, you stay inside the zone, I was very surprised.  I wore my Skora minimalist running shoes that had barely been on pavement at all, it was a marathon at the drop of the hat, after the 2.4 mile swim and the 112 mile bike, and it didn’t feel that bad.

Brock:  Hmm.

Ben:  And I think I ran the last 10 km in like 40 minutes, which for the end of a marathon is not, it felt good.  And I got to mile 20 and I had a ton of energy.  And what I knew then, I was like, “I should have pushed way harder on the bike.”  I wish I could've pushed harder on the bike.  As it was, I came in somewhere around 11 ½ hours.  I told my wife before I left, I'm like, “I bet I can do somewhere between 11 and 12 hours.”  And it was almost exactly what I figured I could do.

Brock:  I was guessing it was between 11 and 12 or DNF.

Ben:  Yeah.  Or DNF.

Brock:  It was either something was gonna blow up and that would be that.

Ben:  Yeah.  So it was a really interesting experience.  And I can tell people right now, if you wanna do an Ironman and you just wanna finish, you probably have to train a lot less than what you think you have to train if you’re fit.

Brock:  If you’re fit.  Big caveat there.

Ben:  ‘Cause remember, I’ve been doing weight training, and the breath training, and the heat acclimation, and all these things but I think that it’s possible to do pretty well in this race without neglecting your time.

Brock:  You also have an extraordinary amount of natural talent for these sports.  A lot of people, myself included, I don’t have the natural ability on the bike, that’s for sure.  My swimming always came quite well, quite naturally.  Running is okay.  But cycling, I’m just not strong at.  You’ve got that base, but you've also got that natural ability.  I think that plays into, from my perspective, I think that’s why this actually worked for you.

Ben:  Yeah.  You see, I always thought I sucked as an athlete, honestly.  Even when I was a tennis player, I had to work really hard at that.  When I was a bodybuilder, I had to work really hard at that.  My wife’s a natural sport, right?  She picks up any sport super fast, even if it’s just like dancing or whatever.  I’ve never thought that I was that coordinated.  What I have is perseverance and a big engine.  Like I’ve tested my lactate threshold in labs and I can operate at a very high percentage of my VO2Max in terms of my lactic threshold.  What that means I have the ability to suffer really well.  But I’m not a natural athlete, I think I just have the ability to suffer.  That is one thing, I am darn stubborn.  And I’ll stick with stubborn.

Brock:  I think that’s something that you can’t discount.  That’s a huge part of any sport, especially endurance sports.  Well actually not even especially.  Even in a 10km, the ability to suffer and to put yourself into that pain cave and stay there is huge.

Ben:  So some guy just walked past with the race day bracelet on, meaning he raced.  He’s got a heart rate monitor, he’s got his shoes, he’s got his entire race kit on, and he just got back from a workout.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  We’re what, 12 hours after the race now?

Brock:  Not even.  There are people crossing the finish line.  Its nuts, it's crazy.

Brock:  I saw a lot of people out there pounding it this morning and it's just like, to all you listeners out there, try to relax when you finish a race.  It’s okay to take some time off.

Ben: It’s okay to chill.

Brock:  I want smack some of these people.

Ben:  Yeah.  Although I did do yoga this morning.  And that actually helped me feel really good.

Brock:  Even just going for a light spin, I can see that.  That feels good.  But I’m talking about people pounding it.

Ben:  I’m going to do some clean and jerks later on.

Brock:  There you go.

Ben:  So anyways, I would say a few resources for you, first of all, if you want more on the nutrition side of things and some of the cool things I did from a nutritional standpoint, check out the video at YouTube.com/bengreenfieldfitness.  Can we put it in the show notes for this episode?  Do you think, Brock?  A link to that video?

Brock:  Oh, yeah.  We'll embed the video.  We don't have a lot to put in the show notes.

Ben:  Yeah, we’ll put it in there.  Brock and I are kind of sort of making this up on the fly from the hotel, so URL for today, what do you think?  Bengreenfieldfitness.com/Kona14?

Brock:  That sounds reasonable.

Ben:  Okay, so go to bengreenfieldfitness.com…

Brock:  Wait, did you use that for the premium?

Ben:  Actually, yeah.  Nevermind.  Okay.  Let’s go bengreenfieldfitness.com/ironman14.  bengreenfieldfitness.com/ironman14, and we’ll also put a link to the premium podcast.  I spoke at the Ironman Sports Medicine Conference down here, hour-long presentation on how to fuel your body in a more ancestral, less damaging, more healthy way for endurance sports.  We have that all available as well, and we’ll put a link to that in the show notes for you too.  So put it all there at bengreenfieldfitness.com/ironman14.  Use your Training Mask discount at TrainingMask.com.  Use code Kona to save 25%.  And I think now we can go drink, Brock.  Right?

Brock:  I’m getting a phone call from Andy Potts.  That’s why I’m checking my phone right now.  I have to go and interview somebody else, and then we start drinking.

Ben:  Brock is being phoned by the rich and the famous, so he’ll drink.  I’ll go do some more Marc Pro on my next limb.

Brock:  Yeah.  Your toes are still twitching.  Not as violently as they we were when we started this podcast.

Ben:  We’ll be back to our regular programming for you guys next week with one of our usual Q&A episodes that we know you all love and enjoy.

Brock:  You’ll be back in Spokane, I’ll be back, just outside of Spokane, I’ll be back in Toronto.  Everything will be back to normal.

Ben:  That’s right.

Brock:  Except we’ll be extremely tanned.

Ben:  Of course, yes.  Me with my race kit tan.

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  Just beautiful.  Alright you guys, thanks for listening in.  Leave any comments or questions that you have about anything we talked about below the post, and thank you for those of you who are on Facebook, and Twitter giving me all the support and the love for the race yesterday.

Brock:  Yeah.  That was awesome.

Ben:  It’s because of you guys that I even go out and guinea pig my body in anything like this, just so we can learn about things and so that you can benefit.  So I hope you did, and until next time this is Ben and Brock, signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com/ironman14.


Ben just raced the Ironman Hawaii World Championships with only 14 days of preparation. In this post-race podcast straight from the Big Island just hours after the race, you’ll find out: -How Ben prepared (including why he wasn’t able to stick to his original plan, and had to biohack instead)… -Why Ben did yoga during the actual race… -Ben’s top mental tactics for achieving things that seem like they should be impossible… -The crazy illegal drugs Ben was offered during the race… -What you can learn from Ben’s foray into extremely minimalist Ironman training, and whether you should try this too… Eliminate fatigue and unlock the secrets of low-carb success. Find out how in The Low Carb Athlete – 100% Free. Sign up now for instant access to the book! Email* I'm interested in…* YES, HOOK ME UP! This episode was brought to you by Training Mask. Visit TrainingMask.com and use code “GREEN1” to save 20% on this essential training tool that Ben uses to grow himself a third lung. During this episode, Ben and Brock also fill you in on the brand new “Defying Sports Nutrition Paradigms” episode that was just released inside the BenGreenfieldFitness Premium channel.

Read more at: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/fitness-podcasts/ben-greenfield-ironman-race-report/




Ben just raced the Ironman Hawaii World Championships with only 14 days of preparation.


In this post-race podcast straight from the Big Island just hours after the race, you’ll find out:


How Ben prepared (including why he wasn’t able to stick to his original plan, and had to biohack instead)…


Why Ben did yoga during the actual race…


Ben’s top mental tactics for achieving things that seem like they should be impossible…


The crazy illegal drugs Ben was offered during the race…


What you can learn from Ben’s foray into extremely minimalist Ironman training, and whether you should try this too…




This episode was brought to you by Training Mask. Visit TrainingMask.com and use code “GREEN1” to save 20% on this essential training tool that Ben uses to grow himself a third lung.


During this episode, Ben and Brock also fill you in on the brand new “Defying Sports Nutrition Paradigms” episode that was just released inside the BenGreenfieldFitness Premium channel.



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