Hello, hello, hello! I am here to bring you along on the adventure of training for an IronMan. Although, this time I will be doing it as a new mom. Yep, my little boy Freddy is 10 months old and I am starting my official training cycle for IronMan Indiana.

Many say I am crazy.

Others commend me for sticking to my passion.

And some want to know why anyone with an ounce of sanity would want to do an IronMan.

Well, maybe, just maybe, if you come along on this “journey” with me we will both find the answers.

Spoiler alert, I am crazy. Not a single one of my friends or family would argue that point. Especially not Mike.

For those of you who are new to our blog or to me – welcome! Allow me to re-introduce myself …

My name is Chellie. And I dislike the trend of limiting yourself to 3 different hobbies or characteristics that define you.


training for an ironman as a new momAlright, here is what we are looking at.

October 2nd, 2021 IronMan Indiana. The first year of this race and my first race since IronMan Chattanooga in 2019 that almost broke me.

For those that aren’t sure, an IronMan is a 2.4 mile open water swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run. You have a maximum of 17 hours to finish the race.

What’s a good time? Well that is subjective. Pro female athletes are in the high 8/9 hour mark. Athletes in my age group are all over the board. But, in my opinion getting an 11/12 hour race in is IMPRESSIVE for non-pros.


My first race (IM Wisconsin) was 13:06:57 with my girl Jo “Speedy” Sattersten (Wack). If it wasn’t for her I would have never discovered triathlons or IronMan races. She casually texted me while I was running for MS Run the US and told me “you could totally do an IronMan, what you are doing now is so impressive. Let’s do IMWI together!” A few short months later I signed-up and bought my first bike.

There are no words to explain the feeling I had crossing the finish line, at my first IM, holding the hand of the woman who inspired me to even think it was possible.

My second race (IM Chattanooga) was 14:02:38 with my current training partner Kaite Van Laanen. This race had one of the highest dropout rates on record for IM. The heat was unbelievably brutal. I tossed my cookies more than once on the bike, but ultimately my stubbornness got me to the finish line. When I think back to the race I often wonder if I would have finished had Katie not been on the course.

Knowing someone is on the course with you is powerful. Yes, there are a lot of people out there with you – racers, staff, volunteers. But I trained hours and hours and hours with Katie. Knowing she was in the same battle was the little spark of hope I relied on that day. I can vividly recall only caring where she was on the course when I passed Mike.

And the great news for me, is that I will not be training or racing alone this time. Kaite is back for her second IM! I hope for cooler temps and that same spark on race day.


training for an ironman as a new mom

I think we can all agree that the sheer physical demands of an IronMan race are incredible. And I think that is exactly why so many people beat themselves into the ground to get prepared for a race.

Well, I am going to shake things up a bit and do the opposite.

It is simply not realistic for me to train for 4-6 hours two, days a week. Plus, three to four additional training days of 2-3 hours for multiple months in a row.

And the good news, it isn’t actually necessary. But that is a whole topic in itself that I can’t get into right now. You’ll have to join me for this wild ride. I promise I will cover this misconception.

What I will say is that training (for anything) is supposed to elicit a physical adaptation that will allow you to perform at a necessary level. No one said that in order to find that physical adaptation you need to give up your life.

UPDATE: Read my post How to Use Interval Training for A Successful IronMan Run.

Side note – some people just love the IM lifestyle. They live in the pool, on their bikes and in their running shoes. Good for them!

That’s not me. I live for the challenge that an IM presents, the feeling of accomplishment, the pushing myself to be better. I am not coming at those people who choose to train long hours or live the IM lifestyle. But I AM saying there is another way.

As of right now I have June and July mapped out with 3 days of interval and strength training. One for running, biking and swimming. I have a long run (which isn’t always long), an open water swim (if the weather and babysitter cooperate) and a brick (bike to run) each week. That is 6 training events that I will fit into 5 days and take two days of rest.

I’m sure that still sounds like a lot.

My two IMs I trained for an average of 17 hours a week. With this training program I hope to cut that down to 65% or around an 11 hour average.

I would not be surprised, if you have done an IM before, to find you’re rolling on the floor laughing at me or struggling to pick your jaw up off the floor.

The good news (for me) is that my plan is all built on science. Believe me when I say that it is not written ANYWHERE that you need to do almost an entire IronMan in one day or weekend in order to adequately prepare PHYSICALLY for an IronMan race.

Training like that may help you mentally, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.

UPDATE: Read my post IronMan Strength Training for the Swim.


Full disclosure … I spent the  month of April trying to decide if I should go for this race. If it was going to be good for anyone but me. Would I be able to give enough to my marriage, my son, my career, my friends/family …

I wouldn’t say I was filled with doubt. But I had to take the time to seriously evaluate my life, the challenge and formulate a plan.

By the end of April I signed-up for the race and spent the month of May training and trying to decide how I wanted to share my experience.  Why? Because I wanted other women (and new parents) to know that there was another way.


Follow along here as I share my experience from week-to-week. I will give you an inside look at my training plan, measurable stats, nutrition, hacks and more.

UPDATE: Read about some of my mental training in these posts How To Have Discipline for An IronMan Race and Mental Challenges of Training for An IronMan as a Mom.

Find me on Instagram @chelliedg and on our business page @purefitnesswi where I will share more of a day-to-day to experience.

training for an ironman as a new mom



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