Top 7 Lessons from doing 7 Ironman Triathlons

I reached out to my athletes this week and asked them what type of blogs I should do for the 2015 season. (You too can fill out a survey!)I heard a lot of nutrition, triathlon training tips, Strength Training for Endurance Athletes and my experiences with racing for Ironman Triathlons and 70.3 Ironman. Nutrition and strength will be easy blogs but to talk about 7 Ironman Triathlons in one blog…how am I going to do that. Got it – One tip for each Ironman that I have done. This is what I came up with based on my experience:

1. Your First Ironman will ALWAYS be your favorite – Ironman Wisconsin -2002

  • Everything is SO NEW and so WONDERFUL heading into race day.
  • HOLY CRAP… I am doing an Ironman! You trained for it. You swam, bike and ran your heart out for a year of training.
  • You get the IM shirt, socks, hat, bag, etc. You get the finisher shirt, hat, socks, bag, vest, etc.
  • The people, the volunteers, the support on the race course were SO AWESOME.
  • Your family and friends were cheering you near and far and you cross that finish line and you hear, “Jennifer Fritzsching, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.”

2. Travel the World by doing an Ironman Triathlon – Ironman Brazil – 2004

  • You are doing an Ironman in a different country!
  • You still trained your heart out for another Ironman.
  • You are a bit tired heading into this one. You know what to expect.
  • Wait, you are doing an Ironman in another country. How do we ship the bikes? Luggage? You don’t speak the language. UGH!
  • You are in BRAZIL. The beautiful country. The amazing food. The ocean. The beach. You cross that finish line and you think you hear, “Jennifer Fritzsching, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.”

3. Racing a flat Ironman course is as hard as racing an Ironman hilly course. – Ironman Florida – 2004

  • What were you thinking, 2nd Ironman in one year…this one is flat. You will be fine. Think again.
  • Heading out for a 5:30 training ride, pulled over at 1 hour and started crying. Called my coach, turned around and went home.
  • You drive to Florida. It’s only 12 hours. You can load up the car with all your stuff and off you go.
  • Racing a flat course is much harder than racing a hilly course. You are in your aero bars for 90% of the time and there is no “free” spin going down hills.
  • You set an Ironman PR. It still hurts. You still cross that finish line and hear, “Jennifer Fritzsching, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.”

4. If you plan on doing this for a while, find a spouse, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend, who also does IM’s. – Ironman Western Australia -2005

  • Chris and I got married in April 2005 and we delayed our Honeymoon to Australia by doing an Ironman together AND travel the country after the IM.
  • We met AMAZING people in Australia, triathletes and locals. The support for triathletes was everywhere. It seemed the town of Busselton was out cheering us on.
  • We didn’t see any deer on the side of the road instead we saw Kangaroos while we were racing.
  • We swam in the Indian Ocean. We had to be prepared for anything as far as weather in Australia. Delayed the race due to weather (lighting and thunder). Windy and cool on bike. Hot as all get out on the run.
  • You were sick as a dog heading into the race. You still cross that finish line and heard, “Jennifer RULON, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.”

8 year Sabbatical from Ironman Triathlons and started lifting…continue, please…

5. Be Comfortable in your Clothing. – Ironman Florida – 2013

  • Utilize the race tents to change out of your clothes. BE COMFORTABLE! Wear a swimsuit if you want then change into a top and cycling shorts. Then change into running shorts.
  • If you are trying to qualify for Kona, don’t change. I was chafing SO BAD on my cycling shorts at FL, thank GOD; I had my running shorts in my T2 bag.
  • After an 8 year sabbatical from Ironman Triathlon training, it was good to be back. Long swims. Long bikes. Long runs. #Kona2015
  • Body doesn’t recover as well as it used to be…8 years ago.
  • You set an Ironman PR. It still hurts. You still cross that finish line and hear, “Jennifer Rulon, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.” 8 years old and 15 minutes faster!

6. Doing a marathon AFTER a 2.4-mile swim and 112 mile bike…it will hurt regardless. – Ironman Coeur d’Alene – 2014

  • Cooler racing temps coming from Texas are so much nicer. Race morning, a bit chilly.
  • Sometimes you need to tell yourself to #HTFU when you are racing. Freaked out in the swim.
  • Be mindful that the water may be cold but you will warm up quick out on the bike. Better to underdress than overdress.
  • A marathon on flats or on hills after you swam and bike will hurt regardless. It is easier to run up and down the hills. If you keep running, you PR, your Ironman Marathon time!
  • Your family and friends were cheering you near and far and you cross that finish line and you hear, “Jennifer Rulon, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.”

7. Write down your nutrition before the race and DO NOT CHANGE it unless absolutely necessary. – Ironman Florida – 2014

  • What were you thinking, 2nd Ironman in one year…this one is flat. You will be fine. Think again.
  • Everything was written out on paper for your food. Generation UCAN is set. Wait, let’s throw a bar in there…you get hungry sometimes.
  • Swim was canceled. Riptides were terrible. Wind gust up to 30 mph’s. You ate that bar on your bike, which you NEVER TRIED during racing. You get on the run. You dry heave. You throw up that bar. You were walking, crying, and hating life. Once again, you decided to #HTFU.
  • Your family and friends were cheering you near and far and you cross that finish line and you hear, “Jennifer Rulon, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.”

Each Ironman that I do, I learn about the race, I learn about myself and I realize what I have in my heart and in my mind. There are a lot of highs and lows in these races. But isn’t that life? I just choose to learn about life through the eyes of a triathlete…



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How to Get Rid of “Fair-Weather Fans?”

“On the night after the Detroit Lions played the Dallas Cowboys and all through the house…Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse…”IMG_5574

YES, I am a HUGE Detroit Lions fan. I have been since the day I was born. I remember going to Lions games with my family.  Lem Barney came over to our house and I even have a photo with him. I remember sitting on the couch every Sunday to watch the Lions. My Dad was either yelling or clapping at the TV and the players. Looking for a “W.”

Well, as you may know, the Detroit Lions did not get a “W” against Dallas Cowboys (Please no heckling ;)). I was bummed. My team season was over. Watching football for the next 4 weeks really has no meaning to me anymore. I don’t get to enjoy the pride that I have for my Detroit Lions! #defendtheden

As I head to bed, Sunday night, I saw so many negative comments from the Detroit Lions “Fans” on Twitter and Facebook. Here is one:

“Why? Why do you let me down year after year? You make it so hard to be a fan. After 23 yrs. you would think you could get at least one play off win, but noooooooooo!!!”

I started thinking…”Fair-Weather Fans (FWF). I don’t get it? Why are they all about the Lions when the are doing well and then start getting mad, annoyed by when the lose a Play-Off? Get over it! Are you all an athlete? Do you understand the pressure that athletes put on themselves, let alone these FWF doggy them?”

I asked my husband, “Do triathletes have “Fair-Weather Fans?”

For example, you place 5th in your age group. Hubby says, “Sorry, babe, I won’t come to another triathlon unless you place 1st in your age group.” You get 2nd in your age group and you PR’d, Mom said “Try harder next time. I want you to be in 1st.”  I realize that there are tough parents and coaches that are like that…but why do you have to have those people in your life?

I started thinking more during my run on Monday about the FWF, “If I have a group of AMAZING and supportive people in my “stadiums”, then I SHOULD NOT have any “Fair-Weather Fans.” Thought some more…”How did that happen? I MADE IT HAPPEN.” Now, it’s your turn:

“How to Get Rid of Your Fair-Weather Fans?”  

  1. Let Go of the Negative Friends: We have those friends: negative, sad, always down and “Oh, my life sucks.” Guess what, they decided to be in that position. They CHOOSE to be sad and negative. Maybe those people will tell you things you don’t agree with or what you believe in? But that energy is around you…sucking YOUR POSITIVE life out of you, so then in return, you can be: negative, sad, always down and “Oh, my life sucks.”  “Misery LOVES Company.”
  1. Let Go of the Negative Surroundings in your Life: Maybe it is your job? Home life? Don’t like your house or apartment? Easier said then done…right? BUT if you really want to get rid of those “Negative Things” in your life, it must be done. For example, after my 3rd and 4th miscarriages, I was not happy. Depressed. Felt like a failure and I started “hating” our house. What did I do? I totally re-arranged the house. Got rid of things that I did not like or that did not make me feel good. Moved my office into a bigger room in the house. Made my house a home and not feeling so cold and sad. I changed my surroundings. You can do the same!
  1. Oceans and Puddles. Who jumps over which?

oceans and puddles 2

  1. Figure out WHY you are keeping your “FWF” around: Are you making the decision to go out to dinner with them? Meeting them for coffee or drinks? Why? How is that making value in your life? Let them go. When you leave from the table, that “friend” may talk behind your back and not give a sh%& about you and your feelings. Move on!!! You don’t need someone trash talking you…you need that person to be cheering you on, during the good, the bad and the ugly days!
  1. Time to Start Believing in Yourself. Surround Yourself with Powerful, Amazing, Positive and Ready to KICK A$$ People: It is very simple task, you surround yourself with people, who will be ready to cheer you on as you are coming in the stands. The people that are cheering you on won’t kick you when you are down, won’t talk trash about you, or won’t turn their back when you need them the most. The people in your stands are the people who:
    • Love You.
    • Support you through thick and thin.
    • Get up early to make you coffee for your early morning swim.
    • Brings you a coffee after your early morning swim.
    • Sends you a card to say “Go Get Em'”
    • Sends you flowers to say “Good Luck!”

So ask yourself, “Do you have Fair-Weather Fans?” That decision is on you….

Sidenote: If you are a book reader, I highly suggest Bene Brown’s, “Daring Greatly.” She talks about having a group of positive people in your stadium cheering you on. I learned a lot with her book about letting go of those “puddle jumpers.” :)

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Top 5 Things I Learned Starting My Own Business…

Top 5 Things I learned...I just wanted to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for those that have been following me over the last two years. My entrepreneurship and journey into my business has been a wonderful one. Don’t get me wrong…it has had it’s ups and downs.

My journey into owning my own business has been the most rewarding 2nd career. After getting my Masters in Kinesiology, I realized I wanted to start my own business. I probably should have gotten the MBA instead. There is so much to learn about owning your own business.

I have always been a person to have goals, dreams and desires. I go out and chase them. That is all I know what to do. I left my “dream job” after 14 years in the marine mammal field to pursue my 2nd “dream job” as a triathlon and strength coach. I get to inspire lives of people on a daily, weekly and yearly basis. I learned a lot along the way and I would like to share this list with you!

For this holiday season, I wanted to say THANK YOU and give you my list of:

Top 5 Things I Learned Starting My Own Business…

  1. Go with your gut. It is ALWAYS right.
  2. Listen to your head and not your heart. As a business owner, your heart gets in the way. Look at the books. Take to your partner (husband) for help.
  3. Ask for help. Seek out people who ROCK the same world as you do. Thanks to Rick Martinez, Dai Manuel, and Jasper at B78 coaching for inspiration and your knowledge as a business owner!
  4. You wil FAIL! And it’s OK. As my entrepreneur friend, Michael Girdley says…”Fall Fast.”
  5. You will succeed, if you work your A$$ off. Maybe you won’t see the success right away? But you will see it. It is your passion. Your desire and your want to be who you want to be in your business. Stay with that!

Have a wonderful Christmas holiday season. Enjoy family time. Hug those close to you. Put the phone away. Put the computer away and enjoy a difference a different type of “presence.” #givepresence

Check out the “Top 5 Strength Exercise for Triathletes” that I put together for triathletes? Check it out!

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On the 12th Day of Pose Method Running Tips…

My Pose Coach gave to me… learn to enjoy the journey when running!12th day of pose

I threw a lot of information to you in the last 11 days about Pose Method Running. Remember, Rome was not build in one day and nor will perfecting your Pose Running. I took numerous clinics with Valerie Hunt in Austin, and then headed to a clinic with the man himself, Dr. Romanov. (If you ever get a chance to take a clinic from either of them…I highly recommend it!)

While I did throw you a lot, these would be my take away from #12daysofpose!

  1. Learn how to Relax. I realized there is a lot of thinking when it comes to Pose Method and how to do it properly. Out of your 30-minute run, concentrate on 5 minutes for the 1st run, 7 minutes for your 2nd run, etc. It will get to a point, where you don’t think about it at all!
  2. Learn how to Fall. Check out Usain Bolt and his falling. Follow fast people. What are they doing? Practice the fall, wherever you see a wall. In Pose and in Springiness Position. (See Day 4,5 and Day 9 of #12daysofpose)
  3. Be nice to your Achilles. No NOT try to do Pose Method Running, during a 13 mile run. Your Achilles will be screaming at you and you may never want to run again! (See Day 7 of #12daysofpose)
  4. Learn how to Pull. This is the fun phase of Pose…the flight phase! Learn how to get both feel off the ground not by pushing your legs and ground. Learn by pulling up feet from the ground.
  5. Practice. Practice. Enjoy going for a run again. Stop your watch. Do your drills. Then off you go. I would no suggest listening to music. Listen to your stride, your breathing, count your cadence (45+ rpm for: 30/each foot).
  6. Remember, you get to run. You get to improve. How would you not want that!

Thank you all for listening to me and I hope you were able to take something away from this series.

santas's 12 days of pose

Click HERE for the Top 5 Strength Exercises for Triathletes PDF and Jen Rulon’s Newsletter!

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On the 11th Day of Pose Method Running Tips…

11th day poseMy Pose Coach gave to me…foot strike comparison.

Still don’t believe us when we talk about running on our Forefoot and how much easier it is on the body? Let’s chat about the foot landing again but looking into a bit more detailed comparisons.

There are three ways people have been running: heel strike, midfoot strike and forefoot striking (Pose Method).

*Thanks to Dr. Romanov and “The Running Revolution” for this awesome chart!

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where do you strike your foot when you run?
  • What injuries are you dealing with?
  • Why are your injuries happening? Foot Striking? Shoes? Overtraining?

My suggestion is to have someone film you from the side. Get Coach’s Eye or Ubersence App and slow yourself down and see where you are striking. You may be reaching out to far and that will get you to heel strike. Or you may be forefoot striking but not falling enough.

Start educating yourself on your running and make some adjustments with all these tips, I gave you! You will NOT be disappointed!

Have an AWESOME Sunday and I will see you for the final day, Day #12!

Disclaimer: All of this information would NOT be possible if it was not for Dr. Romanov and his AMAZING team at Pose Method Running. Check out the new book, “The Running Revolution.”

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