Ironman Training

Hi! My name is Aaron Dowd and I’m training for an Ironman triathlon. If you’re curious about how this all got started, go read this post.

This is a journal of my journey. Newest posts at the top.


Week of July 8th, 2016 177 lbs

Woah, how did I completely miss updating in June? My bad. It was a crazy month. Training went well, although I had to skip one day because I wasn’t feeling well.

My boss and friend Sean McCabe is writing a book this month, so he recorded twice as many podcast episodes in June. Since I handle the editing for the shows on the seanwes network, I decided to edit them all at once instead of spreading them out over the month of July. I’m shooting my first video course this month, so I wanted to have more time to focus on that.

Which brings me to the real reason I’m writing this update; I’m going to put my training on hold until the end of August. It was a hard decision, but I need to focus on creating my course. I’m not going to quit exercising completely (I’ll still do an hour everyday), but I’m not going to progress to the next stage in training (2–3 hour bike rides and runs) until I have the course recorded.

I’ll check back in when I’m ready to move forward. Until then!


Week of May 27th, 2016 177 lbs

This week blew by quickly. Getting a little stronger in the pool. Still have a hard time with the freestyle stroke but it’s getting the tiniest bit easier.

I bought new gloves for bike riding and my first pair of padded biking shorts. I haven’t worn them on a ride yet because it’s raining this week as I’m riding this. It’s gonna be a little wierd for me but I’m starting to embrace being uncomfortable. That’s how progress gets made.

I thought I’d post a picture of a salad I make that I really love. This is spinich/kale/whatever greens with quinoa, cherry tomatoes, black olives, goat cheese, and greek dressing. You can get the ingredients at your local market and it is a delicious salad. Try it sometime.

My favorite salad and a great meal

Total workout time this week: 8.3 hours.

The Self Journals I buy come with these little goal calendars, so I hijacked this one to write down my workouts.

Week of May 16th, 2016 177 lbs

I bought swimming goggles this week and started doing freestyle swimming instead of breaststroke. The first day was rough; water kept getting in my nose and mouth when I tried to breathe between strokes and I was pushing myself too hard. The second day was a little better; I slowed down and tried to relax a little. I’m still not where I need to be but I’m getting more comfortable with it.

I did a long bike ride Saturaday (1 hour and 45 minutes) and felt fantastic afterwards. I didn’t get to do yoga or weight lifting this week like I wanted to, but I had a busy week (gave my first in-person talk at a maker space in Dallas so I spend a lot of my free time this week preparing the slides).

Total workout time this week: 8.5 hours.

I got this awesome book in the mail. Check it out.

Week of May 9th, 2016 177 lbs

Oooph. I ate too many carbs last weekend. Got back up to 179lbs after hitting 175 last week.

Woke up Tuesday morning feeling like shit. Tired, no energy. I had a hunch that staying up later than 10pm and eating too many carbs was slowing me down.

So I ate better, skipped the daily nap, and made sure I was in bed by 10pm Tuesday night. It’s 4:30am Wednesday morning and I feel WAY better. Just a reminder that diet and sleep really affect your productivity and happiness.


Week of May 2nd, 2016 175 lbs

First week of the training plan I got from Be Iron Fit. The most interesting thing about this plan is the emphasis on training for time instead of distance. The time I spend doing each workout (swimming, biking, running) will increase slightly each week to build my endurance slowly over 30 weeks.

I got a new bike this week; an older Trek 2300 road bike from Craigslist for $280. I went to my local bike shop and found a new Trek 1.2 that I really loved, but it would have been $950 after taxes and setup, and I’m not ready to drop that. Plus, I found out that I’ll need to buy something called a Tri Bike (kind of like a road bike, but with different handlebars and a riding position meant specifically for triathlons). So I figured it’d be better to go with a used road bike for now. It’s hella sweet.

Awwww yisss. I did end up switching out that seat though.

Workouts went great this week except for Sunday’s long run; I was supposed to run 45 minutes in zone 2 (which means keeping my heart rate around 140–150 beats per minute), but by the 30 minute mark, my right leg/hip was tight and running was getting uncomfortable. I ended up mostly walking the last 15 minutes, but I finished.


Week of April 25th, 2016 177 lbs

I’ve been running and riding my bike a lot in the past few months and seeing increases in speed and endurance. So far, the furthest I’ve ever gone on a bike is 21 miles and the furthest I’ve run is 7 miles. I’ll start posting times as I break old records.

I’ve been getting back into the pool this month as well, and that’s been fine. I’ve always been a strong swimmer (my mom says that I was a little fish as a child), so swimming will probably be my strongest section in the race. If I had to guess, running will be the hardest for me.

Finished a sprint-distance triathlon (.5 mile swim, 12.4 mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run) in 1 hour and 35 minutes. Feeling really good about this.


This all started in January 2016 when I decided to get back to 180lbs (a healthy weight for my height of 5'11, I was 195 lbs at the beginning of the year). I hit my goal three months early and decided to keep pushing. After hearing me talk about running and riding my bike, someone asked if I was training for a triathlon. I wasn’t, but it sounded cool so I said, “Sure, I’ll do an Ironman.” (I had no idea what that actually meant at the time.) And now it’s all this.

If you have any questions or tips or stories to share, leave em in the comments!