My Learnings from my Ironman training for Business

Klaus-M. Schremser
Jun 26, 2015 · 6 min read
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I’m doing triathlon for almost 12 years now and there are some learnings for my entrepreneurial existence which I wanna share with you. Five months from now I’m turning 40 and so I decided to do a last Ironman (instead of buying a red sports cabrio) to fight a coming mid-life-crisis. One last time 3.8km (2.4mi) swimming, 180km (112mi) on the bike followed by an “enjoyable” marathon (42km — 26mi). No worries :), I will continue with triathlon but only up to half ones (Ironman 70.3).

How did I get into triathlon?

My friend and I came back from a nice tour with our mountain bikes when he told me that his brother-in-law will attend an Ironman. “Ironman — what? Sounds weird.”, were my first thoughts. So he went on and explained me that an Ironman is a triathlon with specific distances and Ironman is a U.S. brand. So you have to swim 3.8km, then go 180km on your bike and finally do a marathon for all the 42.195 km. “You do that day by day?”, was my answer in astonishment. His reply with a big smile on this face was of course “No, you do that in 1 day. The best athletes only need eight hours for that”. Silence.

Then he told me that he made a bet with his brother-in-law that they both will accomplish an Ironman before turning 35. We were 28 by then. I was only thinking: “no, never” while I left him this day.

To keep the long story short. He never did an Ironman but I did in my 35th year, although my cruciate ligament snapped two years ago only one month before my first start at an Ironman.

Same happened to me with my businesses. I started my first startup which a technician who forced me into it and left me at the day of your first customer. Lucky for me I met my today’s best friends and founded a new company with them. Today two of our companies got already acquired and we are already building the next generation of our enterprises.

Let’s go back to the initial intention of this article. Here is the list of the 10 learnings:

1. Goals are the fundamental basics of success

Without goals how would you measure success?

2. Have a plan to reach your goals and measure it

Same goes for business and I confess that this is my weakness. I love doing stuff on a regular base but not if you have to motivate everybody to deliver their numbers. Integrate writing down the numbers in the process or create a habit out of it.

3. In the end triathlon and business is not a team-play but you need other team-mates to stay motivated and go through tough times

4. Be constant, don’t change your training methods all the time

5. If you fail your goals, don’t go harder, analyse why

In my entreprenerial adventures I tried to catch up with all the tasks I missed and ended up finishing less. Think about the 80–20 principle. Re-think your current activities, go on to the next learning.

6. Recovery and meditation are most of the time the better choice instead of doing more

Go for a walk, think about your business, view it from a bird’s perspective, talk to a friend about it, drink a wine and relax. Next day you hit a home-run.

7. Networking pays off, get to know other people who share the same intentions and problems

So go out, get to know new people and share your experiences, it will pay off.

8. Don’t concentrate on your weaknesses, build on your strengths

To apply this for business. Find your strenghts and improve it, on all weaknesses find other team-player and hire them.

9. There are no silver bullets, you have to fight with lead

10. You do triathlon/business, you are my hero


If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. I love to get some feedback and have a great discussion on your thoughts.

Happy training, Klaus-M.

PS: If there are some grammatically strange sounding sentences, I’m really sorry. I’m not a native English writer and I wrote this in a hurry. I have to leave for my start at Ironman Austria.

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