The Making of an Iron Man


There’s not a lot of people who would call competing in a triathlon fun, Ryan Mitchell is one of them, but that doesn’t stop him from training non-stop in the three disciplines of swimming, cycling and running.

A triathlon consists of a 3.8 km swim then a 26.2 mile run followed by a 180km bike, an Iron Man competition has those three sports set in the toughest terrain.

Mitchell competed in his first Iron Man last Summer in Whistler B.C. and now he’s training for another in Muskoka later this year with his wife, Alysia who runs and operates RAM Fitness and Cycling on Northern Ave.

ryan-mitchell-2Mitchell doesn’t recommend anyone to jump into a triathlon, the 28 year old athlete has spent 10 years in the fitness industry and has been training since he was in high school. He got the “bug” shortly after the St. Joseph Island Triathlon about 8 years ago.

Mitchell says physical endurance is a huge part of competing but so is the mental state of the athlete, “it’s easy to stop and give up, but you have to have that mental capacity to work through the pain and tired muscles”

Mitchell has recently started the Sault North Triathlon Club that invites athletes to properly train for long endurance sports. “There is no triathlon club in the Sault” Mitchell and his wife are certified coaches,”we will be at each workout” The cycling takes place at the RAM cycling studio while swim training takes place at the John Rhodes Pool Mitchell said.

During a race, a person can burn upwards to 4,000 calories said Mitchell so nutrition  plays an important role leading up to race that could take up to 18 hours to complete.

Mitchell took 13 hours and 13 minutes to finish the Whistler Iron Man “I was pretty dead tired after that one, but once you do one, you do get a rush, you get addicted”

There doesn’t seem to be an age limit for those who participate in triathlons said Mitchell, “I’ve seen people in their 60’s and 70’s competing”

Those that want to learn more about the sport or begin training for an iron man event are encouraged to register by visiting the site,  there you can learn about TriathlonOntario and check out the sanctioned workout schedule.

So what does it take to be an Iron Man?  Mitchell says you have to have the passion , drive and determination to work out several times a week and keep at it and yes being competitive helps, but being able to say you finished it is the best part for Mitchell.

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