Friday, June 26, 2009

50 MILES VS IRONMAN TRIATHLON


Hi folks. Its been 8 days since I scaled the 50 mile ultra mountain and I have been thinking back to that day and trying to wrap my mind around the task and comparing it to my 3 Ironman distance triathlons.

Which was tougher??? I said initially that the 50 miler was more stressful to my body. However, I examined some facts from each discipline and came up with these conclusions.

Ironman distance Triathlon.
1. Longer amount of hours and effort. First one I did was in 16 hours and 45 min...then the next two were in the upper 15 hour range.
2. More areas of the body aching. Back discomfort from the Bike. Knee issues from the marathon segmernt of the triathlon.
3. Psychological Aspect . I was constantly fighting my inner demons during the Ironman races. Will I be fast enough to beat the bike cut off?? Can I deal with the day turning to night and still being out on country roads with only a neon necklace to ward off stray cars. My races were small events compared to the corporate races in the M-Dot format.
4. Nutrition knowledge was less when I did the three Irons. (Most recent one was 2002). I never bonked, but I know I was not properly fueled besides Gatorade and water.

50 Mile Ultra Marathon
1. It was a solo event, so I controlled the run...I was under no pressure to beat anyone or try to stay with any person. I say that was a benefit. Also, having my son run the last 20 with me was a huge benefit.
2. Body issues. I traumatized my tendons to my left ankle at mile 25 or so.. I kept running. Not really smart. Once I got that issue controlled in my mind. (ibprofen helped) I was able to finish. I ran it in 11 hours. 54 minutes.
3. Fitness level was about the same as the Irons, but I felt I had alot in the tank when I finished. I think I can run a 100 miler some day. I am not sure, I could do a double-Ironman.
4. My nutrition was much better. Roctane Gels were used and really helped. PB and J sandwiches were beneficial as were the trail mix and the Coke-Gatorade-Water I constantly used.

Those are some points and I have concluded that the Ironman distance gets a slight edge on which is tougher. Very slight. I also know if I attempted a 50 miler in August when the temps are in the 80's with humidity I would easily vote for the ultra-marathon being tougher.

I am blessed to be healthy enough to be able to. complete 3 Iron distances triathlons in my late 40's and do a 50 mile ultra at age 56. I know I will do a 100 miler some day and I am not done wtih long distance triathlons either. Speaking of 100 milers....good luck to Donald in the Western States 100.

Those are my stories and I am sticking to them.

On a work note. Things will be lots of fun covering the Cavs now that Shaq is on the team. He is a funny guy and he'll keep us on our toes..LOL!!!

Life's a Blast

19 comments:

Chip SBR said...

What about being lost on a lake in the fog Vs Rangers kicking you out of your run plan,,both bummers you over came!!

Marcy said...

I'm just catching up with you. You are INSANE! And I love it! Wow JT congrats! I can't even imagine rolling out 50 on my own (no race. Heck even if it was a race I don't think I'd roll . . .not yet at least) CONGRATS! Here's to many more ;-)

IronBob said...

I have found that with our age, our minds deteriorate to the point we
a) dont know what the h*ll we have gotten ourselves into
b) we lose track of time during the event (partial Alzheimers)so the event doesn't seem that long
and
c) when it's over, our memory of the pain we endured is distant and forgotten, even if it was yesterday, so we sign up for another one.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

They both seem insanely long and difficult to me. congrats!

Missy said...

I've done the ironthing and can NOT even imagine a 50 mile run, my body would totally reject it - I'm pretty sure.

Congratulations, again. Well done, 50 miles...in a row?

Wes said...

I think its pretty awesome that you've one both!! and I'm not sure we are comparing apples to apples, ya know?

Blogger said...

Congratulations on the 50-mile run and good luck nursing the aches and pains. Very impressive!

Shannon said...

You're my hero.....

triguyjt said...

Iron Bob.

I laughed my butt off at your comments!!!!!

Hilarious!!!

Stuart said...

Not done an Ironman yet, but it's gotta depend on the 50miler, 50 on roads is a world apart from 50 in the hills. FWIW I would have put my money on the IM

Lily on the Road said...

Great analogy, but I have to say IronBob has pretty much nailed it, for me anyway. LOL

Cliff said...

You are nuts ;o)

I would think running 50 miles will be tougher. Just because running is tougher on the body than riding and swimming.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

ShirleyPerly said...

Interesting comparison. I can see myself doing an iron tri on my own but not a 50-mile run. Something about doing the same thing for so long seems so much harder to me ...

Congrats!!

Brian said...

I've done 1 half IM and 1 50k. My half was by far tougher. Silly me I'm going to try another half in sept. Hopefully cooler temps then

untpawgal02 said...

I would think doing a 50 would be tougher due to you are just running... at least an Ironman you are crosstraining in some way! Congrats on the 50 Mr. Ultramarathoner :)

Kevin said...

Way to go on the 50 miler. That is definitely an interesting comparison. I am doing my first full IM this year and next year I may take up ultras

Trishie said...

You are just a BAD ASS, JT, that's what you are !

admin said...

I've done both and can say that an Ironman is still harder..but, go to a 100k Ultra and then they start to equate a bit. of course, in the end its really in the eye of the beholder.

Rainmaker said...

Nice comparison, I'm always interested to see those from folks like you who have done both.

But I'm with Trishie - you're just a bad ass!