prepare to tackle Ironman
say training includes
learning how to gauge
their caloric burn rate
Helen E. McKinney
(August 2012) The second time may be the charm
for triathlete Joe Laskowski. After competing in the Ironman Louisville
triathlon last year, Laskowski, 33, has decided to give it another try.
The Madison, Ind., resident will join hundreds of local and national
triathletes Aug. 26 in the Louisville stop on the Ironman tour.
Laskowski had never competed in a triathlon prior to the Ironman. Although
he was constantly involved in sports in high school, competing in this
fashion is something new to him.
Madison's Joe Laskowski will make his second appearance in the Ironman.
Laskowski chose to compete in the Ironman Louisville competition
because it was close to Madison so that my family and friends
could come and watch, he said. Having previously run in six races,
I was tired of doing marathons.
The Ironman Louisville triathlon is one of a series of long-distance
triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corp. The Louisville
race was added to the series in 2007.
When it comes to such a race as the Ironman, its a mental
and physical challenge, said Laskowski. The age range he competes
in, 30-38 year olds, is very competitive, he said. By this
time, competitors have reached the maturity level needed to seriously
focus on the race and win.
Because he has one year of experience in the Ironman under his belt,
I have a better idea of what to do this year, Laskowski
said. He has also learned how to balance his energy, so as not to tire
out too early in the race.
Athletes who compete in the Ironman race are required to swim 2.4 miles,
bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles on a course that winds throughout
Louisvilles scenic areas. The path includes Waterfront Park in
Jefferson County, the city of La Grange and other parts of Oldham County,
and a portion of Henry County. The race finally ends with a finish line
celebration at Fourth Street Live! in downtown Louisville.
Laskowskis original goal was to finish the race in less than 12
hours. You have 17 hours to finish, he said. I had
hoped to do better this year.
But he doubts whether he will make his goal, since he had walking pneumonia
several weeks ago. He said it took time to get back into the rigorous
training he must do to compete in the Ironman race.
On a normal day, Laskowski, tries to find as many hours as possible
in a day to train, but its still not as much as I want to train.
He gets up at 1 a.m. to go to work, has a workout when he gets off,
picks up his kids from school and then squeezes in another workout session
with them. He coaches his kids sports teams as well.
Sometimes on the weekend he trains by going on a four-hour bike ride.
During the week, in addition to lifting weights and doing Pilates, he
often combines swimming and running or biking and running sessions.
He extends these sessions on weekends when he can and once in a while
he is able to combine all three in one day.
Stacy Crawley (top) and husband John (above) of Madison are gearing for their first Ironman event.
Im not the best swimmer and biker, but Im
getting better at it, said Laskowski.
During training, he estimates he burns 1,800 to 2,000 calories, while
burning 9,000 to 10,000 during a race.
In November, Laskowski plans to compete in the Ironman series again
in Panama City, Fla. The race will essentially have the same setup as
the Ironman Louisville, except on a much flatter course,
he said. For that reason, it will go quicker. In Kentucky, youre
riding through horse country, and its hillier. Temperature-wise,
it will also be a lot different in Florida.
The Florida Ironman will probably start out in the 50s and progress
to the 70s, he said. During the Ironman Louisville, temperatures will
begin in the 70s and soar from there.
John and Stacy Crawley are husband-and-wife competitors from Madison.
Stacy said the race is a personal challenge for the both
of them. Weve trained and worked really hard to be there.
This will be the couples first time to compete in the Ironman
triathlon, so they dont really know what to expect,
she said. They swim, bike and ride three times a week, practically eating,
breathing and sleeping everything Ironman.
Stacy is originally from Madison, while John is from Virginia. Both
are swim coaches for Madison Consolidated High School.
The couple has competed in several marathons and triathlons in the past.
They have already set goals for next year in terms of racing. John,
43, wants to be able to qualify for the Boston Marathon, while Stacy,
39, wants to enter the Olympic Distance Age-Group Nationals held in
Stacy said the couple has several advantages over the competition. The
fact that they get out and swim and ride on an active course,
is a plus. Another positive factor is that the event is literally in
their backyard, she said, therefore they are familiar with the terrain.
While training for the Ironman race, Crawley said that triathlon
athletes have to be aware of how many calories they take in and maintain
a certain sodium level to prevent cramping.
When it comes to race day, you cant consume as many calories
as you burn. She estimates burning between 12,000 to 15,000 calories
during the race, but every body is different.
John Crawley said a good way to look at is it to figure burning 300
calories an hour on race day.
Once they have completed the Ironman race, Stacy said the next step
will be plenty of rest and recovery.
At age 74, Madison, Ind., resident Kurt Kahl was the oldest competitor
in the Ironman Louisville event last year. It was his 40th Ironman competition
and 17th time in the Ironman. Long retired from the Madison State Hospital,
he began competing in Ironman competitions at age 50. He is expected
to return this year to compete once again, now at age 75.
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