Emily Young – Inspiration

How I keep inspired to train and perform in Ironman competitions


I wasn’t exactly ‘sporty’ growing up – I was quite the opposite and did everything I could to skip P.E to avoid the risk of getting sweaty or embarrassing myself.


I started my fitness journey as I was coming up to my 20s, purely out of vanity and fear of looking ‘out of shape’. Running seemed to be the easiest/cheapest option, and one that required the least skill (my hand-eye coordination is pretty bad!), so I laced up my trainers and started working towards doing some 5k run routes. Running quickly became a way to de-stress and ‘switch off’, and nothing to do with any aesthetical benefits.


I soon became obsessed with getting out on the trails and running for longer and longer – it made me feel great and really seemed to improve my mental health. I felt like I had finally found a way to challenge myself in a positive way, focus on goals and also just generally feel healthier.


Marathons have soon become triathlons, and suddenly I’m getting ready for my 5th Ironman race and first World Championships in Hawaii.


What is an Ironman you ask? It’s basically a really, really long triathlon. It consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 112 mile bike, followed by a marathon (26.2 miles)

If you had told me six years ago that I would be doing these/getting ready for Ironman number five, I would have laughed hysterically/told you how crazy you must be.


These races take a lot of time and dedication to train for, and I generally dedicate a solid six months to a specific training programme which is roughly building up from 10-20 hours per week. I won’t lie, they can be really hard work and often require a lot of sacrifices from myself and also my friends and family… so how do I keep inspired to train and race for these crazy events?


I really do just genuinely love it! There’s no greater feeling than working really hard and finally achieving something at the end of it. It really keeps me focused and seems to help me in all areas of my life, I definitely work harder in everything that I do since I started training for Ironman.


It’s really good for my mental health, and I notice I struggle more if I’m not training and working towards something. I think that’s largely down to my personality and my worrying nature… but for whatever reason, big goals and loads of miles seem to help!


I’m constantly being introduced to people in this endurance world who push the boundaries and achieve things I never thought possible! It’s inspiring to see people who help you to constantly dream bigger without questioning if it’s even possible. I think this is so important to me not only in a sport context, but for anything I choose to do in life/business. You really can achieve anything you set your mind to, and these races are just a constant reminder of that.


I’m a big believer of getting out of your comfort zone in order to experience and achieve incredible things… these races are exactly that.


Em x

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