Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World's Toughest Triathlon” as Want to Read:
You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World's Toughest Triathlon
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World's Toughest Triathlon

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  795 ratings  ·  105 reviews
As he did so masterfully in his New York Times bestseller The Gatekeepers, Jacques Steinberg creates a compelling portrait of people obsessed with reaching a life-defining goal. In this instance, the target is an Ironman triathlon—a 2.4-mile open-water swim followed by a 112-mile bike ride, then finally a 26-mile marathon run, all of which must be completed in no more than ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Tantor Media (first published January 1st 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about You Are an Ironman, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about You Are an Ironman

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,379)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I read this book one month after my husband completed Ironman Madison, so I still had Ironman on the brain! Steinberg's profiles and characterizations really rang true to what I witnessed my husband going through. Steinberg captured authentic emotions in this report. If anyone is thinking of doing an Ironman, this book is a must-read. As the author is quick to point out, it's not a "how-to" book. But getting inside these people's minds and seeing the obstacles they faced is enlightening. And for ...more
I've done one Ironman and am training for another. Plus, I read this book during a training weekend in Mont Tremblant (the site of this year's Ironman). So, clearly I'm biased to like it, and I did. I do have to admit that following 6 different people made it difficult to keep them straight at times. And the author jumped between people's stories pretty rapidly, so that didn't help matters. I think better organization would have helped keep the narratives clearer.

There were a few things in the
I love reading stories of how other people have fought and trained and overcome great odds to accomplish a goal. I am a runner and it is truly inspiring to hear the trials that others go through, not just in their training, but in their personal lives as well. Nobody trains in a bubble, so life will inevitably take a turn that you weren't expecting and push your goals further away. In this book we see several people who didn't let that stop them from achieving something amazing. Ironman is a tit ...more
Malin Friess

On June 4th 2011 I completed a the deuces wild half ironman triathlon in Arizona (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile trail run). After jumping in the water for the 1.2 mile swim I quickly found my fingers hitting the dirt, I was heading the wrong way into shore. The women jumped in the water 5 minutes after the men and most of them passed me at the first turn. It took me 57 minutes and some help from a Kayaker to keep me going the right way. Need to learn h
Obviously this book appealed to me since I am training for an Ironman, but I have to say I was disappointed. The author is not a triathlete and so although he made a valiant effort to immerse himself in the subject, there were things in there that really bugged me (like when he said a 10 minute pace was impressive for a marathon - not an Ironman marathon - just a marathon). And it felt like he focused way too much on all the various illnesses and ailments of the participants he followed. Enduran ...more
Aaron Maurer
I just completed my first marathon and have been thinking about entering the world of triathlons. This big goal of mine is the Ironman despite the fact I don't currently own a bike and can barely swim. I have started to read up on the sport and while at my library I came across this book.

This book was just what I needed. It follows the journey of six normal people who all have obstacles and challenges of their own. Through reading their journey of committing to the race, training, and finally ge
I’ve never hidden the fact that one of my goals prior to my 40th birthday (although still a ways away) is to do an Ironman. And after meeting up with a few Ironmen at a reading conference I went to in October (hang on, they find time to work and read/write)…it just sealed the deal. So my goal for 2013 is to do a half-ironman (Beach 2 Battleship in October), with a full Ironman in 2014 (still trying to figure out which one)…and then I came across this book in an audible sale and for 4.95, I figur ...more
Ingrid Hughes
Loved reading these stories about everyday Joe's going to work, raising kids, stretching the check book and fighting through crazy training commitments to compete in their first Ironmans. Inspiring and very real and raw!
Danie P.
Terrific book about ordinary people training for the ironman. My favorite section was their stories about the actual competition and how they completed the race.
Basically a narrative pulled from the triatheles' blogs. The information about Ironman itself was interesting.
Kerri Thomas
I really enjoyed this book. I liked the fact that it jumped back and forth between charectors. It kept my mind engaged as I think reading continuously about one athlete would have become long winded and I would have lost interest. It was hard at times to keep them all straight and I found myself on a couple of occassions, flipping back to the beginning to remember the story behind the person. I actually liked being that engaged in the reading. Very inspiring and I really liked the focus on all ...more
The author follows various triathletes as they start and complete the Ironman Arizona 2009 triathlon.
It has been highly recommended by several triathlete friends of mine. As I started to read it, (quick reading, only took me 5-6 hours total over two days), and I was already immersed in the stories, back stories of the athletes. As I started to read the stories, many parts of the stories co-relates to what I go through with some of my trainings. However, I'm kind of taken back by the injuries th
I talked about this book to everyone I ran into while I read it. These stories were so relatable (looks like that isn't a real word) as these were six "average Joes" that took this race on. I did have a little trouble keeping the people straight from each other for a while, then they quickly emerged as very different personalities overcoming very different problems. It changed my life view into one a little less whiny (I hope). None of them had a free pass once they started training. Life showed ...more
Not a bad read. The writing had me expecting that any minute now one of the people was going to face some incredible catastrophe or die during training. But despite the continual hinting of doom on the horizon, they trained (it was hard, it took a lot of time) and then raced (it was hard, took all day) and crossed the finish line (except for two who had injuries, both of whom completed iron man triathlons the next year).

I was impressed by the cost of an Ironman (The Arizona ironman is over $500-
The best part of this book is also it's biggest weakness: it follows six ordinary people in their quest to become an Ironman. Having so many different people to follow was great in giving the book depth and interest, but having so many characters made it hard for this reader to follow. I kept forgetting which character was which and distinguishing details about them were spaced throughout the book. Because the book kept jumping back and forth between all of them, it was hard to remember which on ...more
Originally posted on by blog at!/2013...

You are an Ironman follows six people through their training for Ironman Arizona in 2009. This book is more of a memoir than an training manual. The author does a great job of capturing the spirit of the Ironman, explaining to the reader why people do these the types races and their back stories, some of which are funny, some of which are inspirational and some just plain strange (there was one guy who heard about people at
I really enjoyed this one. I love hearing about ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things. All but one of the six athletes profiled seems to have had a compelling motivation for running (cancer survivor, double-lung transplant, emergency room scare, overweight as a teen, be an example for others). Interestingly, the one who didn't seem to have a motivation other than just love for running and being with people is the one who blew her knee out and wasn't able to race after all. The flow ...more
Aug 17, 2012 Tim rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: triathletes and their family members
Shelves: non-fiction
Easy, entertaining reading. I completed it cover to cover during a cross-country flight. The pace of the storylines and personal accounts kept me easily engaged. I participate in triathlons and have often considered training for a full distance ironman event. This book offered up the challenges and rewards of such an undertaking in a way that was both approachable and interesting.

I spend a lot of time networking (electronically and in real life) with other triathletes. If you are familiar with
Jacques Steinberg has written an exciting and inspiring account of six regular people and their efforts to train for and finish an Ironman. Like the author, none of the persons profiled was a long-time athlete. Almost all had come to participate in running later in life, often as a result of some kind of crisis. It follows their training and its conflicts with their "regular" life, their injuries and achievements along the way. In many ways, the book reminded me of A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Mil ...more
Not the best but not the worst. If you want to train for any endurance event it will still get up and motivated.

You are an Ironman by Jacques Steinberg is a journalistic look at what it takes to become an ironman when you are just a regular person. The story follows six people over one year as they train for the Arizona Ironman. It is their first time training for the full distance but they are all relatively seasoned athletes who have run marathons, half-ironmans, and other races. I typically e
Sarah Eckert
Awesome! Very inspirational!

I want to do an Ironman, now. Well, not now, now (I'd have to train -- and learn how to swim -- an Ironman swim is 2.4 miles. I think I heard the most efficient stroke is the crawl, so I'd need to know how to do that right . . . but there was one guy in the book who breaststroked the whole thing, so I guess it's possible).

I also looked at my schedule for this upcoming year and I don't think I can even fit in a sprint triathlon (if I could learn to swim. There's a spri
"You Are an Ironman" - based on the title of this book, which is not on the NY Times Best Seller List, you would assume that the audience this novel is intended for are triathletes and aspiring triathletes. I enjoyed this book, but felt that the author would drag the reader on long winded tangents. Also, he felt that he needed to explain everything. Examples: he explained what a Garmin Forerunner is about three times, defines road rash at least twice, etc. I don't own a Garmin Forerunner, but I ...more
Kent Keifer
I really like books that demonstrate how people accomplish much more than they thought possible when they decide to really focus on a goal. This book looks at around 8-10 individuals who all have different journeys toward the same Ironman triathlon event. I'm not sure I would call these people weekend warriors though. They become very dedicated athletes and are pretty obsessive about their training. It's an enjoyable read for people who get into training for challenging events and pushing themse ...more
May 15, 2015 Nicole rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Athletes
Shelves: books-in-2015
The book was really interesting, giving insight that would typically be given through blogs but incorporating it with many different athletes to create a story. My biggest complaint is the number of actants in the book. I had such a hard time keeping track of them. The organization of the book was also a problem because it went back and forth between the characters so quickly and usually without much transition.
Katie Hall
I really enjoyed this book. I've never done an Ironman, and now I never want to do one, but it seemed like a pretty realistic portrayal of all that goes into training and completing one. Following 6 different people as they train for their first Ironman, he doesn't gloss over the hours of training, the guilt of being away from family, the expenses, the anxiety, and the other emotions that crop up over the way.
WARNING: I've been looking at IRONMAN 70.3/140.6 registrations ever since I finished the book a couple hours ago... Reading can be dangerous.

Incredibly enjoyable and inspiring read, highly recommended to everyone. All of the Ironman hopefuls are "real people" that I could relate to or at least empathize with, especially as an amateur athlete myself who is looking to test himself with personal challenges and understands how powerful these journeys can be. Each individual's story is unique with di
I listened to this book on audiobook. My only complaint was I had a difficult time keeping track of all the different participants/competitors in the book. Towards the end I was ready for this to be over. Interesting, great way to pass the time on my bike trainer and on long runs.
Ronnie Guymon
This is a great motivational book for those of you interested in triathlons. As the title indicates, it's not about elite athletes, rather it's about people who have full time jobs and families who still train for an ironman. When you finish, you will probably look into how you can do an ironman yourself. There is a little language.
Great story about six people preparing to compete in the 2009 Ironman Arizona. All of their stories were different, and inspiring in their own ways. I really enjoyed reading it, although I don't see myself trying for an Ironman anytime soon. :)
I read this book as I was beginning to prepare for my first ironman. Stories of everyday people overcoming the obstacles and doing what they never thought they could.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 45 46 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Iron War: Dave Scott, Mark Allen, & the Greatest Race Ever Run
  • A Life Without Limits: A World Champion's Journey
  • My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon
  • Your First Triathlon
  • I'm Here To Win: A World Champion's Advice for Peak Performance
  • Slow Fat Triathlete: Live Your Athletic Dreams in the Body You Have Now
  • Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner's Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across America
  • Can't Swim, Can't Ride, Can't Run: From Common Man to Ironman
  • Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself
  • Going Long: Legends, Oddballs, Comebacks & Adventures
  • An Accidental Athlete: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Middle Age
  • Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth
  • Lore of Running
  • The Long Run: One Man's Attempt to Regain His Athletic Career-And His Life-by Running the New York City Marathon
  • Total Immersion: Revolutionary Way to Swim Better and Faster
  • Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America's Greatest Marathon
  • Be Iron Fit, 2nd: Time-Efficient Training Secrets for Ultimate Fitness
  • 50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days -- and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance!
Jacques Steinberg is the author of The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College, a New York Times-best seller. He has been a staff reporter for The New York Times for more than two decades, and is currently a national education correspondent for the paper. Steinberg also moderates The Choice, the Times college admissions blog, which he created for the paper in spring 2009. H ...more
More about Jacques Steinberg...
The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College

Share This Book