Christina's Reviews > You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World's Toughest Tr iathlon

You Are an Ironman by Jacques Steinberg
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's review
Mar 27, 2012

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Read in March, 2012

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 one had which injury, which one was the teacher, which one was following which training method. A short introduction with biographical information and a photo of each participant -- even just a few pages at the beginning -- would have been very helpful.

I found this book very interesting. I've run a marathon so I understand what kind of training goes into that, but an Ironman is a bit more involved -- a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride and concluding with a 26.2 marathon run. While I question the wisdom of spending so much of one's life in training for something like this (and wonder if you have to have an obsessive personality to want to do it), it is amazing to consider what the human body is capable of.

I found it especially interesting the note at the end that of all the participants who started Ironman Arizona in 2009, 94% of them finished, showing that with a decent training base, this really isn't as impossible as it seems to those of us looking in from the outside. I appreciated also that the book showed the perils of training, though, as one of its characters never made it to the start line because of an injury and others had some injuries and difficulties along the way.

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