Lessons from Ironman Triathlon Training Part 1–“You Need a Mentor”

November 2, 2010 — 1 Comment

This Sunday I will end a year-long training effort as I race the Silverman Ironman-distance triathlon in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This race will fulfill a goal that I’ve had for about 30 years and it will also be a blessing to my friend Matt Boden and his four kids.

I’m doing this race as a fundraiser for Kylee’s Kids.  You can read more about this effort here: Kylee’s Kids. (btw–last week someone put a malware code on the Kylee’s Kids site, but my IT guy removed it.  It should be safe for viewing now.)

I’ve had a lot of time to think during my training.  Recently I began listing some of the lessons I’ve learned over the past year of training for this race.  I believe the lessons I’ve learned in my training have value for leaders as well.

Over the next few days I’m going to download (or upload) some of what I’ve learned in this process.

To finish the race you need a mentor.

My mentor for this race has been Travis Jacob.  Travis is the Dean of Students at Boise Bible College, an Ironman triathlete (2x’s), and a dear friend.

Travis has mentored me through every detail of my training for the past year.  As I think about our relationship during this effort, I found some answers to this question: What makes a good mentor?

1) The mentor has been where you’re going.

Travis has already done two Ironman-distance races and his experience has been priceless.  He knows what I’m in for so he knows how best to direct my training.  Finishing an Ironman-distance race is not theoretical for Travis…he’s actually finished two of them so his guidance is such a blessing.

2) The mentor believes in the effort.

Travis knows the joy of finishing the race and he can’t wait for me to share the same experience.  If he didn’t believe all of the training was worth it, he would not have pushed me to press on through the difficult times.  His belief in my effort strengthened my belief.

3) The mentor believes in you.

Countless times during this effort Travis has said to me, “You can do this!”  In the times when I’ve doubted myself, I’ve never doubted that Travis believes I can finish the race.


One response to Lessons from Ironman Triathlon Training Part 1–“You Need a Mentor”


    I appreciate the post. I just did my first triathlon and I did it all on my own. There are a lot of life lessons that I am learning from participating in this sport.

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