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Ironman Training Diary and Inspiration Part 1

by inspire on October 15, 2010

“The moment one definetly commits oneself, then providence moves too” – William Hutchinson Murray

One afternoon in July 1991 I sat down and decided to set some goals for my career. I was 27. I had just heard about the power of goal setting and that if you write a goal down, it has a better chance of being achieved. I was working fulltime in a good job in a computer company called ICL but I wanted to work for myself. So I wrote down a goal and it was:

“In April 1992 I will have my own business”

Well as the above quote says the moment you commit yourself providence moves too. Well within a few months I managed to get on a business course. I was one of twenty three to be chosen out of hundreds who applied. I simply was not going to take no for an answer.

As providence would have it on 22 April 1992 I set up my first business The Open Training Consultancy Ltd, to deliver training courses in UNIX and C (computer languages).

On my first day working for myself I was absolutely petrified – Where would my money come from? How would I pay my bills? How would I get any work?

That night my wife (girl friend at the time) and I went for a drink (as you do). I told her how scared I was. She looked at me with a big smile on her face and in true Irish words of encouragement she said “oh my God Seán, its only day one and look at the state of ye’!”

Around the same time I set another goal for myself, to complete an IronMan Triathlon – that is swim 3.8Km, cycle 180Km then run 42Km (a marathon). Now almost twenty years later I’ve just managed to sign up for one – Ironman Austria 2011.

Triathlon Swimming I’ve actually being doing triathlons since 1991 and have possibly done about thirty of various sizes including two half ironman (swim 1.9Km; cycle 90Km; run 21Km).

In fact in 2006, at age 42 I had my best season ever – I achieved personal best times in sprint distance (750m swim; 20km bike; 5k run) and in olympic distance triathlons (swim 1.5Km; bike 40Km; run 10Km). I then finished the season by running my sixth Dublin city marathon and signed up for my first London marathon in 2007.

I thought to myself if I could do a half iron man in 2007, I could aim for an Ironman triathlon in 2008.

Then again as providence would have it, in January 2007 after resting from training for a bit, I got a terrible pain in my left leg. I thought it was muscular so just waited and hoped it would go away. It didn’t.

I eventually went to the Doctor who told me to go to hospital immediately and get an ultrasound scan. To my shock and the shock of many close to me, I had developed a deep vein thrombosis in my left leg (DVT or clot).

I had no idea what it was but judging from the faces on everyone when I told them, I guessed it was serious! In fact it could be deadly. I had absolutely no idea what was going on, in fact albeit a bit of an over-reaction, based on having no idea what was happening in my body, I wondered was my time nearly up!

Well what followed was months of blood thinners, more injections than hot dinners, visits to Doctors and specialists  and emotionally – massive dissillusionment – how could this happen to me – I exercise loads, I do yoga (I was doing a yoga teacher training course at the time!!!), I don’t smoke or drink and eat fairly healthily!

Some people advised me not to exercise, others said I should. Well one day in April 2007, in a fit of determination to get back to my life pre-clot, I put my walkman on, music blasting and cycled like crazy for two hours and ran for one! I was totally “gung ho”! I came home feeling “Yes I’m back!”

My exuberation was to be short lived. Within a couple of days I was back in hospital.

To be continued – the next part of this story will go out next week – Enter your name and email address below to recieve it when it’s out

Ironman Austria 2011

My goal now is to complete the Ironman in Austria on 3rd July 2011. From now Oct 2010 until July 2011 I will be sharing my experiences on this journey (articles and videos) and am doing it to raise money for charity. I am going to raise money for two charities, one national (Irish)  and one global. I haven’t specific charities in mind yet but I aim to raise at least €33,000 for charities which directly help ordinary people who are in need. If you have any suggestions I’d certainly be open to hearing them. Just enter a comment below with your ideas.

Advertise to over 20,000 people 20 times in return for Sponsorship

Any company or individual who sponsors me (to at least the value of €250) for the Ironman in Austria will get the following:

  • an entry with a link on a sponsorship page on
  • each article that goes out will link to the sponsorship page – there will be at least 20 ezine articles going out on social media and to various lists to a growing number of people currently nearly 20,000 – over 8 months this equates to 6,000,000 connections!!! (via ezines, email lists, facebook, twitter)
  • for those businesses who provide services related to sports, particularly triathlon there will be a targetted audience for your goods/services
  • Your logo with link will also be displayed on the home page until the end of July 2011 – see RHS Ironman Austria 2011 sponsors

Now how much would you pay for an advertising campaign like that. Recently I advertised in a national paper, one advert for one day which cost in excess of €300 and got one lead from it! What you get here is 8 months of advertising which currently goes out to nearly 20,000 people on the internet and it’s a growing list! It’s a no brainer really! So If interested in knowing more just email

Sponsorship can be in many forms:

1. Triathlon coaching/Physical training (swim, bike, run & weights) – Are you a triathlon coach looking for extra publicity then I’d be interested in knowing how you can help. Adam Kelly and Nathan Beuick from Zest personal fitness have already helped with this and I’m currently doing some excellent core and spin training with them.

2. A Triathlon Bike - I’m currently looking for a good triathlon bike which will make the cycle that little bit easier and more efficient. So if you know any bike companies who’d like to donate one in return for advertising as above please let me know.

3. Vibram five finger running shoes - I’m planning to do the marathon part of the Ironman using this “barefoot” technology – vibram five finger running shoes. This story of doing an Ironman in a pair is a great testimonial for those selling these types of running shoes.

4. Massage/Physical therapy – anyone you know who could help with this again let me know

Again if interested or you can help in any way just email

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