You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World's Toughest Triathlon (Anglais) Relié – 15 septembre 2011
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Revue de presse
Présentation de l'éditeur
A New York Times bestselling author takes readers inside the Ironman triathlon.
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 seventeen hours.
Steinberg focuses not on the professionals who live off the prize money and sponsorships but on a handful of triathletes who regard the sport as a hobby. Vividly capturing the grueling preparation, the suspense of completing each event of the triathlon, and the spectacular feats of human endurance, Steinberg plumbs the physical and emotional toll as well as the psychological payoff on the participants of the Ford Ironman Arizona 2009. His You Are an Ironman is both a riveting sports narrative and a fascinating, behind-the scenes study of what makes these athletes keep going..
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The book is an attempt to look at 6 very different people. To see the reasons why they signed up. To see how they trained. How they balanced their work/family/training. To try to get inside their heads and see how they were feeling in the year up to the Ironman. In that it's quite successful. You can't help coming away from the book thinking - I could do that. But could you?
My main downside from the book is the fact it covers 6 people. Firstly, the book felt quite disjointed jumping around trying to juggle 6 stories. I actually ended up writing little bio's inside the front cover so I could remember who was who. Secondly, the other obvious downside of writing about 6 people is that you can't go into as much detail. In comparison to other books - such as Can't Swim, Run, Ride by Andy Holgate - I don't feel the book really portrays in enough detail the sacrifices and training that these 6 people really had to put in. For instance, the Complete Idiot's Guide to Triathlon training has an Ironman training schedule that typically involves 18-22 hours of training per week. Apart from 1 character - a nurse who worked long shifts - I didn't feel we got a true sense of the disruption and the effort that these people lived through. I'm not saying the book underplayed it, it just didn't report on it.
If you're seriously thinking about entering an Ironman on the back of reading this book (and I truly hope you do), I strongly urge you to research another book in addition to this one and go into it with your eyes wide open.
As a triathlete myself this book hits home for me. I understand the struggles that they all go through in preparing for what is the worlds toughest triathlon. But Ironman is more than a physical exercise. It's about mental toughness as well and what you do to prepare for that day, and what you will find on that day.
"There is no can't in Ironman."
Really a great job!