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My 70.3 Debut by Jason Simpson

Ironman 70.3 training racing Sundried vegan triathlete

My brother and I have always been very active and competitive. I went to support him at a local Half Ironman where someone asked me, “how can you compete in an Ironman as a vegan”? Without saying anything, I knew I was going to do an Ironman and prove it.

I work for Sea Shepherd Global as Chief engineer on the MY Bob Barker, which makes it difficult to do any training. I started doing 3months on, 3months off. Perfect to start 70.3 training, right?

My first month on being February, I thought the Durban 70.3 (June sometime) would be perfect, so I entered. Ironman then announced it would be on the 3rd of June (my birthday) which limited my initial training plans. Sea Shepherd struggled to get a replacement for me so I stayed on the boat until mid-May. Then to top it all off, I was stuck in Monrovia, Liberia for a few days with airplane problems.

I arrived at my brother’s place 2 weeks before the Ironman...

I used to be a decent road cyclist and runner, however being on and off the ships for 2 years has made me start training from the bottom. Luckily for me we had swim stops on the boat almost every day and I could swim in 3000m deep seas. We also had a spinning bike on the ship. Imagine a rusty, noisy spinning bike with a wooden pedal in 45-degree heat, and a rolling ship. After 10min on the bike I was soaked in sweat and getting light headed.

I jumped into training with my brother which consisted of swimming pretty much every day and cycling and running on alternative days. My first bike session being a FTP test. 200 Watts was the number I had to work with. I did a track and a hill running session during the week, planning big training sessions for the weekend. During my first brick workout I injured my ITB, 3 running sessions was all I could do before the race.

I had a decent plan for the race, swim around 40 min and bike under 3 hours. I was just going to wing it on the run. It all went really well. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did the run in just over two hours, walking once. I managed to finish in just over 6 hours. I should say, my fiancé is an amazing cook and without her I would not have been able to do that well. 

To me, being vegan is an unfair advantage. People who don’t know how powerful the lifestyle is, are missing out. I will keep on trying to be the best example of this lifestyle that I can be.

Thanks to Sundried clothing for helping me during training and racing. We share the same ethics and values. I am honoured and proud to be part of the Sundried team.

My next 70.3 will be Lake Placid, NY in September 2019 where I hope to have at least 2 months to train.

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