Ironman- James Lynch

James Lynch

Meet HPC patient James Lynch, 42 ex AFL, VFA, EFL, NFL, VAFA footballer and now multiple Ironman. When he is not at work you will more than likely find him on the spin bike at Bulleen Health and Fitness getting more K's in the legs. For most people the thought of completing a single ironman triathlon seems overwhelming. Whereas James, this year will complete four of these monsters.

For those who aren't familiar with the Ironman triathlon here is the breakdown;
3.8km ocean swim
180km cycle
42.2km run

To get a bit of a perspective for the unfamiliar punters I thought we'd sit down with James while he turns the legs over on the bike.

The question we must all ask is why would you do this to yourself?

I love to compete and most of all I love the challenge. After playing footy for so many years there was a massive void in my life when I retired. I also find that it’s a good way of keeping in shape and managing a host of old footy injuries. Then there’s always the fear of blowing out like many ex footballers have done in the past. My good friend Brian Millet actually got me into the sport and I haven’t looked back ever since.

What does a typical training day consist of?

Usually I get out of bed long before the sun has thought about rising much to the dismay of my wife. I usually head down to the local oval and run then straight into the pool afterwards. After work I try to hit the gym to get some miles in on the spin bike as it’s a bit too dangerous to be training on the roads all the time, especially after dark.
My training volumes are to run on average 8-15km daily with a long run on the weekends usually around 2 hours. I try to swim around 2-4km daily and will usually tread water afterwards for anywhere up to an hour depending on time. 2-3x weekly I will try to get at least 2-3hours worth of riding in at the gym with the occasional weekend road ride if weather permits.
The hardest part of this training is to try to get in enough calories so Im trying to eat as much as I can in between training sessions and work.

Have you had any setbacks?

I find it really hard to train in the cold weather and have been unlucky enough to suffer two bouts of pneumonia which required some rest and time off training. As a result of various knee injuries and having much of my meniscus removed in multiple surgeries I often suffer recurrent knee pain.

What is the most rewarding part of the ordeal?

For me it would definitely have to be crossing the finishing line and seeing the smiling faces of my family. I actually took my dad to New Zealand for the last ironman I competed in and it was a big moment for me to cross the line in front of him as he had never been to an ironman event before.

What is the most challenging part of the race?

The ride is my weakest leg, so I would have to say in those terms definitely the ride. As I have competed at all different times of year adjusting to the conditions can be very difficult. From the sweltering heat and humidity of cairns to the cool conditions in NZ it makes it hard to train specifically to the climate.
During the race the cramping is pretty hard to overcome. You just have to keep moving and push through. Every time I hit the wall, I look up and think to myself “how good is this!” More than anything though, I find that training prepares you both mentally and physically to finish and not break down.

Thoughts on competing at Kona in the Hawaiian ironman?

Kona is the ultimate goal of anyone that ever sets foot on an ironman course. For me this would be the icing on the cake. Although realistically, I’m probably not fast enough to qualify in a race sense. I will most likely have to complete 12 of these things and get lucky in the ballot. Maybe it’s something I could do for my 50th birthday...
We wish James the best of luck as he prepares for his 4th ironman for the year in October. HPC will be here to support him every step of the way.

  • July 18, 2014