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Running the Ironman Triathlon

The Ironman Triathlon is one of the most grueling events in sports: First the athletes swim 2.4 miles, then they bike 112 miles, and to complete the triathlon the competitors run a full marathon, 26.2 miles. CBS health contributor Dr. Jordon Metzl took the challenge in Lake Placid, New York.

The Swimming Leg

The difficult part about the swim is that not only are you trying to cover the distance yourself, but everyone around you is trying to get to the same place. They swim on your head, they hit you, they punch you. If you go too fast you breathe too quickly, but the other tough thing is the wet suit constricts your chest a bit so you have to take slower and deeper breaths than you would otherwise.

The Biking Leg

I've been having my breakfast along the way--some granola bars, Fig Newtons. I've got this carbohydrate nutrition drink, which is about half protein, half sugar. The more you go the worse your stomach feels, so you just try and get as much as you can in the beginning. You have to eat almost all your calories on the bike. You need about 300 calories an hour. You try not to stand up so much when you're going uphill--you waste your leg muscles.

The Running Leg

The first 10 miles of the run was spent trying to stay hydrated. I'm having trouble keeping my legs moving. About 10 hours into the race, your mind just says that's enough. Your body says maybe we'll just sit down here for a while and nobody will notice. And just kind of the process of saying, "All right, just get up and keep on going."

Are you going to do it again?

I think so. I'm pretty sure. During the race I thought, "Oh, I'm not sure," but afterward I thought, "All right, I can do that."
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