CHASING the adrenaline high of crossing a packed cheering finish line is the reason 41-year-old Eddie Butt is gearing up for his third full Ironman race.
The Pfizer Process operator said there is nothing quite like completing an Ironman.
“The reason I do Ironman is that there is an emotionally charged out of body experience when the finish line is crossed and these emotions don’t come around that often in life.
The proud Corkman also said that pushing his body to the limit is another reason he is a repeat Ironman athlete and he is relishing the opportunity to take on the race in Youghal.
“I like pushing my body to different limits and there’s no better place than my home town to do it.” As well as two full Ironman races under his belt, Eddie has completed seven half Ironman or 70.3 races.
In terms of training, Eddie said he has tried and tested a number of methods and now trains himself.
“In the past, I have followed an online training plans and I have also been coached one on one, but this Ironman in Youghal, I am self-coached.
“I generated all my own work-outs six months ago including endurance sessions, speed and tempo sessions and make them fit into my everyday life.” Eddie said he has to be extremely organised to fit everything in and time management is a key aspect of getting ready for an Ironman.
“As you can imagine this has to be very precise as you also have to take into account rest and recovery, I can tell you exactly what sessions I will be doing weeks and weeks before the race!
In terms of training himself, Eddie said it’s a very complex thing to do.
“When it comes to training plans, they have to be extremely calculated, especially for Ironman events. You have to be hitting long runs every week which could be two to three hours.
“At certain stages of the plan, you also have to hit long bikes every week which could be six or seven hours.
“All these sessions, including your swimming, could add up to anywhere between 16/20hrs per week, as you can imagine time management is also critical as every hour is needed!” In terms of race day, Eddie said his biggest fear is the swim. “Swimming is my weakest discipline, the 180km bike I always seem to get around unscaled and the 42km run I always just run, well, like a cat on a scissors.” Offering advice to anyone attempting an Ironman Eddie said staying injury free is imperative.
“Get to the start line injury free. Training for an Ironman is stressful and demanding on the body but if you treat your body well then your body will treat you well when it comes to race day, “Treating your body well means fuelling it right, recovering right and giving yourself the training plan that’s right for you.” In terms of training, Eddie said there is no substitute for long hard hours on the bike, in the pool or on the road.
“There is no magic potion when it comes to Ironman training, you simply have to hit your sessions every week. You can not substitute hours in the saddle or hours on the road, but it's imperative to be mindful of family and work.” Married, with three children, Eddie said having his family behind him in training and on race day is a huge bonus.
“I’m married to a very supportive wife and when you have three kids, Laoghaire (11), Lizette (9) and Bayne (2 ), who are your biggest fans, the training becomes (just a little bit) easier.
Looking ahead, Eddie said he is eyeing up his next Ironman challenge, something he hasn’t quite gotten around to mentioning to his wife Deirdre.
“Hopefully this wouldn’t be my last IM as I am planning another one soon - Just don’t tell my wife!”
Eddie said he is looking forward to race day in Youghal. “It will be an awesome day and I am looking forward to having home advantage for once!”