100+ IronMan Triathlons in 2 Years - How Will Used Grit to Smash a World Record
Will Turner - is a Legend! I should just drop the mic there! Will loves to set Big Hairy Audacious goals. When he turned 50, he completed his first IronMan. When he turned 60 - he completed 60… in One year!!! Smashing the previous record of 44 - he averaged an IronMan every 6 days.
He continued that journey and ended up completing 105 IronMan distance triathlons over the course of two years. And it was only slightly derailed when his partner and Uber Sherpa was diagnosed with kidney cancer - and they took a few months for surgery and recovery!
This is a long way from his first race - a half-marathon where he ended up in the hospital from dehydration.
So what’s an ultra endurance athlete of this caliber like? Humble, warm, welcoming, awe-inspiring… A motivational speaker who talks to at school assemblies expounding the virtues of “Live Your Bold”. And a National Park lover who promotes conservation of the environment. This was an amazing all-encompassing conversation, and I really hope that you enjoy it.
During this discussion, we talk about:
- 3:37 - How Will grew up, and how a freak accident caused him to miss out on sports
- 6:58 - Will's first race, and how he ended up in the hospital
- 9:22 - Will's marathon experience, how running for a cause motivated him to get in shape, and the amazing memories he had from that marathon experience.
- 21:04 - How Will has stayed injury free, and how an earlier mistake shaped his approach to taking care of his body
- 29:38 - Creating the goal for going after 60 IronMan Triathlons in a year
- 40:45 - The gear that Will used and swimming in glacial lakes
- 46:05 - The toughest parts about the journey
- 51:31 - Why "Grit" is Will's biggest super power - and how he cultivates it
- 58:24 - Will's next set of goals, and the training he thinks many older athletes forget about
- 1:03:48 - Why Will believes in nurturing the soul over feeding the ego, and how it's helped him
- 106:32 - Where to find Will and how to support him
Links Talked About During this Show
Some of the links below contain affiliate codes to support our site at no additional cost to you
Podcast TranscriptionThe following transcript is provided for your convenience. It was created through a program, and may not be entirely accurate to our conversation.
Will Turner: [00:00:00]
The people with the most grit of whatever profession or pursuit they're going after taught myself to do is to cultivate my grit, to keep pushing through when I hit those obstacles. And when I failed to pick myself back up and figure out what I need to do differently next time and keep moving forward.
Kevin Chang: [00:00:21]
Hello, and welcome to the RaceMob podcast. This is episode number 16. I'm Kevin entrepreneur technology and fitness nerd, and the founder of race mob. I'm joined by master motivator, founder of two legit fitness co chair of the Taji 100. RRC a certified coach USA track and field certified official. The incomparable Bertrand Newson
Will Turner is a legend.
I should just drop the mic right there. We'll love to set big, hairy, audacious goal. When he turned 50, he completed his first iron man. And when he turned 60, he completed 60 Ironman in one year. Smashing the previous record of 44. He averaged an Ironman. Every six days, he even continued the journey and ended up completing 105 iron man distance triathlons over the course of two years.
And it was only slightly derailed partner and Uber Sherpa was diagnosed with kidney cancer and they took a few months off for surgery and recovery. This is a long way from his first race,
the half marathon
where he actually ended up in the hospital from dehydration. So what's an ultra endurance athlete, caliber like? Humble, warm, welcoming, awe inspiring.
A motivational speaker who talks at school assemblies, expounding, the virtues of live your bolt. And he's a national park lover who promotes conservation of the environment. This episode is brought to you by race, mob, and inclusive community for fitness enthusiasts.
Whether you're brand new to
fitness or you're veteran athletes, we all need support, motivation and accountability.
Our new community site just launched and you can find it at community dot race. Mav doc, Tom
Will Turner: [00:02:10]
Kevin Chang: [00:02:11]
will host online meetups challenges, giveaways, and live sessions with coach fee, myself and some of your favorite podcast guests also, we'll be launching online training, start with a group program like our campus 5k, or create your own custom program that suits your needs.
Head over to dot com slash training. Enter your fitness goals and schedule your free one on one coaching assessment with coach B, but you have to hurry. We've only got a few limited spots for this kickoff. This was just an amazing, amazing all encompassing conversations. And I really hope that you enjoy it.
We are so excited to walk home.
to the race mile podcast.
Will Turner: [00:02:51]
Welcome. Will. Thank you. Awesome. Well, I mean,
Kevin Chang: [00:02:54]
you're most well known for shattering the world record in iron man triathlons. Over the course of one year and then two years when you continued it on. And I'm sure that we're going to get into it really, really deeply, but you're also known for this motto and it's live you're bold.
And so what is Livia bold mean to you?
Will Turner: [00:03:17]
Yeah, live. Your bold is just being your best self, pushing yourself, pushing your limits, pushing through your comfort zone, to live more boldly, to really not let things or yourself or other people hold you back for what your potential is.
Kevin Chang: [00:03:32]
Has a great motto. Can you walk us through how you got into athletics from a very early age?
Will Turner: [00:03:37]
I grew up on a farm in Virginia and, you know, we had cows and horses and at one point some pigs and.
You know, so it was a very active outdoors kind of lifestyle that I had as a kid. I played little league sports. you know, my, my parents definitely pushed us in that direction. So I played little league football and baseball, and I, I swam on a swim team and all that sort of stuff early on. I mean, probably by the time I was 12 or so I, I did have some, just an ability to run pretty good.
better than other things. I was always tall and lean and a skinny kid. And my brother was just the opposite. He was very stocky and muscular and my, my brother loved football. And so he wanted to play on a football team. So I got drafted because we always did things together. He was a couple of years younger than I was, but I got drafted to go out for a little league football too.
And I was awful
practice that I like, um, was that at the beginning of practice and at the end of practice. The coaches would make us run a lap or two laps around the football field. And I would always finish first among all the kids, you know, and I would look back and it'd be 20 to 30 yards ahead of everybody. And I just made it my mission just to like put some distance between me and everybody else.
Well, at one point, my football coach, you realize that I wasn't very good at football. No. After I got back from my lap, one time you said, well, you should really go out for the cross country team when you get to junior high, which I was a couple of years away from that. So that kind of planted the seed a month or two before cross country tryouts for.
At my junior high or equivalent to middle school these days, I was in a farming accident with my dad and literally riding on the, behind the tractor where a trail I hate track trailer was hooked up. My foot got caught between. A tow bar and the, the hits of the trailer. And essentially when my dad made a turn with the tractor, it caught my foot and literally squeezed it.
And to the point that when the pressure was released by foot split wide open. Oh my, and, and literally I. Felt this huge rush, heat and liquid, it was blood just rush through my body and through my leg. And I was wearing big old calf, high work boots. And my father helped me to the back of the trailer to lay me down, to check on things and.
Pull the boot off and it was full of blood loss story short. I ended up getting rushed to the hospital, getting hundreds of stitches in the bottom of my foot that ended my cross country aspirations at that point. Um, and it took me years to even be able to get back to, you know, just normal walking, running without feeling.
Discomfort or pain and that sort of stuff. So I'm definitely not if you want to have happened to you, but you know, something to get through along the way.
Kevin Chang: [00:06:35]
So throughout high school and throughout college, you probably didn't participate.
Will Turner: [00:06:40]
No, not really. Very, very low. My biggest sports accolades in college was.
I played intermural darts and made it to the semifinals.
Kevin Chang: [00:06:53]
That is not bad though. That's an field.
Will Turner: [00:06:57]
Kevin Chang: [00:06:58]
Talk to us a little bit about then. When did you actually get into sports and into running?
Will Turner: [00:07:04]
I decided when I was in my, probably my late twenties, probably about 27, 28. I decided on a whim that I want to do a half marathon and I started training, but didn't really know what I was doing.
And I went for longer runs for me, but I think the longest run I probably did up to that race was about a nine or 10 mile run. And I didn't do training any consistency. I, it just, I didn't know what I was doing. And that was, this was pre internet pre being. Okay. Well, you know, I didn't have any friends that ran and it was just like me trying to figure it out.
Well, long story short, I show up at race day and it ends up being the hottest day in record for this particular race. This is an embarrassing story. So I'm getting to the first water station on the course as I'm getting up. And I'm seeing all these old people grab water. I'm thinking, you know, I've never been in a race before.
I don't know what you do, but I'm thinking, okay, I need to grab some water. I'm like headed over to grab something. And this little, like 12, 20, some this little 12 year old kid, like starts running past me. That was around I'm thinking, what is
keep going, keep going. I know, stop any water stations I get to this. Pretty steep incline Hill. It's fine. About a 10% incline. That's about a mile from the finish line. At this point, the heat has gotten to me. I ended up like staggering up the Hill and the spectators literally stop me cause they were worried about me and made me lie down.
I ended up getting taken to the medic tent. I ended up from there being taken to the hospital to get some fluids in me and all that sort of stuff. At the time my wife and my mother were waiting for me at finish line. And couldn't imagine where I was when they started taking down all the signs and that the race was over were like talking to the officials.
Like my husband, my son hasn't shown up yet. Yeah. They find me at the hospital a couple hours.
Bertrand Newson: [00:09:08]
Will Turner: [00:09:09]
This is the first time that dehydration, you know, took the best of me. And, um, it wouldn't be my last .
Kevin Chang: [00:09:16]
Yeah. You said it wouldn't be your last, so I think the first couple you were running, it it's a dehydration issues. Right?
Will Turner: [00:09:22]
What got me into marathons years later, I had a friend who had a brain tumor and, um, he was married to one of my best friends and, and she had decided she was gonna run the Richmond marathon to run.
Raise money for the Virginia brain tumor fund. And she asked me if I wanted to run with her and I wanted to support them. But my running in those days was running two to three miles with my golden retriever just to get his energy out. And that was it. So running a marathon was like, Whoa, I hadn't tried it yet.
Anything of any long distance since my half marathon debacle. So, um, at this point I was like 44 years old. And, um, I, I decided to, to run the marathon for Tom and that started my more endurance focus at that point. And I had that race and several races years over the next several years where I really struggled with the whole dehydration thing.
Um, and ended up either in the medic tent or one other time in the hospital because of dehydration. I've gotten a little since then, but even we'll go out now, um, to this day on a, a one, two, three mile run and not have a water bottle with me. And if I am running or running a race, I'm not only running with a water bottle, but I'm stopping at every aid station and taking in whatever fluids that can just because.
I naturally sweat a lot. And if I'm not careful, I go off the rails with dehydration. So I've learned how to manage it and what the signs are before I get there. But I still struggle with it, you know, and something I have to overcome every time I go out for a long run, especially when it's hot.
Bertrand Newson: [00:11:00]
And maybe we'll later in the conversation, we can go in a little bit more detail on some tips you may want to give our listeners.
Kevin Chang: [00:11:06]
Yeah, why not right now?
Will Turner: [00:11:07]
So on, on the journey, I had a couple dehydration moments as well. So I mean, I still struggle with it, but I have learned what are the signs? One of the signs that I get is my ear start popping. It's almost like an airplane, or you're traveling up a mountain side and you get the elevation popping in your ears, your ears, you don't hear as well.
And so to me, that's a sign that. Okay. I'm dehydrating. So I know that certainly taking salt tabs and other electrolytes, I'm much more focused on that. Always focused on the nutrition and the hydration part of, of it on the front end, but also during, and when it's really hot preparing a head, if it's on the course, you might have it on the course, but if you're going off for a training run or something, having ice.
And wet washcloth and things that you can roll up in ice to kind of keep your, your body and your core temperatures cooler, you know, putting it down your shirt, having a race belt on and running with ice, you know, against your belly and your chest is a great way to kind of help release some of the overheating that comes along with the dehydration tips.
Bertrand Newson: [00:12:15]
And going back to your very first marathon, again,
Will Turner: [00:12:19]
you signed up
Bertrand Newson: [00:12:20]
because. A friend was ill. They could do that
Will Turner: [00:12:23]
because for me
Bertrand Newson: [00:12:24]
that very first marathon experience is unique and special in its own way. But when you're doing it for somebody else, it just takes on a different level of a much deeper meaning.
So if you can share that experience with our listeners,
Will Turner: [00:12:37]
Tom was. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor and immediately literally went from a doctor's office visit to you have to go to the hospital right now. And they ended up operating like two days later he had the surgery and then he was going through the recovery, but then he was.
Actually dealing with a lot of issues and not initially in the recovery, but within a couple months, things were not going well. So the marathon was actually scheduled in that timeframe. And my friend Beth had come to me and said, we'll do you want to run? And I'm like, Beth, you know, I want to do it. For you and for Tom, I said, I don't know if I can.
And she was partway into her training. I was early August at this point in the race, I think was early November. And so she was up to like an eight or nine mile run for her long runs. And so we planned to meet and go for a eight or nine mile run, which I hadn't done in years and years and years. And we, we did the run and I got through it and we, you know, we stopped a couple of times along the way, but at the end of the run, I said, I'm in.
So we started training together and getting ready for it. And the weeks and months before the race, Tom just started getting weaker and weaker. He's about my size, like six to 185 pounds. That's sorta framework a day or two before the race. He was so weak and he'd lost so much weight.
He was probably down to about 110 pounds. It lost so much weight that he didn't have the strength to walk anymore. And then part of the plan was. I was running with that then. And she had recruited a couple other folks and the four of us were running as part of the team to support Tom and raise money and all that sort of stuff.
The day before, since Tom was a week that ended up going out to a local medical rental place and renting a wheelchair. The marathon just happened to go by. Their house about two blocks from their house and was about the halfway point of the room. friends and family of theirs come in for the race and to support Tom.
And we were making a big celebration of it. And so everybody was supposed to meet the four of us that were running, kind of went off to start the race. They were all going to be cheering us on at the halfway point with Tom right there. And, you know, we had our, you know, our shirts on and all this stuff to really make it a big celebration.
We get halfway, we see best mom. We see all these friends that were there waiting for us. And there's no Tom. And we're like, where's Tom. And, um, best moms as he was. So weak that morning, he couldn't even get into the wheelchair wheeled up to, to watch us. So the four of us went off, the course ran to their house, had a beautiful moment with Tom, just to say, you know, we're in this together, buddy, where, you know, and just, you know, have like this little fast.
And then we went, ran back on the course and then, you know, finish there's the race. But that, you know, definitely just. If anything's going to get you to run a marathon, it's doing something for somebody that you love. And Tom ended up passing away a couple weeks later, but having that experience was wonderful.
Having all of his friends and family there was wonderful that a little prologue to the story a year later that says to me, she goes, you know, Tom was actually a marathon runner. He had run like eight or nine marathons. And the next year the Philly marathon was coming up and she said, well, the Philly marathon was one of Tom's favorites.
You want to do it this year? And so I'm like, absolutely. So that the following year we ran the Philly marathon and I've run many races, you know, since then, you know, in honor of Tom and. Definitely it's something that, that makes you push a little harder when you've got a good purpose for doing it.
Bertrand Newson: [00:16:17]
Thank you so much.
Will Turner: [00:16:19]
talk to us if you would,
Kevin Chang: [00:16:20]
about after that first marathon and how did you get into running after that? And was there a point where you started actually enjoying runs? Cause you said before that first marathon, you, you weren't enjoying it too much.
Will Turner: [00:16:34]
After that first half marathon experience, I had some more runs.
I started getting to running a little bit more, actually organized. Uh, Richmond's first stairwell race and did that for a number of years. And, um, got involved. I was involved with a bunch of nonprofits, so helped organize a bunch of five K's and did some running that way. It was the marathon experience that really opened the door for the more, the longer distance and endurance events.
And, and. I definitely love the challenge of the endurance piece and the fact that I ended up in the medic tent, the fact that I wasn't very good at it was actually the reason why I kept at it because it challenged me. It made me want to grow and the better. And so there was always, you know, whether it was nailing down nutrition or hydration or just building, you know, pace and the engine I needed.
Yeah. It definitely was something I found challenging. But at the same time, the struggle made you feel stronger and better and more confident. So it fueled me along the way. You know, at that point, after my first marathon, I was 44, almost 45 years old. I really started the more endurance. Path that I've been on for the last 20 years or so.
Kevin Chang: [00:17:44]
So talk to us about triathlons.
Will Turner: [00:17:46]
I did my first triathlon actually with Beth years before I did the first marathon with her, I actually was going, I'd gone through a divorce. So I was finding myself with some extra time and I didn't want to wallow in my self pity. And I thought, let me do a triathlon. This was like 96.
Three 94 and triathlons were not big back then. I mean, there were a few around, but you know, there, there definitely wasn't the craze that there is today. And so I signed up for my first triathlon and this was a shorter distance triathlon. And I remember Beth and I were at the award ceremony after the race, just hanging around and.
Yeah, we, of course were, this was our first one. We weren't getting any awards and we just wanted to kind of be there for the experience. And I remember this guy who went up to get his first place award. He was like in the 50 to 55 age category and he walks up to the little state and the setup for the stage.
And he's so fit and it looks so healthy and looked so young and vital and strong, and I'm thinking, that's what I want to be. You went up 50, some years old, right? I want to be that guy who, you know, is still out there doing it and pushing it and. So he became, you know, a very inspirational figure and he actually was a member of my gym.
So I used to see him on a regular basis. Yeah. Talk to them and that sort of stuff. Um, but that got me started on the path of triathlons and I was combining the triathlons with the running at that point. Yeah, being fairly consistent with it. And as I was coming up to my 50th birthday, I decided I wanted to be hag, which is a big, hairy, audacious goal.
I thought what would be a big, hairy, audacious goal? I can combine the endurance side of things with the triathlon side of things. And obviously the idea was I could do an iron man year. I turned 50, which. Yeah. At that point in my life, I thought that was huge. And it was, you know, and so I trained for my first iron man, actually at that point, Beth had moved to New Zealand after Tom had died.
She had some connections in New Zealand decided to move to New Zealand. And so I decided to do my first iron man in New Zealand and go visit her, which was amazing. And that just started the journey. It ramped up the journey even more. I mean, that experience was. Life changing and a lot of different ways.
And I started to really on that part of the journey really embraced, you know, the, the hard training, the discipline training, the commitment that I needed, definitely training harder than I'd ever trained before and really studying the art and science of what I needed to do to be the best athlete I could be at that point.
And, you know, that led to doing an iron man. Started every other year, then it started every year. Then it turned into a double and turned into a couple and then it turned into 105 iron mans over. It definitely was a slow build. You know, it's not something I went into and said, I got this, but you know, I haven't been over the last 10 years.
Before I started the 60 at 60, you know, and then onto the a hundred plus, you know, I had been testing myself more and more and getting to the point where I could get to today or get to where I needed to be.
Kevin Chang: [00:21:04]
And part of that success has been being injury free over all of these years. And so can you. Talk to that, talk to how you prevent injuries.
Will Turner: [00:21:14]
You know, it's definitely a lesson learned kind of thing. I tell people that I'm a Zen athlete, meaning that I'm very mindful and present, particularly with my body. And so I really pay attention to what's going on with my body and making sure if I feel something that doesn't feel right. Um, Yeah, looking at my form.
I'm thinking about what I can do. I'm making sure I'm massaging or doing whatever I might need to do. If there's a muscle issue, um, you know, working on core strength to make sure I've got that good form. You know, I'm getting plenty of rest and recovery. But again, lesson learned that the reality was one of my earlier marathons, not pride.
My third or fourth marathon, I was doing some biking and I felt something in my knee and I, the time I was training for the Richmond marathon. Yeah. Then I noticed after I felt this. Thing happened that when I ran it didn't get worse, but it didn't get better. I was in pain and I was in discomfort, but I could manage it.
And I knew if I went to my sports doctor, she would say, will you go lay off? We need to do something. We can't run the marathon. And I was being very stubborn and, you know, as many athletes
Bertrand Newson: [00:22:26]
Will Turner: [00:22:27]
really, really? And so literally I prayed for the marathon and I cut back my training regimen to not train as hard or as.
Long but enough so I can get through the marathon. Okay. And I knew that I was just going to do this marathon for fun. So I wasn't going to try to do any PR things. So I had a company back then that was called dancing elephants achievement group. And, um, we had run a local Tenpay race and we had run in dancing, elephants t-shirts with tutus at one point.
And so I decided. For the marathon, I was going to wear a pink Tutu and on the back of my tee shirt, I wrote God above knee. Shouldn't really run, but the marathon is just too, too far.
So I, I ran a marathon with my Tutu. Um, and then shortly after that, I got an appointment with my sports doctor, went in to see her find out that I had partially torn my patella tendon. And I've done more damage and caused some extra scarring and things because I had been running on it for two or three months and hadn't gone to get help immediately.
And so that was the wake up call that I needed. That was like, you know, we'll, you knew you were injured, you were being stubborn. You know, this is time to take one of those life lessons and apply it. So ever since that point, that's what I've done with my running. And that's where I, the Zen athlete part of it comes into play is I, I don't want to, it ended up taking about 18 months from start to finish before I was back where I was pre-injury.
And like, I'm not going to go through that again. And so I do a lot, the things now that I didn't do before, just because I learned the hard way. So if anybody's listening out there, Dover. I need to repeat my mistakes, still learn from them. Hopefully it's a
Bertrand Newson: [00:24:12]
great takeaway. You know, that's an exceptional take away
Will Turner: [00:24:16]
looking at your time and your pace and all that sort of stuff.
You're trying to nail a race or you're trying to nail a workout. And sometimes because we're so focused on that, we're not paying attention to our bodies. I think most of us have enough awareness to realize that, you know, we can push ourselves and just mentally tough it out and give it everything we've got and that's okay.
But we, we shouldn't be doing that when they can cause physical harm or where we've got a damage that we can exacerbate and make worse. And so it's. Knowing that distinction and not just gutting it out regardless because you can, because it's going to cause more injury. My goal is, you know, I'm 62 years old now and I wouldn't be doing this when I'm 80, you know, I want to be doing this when I'm 90.
I w I want my body to hold up as long as possible. So I want to train hard and train smart. And I think you can do both. If you, if you're mindful of what you're doing and not letting your ego get in the way. Thank you. Well, if you could share
Bertrand Newson: [00:25:18]
the importance of nutrition and diet. Cause one thing that we see you are putting in the work, clearly you look fantastic.
So when you say 62 years young, not 62 years old. Um,
but if you could share and kind of peel back the curtain
on your diet and, and how that has helped sustain your health, um, as you continue to move forward in your fitness journey,
Will Turner: [00:25:41]
I've always been a healthy eater. But I, I'm not obsessed about it. I mean, I don't mind if I have a piece of pizza or a dessert, you know, I don't eat it every day.
So, I mean, I don't count calories or that sort of stuff. I just look at my overall diet and just make sure that I'm getting a good balance of, of foods that I need and not, you know, over critiquing anything at any given time. But, you know, I've gone vegan, I've gone vegetarian, I've gone back to, you know, I've kind of dabbled with a lot of different things, but I do try to eat a whole foods diet and try to be as healthy as I can, again, without obsessing about it.
And, and, you know, certainly that plays out with, you know, when you're racing long, you know, just making sure that in, in the world of iron man, they say, you know, it's four disciplines. It's, it's swim by run nutrition. And that, you know, if you mess the nutrition up, it can ruin your day. And, and take you out.
So, I mean really paying attention, nutrition and hydration is a big part of doing that. And with everybody, I mean, it's a lot of things experimenting what works well for you, right? Especially from a race and training perspective is, is really understanding what your body needs cause everybody's different.
I've got some friends who are great marathon runners. Who don't take a sip of water the whole time, which to me, it's like, Oh my God do that. And I'm down in as much as I can. And, you know, we're all different. So just finding those things that work for you that you know is good for your system. Luckily, I've got a cast iron stomach, so I can, I don't usually have any issues with, you know, digestive issues, but I know a lot of people do.
So you have to worry about, you know, what, if I'm taking this foo or this gel or this block, or this peanut butter and jelly sandwich, how's that going to affect me while I'm. Continuing on my, my ratio, my run. So just kind of experimenting to figure that out is part of, I think what every athlete's journey is to, to get to someplace where they can be performing at their optimal level.
Bertrand Newson: [00:27:36]
What about supplementation, vitamins, fish, oil, protein, powders, things along those lines that you've incorporated over time.
Will Turner: [00:27:45]
I've dabbled with a few of those things over time and never really stuck to any of them and really feel like I'm getting a balanced nutrition from what I'm eating. My only thing is that I've discovered for myself is at the end of a very long workout.
And I'm talking like a 20 mile run for, um, certainly an Ironman or a marathon or something like that. I've got a recovery drink that I use, and there's a lot of great recovery drinks out there. And you usually find what works for you and you like. Stick to it for me, it's Endurox are for, I get the chocolate and drops are for mix, combine it with almond milk and I down that and I feel great the next day.
I swear by it because I know how it works for me. I was talking to somebody recently and they said, you know, I was. I had this friend colleague come in from work from, and they just been this marathon and they're hobbling around and you know, here you are going on an Ironman and then you turn around to another iron man during my 105, I had, um, just when you say that, it's
Bertrand Newson: [00:28:45]
Will Turner: [00:28:45]
Back to back iron man. So one man one the next day. So four that were doubles and then I had one triple. So there were some days where I literally had to recover. And then, you know, wake up the next morning, you know, get four hours of sleep and do it all over again, type thing. So I have to have something that is going to help restore me as quickly as possible.
So that recovery drink to me. He is the godsend to help me do that. If I, if I didn't do that, I would feel a lot more discomfort and be struggling a lot more than I normally would. Yeah,
Bertrand Newson: [00:29:23]
we'll be sure to share, you know, the show notes, a link to that product. For sure. If you endorse it,
Will Turner: [00:29:28]
you can add water, you can add milk.
I drink almond milk and I love the combination of almond milk with the chocolate. It's like breaking chocolate milk, but better for you type thing. So
Kevin Chang: [00:29:38]
let's see. Let's go ahead and dive right into it. So what made you say. Okay. I can do for Ironman a year and say, let's do 60. Let's do 60 in a year. What?
Yeah. What sparked it?
Will Turner: [00:29:51]
Yeah. I told you about my P hag. When I, I did turn 50 was to do my first iron man. And while I was doing that, I came across a quote that just really resonated with me. And it said, you know, if your dream doesn't scare you, it's not big enough. And at that time doing the iron man was big enough.
You know, I struggled with some marathon, so I thought, yeah, I'm going to add. A 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and then a marathon that really scared maybe stuff. No, that kind of started that path. So as I was coming, actually it was about three years before I was turning 60. I just had this thought, you know, what should I do when I turned 60?
You know, I can commemorate it. Just like when I turned 50, I can do something big. And the first thought that came in my mind, Was, I could do six iron mans that year. I turned 60 and I thought, wow, that would be huge. And it would have been. And, um, shortly after I had that thought, how is that a local triathlon, a shorter distance triathlon in town.
And I was coaching some of the athletes that were competing. So I just went out to be a spectator and cheer them on. And as I was out there, I ran into, uh, another athlete that I was friends with that was watching the race. And she said, you know, Willie got any big race plans coming up. And I. I said, well, as a matter of fact, you know, it's a few years out, but I'm thinking about doing six iron mans a year turned 60 and immediately very matter of factly, she goes, Oh, like song.
And I'm like, what? And this guy is in the local triathlon community. I didn't know him, but I knew who he was. And I didn't know much about his story, but I knew he did RNs and it turns out he had turned 60 a couple of years before and done six iron man. Yeah. I give him all the props necessary because I don't know any other 60 year olds who have done six iron mans, but immediately it just took the wind out of my cell.
That's like I was thinking I had this huge big goal. And all of a sudden, the first person I mentioned it to, he said, Oh, I saw somebody else. Wow. I went a little depressed about it. And I'm like, what am I going to do now? I want this be half as big, hairy, audacious goal. And I think I need to think bigger.
And you know, you're thinking, what can I do when I turn 66 at 60, 60 at 60? What about, and then I thought of a quote, I thought of. If your dream doesn't scare you, it's not big enough. And that scared the crap out of me, I thought, all right, I'm on to something here. And, and so the good news is I had about two and a half years at that point before I turned 60.
And so I thought, okay, it wasn't like this switch that was like, Oh, I can do this. It was like, huh, this is really interesting. It scares the crap out of me. I wonder if I can do this? What can I do to prepare, prepare myself mentally, physically. To see if it's even possible, because I didn't have any role models to know, see if that was feasible, particularly at my age.
And, and so the next year I trained for a quintuple iron man, and I also did about 20 iron mans on my own, where I would just go out for a day and do an iron man. And so I was just testing my body more and more just to see what it was capable of and see if I could prevent injury and all those sorts of things.
And I did. And so I, I started getting more competent that, okay, I can do this. And then about probably nine months before I was actually going to start the journey, I started sharing it with some of my friends and I actually have a lot of friends in the running from UT locally. And I started sharing it with them and I thought.
Yeah, I'd get this, like, that's awesome. Well, this is great, you know, and all I got was the naysayers. I got the people saying, these are my best friends. They're saying, are you crazy? You can't do that. You're going to hurt yourself. You're too old. You're too. They started throwing up all the excuses. Why it couldn't be done.
And why it's never been done and all this summer stuff. And, you know, at first it disappointed me and frustrated me, cause I'm thinking, you know, here are the people that I expect to support me and they're like throwing crap at me, you know? And then I realized, you know, that they were speaking of their own limits, not mine.
They were projecting how they felt about it for themselves and saying that it couldn't be done. Wasn't where I was coming from, and I didn't need to, I didn't need their support. I mean, I wanted their support, but I didn't need their belief in me. The only person I needed to believe was myself. And so I just needed to continue to fortify myself mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, to get ready for what would be the biggest challenge of my life.
And, and, um, most of those people came along for the ride once I got going. But it was one of those things where you realize that, you know, it's your dream, not theirs. And so you can't expect them to jump on and be all excited for you, right. From the get go. And that's okay. As long as you believe it, as long as you want it badly enough.
You know, and I, I knew that there was a, certainly a, a pretty good chance of failure, but I was going to go and give it everything I had. If I failed, I was going to learn a lot about myself and if I didn't fail, it would be, you know, one of the biggest accomplishments I've ever done. So no harm, no Valley either way.
Kevin Chang: [00:34:48]
talk to us about the planning, what went into the planning for that first year and who helped you? And
Will Turner: [00:34:54]
there aren't actually 60 Ironman races in a year, right? All over the world. There's not 60 Ironman races. And so I was basically focused on from logistical standpoint. So I was focused on racing in the U S.
And I wanted to do a combination of actual races. The ones that I could work into my schedule and then everything else that'd be on your own. So I would follow all the race rules and guidelines as far as times and cutoffs and distances and all that sort of stuff. And whatever, like in, in a triathlon, you can't draft off another biker, you know, in, in the bike.
And, uh, most of the time I was biking my myself, a couple of times I would have people that want to join me. And I would say, you can join me, but you have to ride behind me because I'm not going to draft off you. You're not typing. Everything I did was like up to race standards and rules and that sort of stuff.
But anyway, so I had a bunch of braces that I picked that out. I wanted to do. And then I turned to my partner and I called him my Uber sharp up. I told him, I said, I'd like your help on this. If you want to commit to doing this, and he's like, what do you have now? I'm like, well, you know, we've got a, he's a, a really strong cyclist.
And he, he loves to cycle mountain passes and up in high elevation and all, and he cycled all over the country. And so in his mind, we should go to the most Epic places. Darn it.
Okay. Conceptually. That sounds really good until you think about the logistics here. What's menthol, I'm doing iron man, but I'm not only just doing it. And I'm running and cycling. Climbing mountain passes with elevation and elevation falls is dehydration and it makes, you know, loss of oxygen. You know, there's a lot of other athletic things.
I've got to keep in mind that I've got to now survive. Not only an iron man, but iron man. And he's always in places that are also, you know, some of the toughest places in the, in the country. So, um, I used to swear out and say, you're trying to tell me, you always have to remember dad or has what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.
And so, as, as we went along, I got stronger and stronger because I was doing these races. And a lot of our national parks, Yosemite glacier grand Tetons, red Canyon, big Sur coast. I mean, some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. I did a bunch in Colorado, a lot in California, death Valley. Just all over and they were challenging, you know, I mean, they weren't easy iron mans.
I mean, when I look at the courses we created and, and Chris really laid out the, the course logistics for me, particularly on the writing part, you know, they're tougher than any other race I've ever done. You know, the races that were I doing on my own were much tougher than them. The races I signed up for, but they were also, they brought a whole different element to the experience that, you know, I don't have any regrets at all about, but it definitely was a, a logistical challenge to, to put it all together.
And I relied heavily on Chris to help me pull all that together and really figure out what are the best places to go. And what time of year do we want to go? Where and. Sometimes you're making adjustments on the fly. I remember we were headed for what was going to be number 25 in the journey we're headed up.
We were on the central coast of California. We just finished one on the central coast and we were headed to Lake Tahoe to do one there. And as we're driving. Chris is looking at his phone and seeing that there's rain in Tahoe for like the next week and just like heavy rain all week and was like, that doesn't sound good.
You know what we do instead, and maybe go back to Tahoe the following week. So he's like, and a few seconds later, he's like, I know we can go to the grand Canyon. Wow. I'm like, really? And he's like I said, where are we going to swim?
And was like, you can swim in Flagstaff. We'll find a pool and you can swim in Flagstaff. And then you can bike up to the grand Canyon, which was about 70 or 80 miles. And then you, which is mostly going. Up an elevator and then you can finish the ride in the park and then do your run in the park. It's like, okay.
So we're off in Canyon and not that one, but yeah, it took a lot of just figuring things out and being flexible along the way to make other things work. As we need to do. Are you enjoying the show?
Kevin Chang: [00:39:22]
Help us out by sharing the podcast, you can win some cool prizes, like headbands, wristbands, training programs, shadows, and more.
Especially if you're part of an existing running group online community, or have friends that you think will enjoy the show, get your personal referral link at race mob.com/referral.
Bertrand Newson: [00:39:40]
Well on this journey, were you a sponsored
Will Turner: [00:39:41]
athlete? Did you have corporate support
Bertrand Newson: [00:39:43]
through this journey as well on the back end or is that all self-supported itself?
Will Turner: [00:39:48]
99% self subsidize. I'll put it that way. I had a local fleet feet owner offered a. Surviving with our running shoes for the duration, which was amazing. I had somewhere along the line, I was doing an Ironman army in Santa Rosa in California. And, um, Rudy project had heard about what I was doing shortly before that.
And they met me there. They had a booth there and I was running the race there and they, um, gave me a, uh, Rudy project helmet and some racing glasses. And, um, I had another experience where I ended up getting a blue, 70, gave me a free wetsuit. And so I had some, some in kind support along the way. This is very nice, but I'd actually tried to get some sponsorship before it all started.
And you know, who wants to sponsor a 60 year old guy who says he's going to do 60 iron man? Apparently they didn't believe I could do it either. So I think I'll have better luck when I turned 70.
Kevin Chang: [00:40:45]
Talk a little bit about the gear. What types of shoes were you wearing? What suits you and what kind of gear does a triathlete
Will Turner: [00:40:52]
need in the swim you need?
You know, just something to swim with, but you, you need goggles and you need, and a lot of the swims I did, I was swimming and. You know, mountain lakes and glacier fed that you needed wetsuits and that's a wetsuit and that's where stuff, the funny thing about the whole wetsuit thing. So we had done a Ironman in glacier national park, which is in, you know, in Montana.
And a friend of mine had a family little cottage in Montana, not a couple hours away and said, you're welcome to go there for a couple of days and chill out. And you could even do an Ironman there if you want to. There's a Lake there and I'm thinking, yeah, that sounds great. You know, and, and so there's the Lake there is called Lake KUKA Noosa, and it actually straddles the Montana us and Canada border.
So it's right up a very top end of Canada. And, you know, I asked my friend, I said, you know, we're, we're going in early June. I'm like, can you swim in the Lake in early June? Because at that time, that far North, sometimes it can be a problem. He said, Oh yeah, you'll have no problem at all. He said, he didn't go normally.
But his sister from Utah went during the summer and she said, you know, they'd swimming at all times. I'm thinking, okay. So at that point I had to sleep wetsuit. So I wear the sleeveless wetsuit. I get in the water. And as soon as I get in the water, it's like, The first thought in my head was, Oh my God, this is so cold.
How am I going to make it four miles? Right. I understand the whole negative chatter in your head thing. And so I know how to challenge that. So as soon as I heard that chatter going off, my immediate response was. But we'll yeah, this water is so refreshing. Amazing. And this Lake is beautiful and you've got the whole Lake to yourself.
I had the whole Lake to myself cause nobody else was swimming it cause it's too freaking cold swimming and getting through the swim. I come to the edge of the water to start climbing out of the water. Chris usually is there waiting for me, often taking pictures. And he thought he was just going to get the normal thing, me coming out of the Lake, going, going for the bike now, you know, and kind of waving at the camera.
And instead he catches it all on video. I started to stand up in the water and I'm just shaking uncontrollably. And I started to walk. I, I looked like Frankenstein and my eyes are all bugged out and glazed. And I literally walk a step and I fall back in the water and I stand back up and I start to walk and I can't hold my balance.
And as I'm getting closer to him, I just look like I've got hypothermia setting yet know, and of course he gets it all off later. We just laughed about it. But at the time it was pretty scary. I actually posted it on Facebook and some of my friends go, well, what are you doing? This is you can't do this to yourself.
You know, this is crazy. And I'm like, I appreciate your concern, but I know what I signed up for. And I know the water was very cold and I know I needed to push myself through it and I got through it and I'm fine. And, you know, everything will be okay. Well, you know, long story short, a friend of best who's now a friend of mine in New Zealand saw that on Facebook or friend who worked for this blue seventies distributor in New Zealand and contacted him and said, can we do anything that will a lost lead wetsuit?
And he called the, the owner of blue 70 in Seattle and told him my story and John that. CEO of blue 70 sends me an email and says, well, what kind of, what size wetsuit do you need?
It was amazing. It went from New Zealand to Seattle back to me, um, just cause people were following the journey and China's support me along the way. So yeah, that's what you need for swimming. Obviously you need a. Bike and the bike shoes and the helmet and the glasses and everything, and the bike kits for the bike.
And then you can run and just your normal running here and that sort of stuff. So, you know, the bike is definitely the more problematic, more expensive, but also you got the mechanical aspects that, you know, if something can go wrong, that you've gotta be ready to be able to fix, fix a tire, a chain that goes bad or something else along the way.
At one point we were in Telluride and I just literally come off down a mountain and gotten to a flat part. And within a quarter mile of being on a flatter terrain, I had my whole wheel, which was a carbon wheel, deep dish wheel. Just kind of disintegrate on me. Yeah. Which was crazy. And luckily. If I'd been going down the mountain at the time it happened, which was like a couple of minutes before it could have been a disaster as it was.
I, you know, I heard this loud bang. I felt like it was like a shock and it was my back wheel and tire just kind of blowing and splintering apart. And I was able to kind of come to a stop and not crash and all that sort of stuff. So I could be here all day and share stories with you about all of the mishaps, not necessarily on the bike, but just.
Yeah. I swam with alligators and sharks and stingrays and seals. And, you know, I mean, there's always, you know, an adventure when you're out there doing these things and bears, I had some, a couple bear encounters, so lots of things to keep you
Kevin Chang: [00:46:05]
what's me a time that was the most difficult. Or were there ever times that you didn't think that you were going to make it to the finish line?
Will Turner: [00:46:13]
Yeah, there were actually three races that I aborted partway through and I just, two of them were, were smoke related. Like you're dealing with in California right now, Telluride and tell your rides in this box Canyon.
And I had done my swim gone over yeah. Dallas divide, which is a huge climb through the San Juan mountains. Stick out on the other side, was that 70 miles into my bike ride. Chris catches me. In the car. He had been up ahead of me. He comes back, weighs me down. I pull over the side of the road. He said, we'll, there's a local wildfire over the Ridge that, you know, all the smoke is coming in to tell you, right.
It's kind of sitting there and you know, you're not going to be able to finish your race today. I was on the side of the road and I sat there. We stood there for about five minutes, just. Agonizing, what do I do? What do I do? I had experience, um, with wildfires when I lived in California, when I was training for Ironman like Tahoe, no, how the particulate matter can really be dangerous.
It's causing lung lung damage, even when you don't realize it at the time. And I thought I can't jeopardize this whole journey for this race. You know, I'm better to pull out, even though I'm through the hardest part of the race and, you know, kind of on the back side. And so I pulled out of that race and ended up making up for it later .
I had another race in Alaska where I did the same thing. It was smoke and I pulled it. We ran into a smoke issue and then. The third time on the, the second year when we decided to keep moving forward. On February 5th of that year, Chris got diagnosed with kidney cancer. It can't came out of the blue. He had peaked some blood and gone check on it.
After some tests, he found out he had kidney cancer. And so we literally put a pause. On everything for like four months from his diagnosed time to getting all the tests and then the surgery and then the recovery time. And in that time we had decided we were going to try to squeeze one in while we're waiting for results and before surgery and all that sort of stuff.
And we went to death Valley. And I started it and got about halfway through the bike and I just, I was so, you know, my mind just wasn't in it. And we were still just really, and with all the cancer scare part of it that I just, you know, at some point I said, you know, let's just call this a good training workout and you know, do this another day.
So we did. So even though I only did 45 only, there was about a four month hiatus for the cancer episode. I mean the second year ended up being harder than the first, even though there were fewer iron mans because yeah, we had to make up all that lost time. We didn't have to, but we decided to, you know, one thing that the cancer scare did for us is, you know, we came out the other end and Chris was more determined than ever because, you know, we didn't know whether we're just going to say pause and not go back to it or what was gonna happen.
We didn't know what his recovery was going to be like. But when he got through it and he didn't need, luckily he didn't need any kid chemo or radiation because they literally took the whole kidney out and there was no cancer anywhere else. So that was great. But came out of that, just really, you know, having even a stronger appreciation for taking every day as a gift, giving it all we had.
And, and Chris is like, I want to go bigger and bolder than ever before, you know? And so we decided that we were going to. We were driving around from place to place. Obviously we were putting lots of miles on the little camper. I mean, an SUV that toes, a little teardrop camper. That's how we traveled around.
So us in the teardrop camper decided to do one. We were doing something in the state of Washington, and then we went up to. Vancouver and to Whistler and did one up there. From there, we drove through all of British Columbia, all of the Yukon and into Alaska. We went to Denali, um, it's like a three or four day just driving nonstop to, to get there, you know, and bear country.
I mean, at one point in. Upper Northern British Columbia. We saw like 20 bears within a 10 mile stretch of the road. Amazing journey. Um, we came back through Canada and went to Banff national park and Jasper national park in Canada, which are amazing. And we did an iron man there. So we really packed a whole lot into that.
You know, from, by the time we restarted the journey, it was towards the end of may of 2019. So from. That point through the end of the year, we were just going gangbusters to pull off, getting to a hundred and then, you know, I couldn't be satisfied. So I had to go to 105 and that's another.
Bertrand Newson: [00:50:59]
Okay, well the documentary when's the movie coming out.
Will Turner: [00:51:03]
I've told people what anybody wants to do. I'm ready. I mean, really, I mean,
Bertrand Newson: [00:51:08]
we're honored to be able to share this amazing story with our listeners and it's more than just the athletic achievement. I'm literally saying that there's the time is just a number.
Age is just a number. And you are a control. There is a fountain of youth, you know, it's effort and determination and consistency and tenacity and no quit attitude.
Will Turner: [00:51:31]
I tell people that I am not a gifted athlete at all. I mean, my past shows that I didn't come into this with great genes that just, I could go out and do this stuff.
My, if I've got a super powered script, you know, and I, that's something that we all can cultivate. And Angela Duckworth is the preeminent expert on grit. She's written the book grit. She does a lot of research. And what she says in her, from what she's found out from all our research is that, you know, it's not the most gifted, it's not the most talented, it's not the strongest or the fastest that succeed in their fields.
And she's done research with athletes and with students and with business people and people of all walks of life. She says, it's the people with the most grit really rise to the top of whatever, no profession or pursuit they're going after. And yeah, what I've taught myself to do is to cultivate my grip.
To keep pushing through when I hit those obstacles. And when I failed to pick myself back up and figure out what I need to do differently next time, and to keep moving forward, because I've had a lot of people along the way saying, yeah, why are you doing this? If it's important enough to you, you can keep doing it.
And to me, The thing that has kept me on the endurance side of athletics is I call it the sweet spot. And it's when you get to a point in a race or in a training workout where you are taxed to your limits and physically and mentally, you are just. Like you just want to quit. Every cell in your body is screaming.
Stop, stop, stop. And in that moment you have a choice. You can either stop or you can push through. And there's nothing sweet in that moment, but I call it the sweet spot because if you push through afterwards, It's like drinking the sweetest Alexa, you ever could, because it changes who you are. It gives you the competence.
It gives you the resilience. It builds the grit that tells you that you are capable of so much more than you ever will realize you're capable of. And it'd be just keep pushing and moving forward. You're going to find yourself, you know, a stronger, a better version of yourself. And so, you know, that's been, my endurance journey has just been a journey in grit and learning how to push through when other people might not.
And you know, if there's a secret sauce, that's the secret sauce. That's
Bertrand Newson: [00:53:46]
great for Kevin and ice is fantastic for our listeners. I mean the Sage wisdom and how athletic, especially in endurance sports, the parallels to life, because we're always going to be faced with adversity. Um, there are always going to be setbacks and it's how we react, how we respond, how we pick ourselves up and keep moving.
So, um, and you're living that every single day
Will Turner: [00:54:08]
and you're right. It does impact every part of your life. I actually just wrote a blog post last week. That was seven mental hacks from an endurance athlete to get you through the pandemic. And you know, all the things that were honed in me over years and years, but certainly over the journey over the last two years.
Yeah, I applied during this pandemic, you know, and there are the, all these life lessons that come with pushing through and the grit and determination and the mental resiliency that you need for any of life's obstacles. And to me, that's the gift of endurance sports. That's why I, you know, we'll continue to do it as long as I can because.
I get so much from it in return. That helps me in the rest of my life.
Bertrand Newson: [00:54:50]
Share with some of my teammates and athletes is the mind moves the body. You know, sometimes we focus so much on the, the effort, but ultimately it's your, your mental strength? What is able to, will you through. So many situations in life and certainly in athletics, you know, the mind moves the body.
Will Turner: [00:55:09]
yeah, I strongly recommend the book grit by Angela Duckworth for your readers. It's an amazing read. She's she's a researcher. She's a professor. So there's a lot of, you know, the science behind it and the research behind it, but it's also in a very user friendly format that just gives you inspiration along the way of, okay.
Yeah. This is something that I, I want to be part of the high and she defines grit as being the combination of passion and perseverance. And she talks also in perseverance about it being perseverance for the long haul, because to get great at anything, you can't just have perseverance in the moment. I mean, that's good, but you really have to have it for the long haul.
If you want to really achieve your greatest potential. And to me, that's. You know, what I've done with the endurance side of sport is, you know, I've been, you know, my first marathon was 18 years ago and I've been on this endurance path at some level for the last 18 years. So I have been committed to it.
I've had the perseverance for the longterm. That's a big part of my journey. You know, I wouldn't have had them having done this. Had I not had that part of the journey that gave me the confidence. To keep pushing the envelope, keep pushing myself along the way to get to that point. And so it's not just, I want to go out and train for a marathon.
It's what am I going to do next? You know? And, and we can come in and out of the sport and we can come in and out of those things that we love. But interesting thing I also learned, that I think is one of those life lessons I realized when I did my first iron man, I was turning 50. I was getting what I now see as a midlife crisis.
I want it to feel young and vital and strong. And I thought iron man was a great way to do that, to show myself, but also to show others. And, you know, I thought, you know, when I get done with this, I'm going to get an iron man tattoo and not all this stuff after the race was over, I didn't want the tattoo.
Why I didn't want it was I realized the journey and certainly through the race that the reason I wanted it was to feed my ego. And I had experiences post race in New Zealand, which is another podcast altogether that I, I wanted to use the sport and use my endurance efforts as way to nurse my soul. And so I I've since.
Yeah that time. So for the last 10 plus years, I've used endurance not to feed my ego, but to nurture my soul. And so, you know, the, even though I was doing 105 iron mans, I combined it with the live, your bold mission. And so as I was going around the country, I was speaking to kids at schools and I was, um, helping people break through their barriers and providing linear, bold starter kits and doing whatever I could to encourage others.
To step out of their comfort zone because the serving the others, that purpose piece was a way to nurture my own soul through my own journey. So it wasn't just about me going out to do this because I could, or I wanted to, but how do I match that with something that I think will magnify and bring positive impact to others?
Kevin Chang: [00:58:17]
Incredible. Talk to us about what's next? What do you have on the horizon? What are you working on these days?
Will Turner: [00:58:24]
Well, from an athletic standpoint, when you do two years of Ironman, don't do a lot of other things. I realized that when I finished in the end of 2019, that there I did have a couple of athletic goals.
One was, I didn't want to do any races in 2020, but I didn't want to have that focus of just. No, I've got to train for this. And at the exclusion of some other things, I want to have more flexibility. And I wanted to really love what I was doing and not feeling like I had to do it. Like today. I went out for a six and a half mile run and that was great.
You know, I didn't have to do, I didn't have to do a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike, 20 miles before that. So I decided I wanted to work on three things that I lost during the journey and that, you know, It was strength. I do a lot of core work. I do a lot of weights and strength work as part of my own conditioning.
And I couldn't, I did that some on the journey, but certainly not at the level that I would normally do it. So I wanted to work on strength. Again, I wanted to work on flexibility because when you're going from race to race here, you're not very flexible. And I'm not that flexible anyway, as, as an athlete.
So I knew that was something I wanted to work on and because I was always going long. I wasn't working on speeding and I wanted to get back some of the speed that I lost going long for two years. So those are my focuses for this year. And then we'll look at, you know, what races come after that. I've got some ideas, but the main thing is I just want keep pushing myself, keep having fun and keep being healthy so I can keep doing this.
I don't know if you've ever heard of the guy named Lou Hollander. He's he was the first 80 plus year old to finish the Kona Ironman world championship. And, you know, with an iron man, it doesn't matter whether you're 80 or 25. Yeah. You have the same cutoffs, you know, there's no adjustment for cutoffs based on age.
So Lou. At 82 years old completed the Kona, Ironman and all the cutoffs that every other athlete did. And I recently, during the pandemic a couple of months ago, I happened to run across an article on Lou and he's now 90 years old, Nick lives in Oregon. And he's not doing iron mans anymore, but he's out there running and pushing himself every day.
He's still doing shorter distance triathlons at 90 years old. And I, you know, one Sage advice that he has a couple of things that he said in interviews that I just think are brilliant, but also make me just like, no, I'm following your lead here. You know, he doesn't have this. Discipline. Well, he does have a discipline training regimen, but it's not what I, from a coaches standpoint, it's not what I would recommend, but it's, it's a great kind of philosophy.
Every day. He goes out on a and does a workout, which is most days, you know, I don't know how many days he takes off, but most days he's going out for a run or a bike or something. He's always pushing himself to anaerobic conditions with every, um, with every workout he does. You know, he might be running up a Hill.
He might be running and sprinting, but he's going to get to that anaerobic capacity where he can't go anymore. And what I find really interesting about that when you really study the science and research around aging athletes, which I do pretty consistently is that most older athletes will stop doing those hard short distance sprint type anaerobic workouts, because it's hard, it's difficult.
It's taxing. It's. Yeah, it's not fun, but that's what has kept Lou in the game for, you know, into his 90 90th birthday. And so I think we fall back to our complacency and we fall back to those things that, Oh, it's easy for me to go out on a long run, but am I really pushing myself? You know, sometimes you are pushing yourself on a long run, but I mean, I think we do get into that comfort level.
And I think that's why you see a lot of people drop out of the sport or slow down. And the research tells us that are VO two max is gonna decline over time, but we can lessen that, that decline so much just by doing things. They're going to push ourselves, you know, in the way we train and work out and have shorts thing.
The other thing that Lee says that I think is brilliant is he says, people always ask them and I'm sure y'all heard this too, is how can your knees take it? You know? And he's like, I don't know about you, but I'm working my knees every day as we get older anybody. But I think as we get older, I, I hear the excuses all the time.
I can't do this. I wish I could do this, but I got bad news or I can't do this because of that. And I think the second we start using age as an excuse is when we turn over, I agree with what you said earlier, or Tran, as far as being 16 years old, being 16 years young, but I call it 16 years bold, which you know, is not accepting age as a definer for what you, what your limits are and because everybody's different.
But we, we, all I need to do is see somebody like Luke out there still doing it. And that gives me the inspiration go, okay, it can be done. You know, I know it can be done. So, you know, why can't it be me? And if I, if I put in the work, I'm going to have a much greater chance of getting there. Then if I know.
Kevin Chang: [01:03:34]
some of the tactical things that you've done to aid in recovery or age, you. As you've aged. Are there other, are there things that you're doing that have helped you feel like you've prolonged, uh, your athletic career?
Will Turner: [01:03:48]
Yeah. I'll tie this into a group of funders that I know very well in my local community.
There's a group of runners that range from probably in there for the most part. There's some outliers here, but mostly from there. Forties and fifties up to their sixties, that is a big running group. And they have like 20 to 40 people that might show up for a run and a bunch of the guys and a bunch of cows that are all really strong runners and they're going out and they're there.
They're meeting, you know, three times we can run into hard and they might be running on the off days and all that sort of stuff. And I swear within that group, there's always somebody, you know, has a running injury. Right. Cause they're always running hard and they're always. They're always letting their runs be driven by their egos.
You know, they got to keep up with the guy beside them and all that sort of stuff. My advice is, you know, one train for yourself. It doesn't mean that you can't do some social runs or you can't have a running partner or, or that sort of thing. But if you're running with other people you're not running to train for yourself, you know?
And so what's your training plan and really being focused on how you can improve and not doing it because everybody else is doing. I am not a fan of recovery runs. I think it's stupid to me. If you look at the science, you go for a hard run, you're going to tear the microfibers of your muscles and then you need to recover and people will say, well, I'm going to recover with a recovery ride.
Well, no, you're running on the same legs that you ran on yesterday. That's really not that smart. So why don't you bike or swim or do some other activity so that you give your body a chance to heal? So you'll be stronger for the next workout. You know, I equate a lot of my longevity. And being injury free as training smart, you know, I can train harder, but I'm not going to run back to back day.
I'm going to run and I'm going to bike throw in some swimming. I'm gonna throw in some strength workouts yet. No, but I'm, you know, alternate, what's going to be a good regimen. So I'm taxed to my body, but not overtaxing my body. And so just being very mindful of those things about, you know, what next sense, and if you've got a good coach or, you know, you know, that stuff, you should do that.
And you know, a lot of my struggles early on in my running career was I was just winging it and didn't know what the hell I was doing. And this was all before the internet. And yeah, I was just like, you know, experimenting and coming up empty and really not doing things the way I should. And once you start paying attention, And getting good advice.
And following that advice, you're going to be much stronger and much healthier for the longterm. Then if you're not listening to that kind of advice,
Kevin Chang: [01:06:21]
is there anything that we haven't touched on? Anything that you want to tell our listeners or talk about?
Will Turner: [01:06:27]
If I can do some shameful plugging. Yeah. Oh, absolutely.
Kevin Chang: [01:06:31]
Will Turner: [01:06:32]
Okay. I've got this book. It's called journey to 100. And in addition to Chris being a super Sherpa, he is like an amazing photographer. So on the journey, he took the most amazing pictures of the journey and where we went along the way. Along the way we would do these race posts. And I would write up the summary of the race that I just completed and then add some Christmas pictures.
And about halfway through the first year are people would start saying, you know, I had one friend who was like, Oh my God, God, Christie's pictures are amazing. And she just kept gushing and gushing about the pictures. And then she's like, Oh, and what you did with the iron man was good too well.
Okay. Yeah, because we were going to these Epic places and then, because he was such a great photographer, you know, the, the pictures really showed the story better than I could convey in my words sometimes because you were, you know, who can imagine, you know, 112 miles long, you know, along the big Sur coast and the California post are being, you know, going up Logan pass.
And glacier national park or having the grand Tetons as your background for your run or whatever it might be. So we got so much feedback on the way everybody started saying, Oh, you should do a coffee table, just do a coffee. We actually laughed and ignored that for the first, like a hundred times people said it.
And then, um, Finally we're like at the end of the trip, towards the end of the journey, I actually said, you know what? A lot of you have said, we should put out a coffee table book, would you actually pay for a coffee table? Cause we're serious really considering it. But if you're just saying it to be nice, it's okay.
But you know, I want to know, and we got this. Overwhelming support that. Yes, do it, do it, do it. So I wrote the text of the journey and put it along with Christmas photos and you can check out the book on our website, live you're bold.com. I'm actually writing the detailed story of the journey right now, which is more just, you know, the day to day nitty gritty and all the deep dive into the race itself or the racing itself and everything that we went through.
So it's been a fun project to kind of sink into. For sure.
Kevin Chang: [01:08:40]
And you have training programs too, right? You have the training
Will Turner: [01:08:43]
live your bold or so I also have another website called endorphin free. One piece of advice that I would give, I hope that comes across and what I've shared today, but certainly something I like to share with audience when I speak is, is that I want to give you a challenge.
And I hope that, um, you're encouraged to set a goal that is so bold that you have to grow into the person who can achieve it, because if you do, you're going to change who you are and you're going to become a better version of yourself. And you'll never look back powerful,
Bertrand Newson: [01:09:14]
inspiring, and I'm just.
Fantastic, Willie. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We appreciate you for making the time and really sharing, uh, so many takeaways from our time with you today, and a remarkable journey. We know that there are more pages being written to the book of will
Will Turner: [01:09:33]
Turner. The base is done. Stopped. So you stopped, right?
Kevin Chang: [01:09:37]
Will Turner: [01:09:38]
Move your ball. I really appreciate it guys. It's a lot of fun to talk to you guys. Well,
Kevin Chang: [01:09:43]
I hope you enjoyed this episode of the race mob podcast. Check out all of the show notes or find a running buddy online at dot com. Please subscribe to us on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts and leave us a review until next time.
Keep on moving.