A Day at Work for an Ironman

A 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, then a 26.2 mile marathon -- that is an Ironman: The Ultimate Triathlon. Training for one is quite the commitment.

So how does a CEO and father of three get it done?

It begins with waking up very early in the morning.

"When the alarm clock goes off at 4:45 in the morning, you have to get out of bed,” says Phil Newbold, CEO of Memorial Hospital. “I always tell people, the first 30 seconds after the alarm clock goes off is the hardest part."

In April, Newbold found out he was headed back to the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.

It will be his 3rd time at the Super Bowl of Ironman competitions.

Now, the 19-year Triathlon veteran is in the middle of his intense six months of training.

That is why the moon is still out and most are still in bed when Newbold awakes in the morning. He makes himself a cup of coffee and by 5 a.m., the 59-year-old begins his first workout of the day.

"It’s just wonderful to be out here in the morning,” Newbold says, while riding on his stationary bike in his driveway. “The birds will be up pretty soon, chirping, and you'll see a beautiful sunrise every morning. It’s just a wonderful way to start off the day."

Newbold bikes 15 miles; it takes him about an hour.

Without the exercise before work, Phil says he would never be able to get in the 16 hours of training he needs every week.

From there, it is off to work at Memorial Hospital, where Newbold is the CEO.

There are some emails to be checked and some paperwork to be signed, but the Ironman enjoys spending most of his day on his feet, meeting with employees.

Newbold says the Ironman training actually proves to be a big benefit when it comes to work.

"I always tell people that if you are really interested in working better and smarter and harder, get into a significant exercise program,” Newbold explains on his way to a meeting. “You'll be much better off for it."

By noon, it is lunchtime. Newbold spends most of his break in the pool, preparing for the first leg of the Ironman, the 2.4 mile swim.

"I'm not a real good swimmer,” Newbold says from inside the pool. “I don’t enjoy it that much. Swimming is fine, but I'd rather put more time in on the bike and the run. It certainly shows."

Then it is back to work, making more rounds and having more meetings.

By 5 p.m., Newbold is back at home doing yard work. There is no sitting down on the couch for this Ironman; he is staying on his feet as long as he can.

Organization is a big key to Newbold's success. In the past 20 years, he has kept a daily log of every mile and every minute he has spent training for the more than dozen Ironmans he has competed in.

He examines his successes and mistakes from the past in order to perfect his workouts for the future.

Thursday night on NewsCenter 16 at 11, we go running with Newbold to get a true feel of what it is like to be training for the Ironman.

Newbold explains what it means to cross the finish line in Hawaii at the World Championship and how awesome of a feeling it is each time one completes an Ironman.

That is all Thursday night at 11 on NewsCenter 16 at 11 in Part 2 of our series, “Ironman.”


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