Ironman: Family Always Comes First

In the final part of our series, "Ironman," we followed Michiana's Ironman Phil Newbold on a 60-mile bike ride. Then, we captured the most important part of his training: spending time with his family.

This is Part 3 of our series, Ironman. For Parts 1 and 2, please click on the Related Links at the bottom of the page.

It’s Sunday morning. Phil Newbold actually slept in, until 6AM.

We're picking up the Ironman towards the end of his 60-mile bike ride.

"It’s kind of breezy and that’s what you want,” Newbold explains; “12-15 mph winds, that sort of thing. It’s good practice to continue to pound away, mile after mile after mile into the wind. That’s really good training."

In the next few weeks, Newbold's bike ride training will increase to 80, 90 and 100 miles. It’s all in effort to prepare for the second leg of the Ironman: the 112 mile bike.

Back in April, NewsCenter 16 informed Newbold he was selected via a random lottery to compete in October’s Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. There were 6000 names submitted for the 200 remaining spots to compete with the world’s very best. Newbold was among the chosen few.

It will be Newbold’s third experience in Hawaii and his 14th overall Ironman.

Saturdays and Sundays are the most important days in Newbold’s training. He says it’s important to build your training around the long runs and the long bike rides. Saturdays are when he runs 15 to 20 miles.

By 9:30, Newbold's workout is over. There's a reason he was up so early and done so early.

Now, he can spend the rest of the day with his family. Two of his three children, Anne and Katie, are back at home for the weekend.

"There are some people in this world that just seem to have extra hours in a day and dad is just one of them,” older daughter Anne, who is currently in medical school, explains. “Somehow he's able to do his workouts, run the hospital and still always be there for us."

"Anytime you can do things with your kids and be a part of their lives, that was high priority for me,” Newbold points out, sitting with his two kids and his wife Mary on their porch. “I never wanted the training to be in the way of being with them when they were growing up."

According to his kids, the Ironman events never got in the way. Younger daughter, Katie, says the Ironman competitions turned out to be a big benefit to the whole family.

"Because of him I've been able to travel the world,” Katie explains. “I've been to Japan, to Germany, to all over the United States.”

“Because of (Ironman), I have gotten to do more things in life in general and also with him," she adds.

Anne developed a new appreciation for her dad when she ran a marathon with him during her senior year of high school. She no longer thought he was “crazy” for what he did because she could see how with the right training, something like this is possible.

She was also quick to point out that they ran a marathon together and that she couldn’t imagine how he could swim 2.4 miles and bike 112 miles before that!

Of course, the person that has to deal with the Ironman's training the most is his wife Mary.

"He wakes up early, but he does go to bed earlier,” Mary points out. “He has to get up in the middle of the night and pour through the fridge for chocolate chip cookies.”

Anne jumps in and says there are, “Lots of chocolate chip cookies when he's training.”

And, apparently a lot of chocolate milk too.

We caught Phil drinking right out of the one gallon container of chocolate milk. It’s clearly known around the house that the container is all for dad.

Some may think sweets wouldn’t make sense for someone trying to be in such great shape. However, while he’s training for an Ironman, he will also burn more than 9000 calories during the 14 hour race. So a little chocolate can only help.

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