How to Do 30 Ironmans in 30 Days: A Sports Psych Technique

DecaIronman CrossFit ITB
Wayne Kurtz finishing his impossible journey: 30 Ironmans in 30 days.

I recently spent some time on the phone with ultra-triathlete Wayne Kurtz. Kurtz told me about his remarkable journey earlier this year, being one of 8 triathletes to set a world record: They did 30 Ironmans in 30 consecutive days. What intrigues me most about a story like Wayne’s, or a story of how a Navy SEAL makes it through Hell Week at BUD/s, is the use of segmenting: A technique in which an athlete or trainee “eats the elephant” by focusing on one bite at a time. It takes some real psychology power (I think anyway) to block out the enormity of a long, difficult effort — and competing in the CrossFit Games is a good example —and just focus on the task of the moment.

I’ve asked Kurtz to put together some tips on how he employs his discipline. I’ll post them here in a few days.

In Inside the Box, veteran journalist and marathoner T.J. Murphy goes all in to expose the gritty, high-intensity sport of CrossFit®. From staggering newcomer to evangelist, Murphy finds out how it feels, why it’s so popular, and whether CrossFit can fix his broken body.