How I Went From Hating Running To Becoming An Ironman

A triathlete who used to despise running shares her story.

For this week’s blog post, I interviewed one of my best running friends, Lori Prendergast. Read below for her story on how she transitioned from being a strict non-runner to an Ironman!

Congratulations on completing Ironman Arizona in November. We first met 12 years ago while we were both training for our first sprint triathlon. I remember one of the first things you said to me was that you hated running! Why did you hate running?
I thought I was too slow to be a good runner. Running felt like a chore to me and I did not enjoy it at all. It was a means to an end for me. I did not know anyone that ran my pace to train with. I started at a 15-minute-per-mile pace and just felt so defeated.

Did you participate in sports previously?
I was a high school swimmer; swimming came very naturally to me. I loved it and I still do. I did not take up biking until more recently, but immediately felt comfortable and confident on my bike.

How did you change your attitude?
As the sport of women’s triathlon grew over the past few years, so did I. I realized that I needed to find a plan that worked for me instead of just going out and running. I started doing heart rate training runs and found the Run Less Run Faster program, which taught me to utilize a combination of speed, tempo and long runs. Over a period of two years, my run times improved dramatically, which gave me lots of confidence.

How did connecting with other women in the triathlon world help you?
I first connected with Moms Run This Town (MRTT) and started to feel a sense of camaraderie with other women runners. I was swept up into the fun side of running through Ragnar races and destination runs. I found a tribe of women who were just like me, and that was so encouraging.

I’ve now connected with like-minded women in a MRTT spinoff group for multi-sport athletes. There, I’ve found fantastic training partners and fabulous friends.

I started to progress to Olympic and Half Ironman races, and Be IronFit helped me hone in on my training and find a plan that worked for me. When I hit that starting line at Ironman Arizona, I knew I was prepared and I knew I could do it. If you are going to make a goal, make it a kickass goal!

What’s next for you?
To stay healthy! I’ve done two Half Ironmans and I’d like to train to go back and beat my own times.

Congrats again Lori–and thanks for the inspiration!