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You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World's Toughest Tr iathlon Hardcover – September 15, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Best-selling author Jacques Steinberg might not have an Ironman finish under his belt, but he certainly deserves an honorary finish certificate for his excellent portrayal of our sport. With an outsider's view of multi-sport training and racing, the trained eye and ear of a New York Times reporter and a captivating writing style, Steinberg has managed to describe the world of Ironman in a book that reads like a suspense novel while also capturing the inspiration and emotion of our sport." — Ironman.com

"The athletes are fascinating in their own right, which helps to create an instant bond with readers and should make the book a compelling and inspirational read for obsessive exercisers and couch potatoes alike." — The Associated Press

"... a great new book that any first time Ironman entrant should read." — Active.com

About the Author

Jacques Steinberg has been a staff reporter for The New York Times for more than ten years and currently is a national education correspondent. In 1998, he was awarded the grand prize of the Education Writers Association for his nine-part series on a third-grade classroom on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (September 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670023027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670023028
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. Dixon on September 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that as a triathlete - Olympic, non Ironman - I've read quite a few of this "genre" now. Whilst I'm not saying I'm an expert, I'd like to think I've got some background knowledge here.

The book is an attempt to look at 6 very different people. To see the reasons why they signed up. To see how they trained. How they balanced their work/family/training. To try to get inside their heads and see how they were feeling in the year up to the Ironman. In that it's quite successful. You can't help coming away from the book thinking - I could do that. But could you?

My main downside from the book is the fact it covers 6 people. Firstly, the book felt quite disjointed jumping around trying to juggle 6 stories. I actually ended up writing little bio's inside the front cover so I could remember who was who. Secondly, the other obvious downside of writing about 6 people is that you can't go into as much detail. In comparison to other books - such as Can't Swim, Run, Ride by Andy Holgate - I don't feel the book really portrays in enough detail the sacrifices and training that these 6 people really had to put in. For instance, the Complete Idiot's Guide to Triathlon training has an Ironman training schedule that typically involves 18-22 hours of training per week. Apart from 1 character - a nurse who worked long shifts - I didn't feel we got a true sense of the disruption and the effort that these people lived through. I'm not saying the book underplayed it, it just didn't report on it.

If you're seriously thinking about entering an Ironman on the back of reading this book (and I truly hope you do), I strongly urge you to research another book in addition to this one and go into it with your eyes wide open.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You don't need to be a triathlete to love this book. There are so many life lessons in here and the individuals Jacques writes about are every-day common people with a dream. What they go through, sacrifice and what these people learn are the things that we all can learn from.

As a triathlete myself this book hits home for me. I understand the struggles that they all go through in preparing for what is the worlds toughest triathlon. But Ironman is more than a physical exercise. It's about mental toughness as well and what you do to prepare for that day, and what you will find on that day.

"There is no can't in Ironman."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wanted to enjoy this book. I enjoy pretty much all things Ironman. However, this feels like a collection of blog post reviews that are all jumbled in together. I have only made it about half way through and can't being myself to keep reading. It could've been written so much better.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just started triathlon this past year and with a few races under my belt I already wanted to dream big about being able to do an ironman someday yet it seemed impossible. I feel different now. These are everyday normal people like me and you who made it happen and they share the struggles and the victory. It was a quick read for me as I looked forward to it every night before bed. It has helped me "dream big" and now an ironman is in my 2 year plan. Also, some of these characters started out with no training (ie they start the story when they were overweight to show how far they have come ).
Really a great job!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have ever wanted to complete an Iron Distance race, but have had serious doubts, then this book is for you. It's hard, and not everyone can complete it, but this book shows you just what ordinary people go through in order to fullfill a dream ... I loved reading it, and I will be doing my Iron Distance race next year in 2012.
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Format: Paperback
I was very excited to read such a well reviewed book but found it overall disappointing. The author follows six people training for their first Ironman, from the decision to enter up to race day relying largely on source material from their blogs or "online journals" as they're referred to. For me this didn't work as it blended third person paraphrasing of minutiae of training in the style of 'she ate mint ice cream the night before a long ride' and chunks of chatty excerpts from blogs, resulting in each person never really establishing their own voice. The resultant mixture of narrative and blog excerpts loses the strong thread of the former and the intimate immediacy of the latter. This was a shame because each of the individual stories was compelling and each beautifully illustrated the truth of the Ironman aphorism that anything is possible, and could have been better expressed either by condensing the journey into a coherent narrative from the author or by giving chapters over to each person to write in their own style. A book which I thoroughly enjoyed about Ironman training written from a personal perspective is Andrew Holgate's "Can't Swim, Can't Ride, Can't Run" which encapsulates a lot of what this book could have been - inspiring, entertaining and a privileged view into the madness of the Ironman journey.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just nothing exciting happens or anything that holds your interest. It's all armatures asking themselves everyday if they can do this. It would be just like me writing a book about young kids getting ready for a t-ball game. Nothing really exciting, or anything worthy of interest to write about really. They're are a million stories about a million people that do the Ironman, but I don't wish to read about all of them. To me it just wasn't worth the time to read this is what I got out of it and I read every word hoping and hoping something really cool or interesting would happen. They tried it most made it and that's the book in a nutshell. Forget it.
Here's the book now that I think of it...
My wife said she could do the Ironman competition and so after a year of swimming, biking and running, she tried it, and made it. THE END.......
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