Athlete With Stent(s) Faces Another Interesting Ironman Training Challenge

Ironman Training Challenge

Good Idea Or Bad?

ironman training challenge

Time grinds us down, relentlessly!

Can he qualify for Kona to honor his friend, Frits, with an ‘s’?

Ironman training challenge

FitOldDog is still sad that he recently lost his good friend, and coach to be, Frits with an ‘s’.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm messed up FitOldDog’s race, in 2010.

“Can I continue Ironman training?” he said to the first endovascular surgeon, after receiving his AAA stent graft!

“I’d go easy, if it was me!” the surgeon replied.

He did, and he did!

He had to change the way he moved!

Ironman training challenge

Can he pull it off again, by changing the way he moves again?

A bike wreck, due to no fault of his own, displaced his stent in a race in 2013.

“Can I continue Ironman training, with your nice stent graft extension,” he asked the second surgeon.

“Under medical supervision,” she replied!

The extension kinked four years later, for no apparent reason, in 2017.

“You should stop that [Ironman training],” said the head surgeon in passing, before the kink was repaired.

“Can I continue Ironman training?” he said to the younger surgeon, after he fixed the kink.

“It’s OK for you to run, but probably not bike,” the nice young surgeon replied.

“Do you know anyone who really understands the mechanics of deep hip and thigh muscles in relation to stent movement?” he asked the young surgeon.

“I’m sorry, I don’t,” the surgeon replied.

So FitOldDog left for Europe four days later, to enjoy seeing many friends, including Frits’s wife, Machteld. He had a wonderful time cycling around Neunen, all the while using this time to work out how to ‘cycle without cycling’ for Ironman Florida, 2018 (FitOldDog will be 75 – chance of a Kona slot?).

Ironman training challenge

Machteld, Deb and FitOldDog in Amsterdam! We had a blast – thanks to a wonderful endovascular surgery team and lovely Machteld!


“I guess I’ll have to work it out for myself again,” he thought!

“What do you think?” he wonders!

Can he change the way he swims, bikes, runs and weight trains, to minimize any risk of stent damage.

He has several ideas (see below)!

What about you?

FitOldDog’s Thoughts (A Work In Progress!)

Swim: Kick off wall with right leg, minimize kick (which you do anyway, for distance swimming). Use this for cardiovascular conditioning, up to 5 x 5000 yards/week, while avoiding shoulder strains.

Bike: Bike as little as possible, but do enough to meet the bike cutoff time for a flat course (Florida, 2018). Build strength in necessary muscle groups with weight training. Find ways to truly minimize deep hip muscle engagement on left side, such as removing clip-in pedal on left, combined with extensive right single leg drills. Work to avoid hip imbalance, while doing this. Furthermore, minimize left hip flexion by leaning back, which will also reduce wind drag, and possibly install shorter cranks.

Run: Minimize hip flexion, focus on short stride, as little impact as humanly possible. Do lots and lots of very long walks for conditioning.

Weight training: Don’t do anything stupid, as this, combined with lots of walking, will be the central core of the work.

The longest workout? The race!

Alternatively, just don’t do it – probably not, but let’s not be dumb!

PS Happy Fourth of July!


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.