Extreme athlete Jonas Deichmann: Not one Ironman, not two, but 120

MYou can approach the matter through numbers. The Ironman triathlon is: 3.8 kilometers of swimming, 180 kilometers of cycling, 42.195 kilometers of running. Completing an Ironman triathlon is a life goal for many ambitious amateur athletes. This is an extremely difficult goal that requires a lot of time, effort and training, as well as a high level of endurance. Jonas Deichmann has now set himself the goal of collecting 120 such Ironman triathlons. For 120 consecutive days. Ironman every day for four months.

It sounds unimaginable. Perhaps it is better to approach this question through the personal story of Jonas Deichmann. About his impulse, his motivation. “I’m 36 now, the best age for long distances, and I’m at the peak of my athletic ability,” he says. “It’s time to discover what’s possible.”

He has shown more than once that he can do a lot. Deichmann holds several cycling records for the fastest crossing of continents. He gained attention around the world for triathlons, in which he completed 450 kilometers of swimming, 21,000 kilometers of cycling and 5,000 kilometers of running in 429 days (equivalent to 120 Ironman distances). Most recently, he biked 5,500 kilometers across the US, from New York to Los Angeles, and ran a good 5,000 kilometers back to New York. Now, he says, he wants to explore his personal limits: “From a sporting perspective, this is the biggest challenge of my life.”

The record is 105.

No one has succeeded yet. The record is 105 Ironman triathlons in a row, set in 2023 by Briton Sean Conway. Deichmann knows him as a “really good guy” and tries to use Conway’s experience to his advantage. The professional athlete has set a goal of not spending more than twelve hours on the road every day. “If you need 15 hours or more, the regeneration time in the long run will be too short,” he says. Because: It will also be important to sleep a lot during the project. It is best for the body to get used to a certain daily routine, a daily routine that is always the same.

Deichmann himself sees two main difficulties, in addition to physical stress. First: food. “It’s also an eating competition,” he says. You need 11,000 to 12,000 calories per day. Ultimately, it doesn’t just work with gels and energy bars, so he also schedules a daily pasta break on the bike route. “Normally when you do an Ironman, you’re in a calorie deficit on race day. But I can’t lose two kilograms every day.” Secondly: There will be bad days. “On a good day, distance is not an issue for me,” says Deichmann. “But in four months, not every day is good.” Cold, constant rain, infection, a lot can happen. On other projects, he then slowed down the pace and daily workload for a short period of time. It won’t work this time. “I have to cover the same distance every day.”

“Running in Kansas is definitely more boring.”

And then a mental question arises. Fighting monotony, the same old processes. But Deichmann is not afraid of this. On the one hand, because he hopes for a big company at his Challenge 120. Because he will be competing in the mid-Franconian town of Roth, a stronghold of triathlon and the annual home of the Roth Challenge, the most popular triathlon in the world. Deichmann will start the route for the first time on May 9th, the Roth Challenge on July 7th will be his halftime event, followed by another 60 days of triathlons until September 9th. Everyone is invited to accompany him. Additionally, Deichmann expects the landscape in Franconia to be more attractive in the summer than he’s already seen elsewhere: “Running around Kansas is definitely more boring.”

He cannot imagine that during these four months he could fall into a motivational hole. “If I have a goal that is very important to me and for which I give everything, then it’s easy for me to motivate myself,” he says. It’s a different challenge than cycling through Africa or Siberia in winter, but he’s convinced it can be done. As for adventures and traveling the world, there will always be time for that later. “I still have a long wish list,” says Jonas Deichmann.


Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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