Why complete a Solo Ironman Triathlon?

I have been my own guinea pig on a journey from sedentary scholar to triathlete. Along the way I discovered the unexpected benefits of exercise on my own brain upheld by ground-breaking science.

 

My plan was to end my book with my heroic completion of a full Ironman (something I never thought possible). I had been training for more than three years, and I had almost made it. Then, the global pandemic cancelled the world. Gyms, pools, schools — all closed. How long would we have to live like this? No one knew, and the uncertainty was maddening. Then my race was officially canceled. Now what? And more to the point, how was I going to end my book? I couldn’t end it with: “They canceled the race, so I didn’t do it. The end.” Not the inspiring ending I was going for.

 

So, with the support of my family and friends, I organized my own Ironman race — my solo Ironman and raised money for mental health. Why? Because I wanted to show you all the gifts that exercise gives. Not just for the body but the mind too. What better way to do that then to complete an Ironman — the most grueling one-day event in the world, and to do it all by myself?

 

So that’s what I did. My solo Ironman took me 13 hours and 10 minutes to complete. It was so hard, but it was so worth it, and that’s the amazing thing about exercise: it requires so much resiliency, but it gives it all back and more.

10

minutes

13

hours

Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, Finish Line
Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, bike

Bike

180 km

Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, run

Run

42.2 km

Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, swim

swim

3.8 km

A 1-minute intimate look into my experience & the lessons I learned

Your mental health matters so much & exercising offers so many benefits for it

"I didn't do it alone."

Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, mosaic

Jennifer Heisz, PhD

Canada Research Chair in Brain Health & Aging  |  Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University

Ivor Wynn Centre, 206  | 1280 Main Street West  |  Hamilton ON L8S 4L8 Canada

The information provided here is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to replace advice from your health care provider.

Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, bike
Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, run
Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, swim
Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, mosaic
Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, Finish Line
Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, bike
Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, run
Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, swim
Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, mosaic
Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, mosaic

Jennifer Heisz, PhD

 

Canada Research Chair in Brain Health & Aging Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Ivor Wynn Centre, 206

1280 Main Street West, Hamilton ON L8S 4L8 Canada

Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, Finish Line
Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, swim
Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, bike
Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, run
Jennifer Heisz, Solo Ironman Triathlon, mosaic