Road to Tempe 2016: Away Weeee Goooooo!

In a radio interview on KFI AM 640 yesterday morning, Ragen re-affirmed her strong commitment to entering IRONMAN Arizona in November 2016, an event exactly twice the distance of the IRONMAN 70.3 in October where she failed to make the first cut-off. Ragen clearly has elite training strategy skills beyond the comprehension of this author. Fail at a 5K? Go for a marathon. Fail at a marathon? Go for a half-IRONMAN. Fail at a half-IRONMAN? Go for a full IRONMAN. One can only imagine what she plans to do in 2017.

Right now, Ragen is working on her race schedule and “not sure if she’ll do another half” first, but plans to incorporate some Olympic distance triathlons. Hopefully she will incorporate them at a level beyond registering and not showing up, as she did after saying almost exactly the same thing in April. No word yet on whether Ragen plans to volunteer at IMAZ 2015 on November 15 or crowdfund a $5,000 charity entry to get a registration spot for 2016.

In a moment of true humility, Ragen told the host that by 7 am she has usually been on her bike for at least 3 hours, and at present she “only” trains for about 3-5 hours every day. The host asked Ragen if she “runs the risk” of losing weight over the next year. Ragen addressed this on IronFat back in February, but as it turned out she didn’t have to worry, and didn’t end up accidentally losing any weight during her 1-1/2 years of intense marathon and IRONMAN training.

Host: I would imagine you’re gonna lose a lot of weight from this.

Ragen: There’s this idea […] there’s no way someone can train this hard and remain fat. And that’s actually a myth. I trained for a marathon, I didn’t lose any weight, I trained for a half IRONMAN, I didn’t lose any weight.

Ragen: Maybe my body size will change, and maybe it won’t.

The world awaits the result of Ragen’s upcoming battle with the laws of physics with bated breath.

In approximately 377 days, Ragen Chastain claims she will swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run a full 26.2 mile marathon, all in under 17 hours. As Ragen said this time last year, Away Weeee Goooooo!

40 thoughts on “Road to Tempe 2016: Away Weeee Goooooo!

  1. I was seriously disappointed that she didn’t get past the swim in Tempe. The biking portion is the one I’ve seen actual math applied to, and I cannot wait to see how she breaks all the laws of physics. Too bad it’s a whole year to go…

    • I know you’re joking but Western States is one of the 100 mile races that requires you to qualify by completing another race of at least 100km. Although being an ultra runner myself I would watch with great interest if she announced she was going to do an ultra of any distance.

      • She’ll do Western States, Badwater, AND Leadville. And find a way to enter without qualifying. because she is so 1337 that she doesn’t need to qualify.

    • Yep, the run is generally held 5-6 wks before the ride – & I managed to complete 56 mi in Y2K on a leased mule before we missed the cutoff time. (My own horse walked off the trailer LAME after our 2K haul to get out there) Just goes to show you, even w/the most thorough prep, SHIT CAN STILL HAPPEN! There are people (like me) who train for YEARS to compete in events like the Tevis.
      Ragen makes a mockery of such attempts.

      • Good point!

        Having to qualify for an event is certainly Fat/fitness shaming, and promotes dysmorphic body values (actual attractive one that come hand in hand, magically, with fitness).

  2. Clearly I’m missing something in my training routine. I have this mountain I can’t quite climb on my bike that I’ve been gradually working up to. And all this time, I could have just planned to climb a mountain TWICE as high. Stupid me.

    But seriously, the irony here is that Ragan is debunking the weight loss establishment which promises easy weight loss. And she’s right. One of the BIGGEST hurdles to obese people losing weight is this all or nothing mentality–this promise that it’s easy, and when it’s not, people get discouraged and quit.

    However, Ragan is doing the same thing for athletics. She’s making it seem like the way to approach it is to go for some huge glittery unattainable goal. For the fat sedentary she might hope to inspire, that’s the wrong message. The right message is hey, there’s a 5k in your town next month….can you train for that, finish it? And then maybe another 5k next month, a little faster?

    Everyone on this blog is railing against the message that it’s okay to be fat. I think the people listening to that message wouldn’t get thin anyway if Ragan disappeared into the face of the earth tomorrow. However, I do think the poor approach to athletics is going to harm more people, resulting in injuries and discouragement.

  3. Oh, she’ll have ZERO problems getting $5k from crowdfunding. She’ll have that done in a week. EASILY.

    The Fat Nutritionist, a registered dietitian who practices HAES and supports over-eating (she calls it ‘normal eating’), was able to collect over $10k in a few weeks for an unpaid internship for “… tuition, transportation, professional membership/insurance fees, and 9 months of living expenses.”

    • All so she can charge more to give people nutrition counseling while eating dinner with them over Skype, because there are not enough people in the major metro where she lives interested in hiring a HAES nutritionist.

      I like some of her writing, but she’s one of the people behind the spreading of the “two whole cakes” meme and rallying cry, which I still don’t understand. And I really like cake.

      • I don’t agree with the way HAES/FAs tend to alienate fat people from local resources – a lot of it is how they encourage fat people to be hyper sensitive and defensive about any advice dealing with weight loss.

        A quick glance at the ‘two whole cakes’ gave me the whole “I tried every fad diet, pill and starvation method – therefore diets fail and weight loss doesn’t work.” It makes me sick because they are reinforcing that their only option to lose weight is through self-harm and self-hate.

      • The two whole cakes thing…I looked it up on Amazon. The tag line is “How to stop dieting and learn to love your body.” This whole statement is wrong. First off, I feel a lot of people fail on diets, because diets tend to end. Why can’t we just say “I’ve decided to change my eating habits long term” instead of labeling it a diet? Secondly, I “diet” (or eat better) *because* I love my body. I don’t angrily shove a salad into my mouth because I hate myself. I don’t go for a jog, or ice skating, or swimming because I’m mad at myself. I do all these things because I am head over heels in love with myself. And sometimes I have a donut or “insert non-healthy food here” because I love said food. But I love my health, my family, my body, my life more than that food. I love being able to wash myself without a rag on a stick, and tie my shoes, and take my kids trick or treating.

        No one should ever hate their body. That would be a terrible way to live. But something my dad once told me that rings true, especially here, is no one can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission. That, along with the good old It doesn’t matter what they call you, it’s what you answer to line, and that sums it up nicely for me. (And there are always the 3 F’s. If you don’t f*** me, feed me or finance me, its none of your business).

        Sometimes I feel like these people need a shrink more than a diet and exercise plan.

  4. It sounds like she’s aiming to do the full Ironman in 2017 not 2016. My prediction is still that this whole thing will fizzle out and she will never enter another Ironman competition.

    Nevertheless, I am a bit less sure of my prediction since she seems to be getting recognition for her Ironman efforts.

      • Sorry about that, the IronFat post is from October 2014. I was trying to point out why I chose such a stupid title for the post here. I sometimes forget we have a lot of new readers here who aren’t as familiar with Ragen’s last year of nonsense.

      • Actually I’m not a new reader, I just wasn’t reading very carefully and assumed you were linking to a new Ragen post.

  5. The flaw in the first paragraph is that Ragen clearly does not feel that she failed the 5K or the marathon (because she completed them), and only failed in the IM 70.3 because of Reddit stalkers, so that wasn’t her fault either.

    In her mind, she probably has to keep upping the distance of the events because the only other option is to perform the same events faster, and honestly nothing in her blogs suggests to me that she’s any faster than when she walked the first marathon. She can’t walk another marathon because if the result shows that she’s not any faster, that clearly would indicate that she’s not progressing in her training.

    • Thank you, I was being a bit hyperbolic there since the whole thing is ridiculous 😛

      The last meaningful update Ragen gave about her running pace in the summer was that she’d managed to get her run-walk intervals up to around 3 mph average.

      • Huh. That’s about my walking speed when I just keep on walking, and I have short, chubby little legs. I’m not walking elite athlete distances, though.

    • That is a wonderful point! Because that’s what normal people do to gauge progress. We don’t run a timed mile, then move onto 5 without ever doing a timed mile again.

      When I was in Kuwait there was a 5k every Wednesday. The goal was to always beat my previous time, if even by a second, because that is measurable progress, even if small. I started off my first one up in the low 40 minute range. By the end of the 8 months, I was in the high 20s.

      But then again my 8.5 minute mile is not elite and I probably should be ashamed of myself. (Also lost 25 lbs in those 8 months and maintained it for 3 years, but that was just a fluke obviously.)

      • This is interesting – I lived in a (different) gulf Arab state as well, and there was a 5k every Wednesday also. It was serious business, too – stay out of the way of the guys who were trying to beat their time!

    • She doesn’t want to do the work, just brag that she’s doing an Ironman because it sounds impressive. If she was serious about training she’d be running shorter races and building up her endurance. I have a couple of friends who’ve done Ironmans and they trained for years. This is all just blog material for her.

  6. Just a nit – it’s “bated breath”, not “baited breath.”

    Your breath does not reek of worms and chum. It is abated from excitement as you await her new adventures.

  7. Interesting link to away we go. The program ragen signed up for on Oct 2014 is training peaks. And at the bottom of every completed training peaks workout it gives you The option to share your data on all the big social media platforms.

    I wonder if she just wanted to use the word “proprietary” to sound smart.

    • Training Peaks doesn’t have 25 month plans for a full Ironman, as far as I know, so where is the 25 month plan coming from? I have never heard of a training program of that length for someone who just wants to finish an event ( and claims to never want to compete in an endurance event again). Are her coaches credible? I can’t imagine any coach actively advising her quixotic nonsense. Wouldn’t there be liability issues?

      • Ingrid Loos Miller is the “swim coach.” A quick glance shows she’s an actual IronMan, has swim classes 6x a year (unsure if Ragen was in one of these classes or had actual 1on1 training, hence the “swim coach”). Ingrid has also written books such as Weight Management for Triathletes (Ironman). From Amazon: It describes the importance of low body fat for triathletes, how to use body fat data, and implementing a weight control program over the long haul.

        Steve Blackmon, another IronMan, is in TX so this was remote coaching, probably via emails and text. She probably sent him a bunch of selfies instead of actual data.

      • All of Ragen’s coaches recommend weight loss to their clients. You already know about her swim coach Ingrid, who is definitely by far the most well-known and respected of the three. Her tri coach Steve Blackmon offers nutrition counselling, which Ragen told him she would be ignoring. Her running coach Steve Mackel teaches Chi Running, a program that includes weight management for performance and health as a cornerstone. Ragen told him she was a fat athlete not interested in weight loss and only hired him because he agreed to use a “weight-neutral” approach.

      • I’m just absolutely floored that someone like Ragen has the TIME and RESOURCES (not to mention funding) to train (2 experienced tri coaches and a running coach) and she pisses all over it. I would be so grateful for even HALF the opportunities she has at her fingertips. I was angry she had dragged those people out to the HIM along with the camera crew when she did absolutely NOTHING to prepare. It’s beyond infuriating at this point.

      • I don’t think she did nothing to prepare. She’s not that delusional. The problem is she didn’t do enough.

  8. Bless you, you are truly doing the Lord’s work here.

    Maybe when she fails the full Ironman she can hook up with Rich Roil and fail to do the multiple Ironman’s in consecutive days in Hawaii (For clarification: He succeeded, she won’t).

    Or Maybe hook up with the dude that just did 30 straight Ironmans?

  9. At this point she should just show up and get a finish at a sprint or an Olympic and build from there. Setting lofty goals is good but you need to set goals you accomplish along the way

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