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Ledesma Sports Med on WTOC News!

October 2012

Ledesma Sports Med on WTOC News!

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - There's nothing unusual for people to dream about running a marathon, biking and swimming hundreds of miles, but what about putting them altogether? That's the ultimate and they call it the Ironman competition. Ernest Ledesma has been there done that and is doing it again.

He's training for his eighth Ironman. By day, he's is a physical therapist, but before and after hours, he's in the zone. There's no time for a slow lap around the pool for Ledesma. He's swimming as if his life depends on it - training for the ultimate physical challenge. He's preparing to swim 2.4 miles; ride his bicycle 112 miles and run 26.2 miles. That's what it takes to complete an Ironman competition.

"The long training days, which can last between four hours and 11 hours of training a day, during those big training blocks, you definitely start to put your head in the game and you start to think about what is going to be like in the race," he said. This plan pulled him through seven Ironman contests. "It's 140.2 miles of total distance of race, but when you're actually doing the event, you never think of it in the whole. You have to think of it in little small training blocks. You have a swimming block. You have a cycling block and you have a running block. You attack each one of those individually as you are racing."

For the next few months, his training becomes a quite the balancing act as he juggles his business and his family. He's on a mission - fine tuning his body to get it into tip-top condition. The training gets even more challenging the closer he gets to race day. "On Saturdays, I would usually bike 30 miles and get off and run 7 miles and then get back on the bike. Then bike 30, run 6; bike 30; run 5. I do multiple events all in the same day which would take me about 10 hours. That is what they call a brick workouts when you sandwich back-to-back-to-back events."

It's months of complete dedication and focus. The workouts are grueling, but oh, so worth it. All to get to the finish line. "When you are running the last 100 feet, and the crowd is going wild, [the] commentator is announcing [your] approach the finish line and say your name and they say, 'Ernest Ledesma you are an Ironman'. To hear those words is very meaningful and spiritual for me to understand the magnitude what has just transpired that whole day and the feeling of success and gratitude for so many people sacrificing their time to let me do my training and the ability to compete such a huge huge event is breathtaking and extremely meaningful to me." Ledesma credits his wife, Kris, for inspiring him to get into long distance running. He dedicates many of his competitions to her, other family members and friends who have supported him as he reaches his goals. Copyright 2012 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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