Iron Mad Man - Ryan Schneider


I’m an adventure-seeker who tends to push myself pretty hard in all facets of my life.  Which is why I set out to accomplish arguably the most grueling feat in all of sports, the Ironman!  After blogging about it for almost a year, I completed Ironman Arizona on November 21, 2010.  I then went on to finish my second Ironman seven months later (Coeur d’Alene, June 2011) and completed Ironman St. George in May 2012.  Now I’m blogging just for the fun of writing about my love affair with the sport of triathlon.

The blog won’t just be about training though.  Because that’s boring.  My intention is to offer a life blueprint for those considering an Ironman or any kind of triathlon, those already training for one, or those seeking inspiration for their own personal version of an Ironman.  I will describe in detail all the good times and the bad, along with the joys and frustrations of life that occur along the way.

Ultimately, my goal is to present this blog as a gift to my future children (whenever I have them, and with whom!).  I hope it becomes a manifesto for setting huge goals and pursuing them passionately.

I also hope you’ll join me on this journey and share your own thoughts, wisdom and humor.


  1. Dana Schneider says:

    You make me proud brotha!!! XOXO

  2. Good to find another mad man. I do my first one week after you, in Cozumel. I start training March 31st. will chronicle. Have done my first half this past october…

    Good luck! :)

  3. Ryan says:

    Thanks Peter! I really appreciate the feedback. Hope you’ll stick around and we’ll swap war stories :)

  4. Chris Corrao says:

    the blog is looking good Ryan. When I’m back from Cabo let’s get some trail running in. I’ll have a full report on the new Vibram Five Fingers then.

  5. Paul Gunn says:

    Ryan, did / do you work for Insomniac Games?

  6. Denise Moore says:

    Ryan, Interested in writing about a fellow triathlete who competed for the first time in the June ‘11 Coeur d’Alene Ironman just six weeks after breaking his collarbone? This could be a story about overcoming a racing injury and about a new medical device for fixing the most common sports-related fracture. Let me know.

  7. Ryan says:

    Hi Denise, thanks for the post. You could send me some info on the device and I’d be happy to take a look. DM me at Twitter (@theironmadman) or friend me at Facebook and we’ll go from there?

  8. Cameron Christo says:

    I think it is a small world. I am the guy in the white/red Cervelo from the Bike course. I live in Chicago and know Chris and Robin Vassilades from Element Multisport. Love to catch up and share experiences. Shoot me an email.

  9. Ryan says:

    Thanks for checking in Cameron! I looked up your times since I have one of your photos w/ bib number coming onto the bike at T1. You crushed that marathon! Congrats! Writing you via email as well.

  10. Dave Fugate says:

    hey Ryan!

    Could you give some advice for the jump from “weekend warrior, sprint/olympics” guy to going forward to the 70.3 distance? how do i know if i’m ready? training plans to recommend?

  11. Ryan says:

    Hi Dave,

    Great question. There are so many questions I’d ask you first to determine how to tell you your’e ready or what training plans are effective. For starters:
    – How often are you able to train now and how often are you actually training a week?
    – What kinds of life factors do we need to consider (e.g., wife, kids, job, work events, injuries, etc.)
    – How is your swimming, biking and running currently? Fitness level in general?
    – How often have you raced already? What have the experiences been like? What’s working and not working?

    Let’s start there and evolve the discussion, cool? I’m more than happy to help in any way possible, and am thrilled you reached out.


  12. Dave Fugate says:

    Im in!
    As far as fitness, i’m a pretty solid swimmer (32:15 in my last open water 1k swim) and cycling has always been the easiest for me. I’m upping my run game now by training for a half marathon. I can already do the distance, i’m just pushing the time now.

    my wife is great with me giving her the bed to herself at 5:30 every morning which leaves me 3 hours before work.

    The insecurity comes in with my lack of races. I’ve done 3 sprints and 3 olympics so far with another olympic in late september. I’ve completed them all but one where my back wheel literally got knocked out of round by a pothole (insert commercial for after maket wheels here) , but overall, i feel solid at those distances.

    The more i read about training jumps to the iron distances though, the less confident i am. every training plan i find says something different than the last, so all i’m left with is the feeling of “i don’t know what to do, but i know i’m not doing enough”. as a lifelong athlete, i know that mentality only leads to injury and burnout, or both. The half i’m looking at is the Vineman half as it’s 10 months out and 50 miles from my house so, a lot of time and not a lot of headaches.

    thats about all i got. thanks for your response man!!!

  13. Ryan says:

    Dave, I think you’ll be more than ready for Vineman in 10 months. You’ve completed races and you’re an athlete at heart, as you say. All good signs. I recommend reading Joe Friel’s “Triathlete’s Training Bible” as what I think is the best blueprint for how to train and race for a triathlon. He’s got a blog too that you can find online. Several terrific posts in there. I’m happy to introduce you to my coach as well if you’re interested. Basically, I’d do some research, pick a plan you believe in, and stick with it come what may. It’s easy to get derailed by what somebody else does or says. Pick what you think works best for you and forget the rest. You’ll be great for Vineman. You have PLENTY of time to train up. You could do it in half that time for sure. Happy to answer more questions any time.

  14. Jill says:

    I read your article about honey at the Active website. I, like several others, am wondering what the ratio of honey to water you use? I assume raw honey; have you tried agave nectar? Your article about honey really hit home with me. When I was about 50 years younger, I swam on a summer team and we used to take a swig of straight honey before a race – I haven’t tried it since. This was in the days long before Gatorade even existed. I still swim on a Masters swim team and run marathons and even completed an IM a few years ago.

  15. Ryan says:

    Hi Jill, thanks for the note. I was pouring 2.5 ounces of honey per 10 oz of water in a Hammer gel flask. It worked really well at the half-Ironman distance but terribly for full IM. You need food there! Thanks for taking the time to write me and if you or anyone else has questions just let me know. Take care! Good luck with the training.

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