Robyn Dougans: An iron woman built for Ironman


Ironman athlete and entrepreneur, Robyn Dougans, sets the tone for commitment and perseverance as she takes on her third half Ironman race this weekend in East London.  She will then take on her second full Ironman race on the 10th of April.

Just mentally preparing yourself to take part and train for the Ironman is an achievement on its own, which is without regard doing it multiple times consecutively.  However, Robyn found inspiration through the initial training process.

“I was so inspired after watching the full Ironman previously, that I felt I could work towards the half-Ironman, because it is such a doable distance,” said Robyn.

“I start training months before an event and I put in many hours, twice a day to train.  It takes a lot of time and dedication and your social life takes a dip, especially training for the full.  At the end it’s all worth it though.”

Through this process, it may be challenging to balance out your lifestyle between training and work, as well as family; therefore some sacrifices have to be made.

“My greatest sacrifice is not being able to spend as much time with my daughter as I normally would have,” she added.

“It is not easy with me being a single mom, but my mother is an incredible help. I get up at four most mornings and I will then either train with my indoor trainer or do weights at home.”

Robyn also trains every day after work and fortunately for her, she stays in Summerstrand where she can do a lot of running and swimming, as well as go to the gym which is around the corner.

Prior to her commencement in training over two years ago for the Ironman, Robyn was not familiar with both swimming and cycling.

“I’ve always wanted to do it, but I had fears, such as swimming in the deeper parts of the sea and falling when cycling, because I had watched before when cyclists use to fall right in front of me,” she said.

Ultimately, for Robyn, it is not about coming first or being placed at the top order at the end of the race, but rather about self-fulfilment.

“It is more about the competition and bettering my time from the previous year.  I don’t mind that it’s not about being the best, but more about completing it and bettering myself for it. The determination and drive to finishing an Ironman is extremely mental.

“I will never forget that day when I completed the Ironman, it was probably one of the best days of my life, because the achievement was huge,” she said.

Image: Robyn Dougans (middle).