Michael Hanson: I’ve discovered I enjoy the mental challenge

Michael Hanson: I’ve discovered I enjoy the mental challenge

Words & text by Cameron Hanson

Michael Hanson is a triathlete from the north east of England specialising in middle and full distance events such as half Iron Man which include a 1.9km swim, 56 miles cycling and immediately followed by a half marathon. In June this year Mike will be competing in his first full length Iron Man distance event called the Lakesman Triathlon, a huge test of endurance and stamina as he will undergo 3.8km swim, a 112 mile cycle and then a full length marathon! You really have to be at a high level of fitness to compete at this level and one can only ask themselves what would possibly drive someone to put themselves through such a feat.

Mike told us “I enjoy the physical and mental challenge, I know how to suffer. I’m also raising money for cancer research UK, I lost my mum at the age of 19 so it’s a cause close to my heart.”

We asked Mike a few questions to learn about his experiences


Everyone finds different ways to build up the stamina required to do triathlons of this size, how do you approach the training?

The training is hard, you have to take a holistic approach, all the disciplines are linked in my opinion. Lots of early mornings late nights and double sessions to fit in as I work full time. It’s hard to get the nutrition side correct, I’m still learning how much fluid and fuel my body needs.


Have you learnt anything about your self during the long races you’ve endured?

As I’ve discovered I enjoy the mental challenge when your racing for more than 5 hrs it gets tough and there are dark moments. I guess I’m a masochist.


How important are the people around you for motivation and support?

It’s hugely important, My partner Sharon keeps me focused and her love and support is vital. When I have bad days she keeps me going.

image2 (1).jpeg

What’s next after this years Triathlon?

To do a race abroad, hopefully Ironman Norway. A swimrun event possibly or maybe a trail ultra marathon.


Do you have any funny anecdotes you can share with us from your time racing?

I did the national relays 2 years ago and the weather was terrible, at the end of my bike leg my teammate was nowhere to be seen and I was knelt on the straw bales screaming his name for what felt like ages. Then the other competitors started shouting him, he was sheltering under a ledge and misjudged how many laps I’d done. He had to to the walk of shame through about 150 people. It was hilarious.


Any final pieces of advice for our fellow readers?

Find a GoTri event, join a tri club and just go for it and have fun.


Please go and support Mike with the fundraising for his upcoming challenge at the link below!