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Made Of Iron
A local doctor's workout routine leads
to the ultimate challenge.
r. Jim Kohlenberg doesn't
claim to be a great athlete.
Yet, what do you call a 52-
year-old man who, without
a break, swam 2.4 miles in the Pacific
Ocean, then bicycled 112 miles and then
ran 26 miles?
Kohlenberg and his
are called "Iron-
ago, in Montreal." He's participated in
several Ironman events since then.
Dr. Kohlenberg admittedly "was not
great in sports" while growing up,
although he ran track in junior high and
was a varsity swimmer at Royal Oak
Dondero High School.
For an Ironman competition, he says,
participants need a combination of fit-
ness and athletic skill. "When you go
Ironman distance, you
have to have good tech-
nical skills on the swim,
especially if you're going
to go into an ocean," he
has competed in sev-
eral such competi-
tions, including last
important to decrease
your resistance when
you move through the
water. I've learned ways
to streamline myself,
become very efficient ...
medicine from his
"Resistance against the
office in Madison
wind and the air is defi-
Heights, lives in
nitely an. obstacle on the
bike, so you have to be
ship with his wife,
in a streamlined, aerody-
namic position, or else
His path to
you're going to waste
Hawaii began with a
energy ... your legs have
fall, while playing
to be in condition to
tennis, which resulted Dr. James Kohlenberg was still
standing at the end of the race.
compete in the event.
in a wrist injury.
'As far as the run
During his recovery,
goes, that's conditioning
he kept in shape by
and it's also healthy joints. That's where
using a Stairmaster at the Jewish
the winning or the losing is in the profes-
"I built up my legs and my stamina,"
"When you go for a long distance, a
he says. "I started doing cycling. Then I
person has to do their homework. You
saw an article in the paper about a small
can't fake it. You have to do the work in
triathlon in Anchor Bay that they have
order to finish it."
every year, which was a short-course one.
T does the work, regu-
And I did that one and it was fun.
larly. "If you don't train year-round, you
"I was working out daily, maybe an
have to do some intensive training for
hour a day, to get ready for it. And the
maybe three or four months prior to the
preparation was a good workout. It's nice
event," he says. "I prefer continuing to
to have a goal when you're working out.
work out about an hour a day at a medi-
"So I tried some longer distance runs,
um.pace year-round. And that way I
Olympic distance triathlons [.93-mile
swim, 24.8-mile bike race, 6.2-mile run] ) never have to: push. it.
"And by rotating different 'sports,
and they were enjoyable."
you're less likely to get injured."
He soon worked his way up to a half-
Dr. Kohlenberg swims and uses a
Ironman in Muncie, Ind. "That's about a
and treadmill at the Beverly
five- or six-hour race," Dr. Kohlenberg
explains "and I did fine with that. Then I
did my first Ironman about four years
MADE OF IRON on page 98
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