George From HeadBox Does The Ironman UK for St Mungo’s

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Ever wondered what it’s like to train for an Ironman? HeadBox’s George Essex reveals all ahead of competing this summer in aid of St Mungo’s. 

Last year HeadBox launched our Social Mission in partnership with St Mungo’s, one of the UK’s leading homelessness charities, to help provide space to people who don’t have it

This year we have pledged to raise £20,000 for St Mungo’s and to help us reach our target, George Essex, International Business Development Executive at HeadBox, is taking part in the UK Ironman in July in a bid to raise £3,000.  So we sat down with him to see how he is getting on with his gruelling training plan. George said:


I am doing an Ironman Triathlon to raise money for St Mungo’s which is an amazing cause. St Mungo’s is on a mission to end homelessness. Their vision is that everyone has a place to call home from which they can achieve their hopes and ambitions. After experiencing many funding cuts at St Mungo’s recently, your help is more important than ever. If you want to donate to this wonderful cause please head to my Just Giving page here.

Man in running gear with a medal

1. What made you want to do an Ironman?

I have played sports my whole life but after university, I somehow ended up not doing very much and I was desperately missing the feeling of training for something and of healthy competition. This coincided with the fact that at my previous job, I wasn’t feeling very stimulated and I had an urge to apply myself to something more.

In hindsight, signing up for an Ironman was probably rash, considering I have absolutely no endurance sports experience, but here we are!

2. What does an Ironman consist of?

2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim

112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride

A marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run

The maximum time you’re allowed to do an Ironman is in 17 hours. I’m not announcing my target time until after I finish, so watch this space.

A man in cycling gear with a bike

3. What’s your typical training week?

I train a lot, approximately 14 hours a week, which leaves very little room for a social life. I do around 10 sessions a week, usually in a pattern like this one:

  • Monday: 2 sessions consisting of a bike ride and a run
  • Tuesday: 2 sessions consisting of a swim and a run
  • Wednesday: 1 bike session
  • Thursday: 2 sessions consisting of a swim and a run
  • Friday: DAY OFF
  • Saturday: 1 long bike ride
  • Sunday: 2 sessions consisting of a swim and a run


4. What bit of you looking forward to most?

  • The Finish

A man in a wetsuit

5. What bit are you least looking forward too?

The start. A triathlon starts at the swim and the start is notorious for being chaotic. As you can imagine, or if you’ve ever seen it on TV or competed yourself, there are a lot of bodies in the water and flailing limbs with a strong possibility of getting hit in the head. I will be really nervous at the start so I just want to get into the thick of it and get going! Wish me luck!

Once again, if you’d like to donate to the cause you can do so here.

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