Ironman Who Completed 50 Events In 50 Days Has Solid Advice For People Eating Clean All The Time And It’s ‘Don’t’

Iron Cowboy James Lawrence

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“Iron Cowboy” James Lawrence is a father of five and the mother of all Ironman competitors. He’s good. So good he did 50 Ironman competitions in 50 days and he’s alive to talk about it with GQ.

Lawrence explained that while training for an Ironman, nutrition because super important.

“There’s a difference between training for one Ironman and 50 Ironmans,” he says. “I wasn’t eating just to fuel for the moment or that day, I was eating for today, tomorrow, and the next day. There’s an incredible compounding effect of nutrition. A lot of people tend to think that if you’re an athlete and have the right amount of exercise that kinda gives you the greenlight to just shovel shit into you.”

Oh I’d totally just be shoveling shit into my mouth, especially after training sessions. Good thing I’d never do a fucking Ironman.

The father of five decided to tackle the 50 in 50 in the name of childhood obesity because not only are we all fat adults, we’re turning our children into little bundles of mass thanks to junk food and the absence of the good old home cooked meal.

As far as Lawrence’s diet goes, he could eat just about anything, but didn’t.

There’s little he doesn’t shy away from, actually. During training for the 50-50, he ate anywhere from 4,500 to 6,500 calories a day (the discrepancy comes from not counting calories, but just eating when he was hungry). During the main event, his intake went up to 8,500 calories each day, half of which he consumed during the race: 2,000 calories between the swim and the bike ride (usually eggs and potatoes), then another 2,000 on the bike (mostly sandwiches handed off to him during the ride).

He does, however, have a couple opinions on the obsession of some to eat absolutely clean all the time.

“Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good donut when it’s presented to me. I believe in a B-plus average when it comes to eating. It’s hard in today’s society to be an A-plus Nazi vegan all the time all the time. There are guys out there who make it work, but I don’t want to be those guys. I can maintain an average life with a B average, eating clean 80 percent of the time and allowing myself to indulge in some of the delicious treats this country has to offer.”

For an example of Lawrence’s typical training diet, check out the feature at GQ.