What doing an Ironman taught me about trading

Hey traders, I hope everything is going well!

Last Sunday I did an Ironman 70.3 … and let me tell you, it was one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had in my life.

Just take a look at this picture:

line

How satisfied do I look?

For those of you that don’t know, an Ironman 70.3 is a: 1.9km swim + 90kms Bike + 21.2kms run, one after the other.

I completed it in 6:46 hrs (more than expected, but based on the circumstances, I guess it was alright).

I have mixed feelings about it, I physically suffered like no other day in my life (that I can recall), but I also was very satisfied when I crossed the line.

So here is how it went.

1.9 km Swim

I think it was the hardest part, even when I thought this one was going to be the easiest one. You know, I was a surfer, I know how to swim, I know how to do it well, I did it every day for years and years… Some days I even swim 4 or 5 kms.

But last Sunday, the water was very very cold, I knew it was going to be a little cold but bearable. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t use a wetsuit (its also a more complicated to swim with it)… big mistake.

The moment I jumped into the water, I just wanted to be out of there. If it wasn’t because my girlfriend was watching, I would probably had left and go back to bed (I woke up at 4am that morning).

But no, she was there and she was watching… So I had to act like nothing was happening… like I was enjoying it hahahahaha Ahhhhh men… I laugh about it now, but believe me, at that moment it wasn’t that funny…

Anyway, it was very very cold that I could hardly swim, I couldn’t hold my breath for more than 2 seconds (that’s one of the things your body does when its temperature goes down), so I had to swim the whole thing with my head over the water, not a very easy thing to do.

But I completed it, and again, my girlfriend was there, so I smiled like I was having fun big time!

Here is a pic, guess who is the only one not wearing a wetsuit?

swim

90 kms Bike

Then I went into the transition zone (where you finish one discipline and prepare for the next one), I felt a little dizzy and had to rest for about 5 minutes, and stood there looking at the horizon, like a zombie… and once I felt ready, I took off…

And guess what… It started to rain.

So I had to slow down a bit, which was ok. You know, I’m not that experienced on the bike, but I think, it probably was the easiest discipline of them all (by the way, I thought it was going to be the hardest one).

You see, I never road for more than 50 kms… And I was like, I’m ready, I’m prepared. That day I did 90 kms.

But just after the 50th km, you start to feel a little uncomfortable, you start to feel a little pain in the lower back, and the list goes on and on… So I had to deal with it for 40kms, but it wasn’t that bad (compared to the swim, it was like heaven).

Luckily I didn’t fell, which was one of my first goal (the other one was to actually complete it), so I reached both of them.

Then the run.

21.2 kms Run

This one was another discipline that I thought it was going to be easy…

You know, I’ve ran several marathons, plenty of half-marathons, not to mention all the 10K runs I’ve done…

So I thought, if I get to this point, I’ll be practically done.

I just forgot something, I never ran a half-marathon after swimming 1.9 km and riding 90 kms…

Hahahahahah

Every step after the first 10K was painful… but I was more experienced with this type of “pain”. So just kept running and running until I crossed the line.

What an experience

ironman

I suffered the whole thing, from the very first second that I dived into the water, to the moment that I cross the line.

But that feeling when you cross the line makes everything worth it! I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to explain it, but its something that errases every single second of pain and suddenly makes you feel very satisfied for what you have done.

I guess is like reaching a goal, a very difficult one.

Look at it this way: every single thing in life that’s its worth it, its complicated to get it. There is no way around it.

Doing and Ironman or having good results in your trading is no different.

How would you feel once you start getting consistent results on your trading?

That’s exactly the same feeling… because you’ve been working so hard and finally you are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

Anyway, this is what I learned

You need to trade alongside other likeminded traders

If I had teamed up with other triathletes, I would have known better about the water temperature.

I calculate that I lost around 25 minutes because of this.

I usually swim the same distance in about 38 – 40 minutes. That day, I swam it in 52 minutes. Plus all the energy I lost because of that that I could have used in other disciplines…

In the trading arena, the same applies. Its always good to be in touch with other like minded traders.

I say like minded traders, because it will be no good if you get together with traders that are using a totally different approach than yours.

You’ll get confused, second thoughts, you’ll second guess your trading decisions, etc.

You dont have to trade in the exact same way, but your approach should be similar.

When I started to trade, I traded along 3 other trades, and all of us were working in the same strategy, in fact, the way I trade right now is an evolved version of that strategy.

I still get together with them and do ocasional sessions to share our experiences, etc.

So if you haven’t had a chance to create a mastermind group, its never to late to start one.

You need to prepare yourself

There are no shortcuts my fellow traders.

I wanted to complete the Ironman in less than 6 hours, but being honest, I didn’t prepare myself to do so.

When I look back, I could find a lot of excuses: didn’t have enough time, I was too cold outside, etc. At the end, I didn’t do what was necessary to do the job in less than 6 hrs. That’s it.

Whose fault is it: mine. And I’m going to forget about all those excuses. It’s all my fault. No more words.

The same goes for trading.

In order to succeed, you need to do what its necessary to trade with consistent results.

You need to develop a system, you need to make sure the system fits your trading style, you need to make sure you follow every single rule, you need to trade the right instruments at the right time, etc.

And what happens if you don’t do whats necessary?

Its our own fault. Not the brokers fault, not your fellow traders fault, not the non-farm payrolls report fault, etc.

OUR FAULT.

Make sure when ever you make a mistake, to learn from it and promise yourself not to make that same mistake again.

Learn from it!

Your Turn

What have you learn about trading from doing other things?

What do you think about my Ironman experience?

Please share your thoughts!

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Raul Lopez

I've been trading the markets for more than 15 years. I believe the best way to trade is by adapting to the market conditions. You can learn it too, join our community .

  • Varahala Babu

    hi raul….can we look long signals on GBP/CAD and NASDAQ 100 E MINI FUTURES ?

    • Raul Lopez

      Could be Varahala… GBPCAD looks like a good one to do long… About the other instruments, haven had a chance to look at them!

      Good luck!

  • Chad Hogan

    Raul,
    Tania is long on EURGBP. Im currently monitoring CADCHF, GBPCHF and a few others that are about to break from important levels. What are you looking at mate? Oh & Tania said Hi.

    • Raul Lopez

      Hey Chad,

      Thanks Mate… I’ll write about the pairs I’m currently trading/monitoring tomorrow morning!

      How is life Mate? How is everything?

      • Chad Hogan

        Raul,
        Life is busy. Im 38 today and still working on trading for a living. I look forward to your analysis. I hope your long on Gbpaud with me. Im up over 300 pips and still waiting for a retracement. I love how it moves.

        Chad.

        • Raul Lopez

          Wow! Congrats Chad! Are you doing something similar to what you did with Tania’s birthday?

          You’ll get there Mate!

          I didnt trade the GBPAUD though… I took the GBPNZD signal…

          And yep, I like the way both of them move (when it does move on my favor lol).

          Cheers,

  • Varahala Babu

    hi raul….you have a good body physique …great

    • Raul Lopez

      Thank you Varahala!

  • Chad Hogan

    Hey Raul,
    How you goin mate. Well done on your achievement. It’s important we strive in other areas of our life as you do. Do me a favour. Wear a wetsuit next time!!!
    I believe the same universal rules apply to trading like any other hobby or interest we choose to pursue in life. Except in trading the necessary traits like patience, consistency, discernment and boldness are intensified don’t you think?. More than whats normally required to excel anyway..
    This weeks trading has many pairs to focus on. I think the news will dictate what the best currency pairs are to trade. Goodluck.
    Chad.

    • Raul Lopez

      Hahahahahaha I know Mate, I will definitely wear a wetsuit next time… I am not going to put myself in that position again… specially if my girlfriend is watching!

      I definitely agree with you… in trading those traits are intensified. But you know why Chad, because it takes only one mistake to wipe our your entire month profits… That’s why you always need to be following your rules, patient, etc.

      What currency pairs are you currently focusing now?

      Please say hello to Tania!

  • Brian D

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring story Raul! What an achievement. Indeed it is necessary to encourage and be encouraged in trading, as the world is quick to criticize any effort towards financial freedom…as you said: “Make sure when ever you make a mistake, to learn from it and promise yourself not to make that same mistake again”…so, we really learn when we make honest mistakes and create a journal. Mistakes like buying at a downtrend/supply level, or selling in an uptrend/demand level…trading is a fascinating discovery when we adjust our approach towards enjoying our individual journey of discovery. I believe in low risk trades until we are consistent. Some Teachers recommend that beginning Students have 1K lot/350 trades (or until 70% or so wins), before increasing risk (which is all we control)…cool…be encouraged….Thanks again…peace

    • Raul Lopez

      Hey Brian!

      Thank you for your kind words! I definitely agree with you, by having a journal (and reviewing it) helps you learn from your honest mistakes… that’s a game changer!

      And yes, you need to make sure you are able to get good resultas before risking any real money! There is no point on risking money if you have a demo account to test your strategy, etc.

      Thanks again!

  • Pia

    Impressive! Congrats!

    • Raul Lopez

      Thank you Pia!

  • Denny Mursali

    Hello Mr IronMan,

    Congratulation.
    I can’t agree more.

    • Raul Lopez

      Thanks Mate!

  • pduarte

    Hi Brother,

    First of all, congratulations for your achievement. You should be proud for that.

    About trading is the same thing. We all must not look at usain bolt, we must look at you.

    All the best,

    Paulo

    • Raul Lopez

      Hey Paulo, glad to see you here! Its been a while since the last time I saw you commenting…

      Thank you Mate, you know I always appreciate your comments!

      How is everything?

  • Varahala Babu

    hi raul…still EUR/USD is bearish ?

    • Raul Lopez

      Hello Varahala,

      Its bearish, but I wouldnt trade it yet… still not clear in the ST charts.

  • Muhammad Ali Awan

    Raul your really look satisfied in the first pic, and thanks for sharing your experience, we all do make mistakes, but try to find excuses to cover them up. I do agree with you that admit if one has done any mistake and learn from it. Raul thanks once again for sharing your experience.

    • Raul Lopez

      Yep, I agree Muhammad, we all make mistakes, we are all human and that’s something we can avoid… but as you say, we can learn from them… and that’s what we need to do! To learn from each one of them.

  • Zaza

    Woow! you are so right Raul

    • Raul Lopez

      :)