590. Beyond the Run with Chelsea Sodaro, 2022 Ironman World Champion


“It’s just the reality of being a parent, and I think it would be easy to just see that as a hindrance or a disadvantage. But I think I’ve done a pretty good job of flipping that mindset and saying, ‘Hey, look at what I’ve been able to accomplish when things haven’t always gone my way!’ I don’t expect them to go perfectly on race day. So it’s almost a little secret weapon that I have in my mental toolbox.”

In October, track star turned professional triathlete Chelsea Sodaro was 18 months postpartum. She was about to race her second Ironman triathlon: a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run. That Ironman was the Ironman World Championships in Kona. And she won the whole thing, finishing in 8 hours 33 minutes and 46 seconds, and becoming only the second mom in history to win in Kona. In this conversation, Chelsea talks all about her race day — but perhaps more importantly, she talks about the road to Kona. She talks about returning to training and competition as a new mom, and shares for the first time about her experience with postpartum anxiety. It’s relatable (“To be totally honest, it’s kind of a shitshow,” Chelsea says of returning to work without childcare help), it’s inspiring (“We can do hard things, and we can do amazing things,” she says of being a mom with big dreams), and it’s real (“We just cannot do it alone”).

SPONSOR: New Balance. Click here to learn all about the conversations New Balance is having to promote mental wellness.

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What’s written on Chelsea’s bathroom mirror right now? (2:30)
  • On feeling the mom love after Kona (4:00)
  • What Chelsea was like as a kid, and the impact her mom had on her (5:00)
  • How Chelsea is able to do what she does with a 1.5-year-old at home (9:45)
  • How Chelsea has learned to let go of perfectionism, and her experience with postpartum anxiety (15:15)
  • When Chelsea first started dreaming of Kona (28:45)
  • Did Chelsea ever doubt herself? (35:00)
  • What it was like getting to Kona (40:00)
  • All the details from the 2022 Ironman World Championships (47:35)
  • When Chelsea realized she was about to become an Ironman World Championship, and what the finish line experience was like (1:02:45)
  • The Kona comedown (1:11:20)
  • Chelsea’s message to all the new moms (1:14:45)

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