Typical Training Day With The Iron Cowboy


A Surprise Visit

A few days back, James Lawrence visited the Fezzari Factory building where my coworker Ryan and I work. If you know James, he’s always open to talking about his current goals and ideas. We naturally sparked up a conversation about some of the training workouts he’s been doing recently. Ryan and I were pretty curious how he manages to get his workouts in and balance his other pressing responsibilities, like his family and company, so we asked if we could follow along and document what it’s like training with the Iron Cowboy. James told us he was doing a ride with his wife and some friends that weekend and invited us to to tag along. With the go-ahead from James, we charged our batteries, checked our cameras, and packed our bags for that weekend.

The Training

We met just before sunrise at the base of Squaw Peak Rd in Provo, Ut. It was a beautiful morning with sunlight just peaking through the mountains and honestly, the riding conditions couldn’t have been better for bike ride. Right away, I noticed how casual the feel was. Yeah, everyone was decked out in riding gear and they were pedaling hard, but you could tell that they all were friends doing something they love and genuinely enjoying their time together. Maybe it was just me, but I always imagined a workout with the Iron Cowboy to be wildly intense and few people making it through the whole workout. I couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, when we reached the top of Squaw Peak Rd, James and his wife Sunny were joking with some friends about past relationships and whatnot. Soon after the group had reached the top of Squaw Peak Rd, they clicked in and headed back down towards the next training location.

We met up with James and his friends a few miles up Provo Canyon where they were doing the second climb that morning. I noticed that James had gotten in that cycling flow. He was gradually increasing his speed as he peddled up towards the summit of the road.

Unlikely Conversation

When we reached end of the road, there were a few local cyclists up at the top. It appeared that they had gotten there a few minutes before James and his friends. I could tell they were pretty curious why this random cyclist had two guys following him with cameras so they started asking questions about who he was and what he was doing. I was glad we had some cameras to document the dialog from that conversation because it really showcased what James is all about. Right away, James was taking focusing on how anyone can accomplish amazing things if they’re willing to put their mind to it. After this group of cyclists knew he was the Iron Cowboy, one of the cyclists said “So you can’t be normal. No normal person could do the 50.50.50.” to which James replied “No, I’m totally normal! I had all the genetic tests done because people thought I must be different. Turns out I’m as average as a white male Canadian can be!” A different cyclist responded to his Canadian comment with “Oh, so you’re not normal!”

My Takeaway

There were some good laughs and other conversations but what stood out to me the most was how James used the random encounter to coach. He talked about how average people can accomplish amazing things if they’re willing to put their mind to it.

Thinking back on the question “how do you balance training with other responsibilities?”, I think James’ approach is pretty simple. He socializes, coaches, inspires, and has fun all while doing his training.

James and his team at IronCowboy.com have virtual training programs you can sign up for, as well as a Triathlon named “The Guardsman”.

James trains with the Fezzari Empire SL. Check out the bike here.

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