Lord of the Rings Star Sean Astin Will Compete in Ironman World Championship!

08/14/2015 at 08:00 AM ET

Sean Astin
Getty

Sean Astin has made the winning play on the football field as Rudy and traveled across Middle Earth as Sam in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but his greatest athletic accomplishment will soon happen off the big screen as he competes in the 2015 IRONMAN World Championship presented by GoPro in October.

“This is an extraordinary challenge, and I like the idea that I am capable of leading an extraordinary life,” he tells PEOPLE of why he chose to compete in the 140-mile triathalon.

Astin, 44, already has 10 marathons under his belt, and completed a half-Ironman in July in 7 hours and 25 minutes.

“It was a real confidence builder,” says the Goonies star of finishing that race under the allotted time.

Astin has been training since June for the upcoming fitness challenge, which requires swimming, biking and running over exactly 140.6 miles in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

“I’m working out virtually every day now,” he says.

The actor’s intense preparation combine hours of each of the disciplines involved in the race.

“I’ll cycle for six hours and then do a 30-minute run, or cycle for two hours and then do an hour run,” he says.

Equally as important is the nutritional aspect of training.

“You absolutely have to have a handle on what you’re eating, not only in life, but during the different events,” says Astin. “It’s as much an eating competition as it is swimming and cycling and running. When you’re cycling for six hours, you have to be eating like every 15 minutes, and it’s hard to do that.”

He also does “pre-motion workouts” designed to warm him up for each specific segment of the race, and drinks lots of water.

“I drink a gallon of water a day, not counting what I drink during training,” says Astin.

Married for 23 years with three daughters, Astin says the decision to compete in the extremely demanding race was one they made together as a family.

“It’s as big of a sacrifice for them as it is for me because it’s many, many, many hours of training,” he explains. “It’s important to me that my family sees my commitment to something, even though it may be annoying that it takes so much time, and it may be hard for them to understand sometimes why.”

“I really feel like this is supposed to be happening right now in terms of my life narrative,” he continues. “And I want my commitment to mean something for all of them.”

Sean Astin
Courtesy Sean Astin

Gabrielle Olya, @GabyOlya

FILED UNDER: Fitness , Health , Stars & Chefs

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Ironman2014 on

Good luck training Sean! Can’t wait to track you! Eight weeks to go, make it count!

Kate on

Ironman is hardcore – wishing you good luck in training and on the course! Aloha!

CJM on

Good Luck Sean! Nice to see an actor compete in such an extreme competition!

CJ on

I’m so tired of celebrities who buy their way into Kona. BTW – his half Ironman time is not that great and makes it likely that he won’t be able to finish. You need to more than double your 70.3 time to figure out what you’re 140.6 finish time would be. So he’s looking at probably 16 hours or more to finish. I have a friend who qualified for Kona by winning his age group at another IM last year.

Anonymous on

This is such crap! While I appreciate his choice in sport and committing to stay healthy, he did NOT get his IM Champion slot by policy. Celebrities and rich CEO’s, etc…all BUY their way in. The rest of the millions of people have to “qualify” by racing and training for many years. IM is money making machine now…does not support the original mission. Additionally, ANYONE CAN FINISH AN IRONMAN. All you have to do is eat and drink properly and don’t start off too fast. The training is easy if you don’t let your ego force your training sessions and tax your recovery. Yes, it takes commitment and you need to be okay with your social life being less, although you don’t need a special coach, or special food, or a bike worth $20k. You just need common sense and knowledge. And YES(!)….I have done many triathlons including Ironman. I have also coached thousands of athletes.

D S on

This is such crap! While I appreciate his choice in sport and committing to stay healthy, he did NOT get his IM Champion slot by policy. Celebrities and rich CEO’s, etc…all BUY their way in. The rest of the millions of people have to “qualify” by racing and training for many years. IM is money making machine now…does not support the original mission. Additionally, ANYONE CAN FINISH AN IRONMAN. All you have to do is eat and drink properly and don’t start off too fast. The training is easy if you don’t let your ego force your training sessions and tax your recovery. Yes, it takes commitment and you need to be okay with your social life being less, although you don’t need a special coach, or special food, or a bike worth $20k. You just need common sense and knowledge. And YES(!)….I have done many triathlons including Ironman. I have also coached thousands of athletes.

BAR on

I hate that I am putting a negative comment out to the universe about this but I find this article frustrating as well. He has done one 70.3 Ironman and gets to do Kona?? I have friends who have done dozens of full Ironman races and still can’t get into Kona. Getting to compete at Kona is an earned right and should not be purchased. I have mad respect for people who qualify or are legacy (done Ironman races for years and qualify for loyal participation).
I guess its good press for the sport and a healthy lifestyle but as someone who competes in tri’s and has done multiple 70.3 races I find this article upsetting, especially for those who have made the triathlon world a part of their lifestyle.

5xIronman on

Wow – some haters out there – good for Sean.. people follow him its good for Triathlon

C K on

Wow! A lot of ignorant haters who know nothing about Kona or Ironman. First off millions of people don’t attempt to qualify for Kona. 2,000 people make it per year and there are an estimated 80,000 people per year who think they have what it takes, but let’s be honest probably half of them have no chance. Kona offers 2 celebrity exemptions per year as well as 20 military exemptions. The time limit is 17 hours so he shouldn’t have an issue finishing unless he gets injured. Also to the fool who said anybody can finish a FULL Ironman…you sir are a moron. All you have to do is eat and drink properly and the training is easy…that’s absolute garbage and you should be punched in the throat. The celebrity exemption brings attention to the sport. People like to root for people they’ve seen on movies or compete in other Olympic sports. Good luck Samwise Gamgee! You will destroy it!

rfier moew on

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Jarrett Palmore on

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