There’s nothing I love more than tales of ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things.
But nobody who achieves the extraordinary is ordinary—and while upon first glimpse this real-life Forrest Gump may present as an everyman, he is anything but.
Not only did today’s guest dare to best one of the world’s most impressive endurance records, he downright decimated it—and somehow made it all look ‘easy’.
In 2021, the Iron Cowboy James Lawrence completed 101 iron-distance triathlons in 101 consecutive days—a record I both witnessed and couldn’t fathom being broken in my lifetime. And yet not too long after, Sean Conway, a dad of two young kids from a small town in Wales by way of Zimbabwe, proceeded to complete 105 consecutive iron-distance triathlons, claims he could have kept going, and believes he could have done 200.
In case you don’t quite grasp the enormity of this feat: Sean swam 2.4 miles, then proceeded to ride 112 miles on his bike, then ran a full marathon—26.2 miles, repeating this routine every day without missing a single day, for 105 days in a row.
Moreover, Sean didn’t even begin his endurance career until age 30—a career in which he has quietly eclipsed more records than most realize.
“I don’t care about failing. I don’t feel like I’ve let people down. I just accept that it didn’t work and try again.”
– SEAN CONWAY
Today we unpack Sean’s extraordinary accomplishments, his ‘terrier mindset’, the ‘ten pillars of endurance’, why he doesn’t celebrate small wins, his unique lens on failure, and his reasoning for never, ever having a backup plan.
We also explore Sean’s impressive resume of world-record-setting feats of endurance, which include:
- climbing up Mount Kilimanjaro in a penguin suit;
- swimming the length of Great Britain in 135 days—when the furthest he had swum before this challenge was three miles;
- setting a world record for cycling unsupported across Europe, completing the 4000-mile route in 24 days;
- completing the Ultimate British Triathlon following a run from John O’Groats to Land’s End without undergoing any kind of training in advance;
- completing a self-supported 4000+ mile, continuous ultra triathlon that circumnavigated the entire coast of mainland Britain; and
- setting the world record for the longest triathlon in the world, crushing 4,200 miles in 85 days.
Sean is quirky, totally authentic, and chock-full of ludicrous stories lifted from a life that prioritizes adventure over security.
My hope is that his example inspires you to transcend self-imposed limitations and craft a challenge that is meaningful to you.
Because we’re all capable of transforming our lives from ordinary to extraordinary.
Peace + Plants,
Listen, Watch, & Subscribe
For 1000s of delicious, customized plant-based recipes & so much more, check out our Plantpower Meal Planner.
Peak Design: Makers of thoughtfully crafted, best-in-class backpacks, duffels, camera accessories, and other sleek carry solutions. Keep your gear accessible, organized, and protected with Peak Design. Right now they’re offering an exclusive 20% OFF discount just for my listeners at PeakDesign.com/RICHROLL.
Timeline Nutrition: Energize your cells and fight age-related decline with Mitopure: a novel postbiotic clinically proven to boost cellular energy and muscle health by renewing mitochondria, our cellular powerhouses. Try a free 3-day starter pack of Mitopure-powered products while supplies last at Timelinenutrition.com/RICHROLL.
Indeed knows that when you’re doing everything for your company, you can’t afford to overspend on hiring. With Indeed you only pay for quality applications that meet your criteria. There are no long-term contracts and Indeed gives you full control so you only pay for what you need. Start hiring now with a 75$ SPONSORED JOB CREDIT to upgrade your job post at indeed.com/RICHROLL. Terms and conditions apply. Offer good for a limited time.
Momentous: High-caliber human performance products for sleep, focus, longevity, and more. For listeners of the show, Momentous is offering an exclusive deal on their entire product collection: Go to livemomentous.com/richroll for 25% OFF my favorite products and more.
AG1: 75 whole food sourced ingredients designed to optimize 5 key areas of health, AG1 is the delicious daily habit that sets you up for a healthy future. I take the packets everywhere I go. Invest in your health without compromise! Go to: drinkag1.com/richroll to get a FREE year supply of Vitamin D AND 5 free travel packs ofAG1 with your first purchase.
BetterHelp: This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp, the world’s largest therapy service, 100% online. Designed to be convenient, flexible, and suited to your schedule. Just fill out a brief questionnaire to get matched with a professional, licensed, and vetted therapist who you can trust. Listeners get 10% off their first month by visiting BetterHelp.com/richroll.
ROKA: Cutting-edge eyewear & apparel built for top performance. Ultralight construction. Arms-Up Design. Official USAT Partner. If you’re active like me and wear prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses, ROKA combines the no-slip performance you’ve been waiting for with fashionable frames. Unlock 20% OFF your order with code RICHROLL at ROKA.com/RICHROLL.
- Connect with Sean: Website | Instagram | X
- TED: Extreme Challenge: Sean Conway at TEDxYouth@Manchester 2014 January
- Book: Cycling the Earth: A Life-changing Race Around the World
- Book: Big Mile Cycling: Ten Years. 60000 Miles. One Dream
- YouTube: Sean Conway Channel
- YouTube: The National Parks Marathons – a Sean Conway Challenge
- YouTube: The 496 Challenge with Sean Conway
- Film: Sean Conway Running Britain
- Film: Sean Conway On The Edge
- Runner’s World: Sean Conway completes record-breaking 102 back-to-back Ironman triathlons
- 220 Triathlon: Sean Conway Ends Tri Challenge After 105 Irons In 105 Days
- BBC: Man breaks record with 102 triathlons in a row
- Telegraph: Sean Conway, the ‘ordinary’ man breaking the triathlon world record
- Veggie Vagabonds: Sean Conway: Ethical Adventure Interviews Vol. 1
There are a few simple ways you can support the show and the content we strive to craft and share every single week
Patronize Our Sponsors: Supporting the companies that support the show! For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity URLs and discount codes, click the ‘Sponsors’ tab in the ‘Shop’ menu.
Spread The Word: Help grow our reach by sharing your enthusiasm for the podcast and/or your favorite episodes by posting about it on social media.
Thank The Team: I do not do this alone. Send your love to Jason Camiolo for audio engineering, production, show notes and interstitial music; with additional audio engineering by Cale Curtis and additional music by Moby; Blake Curtis & Dan Drake for video, & editing; graphics by Jessica Miranda & Daniel Solis; portraits by Davy Greenberg, Grayson Wilder & Gizelle Peters; video clips for social media are created by AJ Akpodiete; copywriting by Georgia Whaley; and theme music by Tyler Piatt, Trapper Piatt & Hari Mathis.
Amazon Disclosure: Third-party books and products denoted on this page and website may be hyperlinked to the Amazon affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.