Hines Ward's new long-distance route

For 14 years, Hines Ward was a Steeler. Now, his goal is to be an Ironman.

Ward, 37, is training for the biggest stage in triathlon, the Hawaii Ironman, which consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile ride and 26.2-mile run. My guess is this takes a little more endurance than his previous off-the-field ventures -- winning "Dancing With The Stars" and playing a zombie on "The Walking Dead."

Getting ready for the world championships in October has been a grueling process for Ward. Dropping 18 pounds in two months, Ward ran his first race at 210 pounds. He even beat his time goal by three minutes. By the time he runs his half-Ironman in June, Ward should be down to 195 pounds.

Ward is being coached by Paula Newby-Fraser, who has won the Ironman World Championship a record eight times. There is no thought of Ward winning the race or even coming close to it. Success for Ward is finishing the race before the 17-hour cutoff.

"I have the mentality as a football player that I want to win every time, but you got to put things in reality when you come out here," Ward said.