Approximately 18 months ago Dave Kelly approached Goalspecific with the goal of completing an Ironman alongside his son Chris who had already been through the process with us. The only slight flaw in the plan was that Dave, approaching 60, was not active in sports at all and could not complete a length of the pool without stopping for a rest . What has followed has been nothing short of inspirational and if ever there was a case study for the benefits of focusing on the process than this it! Short term goals, attention to details and consistency with his training eventually put Dave on the start line for Ironman Copenhagen, having developed his swim stroke to the point that he was confident in completing the 3.8km swim in good time, real strength and speed on the bike and and efficient run, combined with his clear race strategy, developed during training events over the course of the 2 years. What followed was a fantastic performance, exceeding Dave’s expectation, as he finished in 13hr30min. Here’s Dave’s take on a brilliant race:
Better than my worst estimates not as good as some results suggested I could achieve but OK. I got round which is main thing, I very nearly didn’t.
The lagoon at Amager Strand, where the swim took place, is very shallow and there is weed nearly everywhere growing close to the surface. It kept getting tangled round my arms and getting rid of it mean breaking stroke and didn’t always work first time. It was particularly bad near the northern turn buoys so much so I seriously considered jacking it but ended up persevering. Interesting point. The baltic is less salt than the atlantic and hence waters round UK, you could really ‘taste’ the difference whilst swimming.
Yes, I know way too long but coming out the swim I was reeling. Being horizontal for so long my balance mechanisms had shifted and it was all I could do to stand up. Even had a medic peering at me asking if I was OK. So did things slow and easy to try and get my balance shifted back to the vertical.
Would like to have been a bit faster but had set myself a conservative target of average 28 kph or just under 6-1/2 hrs which I bettered so OK. Conditions did not help. A very strong, 18 knots or thereabouts, westerly / south westerly breeze did not help as this was a head wind for the northern section of the ride and effectively more of a side wind for bulk of rest. Also a lot or rain showers, some quite heavy. Main issue, I think, with these was they washed the ‘dry lube’ out of my chain and for a big chunk of second loop my chain was squeaking a lot, until more rain added the lubricant needed. Think the lack of ‘lubricant’ meant drive was not working efficiently and I was slower, I know once it started raining again I gained pace. Anyway not bad overall.
Again a bit slow but I had made a decision to make a complete change of gear from trisuit to normal running gear for comfort and that takes time. That said I think I ended up benefiting on the run, saving more time all told than it cost.
The run itself started out OK, was planning to run walk, and managed this for much of the first two laps however start of lap 3 I hit a wall and ended up walking most of the first half of lap 3. This ‘rest’ helped though and I managed to run a good chunk of the remainder of lap 3 and most of lap 4 ( I tried to do the ‘aid station relay’, walk through the aid station getting some fluids in, ended up mostly cola, and a bit beyond then run to the next. This worked for a while. ) Start of final half lap I hit a second wall and walked more than I wanted to but eventually knowing finish line not far away and with adrenalin kicking in I managed to get going and more or less sprint across the line. Where I was greeted by Chris with a big hug.