Q&A with Coach Al after going Sub9

So Al, you knocked almost 30min off your Ironman personal best time last weekend, was this your goal?

I had two goals going into this year, I wanted to go sub 9 and I wanted to run a sub 3hr ironman marathon (missed that one by 3 mins). Above all I felt that this year was a opportunity to lay down my best time, one that maybe I won’t top. Perhaps I will go quicker in the future but, maybe not. Either way I’ll be happy if I never beat this time.

What changed if anything about your mindset about Ironman racing leading into this one?

I have been a little geeky this year which I am sure some folk will attest to… My mindset from the start of Jan has been about being more professional in everything I do. I have stopped drinking alcohol and tried to improve my morning habits and systemizing my life and business a little more. All of this has trickled into not missing training sessions, recovering better and training a little smarter.

Outside of training hard what were the other factors you feel made the difference in your preparation?

Not boozing certainly helped with recovery, sleep and not missing sessions. Heat work also helped in the build up to race along with spending a bit of time and money dialing in my bike set up (gone to 155 cranks) and getting everything as aerodynamic as possible as I don’t have a great amount of power to work with so I need to take any ‘marginal gain’ I can.

Did the day pan out they way you’d planned or were there hurdles to overcome?

The swim pretty much went to plan although I had a fairly new wet suit which for some reason made my right hand go numb during the last part of the swim which was a new one. Bike had more wind than expected so I had to factor this into things and try to stay on power and back that things would come good. I knew the run was going to be tougher due to the changes in the course however there was one long up hill drag in particular that was super tough and really forced you to dig deep, it would have been so easy to walk!!

At what stage in the race did you know you’d secured your place in the magic ‘Sub9’ club?

Ha, from about half way into the run I started to work out the pace I needed to hold in order for it to happen, however you never can take anything for granted as the wheels can come off all to quickly so I just focused on cadence, nutrition and form. My splits did take a nose dive on the last climb however I held it together and I guess I knew it was mine to lose at about 5k. Then seeing the time as I hit the finish was awesome as I actually thought It would be a little closer to 9.

Achieving such a big goal what are your plans for future racing?

In the short term I love the swimrun circuit so looking forward to defending my Breca Buttermere swimrun title in a few weeks and have a few halves over the late summer. Long term, not sure. Maybe a return to Kona sooner or later and IM 70.3 worlds at Nice in 2019, but aside from that haven’t really given it any thought. Just enjoying the post-race high!!

Now that Challenge Roth has given you your entry fee back for achieving Sub9, what are you going to spend it on if you have not already?

Challenge Roth gives you your entry back minus 100 euros, I am yet to see this land in my account…. If/when it hits I know the answer should be ‘take my girlfriend away for a long weekend to thank her for all her love support’….. But instead I’ll probably just get a new Garmin 935 for me and not tell her 😉


Alan Scott
Embrace Sports Coach
BikeBoxBuddy Owner

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