Tips from the Man: Dave Scott shares insights from his long Ironman career

Dave Scott at Hawaii Ironman '94  Credit: Gary Newkirk/Allsport
On May 16, six-time Ironman champion Dave Scott spoke at the Triathlon Club of San Diego's monthly meeting.

The largest crowd ever approximately 350 turned out to hear the Lord of the Lava talk about his career as well as his attempt to turn back the hands of time as he tackles the Ironman again on October 6 at the age of 47.

The Man had some great tips for anyone doing any type of training and racing:

  • "Don't wait to get into a groove. Set your tempo in the first 15-20 minutes of your bike ride."

  • "People tend to focus on their weaknesses. Instead, focus on what you do well."

  • "Look at your event as a game and enjoy yourself. Your only obligation on race day is to be the best you can be."

  • "Why am I coming back and racing in Kona again? Because I love the game ... to me, it's a huge game."

  • "Chop the day into smaller, easier-to-handle pieces. It's easy to doubt and question yourself. A common mistake people make is to think, 'I'm only 10 miles into a 112-mile bike ride and I feel lousy. I'd better back off.' don't; stay in the moment. Do what you can right now and don't look ahead."

  • "People always introduce me as the six-time winner of the Ironman ... that will probably be on my tombstone. But the races that mean the most to me are the ones I didn't win. The great race with Mark Allen in 1989, finishing second to Greg Welch in 1994 at the age of 40... coming back from 26th place off the bike, running a 2:45 marathon and moving up fifth in 1996."

  • "No matter what you're doing, extend yourself without limitations."

  • "I'm not making any predictions as to how I'll do this year. One thing I will say: I'll go under nine hours."

  • "Keeping your sense of humor on race day is really important. In 1989 Mark [Allen] and I had been together all day long. Towards the end of the bike ride, I remember going by this one guy who was sitting in a beach chair surrounded by empty beer cans. He had been in the sun all day and was beet red. When Mark and I came back the other way during the early miles of the marathon, he was out of his chair. We were running about six-minute pace at the time and he hopped onto the 120-degree pavement barefoot and started running along with us. He's screaming, 'Come on, guys! Pick up the pace!' He lasted about 20 yards, but it kept me laughing for awhile."

  • "I had trouble sleeping after winning the 1982 Ironman, so I decided to walk into town at about 5 in the morning. This was before they had a 17-hour cutoff time in Hawaii. As I got close to the pier, here come two guys side by side, finishing the event in over 24 hours. One says, 'This is so cool! Dave Scott, the winner of the Ironman, is here to greet us! Run in with us, Dave!' I tried to go with them, but I couldn't. They sprinted the last 100 yards and dropped me like a stone."

    At the Vineman Half Ironman on July 8, his first race of 2001, Dave Scott was one minute behind after the 1.2-mile swim and 4:30 behind the leaders 35 miles into the 56-mile bike ride. Then he flatted and lost 17 minutes struggling to get his sew-up off the rim. His 1:15:09 half marathon moved him up to 11th in the pro field.

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