Tim Don breaks Ironman record in Brazil
JackRabbit interviews triathlete Tim Don, Ironman world record breaker
Recent Ironman world record breaking triathlete Tim Don (GBR) took the time to sit down with us runner geeks at JackRabbit to talk about his recent Ironman world record breaking race in Florianopolis, Brazil, his triathlon career and what keeps him motivated to keep lacing up his On running shoes.
Race day at the Ironman triathlon in Florianopolis, Brazil saw Tim to pull together a 44:16 swim, a 4:06:56 bike and a 2:44:46 marathon to finish in an incredible 7:40:23 and break Lionel Sanders’ (CAN) previous Ironman World Record of 7:44:29 set at Ironman Arizona in 2016.
Tim Don’s Ironman South America Race Recap – Racing long and strong
Tim Don Interview
JackRabbit: You’ve had an amazingly long sports career – over 20 years at world class level. From a 28:50 10k (that knocks our running socks off!), 3 Olympics, countless 70.3 wins and now Ironman World Record holder. What do you attribute your number of years on the podium to?
Tim Don: I think it’s my love for the sport, to me it’s not a job or even a career. It’s just a way of life, a passion I have for Triathlon. I feel I haven’t worked a day in my life.
JR: Three sports: swim, bike, run. While choosing the one you prefer is like choosing amongst your children, what are the highs and lows for each for you?
TD: I love swimming open water, so when it summer time in Boulder it’s so nice to swim in the lakes, on the winter it’s tough to get motivated at 05:45 am in an outdoor pool with 1 foot of snow on the ground, lucky for me at Rally Sport it’s only a 5 meter walk to the pool outside.
On the bike the lows can be crashing: crazy ass drivers and getting caught in a big thunderstorm, the highs well that’s easy, the beauty of being able to ride in amazing places – Boulder, Stellenbosch, the Surrey hills.
Running: I love the fact all I need is my Cloudflow and I can go run anywhere – NYC, the back roads of Boulder, down at the Niwot High Track simple as really, again it’s the injury part that’s tough to deal with at times.
JR: You’re now a dad. How do you find a balance between training at the peak point in your career with your family?
TD: It’s tough. I am lucky I have an amazing wife Kelly who supports me 110% and is awesome at doing so much more around my training. Sometimes though when I have had a tough day or a long day and am smashed, it’s just great being around Matilda and Hugo as they don’t care! All they want to do is play and hang out with me, so in some ways it’s good to take my mood away from triathlon too.
JR: Let’s talk running: You’re known for your lightness of foot and fast cadence. What advice would you give a dedicated runner hoping to move up a level in their running goals?
TD: Consistency is king and listen to your body. If you’re tired rest, if you feel good push on. A good coach is also helpful or a training group to help push you on the harder runs or longer runs, and remember easy is easy and hard is hard
JR: You ran a 2:44 marathon in the Ironman in Brazil. When you get off the bike and start running, you need a shoe that’s going to meet your needs. After all, it’s the ‘vehicle’ that’s taking you to the finish line! Tell us about your On Cloudflows and why they work for you.
TD: I just love it! I do about 90% of all my running in the Cloudflow, it’s light, well supported and a snug fit, it’s my go-to shoe that I guess gives me confidence. When you’re running a 100km plus a week that’s important too.
JR: We all see the glory of race season in the media, but what happens in your off season? What do you focus on to help you reach your optimal performance when it counts?
TD: Training and lots off it ha!!! With Julie and Matt my coaches, they do so much work behind the scenes, all I have to do is swim, bike, run really. It’s all about the process not the goal and enjoying it too; that’s very important to me.
JR: Ironman triathlon is a long day at the office – even if you happen to be the fastest! Over 7 hours racing is a challenge to your mind as well as your physical conditioning. What runs through your mind while you’re racing? How do you prepare for that?
TD: Wow, I think what does not run through your mind in racing that long really!!! I like to break it down into smaller segments, that really helps me loads. So the swim was 2 laps in Brazil, so I go Ok legs get to the first buoy then to the beach back out again and to the second turn buoy, then I think about transition and so on. That really works for me; then the day does not seem so long ].
JR: The Ironman World Champs in Kona, Hi. are next. The island, the heat, the competition, the winds, the lava fields. The energy at that race is electric. Do you prepare any differently, or is it business as usual?
TD: Yes and No. I will just try and get the work done that [coaches] Julie and Matt give me but I have no doubt – as you mentioned – the course and elements, not to mention the depth of field will have a big part in how we prepare for the race, I guess we will see over the next few months!
JR: Sports teaches us things on so many levels. What have you learned from your long career as a pro athlete that us age-groupers and runners can take on board?
TD: Believe in yourself and as an old coach of mine used to keep telling me when I was younger, ‘open up your mind and you will be amazed what the body can do.’
JR: And finally, one question we ask all athletes. What are three songs that motivate you in life, sport and racing?
TD: Wow, I go through phases of motivating songs at the moment: Script: Hall of Fame, Oasis: Live Forever and Adel: Rumour Has It.
JR: Thanks Tim!
TECHNICAL SPECS: CLOUDFLOW FROM ON RUNNING
RUN LIKE TIM IN THE CLOUDFLOW FROM ON RUNNING
Follow Tim Don’s Triathlon Adventures
Follow Tim Don’s triathlon adventures on Twitter as he continues on with the 2017 race season. Coming up are the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Chatanooga, Tn. and The Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hi.