Excerpts from Meet the Legends Panel at the Inaugural IRONMAN Philippines

hese are some of the open forum discussions and Q&A with panelists - first Ironman Hall of Famer Dave Scott and three-time Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander, Lance Watson Triathlon Coach; hosted by Sunrise Events Chairman Wilfred Uytengsu.

Whatever my prime was, I was motivated by myself and motivated by the other great athletes I competed against. Certainly, the technology has evolved immensely with the bike, with the running shoes, skin suits, technology has just taken off… I think the motivation to do well to race a lot of distance just to do Ironman, the “Ironman” is the Wimbledon of the sport and I was the honeybee for that and I raced to my potential. - Dave

If you break the race up into pieces and you have segments and you have a mental road map of the race course and everyone should have an idea of what it looks like down here. There are difficult sections on this, if I was gonna race, I’d say the climb with the bike was kinda tough, the running was kinda hilly. Well that’s difficult for all the people. So how long does will that actually last if I feel good going through that phase, is it a 1K or 8K. So, now you have these little pieces and then you psychologically manage these pieces so I think for the beginner or for those with experience who have self- doubt, break it into segments so you can mentally and emotionally tackle that race and not feel like it is so consuming. - Dave

The other side of this, is what is it that you want to do. We always look like I should do this, we have to do this or we have to do that. What do you want? And honestly go after that. I think a lot of people who come to Ironman race do not really recognize or exploit their potential. Like, what is my potential. How far is that barometer of success? - Dave

Manage the race, don’t let it consume you mentally- Dave

I think anyone who jumps into this sport is vulnerable. The vulnerability over time, we sometimes lose a little elasticity in muscles, our movable tissues, connective tissues and tendons. They are not quite as resilient. We lose mobility in our joints and the big 3 that everyone can relate to in this sport is my hip and or my low back is real tight. Hip mobility is one key area. Shoulder mobility second area. The third one is sort of the middle part of your back, your thoracic spine which becomes real stiff, and allows you to move laterally. When you look at over the decades, as you age you see stiffness. - Dave

My primary responsibility for everyone who competes on Sunday is athlete safety. There is nothing that comes close to that.- Fred

Make sure you practice not just in the pool. Get out there. We had swim downs and swim outs. Get comfortable with the ocean you have no wall to hang on to at the end of the 25 or 50 meters. - Fred

I know that a lot of people haven’t put in the requisite training to get out there on race day. I just want to make sure there is something for them in the track because when you’re out there, could be 39 to 40 degrees or real feel of 43-45 degrees. It is taxing. And if you are a 23 year old athlete, that’s one thing. If you are a 55 year old athlete, its slightly a different situation. So, we’ve done a lot of things in the course like extra aides or pit stops. Because if an athlete needed to race within his capability, do that, because ultimately we want you in the finish line. Whether you get there at 9:59 or 16:59 you are still an Ironman finisher. - Fred

When you start, you love the sport and you want to get better. If your lucky you win world championships with that comes sponsorships and media and expectation. There is pressure but there is no school that you go through to learn how to deal with it. - Craig

I think everybody is different, like some job, you learn on the job and ultimately it’s still a sport and like you, I just want to give my best performance. Yes, I have people who are expecting me to do very well. Especially If you win more than one, more than two maybe, there is an expectation that you are always gonna do that and people just think it’s gonna happen and it doesn’t get easier it gets harder. - Craig

For me, it was an understanding that it’s something that I love to do. Even if it wasn’t my job, I will still be doing it. I was very lucky to be good at it, to have good advice and improve to that level but I just made sure that like any other job, you make sure you do your job. - Craig

My job was to get in the best shape. I have sponsors and media commitments, ultimately my job was to race fast so I had to do the things that helped me do that and I get nervous, even now I’m nearly 45, I still get nervous and I don’t race that much but I think it’s that expectation of being a competitive person I know that I’ve delivered before. Whether on Sunday, you wanna do 16 hours, 14 hours or 12 hours, you know what your level is and you had your expectations and you want to hit that level. That’s the same for us.- Craig

I think it’s a matter of understanding that ultimately, I was in control of my race, I had to do the things that helped me stay in control. There was always this expectation but ultimately I would never judge the result based on the outcome for me, it’s all about did I do everything in the 11 months before any major race, did I do all these things?, Have I done the right sort of training, planning and periodization if that was taken cared of. Did I check all the boxes? Was I eating right? Was I sleeping right? - Craig

When I am nervous I just go back and read through my training diary and that would make me feel calm that I have checked the boxes and Im ready I just have to take a deep breath and enjoy the day.- Craig


Photo of Dave Scott from wikipedia.com 




Photo of Craig Alexander from wikipedia.com