Our very own David Thompson has his Iron Distance debut this Sunday at the Rev 3 Full in Sandusky, OH. The weather forecast is calling for dry conditions and the competition will be strong due to the $20,000 first place prize. David had incredible success with the 101 Series in 2007 (These races were 3/4 of an Iron Distance) winning both races by huge margins. He has had success with many Half Iron Races as well as Non Drafting Olympic Distance Races. His 2010 season has been one of his best. He is healthy, motivated, and very fit. With a solid base and fast results he added some volume to his training and is going for the win this Sunday.
We wanted to catch up with David prior to his race this weekend, hear his thoughts, and give you an idea of how and why a pro triathlete goes to races like these. If you would like to hear more of his race stories after reading the interview below, read his personal blog at:www.thompsontri.com You may even begin to understand the mind of DKT if you follow him close enough!
Why now are you doing an Irondistance Triathlon?
I’m doing it because there is a considerable amount of money involved. I don’t know why so many triathletes get caught up in iron distance races. The demands of this distance consume too much of a person’s resources: time, money, physical capital, mental capital, and family time. There is also a huge risk with pooling all of these resources into one or two races. If something goes wrong with the race, your efforts could all disappear with one flat tire or piece of lost luggage.
When did you make the commitment to this race?
I started doing the training required for the Rev3 Full after Life Time Fitness triathlon in early July. I’ve never been fully committed to this race. Even now, I’m not fully committed to finishing the race. If the stress of the marathon starts to put in jeopardy my ability to train for and race the US Open Triathlon in Dallas, I will probably drop out. I would prefer to finish and win some money, but a marathon could easily injure me.
You have told me that if it isn’t going well you will pull out. Can you explain why it is different for you as a professional to pull out of a race compared to the rest of us who are racing as a hobby?
I know I can finish an ironman distance or any other triathlon. I have to use my body to make money. If continuing to race is going to hurt my chances of making more money at the next race or if I’m not going to finish in one of the money places, I would think about the pros and cons of dropping out.
Did you change your traditional training plan to prepare for this race?
Yes, I added in longer bike rides. Usually, my longest ride is 3 to 4 hours. I did at least one if not 2 long rides a week of 5 to 6 hours. I also added a little bit of intensity to these rides and added rides and runs onto local triathlons. For example, I rode home from Minneman and ran an additional 6 miles after Pigman Half this year.
You raced Duathlon worlds just 7 days before the Rev 3 Full and finished 14th. Is this going to effect, positively or negatively, your performance this weekend?
If I’m in shape it shouldn’t have any negative effects on my performance at Rev3 Full. If anything, it should keep up my tolerance for racing and be a positive influence for this Sunday.
After some of the long rides and runs, are you confident you can recover quickly to begin training again?
From my previous experience with long distance racing at the 101 races, it took me about 10 days to start feeling good again. However, I can still train during this time. The intensity and volume will be reduced to help with recovery. I’d like to get going quickly to maximize my training block for the US Open Triathlon in Dallas.
There is some big money at this race which means a big field. Going into this race are you more concerned with the competitors or the distance/course? Is this much different from the other races in which you compete?
I’m going to win money so I will be racing my competitors, but at this distance there will be much more time spent managing my ability to finish the race at the pace I want to go.
Will you share a little on what you did for a taper?
I reduced my volume and held my intensity. My volume is half or a third of what my max weekly volume was, and my intensity is about the same, but the sessions are shorter. I used Pigman Half, Chicago, and Duathlon Worlds as intense workouts for my preparation.
You raced Pigman Half, Chicago, and Du Worlds the past 3 weekends. Did you train between the races?
Hell yeah, these races were part of my build up before I focused on recovering for the Rev3 Full.
Now a few questions from Kevin’s boys, Lance and Blake
Did you train as hard as my dad when he was racing long?
No, I think your dad trained harder for Kona. He was under a lot of pressure to qualify, so you guys could go to Hawaii.
Are you going to buy something fun if you win $20,000?
Most of it will probably go to savings and fixing the house. However, the big Wii screen in the backyard was damaged in a thunder storm this summer, so I’d use some of the money to fix that.
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? A pro triathlete?
As home work, I had a writing assignment on this topic, and I remember writing that I wanted to be a pro football player. I wasn’t necessarily sure that I wanted to be one, but I had to write something down. I think it’s much too difficult to decide what you want to be at that age because the amount of life experience you have is so limited. But, it’s fun to speculate.
How do you think you are going to do?
Based on the start list, I have a good chance of winning, but I can only control what my body can do. If someone else has prepared better or has a super race, I’ll just have to live with it.
Who is the person you most want to beat?
What made you decide to do this race?
What is your favorite thing about racing?
Finishing! It feels good to be done because I can eat whatever I want after the race.
What is your favorite event out of swimming, biking, and running?
If it’s hot out, I like the swim. If the bike course is difficult and technical, I like the bike. If I’m doing well in the race, I like the run.
To follow DKT this Sunday while he races, go to REVOLUTION3 Triathlon Race Series and look on the left side of the page for race coverage under “REV3 News.”