"This is a Kona course record holder! What can you learn from him?"
Famous tri coach Joe Friel, and Bob Scott (R) on Kona pier
One of these guys is the reigning Kona age group course record holder Bob Scott, and he's held two other Hawaii age group records in the past, the other is Joe Friel, the power behind Training Bible Coaching and a host of triathlon related books. Be sure to check out his two newest books, Triathlon Science and The Power Meter Handbook available on Amazon now.
I first met Bob in 2000 on the plane to Kona. We had opposite aisle seats. Bob was wearing white shorts and a white polo shirt. He looked like some athlete's dad looking for a tennis match. So, stupidly, I asked him what he was going to do once the plane got to the Big Island. (At least I didn't ask the even stupider, "Going to Hawaii?" since that was the jet's destination.) We talked for the rest of the flight and I learned a good bit on his philosophies of training.
Once we landed, I lost track of him until about a month later. There was a full page picture in Triathlete Magazine of Bob, the first and only man in the history of Ironman over 70 to go under 13 hours! In the 12 years that have passed, Bob has continued to train, race and coach. Records have come and gone though he remains the 75-79 Kona record holder.
I think if you were summarize Bob's training success, he would agree that it comes from consistency in training, a good measure of racing, and especially watching what goes in your mouth. A big fruit eater, but not a big eater, his e-mail handle is teamscot. I've trained with him a number of times and when we return to his home there's always an enormous plate of freshly cut fruit courtesy of his lovely wife Wanda. One of the major lessons taught on the NBC TV reality show The Biggest Loser is portion control, and Bob epitomizes it. This is no more true that in Kona when we're at Lava Java where the servings are generous and the food tasty. He possesses the ability to NOT "clean his plate" as your Mom might have wanted . I doubt most of us, this author included, can say the same. But it's just one of the things you can pick up from being with this gent.
As for racing, in prepping for "the big dance" in Hawaii, a typical season will find at least 3 half IM's on his schedule and a smattering of other events. He used to run Boston every year just because he liked it. So, a qualifier marathon had to fit in the training schedule some place. Meticulous care of his health is the norm. Ten years ago, a tad of chest pain led to his riding his bike to his doctors and the diagnosis of a small MI. Told he'd need a cardiac cath(NOW), Bob was more than a little miffed that he also couldn't ride his bike to the hospital cath lab.
Before he retired, it was not uncommon for him to get up at 2:30, yep that's 2:30 am, to get one of the longer workouts in before heading to the office. Again I would point out that I doubt most of us, once again the author included, can say the same.
In short, it's an unshakable commitment to training and the sport, fierce dietary control, winning the genetic lottery, health maintenance and a bit of luck that gets you to Kona. I dare say that Bob and the other men and women who make it to the Big Island have a deep inner strength, a level of determination so to speak, in which they demand success from themselves. And they get it.
Smiling, but always thinking of the task at hand on race day. Always!