Dan Dungan At Ironman Texas
Dan Dungan started racing triathlons in 1999 with the Memphis and May. His first Ironman was in 2000. Going into 2014 he had started 20 Ironmans, finishing 17, but had never qualified for
Ironman Hawaii. He was persistent in his training, he learned each year, and at Ironman Texas in 2014 he took another shot at qualifying.
Dan and I discussed his progression over the years, the lessons learned, and his strategy for Ironman #21. He’s consulted with Gordo Byrn for several years and continued to modify his approach.
At age 57 he was racing in the 55-59 age group and the expectation, which wouldn’t be confirmed until the morning after the race, was that there would be just two Ironman Hawaii spots in his age group.
In his previous 3 Ironmans he had a third place and two fifth places in his age group, and the gap between his time and the time required to qualify was narrowing.
As a weak swimmer he decided to do a major swim block in early 2014. For 6 weeks he averaged 20,000 yards in the pool. To accommodate the higher volume he wisely backed off on intensity for many of his workouts. He also modified his nutrition plan for this race, going with less calories than normal (250 per hour on the bike).
His strategy was to push the first couple hours of the bike, anticipating a tailwind. His goal was 180 watts for the early part of the race. Coming back into the headwind he was shooting for 165-170 watts. On this run his goal was to keep the first 3 miles easier, and then bump up the effort to little faster than his average goal pace.
His planning all paid off as he finished second in his age group and earned a spot to Hawaii. He finished in 10:32:22 with splits of 1:12:46/5:18:41/3:52:03. He was 16 minutes out of first and 17 minutes ahead of third place.