Sunshine Coast Ironman athlete Scotty Farrell is off to his first Hawaiian Ironman World Championships after a dominate race at Ironman New Zealand a few weeks ago winning the 30-34 Age Group. Trizone caught up with Scotty to hear his story and how his day was in Taupo.
Trizone: Congrats on your category win at Ironman New Zealand Scotty. You also came an impressive 17th overall with a time of 9:15:00 (53:14; 5:09; 3:06) in a pretty solid field of pro men, that must be a good feeling?
Scotty Farrell: Thanks heaps…Â Yeah I’m pretty stoked with the result over in NZ, I trained well and knew that if everything fell into place for me on the day, I would be a good chance to achieve my goal in qualifying for Kona. It was only my second Ironman so to come top 20 overall was pretty cool too.
TZ: Tell us a bit about yourselfâ€¦ How long have you been racing triathlon for? What’s your background?
Scotty: I’ve been pretty sporty all my life but I got into triathlon 5 years through one of my best mates. I was born in Brisbane but raised in New Zealand until 20 and then moved over here 13 years ago.
I was a primary school teacher for 7 years but didn’t feel that I wanted to do that for the rest of my life so I am half way through studying Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Time management is key for me, trying to schedule training, with the full time study with being a stay home dad and working part time for Infinit Nutrition Australia â€“ life is hectic the say the least.
I dabbled in triathlon for the first couple of years and then got serious in 2010 after traveling overseas for a year. Since then I have progressively been getting better results and moving up in distance. I currently consider myself to be firmly entrenched in the world of Iron Distance racing and ultra runningâ€¦ I love it.
TZ: Give us a bit of an insight into your day to day training and racing in the lead upâ€¦
Scotty: Okayâ€¦ I’m long winded but here goes. For me a 6 month progressive build up was the plan. The first three months were all base kms ie. All easy effort/low HR stuff with loads of hills on the bike, trails on the run and paddles in the pool – just generally building strength and upping the volume a bit. My biggest training week over the 6 months would have been about 20 hours.
The last three months was a lot more intense. I rode three times a week with two being quite intense shorter rides of 2-3hours and then a longer 4.5-6hour ride on the weekends. I was running between 60-80km per week and then doing 2 x solo pool swims plus an ocean swim with the crew at Mooloolaba.
I incorporated two main long course races into my training aimed at being good race practice and also good measuring points as to where I was at with my training. The first race, 13 weeks out was the Hervey Bay 100 (2/80/18) where I won my age group and finished 4th overall and the second race out at the Hell of the West, 4weeks out, (2/80/20) where I was the first age grouper across the line and 6th overall. It was the run leg on the hot Goondiwindi course which gave me some real confidence not only how I was running so close to IMNZ but also how I was feeling in that sort of heat.
Other than thatâ€¦ no real secrets- just a stack of consistent training and no slacking off.
TZ: And your race in NZ seemed to go to plan. Tell us about your dayâ€¦
Scotty: My day started at 04:30 after only a couple of hours sleep due to the normal nerves coupled with gale force winds battering the house all night. I thought we were all in for a rough day. Luckily the wind died off in the early hours of the morning and we were greeted with a spectacular day and perfect race conditions. I see you were there so you know what I’m talking about.
I started the swim well and found a good bunch to swim – I knew I had been starting to feel good in the pool the last few weeks and thought I would be able to swim a low to mid 50 something so I was pleased to see 53mins on the clock.
Heading out on the bike I felt pretty good and got into a nice comfortably uncomfortable rhythm. The way out is predominantly down hill and with a slight tail wind it was nice. The plan was to obviously go as fast as possible but conserve for the last 20-30k as I thought that part of the course demanded the most. I was joined or caught the odd athlete but pretty well rode the entire race on my own. As it turned out the last 20k were pretty tough with a nice block headwind and a nice uphill climb most of the way home. I wondered a few times during that last 20k about how good my legs were going to feel when I jumped off the bike and to my surprise running into T2, they were feeling awesome.
I had a pretty smooth transition and was on the marathon course before I knew it. My goal was to run @ 4.10-4.15per km pace which would have had me coming in under 3hours but the course was a little tougher than I had anticipated so the pace was restructured to more of a 4:20-4:30 deal. I was off the bike in 3rd position so I had a couple of carrots to catch which I prefer over being the carrot. I soon reeled in 2nd place and was slowly gaining on 1st. I caught up to 1st place with only about 1000m to go and tried my best to drop the hammer and pass him. I felt as though I was running sub 3min/km pace that last 400m but it was well worth the effort as I had clinched my first Ironman age group win, third AG overall and most importantly a qualification to the big dance in Hawaiiâ€¦ super stoked!
TZ: What’s the plan from here? Kona obviously, but what’s in store between now and October?
Scotty: Yeahâ€¦ so I’m having a real easy month while I get my life back to normal. Spend some time with my family and settle back into the routine of uni, training, working etc. From April on it will be much the same style of build as last time with a couple of long course races (1/2 iron distances) and a heap of base kms early on to build some more strength.
TZ: With success already in the sport, coupled with your uni, work and family commitments, you must have a great support team around you?
Scotty: I certainly do, I have four main stayers that allow me to train and race the best I can:
- My wife and my number one fan, Nicki, who without her support this wouldn’t be possible;
- My coach, Stephen Gage, for his insight and direction;
- My training mates here on the Coast, the B Team, who push me to my limits every session; and
- My sponsors – Custom Bike Fit, Infinit Nutrition Australia & Allez Sport.
Thanks for your time Scotty â€“ well done on Ironman New Zealand and good luck for the Kona prep!
Thank you Trizone, anytime!