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Meet Dave!

Dave recently started working with Playtri Level 4 Coach Amari Holmes - he's an experienced triathlete with big goals for 2021 and beyond. Here he tells us about his background, his IRONMAN racing experiences, and how to embrace the pain!


Dave, how long have you been doing triathlon (or endurance sport)? How did you get started?

I’ve been doing triathlons for roughly 5 years. Before starting in triathlons I ran half-marathons and marathons. I’ve always enjoyed sports in general, but especially endurance sports.


Did you play any sports prior to getting into triathlon? Any cool athletic history to share?

In high school I participated in baseball, cross country, track and tennis. In college I ran cross country. I’ve run three of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors. One of my lifetime goals is to run all six.


What was your first triathlon? Any tips for athletes doing their first race this year?

My first triathlon was actually an Ironman race at Ironman Texas in 2016. It was a rough race… half way through the run it starting raining and hailing! One of my first tips would probably be to not make your first triathlon an Ironman distance race! After that probably the best 3 pieces of advice I’ve ever received that I would share with new athletes is 1) to be present in the moment, 2) enjoy the process, and 3) embrace the pain. So being present in the moment is concentrating on what you are doing right now and not thinking ahead to much. I think when you start letting your mind think about the enormity of a race, especially and Ironman distance, you can start to have a lot of negative thoughts creep in. But if you can focus on the task that you are doing at that moment and take each mile one at a time, it is easier to mentally digest what you are asking your body to do. Next is to enjoy the process. Whether training or racing, if you are not enjoying what you are doing then what’s the point. When I’m having tough days I try to remind myself how lucky we are to get to do triathlon, especially after having a year like we did in 2020. Lastly, is to embrace the pain. I think when I first started triathlon I tried to do things to avoid the pain. But in a race, the pain always seems to find you. Recognizing that fact and even telling yourself that pain is not a bad thing, has helped me enjoy pushing my limits


Any big races planned for this season?

Currently, my coach and I have two half Ironman races and one full Ironman race planned. We will probably mix in some sprint tri’s throughout the year as well. I’ve made some significant gains in my bike and run over the past 6-8 months and I feel like I’m probably the fittest I’ve ever been in all three disciplines, so I’m excited to see what I can do this year. Goals include PRs, Podium finishes… maybe qualifying for KONA?


What is your favorite part of triathlon?

My favorite part of triathlon is RACING! I love racing other triathletes. Also, after months of training with your coach imploring you to stick to your training zones… LOL… you finally get to let it rip!


Great triathlon accomplishment?

So far the greatest endurance sport accomplishment is finishing a full distance Ironman race. There are so many emotions associated with this event. Just the hours, days and months spent in training alone and doing what it takes to get to the start line without getting injured can be an accomplishment. But the feeling you have at the start line right before the gun goes off to me is the greatest feeling ever. You are so excited, all of your senses are at their height, you can feel your fellow triathletes excitement in the air, it is an indescribable feeling. During the race there are so many highs and lows emotionally, mentally and physically. But by the time you get to the finish line you almost don’t want it to be over. And then of course crossing the finish line and hearing the words you’ve been craving to hear… “You are an IRONMAN”… pretty special and you can only understand if you’ve done it.


How did you meet your Playtri coach?

So I was looking to take my training to the next level. Playtri obviously is highly respected in the triathlon community and so that is where I met my coach Amari. It only took one phone call for me to know that Amari had the perfect personality to coach me. She is a tough, no nonsense, kick-your-butt kind of coach. However, she is also smart and knows when to not only push you but also realizes that sometimes you may need to be pulled back to avoid injury and burnout - after all you have to be healthy to show up on the start line.


What role has Playtri played in your endurance sport experience?

I have taken advantage of a lot of the opportunities that Playtri offers to the triathlon community. From coaching, to races, to gear, to nutrition… I have relied on Playtri a lot during my triathlon journey.


Any hobbies or passions outside of triathlon?

I love spending time with family. My wife and I have two young girls who definitely keep us busy. Spending time playing with them and going on family vacations (or race-cations) is what I love to do when not doing triathlon.


Thanks for chatting with us Dave. We’re excited to have you as part of the Playtri family, and we look forward to cheering you on in 2021!