Bevan Docherty’s Approach For His Kona Debut

This is Docherty’s second Ironman (he won Ironman New Zealand with a course record in March) coming off his final Olympic bid in London.

Photo: John David Becker

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We caught two-time Olympic medalist Bevan Docherty before he was about to drive the bike course yesterday in advance of his first Ironman World Championship. This is only Docherty’s second Ironman (he won Ironman New Zealand with a course record in March) coming off his final Olympic bid in London last year, so he says he’s prepared to learn a lot on Saturday. The Kiwi didn’t seek out advice from past Kona competitors—with the exception of a brief conversation with Dave Scott, who advised him to take it easy on the first 10K of the run—but he says he knows a little bit about the course and feels ready. Here’s what he changed this year to prep for his Big Island debut.

Nutrition changes:
“My race in Taupo went so well that the only thing that went wrong was my nutrition. I think I just had too many gels and sugars throughout the day—I think I’ll just have something of more substance, some bars on the bike, and that’s about it really.”

PHOTOS: 2013 Ironman New Zealand

Position changes:
“I’ve been spending more time on the bike and improving my position with Specialized. My bike position is more about slowly getting acclimated instead of jamming myself into something aero and hoping I can ride. It’s been frustrating because you get these guys on social media saying, ‘He looks like shit on the bike.’ I know I look like shit on the bike, but at this point in time, that’s the position I can ride in. It’s going to take time, and even another year down the track I’ll be even better. Having the wind tunnel and Specialized close by has been a huge advantage.”

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Mental changes:
“There’s very little pressure on me [for this race], and to be honest, I’ve just adapted that approach throughout the year, and I think that’s reflected in my results. I’m just trying to enjoy the sport a bit more and not put as much pressure on myself. Back in 2008, had I not won Olympic bronze, it probably would’ve been one of the worst years of my life—it was a very stressful year and I put a lot of pressure on myself and my family, and I didn’t want to go through that again. I’ve adapted a more relaxed approach, and what will be what will be. With that said, I think I’m in pretty good shape.”

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