How To Get In The Guinness Books for an Ironman Triathlon with Mike Trees

Listen below or on your favorite podcast player

Part 1

Part 2

Part 1

Most runners get into running with the 26.2 mile, 42 kilometer marathon race as their end all be all.

Some runners hit the marathon and want to one up that and get to the 31mile, 50km ultra distance race

And others look at the going even further to race a 60 mile and even 100 mile trail run

But what happens when an ex-pro runner who focused on speed his whole life decides to break a guiness book world record on his 2nd Ironman Triathlon attempt?

Listen above and read below to find out!

In this episode we go deep with Mike Trees on his 2nd Ironman attempt.

Almost 27 years ago he did his first Ironman distance race and because of a lot of things, never did considered doing another one until tomorrow!

  • Why he took a 27 year long gap between the Ironman
  • How and why olympic distanced triathletes move up into the ironman distance
  • How he’s feeling about his race tomorrow
  • His epic Spain Covid DIY Marathon story
  • What training he’s done different
  • What will happen if he doesn’t get his projected time
  • And Much more

Part 2

In this quick part 2 we talk to him about the challenges before the race, what actually happened in the race, and what’s up next for him.

Spoiler – he did it! He got first in his age group and 92nd overall with a time of 10 hours 31 minutes.

He did a 1 hour 13 min swim in very cold water (17 degrees celsius – and about 67 degrees farenheit)

Blazing – 5hour 24 min bike

And then somehow had enough in him after that to run a 3 hour 44 minute marathon with a very fast last 5k kick (he heard the 2nd place guy was catching up to him!)

It was a super challenging and cold day (Florida had the coldest weather they’ve ever had in over 100 years!)

Notable Quotables

  • “Enjoy the present but plan a bit for the future. If I plan the session, I know I’ve got 2 hours to enjoy my run. I don’t worry about what else I have to do.
  • “I want to have the fastest time in the world at 60 years old for Ironman”
  • “Defeat never depresses me – it’s just another challenge. I ask myself, ‘Where I went wrong, what did I learn, how can I get it right the next time.'”
  • “I’m going into the race expecting to win my age group, not to lose”


2 Lessons Learned

1. Take Calculated Risks

In your training, the only way to run faster times or further distances is by taking risks in your training and racing.

If you get your goals 50% of the time then you have set them at the right level

Anything more or less means it’s either too ambitious or not ambitious enough

2. When things go wrong – it makes the race memorable

Mike tells his awesomely hilarious story about his DIY 2:39 Covid Spain Marathon attempt and the biggest thing that sticks out is how absolutely crazy and eventful the race was.

While we all take our training and racing serious, don’t forget that weird and crazy times are the ones that last forever.


This episode is brought to you by NRG – Coaching which is Mike Trees’ coaching service. Mike coaches beginners to pros and all levels in between.

No one is too fast and no one too slow. They just want a desire to learn and improve.

They focus on 1,500m to marathon running and triathlon training.

NRG Coaching is constantly overbooked, so Instagram and this new podcast venture, gives Mike and the rest of his NRG coaching team a way to reach out to more people.

Contact mike and his team for more info


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Part 1 Full Transcript Below (or download pdf here)

If you need transcripts done for your podcast, video or anything else – check out and tell them DLake Creates sent you!

Daren: [00:00:09] Most runners get into running with a 26.2-mile/42-kilometer marathon race as an end-all be-all.

[00:00:20] Some runners hit that marathon goal and then want to one up that can get to the 31-mile/50-kilometer ultra-distance race. And others look at going even further to race a 60-mile and even 100-mile trail run. But what happens when an ex-pro runner who focused on speed his whole life decides to break a Guinness Book world record on a second Ironman triathlon attempt? Find that out more on this episode of Trees and DLake.

[DLake theme]

Daren: [00:00:59] What is up? Welcome to Trees and DLake, a podcast series by Mike Trees and yours truly, Daren DLake Creates. In this series, our goal is to educate and entertain smart and committed runners like yourself. A bit more than that from Mike Trees. 

Mike: [00:01:11] Hi, I’m Mike Trees, and I’m a professional triathlete and running coach. I’ve been doing it all my life. The aim of this podcast is to give, in a lighthearted, amusing, and entertaining way, hints and tips to help you all run better and enjoy your sporting life more. So, let’s see how we can go with that. 

Daren: [00:01:31] Mike’s being pretty modest. He has over 50 years of running and doing triathlons under his belt with another 30 years of coaching committed in serious athletes like yourself. And if you’re wondering about me, I’ve been in the endurance sport game for about 25 years now, done a sub-three-hour marathon and completed an Ironman triathlon in 10 hours. So, I’d say I know a few things about what we’re talking about.

Another goal is to perform better as you age. No one is getting younger. So, why not slow down? “Just slowing down,” as Mike Tree says. Listen to us and we’ll help you do just that. And a bonus cherry on top is if you can master some of your running and fitness goals, then you could definitely master some of your work, family, and life because it’s all the same.

We appreciate all the help and support that we can get. So, if you can please share this episode to someone that you know that would like this. Also, please rate and review on whatever podcast you use to help the robot overlords get us into the ears of more endurance athletes like yourself. Oh, quick language warning, in some rare instances, we might use some bad words, so apologies in advance for that.

[00:02:37] In this episode, we go deep with Mike Trees on his second Ironman attempt. Almost 27 years ago, he did his first Ironman distance race and because of a lot of things, life, training, triathlon industry, etc., never considered doing another one until tomorrow. A few things you’ll learn in this episode, why he took a 27-year long gap between each Ironman race, how and why Olympic distance triathletes moved up into the Ironman distance, how he’s feeling about his race tomorrow, his epic Spain COVID DIY marathon story, what current training he’s done differently as opposed to 27 years ago, what will happen if he doesn’t get his projected time and much more. Let’s get into the conversation with Mike Trees and me.

All right, Mike, another week, another podcast episode. What is going on in your training world this week?

Mike: [00:03:30] Oh, it’s all about Ironman at the moment, getting out there, getting the training done. But the key thing is that for me, it’s about enjoying every day. So, I look at my diary and I make sure that each day’s to be enjoyed to the full, no matter what the training is. Sometimes, it’s in the mountains, sometimes the sea, sometimes it’s the pool. Although it’s Ironman, I still vary a lot and I enjoy doing it. What about your week? How’s that going? 

Daren: [00:04:01] Well put. I like your optimism. It’s something that I need more of. Even though everyone thinks I’m an optimistic person, in my brain, I’m always like, “Argh, I don’t like this. I don’t like this.” So, yeah, I think about, “What would Mike do? What is Mike thinking right now? How is he enjoying this?” 

Mike: [00:04:14] I’ll tell you what, we’re going in rabbit hole already. When I was younger, I used to love training, but I was so busy with everything in life that I’d go out running and I’d be counting on my fingers, “Okay, I’ve got to do the shopping when I get back.” “Oh, I’ve got to email that guy, he’s desperate to reply.” “Oh, the car needs fixing.” I’d be going around. Eight fingers, eight things to do, with these eight things that I get back and keep running. “Okay, email the guy, fix the car, do the shopping,” and I wasn’t enjoying the run. I was spending the whole run, thinking about what I’ve to do after the run. And it was a girl girlfriend, as in a girl [unintelligible [00:04:47] but a friend who is a girl, she said to me, “Mike, 99% of people just dream. They just dream about what they’re going to do with the rest of their life. Nobody lives in the present.” She was totally the opposite. She didn’t plan anything, she was an absolute scatterbrain. I thought, “Yeah, there’s a balance in this. [laughs] Enjoy the present but plan a little bit to the future.”

So, that’s what I try and do now. I plan the sessions, I know I’ve got the time and I think I’ve got two hours to run. I’m going to enjoy that two hours. I’m not going to spend that whole two hours worrying about what to do afterwards. That’s that’s how I get to through it now. 

Daren: [00:05:21] What’s going on with me? This week was interesting. I came off of my vaccination and feeling much better than I thought I would but I wasn’t hitting my times, and I think six weeks of just not being where I was, I was at pretty top-notch fitness. My aerobic system and a bit of my anaerobic system was ready for competition phase and I’ve been trying to hold it for six weeks and without actually doing you know the training that I was doing and I’m not where I want to be to get a good time. I’m in between right now. I don’t know if I do, I don’t have another 10 weeks. This is going to be like a 24-week block, this is getting absurd at this point. So, I’m just mentally getting drained and I’m just going to trust the process for a second and see where I am next week. 

Mike: [00:06:13] We’re in a mixed-up world as well with COVID, races cancelled, you can’t just suddenly think, “Oh, I’ll slot a 5k in and park run this weekend and see where I’m at.” It’s difficult times all around. So, you have to cut yourself a bit of slack, that’s the other thing. Stress will probably do more damage than actually the lack of training or everything else. Worrying about it is the biggest problem. So, you’ve just got to cut that out and say it is what it is, and everyone else is in the same boat and move on. But it’s super easy as a coach with all this experience to give the advice, but as an athlete who still keeps making [chuckles] mistakes, I know it’s not as easy to accept and process the advice. 

Daren: [00:06:54] So, we’ve got all that fun, mindfulness, woo-woo stuff out of the way. I love that stuff. That’s my jam, as some people say. But let’s talk about now and let’s talk about the past and let’s talk about the future. You’ve got an Ironman coming up. I want to know where your head is. Doing an Ironman triathlon is not easy. If you don’t know what an Ironman triathlon is, it is the end-all be-all to endurance events or one of them. It is 3.8k swim, which is 2.5 miles for you Americans that need to get on the metric system, followed by 180k bike, 112 miles, followed by a marathon which is 42ks, 26 miles, and you do all of that, yes, in one day. And you try to transition as quickly as possible and you eat and drink on the bike and sometimes pee, when you technically shouldn’t, because that is actually not allowed, to pee on the bike even though everyone does it. [chuckles] But yeah, that is up to you if you want to do that. 

You’re going to do one of those and I know you’ve done, you’re more of a speed type of a guy, you run 800s, you run 5ks, you run 10ks, I know you have done a marathon in the past, but this is probably out of your comfort zone. So, tell me how you feeling about that?

Mike: [00:08:07] As you know, actually, Facebook, God bless them, sent me a little post saying six years ago today I was part of the European record-breaking team for the Masters 800 meters, I think ran 2:06 that day. I’m a 52-year-old running 2:06 a mile, 1500s. I’ve gone up to Ironman distance. I have done one before actually, and what I plan to do when I completed this Ironman, this is tongue in cheek, is apply to the Guinness Book of Records for the longest gap between the first and the second Ironman. So, I did an Ironman in 1994. So, I was in the triathlon game in the early days, and obviously 2021, it’s going to be 27 years since my first Ironman. So, I either loved the experience so much that I didn’t want to do it again. Or, it was so painful, I didn’t want to do it again.


[00:09:09] The fact is actually, at that point, the triathlon was just being accepted in the Olympics, and my sponsors were all about the Olympics in Japan, and let’s focus towards the Olympic distance, Olympics in Sydney 2000, and this is the early 90s. I actually did quite well. I was the first Brit, I think, to go into nine hours. I think I had the British record for about two weeks before it was smashed totally, but it was a decent time at the time 8:50, and my target was to go into 9 hours. So, I’d achieved the target. I qualify for Kona as a professional and thought, “It’s okay, I can go to Kona at any time.” Little did I know how competitive it was going to get. My sponsors are quite happy for me to focus on Olympic distance races because they’re much shorter. You can do more in a year and it’s much more financially beneficial for a company that wants to do marketing of their brand. So, that’s why we focused on it. And then, I started coaching towards the Sydney Olympics and one thing led to another. I then retired, I set up a business, I did that for 10 years. Time moved on.

Short of the story is really I been in triathlons since 1987. I think now, so a long time, I was one of the first guys in the sport, the early adopters. It’s been my life. I’ve coached, it’s my livelihood, it’s everything to do with my life and how I’ve made a living and part of my identity. I thought I’ve got to go to Kona once in my life. I’ve been there and watch the pros, I’ve been as a reporter for magazines and covered it, I’ve watched athletes race, but I’ve never actually been to Kona, which is where the world championships are held as an athlete, but to get to Kona is not that easy anymore. You’ve got to qualify and it’s quite competitive at any age group for anyone. 

I thought, “I’m 60 next year, what a challenge. Let’s get to Kona at 60 and race in the 60 to 64 age bracket and see how we go.” But, of course, it’s a long journey and to get there from 60 to 64 to do an Ironman, it’s going to take a couple years I thought because I’m an 800, 1500, at most 5000-meter runner now so, I hadn’t done any work on the bike, I’ve just been running. And so, I thought, yeah, it’s a two-year plan at least.

So, that’s how we’ve got to where we are. 60, it’s a new challenge and I’m going to do Ironman. I don’t think it’s going to be the rest of my life doing Ironman, but I’d like to give it a good bash. 

Daren: [00:11:42] Thank you for sharing all that, a bit more insight on the past. You talked about being a sprinter having that fast twitch, I guess, gift or gene or whatever.

Mike: [00:11:54] Middle distance, I’m not quite as gifted as you in the sprinting area. My turn of pace is okay, middle distance.

Daren: [00:12:01] Yeah, you would have been the person in the 200s, in practice, I would have beaten, but then in the 1k repeats, you would have demolished me. I remember those people, it bothered me so much. It was my one friend, he had the 800, 1500 engine and I had the 400, 800 engine. I would beat him in the 400, but he would always be me in the 800, so the 800 is where we would come and you need a bit more aerobic than I had in the 800. But back to you, the middle distance, which obviously gives yourself towards the shorter triathlons which is called a sprint distance triathlon and the Olympic distance, which is– I’d say Olympic distance is 25% the volume or the length of an Ironman. Some people don’t know about Ironman, a lot of your fans that may have gone to this, a lot of your followers that may have stumbled upon this podcast, don’t know what things are. 

Ironman takes on average, I think, it’s 14-15 hours, it takes the average person to do an Ironman, really fast times. The pros will win. World record is seven hours.

Mike: [00:13:05] Under eight hours now. Yeah. 7:39, somewhere around there, the world record. It’s pretty shockingly fast. 

Daren: [00:13:13] Pretty fast. Yeah, they get a cool day of no wind on a flat course and they’re doing sevens. Really fast amateur. Sub-elite would be in the mid eights, low eights. So, you’re shooting for–what’s the time that you’re shooting for?

Mike: [00:13:30] My first [unintelligible [00:13:31] is sub 10, I would do. [crosstalk] 

Daren: [00:13:35] You did nine the past, right?

Mike: [00:13:37] I’ve done 8:50, 27 years ago, as I said so. I was 34 at the time. 

Daren: [00:13:49] You’re shooting for 9:59, would be perfect. You’ve done 8:50. An Olympic distance was a good time and sub two hours, correct? 

Mike: [00:14:00] Yeah.

Daren: [00:14:00] By doing like 1:45, 1:50 and that’s the type of training and the type of fitness you were in back 30 years ago. 

Mike: [00:14:06] Back in the day, I was doing a 1:45 to 1:50s, yeah, on a good course. 

Daren: [00:14:11] Olympic distance is, you saw on the Olympics, if you watch the Olympics, Brownlee, I think, Gomez is the Spanish guy, right? 

Mike: [00:14:19] Yeah, the top guy is now still Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Alex, he is up and coming. 

Daren: [00:14:27] Gomez is from Spain, he used to compete with them the Brownlees a lot. 

Mike: [00:14:30] Yes. But Kristian Blummenfelt just won the Olympics. He’s the new guy on the block in the Olympic distance. Yeah. 

Daren: [00:14:37] But back to Gomez, and I think one of the Brownlees, they jumped up two years ago to the Ironman, so they were doing sprints in Olympics and then they did the big jump to Ironman. So, tell me about that.

Mike: [00:14:48] What happens is, is generally– 

[ad break]

Daren: [00:14:56] This episode is brought to you by NRG Coaching, which is Mike Trees’ coaching service. Mike and his team of coaches work with beginners to pros and all levels in between. No one is too fast and no one is too slow. They just want a desire to learn and improve. They focus on 1500-meter races, to marathon running, and triathlon training. NRG Coaching is constantly overbooked. So, Instagram and this new podcast venture, Trees and DLake, gives Mike and the rest of his NRG coaching team a way to reach out to more people and help them. Contact Mike and his team at or go to the link in the show notes.

[and back to the show]

Daren: [00:15:42] They were doing sprints in Olympics and then they did the big jump to Ironman. So, tell me about that.

Mike: [00:15:47] What happens is generally, the top pros, you just lose an edge at the Olympic distance somewhere around your early 30s, you find it tougher to hang in with the sprints and you’re not recovering as quickly. But your stamina is pretty much at its peak then. So, from 30 to 40, you’re in your peak years of Ironman, probably less so for Olympic distance. A lot of the guys move up at that point. Alistair, it’s still on that journey. He’s been injured quite a bit, but he’s still on the journey to hit the perfect Ironman. Jan Frodeno is the classic example someone who won Olympic champion, a brilliant triathlete, shorter distance, has moved up, and he owns the slot at the moment. He’s the king in Ironman distance triathlons, and the fastest guy in the world. And then you’ve got legends, like Tim Don, I coached him, not currently. And he’s been all three Olympics, short distance world champion, he had the world record Ironman. And so, a lot of these guys, it gives them the length of career they wouldn’t have if they’d just concentrated on the short distance. So, Tim’s now in his early 40s and still racing, one of the top pros in the world, and it allows you to go a lot longer. 

[00:17:02] A good friend of mine, Cameron Brown, who I used to race with him in Japan when he was 18 years old. I like to say that I beat him when he was 18. I don’t mention the 18 bit, it’s a bit cheeky. Way, way classier act than I’ll ever be. But he is turning 50, wants to be the first pro ever to race Ironman as a pro 50. We’re pushing the boundaries. So, 60, my aim is to stay one step ahead of the game and just see if I can do the fastest– the fastest time in the world at 60, I think that currently is a little is 9:38 at Kona for the 60 bracket. So, it’s a tough challenge. 

Daren: [00:17:45] Kona course is hard. If you don’t know, Kona course, it’s hot, I think it’s humid, and it’s hilly, and it’s windy. 

Mike: [00:17:57] The year the record was set was actually the Asia world record, it was set at 8:25 in 2019. There was no wind, it was a drift, dream year. That was when the M60 record was set. Setting records at Hawaii is a tough one because you’re exposed to the elements. It could be a cooler day, a cloudy day and no wind, game on. Or, it could be the trade winds are blowing, and you’ve just got to just not fall off your bike, it’s so windy. So, it’s a tough one. But I’d like to see how I can go and where it stacks up. And if you don’t get the record, it still gives you more respect for the guys that have gone quicker to think, “Wow, I know what work I put in for those guys to go quicker.” It’s another game, but let’s see where we can get to.

It’s easy talking until I do the Ironman. I’ve not got a good track record in marathons. The idea was actually to do a few marathons last year on my step up to the Ironman. I think I’d coast under three hours. Well, my first marathon I was just out training and actually did it in 2:58 in training. And then, I got greedy and wanted to go quicker and the rest, have blown up in them all. [laughs] 

Daren: [00:19:10] I was going through your Instagram trying to find some photos and videos of you to help promote this podcast. I ended up stumbling upon you going to Spain in March 2020, which is right when COVID hit. Tell me about that. You were trying to run the Spain marathon. It’s an interesting story.

Mike: [00:19:32] Well, back in March 2020, there were stories about a little virus giving people a few colds and things going around in Italy and it seemed a long, long way from Spain. So, we jumped on a plane. I trained hard. My son and I were in perfect shape. And he was going to go– well, we’re both going to go for a sub 2:49, so it was four minute per Ks, we’re going to hit 2:48. I was in shape, it was touch and go. I think I would have been pretty close to it. So, we got to Barcelona, and it was all looking good. And then, once we got there, they announced the race was canceled. And I said, “Oh, bloody hell. So, Tommy, what we’re going to do?” 

So, we said, “Well, we’ve come all this way. Let’s just find the course, measure it, and run our own marathon.” And Tommy and some of his mates had come to do the race, and I had a friend from Tokyo that had gone out with me as well to do the race. So, great. We’re five or six of us will do a race on our own. And so, the day before, we measured the course, we got it all sorted out. And on race day, we got up nice and early and we were going to do it. But before that, I just need to add in a little bit of detail. We get up and the day before we were going to do it, my mate from Tokyo, he said, “Mike, I’m at the airport. I am leaving the country now.” I said, “Why is that?” He said, “Well, they’re closing the borders, and I just thought I’d get out early.” We didn’t think he was too serious. The next morning, we get up to do the race and find out that the borders are shutting at midnight, the day that we’re going to run. So, first thing in the morning, we wake up and think, “Oh, bloody hell. Let’s get tickets.” And Tommy being practical, “Well, let’s get tickets in the afternoon, dad, then we can still run in the morning and finish this marathon.”


[00:21:26] All his mates are on there, and they’re all looking for tickets. And he said, “I found a ticket for £800, I think, it was to get out of here.” He said, “It’s a rip-off,” and I said, “Book it. Whatever it is now, it’s going up.” So, we booked two tickets, and we got on a plane. And his mates were still shopping around for cheaper and cheaper flights. They couldn’t get any. Eventually, they had to get across the border to France, and get a ticket from France back to England. I still think it cost them £1000, it still costing way more than we did, because they were shopping around for a deal. Whereas Tommy and I thought, “Yeah, let’s just cut the losses and do whatever we need to do.” 

[00:22:00] We’ve got ticket booked at the end of the day. We said, “Great, we’ve got three or four hours spare. Let’s get this marathon done.” But really, you know the story. You are already massively stressed out, the adrenalin that you should have used in the run, it’s being used in trying to get yourself an airline ticket out the country. So, we go to the course. We lay the water out at the turns because there’s no aid stations. We’ve got to make our own aid stations and start running. 10k in, we get to the first aid station, bugger me, someone’s nicked the water. We’ve got no water at the aid station. So, now we’re going to do 42k with no water. Well, Tommy had a mate with us as well, who was sort of cycling and trying to help. So, we sent him off to a convenience store to try and get some water. He couldn’t speak a word of Spanish. I think he disappeared. 

[00:22:47] And we did actually find a water fountain. We did get a little bit of water, but not enough to get us through. And we got to about 21k, and Tommy said, “You know what, Dad? I’m cooked. I can’t make a marathon.” We were on 2:50 pace, we’re running pretty well, sub four minute Ks, we were rolling along. But he just didn’t feel as easy as it should and he pulled out and he said, “Okay, I’ll cycle next year, dad. You can complete it.” And somewhere between 21 and 30ks, I was running at 3:55, 3:55, 4:05, 4:15, 4:30, 4:45, 5 minutes, and I just looked and I said– when I hit five minutes, it’s not happening. I pull the plug at 30k. We got our stuff, got a few beers and headed straight to the airport to get out of the country.

It fell apart totally but to be honest, I tell everyone this story and they say, “Oh, what a great story”. If I had run 2:49 or 2:50, I’d have probably forgotten it, and people say, “Did you ever do that time?” Maybe I did, where was I? But I’ll remember this forever. Even when the dementia is setting in, I can’t remember my own name, I’ll say, “Oh, I remember Spain in 2020.”


Daren: [00:24:01] That sounds like a stressful, crazy mess. I hope that in your Ironman, [chuckles] hopefully, there’s not some new COVID that happens when you’re in Hawaii. 

Mike: [00:24:11] Just to say that Instagram has been amazing to me, the friends I’ve made around the world, the connections, because I actually spend the time to follow people back and understand who’s talking to me and reply to their questions. A guy called John Mayo from Spain, I said, “I’m going to Barcelona. I’ve no idea what I’m doing, where I’m going, anyone that got [unintelligible 00:24:30]?” He got in touch and he said, “Yeah, I’m in Spain. How about I meet you? I can pick you up and show you around the course and tell you what to do and where to go?” And he did. He picked me up, fantastic. And he showed me around, gave me a great time. I thought, “Wow, isn’t this amazing? Social media, I can have friends with people I never thought I would.” And he’s an Ironman triathlete. I follow him daily and see what he’s up to. One day, we’ll meet again, but the amazing power of Instagram to bring me together with people around the world, it just made that trip a little bit more special, going to Spain. 

Daren: [00:25:05] That’s amazing, that’s really cool that someone– I don’t even call people on the internet strangers because once you get to know them, it’s like knowing someone in real life.

Mike: [00:25:15] Well, that’s how we met. [laughs] Interesting. From following you on Instagram to do a podcast together. I’m looking forward to COVID ending and actually meeting you in person. 

Daren: [00:25:28] Yeah. If you do this move to New Zealand, if it ever happens, then we’ll be much closer than Tokyo. And the New Zealand, Australia, it’ll be a Brit-New Zealand and American in Australia and we will somewhat make it work.

Let’s go to the future a bit and we are already speaking about the future and meeting up. What if you don’t get the qualification? You know your time, obviously, everyone’s going to be in the same conditions that day. So, you don’t have to necessarily get a certain time, but you need to put in a certain effort to get top three or whatever it is. 

Mike: [00:26:01] It’s first, it’s one [unintelligible [00:26:02] through. So, there’s no room for error. 

Daren: [00:26:06] There’s roll down. Ironman does have roll down. They have roll down.

Mike: [00:26:09] It has roll down but I want to do it on merit, but I’ll take the roll down. I’m not proud, I take the roll down, but I’d like to do it on merit. But if I don’t, last year, I entered the Ironman Portugal, but because of COVID, it got canceled in the end. It’s just getting more and more complicated to get there. I ended Ironman Portugal again this year. I was going to go there, but it’s still too complicated doing quarantine in Europe and getting back. It was a lot easier to go to America. So, that’s why I’ve put California in there, and I’m pretty excited to go there.

If it doesn’t go right, well, there’s lots of things have gone wrong in my life. And I quote this lot that I know people who have had worse injuries and worse illnesses than I’ve had. I had a bike crash years ago and ultimately a disc exploded in my back, partially paralyzed in one leg, I was in a wheelchair, bedridden, la-da-la, usual stuff, but I had an operation, cleared it up and spend time getting back. But interestingly, when it went and I said to my wife, Rieko– and I was training for to get back into triathlon, I just started then I said, “No, this is serious. It’s going to take a while.” She said, “Oh, you must be really depressed.” And I said, “Oh, no, I’ve just got to rework it and work out rehab mode now.” 

[00:27:25] Before I was getting excited about what training to do to win races. Now, I’m really excited when people say, “Well, you won’t be able to run again.” It’s like, prove that wrong, there will be people out there, they will tell me how to run again, and help me how to run again, it is working out what I need to do to get back. So, defeat never depresses me actually, it’s just another challenge. Okay, where did I go wrong? What can I learn? And how can I get it right next time. So, I’m certainly not going in there expecting to lose because then, I think you will. I’m going in the race, expecting to win my age group. If someone beats me, they’re going to have to do a classy performance to beat me, and I’m not doing that to show off, it’s just I’ve worked hard, and I’m going in there and I’m confident what I’m going to do. But if someone’s in better shape than me, well, all respect to them, I then have to go back to the drawing board and work out how to take my triathlon to another level. 

[00:28:14] So, I just try to be realistic and rational, give credit where it’s due, but not overly worry about problems before they happen. There’s too many people. My mother was a big worrier. She was forever telling me to get a pension. Get a– we call a semidetached house in a nice part of town, become a teacher, get a nice safe job, and a nice safe life. And I can tell you, “That’s your life. My life is taking a few risks, is pushing the boat out, is planning a little bit for the future, but not worrying what will or won’t happen.” And so, that’s all we can do really, is plan. But if some guy comes out of nowhere that is just an uber swimmer, a mega bike rider and runs a marathon as quick as Kipchoge, well, it doesn’t make me any slower. That’s the thing. I’m not slow, I’m just going to see what I can do to combat it.

Daren: [00:29:10] Speaking of work, you were just speaking of outworking and not having someone outwork you, they might out-talent you, but they won’t outwork you. What training have you been doing that’s different? I saw you did a really big block last week, a whole lot of riding, a really crazy swim, and I think it was pretty much a 40k run. I can’t remember 35k run. Tell me a bit more about that.

Mike: [00:29:35] Well, first of all, the big change is I stretch, even though I don’t like stretching now. I get massage and physical therapy, and I do strength and conditioning, heavyweights. So, that’s a big change that I’ve implemented the last few years. Ironman block, this last week was my biggest block of training about 25, 26 hours. Where are we now? On Wednesday last week, a friend of mine said he would keep me company on a bike ride. He planned the route. It was an Olympic bike course route, plus a bit of extra climbing. So, put in perspective, we climbed up an equivalent of Mount Fuji on the bikes, just under 3600 meters of vertical climb, 160 kilometers of cycling, is actually a little bit more by the time I’d cycled to the hotel for the night, it’s probably near 180. And it was a nine-hour day. We took a couple of breaks on the way, so we’re in the saddle for nine hours, but I had a healthy respect for cyclists. We went up Mikuni pass, which is where the Olympic cyclists cycled up and they danced up this hill. When it’s 16% to 20%, I crawl– I was out there pedaling, I groveled at this hill, the whole way, thinking– I can’t really say the expletives, but I was saying to my mate, “What the [bleep] did you bring us up here for? It’s just windy and muddy the whole way.” When we got to the top, he just looked at me said, “Did that hurt?” And I said, “I’m too tired to comment.” He said, “Good, because it nearly killed me.” The hills got a lot easier after that. But, boy, these are Olympic and pro cyclists, they’re something else.

[00:31:14] We did a good nine hours a day there, and I decided to put three days together. The next day, I cycled 40k to the ocean from where I was staying at a decent pace, about 34-35ks an hour. 

Daren: [00:31:28] Which is, for Americans, 20 miles an hour.

Mike: [00:31:31] 35 about 22 miles an hour. Yeah. And then I did 5.5k in the sea. I basically went out 2.5k. It got really deep, lots of jellyfish and lots of sea lice, I was getting bitten all over. I still got marks on here and things where they got into my wetsuit. And so, then I turned around and came back. When you’re 2.5k out to sea and the land looks a long way off, then you start thinking, “Hmm, there are sharks around here.” 

Daren: [00:32:02] [laughs] 

Mike: [00:32:02] But it wasn’t the sharks that actually got me in the end, it was the jellyfish and the lice. So, I did 5.5k swim that day. Then, I came back and I thought, “Well, we’ll just round it off.” I did a 10k beach run on the sand. Well, I shouldn’t swear, but it was one of those days where it was high tide, if you [unintelligible [00:32:21] low tide, you can run on the firm sand near the water’s edge. High tide, you’ve only got the soft sand just shuffling, so you’ve got sand getting into your shoes and your socks and you’re just sinking. There’s nowhere flat to put your feet. So, I did 10k, took me nearly an hour and that was that day finished. That was the recovery day, by the way.


Mike: [00:32:41] The following day, I went out and I did a 35k run, but as you know–

Daren: [00:32:46] You do that really easy too, right? 

Mike: [00:32:48] An easy run, but as you know, I’m not technically minded. I know you will laugh at this one. I forgot to start my watch, so the first 2k, I didn’t start the watch. So, I actually did 37k, but only recorded 35k. 


Daren: [00:33:01] Whenever I don’t record and it’s a serious run, I’m always like plus 2k or something, I would have put that in the bottom of a Strava description.

Mike: [00:33:09] Well, that’s what I put in the commentary. If anyone listens to this thing, “Oh, we did 37,” but I ran at target race pace, which is 4:45. So, if all goes well, I should do a sub 320 marathon. Now, that’s in theory. And 4:45 pace fresh– while I say fresh, I didn’t do hard days before, I had an average heart rate of 109. I’d got 20 beats heart rate reserve, I think I could probably hold a 130-heart rate in the Ironman, so I think a 3:20 is doable on race day. And the 37k, to be honest, it was boredom really that got me. Japan, Tokyo is not the nicest place to run. I was only in Tokyo on the river and I just had a 2.5k stretch out and back. And the reason I did two and a half out and back is, I’ve done that course, I know it’s sheltered from the wind on a good day and there’s a bit of shelter from the sun. It didn’t get too hot and there’s a nice water fountain, so I can get a drink at the end of each 5k lap. But it’s not the nicest scenery and it does get a little bit boring when you’re doing eight or nine laps. [laughs] 

Daren: [00:34:18] Yeah, those training runs are definitely– I’ve done an Ironman, if you listen to the intro, you would have heard that I did a 10:45 Ironman. I remember those runs off the bikes and those long runs which I should have done way more of. It was right after the Ironman or the next day, a few days later, I did my own kind of like debrief and I was like, “What could I have done better?” I’m like, “Run off the bike more.” I should have done 10k runs off the bike, like habitual, three, four times a week leading up to the Ironman, especially getting the long runs.

But this isn’t about me. This is about you. Thank you for all that information. We will get into what happens next, which is you actually doing the Ironman on another episode, so we’ll save that for part 2, whenever that will be depending on whenever we release it and when you do it and when you come back and hopefully don’t have to quarantine for too long. How does that sound? 

Mike: [00:35:13] I’ll give you the whole rundown on how it goes.

Daren: [00:35:15] Looking forward to. Well, all the best. We’ll get on to part three, which is the question of the episode. 

Daren: [00:35:28] We’re into the cooldown of this episode. Main set is complete. It is the question. The question, the question of the episode. This one is meant to be a two-way conversation with everyone. So, make sure that you just message us your answer. Message Mike @run.nrg on Instagram, and you can message me @dlakecreates or you can email me. There’s a lot of ways you can email me, Let’s get into the question. So, drumroll. 

Again, there’s no right or wrong answer for these questions. We just want to hear what you have to say. This is always a fun one. Would you rather train with music or a podcast? Those are the only two options. No music is not an option for this question. Mike, train with music or podcast?

Mike: [00:36:24] A long bike ride, a podcast. I’ll upload various podcasts onto my phone. If it’s a long, slow bike ride, particularly over winter, I use the time to study. Some humorous podcasts, some just general information, and also a few serious ones, I try and get some good quality stuff. So, instead of reading, I can think, “Well, I’m out for a four-hour bike ride, I could have been in the office reading and studying for four hours.” So, I try and pick up a lot of stuff through podcasts.

Running, music every time. I just love getting into the beat with music when I’m running. I know it’s not an option, but if I’m doing an interval session or a race, I don’t have any music, because I can’t focus on the session. But every long, slow, easy steady pace run these days seems to be with music of some sort. My current favorite, just to let people know who probably do guess this if they follow me on Instagram because I live the Reels, is Imagine Dragons and Måneskin. So, those are the two that I seem to like, listen to the most at the moment running. How about you? What’s your answer, Daren? 

Daren: [00:37:41] I never thought about splitting it on the event like you, that’s interesting. 80% of the time, I’m more of a music person, and 20% of times, podcast and because I have a podcast, I have many podcasts that I help produce, podcasts I’ve worked with companies and produce their podcasts, create their podcasts. So, I actually do so much of my podcast listening in more of a work capacity. It’s more of me listening back. I want to listen back in a, “Oh, how does it flow? How does it feel? Can I listen to what they’re saying with cars honking around me?” and whatnot. I’ve also found out the way my brain is wired that podcasts, they require a lot of energy and I get sucked into whatever they’re talking about. Whereas music, I can just zone out. So, it allows me to be– podcast, I’m not present on the run. Whereas music, I become more present on the run.

And then, I know this isn’t an option, but there’s always, I do like running without music. I have interval sessions in races, I’ve actually found that I run better, and I listened to a drum and bass DJ session, it’s like a 40-minute-long mix, whatever, however long it is. I’m a DJ, I used to DJ back in a previous lifetime, so I could put together mixes and whatnot. I make sure that the BPM is exactly what I want it to be because I want my cadence. So, for shorter, faster races, mile, 5k, I like my cadence to be a bit higher than I naturally would run at, and I found that I end up running more efficiently. Three years ago, I would have said, yeah, races, intervals, never put any music in my ears. But now, I really like that for cadence.

But for easy run, some easy runs, especially when it’s by the water or is in nature, nothing. So, I know that wasn’t an option. I know I said it wasn’t, so it’s always between music and podcasts and then sometimes nothing for me. 

Mike: [00:39:31] I need to interrupt and say something safety-wise. By the way, I cycle on closed roads in Japan. It’s along riverbanks. There’s no cars allowed on those riverbanks. I run off road all the time. I never run with traffic. I run in parkland or roads that are closed roads so that it’s safe. The only the thing that I would say is I wouldn’t have the music on going on roads and with traffic around. What I have got actually that is a better option is Beats Aftershokz, which is bone conducting, so you can hear the traffic and things around you, but there is a problem that you can zone out if you listen to a podcast cycling along the road and not be thinking about what’s happening around you. So, there’s a little bit of a safety aspect to think about. You’ve got to think where you’re cycling if you’re listening to music or a podcast for the safety aspect as well.

Daren: [00:40:29] Good call that, yes, I do agree. I always put the volume a tiny bit low, so I can hear all the ambient sounds around me, if someone’s yelling or if a car is about to come screeching and hit me or something. But, yeah, you’re very right. For cycling, I found a little hack where– I haven’t cycled in so long. I’ve been focusing on running for the past year and since I had my son. If I’m really going to do music, I put one headphone in. I have the headphone closest whatever country I’m in. If it’s United States, then it’s the left one. I always have it next to the car so I can hear that car about to come next to me and take me out, but [chuckles] that’s that. Again, please, if you want to hit us up, we want to make this a two-way conversation. We want to hear what you’re all saying, we’ll post this up in our Reels and stories. And, yeah, be ready for that.

[DLake theme] 

Daren: [00:41:46] Is the health and fitness internet too much sometimes? Too many conflicting articles and videos that confuse you on how to train and eat right? Or, you don’t have time to just read and watch everything about, I don’t know, the new trends on carb cycling for trail running. Don’t worry, we’ll take care of all that for you. Sign up for our free email newsletter Three Thing Thursday. We’ll put three perfectly curated and creative things in your inbox for better living and training. Go to We do the hard, time-consuming work and scour the health and fitness internet’s deepest and darkest corners. This is so that every Thursday, you have a piping hot new email with the latest and coolest tips, tricks, tools, tactics, and skills, all so that you can train and live consistently to do dope shit in your next endurance event. Sign up now, you can receive my quick guide on how to get healthy, stay fit, and use data to create habits that last a lifetime. That’s to be inspired and motivated on the regular.

Time. Time is a resource no one can make more of. So, we appreciate you taking precious time out of your day to listen this far. Our goal is to show the world how to live better through running, cycling, and triathlon. The episode and many others have a transcription. Go to the show notes’ description to find out more. This was produced in Sydney, Australia, and I’d like to acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, who are the traditional custodians of this land. I pay my respects to the elders past, present, and future. I recognize the continuing connection to the land, waters, and culture. These lands were stolen and sovereignty was never ceded.

If you like this episode, again, we’d highly appreciate it if you go on whatever app you listen to and make sure to follow DLake Creates Podcast. We’re on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon, Acast, and a bunch of others. And if you’re feeling real loose, a rating, review, or share of this episode to anyone you know that would be into something like this, would be amazing. The more people that hear about us, the dopest stuff we can do to then help other people. And if that virtuous cycle continues forever, we would always be grateful to you.

If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions for the episode or hell, you want to be on the show, hit us up. The best way is to email We’re also on the socials, mainly Instagram. If you can hit up Mike Trees @run.nrg or you can hit me up on Instagram, or just wherever you can find us is fine. 

Don’t worry if you didn’t get all that, there’s a link in the show notes’ description. Thank you again so much for listening. Peace.

Part 2 Full Transcript Below (or download pdf here)