Kieran Daly - Triathlons
CFL is currently providing sponsorship to Kieran (CFL Staff) as he competes in various swimming, cycling and running events. Keep updated with Kieran's training and competition as he builds up for Ironman NZ in March 2011.
Kieran DalyI am 29 years old and live on the North Shore in Auckland. I work for CFL and am part of the software support staff. I started up training for triathlons about the middle of 2009 with the intention of completing just one event, the 2009 Taupo Ironman. It had been a goal of mine since I was a kid and I thought I'd better get it done while I was still resonably fit and healthy. However, now after completeing my first Ironman, I am hooked on the event and will be back again in 2011

I have a background in swimming where I won several NZ open titles and was in a few NZ teams. My main events were breaststroke where I specialised in the 50 and 100 metres (unfortunatley for my triathlons I was a terrible freestyler). I'm not fast at Ironmans but just finishing is a huge thrill and is up there with my top sporting memories. For those unfamiliar with the ironman distance it is a 3.8 km swim followed by a 180km bike and a 42.2 km run to top it off. Its a gruelling day (a little under 10 hours for me) but very rewarding once you have crossed the finished line knowing you have pushed your body to the limit.

If you would like to follow my progress as I build up for this years NZ Ironman event feel free to follow my blog at the bottom of this page. I will try to keep it reasonably up to date so you can see what I do to finish an Ironman.


Ironman Website

Blogs I Read

Chris McCormack (Top IM Athlete)

Terenzo Bozzone (Top IM Athlete)

Marc Rubin

Anton Krupicka (Crazy Ultra Marathoner)

Upcoming Events

Tauranga Half Ironman
(8th January 2011)

Ironman New Zealand
(5th March 2011)

Ironman Australia
(1st May 2011)

Kieran Daly - Blog

8 Jan 2011 - Tauranga Half

I'd been eagerly awaiting the tauranga half ironman all summer. After implementing a different training regime this season Taurnaga was going to be a good benchmark to compare myself to last year.

The swim kicked off at 6:30am. I had done little swimming leading up to this race, maybe once a week, so was not expecting a great swim time. I made sure I took paced it well and got out in a respectable time a little over 27 minutes.

Next the bike leg. At the expense of the swimming, the cycling is where i had stepped up the training. I'd set a target of 2 hours 15 for the cycle, an average speed of 40km an hour. I set off on the bike and and looked down at my speedo to see if i was on the required speed and it was showing 0 km per hour, clearly i was going faster than this and my speedo was not working. Luckily i was wearing my garmin gps watch so i quickly set it to flash my speed every km. I started to reel in and pass a few people and thought i was out by myself as we reached the first turn around at about 20km. As we turned and headed back the way we came i relised everyone i'd passed had just slotted in behind me and i was leading a group of about 10 guys. Instead of dragging them all for the rest of the cycle i slowed and slotted in to about 3rd postion.
The rules for a half ironman state that you must be 7 metres behind the cyclist in front. Although not intentionally i had started to drift in and out of this distance. Suddenly a motorcyclist with technical official printed on their vest pulled up next to me and held up a card telling me i'd incurred a drafting penalty and would need to stop at the next penalty box for 3 min. Bugger, 2:15 was now out the door and I lose the group of faster cyclists. I stopped at the penalty box which was just before the half way mark and used the time to fix my speedo problem and get some fuel into me. I set off on my way again with what like seemed half the field passing me and began to try reel them back in. I managed to team up with another cyclist and we made some pretty good progress and managed finish the bike with a time of 2 hours 20 minutes. 2 minutes faster than last year including my 3 minutes spent waiting on the side of the road.

Onto the run I was feeling pretty good but was surprised to see other athletes flying past me. I tried to forgot about them and kept at a pace a thought i could hold for the 21.1 km. As we got to the mount base track I started to close the gap and the runners ahead and by the end of the first lap I caught the same guys that had flown past me at the start. With renewed confidence I was now running as fast I ever had and was feeling great. Every KM i was runnning i seemed to be getting faster and faster. I finished the run with a spilt of jusu under 1:27 and had managed to negative spilt the run by 2:30 minutes. My overall time was 4 hours 18 minutes which was 4 minutes faster than last year, taking off my penalty of 3 minutes i would have gone round in a 4:15 which was my goal time for the race.

All in all it was a pretty good day and everything looks on target for Ironman NZ on March 5.

1 May 2010 - Getting back in the groove

1 May 2010 - Getting back in the groove


Well it’s been a couple of months since Ironman NZ so I have had a bit of time to have a rest and think about what I want to do for the coming year.

I've started to set up a plan of what events I'm going to do and which ones I was going to peak for. I definitely want to do IM NZ and Tauranga Half IM again so penciled them in first. I also decided I would quite like to do an ironman overseas. I was originally thinking of doing the Ironman in Western Australia in December. However, while I was deciding whether I wanted to be doing my long training sessions in the NZ winter it sold out. I then saw IM Australia in Port Macquarie had been moved back to 1st of May 2011. I wasn't totally sure that I wanted to do it but knew it would sell out in less than a day once it opened. Eventually I just bit the bullet and entered as soon as entries opened. You can't transfer entries and only get about half your entry fee back (Entries are approx AU$750), so looks like I’ll definitely be in Port Macquarie next year. There are a few other events which I will add in but Tauranga Half, IM NZ and IM Australia will be the big three next year.



In terms of my training I have decided to do things completely differently this year. I had read a few articles on the internet about ironman training and thought one by Mark Allen, 6 x IM world Champion, made a lot of sense. He basically said that you need to build a good aerobic base early in the season whereby you increase your body’s ability to burn fast as a source of fuel. This is compared to anaerobic training where you’re burning carbohydrates as a source of fuel. The better you are at burning both types of fuel the bigger your engine will be (click here to read the full article). When I was swimming I remember being told about this as well. We used to do a lactate tolerance set from time to time where we swim intervals going from very slow to max. After each interval we would get a blood test done. One of the things that showed in my results was that I started using carbohydrates or glycogen as a source of fuel much earlier than anyone else.


I also got a cool new Garmin watch for my birthday. Its got a heart rate monitor and GPS built in so you can track your speed and heart rate while you run. You can set training zones for your heart rate or pace and it will show you while your training whether your on pace or not. At the end of your session you can download all your stats to your computer and compare how your improving from week to week.

So for the last month and a half, with my new training methodology and garmin watch, I have been running at a heart rate of less than 150. At the beginning, to keep this heart rate, I had to slow my pace by about 2 minutes a km. It was a bit of a blow to my ego as absolutely everyone started passing me during runs. I now seem to be getting a little faster each run and am about 40 seconds a km faster than when I started, but still below the 150 heart rate. I'm quite pleased with the results so far so will continue sticking to aerobic training for at least another month.

In terms of swimming i haven't been back in the water at all yet but will look to get in a couple of short sessions over the next couple of weeks. I've been back on the bike for a couple of weeks now and just taking it easy to get used to it again. I've got big plans for the bike this year and really want to push for a sub 5 hour bike split in the ironman next year. It will mean I will need to do a bit more cycling and probably sacrifice some swim sessions. However, the 10 minutes I gain on the bike will easily cancel out the minute I might lose on the swim.

Till next time


06 Mar 2010 - Taupo Ironman

My Ironman day begin with the alarm going off at 5am after a surprisingly good nights sleep. My preparation had gone pretty well so i awoke feeling pretty excited and was looking forward to the day. Compared to last year where i didn't sleep and felt nervous about whether i was even going to finish, this was a very good start. My older brother was also competing this year so we had breakfast and headed down to transition about 6am to get our body marking done and do our final checks on our bikes. The professional athletes kicked off at 6:45 and then all the age groupers started at 7am. It was a calm morning and ideal conditions for the 3.8km swim.

The gun went off, courtesy of John Key, and the day began. With 1300 competitors the swim in the ironman is a bit of a slug fest. Black eyes and broken noses are common place with all the thrashing of arms and legs so i went out pretty fast to separate myself from the carnage behind. Once I was near the front i moved in behind a group of about six people and just sat there and dragged of them for the rest of the swim. I got out of the water in a slick time of 51:19 in 23rd place overall (including the pros). I took my time going through transition and probably lost a couple of minutes but was not too worried at this stage.

There is a bit of a hill at the start of the 180 km bike so i decided to take the start easy. I few people went flying past but I stuck to my game plan and let them go. The next phase of my plan on the bike was to find a group to cycle with. In ironman there is a no dragging rule, so you have to keep 7 meters behind the cyclist in front. At seven meters though you still get some benefits of dragging and cycling in group is easier mentally as well. I eventually saw a group forming ahead so i speed up and joined onto the back. By the time we got to the 45 km turn around at Reporoa there must have been 15 people in our group and we were flying. The group was slowly but surely catching all the cyclists ahead one by one. The group stayed together and i reached the 90km halfway point at the front of the pack in 2 hours 21 minutes, probably around 15th overall. This was 10 minutes faster than I planned and even though i was feeling good I knew I would pay for this later on in the day. Despite this realisation I decided to stay in the group as the wind had really picked up and it would be easier to cycle in a group rather than as an individual. I managed to stay with the group until the 160km mark when we hit the last hill into Taupo. I really struggled up the hill and by the time i got to transition they had put 8 minutes on me. My bike time was 5 hours and 9 minutes and i was now in 37th place overall. My second lap on the bike was 27 minutes slower than the first, partly due to the strong wind that was now blowing but mainly due to the fact I had gone out too fast. I took the transition pretty easy again and tried to get myself ready to run a marathon.

I started the 42.2 km run pretty exhausted and new it was going to become a real struggle at some point. Anyway I stuck to my race plan and still ran the first 12 km pretty quick. However, as I headed back to town on the first lap the bike came back to haunt me big time. I was now feeling sick as well so had to start walking every so often. I continued on and after a couple stops on the side of the road to be sick I reached the turn around for home at 32 km. I was feeling a little better but was in real danger of not breaking 10 hours. I decided that was not going to happen so pushed as hard  as i could on the way back. I ended up running quite quickly and reached the finish in 9 hours and 55 minutes.  My marathon time was 3 hours and 46 minutes which was slightly faster than last year.

I ended up placing 90th overall and was 11th in my age group. Annoyingly i was only 8 minutes off 7th place in my age group which qualified for the world champs in Hawaii. My brother also finished with a good time for his first attempt under 11 hours. Overall after reflecting on race I was happy to break 10 hours but think I could have gone at least 20 minutes faster with a good race plan. I definitely learnt a lesson about pacing which cost me a lot of time on the run. However it’s made me even more motivated to have another go next year and get under 9 and a half hours.


09 Jan 2010 - Tauranga Half Ironman

The Tauranga Half Ironman is one of NZ's premiere triathlon events and this year had sold out within an hour with about 1300 competitors entered to race. This event doubles as the national champs so there was a strong field of elite athletes racing as well. I wasn't really targeting this race so I had done a lot of mileage the previous week and was a bit tired and sore. However I was still quite excited as I had watched it a few times from the sidelines as a kid and it was one of the races I had always wanted to do.

The morning dawned with a cold southerly and the water was a bit choppy for the start of the swim. The swim course in Tauranga consists of two loops, the first is a small 700m loop and the second a longer 1300m loop. I didn't really feel very good at all during the swim which wasn't helped by the fact the tide was going out by the second lap and there was quite a strong current to swim into. I found it a bit tough to swim into so the weaker swimmers must have really struggled. Anyway I completed the swim in 27:41 which was about a minute slower than what I wanted.

My main focus for this race was the bike. I had a terrible ride in Taupo and wanted to make amends here. The bike course was two laps over the same course so I wanted to make sure I rode each lap with an even pace. I rode the first lap in 1:13 and felt really good so decided to up the pace for the second. I managed to do the second lap in a 1:09 for a total time of 2.22. It was 22 minutes faster than Taupo so I was pretty stoked.

The run was another two lap course. I had already achieved my main goal for this race of improving my bike spilt so I was pretty relaxed starting the run. I just wanted to get into a good rhythm and run the two laps as evenly as possible. I started off quite easy and after about 5km was feeling quite good. I went out in 44min for the first lap and did the second in 44min as well.

I crossed the finish line for a total time of 4.22 which I was rapped with. There is still plenty of room to improve but my goal of 9:30 for the full ironman is definitely on track. I have 8 weeks to go till the big race so I can look forward to some long sessions over the next couple of weeks.

Tauranga Half Ironman 2011  
Swim 00:27:11
T1 00:02.35
Bike 02:20:12
T2 00:01:54
Run 01:26:54
Total 04:18:46
Taupo Ironman 2010  
Swim 00:51:19
T1 00:05:32
Bike 05:09:18
T2 00:03:38
Run 03:46:06
Total 09:55:55
Tauranga Half Ironman 2010  
Swim 00:27:41
T1 00:01:53
Bike 02:22:39
T2 00:02:05
Run 01:28:15
Total 04:22:33
Taupo Half Ironman 2009  
Swim 00:28:16
Bike 02:44:01
Run 01:27:19
Total 04:39:36
Auckland Marathon 2009 03:11:40
Taupo Ironman 2009  
Swim 00:54:43
T1 00:07:53
Bike 05:18:42
T2 00:04:16
Run 03:50:47
Total 10:16:24
Taupo Half Ironman 2008  
Swim 00:28:48
Bike 02:41:13
Run 01:42:23
Total 04:52:24
Auckland Marathon 2008 03:09:11
Harbour Swim 2008 00:42.49
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