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Meet the Outlaws: Hywel Davies
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 19th April 2011


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Welshman, Hywel Davies, 36, is one of the athletes being touted as a favourite to win the Outlaw Triathlon (www.outlawtriathlon.com) in Nottingham on 24 July. He's already recorded an 8hour 44minute finish at Roth and he's aiming high at the Outlaw – which will be his 18th Iron distance event.

As well as being an Ironman, the Warwickshire based athlete has also bent a few iron bars live on national TV, read on to find out more!


How are your preparations going for the Outlaw?

My preparation for triathlons these days is do what I can, when I can but only do what I enjoy. I am doing time trials, my French Alp training camp and commuting to work, but I never focus on a particular race, just like to be fit enough to enjoy the training and racing. I will be fit enough on the day, that's all that matters.

What are your goals for the event?

Looking at last year's times I probably made the wrong decision to race in Barcelona. It was too late in the year to get a fast time. When in shape, I'm good enough to go 8:3X so that's the aim.

Roth has been you best iron distance race to date, are you aiming to beat it at the Outlaw – it's a very fast course!?

Yes. Roth was a good day but I had an average swim, a good bike but a poor run. I need some work on the run this year but certainly thought I was on target in Barcelona with a 4.34 bike - but fell apart in the heat of the run.

Hywel at Challenge Barcelona 2010

You class Joel Jameson as one of your rivals on your website, are you looking forward to racing him at the Outlaw?

Joel is a class act. A few years ago it would have been close, but he has moved on and is in a different league to me these days. He can swim faster and run faster and has done things in the right way to build up to the longer events. I would love to see how he goes when he is 36 and works 60 hours a week but that's no excuse.
I'll do my best on the day. With 70.3 distance, he can turn up and win... but you still have to finish an Iron Distance and even the best athletes can have a rough day. I've never not finished an Iron Distance race so I'll be there whatever.

As far as racing goes, I never race anyone. I run my own race and may never even see him after the gun.

What are you most, and least, looking forward to about the event?

Most...the beers afterwards
Least....the weedy swim

Hywel Davies at Challenge Barcelona 2010What advice would you have for a relative novice who is thinking about doing the Outlaw?

Treat it as one event, rather than three. Train for a 15 hour event and anything faster is a bonus. Do all the distances in training so you know that you can, it's just doing all three in one day...easy.

What's your key strength in triathlon?

Consistent pace and mental strength to cope with boredom.

What's your best achievement to date, and if you could achieve just one more major result, what would it be?

Strangely enough, nothing to do with triathlon. Winning my first UK fitness title in 1998.
If I could win one more event, it would be win a Kona Age Group

You've done some pretty tough challenges, why did you chose to do the Outlaw?

Outlaw because I quite like to support some UK events and it fits with my academic year with teaching.  I wanted to do it last year but it just didn't fit in. My first ever race when I moved to Warwickshire was at Holme Pierrepoint, a 10-mile run and I've raced there on the bike, on a rowing machine and on foot.

My other events have not been a case of just to finish. When I did the Double Ironman in 2008, the challenge was to run the run, rather than walk any of it. People who do longer distances always walk parts of it, which does not entertain me.

I don't regard myself as a triathlete, just a fit person who likes to compete for the challenge.

You do a lot of indoor rowing, why? And how does this help your triathlon career?

Rowing is a great alternative in the winter. It actually makes me fitter because it's consistent training for at least an hour a day at high intensity. I can row at work, the gym or at home and I am not a fan of winter cycling. This way I never feel guilty about not going out on a Sunday ride, I just don't go but row instead. There is a big online community so the racing is always close, but I like the personal targets and achievements.  It's good to get a break from running and swimming, I get bored of swimming very quickly.

Do you train full time?

That's very funny, I may give that impression but I usually work 60 hours a week and can only fit in training by commuting or 30mins oF rowing before bedtime. I work as a Senior Leader within a secondary school and despite the hype about teaching, I don't get the same holidays that I used to. I would love to train full time, but I would not live in this country if I did.

You are an Ironman, but we also hear you can bend a bit of iron – tell us about that...

That was in 2003, at the height of my fitness competition career. I had won everything there was to win, and was invited onto a game show where I was led to believe it was fitness challenges with a difference. I did not know it was a fighting show against professional MMA guys. It was fun, but there was nothing in my arsenal to combat a pro cage fighter. Perhaps if it was a cycle race in the final it would have been a different result. However, it was a good programme to do unlike some of the other TV game shows who tell you what result they are going to show after filming all possible outcomes.

More information: www.hyweldavies.me


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