Interview with Ironman Taiwan winner Dede Griesbauer

Coach Todd: Hi Dede thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview.  Last time we meet we were racing through Santiago airport trying to catch a flight back to the US following IM Pucon where you came in 2nd.  Congratulations on your most recent win at IronMan Taiwan.  That is awesome.

Dede: Thank you!

Coach Todd: How does it feel  to win your 3rd Ironman?

 

Dede:  Of course, it’s amazing.  Every Ironman win is special, but this might be my most memorable win yet, just because of the journey it’s taken to get back to competitive racing. From 2011 thru 2014, I’ve had some pretty severe injuries and on top of that, a healthy dollop of bad luck.  It was hard to stay positive and keep believing in myself when there were not many good results to hang my hat on.  So the win was validation for a lot of years of struggle and incredibly hard work

 

Coach Todd: I asked my athletes if they had anyquestions for you and we have come up with some good ones.  Let’s start with Breakfast.  I have quite a few first time ironman athletes for this year and a common question is “What do you eat for breakfast, or before the race?”

 

Dede:  I don’t necessarily advocate this, but after years of trial an error, I have settled on a 100% liquid diet on race day.  My breakfast is a bottle of sport drink combination of my custom blend INFINIT Nutrition, and a bit of Carbo Pro for added calories.  I also eat a banana.  So that’s solid, but that’s it for solids all day.

It works for me.  But not for everyone.  The most important thing for any athlete is to find out what works for THEM. That goes for nutrition, as well as training.

 

Coach Todd: Do you have a specific taper that you like to do the week before an Ironman?

Dede:  I work with one of the smartest, most experienced and successful coaches in the business in Siri Lindley.  So I follow her program and whatever she says.  If I’m feeling “off” and like we need to modify things, we’ll communicate, but usually it’s my head and not my body that needs the adjustment!  Taper is about letting your body rest, and that can be hard for some people when you are used to training so much.  You have to trust your training and know that with a week to go, you are more likely to screw it up by trying to do too much!  So we do a few short race-pace efforts, and mostly just try to stay loose and keep a feel.

 

 

Coach Todd: You have a very strong swim background.  Do you do anything specific during the warmup or the start of the race to get you in race mode or to calm your nerves?

 

Dede:  It depends on the race venue and what is available for warm-up.  WTC doesn’t have standardized rules and procedures so some races don’t let you in to warm up, others do.  Some let you in for a long time, some let you in for whatever the gap is between the male pro and female pro start times.  So it really depends.  I do a short warm up; either swim or jog, but what I do depends on the race venue and the rules for the day.

There is so much to do race morning getting gear set, and such that I find just going thru the pre-race routine and checking the pre-race boxes is a way to settle the nerves; keeping in the moment and doing what needs to be done and not thinking too far ahead.

 

Coach Todd: If you could race just one more race, what race would you pick and why?

 

Dede:  A return to Kona has been my quest since my crash in 2011.  Of course, rules have changed about 400 times for qualifying between then and now…so it’s hard to keep up, but getting back to Kona has been my goal.  Kona is the World Championship.  The competition there is the best and everyone is fit and ready to race.  There’s no hiding in Kona.

 

Coach Todd: How do you take in calories during the bike and do you know approximately how many calories per hour you aim to consume?

 

Dede:  It depends a little bit on the conditions on the day.  Temperature, heat, humidity.  Anywhere between 300-400.

 

Coach Todd: Your bike is a Blue.  Would you recommend this bike to first time ironman athletes?

 

Dede:  Well, duh!  Of course I would.  Blue is a smaller brand.  They don’t compete with the Cervelos, the Treks, the Specializeds of the world…but not because their bikes aren’t as good.  They just don’t have the marketing dollars to spend in that way.  I’ve been to the manufacturing factory in Taiwan and I’ve seen these bikes built.  The care, craftsmanship and attention to detail is second to none, and the price is more affordable than some of the “super bikes”, not because the bikes aren’t as valuable, but because you are paying for the bike and the bike alone and not for a massive marketing budget!  I had the opportunity to ride other brands and I chose Blue.  Blue is stiff around the bottom bracket for excellent power transfer, but is comfortable never the less. It’s also one of the lightest bikes you can buy.

 

 

Coach Todd: What is your least and most favorite workout that Siri will schedule for you?

 

Dede:  Haha.  I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you!

Kidding – sort of.  Look, there is no “magic workout”.  No “secret session” that make some of Siri’s athletes the best in the world.  Siri’s talent as a coach is to read each athlete and dose out the right training on the right day.  We have training plans, but Siri is renowned for changing things up based on how you look on the day.  So it’s not the sessions that make her great (though those are awesome too), it’s how she interacts with each individual athlete.

Generally speaking, my least favorite session is any session on the track.  I’ve never been a fan of the track.  My favorite sessions are usually the long rides.  The riding in Boulder is always epic and we get to see some beautiful things while simultaneously working very hard!

 

Coach Todd: What other races do you have planned for 2015 and will you be heading up to Canada?

 

Dede:  Don’t know just yet.  Because the Kona qualifying process is so complicated, it really becomes a glorified chess match.  I’m in a good position now, but have to react to where and how the other women are racing. It makes it very hard to commit to a race schedule which is too bad for sponsors, and for the athletes in their ability to commit to a race and try to reach out to the community to “add value” to an event.  I’ve actually never raced in Canada, so I should add it to the list!

 

Coach Todd: You now have one of the fastest IM winning times for an athlete over 40.  That is just super!  Can you share your secret of longevity?

 

Dede:  Duct tape!  My body is secretly held together with duct tape!

Kidding.  I honestly didn’t start as a pro until I was 35.  I only got into the sport at 33…nearly 34, so my “triathlon age” is still quite young.  Some of my squad mates are much younger, but have been racing much longer.  I am also pretty diligent about rest and recovery.  I sleep like a champ, and I have an excellent team alongside of Siri, including strength coaches, massage therapists and a great PT who I see for preventative care as well as when I’ve got an injury.  So as the saying goes, “it takes a village” …and I have a very good village.

 

Coach Todd: Ok last question….during the last 10 miles of an ironman.  Where does your mind go and how do you continue to push hard?

 

Dede:  I have my best races when I’m NOT thinking.  I’m just executing.  Not letting your mind drift or wander to the reality of your situation is a great gift.  If you can stay in the moment and focus just on run form and nutrition, the “daemons” are much less likely to creep in.  So I really try to quiet my mind and much as possible and think as little as possible!

 

Coach Todd: Dede thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy life for this interview.  It is greatly appreciated!!!

 

Dede:  My pleasure.

dede taiwan

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