On this edition of The Kona Edge we meet with Scott Cooper who takes us through his Ironman journey.  Scott shares the strategies he employs to streamline his life, especially when it comes to juggling his studies, work and training.  Scott also reveals how he made a comeback after a severe shoulder injury and how determination and consistency got him through those darkest days.

Transcription:

BRAD BROWN:  We head to Canada now to catch up with our next guest. Super excited to be able to welcome him onto The Kona Edge. It’s a huge Canadian welcome to Scott Cooper. Scott, welcome, thanks for joining us.

SCOTT COOPER:  Thank you very much Brad, I’m excited to be here.

BRAD BROWN:  I’m super stoked to have you on Scott, just to chat a little bit about your history in the sport and what you’re up to and some of the incredible results that you’ve had. Let’s just find out a little bit more about you and I know you’re a student at the moment, you’re still in school. You’re actually at your folks house at the moment, in Ontario, just outside Toronto, but you’re studying in Montreal. Tell us what you do from a studying perspective?

Studies, work and training come together for you

SCOTT COOPER:  Right now I’m working on my PhD at McGill University and studying chemical engineering and doing research into cardiovascular health and the field of biomedical engineering.

BRAD BROWN:  That to me is phenomenal. I know what it takes to do a PhD, not that I’ve got one, but I’ve got friends who have done PhD’s and just the workload from that point of view is incredible. How do you balance that and training for, not just triathlons, but Ironman?

SCOTT COOPER:  Well, it’s definitely, it takes a lot of planning, a lot of life planning. There’s not a lot of free hours in the day, but the nice thing about it, with the PhD, it’s very research based and experiment based, so I have a bit of freedom in my time to be able to plan experiments, when sort of it works best and can sneak in training in between experiments and that sort of thing. I can make it work, but like I said, it’s definitely a juggling act, trying to fit it all in.

BRAD BROWN:  I’m sure. Let’s take a step back and chat a little bit about you growing up and how active you were. Were you pretty sporty as a kid?

SCOTT COOPER:  Yeah, growing up, especially through high school, very much into sports, I was kind of a jack of all trades athlete you could say, I was on everything from my school golf team to track team, curling, rugby, football, I really just did it all and for the most part though, one of the reasons I excelled at the sports that I did was because I could run fairly well and that’s sort of my biggest background, is in running.

BRAD BROWN:  How did you end up finding your way to triathlon, especially because you’d done all those other sports, you obviously love sport and you’re pretty active, but to do three in one, where did that come about?

SCOTT COOPER:  I think the seed was first planted in 2000 with the Sydney Olympics and  Simon Whitfield, the Canadian won the Gold Medal there and I remember watching that and being really excited about the sport and thinking triathlon is a very cool sport.

Then just, over the years, that was always in the back of my mind and then by the time I got to the end of high school, I was dabbling a little bit in swimming and biking and it kept piquing my interest and then I actually got set up through, my uncle started doing charity triathlons somewhere, just outside Toronto in the Muskoka region and he kind of changed his whole life around. Got in shape and then did this triathlon and then was like hey, you should do it as well and then the following year, after the first year he did it, I decided to give it a shot and so that was the first triathlon that I did, was a sprint triathlon at this charity, at Joe’s team and then I caught the bug and I haven’t looked back since.

BRAD BROWN:  I was actually just thinking, once the bug has bitten, is the rest history and it is a bit of a bug isn’t it? Once it’s in your blood it’s quite difficult to get it out.

Things go wrong but you still love the experience

SCOTT COOPER:  Absolutely and I remember the first race that I did, obviously tons of things went wrong, like I couldn’t put my shirt on because I was soaking wet and I had my bib pinned to it, it was a disaster, but I just loved the whole experience, I loved the vibe of it and I remember thinking way back then, there’s some people at the race that have done an Ironman before and I thought, that’s insane, there’s no way. I’m enjoying triathlon, but there’s no way that I would ever do an Ironman and that obviously changed over the years because that’s essentially all I do now.

BRAD BROWN:  I love those stories of people’s first triathlon. I’ve heard some incredible ones. I’ve done it and there’s actually photographic proof where I have my helmet on backwards! I’m just going to put it out there, if you’re listening to the podcast, we want to see those first triathlon photos, you can Tweet them to us, I’d love to see what you’ve done. It’s amazing to think how far you’ve come.

We’re all in that boat but for someone like you particularly, you talk about getting the shirt on and it’s wet and the bib’s pinned to it, but you learn along the way and that’s probably one of the beauties of the sport is that no one comes in knowing everything and even once you’ve been doing it a while, it’s always a learning curve and there’s always something new to learn.

SCOTT COOPER:  Yeah, it’s an adventure in that sense as well. Even now, I find that I learn stuff every race and again, I think the triathlon community is such a welcoming community that I found also at the first race I was literally the only person not wearing a wetsuit and just looking around, I was just in my little speedo swimsuit and thinking, okay, something is wrong here. But then people will give you that information, they can help you learn and if you rely on that community, you can really get ahead quickly, but there’s always a new lesson to learn in every race.

BRAD BROWN:  It’s quite intimidating, you talk about welcoming, but the first couple of experiences, it is quite intimidating. Just the amount of gear you need and there’s always one or two racing snakes really strutting their stuff around, but as you say they are quite welcoming. What advice would you give to a newbie thinking about getting into the sport, who looks at this and goes, gee, I don’t know if that’s for me?

Nurture the love of the sport and enjoy the experience

SCOTT COOPER:  I think the most important thing is just to go and have fun. I see a lot of people that are getting into the sport now and sometimes they take it very seriously, right from the first race they’re doing, and the advice I was given is just have fun because if you just have fun and enjoy the day, and when all these silly things go wrong, you can laugh about it afterwards and you’ll come out really enjoying the sport because I think it’s about nurturing that love of the sport as opposed to really trying to force yourself to perform. Really just focusing on enjoying the day and enjoying the experience and not getting too caught up in it.

BRAD BROWN:  That first one that you did, how did you go? Were you middle of the pack, did you have some ability? The other sports that you played, were you fairly good at what you did, everything you touched turned to gold or was that not necessarily the case?

SCOTT COOPER:  I would say not necessarily the case. Especially the swim, swimming, even now, out of the three disciplines, that’s the one that I struggle the most with, but back then, I had a really good run in that first race and I was decently strong on the bike, but definitely had lots of room to grow. And on the swim, yeah, I would say mid-pack, mid to the back of the pack and I think in that first race I maybe finished in the top half or top third of all the competitors. So it was nothing spectacular for my first race, but I felt like I got through the day feeling pretty strong.

BRAD BROWN:  As far as taking it to the next step and not necessarily to go to an Ironman, but you then signed up for your next race. When did you start taking this thing seriously and putting some real thought into what you’re doing and being really deliberate about it?

SCOTT COOPER:  I would say that first season that I raced, I did a couple of sprints, including that first one that I did and then ended the season with an Olympic distance in Montreal. And when I did that race, at the race there was a booth set up with the McGill triathlon club, that’s just a club that’s run out of the university in Montreal.

Anyway, I got chatting to them and then at that point joined that club and that’s when I started to get into actual structured training. Before that I would just run, bike and swim a whole bunch and then wait and see what would happen. And then joining the triathlon club it was structured workouts and all that sort of stuff. That kind of got the seed planted again and that following season I started focusing more on Olympic distance and entered a half Ironman that year, and that’s when I started to see that I had some aptitude for the sport. And that’s really when I started to take it a bit more serious and started looking into more coaching and getting into the gear and all that sort of stuff.

BRAD BROWN:  You talk about the more structured stuff, did you respond, from a performance perspective, pretty quickly to that? Did you realise, hang on a sec, if I do structure things and like you say, you follow and do intervals and that sort of thing, that you were getting quite big improvements early on?

Structure training to see improvements in Ironman performance

SCOTT COOPER:  Yeah, certainly, that was a huge booster. Like I said, that first race I finished, I was maybe in the top half or top third and then by the following season I was competing at the level of the top of my age group in any race. I found a huge improvement, once I had that more structured training. I think it’s just, it makes your training that much more efficient and you can get that much more out of it, especially being, at the time I was a student, so I didn’t have all the time in the world and I think that would apply to anyone out there that’s working a fulltime job. You’ve really got to maximize any time you have training and just going out and logging miles isn’t the best way to go about it. I think really taking a more planned approach makes a huge difference in performance.

BRAD BROWN:  I could not agree more Scott. You said at that first one you thought, there’s no ways I’ll ever do an Ironman. When did the thought of doing a full start bounce around in your head?

SCOTT COOPER:  I’m not sure. Probably I think within maybe a year and a half of that first one, at that point, because I’m getting more into triathlon and to be honest, one of the things that got me thinking about it more and more was watching just random YouTube videos of triathlon motivation, that sort of thing before races. And more and more then included Ironman stuff and then yeah, it kind of piqued my interest, that long distance racing and what the challenge would really be like, trying to tackle something that long.

From there just sort of worked my way up and then what happened was in Mont Tremblant, which is about an hour and a half north of Montreal, right when I was trying to think about doing an Ironman and that long distance race, the Mont Tremblant Ironman got released and open to the public and so then I just immediately signed up for the following year and then it just became a sole focus, was that longer distance triathlon.

The joy and terror of your first Ironman

BRAD BROWN:  That first, when you signed up for your first Ironman, it’s all exciting until you hit the paying button, once your credit card details are in there and then reality sinks in. You’re almost going from this extreme joy to this unbelievable terror, was it exactly the same for you?

SCOTT COOPER:  100%. I clicked the button and I was working in the lab with my lab mates and I clicked the button and I was so excited and then turned to them and was thinking, what did I just sign up for, I’m not prepared for this at all. I’m just going to go out there and make a fool of myself, but anyways, that did pass pretty quickly.

There was the immediate shock, but then I talked myself off the ledge and then just took it day by day and it’s always daunting, especially going into your first Ironman, cause those distances are so long. But yeah, I just really focused on taking it day by day and each day tried to get a little bit stronger and be a little bit more fitter and move towards being able to complete the race and just step by step you get there.

BRAD BROWN:  I love the fact, and I say to a lot of people that training for an Ironman and doing an Ironman, particularly your first one, it’s a process and you’ve got to follow the steps to get to where you’re going and I love the fact that for you, your career was exactly that. So often people decide they want to get into the sport because they want to do an Ironman, so they don’t go and they don’t do the progression of doing a sprint, to Olympic, to a half and then onto full, but you did. Do you think that’s the better way to go?

SCOTT COOPER:  I certainly do. I think it is, for several reasons. First of all, like I was mentioning before, I think that it’s important to organically build a love for the sport and I think that if you start with those shorter, more manageable races, it really lets you just enjoy them. I found anyways, there was a lot less stress because in my mind I could get through a sprint triathlon, that wasn’t too much to bite off.

Whereas an Ironman’s obviously a huge thing, so it gave me a lot of positive reinforcement as I went along and at the same time it just takes months and years of experience to be able to work out these little problems as far as trying to get your shirt on in transition, that sort of thing. Just get rid of those stresses and really know what you’re doing and what you’re getting into. I think that helps take away some of the nerves on race day when you’re doing that first Ironman and again, you can just enjoy it a lot more.

BRAD BROWN:  Scott, in the build up to your first Ironman, I think this is the same for everyone, you spend hours and hours on the road and in the water and it plays through your mind many times what you think is going to play out on race day. Your first experience, was it what you expected, was it easier than you expected, was it harder? Did it live up to expectations, what were your experiences with it?

SCOTT COOPER:  I think that ultimately it was pretty close to what I had expected. Soon after I signed up for the Ironman I started working with my coach that I still work with now, Paulo Saldanha and he was an ex-Ironman pro triathlete about 20-30 years ago. He did a really good job of imparting all of his knowledge and through some of the training that he got me to do. He got me into the right mindset I think, beforehand, which really helped.

I went into it having done really long brick workouts and race simulations and all that sort of stuff. I really knew what to expect out of my body and how it would feel. Overall I think that very much, it played out like I thought it would. However, I do have to say that the last 10km of the marathon, I don’t think that there’s anything that you can do to prepare yourself for how that feels. But I got through it and felt strong at the end and that was the important thing.

BRAD BROWN:  Absolutely. Going into that first one, you mentioned in the buildup to that Ironman you started to feature within age groups of other races. Did you go into that first one with any sort of ambitions or did you think, I just want to go and finish this or were you harboring ambitions to possibly get a top ten, top five, what was happening?

The goal was to get to Hawaii and race there

SCOTT COOPER:  To be honest, I went in hoping to qualify for Kona, that was the goal. Once I sort of locked onto doing Ironman, then the goal was to get to Hawaii and race there. Going in, that’s what my top goal was. Realistically though, even now, when I’m racing, one of the things that I always try and focus on is more of that process driven racing in the sense that when I went into that first Ironman, the same way I’ll go into Kona 4-5 weeks from now, I go in with my plan and I know what I’m capable of, and it’s more about the personal improvement race to race, and trying to achieve my own personal goals.

And then obviously the hopes that that’s going to stack up to a really good result, but I think with that approach I went in just hoping to have a strong race and do well. And if everything went to plan, then hopefully that would be a Kona spot for me.

BRAD BROWN:  Talk to me about the thinking, you talk about a ‘process driven approach,’ obviously you come from an engineering background, so that is the way you’re wired, talk to me a bit about your approach, that process, what is it?

Train your body to be efficient

SCOTT COOPER:  Well, essentially what it is, the idea that when you get to the race, on race day, sure you’re tapered, so you’re going to have a little bit of extra pep in your step. But at the end of the day you’re not going to become super-human on race day. Everything that you’ve done in training, you’re training your body to be efficient at whatever pace or Power prescription you’re able to maintain for the Ironman distance.

I really try and go into a race and just try and get the most out of myself to make sure that I can follow my proper pacing and nutrition and look at all those little things throughout the day and try and stay not distracted by what’s going on around me. Like not getting really upset by something uncontrollable that happens, say your goggles come off or something like that. You just put them back on and you’ve just got to keep giving your best effort and what you can do.

And I think this is an important thing, especially on the bike, is sometimes you’ll have people just blast past you on the first 5-10km of a bike and it’s really tempting to say I should go with these guys, but typically what you’ll see is that 130-140km down the road they’re going at 20km an hour because they’ve completely burnt their legs. Really focusing on that process and knowing that this is what I’m capable of, on the bike for example, this is the Power I can do and having confidence in that to be able to give you the result that you want and really focusing more on that than on the externals such as the other racers around you and what they’re doing.

BRAD BROWN:  I love that approach, that if you’ve done the work and you back the systems you’ve had in place and if it’s good enough on race day, then it’s good enough on race day, which I think is awesome. That first one, how did you go? Going in there with, you know you’ve done the work, you’re hoping for a Kona slot, how did it go? Did you end up qualifying first time out?

Experience racing against the best in the world

SCOTT COOPER:  I did not, I just missed it. My first Ironman it was 9:42 or 9:43 I think was my time and then there was two qualifying spots in my age group and the second guy was a minute or a minute and a half ahead of me, so it was pretty close. But I was catching up to him on the run and just ran out of room, but as I said, I was just really hoping to have a great race and I was really happy with my time and just got beat by two better guys on the day. Then at the end of the day, that just gave me tons more motivation to go back to the race next year and try and get that spot.

BRAD BROWN:  I was going to say, how soon afterwards did you decide you want to go back, but by the sounds of it, it was almost immediate.

SCOTT COOPER:  Yeah, 9:00am the next morning I was lined up to register for the next year!

BRAD BROWN:  Sucker for punishment much! That’s amazing. Eventually getting to Kona, that for a lot of age groupers is the ultimate goal. Why was Kona such a big driving force for you?

SCOTT COOPER:  I think a couple of reasons. One, for sure, is the challenge of Kona. Whenever you hear about Kona and when I started doing more research in Ironman, all you hear is just how hot and how windy and how tough the course is. I think for one it was just that I wanted to challenge myself in what should be one of the toughest arenas out there.

That was a driving force and then the second was just to have that experience to race against the best in the world. It’s unique in our And it’s amazing to be able to race on the same course as all the pros at the same time and just that whole atmosphere and the idea of going to Kona was just, yeah, it was overwhelming for me and I just wanted to be part of that.

BRAD BROWN:  Let’s talk about your first experience on the Big Island. I love that, exactly what you’re saying, that it’s an opportunity for, I don’t want to say ordinary, everyday people, cause you still need to be pretty good and extraordinary to be able to qualify and race on the Big Island, but being able to be out on the course and particularly where you are, the times that you do, you’re not that far behind the leaders. You get to see them at turnaround points and that sort of thing, it must be, I don’t want to say you get star-struck, but it must be an amazing feeling to see, like you say, the best athletes in the world, that you’ve seen on all these YouTube videos winning races, all of a sudden you’re racing against them.

SCOTT COOPER:  Yeah, it is really cool. It’s really cool to be right there and again, I think that that’s something that’s very unique to our sport and it’s something that makes it that much more fun when you’re, like you said, when you go to a turnaround and then Jan Frodeno is running by you. It’s pretty amazing to see and I think that helps motivate you on race day, cause you want to see how you stack up against the best of the world and at the same time it’s just cool. It’s just a cool experience to be able to be out there with these guys and girls.

BRAD BROWN:  You mentioned the conditions in Kona and how brutal they are, there aren’t too many places on earth where you do experience those sort of conditions. How do you prepare yourself, coming from where you come from, the Canadian summers do get fairly warm, but the winters are pretty brutal, it’s almost the complete opposite to what you would experience in Kona?

Adapting your conditions to prepare for Kona

SCOTT COOPER:  For sure and what I do, especially at this time of the year, we actually have a heat wave going on in Southern Ontario right now, so it pretty much feels like Kona heat, but that’s going to be over pretty quickly and we’ll be into some cool temperatures. These days what I do, I just try and get to Hawaii ahead of time. So I get there about ten days before, which usually gives me enough time to acclimatize to the heat.

But the first year I went to Kona, I couldn’t take that much time off, so I only got there about five days before the race and then what I did, beforehand I would do treadmill sessions and just put on essentially all my winter clothes, I’d be wearing a [inaudible 0.23.32] and I wouldn’t have a fan on and just try and make myself as hot as possible when I was doing tempo runs on the treadmill and same thing with inside on a bike, on a trainer and just tried to make myself as hot as possible, just to get used to that feeling of that heat that you can’t even get off, it just feels like it really sticks to you.

BRAD BROWN:  What was the thing that surprised you most about Kona?

SCOTT COOPER:  The thing that surprised me most? I don’t know if there was anything that was really shocking or surprising, but the thing that hit me the most was just the atmosphere there and I think trying to, not cope with it, but trying to soak everything in was, I felt was a lot, it was a bit overwhelming that first time there.

Again, you get to see all these pro triathletes all over the place and everyone in the world looks like the fittest person you’ve ever seen and you just think: I don’t belong here. I don’t belong with these people. I’m just going to get destroyed out there. But then when you get to race day, it all stacks up to the training that you’ve done and how well you’ve prepared for it.

BRAD BROWN:  Do you approach race day at Kona differently to what you would another Ironman or is the approach exactly the same? Your first one you said you went in there trying to get a Kona slot and that was the goal. Do you go to Kona to chase podiums or is it a case again, you go as hard as you can and if that’s good enough on the day, then that’s good enough?

SCOTT COOPER:  Yeah, for sure, when I’m going through those really tough sessions, especially in the last few weeks and a couple of months before the race, I’m envisioning getting those podium spots, but really, when it comes down to race day, just like any other race, I do what I’m capable of. I go in and I run my own race and really how I try and look at it is you save the ‘race’ for the end of the marathon. That’s where you can really make that extra push and try and run outside yourself to try and move up that podium or whatever the goal may be.

Overall, I take that same process driven approach of just, I know what I can do and especially on a course like Kona where it’s so hot and so demanding. If on the bike you really try and hammer to make up extra time, you’re just going to pay for it on the marathon, there’s no getting around that. I really just try and stick to my own game plan as best I can and focus on nutrition and hydration and make sure that I’m set up so that if I’m in that position later on in the race, then later on in the marathon when I can try and move up a couple of spots, then I’ll have an opportunity to do so.

BRAD BROWN:  What are you most proud of, of what you’ve achieved so far?

The proudest Ironman achievement

SCOTT COOPER:  I think for sure my most proudest achievement was Kona last year because I finished on the podium in 4th place last year and then that was also coming off, earlier in the season I had a really bad bike accident and I broke my shoulder, collar bone, shoulder blade. I had about 15 fractures in my shoulder and in March was being told that I may never be able to swim again. So, getting to October and to Kona and finishing on the podium, it was a really long and painful road to that summer. It was a really tough six months, but I was really proud of, first of all, finishing the race and then also having a nice result there that I could look back on and really be proud of.

BRAD BROWN:  What was the biggest lesson you learnt in that comeback, from injury?

SCOTT COOPER:  The biggest lesson, I would say that it was more that it just reinforced what I’d been doing, taking it day by day, step by step, there was, like obviously in a comeback like that, there’s tons of setbacks where you can’t even lift your arm off your leg, to try and think about, how am I going to swim 4km? But yeah, I just took it day by day, I broke it down and every day I would just try and get a little bit further across the pool. Or I’d have to slowly get back into running again and just taking it step by step and really just, you can’t get overwhelmed by looking at the big picture sometimes. Sometimes you’ve just got to stay on a pretty narrow mind frame and try and get yourself to that ultimate goal.

BRAD BROWN:  Compared to the buildup to Kona 2015, how’s the preparation gone for this one?

SCOTT COOPER:  Well, first of all, I didn’t break my shoulder this year, so that puts me miles ahead, but overall my preparation has been really good. I’ve put in some really solid work this year and just with years of practice and refining the way that I respond to training, I think that I’m starting to get towards a formula that works for me. I think that I can really build on certain workouts and workout styles that really work well with me and my body adapts to quickly. I’ve really been able to focus on those and put in good training on those, which I think will really pay out when I get to Hawaii.

BRAD BROWN:  Have you done anything differently? Not even majorly differently, but anything different between this year and last year?

SCOTT COOPER:  Last two years, not a whole lot. The biggest change in my training is I’ve done a lot more swimming in the last 12 months than I did the year before. I really tried to work on that part of my racing, but other than that, I find that, like you’re not going to become, I said this earlier, but you’re not going to become super-human overnight. You’re not going to be able to do infinitely harder workouts and that sort of thing. It’s always just you’ve got to do incrementally more and just slowly build up mileage and intensity and workouts and that sort of thing and so I think my body can withstand a little bit more punishment than it could last year. So I can just train a little bit harder and maybe get in an extra one of those really hard workouts in a week, just because I can bounce back that little bit faster and I think that that’s been the biggest change from last year’s training.

BRAD BROWN:  I think you touched on a very important point there too. And that’s something that I think a lot of people don’t realise, is the consistency of training. It doesn’t necessarily just make you stronger, but like you say, it helps you bounce back after hard sessions better, that you become more resilient. And obviously that comes up to a point where you hit a certain age when you then start, maybe not bouncing back as quickly as the aging process kicks in, but you’re still fairly young, you’ve still got a good few years ahead of you where if you keep building on this, you can get a lot faster can’t you?

Consistency pulls you through when you’re tired

SCOTT COOPER:  Yeah, that’s what I’m hoping and I think like right now, I’m 28, so I think I still have some good years left in me and yeah, like you said, it’s the consistency, that’s the important thing. When you ask what training changes, it’s just really making sure that you’re getting those workouts in and on those days when you’re tired, you still go out and you still do the miles and I think that if you can keep consistent and you can keep pushing, that’s when you can really start to see some good improvement in your racing.

BRAD BROWN:  You mentioned at the start of this chat that you had to juggle, obviously with training and what you need to do school-wise and your PhD and work and all that sort of thing. Tips for someone who is really struggling with that side of the sport? A lot of triathletes, particularly Ironman triathletes do battle with the time management side of things. Have you got any strategies that really help you streamline and make your life a little bit easier so you can fit all of these things in?

SCOTT COOPER:  The biggest thing, I find that I make sure I plan out my week at the beginning of the week and for sure, having a set training program really makes a difference. I know that there’s people that kind of, they’ll say okay, I’ll fit in a ride or a run when I can, but realistically that’s not going to work out.

What I like to do is to make sure that I have my whole week planned. Both with my experiments on my PhD as well as my training and I kind of have all my time allotted for that and sure, things come up in the week that you can’t predict and you’re going to have to adapt. But I find going into the start of each week with a set schedule, set plan, that’s the way to go about it.

Taking the looser approach of, ‘yeah, no, maybe if I fit in a run I’ll be able to get in this workout,’ I find that doesn’t work. That’s not a successful way to go about it.

BRAD BROWN:  A lot of people getting into the sport, Ironman is becoming extremely popular, advice for a newbie, for instance if you could go back and tell yourself, when you were starting out, knowing what you know now, what would you tell yourself?

Don’t get ahead of yourself

SCOTT COOPER:  I think that I’d tell myself to, don’t get ahead of yourself. Like I said, I always try to take it day by day. But I was a lot worse at doing that early on and also just consistency, always will out trump any sort of really hard set that you can do or anything like that.

The more important thing is really just continuing on in those three sports and trying to improve day by day, as opposed to trying to do the most ridiculous track workout or something because you think it’ll make you way faster. Because at the end of the day, that’s going to give you a risk of injury a lot more than it’s going to give you a benefit of being faster on race day.

BRAD BROWN:  That’s incredible. Scott, thank you so much for your time here on The Kona Edge, best of luck for Kona 2016, safe travels and we look forward to getting you on to talk a little bit about the individual disciplines and what you do and what you’ve done to get better.

SCOTT COOPER:  Thank you so much for having me Brad.

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