Kona Special #2 – David Nicholls – Ask a Cycling Coach 179

The second podcast in our Kona Qualifiers Series is with David Nicholls. David is a first-time Kona qualifier that exemplifies how to set expectations at an unknown A-Race. He manages to balance his career, family life and triathlon all while using in-training experimentation to have an impressively refined approach. Tune in to learn from all of his hard work for IRONMAN World Championships.

David is an avid podcast listener and TrainerRoad user with an astounding attention to detail, so please feel free to share your comments and questions below!


Excellent interview thanks. David sounds like he’s going to do well and enjoy his race. Thanks guys.

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Another great podcast guest. Really enjoyable.

Enjoying these interviews. Thanks!

As someone who is naturally suspicious of triathletes (just pick a sport! :joy:) I have to say I’m really liking the last 2 Kona podcasts. I might even watch the racing this weekend! Love the amount of detail, more like this for straight up cycling events please (TCR, Tour Divide, DK etc…?)!


This was a great listen. Fantastic idea to do these interviews guys.

Very, very nice testimonial.
Can someone please tell me which trainerRoad plan he has followed? Around 15:00 he mentions it, but with the laughs I cannot understand it

Listened to 1 and 2 today great episodes, just downloaded 3 now can’t wait for it tomorrow.

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cracking time from David and again amazed he hasn’t positioned higher.


Hi guys, glad you enjoyed the podcast! TrainerRoad (and the podcast) played a critical role in getting me (relatively) fast, so it was an honour to be invited on and also to have Jonathan, Nate and Chad cheering me on during the run course!

Pleased to report I had the highly illusive “perfect race”, largely thanks sticking to the plan I outlined in the podcast. Bike conditions were exceptionally fast, which meant I went 4.56 on 186 watts NP, despite the fact there was 1,772m of elevation gain! Power file is below in case any one is interested. The draft packs were going much faster than I was, so no freeriding!

Nunos, I’ve been following various TR plans pretty much solidly since October 2016. For my qualification race I did medium volume Ironman base and build then high volume Ironman speciality. For Kona I did high volume build and speciality, although was a bit more flexible in terms of missing workouts etc.

Happy to answer any other questions if there are any.


Way to go David!

Thank you for sharing the data @dpnicholls! Great job on the race and thanks for providing great information on the podcast!

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Superb stuff, really enjoyed your interview and congratulations!

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Great podcast. Thanks and well done David, from a UK rower.

Dear dpnicholls, thank you so much for your feedback and sharing the power data.
Thank you!

Thanks guys, my race report is here if anyone is interested.

Kona Race Report


David - congratulations on a great performance and thanks for all the insight. I couldn’t agree more than the training prescription and delivery is just a small % of the overall ironman equation and fully respect your decision as a one and done person! I often find myself getting totally obsessive and carried away so it’s refreshing to hear you call out how important it is to step back! Are you able to share your IM South Africa race report? You mentioned it here and on another podcast I listened too.

Hope you’re enjoying the down time

Congrats David. Loved your interview.

Hi Matt, thanks for this. Sure, here is the IM South Africa race report. Good luck with your training!

South Africa Race Report



Hi David,
just listened to Kona special podcast today and probably a bit late to the discussion, but in you South Africa race report you mentioned that you are self coached and you relied on some books and podcasts to improve your training. Would you mind to share it? Especially podcasts, as Netflix doesn’t work for me at all while riding indoor.