Athlete of the Month, September 2014 - Amanda McNulty

Coach Dave and athlete smiling at the camera
January 29, 2017

D3 Staff



Amanda McNulty had a breakthrough season this year, tackling not one, but two Ironman races — Texas and Boulder. Her winter training faced challenges due to two address changes, each bringing different climates. Interestingly, Amanda found a lot of synergy with the number two in her journey. She and her husband, Tim, eventually settled in Scottsdale, Arizona. Despite the upheaval, Amanda remained committed to her training plan. She went into the Texas Ironman with high-quality training but lacked some endurance fitness. Although the race didn't go as ideally as she hoped, she still achieved an impressive result for her first Ironman — 32nd AG in 12:34. Undeterred, she eagerly prepared for Ironman Boulder, where she achieved a significant personal record, shaving nearly 50 minutes off her time. Despite the race's challenges, including its altitude, she finished 13th AG in 11:45.

Amanda's nomination as Athlete of the Month goes beyond her impressive race results. She embodies the core values of D3 Multisport — Discipline, Determination, and Dedication. Her training regimen often began with a 3 am alarm to beat the scorching Arizona temperatures. Amanda didn't miss a single workout throughout the summer and made substantial improvements to her daily and racing diets, guided by Coach Brad, a sports nutritionist and D3 coach.

From a coach's perspective, Amanda exemplifies the ideal athlete. She works diligently with Coach Dave, executing her training plan meticulously and always seeking to improve. Amanda sets ambitious yet realistic goals, constantly striving for progress and growth. Coach Dave enthusiastically nominated her for Athlete of the Month, recognizing her unwavering dedication and commitment to excellence.

Here's a peek into Amanda's insights through a Q&A:

1. How did you decide to race two Ironman races in one year, and why Texas and Boulder?
Living in Boulder at the time, I thought it would be great to have my first Ironman locally for reduced travel stress and familiarity with the area. However, my husband signed up for Texas after a trip to Kona, prompting me to join to avoid watching him do another Ironman alone. Despite our move to Arizona, I stuck with both races, even though Boulder was no longer local and presented new challenges.

2. What adjustments did you make to commit to training for two Ironmans?
Training for multiple Ironmans necessitated integrating it into my daily life. Setting expectations at work and making training a non-negotiable part of my schedule helped manage stress. Blocking out mornings for training sessions in my calendar ensured uninterrupted training time.

3. What surprised you the most about Ironman training?
The realization that success in an Ironman requires proficiency in all three disciplines, not just relying on one's strengths. Additionally, the margin for error is minimal at the top of one's age group, fueling a continual drive for improvement.

4. What takeaway from Texas did you apply to Boulder?
I adjusted my nutrition strategy, opting for more liquid calories on the bike in Boulder, which significantly improved my performance compared to solid foods in Texas. I also worked on building confidence on the bike, especially in handling windy conditions.

6. What nutrition changes made a difference in your training and racing?
Switching to predominantly liquid calories during the race enhanced my performance, unlike my strategy in Texas. Additionally, prioritizing proper post-workout fueling for faster recovery was crucial during training.

7. How did your biggest fan (your husband) support you during training?
Tim provided unwavering encouragement, believing in me even when I doubted myself. He pushed me on days when I lacked motivation, ensuring I stayed committed to my training regimen.

8. What valuable advice did Coach Dave give you?
For the Texas Ironman swim, Coach Dave advised me to focus on finding open spots ahead rather than fixating on other swimmers, which alleviated anxiety and improved my swim performance.

9. If you could choose one activity (swim, bike, or run) to do anywhere in the world, what would it be?
I'd take my bike to Australia for its excellent training opportunities and picturesque landscapes. Running the Big Sur Marathon would also be on my bucket list.

10. What's next for you?
I'm gearing up for the SOMA Tri in Tempe, AZ, followed by Ironman Coeur d'Alene and Ironman Arizona next year, along with Alcatraz (if accepted) and Augusta 70.3. That's the plan for now!

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