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September 29, 2016


The IRONMAN World Championships are just around the corner! To honor the grand legacy of the event I will be posting nine MarkAllenCoaching Kona polls on Facebook at the MarkAllenCoaching Facebook page, with one each day starting  today Thursday September 29th . Each poll will pose a question related to the IRONMAN in Kona. Some are historical questions that elicit an opinion on your part, others will be asking what you think will happen this year and into the future. It's a chance for everyone to vote on some very provocative questions! Check those out.

I will also be posting daily insights into all things IRONMAN direct from Kona starting  Monday  October 3rd. Then on Monday October 3rd there's going to be a special question related to a key piece of the legacy in triathlons. It's going to be intriguing and thought provoking. You'll get to give your guess on what it is. The first to answer correctly will get some amazing prizes!  I'll explain it for the first time on the Breakfast With Bob show with Bob Babbitt  Monday  morning at  9:30  Hawaiian Standard Time as well as posting it in all my social media channels. The first person to get the right answer will receive some pretty exciting prizes! Stay tuned for more on that!

I can't wait to watch the best race on the planet on  October 8th !

Monday, October 3
9:30 AM - Breakfast with Bob
5:00 PM - Speaking at Heroes of Hawaii at the Courtyard by Marriott
King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel Aloha Grounds.

Tuesday, October 4
5:00 PM - Parade of Nations with IRONMAN Hall of Fame Inductees
Following Parade - Poster Signing with Dave Scott at IRONMAN Expo

Wednesday, October 5
10:30 - 11:30 AM - Kiwami Booth, IRONMAN Expo

Thursday, October 6
10:30 - 11:00 AM - ENVE, IRONMAN Expo Stage
6:00 PM - E Komo Mai Welcome Dinner for Athletes

Friday, October 7
12:00 - 5:30 PM - Bike Check-In
4:00 - 4:30 PM - Speaking with Paul Kaye, IRONMAN Announcer

Saturday, October 8
Race Day!

All times are Hawaii Standard Time

MarkAllenCoaching Professional and
Elite Team Members Racing Kona

Timothy O'Donnell PRO

Charlie   Brockus   M65-69
Leo DiCanio M45-49
Antonio Ferreira Da Silva Neto M35-39
Tsutomu Ishida M50-54
David Jones M50-54
Amanda Rossolimo F40-44
Todd Sukolsky M25-29

This week I caught up in person with MarkAllenCoaching Pro Timothy O'Donnell,
last year's 3rd place finisher  at the IRONMAN World Championships. We chatted about all things NOT racing! 


Top 5 Things I Like To Do In Kona IRONMAN Week

I raced the IRONMAN World Championship twelve times. I won it six. I have not raced it since 1995 but I have been there every year since then. In fact, since 1982, I have been to every Hawaii IRONMAN except one, making this number thirty-four!

What I do race week now is much different than when I raced. When I competed I was like a monk, expending the minimum amount of energy prior to race day. Now I get out as much as I can and just absorb the electric energy of IRONMAN in the week leading up to the event. Here are the top five things I like to do in those precious days before the gun goes off on Saturday morning.

Swim in Kailua Bay

I rarely swim anymore. My go-to activity in the water is surfing. But when I get to Kona I am drawn like a bee to honey to go for a swim in the incredibly blue waters off Kona. They are warm. They are inviting. There's life in them everywhere you look when you are cruising along looking down. It's just beautiful. The side benefit is that you get to rub shoulders with a few thousand of the fittest humans on the planet as we all hang out before and afterwards on the pier and share stories.

Ea t Local

There's so much incredible fresh food and catch from the ocean available in Kona. I stop at least once at the farmer's market just across the street from the IRONMAN Expo before going back to the condo where I stay. You can get incredible tropical fruits and greens grown from the rich island soil. The pace at the farmer's market is relaxed, which is always a nice break from the intensity going on just a few feet away on Ali'i Drive!

Watch the Sunset

Kona is on the west side of the Island of Hawaii, so every evening offers a beautiful sunset. I've got more photos of sunsets from Kona on my laptop than anywhere else in the world. They are everything from stunning to mind blowing. The colors explode off the water, the sun and into the clouds that are usually gathering about that time of day. And on more than one occasion you get a green flash just as that last tiniest bit of sun dips below the horizon.


I learned early on in my time on the Big Island that the experience is not just about the race, but that the race is really a reflection of the Island itself. It is bigger than I can wrap my mind around. It's powerful and raw. It begs me to look outside myself to learn what is inside really inside of me. It's wonderment and hard-hitting truth all at the same time. I always take time off the beaten path to just sit with all of its grandeur, to reflect, and most importantly to listen. The Island has something for each of us, if we take the time to reflect.


Yes, gawk! I love to drive along Ali'i Drive and just gawk at the endless parade of people cycling and running before the race. Some are doing it right, holding back. Others are leaving their race out there in those nervous days leading into the biggest day in their racing calendar. But regardless, it's a blast to just check it all out. It's a scene like no other. There are endless shapes and sizes and running form and outfits. And then if that's not enough, take a morning midweek at about 7:30am and hang out at the Kailua Pier. It's called Dig Me Beach for a reason. It's a parade with no start or finish, just a lot of participants from all over the world, all enjoying the final moments before Saturday's IRONMAN World Championship!

Hope to see you there!

Read this and more entries on the MarkAllenCoaching blog - 

Photo Essay Highlights from the 
IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship
Mooloolaba, Australia
September 4, 2016

MarkAllenCoaching RACE RESULTS

Sue deJesus 
IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta
1st F65-69
IM 70.3 World Championship Qualifier!

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Mark Allen's Pre Race Meal:
Spaghetti al Pomodore con Pollo

With Kona less than three weeks away, I really wanted to do something special to not only celebrate Kona, but to celebrate Coach Mark's accomplishments. I asked him about his favorite  pre race meal, it all made sense:

"My prerace IRONMAN dinner had one goal: be opposite of what I would be having the next day during the race! To that end I always picked things that I loved to add salt to, which would be very different than the sweeter drinks during the IRONMAN. I made sure to get a bit of protein to help stabilize blood sugar, a moderate amount of carbs and some splashes of olive oil over everything to finish it off. Then for desert, usually a yogurt just to fill in the cracks. That, along with a few glasses of water, and I was good to go! I did avoid high fiber foods as that generally seemed to make the job of absorbing my nutrition on race day just a bit more difficult. Dinner was always done by about 5:30, the off to bed moments after the sunset over the Pacific for the big day ahead!"

The recipe below is what helped Mark earn 6 IRONMAN World Championships! 
Å'kålè ma'luna, (Cheers in Hawaiian)
Chef Leo

I ngredients:
  • 2 skinless chicken breast halves, diced in 1 inch cubes
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and dries basil
  • kosher or sea salt and fresh pepper
  • 8 oz spaghetti or linguine 
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil 
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  • Add pasta and cook according to package directions
  • Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Heat a large skillet on high heat. When hot, spray with oil and add chicken. Cook about 3-4 minutes, until no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside.
  • While pasta cooks, add olive oil to skillet on high heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown (do not burn). Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Sauté about 4-5 minutes. When pasta is drained, add pasta to tomatoes and toss well. Add fresh basil and chicken and toss well. Serve and top with grated Parmesan cheese and a little extra salt if eaten before race day.

Meet the Iron Chef: Leo Di Canio grew up in a home where food was a passion. Years later, Leo would apprentice for 3 years in Italy where cooking Italian food became his specialty. He then went on to college where he received a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, and then went on to graduate at the top of his class at the School of Culinary Arts in Atlanta Ga. In early 2010, he began running 5Ks and by December of that year completed his first marathon in Las Vegas. That year he also completed his first sprint triathlon. His passions are his family, triathlon and to create delicious meals that are both nutritious and simple. Being a triathlete himself, Leo knows that triathletes are some of the busiest people around. His goal is to create great meals that are full of flavor and nutrition, but easy to cook for yourself and your family.

In 2012, he teamed up with Mark Allen and began a journey to race every distance in triathlon including Ironman Florida 2013. In 2014 he finished his second Ironman and was awarded the HITS Endurance Athlete of the Year in his division and is currently training for his third full distance triathlon, Ironman Texas. Late last year he released a book about his incredible journey to becoming an Ironman titled, "I Will Be Iron" at Leo then went on to win the HITS Iron-distance Championships in his division at the end of 2015 and was once again awarded the HITS Athlete of the Year in his division. In 2016 he was invited to compete in the Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii. His amazing journey with Mark Allen continues as he trains for his dream race in Kona.
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ABOUT MarkAllenCoaching


MarkAllenCoaching is a leading endurance sport coaching service, owned and operated by six-time Hawaii Ironman World Champion, Mark Allen. MarkAllenCoaching offers endurance athletes the ability to achieve their endurance sport goals through Mark's techniques developed through his 15-year professional triathlon career, and 20 years of experience coaching professional and age group triathletes to be "Always A Step Ahead." MarkAllenCoaching's partners include recognized category leaders and innovators in endurance sports - Lumo, Salming Running, ROKA, ENVE and Kiwami. 


Mark Allen was named "The World's Fittest Man" by Outside magazine, voted "The Greatest Endurance Athlete of All Time" by ESPN, and selected as "The Greatest Triathlete Of All Time" by Triathlete magazine. He is a motivational speaker, coach, endurance sports product consultant, and award-winning author. The Art of Competition was the 2014 winner in the Sports category of the 11th annual USA Best Book  Awards. Fit Soul, Fit Body: 9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You, co-authored with Brant Secunda, received the prestigious Nautilus Book Award in the category of Health, Healing and Energetic Medicine in 2010. He runs MarkAllenCoaching, training professional and age-group triathletes. 


For more information on MarkAllenCoaching, visit,the MarkAllenCoaching Facebook page, or follow him on Twitter @CoachingMark