The Tortoise & The Hare – The Heath Leisure Suite’s World Champions

The tortoise and the hare

The Heath Leisure Suite is lucky enough to have two world champion sportsmen working in their gym, World Deca Ironman Champion Dave Clamp (aged 56) and 200m Masters World Record Holder and Champion Darren Scott (aged 46). With both men at opposite ends of the running spectrum, we decided to speak with them to see how similar their sporting experiences, training patterns and competitive traits are…

How often do you train?

Darren: In winter I train 5 days a week, spending 40 minutes to 2 hrs on each session. In summer I do 4 sessions a week, again spending 40 minutes to 2 hrs on each session.

Dave: It varies from 10-30 hour per week but averages out at approx. 18 hours a week.

Do you follow a structured training plan?

Darren: Yes – a mixture of speed work, speed endurance, plyometric, hill sprints, over speed and weights.

Dave: Mostly I have a rough idea of what I need to do in an average week. I get more structured in the months leading up to a race.

Do you use weights when training?

Darren: yes – I lift light weights with short rest for 2-4 weeks then do less reps with heavier weight until the final few weeks before competitions when I do 1-3 reps but heavy as I can. I then have 2 weeks off weights so that I have no fatigue.

Dave: It varies but I need to more as I get older to compensate for lack of muscle elasticity with strength.

Do you take supplements?

Darren: I take Creatine Monohydrate at certain times of the year, mostly 3-5 days before major championships.

Dave: No.

Who or what inspires you?

Darren: Linford Christie

Dave: Johnny Wilkinson ‘you don’t fluke success’, Richard Whitehead (double amputee ran 40 marathons in 40 days), Jane Tomlinson (terminally ill but ran marathons and ironman), people who refuse to be beaten down by misfortune and still achieve and seeing my clients achieve their goals.

How long have you been doing your sport?

Darren: I started sprinting when I was 21.

Dave: Since 1983.

Are there other sports you might have done?

Darren: Football.

Dave: I started running during the marathon boom in 1981 and did the first ever UK triathlon in 1983.

What gives you the drive to train?

Darren: Just to try and do my best and see how close I can get to the former world / Olympic Athletes for my age.

Dave: I like training (mostly) and live to feel fit and healthy. I enjoy the camaraderie and sharing experiences with other positive, enthusiastic people.

How do you cope with injuries?

Darren: I hate getting injured as I try to do my best to work on injury prevention exercises to help with less risk of getting injured, but if I do get injured I work around it and do other types of training.

Dave: The triathlon is good in that sense as you can always swim or cycle when you have a running injury. I’ve had less and less injuries as I have got stronger.

Do you have a special diet before competitions?

Darren: No, not for me. I just eat sensibly.

Dave: No, I try to stick to a normal, healthy diet.

Do you get nervous before a race?

Darren: Yes, I get very nervous in major finals but as the years have gone by I have been able to contain my nerves – probably due to experience.

Dave: Yes very, but I tell myself that I’m doing what I love doing and that I’m lucky and privileged to have the opportunity.

Are there any tips you could give a beginner?

Darren: Have a structured training and food plan. Stick to it and you will get great results! I would also suggest keeping a log of your training as it’s a great tool to look upon when things were going great and when things were not going so well.

Dave: Don’t look to far ahead, just take baby steps. “What can I do today or tomorrow to improve where I am now?”

Have you ever wanted to quit?

Darren: Only during training sessions as my least favourite session is reps of 300m with short recovery.

Dave: Often during races. An argument constantly rages between the 2 voices in your head.

Have you ever had any major set backs?

Darren: Yes – back in 2009 I ran a 60m and 200m at Manchester, running my fastest 60m for 10 years. I then had a major problem with my left ankle and could not even walk on it. I had scans and eventually the doctors told me I would never run at my level again.

Dave:? Many, many hospital visits and medical tents. Every failure makes the eventual successes taste all the sweeter.

How much is your success down to training?

Darren: A lot to do with listening to my body and adapting my training to suit my needs and focus on running fast then trying to lift more in the gym.

Dave: 100% – you don’t fluke success. Its hard work, consistency, determination and organisation.

Do you think that your mind set makes a big impact in what you do?

Darren: Yes – I have great self belief.

Dave: It is 80-90% responsible for the race outcome. Belief that you can do it is absolutely vital.

What discipline do you find the most difficult and why?

Darren: 400m as I hate the distance and probably only ever run it once or twice a year, even though I still hold the UK indoor 400m record.

Dave: Swimming, it’s very solitary. You can’t talk or see anyone or anything other than a black line on the bottom of the pool.

Do you have time off and if so, how long?

Darren: Usually only 2 weeks as I get bored when I’m not training.

Dave: Usually 2–3 weeks after Deca, but I’ll still be jogging with clients.

Do you speak to your main rivals?

Darren: Yes, most of them and have a laugh. I’ll always give advice if asked too.

Dave: Yes, we all share in each others success and develop a strong bond of friendship.

Do you have sponsors?

Darren: Not really, I do get a little help time to time but not enough as it’s very expensive to race the major championships. Due to cost I have had to miss certain championships and this year being one of them as it is in Australia.

Dave: I’ve never had a cash sponsor but have had a few bits of kit. My parents have always helped/supported me.

What is your best performance to date?

Darren: I have a few which stand out – firstly, being told by doctors I would never run at a high level again in 2009 and after having 9 months out doing my own rehab I broke the World M40 200m indoor record and in that year, 2010, I was ranked number 1 for my age in the world for 5 different events 60/100/200/300/400m. Also winning gold at the World Indoor Championships in France as the underdog, beating a former Olympian. In 2015, winning gold at the European Championships in Poland, breaking the World Indoor 200m record in front of my future wife and in a major championship was great too. I’ve still currently never been defeated in my age group over the 200m for 10 years as a Master.

Dave: Becoming the Deca World Cup winner 2015 in Mexico, achieving 8.59 for Iron Man in 1997 (including 2.58 marathon split), 20.35 for Double Ironman in 2002 (3rd in Euro Champs), 2.35 for marathon in 1997 in Manchester and hopefully the August 2016 Double Deca Ironman winner in Switzerland!

We’re extremely proud to have both Darren and Dave working and training alongside us at The Heath Leisure Suite in Runcorn. Even though they’re both at the top of their polar opposite disciplines, there are overlaps and similarities in how they’ve managed to be the best at what they do. If you would like to train and achieve your fitness goals alongside our world champions please call in to the gym or contact T: 01928 51 5105 or E: heathleisuresuite@theheath.com