David Glover got involved with triathlons in an unusual way. After being diagnosed with a malignant schwannoma, a type of nerve cancer, in 1995, Glover says he turned to the sport to prove that although he had cancer, “cancer did not have him.” He underwent surgery in January 1995 to remove the tumor, followed by radiation treatment in February, then had a second surgery to remove surrounding tissue in April. “I signed up for and did my first triathlon that July,” he says. Glover is currently in remission.
He has since completed more than 100 triathlons, including 28 Ironmans, of which he has won five. He earned his elite (pro) license in 2007, the same year he was inducted into the Vineman Hall of Fame. The Vineman in Sonoma, California, is the oldest independent Ironman triathlon in the U.S. Competitors in Ironman competitions swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and finish off running a full marathon—26.2 miles.
Glover has continued to work to make the sport he loves more accessible. In 2001, with a group of friends, he revived the Reston Area Triathletes. He also began coaching through his company, EnduranceWorks, and founded the Luray Triathlon. Glover is a co-organizer of the She Does Tri weekend triathlon camps for women, aimed at helping women train and prepare for their first triathlons. A typical training session with Glover takes place at a coffee shop, via a Webinar or over the phone; he’s working on developing more training videos and Webinars to create a complete online training resource.
For those starting out in the sport or for those relocating to a new area, Glover recommends working with a triathlon club or team. Besides his own, Glover likes Team FeXY and Team Z. The latter, he says is “a fun, social group, and they cheer for everyone at the races they attend. As race director of the Luary Triathlon, I love to have them set up near the finish line.” He adds, “Clubs and teams are the single best resource for learning more about the sport and finding training buddies.”
Biking is an important component of the race. Glover recommends the Web site Bike Washington for routes and trails in and around the area. “You can search for rides by category like After Work Rides and Urban Escapes,” he says. “My favorite road ride is the challenging 56-mile Blue Ridge Challenge, which offers a little bit of everything.” The ride starts and ends in Marshall, Virginia, about 40 miles west of Washington.
For an easier workout, he suggests the W&OD Trail going west toward Leesburg. “It’s a convenient way to bypass the busy roads of Northern Virginia,” he adds.
“It’s well worth visiting a good bike or running store to make sure that what you buy fits properly and matches your bike or running style,” says Glover, who currently rides a Quintana Roo CD0.1, a high-end triathlon bike. He says he’s seen too many athletes that are injured or have subpar performances from riding poorly fit bikes or shoes with insufficient support. “It’s worth spending a few hundred dollars upfront to get a proper bike fit and to pick a bike that fits you rather than buying based on looks, sale price, or popularity.” Although online stores are often cheaper, a local store will give the personal attention to determine what you really need. Glover’s favorite bike shops include Conte’s of Arlington (3924 Wilson Blvd.), Bonzai Sports (2822 Fallfax Dr., Falls Church), and Spokes (multiple locations in Northern Virginia).
Customer service is crucial when shopping for running shoes, as well. A good running store will have you try on multiple pairs and watch and asses your stride while you run in them. His top running stores are Potomac River Running (3513 Connecticut Ave., NW) and Fleet Feet Sports (1841 Columbia Rd., NW). Glover used to run in Asics 2160’s and recently switched to the Mizuno Wave.
He also recommends products from Hammer Nutrition, especially the Hammer Gel and HEED sports drinks. “They’ve donated products to of all my races, clinics, and camps for the past few years,” he says. Another new supporter of Glover’s events is the Right Stuff, a liquid electrolyte replacement that can be added to your sports drink to prevent dehydration and muscle cramping. “It’s easier to take in than electrolyte capsules or tablets since it’s already in liquid form,” he says.