Introducing our new friend, Dylan Buckley.
Dyl is an ex-AFL player turned podcaster, hosting much loved shows, Dyl and Friends and List Cloggers. He has captured the hearts of the nation with his lighthearted interviews with notable guests, exploring a range of topics and uncovering what makes them happy and successful.
Dyl’s podcasts are great, but what’s more exciting to us is that since hanging up the footy boots, he’s said hello to a pair of Alphaflys. He recently competed in his first major event, running the Melbourne Marathon in a bloody affair.
We caught up with him to hear all about his running journey and his debut marathon experience.
Tell us about your background in running - did you enjoy it during your footy days?
I fucking hated running. I was bottom 5 in every TT, just hated running and it was something I was never good at and never knew how to train for it properly. When you go into a professional environment and you’re young, you don’t really get to choose what you do and you get forced into it. It always felt like a massive drain.
That’s surprising, I expected you to be an endurance beast?
I was really quick, but I hated doing any long runs in preseason or anything endurance based. I never really ran over 3km consecutively during my footy days
So then post footy career - how did you start running?
When I finished up footy I was in a bit of a lull - when you’ve been an athlete and it’s consistently training, but then it’s not built into your routine anymore, it just went. So my routine wasn’t good. I’d been for a few runs here and there but nothing really, but then a mate messaged me and we and we started getting into the running together. I remember my first run, I was so dead. But I set small goals to just run at least twice a week, once I started doing that I joined a couple run clubs and then the marathon got brought up and I was like, let's do it.
And how did the marathon come about?
Through List Cloggers podcast. The producer Sam said he was going to do it, so I jumped on board. There was a bit of old school competitiveness and we started competing during training and keeping each other accountable. It was fun.
How’d you go about your training? Did you get some guidance or just wing it?
Because I’ve never ran those distances, like the longest I’d ever run was 12km, I just wanted to get the k’s in the legs. Little milestones like tick off 10 comfortably, then it was 15, 20km. In terms of a program I didn’t have one at all, I just tried to fit in 3 runs a week including a long run on the weekend.
And that got you feeling prepared? I’ll be honest, I followed your training from afar on Strava and I thought you were a little underdone.
Haha, nah I wasn’t feeling prepared with the training, I was pretty nervous. I’d only run 30km once and I hit the wall big time - I had a few beers the night before, didn’t have any nutrition or water, and I got all delirious and shit. That really scared me into getting it right on race day.
The week of the race I definitely prepared well - I was drinking so much water and got on the Maurten sachets and everything, so I was fuelled really well.
Out of 10, how serious did you take the whole thing?
I’d say a 6.5/10. I thought I was taking it serious at the time, but I look back now and think, fuck I have no idea how I got that done. Next time I'd definitely add in strength training as well. From injuries in the past, niggles were popping up and I needed the legs to be stronger.
Now the race! Was it what you expected?
It was about what I expected, I built it up that it was going to be worse than it would be. I knew going into it that it was going to be super hard, so I was prepared for pain. Around 32-37km, I just experienced so much pain. And I thought that even if I walk, I’m still going to be in pain.
And this was your first ‘major event’?
Yeah first proper event. It was unreal, I loved it, the vibe was awesome. The support of people standing around on the day is just awesome. It actually gets you nearly emotional and the crowd really gets you going.
I heard you had a little issue with your pacing at the start?
Yeah, I got stuck on the pacers. I thought they were km pace not hours, so for the first few km’s I was accidentally running with the 5 hour group. I was looking at my watch thinking, this isn’t right, but then I eventually figured out what was going on and took off.
Any other issues during the race?
Well a few of the other guys were talking about taping the nipples and looking after them, but I didn’t think anything of it because I’ve never had chafe like that. But yeah, when I finished the race people were laughing at me and I looked down and I had a good 200 ml of blood coming through my top from my nipples.
That’s awesome. I saw you in the zone around 40km with the headphones in?
Yeah I put them in about half way. I like my progressive electro when I run, so I was listening to a bit of Lane 8, Deadmau5, LCD system - that got me through!
Did shit hit the fan and ever think it was all over?
I never felt like I hit the wall or anything like that, energy and everything felt really good, but I was just so sore from 32km onwards and in so much pain, and it’s fucked because you’re just thinking you’ve still got over 8kms left. I was never going to not finish, I could have never quit because we’d been speaking about it for so long on the podcast and even if I had to walk over the line, I would never be stopping.
Stoked with the end result?
Yeah I was rapt just to finish and then finishing under 4 hours was a bonus. I just took it nice and easy and managed to run at a good consistent pace.
Finishing was funny - finally coming over the line and so proud of myself and then security guys just straight up to me yelling, ‘Get the fuck out of the way!’
How'd you celebrate post race?
Yeah, pretty sore. Legs were just cooked and I laid down and was absolutely gassed. So we sat outside and watched others finish along Brunton Avenue but just chilled out. I got picked up and grabbed two Banh Mi rolls, went home, smacked them. I was gonna go to the pub but fell asleep. I eventually went and met my mate for a beer, and had one sip and I had to go home, I was so tired and could hardly move. So pretty uneventful. Once the race was over it feels like dinner time, so it makes for a long day.
What’s next? Can you see yourself taking it more seriously?
My achilles has been a little cooked since the race so I need to get that right. But I can definitely see myself taking it more seriously and getting more consistent. Whenever there’s a good race locally or interstate, I wanna get involved. I’m keen already to run another marathon next year. I’ve got my eye on Gold Coast.