How ‘out there’ is your Ironman Nutrition strategy?

How ‘out there’ is your Ironman Nutrition strategy?

How 'out there' is your Ironman Nutrition strategy?
How 'out there' is your Ironman Nutrition strategy?
How 'out there' is your Ironman Nutrition strategy?

We chat to Amy Farrell on this edition of The Kona Edge about her Ironman nutrition plan. She shares the unusual Ironman nutrition strategy with us.

Subscribe to The Kona Edge:

Subscribe on iTunes

Download via RSS

Resources:

Looking for an Ironman coach? Check out the Coaches Corner.

Win a pair of Hoka One One compliments of JackRabbit.com.

Support The Kona Edge by becoming a Patron.

Transcription:

BRAD BROWN:  Let’s chat some Ironman nutrition now. We head back to upstate New York to touch base with Amy Farrell. Amy welcome back onto The Kona Edge.

Nutrition plays a huge part in your overall triathlon picture. We haven’t spoken too much about it. You did mention one or two things but, not that you are really analytical about it, but you are pretty set with your nutrition strategy.

AMY FARRELL: For race day and leading up to race day, yes, very very set.

BRAD BROWN:  And you do have a bit of a pizza problem I believe.

When pizza is a problem in your Ironman nutrition diet

AMY FARRELL: I do yes. Pizza is a mainstay in my diet.

BRAD BROWN:  Is there one particular one or is it just across the board?

AMY FARRELL: I have my favourite pizzas that I have. There is a place that I go to in Kona, I can’t remember the name but I know that my condo is close to it this year and in Lake Placid, Main Street Pizza has been my lucky pizza the last couple of times that I’ve raced.

BRAD BROWN:  Is it any coincidence that your condo is close to the pizza place in Kona this year or is that done on purpose?

AMY FARRELL: A little bit on purpose.

BRAD BROWN:  Let’s talk about your overall nutrition approach to the sport of triathlon. You mentioned recovery in our first chat but let’s talk about the way you approach day to day training and nutrition.

Add protein for a strong nutrition recovery approach

AMY FARRELL: Okay. Do you want me to go through what my day looks like?

BRAD BROWN:  Yes, generally from a nutrition point of view. What would you typically do breakfast, lunch and dinner on a normal training day?

AMY FARRELL: I always start the day with coffee and then a couple of slices of toast or half a bagel with peanut butter before a workout. I find that I have to have something in my stomach before I start or I’m going to immediately bonk. That would be before a morning workout.

What I moved to this spring after reading Stacey Simms book, Roar, I realised I needed more protein. Then I would do a recovery smoothie with protein and greens and usually amino acids and whatever else I wanted to throw in there, fruit or whatever, but the protein powder was definitely key.

Dark chocolate is the perfect Ironman nutrition snack

Then I’d go to work and at lunch time it’s usually, I try to make up a big batch of like a vegetarian chilli or a lentil stew or something like that so I can get a power packed lunch in. And I would do that with chillies, sometimes I do meat with the chilli but beans and sweet potatoes. I’d try sneak a lot of things in.

And I have to have chocolate after every meal so a little chunk of dark chocolate. I snack a lot on breakfast cereal or granola or dried adobong, one of my favourites. So, before my afternoon workout, I usually eat a peanut and jelly sandwich and banana or something like that. I just feel better if I start a workout and I’m not starving.

During workouts, cycling I do mostly solids and I make my own bars with oats, peanut butter, coconut and sunflower seeds. It’s a recipe that I think Stacey Simms came up with for salty balls. But running, I’m usually okay without anything. I might do Cliff bars or something like that. Or caffeinated gel but then soon after an afternoon workout I try and get some more protein in.

Is pizza sufficient for your daily nutrition?

Dinners are usually whatever we have time for. With my daughter’s sport schedule and my coaching schedule and my husband working late we’re on the road a lot so there is pizza a couple of nights a week.

BRAD BROWN:  And then as far as racing goes, is the strategy that what you do in training, is what you do on race day? Uou mention on the bike it’s pretty much solids, is that the way you race as well?

AMY FARRELL: Yes. I think I’ve always done that but since I joined Coeur Sports, listening to the other women and reading up on some different stuff, I always feel better on solids on the bike. I like to feel full when I get off because the marathon is an awfully long way to be hungry.

The only difference I think would be during the marathon I usually start drinking coke at about 6 to 9 miles. So I usually have Cliff blocks or gels with me during the marathon and that’s pretty much what I’ll stick with.

Don’t try new things on race day

I did have an orange slice at Ironman Lake Placid that didn’t sit well in my stomach so I probably won’t grab the orange slices again.

BRAD BROWN:  Do you feel you’ve got your nutrition pretty much dialled in or are you still working on getting it better?

AMY FARRELL: No I feel like after all these years I have a good plan and I go with it.

I was excited because hydration wise I don’t like to carry a ton of bottles on my bike and I just figured out, I was using old containers, I use NBS Hydration and so I had old noon containers that I filled up with the NBS stuff that I can pour right in my speto.

That was something new that I did at Ironman Lake Placid that I will definitely do again. I don’t think I have the patience to stop for special needs and pick up bottles so this worked out great.

BRAD BROWN:  Sounds fantastic. Well Amy thank you so much for your time here on The Kona Edge today. Much appreciated.

All the best in the build up to Kona 2017 and best of luck. Let’s hope it’s another Ironman Age Group World Championship title. I’ve got a funny feeling and I’m sure you do too, that you’re feeling confident going into it but I look forward to tracking you and seeing how you go on race day.

AMY FARRELL: Okay great, thank you Brad.

 

About Us

Brad Brown is a 40 something age grouper that dreams of one day qualifying for and racing on the big island (He may have to outlive everyone in his age group though).

Morbidly obese in 2009, Brad clocked in at 165kgs (363lbs) at his heaviest.

He's subsequently lost a third of his body weight on the way to a half Ironman pb of 5:06 and a full Ironman pb of 12:21.

Advertise

If you'd like to advertise on The Kona Edge, download our rate card.

Support Us

If you'd like to find out more about becoming a Patron of The Kona Edge, click here.

Contact Us

4 + 11 =

Ironman Run – Find your winning recipe

Ironman Run – Find your winning recipe

Ironman Run - Find your winning recipe
Ironman Run - Find your winning recipe
Ironman Run - Find your winning recipe

The Kona Edge chats to Bob McRae today about his Ironman run. Bob shares his strategy of training on the treadmill and translating that onto the road.

Subscribe to The Kona Edge:

Subscribe on iTunes

Download via RSS

Resources:

Looking for an Ironman coach? Check out the Coaches Corner.

Win a pair of Hoka One One compliments of JackRabbit.com.

Support The Kona Edge by becoming a Patron.

Transcription:

BRAD BROWN: Bob onto your Ironman run now. It’s up there. It was debatable which is your strongest, you conceded that it was your bike. But it helps having a fairly strong run as opposed to having a bike that’s miles ahead of the other 2 disciplines. Getting off the bike you still have some confidence that you are able to put in a good performance.

BOB MCRAE: Yes. I was very pleased with how Boulder went last year. In every respect except for this one. I think that comes down to the bike as well and that’s why I spent so much time on it from 2012.

Develop your Ironman run strength on the bike

In 2016, I think it was Gordon O’Brien who said that you’re not going to be able to use your run strength unless you’re strong on the bike. And so that’s where I spent most of my time improving. And the next 5 years I kind of focused on my swim and my run. I tend to run a fair amount. I peaked out last year at 80 miles in a week.

In fact I’ve already hit 80 miles a week this year in March on the treadmill, surprisingly. But I tend to run several times a week and I like to get up to the classic 20 mile run preparing for an Ironman, even for a half Ironman. That really benefits me.

BRAD BROWN: Tell me about that. Obviously you’re physically prepared for a full Ironman doing a 20, but going beyond what you would do in the half, is that just as much mental as it is physical preparation?

Ironman run – if you’re physically prepared then it’s less mentally taxing

BOB MCRAE: I think it’s not really as much mental because the half goes by so quickly. It’s just more physical strength and pushing hard on the bike and having tired legs. If you’re able to do a solid negative split 20 mile run in that half Ironman leg, you’re getting warmed up. It’s just nice to feel springy at mile 9 and you’re able to push it.

Of course it’s very different as you go onto the full so I think there’s people, in fact for myself, I did as I came back from my second Ironman in Cozumel 2013, and that was on the base of 1 hour runs. That was a fair marathon, it wasn’t great but it was sufficient.

I just feel that those longer runs it helps you focus when it gets tough. So I suppose a good degree of that is mental but if you’re physically prepared, it’s less mentally taxing.

BRAD BROWN: Yes absolutely. Bob, you mentioned when we were chatting about your cycling, that you prefer doing most of your training on an indoor. As far as the run goes, you touched on treadmill. Do you do lots on the treadmill or do you tend to get out more on the run?

Should you do Ironman run volume on the treadmill?

BOB MCRAE: In the winter it’s probably exclusively treadmill. I started back up in probably mid-November, maybe this year I’ll look at December very modestly and I ramped to 80 miles in the week in March, getting ready for the season this year. That was entirely on the treadmill.

I don’t mind doing a 2:20 run on the treadmill, it’s the first time I’ve gone beyond an hour and a half and it’s far easier on the body that’s for sure. What I noticed this year, and that’s probably the most I’ve ever run on the treadmill just in terms of volume and also the longer runs.

I was surprised at how it wasn’t translating over the road and I was curious to see how that translates for somebody like Lyle Sanders. It tends to work for him pretty well.

BRAD BROWN: Are you convinced yet or is the jury still out?

BOB MCRAE: I think for me, and maybe it’s just the settings or something like that, I feel like it’s probably a good early season prep for aerobic conditioning and just some degree of running form.

Ironman run on a treadmill is very hard work

But because the impact on the road, I think you’ve just got to get out there and get on the road and it’s just got to be part of the whole build up. I don’t think I’d want to prepare for an Ironman on the treadmill for sure. I think it would be too hard.

BRAD BROWN: Absolutely. As far as favourite run workouts go, what do you absolutely love doing?

BOB MCRAE: I think my favourite is just the long split runs, 20 miles.

BRAD BROWN: Simple as that?

BOB MCRAE: Yes. Go out at a marathon pace and come back at a half Ironman pace.

BRAD BROWN: I love that. You’ve mentioned negative splits a couple of times. Is that something that you strive for? Is it just in training or do you try to do that on race day as well?

Heart rate for best Ironman run performance on race day

BOB MCRAE: Training for sure. Typically when I’m just on a long run or an easy 1 hour run for example, but not like the long run where it’s a marked difference between the two. So for example, on the long run I’ll go out and heart rate will be on the way out 135 and I’ll be back at 155. So a big difference between the two.

Race day is very different. I think I’ve found that a constant heart rate is probably the best way to pace for an Ironman. Probably on mostly any course. I did a whole bunch of analysis last year of my training runs and how I ran uphill versus downhill versus flats. I don’t run well on hills anyway, but it turned out to look like I actually pushed it on the hills up and down and held back a bit on the flats.

But I opted for something a little bit more conventional and conservative which was just constant heart rate. A winning recipe.

BRAD BROWN: Well Brilliant. Bob thanks for joining us here on The Kona Edge today. Much appreciated. I look forward to chatting about your nutrition next time out.

BOB MCRAE: Sounds good. Thank you.

 

 

About Us

Brad Brown is a 40 something age grouper that dreams of one day qualifying for and racing on the big island (He may have to outlive everyone in his age group though).

Morbidly obese in 2009, Brad clocked in at 165kgs (363lbs) at his heaviest.

He's subsequently lost a third of his body weight on the way to a half Ironman pb of 5:06 and a full Ironman pb of 12:21.

Advertise

If you'd like to advertise on The Kona Edge, download our rate card.

Support Us

If you'd like to find out more about becoming a Patron of The Kona Edge, click here.

Contact Us

1 + 10 =

Is Ironman Nutrition an art or a science?

Is Ironman Nutrition an art or a science?

Is Ironman Nutrition an art or a science?
Is Ironman Nutrition an art or a science?
Is Ironman Nutrition an art or a science?

Today on The Kona Edge we chat to Kevin Portmann about his Ironman nutrition plan. Kevin reveals the decision to invest in a sports nutritionist and gain the maximum benefit in his Ironman performance.

Subscribe to The Kona Edge:

Subscribe on iTunes

Download via RSS

Resources:

Looking for an Ironman coach? Check out the Coaches Corner.

Win a pair of Hoka One One compliments of JackRabbit.com.

Support The Kona Edge by becoming a Patron.

Transcription:

BRAD BROWN:  Onto the Ironman nutrition now.

KEVIN PORTMANN: It’s been huge. I completely changed my nutrition from Coeur d’Alene to Kona for my build. I didn’t have much time and I started using Klean Athlete as my supplements and recovery drinks, as well as working with a nutritionist.

I don’t know if you know QT2 systems. It’s a big triathlon group here in the States and they send 30 to 40 athletes to Kona every year. They have a group of nutritionists called Poor Diet and I reached out to them and worked with them for my build to Kona. Just going through each micro nutrient and specific amounts.

Nutrition is paramount in your Ironman training

I was following the program to the T. Writing everything down that I would eat, calculating the percentage of carbs versus protein versus fat. Eating what they told me to eat during race week and on race day. And it worked.

Kona last year was extremely windy on the bike really early on and I clocked in at 4:53 feeling really strong the entire bike ride. Feeling I could have done a lot more but never had a low moment on the bike. I was mind blown completely. Revelations.

I’m a firm believer that nutrition is paramount in your training. Not just the nutrition you use during training which is very important, but also what you eat outside. And then between each training session for me is what has changed a lot, because I’m able to, day in and day out, go out and train at the intensity that my coach asked me to train at. So it’s huge.

Your coach is not your Ironman nutrition expert

BRAD BROWN:  You mention in our first chat about that coach and finding someone who was good for you. Someone who worked on what you wanted to or felt you needed to get stronger at. Have you felt the same with the nutritionist?

Often people will get a swim coach on deck to work on swim stroke and a coach overall but often people neglect the nutrition side of things. Would you advise someone if they are really serious about this, to work with someone? Because we’re all different, what works for me might not work for you or vice versa?

KEVIN PORTMANN: Oh absolutely and I heard someone say I don’t understand why the coach is not mentioning nutrition during my training. It’s so huge.

Ironman nutrition is a science in itself

Well you shouldn’t expect your coach to be coaching you on nutrition. It’s a science in itself. People study, go to school, and get degrees and masters in nutrition.

As you say what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for you and I can give you tips on what I do and advise you on what I do, but it’s trial and error and it’s huge. And my experience going to a sports nutritionist that has experience with athletes racing in Kona and athletes performing at that level was key. It was very important.

So I worked with her and she was fantastic and she made nutrition very simple. She told me you should be doing this and these are the kinds of foods that you can eat and food that you should avoid. She told me the amount and it was so much easier.

Be committed to your Ironman nutrition to gain in performance

Because I like to learn and understand what I’m doing I would study it as well on the side but I think it’s one advice I would give. If you are serious and you’re having some issues with nutrition just go talk to a nutritionist. Do your research because you want to make sure the nutritionist understands the athlete and what that sport takes. But yes, it worked for me and I believe that it would work for the majority of people.

BRAD BROWN:  You obviously made a big change in the build up to Kona last year. You said it was a quick turnaround from Coeur d’Alene. But now that you’ve had that experience how much do you tweak it now? Or have you pretty much figured out what works and you’re sticking to that.

KEVIN PORTMANN: We tweak it and change it a little bit. Mostly because when I followed the nutrition plan that she gave me I got really lean. I was at my lightest and my fittest at Kona but you just can’t. For me it would be really hard to maintain that without getting sick or exposing myself to more injuries. I think it would be very difficult to maintain that.

There’s a time to give your body a break from rigid Ironman nutrition

You have to get a little bigger and put on some pounds during the off season. But when training kicks in we start slowly but surely getting back into a routine closer to what we did for Kona. And then 2 to 3 weeks out from a race we would follow the program to a T.

I would allow myself to each junk food obviously and be a little more relaxed with my nutrition in general after the race. Just so that my body can replenish everything that it needs to replenish. It’s very hard to maintain that lean form throughout the year. But I do tend to follow what she gave me for the races that I’m doing this year.

BRAD BROWN:  From a race day perspective, how do you approach it? What’s your nutrition strategy? Just tell me like on a typical Ironman race what would you do?

KEVIN PORTMANN: It starts with eating breakfast 3-hours before the event. So it’s apple sauce with whey protein in it, a scoop of whey protein in it. Usually two-and-a-half scoops of apple sauce. It’s a lot to take in. She doesn’t want me to drink coffee but I love my coffee too much. So coffee on the breakfast table. And a sports drink and a banana. That’s 3-hours before the race.

Train with Ironman course nutrition

I get another sports drink about an hour before the race and then 15 minutes before the race I have a gel with some caffeine in it. On the bike it depends, but it’s usually about 2 bottles of Gatorade an hour, especially in Kona and a gel every 40 to 45 minutes.

What I changed was I went from training with Herbalife products to training with Gatorade products and Cliff, only because that was what was provided on the course. It sounds stupid to say that now but it just makes so much more sense that you’ve got to train with what’s going to be provided on the course. And it just changed my entire race.

Logistically, you don’t have to worry about preparing your bottles and grabbing your special needs bag. You just grab whatever is provided on the course because you’re used to drinking or eating it. It’s a big change and you don’t have to have 4 or 5 extra pounds on your bike.

It’s a big change but it’s about 1 gel every 45 to 50 minutes and 2 bottles, depending on how hot it is out there.

BRAD BROWN:  And then on the run is it pretty much the same? Are you just on gels or would you grab Gatorade at the aid stations as well?

No nutrition on race day has negative effects on performance

KEVIN PORTMANN: That’s another thing that I could talk about. How I can improve my run and it comes also through nutrition. I really struggle taking anything in on the run. So my half marathon or half Ironman I almost run dry. I struggle to take any liquids or gels in and I think that definitely impacts my performance.

I’ve been practising it and I’m able to do it in practise but I haven’t been able to replicate that in racing. What the nutritionist would like me to do for Kona, the plan was a gel with caffeine I think 2 miles in, then Cliff blocks every 2 miles and grab a Gatorade at each aid station. She would tell me stay away from water because that’s what could trigger GI issues and try to hold out drinking coke too soon.

So it was Cliff blocks for every mile, 1 gel every 2 miles or every 3 miles based on how comfortable I am and how I feel. If I had any tingling feelings in my fingers that means I need to get potassium, so half a banana would help at an aid station. Coke if I feel like drinking coke but right towards the 10 of the run and it worked.

Don’t try anything different on race day

I had a good run in Kona last year up until mile 5. You know those big buckets of cold water that they put all the sponges in and you grab the sponges. I got to that big bucket of water and I ducked my head in it and there was this massive ice block in the middle and I hit my head really hard on it because I didn’t think twice, I just went straight in. I was like oh, that didn’t feel good; I didn’t know you were going to do that. It got hot for me mentally in Kona. I think it was probably the accumulation of 3 Ironmans in 11 weeks.

But if I follow her nutrition plan. I’m always guaranteed that I would have a better run experience but I struggle with taking things on the run. So that’s also one thing I need to work on.

BRAD BROWN:  Fantastic. Well Kevin Portmann thanks for your time on The Kona Edge. Much appreciated. It’s been great catching up and I look forward to following your progress and seeing how you go over the next few seasons.

KEVIN PORTMANN: Thanks very much Brad for the time. That was awesome. Thank you very much.

 

About Us

Brad Brown is a 40 something age grouper that dreams of one day qualifying for and racing on the big island (He may have to outlive everyone in his age group though).

Morbidly obese in 2009, Brad clocked in at 165kgs (363lbs) at his heaviest.

He's subsequently lost a third of his body weight on the way to a half Ironman pb of 5:06 and a full Ironman pb of 12:21.

Advertise

If you'd like to advertise on The Kona Edge, download our rate card.

Support Us

If you'd like to find out more about becoming a Patron of The Kona Edge, click here.

Contact Us

12 + 14 =

Do you need to be running stand-alone marathons when training for an Ironman?

Do you need to be running stand-alone marathons when training for an Ironman?

Do you need to be running stand-alone marathons when training for an Ironman
Do you need to be running stand-alone marathons when training for an Ironman
Do you need to be running stand-alone marathons when training for an Ironman

We chat to Amy Farrell about her Ironman run strategy today on The Kona Edge. She shares with us the reason how stand-alone marathons prepare you for your Ironman run.

Subscribe to The Kona Edge:

Subscribe on iTunes

Download via RSS

Resources:

Looking for an Ironman coach? Check out the Coaches Corner.

Win a pair of Hoka One One compliments of JackRabbit.com.

Support The Kona Edge by becoming a Patron.

Transcription:

BRAD BROWN:  Amy onto your Ironman run now. You are an absolute machine when it comes to the run. You were chatting in our first chat that you dipped under 3 at Boston. It really helps coming from a strong running background in this sport. Do you feel that it gives you a big advantage over your competitors?

Staying steady and reliable on your Ironman run

AMY FARRELL: I think so; I have a little bit more confidence if I’m down coming off the bike. I’ve only really had my run fall apart once and that was Kona 2015 but otherwise I’m usually pretty steady there and reliable.

When I did Cerique 70.3 this year I came off the bike with quite a deficit but knew what kind of running shape I was in and didn’t worry too much about it and was able to hammer through the run.

BRAD BROWN:  Often we learn the most from when things don’t go according to plan; tell me about that run in 2015 when the wheels proverbially came off. What was the issue and what did you learn from it?

Problem solving your Ironman run to the finish line

AMY FARRELL: I didn’t feel great that day. My stomach was really off so my nutrition was probably off and like I said before you have to stay on a plan or the wheels are really going to come off.

The thing that really got me through that race was changing my mind that I didn’t want to be out there walking for 6 hours. I wanted to get back so I was putting in whatever I could in terms of nutrition and kind of problem solving along the way to get to the finish line.

BRAD BROWN:  Tell me about those dark patches. We obviously all go through them as runners. Obviously, you’re a better runner physically, but mentally you’re probably stronger than most as well. We all go through those patches and it’s how you get yourself out of those patches that determine whether you have a good run or not, we all go through them.

What are some of the strategies and techniques you use to dig yourself out of those dark places and big holes?

AMY FARRELL: I think just thinking about some of the run workouts that I have been able to complete. When the school year starts and I’m gearing up for Kona, there’s usually a day of the week where I do a medium, like a 55 to 60 mile ride in the morning before work.

Running on tired legs after a long day will pull you through at Kona

Then I go teach for the whole day and then my long runs are usually Wednesday afternoon after I’ve cycled and been on my feet teaching all day.

There’s always the quality component in those long runs so it’s not just going out running 30 miles. There are very specific paces that have to be hit and if I can survive those days, then I can usually make it through a crater on race day.

BRAD BROWN:  Amy one of the things I find interesting, obviously you run and you have run a good fair amount of stand-alone marathons. I chat to a lot of age groupers who, the only marathon they ever run is at the back end of an Ironman.

Do you think it’s important for triathletes, particularly if you want to get better and become a better runner, to run some stand-alone marathons and race them hard?

Is your Ironman marathon enough?

AMY FARRELL: It’s so different. An Ironman marathon and a stand-alone marathon are so different. A lot of an Ironman marathon is about survival. You’re out there for 9, 10, or 15 hours. You just have to fuel yourself properly to get through that.

Whereas stand-alone marathons is all out for 3 to 4 hours. So it’s a totally different kind of pain. I feel like triathletes could benefit from stand-alone marathons.

BRAD BROWN:  Do you think that you running stand-alone marathons have helped your Ironman performance.

AMY FARRELL: Yes. I do believe that.

BRAD BROWN:  As far as workouts go, what are some of your favourites? You obviously love running, what do you love doing? When it pops up on your program from your coach, what do you go Yay, I get to do that again, to?

Ironman run workouts that makes your dog think you’re crazy

AMY FARRELL: This year my long runs have involved a lot of a little faster than ran pace, mile repeats. And then a little faster than race pace half mile repeats. And they just make the long runs go by really quick. Once we hit about 12 half mile repeats, my dog looks at me like we’re crazy. But those have been really fun this year and they can make 3 hours go by pretty quick.

BRAD BROWN:  I’m sure. And gear wise, what do you run in, what shoes are you in?

AMY FARRELL: Since 2014 I had a bit of plantar fasciitis and switched to Hoka Clifton’s and haven’t really run in anything else since then. In terms of the arthritis in my knee I don’t want to mess around with anything else and the shoes work. I don’t have blister problems. My legs feel a little bit fresher so Hoka Clifton and Clayton are my go to.

Trusting your Ironman run gear

BRAD BROWN:  Over the years have you chopped and changed shoes? Or is it a case of if you find a shoe that you like you go with it until there’s a problem and then look for something else?

AMY FARRELL: People ask me what I ran in before I ran in Hoka’s and I can’t really remember. I think it was like whatever was on sale. I’ve run in a lot of different kind of shoes.

BRAD BROWN:  But now you’ve got the Hoka’s. That’s it. Found them and they’re done.

AMY FARRELL: Yes.

BRAD BROWN:  Brilliant. Well Amy thanks again for your time here on The Kona Edge. Much appreciated.

AMY FARRELL: Okay, thank you.

About Us

Brad Brown is a 40 something age grouper that dreams of one day qualifying for and racing on the big island (He may have to outlive everyone in his age group though).

Morbidly obese in 2009, Brad clocked in at 165kgs (363lbs) at his heaviest.

He's subsequently lost a third of his body weight on the way to a half Ironman pb of 5:06 and a full Ironman pb of 12:21.

Advertise

If you'd like to advertise on The Kona Edge, download our rate card.

Support Us

If you'd like to find out more about becoming a Patron of The Kona Edge, click here.

Contact Us

6 + 15 =

What does strength on the Ironman bike really mean?

What does strength on the Ironman bike really mean?

What does strength on the Ironman bike really mean?
What does strength on the Ironman bike really mean?
What does strength on the Ironman bike really mean?

Today on The Kona Edge, Bob McRae shares tips on how to get the best out of your shorter Ironman Bike training sessions.

Subscribe to The Kona Edge:

Subscribe on iTunes

Download via RSS

Transcription:

BRAD BROWN: Bob onto your Ironman bike now. Out of the other 2 disciplines, the bike and the run, which would you say is your strongest?

BOB MCRAE: Between the bike and the run?

BRAD BROWN: Yes.

Focus is the key to improving your Ironman bike

BOB MCRAE: I’d like to say the run but it’s turned out to be the bike surprisingly. I think as I got started again in 2012 for those next 3 years I really focused on the bike, so I suppose it’s not that surprising. Plus I have the fastest bike in the world, the Diamond bike.

If you look at my splits you have to say it’s definitely my strength compared to the run. Although if I looked at it, I guess I have to go back and look at Boulder last year which was a breakthrough race for me. I had the second overall bike split. The only person that rode faster than me is the guy who won, 34 years old. He said I was pretty clueless with that.

Even though my run was pretty solid as well, I think there were probably 5 guys that ran faster than me, or maybe that might not be true. The bike is still my strength.

BRAD BROWN: As far as volume versus high intensity sort of stuff, I know that you’ve mentioned you tend to have brought the length of these workouts down, but on the bike is it a case of you need that base so you’ve just got to do volume initially?

Making it through Ironman with shorter training sessions

BOB MCRAE: No, definitely not. Early season I’ll keep my sessions relatively short. In fact last year, I keep referring to that because this year has not turned out like I wanted it to. I guess going into Boulder, it was my third half last year, that was my fourth outdoor ride and about the longest ride.

So my longest rides typically in training are my torque intervals, which we can talk about in detail, which is basically a 90 minute workout. But everything else is like an hour. So the intensity is pretty high. It’s either the sweet spot or a threshold type workout or it’s the torque intervals or threshold intervals.

BRAD BROWN: Tell me about these torque intervals.

BOB MCRAE: It’s something that I was listening to the Fat Black Podcast a couple of years ago and they were talking about the importance of strength on the bike. But there was unfortunately a lack of specificity in them and I started looking on the internet for some details.

Create your own workouts that suit you

So strength on the bike, what does that mean? I think it’s pretty intuitive, what does that mean? It’s low cadence, high torque but then how long, how many, that sort of stuff. They seemed to be very lacking in terms of the amount of material that’s out there and still even to this day, I don’t think you find a lot of workouts that are prescribed in this way.

What I started doing a few years ago, it was in the early part of the season I’d start at 10 minutes and I’d go up to 20 and it would be 4 intervals, 60 rpm and I’ve got a Computrainer and I would say at about 92, 93% of threshold. For me it’s a modest 230 watts and I would just ride at 60 rpm, 230 watts, 4 x 20.

And that’s how I prepped for half Ironman and it’s worked extraordinarily well. I did, Boulder half was relatively short, but I did a 2:09 bike split on that workout.

Using the race course for workouts

BRAD BROWN: And then how would you change that in the build up to an Ironman?

BOB MCRAE: I started getting out on the road and I would actually drive up to the Boulder course which is about a half an hour drive and I would just basically start doing the loops, and I used that 9 weeks to ramp from 60 to 200 and probably about 4 weeks out I did my first 100 mile ride and I would end up doing probably 5 or 6 of those 100 mile rides culminating one week where I did a 100 miler on a Thursday and then another 100 on the next Saturday, so within 3 days.

Then what I tend to do typically, is also try to stack workouts of the same sort in a 3 day period. So, for example I did my torque intervals on a Friday which is probably equal to 2-and-a half Ironman type of effort or race and then I did a 100 miler on Saturday and then we did 60 on Sunday. It ended up being somewhere in the order of 210 miles, or 220 equivalent miles in 3 days.

BRAD BROWN: As far as favourite workouts on the bike, what do you love doing?

Most effective Ironman bike workout on the indoor trainer

BOB MCRAE: If I’m feeling good and relatively fresh, I really do like those 100 milers. I like to be in my car, pulling up to my car after doing them. I often start as the sun comes up so at 6am and I’d be done with 100 miles at 10:30 in the morning. That to me is the epitome of my triathlon career these days. As efficient as you can be, it’s surprising to imagine that you can get 100 mile ride in by 10:30 in the morning without getting up at 4am.

BRAD BROWN: Without a doubt. And as far as training through the winter. The winters where you are, are pretty brutal. You mention the Computrainer and not spending too much time out on the road. Is that a case right throughout, even during the season? Do you spend lots of time on the Computrainer or is it just during the colder times when weather is maybe not best to be out?

BOB MCRAE: No, I far prefer to train indoor. I train the race and training is most effective in my opinion, on the trainer. Then I don’t have to worry about all the gear, I don’t have to worry about somebody texting, coming over and ending your workout, all kinds of things. So I really do enjoy getting it done quickly and right and with the trainer. Whether it’s on the Computrainer or in spin class.

 

About Us

Brad Brown is a 40 something age grouper that dreams of one day qualifying for and racing on the big island (He may have to outlive everyone in his age group though).

Morbidly obese in 2009, Brad clocked in at 165kgs (363lbs) at his heaviest.

He's subsequently lost a third of his body weight on the way to a half Ironman pb of 5:06 and a full Ironman pb of 12:21.

Advertise

If you'd like to advertise on The Kona Edge, download our rate card.

Support Us

If you'd like to find out more about becoming a Patron of The Kona Edge, click here.

Contact Us

13 + 8 =