Power is a big talking point when it comes to Ironman Bike training and on this edition of The Kona Edge we catch up with Pedro Cordovez to chat about why he changed from power to heart rate.


BRAD BROWN:  Welcome onto yet another edition of The Kona Edge and we welcome Pedro Cordovez onto the podcast today, all the way in Panama.

The bike is full enjoyment – pure pleasure

Pedro, nice to have you back on, let’s chat some biking. You came from a bit of a mountain biking background, you enjoy spending time on the bike don’t you?

PEDRO CORDOVEZ:  Yes, for me the bike is full enjoyment.

BRAD BROWN:  Let’s talk about some of the things you’ve done to get better on the bike. You mentioned just swimming more in our previous chat, if you want to improve, spend more time in the water, is it the same philosophy on the bike, if you want to get better on the bike, just ride it more?

PEDRO CORDOVEZ:  I definitely, riding a big, long ride helps, but also I think that being comfortable, having a good position on the bike, it’s paramount. That’s definitely the most important part of cycling for Ironman, you have to be comfortable and relatively aerodynamic on the bike. Basically I do a long bike with a moderate heart rate.

BRAD BROWN:  You’ve mentioned heart rate a few times in our chats, do you train to Power at all or is it all to heart rate?

Comfort on my Ironman bike helps my performance

PEDRO CORDOVEZ:  I’ve had Power meters and I sort of had, I had trouble concentrating as a kid, so I need one focus only. I can’t have heart rate and cadence and then heart rate, cadence, speed and Power. I took off the Power meter off my bike and it’s just heart rate that I use. I look at the one number and if I’m doing an effort that I think it’s good for me, it doesn’t matter.

BRAD BROWN:  Let’s touch on those zones, you mentioned the zones in our first chat as well. What do you generally train in, what do you generally race in, from a zone perspective?

PEDRO CORDOVEZ:  On the bike I’m usually racing between 140 and 152/153 and if there’s a climb or something, I’m looking at not going over 160. I think that 160 is where I change from high aerobic to anaerobic and it just takes a lot out of me and it’s not worth it, for 180km. I try to stick there, maybe do a couple of 158 max and then go back to 144/145.

I think in Ironman Texas I did 146 and I had set out I was going to do that number two weeks before the race. I was able to keep it steady and that worked for me. If I’m training, then I’m doing a lot of training below that. I’m doing 10 beats below, like 132 or something like that.

BRAD BROWN:  Awesome. As far as workouts that you do on the bike, what do you love doing, what are some of your favourite bike workouts?

PEDRO CORDOVEZ:  I do a couple of climbs here that are like 15 mile climbs that we do at steady pace, then we do maybe 5 or 8km repeats at race pace, so nothing above 145, but just 5 times a K, something like that. It’s usually a group ride.

Should you ride with a group or go it on your own?

BRAD BROWN:  You mentioned riding with a group, I’ve had some athletes say to me they love training with a group and they find that’s helped them improve while others say they hate riding with a group, they need to ride on their own because that’s the way they race, what do you prefer?

PEDRO CORDOVEZ:  I like both. I think there’s sometimes when I want to do it on my own, but you have to have the discipline also. If your coach says to do something and then you go out with a group and you blow it, then for somebody, if I’m doing a threshold ride and I know I have to do that ride between 140 and 150 and I go out with friends and we’re doing, everybody, we’re doing 160 heart rate then I blew it. I keep myself in check. If I’m training, I’m training, whether it be a group or alone, I try to be disciplined with my heart rate.

BRAD BROWN:  What are you currently riding at the moment Pedro?

PEDRO CORDOVEZ:  I’m riding a Scott, the Plasma, the same one that Kinsley is riding.

BRAD BROWN:  I love it, how many bikes would you say you’ve owned in your life?

PEDRO CORDOVEZ:  Maybe like 15.

BRAD BROWN:  What’s the best bike you’ve ever ridden, is it the Scott you’re on now?

PEDRO CORDOVEZ:  I’d say the Scott definitely, that’s the one I like.

BRAD BROWN:  Awesome, Pedro, thank you so much for your time here on The Kona Edge today, look forward to touching base about your run, we’ll save that for next time, thanks for your time today.


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