On this edition of The Kona Edge we chat to Keri Delport about her Ironman bike training and the strategy behind her going solo when doing her training. Keri reveals her secret to training for the 180km time trail in Kona.
BRAD BROWN: You’re listening to The Kona Edge, it’s great to have you on and thank you to our guest joining us today, returning guest, Keri Delport from Cape Town in South Africa, just around the corner from where I am. Keri, welcome back, nice to touch base again.
KERI DELPORT: Thanks Brad, great to chat.
BRAD BROWN: Keri, you mentioned that you do all your training, the last time we spoke, you do all your training on your own, swim, bike and running included. The bike, for me, I struggle, especially on the longer ones, doing it on my own, but it’s obviously something that you’ve found that works for you and you stick by it.
KERI DELPORT: Absolutely, I much more prefer training on my own for bike. The long rides do get a little bit tedious at times, I must be honest, when you’re going out for your third or fourth six and a half hour ride, it does get a little bit tedious and then from a woman’s perspective, safety is obviously often an issue. In general, I must say, I much prefer it, I can focus much more on my own goals and what I’m needing to do.
BRAD BROWN: Do you think training like that on your own also makes it easier to then race, particularly on the long ones, because even though you’ve got people around you, Ironman is a very lonely sport.
KERI DELPORT: Yes, that’s exactly, and that’s one of the things I keep thinking about when I’m going through those hard training sessions, you know, those mental ones that just break you. I’m often just thinking that those moments are going to come at Ironman and you’re not going to have someone riding in front of you to pull you along or someone riding next to you with their hand on your back. So, just put your head down and get used to it and rather break through that feeling in training so that when Ironman comes, you can just draw on that mentally and know that you’ve done that already and you can do it.
BRAD BROWN: Let’s talk about the gains you’ve made over your triathlon career on the bike. Your bike times have improved dramatically over the times, what do you put it down to?
KERI DELPORT: I suppose training smartly. I’m training more now to specific heart rate zones where before it was kind of, I would do every session as hard as I possibly could and so all I’d be doing then is getting to the next session wasted from the previous session. Doing a lot of specific heart rate zone training now has made a huge difference.
BRAD BROWN: You also mentioned in our first chat that you’ve done some stuff with Power, do you train by Power or is it just heart rate?
KERI DELPORT: I train mainly by heart rate, but I’ve kind of started getting more into Power and so leading up to Ironman this year, 2016, was my first kind of build up to Power and it went fairly well. I find I’m still one of those novices who struggles to hold in the Power zone, but the hope is to improve that now leading up to Ironman Florida in November, cause I definitely think Power is probably the smartest way to train.
BRAD BROWN: Is there one thing you’ve done on the bike that you think has made a big difference?
KERI DELPORT: I suppose smart interval training, learning to hold particular heart rates, up a hill, down a hill, maintaining that heart rate throughout, so as a long interval zone and then working on max effort intervals between that, but again, bearing heart rate in mind. Not just going to necessarily perceived effort, but going to actually what your body is telling you you’re doing.
BRAD BROWN: Do you race like that as well, Keri, obviously you’ve got specific sessions that you do on the bike in training, but we chatted about it, particularly the year that you qualified and you arrived on the beach there that day going, I’m gonna see who is around me and we’re going to race it. Do you try and stick within those zones during the race as well, or do you race on feel and you know what, if I have to go I have to go?
KERI DELPORT: Absolutely, I think a bit of both Brad. I try to stay within the zones as much as possible and when I realise I’m needing to race, what I do is I combine with how I’m feeling. I find myself pushing a little bit harder, but then just checking within myself, are my legs feeling like they’re filling with lactic acid, am I likely to run off the bike well after this and that’s kind of my decider as to okay, pull it back into your zone or no, you’re actually feeling okay, you can go for it. Obviously you don’t do that in the first 90km, so the first 90km are always important to just stay smart and go with your plan and then play around in the last bit with how you’re feeling.
BRAD BROWN: Workout-wise, what do you love doing on the bike, what’s your favourite workout?
KERI DELPORT: I must say, I really enjoy my long rides because we live in such a beautiful place, it’s nice way to go touring around on your bicycle and get a workout at the same time. There never used to be, but I think more and more the long intervals I’m enjoying, just from a mental aspect and then adding in a cycling training video to that, just to feel like you’re actually riding somewhere, makes quite a difference and so I’m enjoying the longer intervals because I know mentally what they can do for me, come race time.
BRAD BROWN: You mentioned training in Cape Town, it’s a magnificent place to ride and I’ve recently moved here and for that exact reason, I want to be able to really just enjoy the landscape, but do you spend much time indoors and training on an indoor trainer?
KERI DELPORT: I do, during the week I train indoors because I’m on my bike from 3:00 to 5:00, more or less, 3:00 to 5:30, depending on where I am, so it doesn’t feel that safe to be out on the road. During the week I train on indoor trainer and on the weekends I’m out on the road.
BRAD BROWN: Keri, looking forward to finding out what you’ve done on the run and gains you’ve got there, but we’ll save that for the next edition of The Kona Edge, thanks for joining us today.
KERI DELPORT: Awesome, thanks Brad.