We talk all things Ironman bike on this edition of The Kona Edge. We head back to London in the UK to catch up with Jane Hansom. Jane admits that the Ironman bike is her least favourite of the three triathlon disciplines but share some of the things she as done to improve her Ironman bike performance.
BRAD BROWN: Welcome onto this edition of The Kona Edge, we head back to London now and we’re joined by Jane Hansom. Jane, welcome back on, nice to touch base.
JANE HANSOM: Thank you Brad, thanks for having me again.
BRAD BROWN: Jane, you mentioned the first time we chatted that you came from a bit of a swimming and a running background, biking really wasn’t your forte, but obviously you’re pretty good at it, you’ve won your age group at Zurich and Ironman South Africa, you finished second in Kona, was the bike something you had to work particularly hard at compared to the other two disciplines?
JANE HANSOM: Definitely. When I decided that I wanted to do longer distance triathlon, I basically focused on the bike for a whole year. I was absolutely useless on that bike. [inaudible 0.43.15] would be a standard procedure, even in any Olympic distance triathlon that I would get out fairly, at the pointy end of the pack after the swim and then I would play a little game with myself to see at which kilometre marker they would all catch me on the bike, which would happen frequently. I just really felt like I, it was just my weakest by far, so I decided to really focus on that and I spent a whole year just focusing and out waiting all of my bike work to try to make an improvement.
BRAD BROWN: I think I know the answer to this question but I’ll ask it anyway, what would you say is the one thing that you’ve done, if you can think of your career in triathlon, the one thing you’ve done that’s given you the most gains and the most benefit on the bike?
JANE HANSOM: On the bike… pushing a bigger gear. When I first started triathlon, I guess it was because I used to ride with a bunch of cyclists, I thought that the way to ride a bike was at something like 90 or even 100 cadence and that everybody must spin and that you must do it fairly fast, so you must have a high cadence and I just realised, mostly after working with Brett actually, that that was just the completely wrong thing to do. I spent a lot of time cycling in a huge monster gear at the lowest cadence possible, to try to build up some strength in my legs.
BRAD BROWN: Do you train to Power as well?
Power only works if you turn it on
JANE HANSOM: It’s funny, all of my friends take the complete Mickey out of me because I do have a Power meter on my bike and I do have a Garmin, but half the time I forget to switch it on and I really, I very rarely look at the Power meter. What I do use my Garmin for, is I’ll look down at it and I’ll use it to check my cadence and it sounds very unscientific and it probably doesn’t sound great, but no, I don’t really work to Power, I don’t at all. I’ll often look down, but I don’t even know which numbers I should be hitting. Mostly I’ll train on perceived effort.
BRAD BROWN: In our chat when we were talking about your swim, you said the one thing you can do in all three disciplines is train with a group of people who are stronger than you and that’s a great way to get better. You also mentioned the Black Line London crew, tell us a bit about them and the work you’ve done with them and how that’s improved your cycling.
JANE HANSOM: Okay, so these are a bunch of guys that I know in London, they’re friends of mine and usually every weekend we will go out for a long ride and occasionally mid-week we might meet up in the park and do intervals, but the long rides are great. These guys are all good riders, many of them have been to Kona themselves and usually what I’ll do is I’ll go out riding with them and I’ll just try and stay on their wheel. It’s as basic as that.
BRAD BROWN: It does make a big difference. I can speak from experience, is finding a group that are, I don’t want to say considerably quicker than you, but a lot quicker and it is, it’s a case of, you just hang on for dear life and before you know, it a few weeks later, maybe a month later, you’re keeping up with them and it’s a lot more comfortable.
JANE HANSOM: Absolutely, there’s an added incentive because my sense of direction is appalling and I still, to this day, do not know the way home from Windsor or Marlow, if I get dropped, I’m in trouble!
BRAD BROWN: Jane, that’s superb. Let’s talk about your favourite workout on the bike, do you mix things up? I’m guessing you do, it’s not the same old, same old in every session, what do you particularly love doing on the bike?
JANE HANSOM: I quite like climbs actually. I’ve been on a few riding trips to the Alps and I love climbing up the mountain, but I guess if it’s training, then I really enjoy the long ride at the weekend, but I do do Turbo sessions now whereas I used to never ever do Turbo sessions before. That’s probably a big factor in my bike improvement, is I’ll do a couple of Turbo sessions a week, probably my favourite one is, it’s simple, it’s just an hour and I’ll do a minute on and a minute off and the minute on will be in the biggest gear imaginable and I’ll just go for it.
BRAD BROWN: One of those sessions that could hurt quite a bit!
JANE HANSOM: Yeah, absolutely, it definitely hurts quite a bit. I have a giant electronic stopwatch in my gym and all I can do is just stare at it. I stare at the seconds counting down, just willing them to reach 60 because then I know I’m going to get my rest.
BRAD BROWN: Fantastic, Jane, as always, great to catch up, I look forward to chatting a little bit more about the run and I know you’ve made some huge gains in your athletic career as an adult on the run and I want to find out what you’ve done and how you’ve done it, but we’ll save that for next time.
JANE HANSOM: Okay, thanks a lot.