We chat cycling with Subramani Venkatesh today on The Kona Edge  and he shares his strategy for improving his Ironman bike. Subu tells us how getting a cycling coach has changed his training perspective. We find out here what his favourite workouts are on the bike.


BRAD BROWN:  Welcome back to this edition of The Kona Edge, it’s time to chat some cycling today, I’m Brad Brown and we have a returning guest on, Subramani Venkatesh, Subu, welcome, thanks for joining us today, it’s great to have you back on.

SUBRAMANI VENKATESH:  Thank you very much Brad, I’m glad I could make it again.

BRAD BROWN:  Subu, I’m excited to chat about your bike because it’s also one of those disciplines that you’ve done a bit of work on, but you obviously enjoy spending a bit of time on your bike, you’ve done a couple of interesting races outside of triathlon and one thing you said in our first chat is you need to approach the three disciplines essentially as individual sports, even though you have to tie them together, but when you’re training, you need to train as a cyclist and that’s something you’ve really done haven’t you?

SUBRAMANI VENKATESH:  I did quite a bit of that kind of training during my career of Ironman, for the last two years I’ve been training literally with a cycling coach, I’m not training with anybody else and I have a different coach for swimming also.

A coach and a Power meter is the best investment

BRAD BROWN:  Let’s talk about your bike and what you’ve done over the years that you think has given you big gains, can you pin it down to one or two things that have really helped you improve your performance on the bicycle?

SUBRAMANI VENKATESH:  The first thing I did was, I would say I would give credit to the coach and the next thing I did was I invested on my gear, like a Power meter, that was the best thing that I ever did. These are the two things that I made a best investment so far in my cycling career and also I think a cycling coach totally changed my training perspective in cycling, rather putting a lot of effort on some sweet spot training, I was also doing a lot of effort in, like I would say aerobic and anaerobic efforts, that kind of boosted my cycling performances.

BRAD BROWN:  What do you love doing on the bike?

SUBRAMANI VENKATESH:  What do I love doing on the bike? I like good, short threshold intervals at times. It depends on the day. For example the last few weeks that I’ve been doing a lot of high intensity workout, like 30 second sprint on the hills or sometimes I spend two minutes on the [inaudible 0.43.46], those kind of intervals I’ve been doing because it’s early season, I don’t want to do long intervals right now. Right now I want to increase my maximum effort and some strength training. The other training that I really like doing, it’s called a ladder, which I do 20 minutes at the low end of the sweet spot and then 10 minutes high end of the sweet spot and 5 minutes at the threshold, this is my favourite workout to boost my functional threshold.

BRAD BROWN:  Do you do most of your training on your own or do you train with a group?

SUBRAMANI VENKATESH:  Since I have a lot of training doing intervals, it’s not going to be nice to get somebody to join me, unless they’re really strong and they enjoy doing intervals and they can join me all the time. A lot of the workouts are individual, some of the workouts, if I want to do endurance workout, like two hours with a group, then I’ll go with group training for that.

Coast to Coast in 5 days, 23 hours, 9 minutes

BRAD BROWN:  Subu, you’ve also done an incredible race, the race across America, tell us a bit about that experience, 3000 miles coast to coast, the team you rode did it in five days, 23 hours, 9 minutes, that’s phenomenal!

SUBRAMANI VENKATESH:  That was one of the best races that I ever did in my athletic career, it has certainly added a big benefit in my cycling performances today. After training [inaudible 0.45.37] I felt like my cycling performance gradually improved. It is one of the more tough races in the endurance cycling sport. The good thing is that I did it with the team, I did not do a solo because for my strengths and weaknesses, I don’t think I can do a 13 day long distance race like that. It’s a totally different experience that race for me and the reason I would say it’s a different experience, it’s the race that goes 24 hours round the clock, all day. You have less rest and you are focusing so much on doing this cycling all day long. It’s a different experience and it’s a good experience and a tough race.

BRAD BROWN:  Absolutely. Subu, thanks for your time today here on The Kona Edge, much appreciated, I look forward to chatting about your run next time out, but we’ll save that for another day, thanks for catching up with us.

SUBRAMANI VENKATESH:  Thank you Brad, thank you very much.