Trusting the process and the programme

Rob Cummins Ironman Bike

We are joined once again by Lesley West on The Kona Edge today as we talk cycling, patience and trusting the process. Lesley also shares with us the two main things she’s done to improve her performance on the bike.

(Read the transcription of our chat here)

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Podcast Transcription:

BRAD BROWN:  Welcome back onto this edition of The Kona Edge, I’m Brad Brown and we’re heading back to Melbourne in Australia to talk some cycling now and Lesley West joins us once again. Lesley, welcome back onto the podcast.

LESLEY WEST:  Hi Brad, thanks for having me back.

BRAD BROWN:  No worries. Lesley, your bike is smack bang, from an ability perspective, smack bang in the middle. You’re a really strong runner, your swim is weak, your bike, is it something you have to work particularly hard on or does it come fairly easy to you?

LESLEY WEST:  No, it’s not come easy but it’s getting there. I think the longer the distance of the race, the more it’s my strength. If we think of, or talk about things that I think are key to it, for me it’s impatience. I think because the swim was so weak to begin with, I saw a big jump and then the run was always there, but the bike for me, it’s been having a lot of patience and knowing that eventually it’s time in the saddle and eventually it’ll come and I will see improvements which I do tend to be able to gradually over the past year or so, definitely see it coming through.

BRAD BROWN:  Talk to me about that patience. Is it patience in trusting the process? Is it patience in racing, not pushing too hard out of the water because you’re behind the curve to start with or is it a combination?

LESLEY WEST:  The first one more so, just trusting the process, I’ve said it already, trusting the programme for me is a big part. My coach knows what he’s doing and it’s knowing that I will get there. In a race, no, I’m not very good at that, that patience part and I think in an Ironman it will catch me out more so than in a half. I think now in a half I’m at a point where I can go pretty hard and remain going pretty hard but because I’m always on that back foot it’s hard to pace and have that patience, that’s for sure.

BRAD BROWN:  What are some of the things that you’ve done on the bike that you think has really moved the needle and improved your performance?

LESLEY WEST:  I reckon two main things, one is I work with a strength and conditioning coach and I have done for, I think four years this month and she specializes, she works with a lot of triathletes and cyclists but specializes in functional movement. Really working on the imbalances and strengthening up the core and working on those muscles that you’re really using when you’re on the bike to provide a lot of stability. I think that has been really key and it’s one of those ones, you’re not going along and seeing the difference within two weeks. It’s building and like I said, I’ve been working with Amber for four years now and I think that’s played a big part.

The other one is a bike that fits you and that you’re fitted to well. I think that’s key, so the bike feels like an extension of you rather than you’re steering, I had a bike before and I kind of felt like I was steering a ship. It’s not all about being [aero?], I think that’s the thing, I think sometimes people go, I need to do more [aero?] but if by being more [aero?] you’re not getting through as much power or you’re creating an instability in your hips, then it’s, in the long term it’s not going to help. Getting somebody to properly do that bike fit, that for me has been, I think, really helps to turn the notch a little bit.

BRAD BROWN:  Is that something you adjust continuously or it’s done a couple of years ago and you’re happy or is it something you revisit over time?

LESLEY WEST:  We’ve revisited it a couple of times. Craig, who does my fit for me, I just spoke to him last week about potentially looking at it again. He works closely with my strength and conditioning coach to say to her, because I had a slight imbalance before, does she think that I’m stable enough and everything else to change it. It’s kind of a collaborative process. I think if somebody was going from say always racing sprint and now they want to do Ironman, that’s probably a good time to revisit it because of just the angle of hips and being ready for that run off is probably quite a key thing.

BRAD BROWN:  What’s your favorite bike workout, what do you love doing?

LESLEY WEST:  I’m not as good on the hills, but I love riding in the hills. If we’ve got a long Saturday ride, I quite enjoy, we’ll go out into the [** 0.45.27], Eastern Melbourne and do some hill reps, ride back into the city fairly easy and then finishing with another solid hill rep, it’s that sort of, you’re fatigued but now you have one last hard rep to hit out. That for me is, that’s when you really see a spike in your fitness.

BRAD BROWN:  Brilliant. Lesley, it’s been great catching up once again. I look forward to talking a little bit about your run next time out, with it being as strong as it is, but we’ll save that for next week, thanks for your time on The Kona Edge today.

LESLEY WEST:  Great thanks.

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.

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