BRAD BROWN: Welcome back onto this edition of The Kona Edge. We head to Belgium once again to catch up with Maarten Seghers, to talk about his Ironman run. A fantastic performance at Ironman Kona in 2016. With a sub 1-hour swim, sub 5-hour bike and just missing that sub 3-hour marathon on the Big Island. A 3:02, I think it was.
Maarten, you’re a machine on the run. To run a 3-hour marathon off a sub 5-hour bike in Kona, that’s pretty special.
The motivation in your mind and in your legs
MAARTEN SEGHERS: There are days that the run part are my best. It’s kind of motivation if you come off the bike and after the first kilometer you know your legs are still okay to run. And it’s great that you can catch the competition ahead of you. You feel it in your legs. Part of it is in your the and the other part is in the legs. It’s the most important part of the competition because it’s the last one.
BRAD BROWN: I don’t want to say it’s an advantage, but it’s a huge plus having a weaker swim and then having your other 2 disciplines almost on a par. As opposed to having a very strong bike and an average run, or an average bike and a very strong run.
A healthy mindset delivers a good Ironman run
You can make up, because of the amount of time you spend on the bike and on the run, having them both as strong as yours are, you can make up a lot of time. If you don’t push too hard on the bike you can make up a lot of time on the run.
MAARTEN SEGHERS: It’s also good to have a mindset that after the bike and the swim, I don’t need to worry if I don’t go too hard. Normally I can do a good race if I don’t make any mistakes. If I see what I can do at this moment in training, I know if I don’t get sick or don’t make any mistakes in my race in Lanzarote, it’s going to be good. It’s going to be a really good race.
BRAD BROWN: As far as your run performance goes, what are some of the things you think you do that make you a lot stronger on the run?
Slow heart rate improves low intensity run sessions
MAARTEN SEGHERS: In 2014, I changed my coach. This coach let’s me run a little bit more. It’s also important that during winter time I don’t go too hard on the run. I run rather slowly. The pace is not that slow but the heart rate is slow. And I think it’s good to know that you don’t have to go really hard for the full distance, in your run training.
For me, it works not to do a lot of intensive running sessions. The run session is calmer and you don’t have a lot of preparation for it, so you can train a lot faster. Again, that’s important I think.
BRAD BROWN: Injuries, have you struggled with injuries at all on the run?
Core stability training keeps you injury free on your Ironman run
MAARTEN SEGHERS: As I mentioned before, I try to do lots of core stability. With the years you start to feel rapidly if anything goes wrong in your body. If I feel anything, I quickly go to the team of biokeneticists and I’ve been more or less injury free in the last few years.
BRAD BROWN: And workout wise, what do you love doing? When you lace up your running shoes, what do you just love?
MAARTEN SEGHERS: I love it when you get close to a race and you can go really long sessions without feeling anything. Last week I had to do treadmill sessions of 33 km. I had to do 4 x 5km Ironman pace. It’s no problem now. I love it when you come close to a race you can just keep on going and then afterwards it’s like you have 2 fingers in your nose.
BRAD BROWN: As far as something you’ve done that you think has made you a lot stronger when it comes to running, is there one thing that you can put it down to?
Reach your run potential through consistently training smart
MAARTEN SEGHERS: It’s difficult to tell. As we mentioned before, I think it’s that consistency. Just keep on training. Keeping building up smart and you’ll reach your potential if you just keep on following a well structured scheduled. You’ll get there.
BRAD BROWN: Yes. It’s definitely not sexy but consistency I think trumps everything. As much as you need talent and you need to work hard, consistency is the key. It comes up time and time again here on The Kona Edge.
Maarten, thanks again for your time. I look forward to chatting a little bit about your Ironman nutrition next time out. But we’ll save that for another day. Thanks.
MAARTEN SEGHERS: Great. Thanks Brad.
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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