Why Wes Thompson runs trails to improve his ironman run
Why Wes Thompson runs trails to improve his ironman run

Why Wes Thompson runs trails to improve his ironman run

Why Wes Thompson runs trails to improve his ironman run

Today on The Kona Edge, we find out from Wes Thompson what it is in his Ironman run training that gives him that buzz. Wes also reveals the role that strength training plays in his Ironman run.

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BRAD BROWN:  It’s time to chat some running as we head back to Australia, New South Wales to catch up with Wes Thompson. Wes welcome onto The Kona Edge. Thanks for joining us today. Good to have you on.

As far as the run goes, is it a necessary evil or do you thoroughly enjoy it.

Spoilt for choice in your Ironman run training

WES THOMPSON: The latter. I enjoy running. Again, where I live I’ve got some great places to run. I live in a coastal town, Lennox Head here in New South Wales; we’ve got it all here. We’ve got coastal trails, we’ve got beaches, and we’ve got rain forests an hour away. It’s not hard to be made to be able to run where I live, I enjoy it.

BRAD BROWN:  As far as workouts go, what are some of your favourite run workouts? What do you love doing?

Trail running is good for the core

WES THOMPSON: Again, you asked me that as far as the bike goes. And the long ride is the most pleasant. A long run is not too bad either where I live. It’s great to get outside and I do enjoy running trail. We’ve got some good trails. I do find that running trail is a little bit easier on the body. It’s a good all-rounder, it’s better for the core.

One thing that I found, aside from all the good stuff like the trail, with the Ironman build-up I do incorporate hill repeats. Over the course of a 75 minute run I might have an elevation gain of 500 or 600m on a particular headland that I run.

The value of hills for your Ironman run training

You can’t put a high enough value on hill running. And also, in the last training block again incorporates some hill sprints as well which is good bang for the buck so to speak. I think to be fair, especially if you’re racing on an undulating course, you have got to run some hills, that’s for sure.

BRAD BROWN:  I normally ask is there one thing you can pinpoint that’s given you the biggest returns on your run. Would you say it’s doing the hill stuff and the hill sprints?

WES THOMPSON: Yes I think so. And I also think one of the biggest factors with aiding my run, is the old proverbial strength work, the core strength work. When you’re feeling tired at the back end of a race you can really focus on the inside and that really does help prevent form breakdown.

Strong Ironman run flows from a strong core

I know it’s easier said than done but you really have to focus on the core and that flows onto your running and your efficiency at the back end of that hard yard. Another factor that I rate highly is the role that strength training plays in the run training.

BRAD BROWN:  Wes you come from a surfing background so you traditionally have a pretty strong core. Do you do specific strength and conditioning core sessions? You say you still surf every now and again; do you just let it flow from that?

Feel the buzz from your strength training

WES THOMPSON: I have had some core strength coaching, a local coach here in the area. He’s helped me with a strength training program that I will follow and train at least once a week at the local gym. So I enjoy that. I enjoy, as with the other training sessions you do, you do leave the gym with that buzz. It helps and I enjoy it.

There is structure and over the course of the triathlon disciplines, I have had coaching in all of the areas and it certainly has been advantageous.

BRAD BROWN:  Wes as always, great to catch up. I look forward to chatting a little bit about your nutrition next time out but we’ll save that for another day. Thanks for your time on The Kona Edge.

WES THOMPSON: Thank you Brad. Have a great one.

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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