On this edition of The Kona Edge we chat to Paul Savage about his Ironman run. Paul reveals the one thing he has done to improve his run and the biggest mistake he sees other triathletes make during their Ironman run training.
BRAD BROWN: Welcome onto yet another edition of The Kona Edge, I’m Brad Brown, it’s brilliant to welcome you back, thanks for downloading and listening to the podcast. Paul Savage joins us once again out in the UK. Paul welcome back. Nice to touch base, good to have you on.
PAUL SAVAGE: Yeah, thanks for having me back on the show Brad.
BRAD BROWN: Paul, when we first chatted you said one of the things you’re struggling with most is age and age catching up with you. And you also spoke about injuries and running injuries, as you get older. It’s obviously something you’re very mindful of?
PAUL SAVAGE: Yes, very much so and I think the single biggest improvement in my running and my run training, as I’ve got older has come from learning to keep the majority of my long runs nice and slow, Zone 2, nice and slow. I’m a big believer in like the Maffetone Method. Phil Maffetone talks about a heart rate of 180 minus your age, roughly. You have to look into the formula a little bit more, but it’s 180 minus your age and that’s your upper limit. That gives you an upper limit of the aerobic training zone and Phil Maffetone was the physiologist/coach that turned Mark Allen into an Ironman Champion. So if it was good enough for Mark Allen, then it’s good enough for anyone else.
BRAD BROWN: I’m so glad you say that because I’m really good mates with the High Performance coach for triathlon South Africa, he’s a great runner himself. He’s a phenomenal coach and that’s one of the things that he always says is that people do their slower, easy sessions way too hard. It doesn’t just apply to running, it’s everything. Those intensity sessions need to be really low.
PAUL SAVAGE: Yeah, that’s right. I’m the same because I do a bit of coaching and I’ll have an athlete that’s sort of running, will race a half marathon and do 1:30 for a half marathon and you look at their long/slow, what’s supposed to be their long/slow steady run and they’re doing it like 7, 7:15 minute miles. I’m like there’s no way, you should be running like a minute per mile slower than that. You’ve got to have the range of gears.
You’ve got to be able to run slow and you’ve got to be able to run very fast. You’ve got to have the range of gears to become an all-round better runner. The long runs, not every long run, but the majority of long runs should be done slow Maffetone Method, Zone two.
BRAD BROWN: I love that, what’s your favourite run workout?
PAUL SAVAGE: Moving away from the Zone two stuff –
BRAD BROWN: I love Zone two, just for the record.
PAUL SAVAGE: So do I, but my favourite run workout is not just going and running in Zone two for two hours, although I do enjoy that. My favourite run workout would be like doing a 16 mile progression run and the pace is progressed every four miles. I’d start very slow, definitely in Zone two. Start slow and then you’re aiming to finish the last four miles around about 70.3 race pace, maybe a little bit quicker.
Start off at 8 minute miles for four miles, then four miles about 7:30. Four miles around 7 minute miles and then four miles at sub 6:30 minute miles, that sort of pace. If you do that kind of workout, 16 mile progression run, progressing in four miles, if you do that two weeks out from an Ironman, and you have a good session, then it gives you a lot of confidence going into the race.
BRAD BROWN: Awesome, I think that’s fantastic. Paul, thank you so much for your time once again here on The Kona Edge, much appreciated, we look forward to catching up again soon.