BRAD BROWN: You’re listening to The Kona Edge. We head back to Norway now to catch up with an incredible athlete. Lars Petter Stormo. Welcome onto the podcast once again Lars Petter, nice to catch up.
LARS PETTER: Thank you.
BRAD BROWN: Lars Petter, coming from a strong cycling background, your run isn’t half bad as a cyclist. You’re good at it.
Ironman run is set up on the bike
LARS PETTER: Yes, that’s the part I’m doing best in now in competitions. It’s riding fast then running damn fast afterwards. So, that’s where I can do my best races.
BRAD BROWN: It’s interesting you say that because the run, and as good a run as you can have, is set up on the bike. If you go too hard on the bike, and you learnt that at Ironman Kona 2016. The success on your run comes from what you do in the bike.
LARS PETTER: It does. My best races have been earlier with Norseman. And then the Ironman Nice. Both those races have 30k easy at the end of the bike and that makes the transition to run much easier. At Ironman Kona, you don’t have that. You have a hard last 20/30k and that puts a lot of strain on your legs. You must be prepared for that on the run and that’s what I didn’t consider this year.
BRAD BROWN: As far as things you’ve done to improve your Ironman run performance over the years. What are some of the things you think has given you the best and biggest gains?
Run economically and make your Ironman run sets count
LARS PETTER: I run a lot of drills. Of course, doing all the training in all the disciplines and working full time, I don’t have that much time.
I’m running 30 to 50km a week maybe. So, it’s not a lot of running but I feel like the speed sessions, high speed flat sessions have helped my stride. A lot of 10 x 1000m and things like that. Those are the best sessions that has helped me get a good stride and run economically and set a good pace on the run.
BRAD BROWN: I find that interesting because those numbers from a volume perspective are not high at all. Do you think that’s been a benefit to you that you haven’t overdone it on the run? Because I think a lot of athletes feel they need to be doing massive volume on the run. But they are then just fatigued all the time. If you pull it back slightly you don’t have that.
Run less volume, but more high quality sessions
LARS PETTER: I don’t have that many run sessions. And I haven’t had any injuries for now. So, I can get good quality on the few sessions that I do and I think it’s more important to get good quality than to get a lot of kilometres into my legs. That I don’t have time for and doing biking and swimming. So, I rather run less but with a higher quality on each session.
BRAD BROWN: That’s great advice. As far as workouts that you love doing, what do you love doing on the run.
LARS PETTER: I like hard intervals. Flat like 1000m. 10 x 1000 and start at a decent pace, like threshold pace. And then increasing so that the last one is the fastest one. That’s a good rule to have that you can always end the last interval as the best interval. That’s the best interval I can do and it helps me a lot to get a good stride.
BRAD BROWN: I’m starting to think that to perform well on the Big Island and in other triathlons, is you need to be a bit of a masochist. You must embrace pain and like the tough sessions. Do you think that’s important? The harder they are the more you love them?
Embrace the pain in your Ironman run
LARS PETTER: Yes, I feel that. If you going to a bit of extreme sessions and you really looking forward to the hard session, I think that will help you. Also, in the competitions. I like the hard sessions and I look forward to the hard sessions.
When I’m a bit demotivated and tired and I’m not sure what I want to train the next couple of days, I rather plan a hard, extreme session. Because that motivates me more than an easy ride or easy run.
BRAD BROWN: Let’s talk about the mental aspect of the run. Obviously as a multiple winner of the Norseman, that race is very mental. Particularly the last half of that run.
Set short goals on your Ironman run
LARS PETTER: I spend a lot of time visualising and thinking. Because I know the hard parts will come and I know I will get there. Then I just need a word or something I can focus on until I get out of that zone again.
You know you will get there, but you also know that you can get out of it. Just prepare mentally about what you’re going to think when that happens. And, set short goals. That next turn. The next kilometre. Always think 1 kilometre ahead. Never think of the goal before you’re there.
BRAD BROWN: That’s vital. Particularly in a race like the Norseman where you’re going straight up for the last bit. How do you deal with those conditions? Kona gets hot, that sort of thing. Norseman, it can get brutally cold up there. Is that a mental thing or is that a physical thing on the run?
Attack is your best defence on your Ironman run
LARS PETTER: I think it’s more physical because if you’re always on the aggressive part and you’re always chasing, you don’t feel that cold. But if you get defensive and you start to feel bad, then you get colder as well. So, you must attack all the time.
And on the last climb up, the short goals are very short. I think I set my goal 4m in front of me and then I count 4 steps. That’s what I do the last 2 hours. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. And that’s what I do for 2 hours just to keep going forward.
BRAD BROWN: That’s incredible. Lars Petter thank you so much for joining us here on The Kona Edge today. Much appreciated. I look forward to chatting about your nutrition next time out.
LARS PETTER: Thank you.
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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