Visit the Coaches Corner
Find out who our first “Surprise, Surprise” guest is going to be.
BRAD BROWN: Welcome back and thank you for joining us here on The Kona Edge today.
We head back to the United States now to catch up with Lisbeth Kenyon. Lisbeth, welcome back. Thanks for joining us.
Let’s talk about your Ironman run. It’s probably the hardest of the 3 disciplines, just because where it is and when it comes in the race. But for you, is it a necessary evil or don’t you mind it that much?
LISBETH KENYON: It is the evil of the evil.
BRAD BROWN: Tell me why.
The struggle of the Ironman run
LISBETH KENYON: I’ve never been a runner. I started running after college. It’s just something that I’ve learned to have to like. I sound negative but running has always been a little difficult for me.
BRAD BROWN: Why is that? I find that interesting that a lot of the top triathletes and Age Group World Champions are good runners and they enjoy it. You are probably the first one that I’ve chatted to that, like you say, you do it, you must do it, you have no choice. But it’s something that you do struggle with and must work particularly hard at.
LISBETH KENYON: It really is. And so, for me, it’s always been that I must get away on the bike and run scared. I always run scared and sometimes that’s not good because it plays with your head, and you start making mistakes. If you’re trying to be competitive.
Work on self-confidence in your Ironman run
It’s been an evolving thing for me. Working on my self-confidence and my triathlon coach has helped me a lot with that self-confidence. Calming down and trusting that you’re going to be able to do this.
BRAD BROWN: Talk to me a little about that, and the belief. Because as you say running scared is a different mind-set and psychology. As opposed to knowing you can chase someone down. Talk to me about the battle in your mind when you get off the bike.
Training your self-confidence in the Ironman run
LISBETH KENYON: It really is a very mental game. It’s a self-confidence thing and you gain that from your training. The training is where it happens for you, it builds that confidence. And in the race, it needs to be there.
BRAD BROWN: Some of the things you’ve done over the years to get better on the Ironman run? Because your Ironman run has improved. What are some of the things you’ve done to get better?
LISBETH KENYON: The smartest thing I did which wasn’t easy. My coach made me do this and I absolutely fought him, but I ditched my bike for 4 whole months. Didn’t bike and only ran and trained for a Boston marathon, and I improved. I never thought that I was going to be able to run a marathon as fast as I did that day. But it really was because I didn’t bike at all.
Focus weeks improve your Ironman run
I think from that time on I have come back and I often do these focus weeks. Where I only focus on one thing at a time and I have found that it’s okay to ditch your bike for a while. Because that year when I did that marathon, that I hadn’t biked for 4 months, I came back and did my best Kona Ironman ever. So, you must sometimes do those things to gain that self-confidence.
BRAD BROWN: That’s interesting. And Ironman running workout wise, what do you enjoy doing on the run?
LISBETH KENYON: Enjoy and enjoy. Again, this is like a hate/love relationship. I hate doing this running workout when I’m doing this workout, but I know it’s so beneficial and I’m going to feel so good afterwards, if I make it through. Which is a big if.
Big gains from mental Ironman run workouts
This is a track workout and before the workout I will put on a weighted vest, and I will do walking lunges. Then I will go run 4 x 2000m and each quarter of each of those 2000m, I will descend my pace. So, I will start at maybe half Ironman pace. And then the last quarter I will run at a one mile race pace, and you’re descending it. It’s difficult because you’re doing each of these at variable speeds. That’s just a difficult, mental workout for me.
And then after that I will jump rope barefoot just to get that foot strength. I absolutely love this session afterwards.
BRAD BROWN: I wonder why? It sounds hectic Lisbeth, but it’s obviously working. It sounds painful but sounds amazing at the same time.
Thank you so much for joining us here on The Kona Edge today, much appreciated. Look forward to chatting a little bit about your nutrition next time out.
LISBETH KENYON: 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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