On this edition of The Kona Edge we catch up with Fran Vincent  and chat about her running strategy. She shares her current battle with her Ironman run training and tells us how she counteracts the effects of ageing on her Ironman run.


BRAD BROWN:  Let’s chat some running now on The Kona Edge, I’m Brad Brown, it’s good to have you with us and we head back to upstate New York, Fran Vincent joints us. Fran, welcome back, nice to chat.

FRAN VINCENT:  Thanks Brad, it’s great to be here.

BRAD BROWN:  Fran, you said that running is your strongest of the three disciplines now, for it to be your strongest, you must really enjoy running?

FRAN VINCENT:  You know, running really isn’t my strongest discipline, I’d say that biking is and still, I need to learn to love running more than I currently do.

BRAD BROWN:  As far as the run goes, whether you like it or not, triathlon is a running sport and you mentioned in our first chat that as you get older, the more difficult it is to maintain the gains and get faster, you almost feel like you’re fighting a losing battle, is that most prevalent in the run?

Ironman run brings its own share of aches and pains

FRAN VINCENT:  Yeah, without a doubt it is. I just feel like running is so much more taxing on the body than swimming and biking is. It’s catabolic in nature, so yeah, I just, after a run, I just feel like wow, everything aches and it aches the next morning. I don’t feel that after a swim and a bike, so the running is something that I am really struggling with right now.

BRAD BROWN:  What are some of the things you are doing to try and counteract that?

FRAN VINCENT:  I’m really good about using restorative practices, I use compression, sometimes on a long run I’ll wear compression socks, compression tights and I know the research doesn’t necessarily support the use of it, but it just feels good to me. I definitely use compression for recovery, I love my roller, my foam roller I use all the time. I also get regular massage, I love Epson Salt baths, especially after a tough weekend of working out, I just feel like wow, I’m a new person after I get that Epson Salt and the magnesium gets into my body. I’m probably not as good with stretching as I should be, but even just making sure that I get at least 7.5 hours of sleep a night and then good nutrition too, absolutely key.

BRAD BROWN:  As far as the quantity and the amount you’re running, are you finding that you’re battling to maintain volume?

FRAN VINCENT:  Yeah, I think it’s more the, well, you know, I don’t know, that’s a good question. I just do what’s on my schedule and I’d say I usually have about maybe 25-30 miles of running a week, so it’s not super high volume. I feel like if you are a really strong biker, it’s going to help your run quite a bit, especially how your legs feel when you get off the bike and into the run. I really feel like gosh, my emphasis really is probably more on the biking than on the running. I hope that’s not misplaced!

BRAD BROWN:  You mentioned when we chatted about your bike that you love doing long rides, are you the same about running? What’s your favourite run workout?

Track sessions bring satisfaction and relief as a favourite Ironman run workout

FRAN VINCENT:  You know, this is going to sound crazy, but I really like the track workouts a lot. I love a long run as well, I’m not fast, but there’s something just very satisfying about getting out on a track early in the morning, it’s just you and the track and really just kind of turning the motors on to see what you have and it hurts, for sure, not really joint-wise, but just breath-wise, but I just really like that feeling. I get a lot of satisfaction out of a track workout.

BRAD BROWN:  What’s your favourite workout to do on the track?

FRAN VINCENT:  Either quarter mile repeats or half mile repeats.

BRAD BROWN:  How many of those would you do?

FRAN VINCENT:  Probably 6-8.

BRAD BROWN:  Enjoy! Rather you than me Fran thanks. Brilliant!

Calling it quits does not mean failure on your Ironman run training

FRAN VINCENT:  You know what, there are workouts, and I’m not proud to admit this, but I’ve been out on the track and I’ve just felt so defeated that I’ve stopped midway and said: Dammit, I’m done and then I’ll just kind of run home with my tail between my legs, it can be very humbling out there.

BRAD BROWN:  Exactly, sometimes you just need to do that, you need to know when to call it quits, when to walk away and come back and fight another day I guess. Often we flog ourselves so hard and we end up doing damage because we feel like we have to do it, but sometimes when things aren’t clicking, they’re just not clicking.

FRAN VINCENT:  You know what, that’s true and I like the way you put that because I think of that as such a failure and really, to know that gosh, my body has had enough, that really isn’t failure at all. I think that’s a sign of maturity at the age of 55, I’m finally reaching maturity, that’s awesome.

BRAD BROWN:  Brilliant. Fran, thank you so much for your time once again here on The Kona Edge, much appreciated and I look forward to chatting a little bit about your nutrition strategy and what you do, not just from a racing perspective, but in your life and keeping yourself healthy and fit from a nutrition perspective, but we’ll save that for next time if that’s good?

FRAN VINCENT:  Great, that sounds great, thank you so much Brad, great talking to you.

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