It sounds a bit woo-woo, right? Belief. It’s kind of like believing you’ll win the lottery, right? It’s never going to happen. Well, on this edition of The Kona Edge we head down under again and chat to Jo Coombe who shares with us why she feels the first step in a solid Ironman run is believing you are going to have a solid Ironman run.


BRAD BROWN: You’re listening to The Kona Edge, I’m Brad Brown, it’s good to have you with us and let’s talk some running now and we head back to Melbourne, Australia, Jo Coombe joins us. Jo, welcome back, nice to chat, running, out of the three disciplines, I’m guessing you would say is your strongest of the three?

JO COOMBE: These days, at the moment, my swim is my strongest, but yes, historically the run has certainly been my strongest.

BRAD BROWN: Do you think having it as one of your strengths makes Ironman easier?

JO COOMBE: Absolutely, categorically! To get off the bike and say, right, now this is my leg, is the most amazing feeling and my poor husband struggles with the run and I do feel sorry for him because he’s getting himself a buffer, but then it’s always, people are playing chase with him, so I’d much rather be the chaser, for sure.

BRAD BROWN: As far as having that, is it possible to train that in, that you do get to a point where you feel that the run is my leg, particularly if you come from a strong cycling background?

How to run better when you come from a cycling background

JO COOMBE: I think you have to approach it mentally like that. I wrote this in one of my blogs actually, about Kona, I got off the bike in Kona and I thought, this is my leg and I think if you can persuade yourself that you are going onto your strong leg, even if you have come from a cycling background, it’s going to make it so much easier and also in training, if you’re saying, people like training what they’re good at, don’t they? Nobody likes to train a weakness, so, I think if you can talk yourself into being a runner, you’re going to look forward to your runs, in training more.

BRAD BROWN: Absolutely. You mentioned in one of our earlier chats that in the build up to Ironman Malaysia where you won your age group and qualified for a second time to Kona, you ran a lot of cross country, you didn’t want to give that up whereas you had given it up previously, you said that you felt that that was one of your biggest gains, talk to me a little bit about that and the thinking behind it. Obviously you wanted to do stuff that you were enjoying, but it turned out it was pretty helpful to your performance too.

JO COOMBE: Yeah, certainly, so before Ironman Malaysia I’d been primarily training with Sean Foster from Fluid Movements and his program has a lot of intensity built into it. I would say that it was a choice that I wanted to focus on those quality run sessions within his program and not hamper them by being fatigued from racing so often at weekends. It made sense not to do so much cross country. When I decided for the Malaysia prep to do more of the cross country, I did back off on a lot of those quality runs in the week.

Now, I’m training with Xavier, he doesn’t give so much quality running within the program, we run hills, but we’re not doing interval sessions, we’re not doing specific tempo sessions until we get closer to the races. I’m actually using those cross country races now as my speed work and he’s absolutely 100% behind that. I think it’s a different mentality, I was still getting that quality before, but it was within my training program and sometimes I’d kind of resent that because I wanted to race, I didn’t want all my racing to be in training. So, I like that I can kind of run easy in the week, also I fit my running around work in the week, so I’ll often run at lunch time and I don’t want to be going out and pushing a hard interval session at lunch time. I can go and do an easy run at lunch time, but I know my quality run is going to be on Saturday afternoon and that’s over hills, you can’t get harder than that, especially when you’re racing, so yeah. I think it’s worked really well.

BRAD BROWN: Absolutely and I don’t even think we need to go into too much detail on that, I just think it’s, that speaks for itself, Jo, brilliant, thank you so much for that, look forward to catching up again soon and best of luck in the build up to your next big race, obviously Texas and then Frankfurt.

JO COOMBE: Thanks very much Brad.

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