Brick sessions and splitting runs – Those are just two of the things that Jody Gilchrist feels has helped improve her performance on the Ironman run. All the details are on this episode of The Kona Edge.
BRAD BROWN: Welcome back, this is The Kona Edge, my name is Brad Brown and Jody Gilchrist joining us once again from Melbourne, Australia. Jody is no stranger to the podcast, she’s been on a few times before. Welcome back Jody, nice to catch up.
JODY GILCHRIST: Thanks Brad, great to be back.
BRAD BROWN: Jody, you come from a pretty competitive running background and we wanted to touch on running on today’s podcast. Do you think that’s given you a bit of an unfair advantage to other age groupers who possibly don’t come from a running background?
JODY GILCHRIST: I don’t think it’s unfair! I think it’s fortunate for me! To be honest, I was a middle distance runner, and marathon running is very different to 800m 1500m on the track, but I guess, I think what has helped me in Ironman training is having a disciplined sporting background. I don’t think it necessarily needs to be running, we have people in our squad, ex elite cricketers and basketballers, rowers, I think what’s important is that you have the mindset that you’re willing to do what it takes to achieve your goals.
BRAD BROWN: As I said ‘unfair advantage’ I thought to myself, I shouldn’t actually be asking you this question, I should be asking your competitors that question I guess.
JODY GILCHRIST: Maybe you should.
BRAD BROWN: Let’s talk about what you’ve done to get better. Obviously you are a good runner, but there’s always room for improvement, it doesn’t matter who you are. Is there one thing in particular that you’ve done that you think has given you a boost when it comes to your running performance?
Short bursts in her Ironman run do it for Jody
JODY GILCHRIST: For sure! With Ironman, we always run off the bike at our squad at TEAM Tri Coaching, it’s really important that your body gets used to that feeling, whether it’s an interval session on the wind trainer or your long ride, we always do a short run off. Not a lot, 20-30-40 minutes max, but I think that’s really important to be regular with that. I also do, we split up our volume and I do a lot of double run days, so for instance, for my long run, the longest I’ve ever run in one period of time is 2:45, but then I might do a 30-45 minute run in the evening on the same day. I think that really helps me, so it’s not so fatiguing and your form is not falling apart at the end of the long run. I know I spoke earlier about having some injuries that what we’ve learnt over time is that I’m better off not doing speed work if I’ve got a niggle cause it seems to make it worse. So I’ll just do a lot of easier runs rather than intervals and I do a lot of hills to support that.
BRAD BROWN: Coming from a track background, you talk about speed work, particularly if you’ve got a niggle you try and avoid it, not to flare that injury up anymore, but do you love doing speed work? Coming from that middle distance background?
JODY GILCHRIST: Yeah, I do, cause I know the value of it and what it does for your top end speed and also for the back end of the marathon when you’re strong. If you can, we do a lot of interval work where we build into max efforts, so the first couple might be at medium, then the next couple at hard and then the next couple at max. So, I know that mentally I can go faster or I can maintain the pace, at least, in the marathon and I think that’s really valuable, not only physically, but mentally.
BRAD BROWN: What’s your favourite run workout set?
JODY GILCHRIST: Probably, gosh, it’s hard to say. I do like the hill sessions, we have a track in Melbourne called The Tan, it’s quite famous and it has about a 600m hill on it at Anderson Street, just off the Yarra River and we do repeats up there and what I like about it is that we’re all together, the squads all together, there’s runners from all around Melbourne there training as well and you see some pretty incredible athletes, Olympians and it’s kind of, you feel like you’re in it together, like you’re working hard, everybody is there for a purpose, so you get good energy from those sessions.
BRAD BROWN: Fantastic. Jody, thank you so much once again for your time here on The Kona Edge, we look forward to catching up again soon and thanks for your time.
JODY GILCHRIST: Thank you again, goodbye.