On this edition of The Kona Edge we catch up with Kathy Winkler and discover how she has improved her Ironman run and how she adds variety into her run training. She chats about doing strength and conditioning work as well as combining her training using land running and water running to alleviate the pressure on the joints and shares with us how this has helped to keep her injury free.

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BRAD BROWN:  Welcome back onto this edition of The Kona Edge.  It’s great to have you with us. Time to chat some running.  Joining us once again is Kathy Winkler out in California.  Kathy welcome back. Nice to join you again. Your run, is it something you love doing or is it unfortunately a necessary evil of triathlon?

Just go out there and run

KATHY WINKLER:  I love doing the run.  I think it’s the time when I can completely disconnect.  I never run with music.  I love to run trails so I can really soak in all the nature around me while I’m out there.

BRAD BROWN:  What is it that you love about running?  I feel exactly the same way.  Even if I’m not running well just being able to get out is phenomenal but what is it that you love about it?

KATHY WINKLER:  I think it’s that ability where you can just, there’s very minimal planning with running.  You know cycling and swimming there’s so much gear to get ready and pack up.  For running you can throw on a pair of shoes no matter where you are and go out and explore some place new.  It’s just very free and liberating.

BRAD BROWN:  Absolutely.  and distance wise, what’s your favourite?  Do you love the long stuff or do you prefer shorter 10k that sort of thing?  What’s your favourite distance?

KATHY WINKLER:  It depends on the day and how I’m feeling but I think being able to, maybe a little longer so you can really go out and explore some new terrain.  Of course, there’s some days when I feel like ugh do I have to run for 2 hours?  But if you can find a nice course, and I’m fortunate in that I always can here, it’s great to go out and just watch the ocean go by or climb through some trees.  I love to run only trail if I can so we have some great nature and things to go by.  It’s a wonderful sort of detox from the day and the rest of society.

Combine land and water into your run and stay injury free

BRAD BROWN:  You mentioned that you’ve been pretty lucky to stay injury free pretty much throughout your triathlon career.  What do you attribute that to?  You’ve obviously done a lot of miles over the years, how have you avoided major injuries?

KATHY WINKLER:  I think because I combine my land running with water running which is not as enjoyable as the land running.  Again, I’m lucky if I can go and use some open water to water run in because it can be so dreadfully boring and it’s almost key that you have a friend there to help you.  But not having that pressure on the joints all the time I think, you know I had an injury one time and the water running was so successful that now I incorporate it all the time to keep me injury free.

BRAD BROWN:  Do you do much strength and conditioning, sort of core work, Pilates, yoga, that sort of stuff?

KATHY WINKLER:  Yes, I do.  I try and do yoga at least once a week if not more and I do strength workouts twice a week.

BRAD BROWN:  And I’m taking it that is probably just as important as getting the runs in.

KATHY WINKLER:  I believe that you are correct.  I don’t always view it that way because I’m just such a cardio person that for me I’m always like ah, how many hours of cardio have I had. That’s more fun for me but I think that you are right.  That the strength is key especially as you age I think you need that to keep your body in one piece and healthy.

BRAD BROWN:  Your favourite run workout.  What do you absolutely love doing?

KATHY WINKLER:  Long slow distance day with lots of hills.

BRAD BROWN:  How long is long?

Getting lost on your Ironman run training

KATHY WINKLER:  I’d say an hour and a half to two hours is comfortable.  Some days longer is longer and that’s okay too but then sometimes you can start to watch the clock.  I don’t know, as long as you have your mind sort of wrapped around it before you go, if you know.  I think this year leading into Kona I knew I had, I was going a certain distance and now that’s possible with the Garmin, and I had mapped it out ahead of time and knew that I had to get like 20+ miles in that day.  It had shown up on the map a certain way and as I started I got about halfway I realized that I was not going to make that.  And so, adding the little pieces, that can be a little harder but if you can just kind of get lost on a trail and end up somewhere, that’s my favourite.  I’m lucky that my husband is extremely supportive so a lot of times I can just sort of go out and get lost on a trail and call if I need a pick up somewhere.

BRAD BROWN:  I love that.  Kathy, thank you so much for joining us here on The Kona Edge today.  Much appreciated.  We look forward to touching base and chatting a little bit about your nutrition next time out.  Thanks for your time.

KATHY WINKLER:  Excellent. Thank you.