Today on The Kona Edge we catch up with Steve Day who shares all his running knowledge with us. Having changed his run strategy we learn how he now benefits from shorter more frequent runs to avoid the never ending injuries that plague all runners.
BRAD BROWN: You’re listening to The Kona Edge. Let’s chat some running today. My name is Brad Brown and we’re joined once again by Steve Day. Steve welcome back onto The Kona Edge.
You come from a running background but as you told us in our first chat you did struggle with a lot of injuries and that’s sort of one of the things that drove you into the sport and that’s so often the case. I chat to a lot of triathletes and there’s so many that are in that sort of position.
Mixing your run to avoid injury
STEVE DEY: Yes you know I started running when I was 9 years old Brad so I’ve been running a long, long time and even though I took some time off in my 20’s, I even played rugby for a while, ultimately most people are going to get injured when they’re running. Just that impact, you’re going to get injured. So being able to mix it up with biking and running which is really beneficial for me. I had a number of recurring injuries which tend to always be on the same side. For a while I was literally seeing a physical therapist every week and then in about 2015 I changed my approach to running. I cut out all the really hard stuff.
Again, I think I have a tendency to go hard so I did a lot of more frequent running rather than the harder stuff with the typical really long run at the weekend. So now it’s shorter runs, more frequent and it just builds that economy and efficiency and I think as a result of that it’s really helped me. I haven’t had any running injuries for probably two years now.
BRAD BROWN: Steve I find it interesting that you say that because in our chat about your swim and your bike you mentioned about just going as hard as you can and flat out and those are the sessions that you benefit but you’ve almost taken a very different approach out on the run and yes, it was out of necessity but it’s quite interesting, I don’t want to say it’s opposite to what you’re doing in the water and on the bike but it is a slightly different philosophy.
Economy and efficiency is king
STEVE DEY: Yes, I think running is just, particularly for Ironman, running is just a different sport. Economy and efficiency is king. So if you can run frequently rather than do what a lot of people do which is they save their longest run till Sunday which is after their longest ride then throw some speed work in. I just don’t think you need it. I said I was a little arrogant perhaps thinking you know no one can teach me anything about running but when I took on a new coach this year that’s exactly what we did. We ran six days a week, sometimes seven days a week and a lot of zone 2 just steady runs in there. We did build up to some tempo but nothing quicker than that and I think that just helps you be really economical which is when you think about it your Ironman run is your, at best, your Sunday run pace, at best. You don’t need to be going really quick. So if you can build that endurance and that strength and that durability as well and you get that from running frequently. You don’t need to go hard in my opinion.
BRAD BROWN: You’ve upped the frequency. Have you adjusted the volume? Are you running more volume or is it less volume? How does it tie in there?
Spread out the volume to improve your run
STEVE DEY: The volume has probably stayed the same it’s just kind of spread out more. I still did some pretty decent volume. For better probably an eight week block I was doing 40/45 mile a week but I also tend to run my steady runs quicker than most people. So I think there’s a school of thought, if you ever go onto Slowtwitch which is a spiritual triathlon home you have a lot of top coaches on there telling people to really really slow down on their steady runs.
For me personally, I don’t like running that slow so if I should be running 7:30 mile, was when I feel pretty comfortable at 6:40, I’m going to run 6:40. And the deal with my coach is that as long as I’m within that kind of zone 2, and as long as it doesn’t impact my bike in terms of the ability to complete the session as set out, he gives me a bit of leeway. So the volume I’d say is still relatively high but know that the old school of thought of you know you do your 15 mile run on Sunday, we’ve never really done that to be honest.
BRAD BROWN: It’s interesting. As far as your favorite workout, what do you love doing?
STEVE DEY: I still probably like the tempo work because it’s still a little quicker so as I get into my Ironman build, often on a Sunday we’d do a 1 hour 20 run probably about 40/45 minutes of that would be tempo pace. So I prefer going quicker rather than slower so I’d say the weekend tempo run.
BRAD BROWN: Brilliant. Steve thank you for your time once again here today on The Kona Edge. Much appreciated. Look forward to catching up next time out about your nutrition.
STEVE DEY: Cheers Brad.