Ironman Run Injury – Hacks to keep you injury free

Know when to take it easy – Brice Williams’s running tips

Rob Cummins Ironman Bike

Brice Williams returns to The Kona Edge today to talk running.

In this episode we chat about training, knowing when to take it easy to avoid serious injury and finding the time to train.

(Read the transcription of our chat here)

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Podcast Transcription:

BRAD BROWN:  You’re listening to The Kona Edge, let’s talk some running as we head back to Utah to catch up with returning guest, Brice Williams joins us now. Brice, welcome back onto the podcast.

BRICE WILLIAMS:  Thanks for having me again Brad.

BRAD BROWN:  Brice, your run is pretty decent; in our last chat you mentioned it’s probably number two out of the three disciplines after your swim. Over the years, what are some of the things you’ve done to really improve your run performance in an Ironman?

BRICE WILLIAMS:  On the run, because of my swim background, I’ve been a little more apt to injury and so I’ve developed a healthy sense of checking my ego or a little bit of fear, if you would on my run progression. I’ve tried to take more of a long term approach to my run progression training and saying I can gradually increase my volume for each build and I can push my body just a little bit more. However, if I get some sort of a niggle, as some people say, or what doesn’t feel like appropriate fatigue, then I’m very willing to back off and substitute outside running for some other activity that will maintain my running fitness but at the same time it will allow my body to maybe recover from those little micro injuries that we’re constantly creating.

BRAD BROWN:  How important for you has it been to figure out and learn your body, knowing that a little niggle, that you need to back off? Often we tend to ignore those things and then they become something serious and there’s major layoffs. Knowing how far you can push yourself before something breaks is quite important.

BRICE WILLIAMS:  Very important and I’m still learning, unfortunately! I’m still dealing with injuries on a regular basis and I’m still learning that difference. That’s tough and everybody is different, so it’s maybe convey that knowledge to another person, it’s very much an experience based sort of development.

BRAD BROWN:  As frustrating as it is, that often comes just with experience.

BRICE WILLIAMS:  Yeah and people say what’s your favorite part of triathlon or what’s your least favorite part of triathlon, my answer is always injury. My injury is my least favorite part of the sport and being willing to substitute training, especially your run training for something else and having the faith that it will still work out is something that most people struggle with and I did until I raced, last year I raced Ironman Texas and I think my longest run prior to the race, because of injury was like 12 miles. Going into the race I was still not 100% but I had done a lot of water running. I’d gotten on one of these zero runners, which is kind of an elliptical with a knee joint in it. I tried some of the zero gravity running, all that sort of stuff and it turned out fine. I ended up running 3:09 for the marathon and that set me up for a good Kona that year. By going into the race I had no confidence, I can’t run, I haven’t run, what makes me think I can do the marathon? You have to have some faith in those other activities that will maintain your run fitness without causing injury.

BRAD BROWN:  A lot of good run performance is based on training consistently, it’s not necessarily doing tons and tons of big miles, it’s being able to run consistently and by managing those injuries and enabling yourself to train consistently is more than half the battle won.

BRICE WILLIAMS:  I absolutely agree and if you can recognize and early injury and stop it immediately, you’re only going to maybe lose out on five or six days of run training, but if you push through and if you’re dumb, like I usually am, you push through, then you create a two month issue. Being willing to check your ego and say, I’m not 100% sure if this is going to develop into an injury, but I’m not willing to risk it, so I’m just going to take four or five days off and do some pool running, saves you in the long run, absolutely.

BRAD BROWN:  Favorite run workout, what do you love doing?

BRICE WILLIAMS:  Because of the way I structure my training, I never train on Sundays, for religious reasons. I choose to do my long run on Saturdays. The problem with that is that Saturday is a big family day, your kids are out of school so they want to be with you and they want to play and that sort of stuff. My favorite run workout is the split long run. My Saturday usually looks like I swam, usually in open water, swam first thing in the morning and then get off and do half of my run at an aerobic pace. Then I will take the rest of the morning and the afternoon with my family and kids, playing with them and that sort of stuff. Usually in the late afternoon there’s a lull of activity where the kids are tired of being with dad and they want to do their own thing and the wife wants to take a nap or something like that. That’s when I do my second workout which is usually a bike with some intervals in it and then my second long run with some tempo work. That way I can usually get in over a 20 mile day running but I can fit in all my family stuff and it’s low risk for injury too when you split your long run up.

BRAD BROWN:  I was going to say, that also helps with the injury prevention, which is a bit of a double whammy, which is good. Brice, as always, great to catch up, thank you for your time on The Kona Edge today and I look forward to next week when we chat some nutrition.

BRICE WILLIAMS:  My pleasure.

About Us

Brad Brown is a 40 something age grouper that dreams of one day qualifying for and racing on the big island (He may have to outlive everyone in his age group though).

Morbidly obese in 2009, Brad clocked in at 165kgs (363lbs) at his heaviest.

He's subsequently lost a third of his body weight on the way to a half Ironman pb of 5:06 and a full Ironman pb of 12:21.


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