Ironman Run Injury – Hacks to keep you injury free

Lesley West’s secret to running well off the bike

Rob Cummins Ironman Bike

On this edition of The Kona Edge we welcome back Lesley West and find out what her secret is to running well straight off the bike.

We also talk about injury recovery and trusting the rehab process.

(Read the transcription of our chat here)

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Podcast Transcription:

BRAD BROWN:  Let’s chat some running here on The Kona Edge, my name is Brad Brown, thank you so much for downloading and listening to the podcast. We head back to Australia, in Melbourne to catch up with Lesley West. Lesley, welcome back onto the podcast.




BRAD BROWN:  Lesley, let’s talk about your run. Out of the three disciplines it is the strongest. Where did your love for running come from? You obviously have to run it as well as you do.


LESLEY WEST:  I think, I don’t know, I guess I’ve just always run. It just comes naturally to me. I think years of playing netball, I was a centre court, I was a wing attack and you’re always told ‘fast feet, fast feet,’ and I think that has definitely helped me. I’ve got high cadence, so I think it’s definitely helped me with the running off the bike. Like I say, I’ve never really done specific run training until I started triathlon and I just really enjoy it. For me it’s just a relief to be off the bike!


BRAD BROWN:  I feel the same way! Let’s talk about, you mentioned in our first chat about a stress fracture in the buildup to what would have been your first Ironman and the rehab process of coming back and really doing it slowly. I wanted to ask it then but I thought I’d save it for this one, the discipline of doing that, where you are really holding back because when you are doing long stuff and I think everyone can attest to this, when you bounce back from injury or if you come back from a layoff, we’re mentally there, but physically we’re not and it’s easy to want to push harder and more than what we’re physically capable of. How difficult was it to hold yourself back to do those short little intervals and only 10 reps of them at a time?


LESLEY WEST:  It actually surprisingly wasn’t that bad because I like to follow rules. I put so much trust in the professionals that I see, the doctors and the coaches and my doctor, he himself is a former coach and athlete, he’s a very well-known sports doctor and he gave me this programme, so it was okay. I just did exactly what I was told and I think I’ve seen enough people as well, through rehab, not doing the rehab or coming back too soon and it just doesn’t ever work for anyone.


BRAD BROWN:  I think that’s so important and you’ve mentioned this a few times. Your coach and just trusting the process, your coach knows what’s good for you. You’ve obviously got to find someone that you’ve got that relationship with, that you buy into their process and their systems and you just trust that 100%, same thing with the doctors. Has that always been the case or has that been something you’ve developed over time?


LESLEY WEST:  No, I think it’s probably always just been me. I think back even to, I was pretty well behaved in school, didn’t get into trouble, just did what I was told. I think it’s probably, you know, my upbringing, you were told to do something, you did it. Not that my parents were overly strict or anything, but it was just that’s, and it’s in my nature, yeah, especially if it’s on advice of someone who I believe really knows what they’re talking about. It’s not going onto Dr Google and Dr Google telling you all the different things you could do. It’s taking really advice that comes from a good source.


BRAD BROWN:  Or popping into a Facebook group and asking, “I’ve got a tight hamstring, what should I do?” That’s my favorite!!


LESLEY WEST:  Absolutely, maybe upload your MRI scan and just be like, “Does anybody know what this mark here is?” That’s awesome, that’ll work!!


BRAD BROWN:  I love that. What’s the secret to running well off the bike, particularly if you’ve had to push hard on the bike?


LESLEY WEST:  Cadence, high cadence. I’d say I’m lucky, I did the run leg of a spring race the other week, it was an 8km at the end of the sprint and my cadence was 206, so that’s pretty, it was going pretty quick. My normal long run, say on a Sunday is about 190, so I have a naturally very high turnover but I do think that that lends itself fairly well to running off the bike, just getting the legs moving, really just getting that turnover going.


BRAD BROWN:  Is that something you train or as you say, it just comes from your netball –


LESLEY WEST:  It just happens, I mean I’m fairly short, I don’t really think about it, I just run. It’s not like we haven’t done anything to make it quicker, obviously it’s verging on the almost too fast side but at the same time, there don’t seem to be an repercussions from it. The stress fracture was unrelated to that. If it was affecting me adversely then we might look at it, but it seems to just be my natural running style.


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


LESLEY WEST:  We have a great session that we do in Melbourne, we did it a few times that it’s got, it takes in a hill at the end, so about 150m of a hill and doing 750m of sort of solid easy back, 500, 500 slowly to hard and each time you’re finishing with 150m up a hill, back 250, 250 hard, straight up this hill, back to the start, doing that three or four times. It’s really tough but for me it’s one of those sessions that really can be a real maker.


BRAD BROWN:  Brilliant, Lesley, it’s been great catching up once again, thank you so much for your time on The Kona Edge, I look forward to chatting a little bit about your nutrition, but we’ll save that for next time.


LESLEY WEST:  Great, thanks Brad.

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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