On today’s edition of The Kona Edge, we catch up with two-time defending age group Kona world champion Dan Stubleski, who tells us why he was disappointed with his marathon time at Kona and what he has done to improve on his Ironman marathon time.
BRAD BROWN: You’re listening to The Kona Edge, I’m Brad Brown, thanks for joining us again and what a pleasure to welcome our next guest back onto the podcast. He is a two-time defending age group world champion, he has won his age group twice on the big island and in 2015 he ran a 3:10 marathon and was disappointed by it, so you can just tell what sort of guy he is. He is a machine. Dan Stubleski, welcome, nice to have you back on again.
DAN STUBLESKI: Yes, no problem.
BRAD BROWN: 3:10 and you’re disappointed, that’s scary.
DAN STUBLESKI: Yeah, I mean I was happy I finished, but I was disappointed in the 3:10 cause I went 2:58 the year before, I was trying to go under 3.
BRAD BROWN: What’s your marathon PR?
DAN STUBLESKI: Stand-alone?
BRAD BROWN: Yeah.
DAN STUBLESKI: Stand-alone, I never ran a stand-alone marathon. I guess Kona with 2:58 would be my fastest PR.
BRAD BROWN: That’s amazing, in Kona, in those weather conditions, to run a 2:58 as your best marathon, you must be incredibly proud of that.
DAN STUBLESKI: Yeah, I’m happy as I look back at it, but you know, you always are like, I wonder if I did this I would have gone a little bit faster or this and that, but then you’ve got to look back and say, it was a good time.
BRAD BROWN: We’ll take it! What do you do to make sure that your legs are in fairly decent shape off the bike? Is there anything that you do on the bike to prepare yourself to get ready for the run?
DAN STUBLESKI: Usually, you know, the last little bit, 10 miles, I start to drink a little bit more and try to relax and loosen up and getting ready for the run. Try not to push too hard the last 10 miles because that’s where you’re ready to run, it’s going to take a lot to get your legs feeling right.
BRAD BROWN: Do you love running off the bike, is it something that you look forward to? Those last 10 miles of the bike, for a lot of people, it’s just like relief that they can get off this blimmin’ bicycle, but do you feel, this is it, now it’s time to shine and this is going to be fun?
DAN STUBLESKI: Yeah, I do love running, almost as much as I love biking, but I do like those last 10 miles, I’m almost ready to get off and run and then push to the end.
BRAD BROWN: Is there one thing that you’ve done on your run that you think has given you a huge improvement over the years that you’ve mad tried through trial and error and you go, you know what, that works, I’m going to keep on doing that?
DAN STUBLESKI: Yeah, usually I do a lot of bike run work outs, so usually when I’m, a lot of people struggle the first few miles on the run to get going, but once I get off the bike and I’m ready to run, it’s all business, I’m ready to go.
BRAD BROWN: What would you say is the key to your success or what has been the key to your success?
DAN STUBLESKI: Mental toughness I guess.
BRAD BROWN: It’s all the hours on the indoor isn’t it?
DAN STUBLESKI: Yeah, if you can run 15 or 16 -18 miles on a treadmill at once, you can easily run outside, it’s a lot easier.
BRAD BROWN: I always say, I hate it, absolute hate running on a treadmill, but when I do do lots of work on a treadmill, I think it’s also because you know you can get off at any time. As much as you’re hating a workout, it takes mental fortitude to keep on doing it because you know you can switch that damn thing off and get off at any time.
DAN STUBLESKI: Right, exactly.
BRAD BROWN: As opposed to being dropped off 20 miles from home and the only way to get home, is if you run.
DAN STUBLESKI: Right!
BRAD BROWN: Dan, as far as workouts go, do you do lots of intensity and speed work? What are some of the favourite things that you do on the run?
DAN STUBLESKI: Usually my run outdoors are pretty high intensity. I don’t do a lot of intervals, I just will go for a run and I got my distance and I know my time of where I want to be and I just push through it.
BRAD BROWN: Do you do much long stuff? You say you’ve never run a stand-alone marathon, which I wouldn’t say I find surprising, but it’s interesting that you don’t run marathons unless they’re in Ironman? From a distance perspective, your long runs in the buildup to an Ironman, what would the longest typically be that you would run?
DAN STUBLESKI: I think I ran an 18 miler one time, last year I didn’t run a long distance, really long. I think the longest last year was 14 miles or 13, but I do a lot of doubles on a Saturday or Sunday, I’ll do two 10 mile runs, but I’ll split one up in the morning, one in the evening.
BRAD BROWN: Do you think that’s been a key to your success as well, is not overdoing the running? Obviously, if you look at the three disciplines, the run is where your body takes the biggest beating and especially if you’re doing lots and long miles, you can struggle from a recovery point of view, do you think that might be one of the things that you’ve done that’s been the key to your success?
DAN STUBLESKI: I think so because a lot of people do a lot of 20 miler runs or whatever they do, a lot of 2 hour run. I’m like, that’s crazy talk, cause you know, I’ll run for an hour and a half and I’ll feel beat up and sore and tired and if you’re not running the next day, what’s the point of running 20 miles? You can just run two 10 milers and it’ll be the same and your body won’t be as beat up. That’s why I like running on a treadmill a lot because it doesn’t beat your body up. So, I can consistently train and it doesn’t affect me as much as if I ran outside.
BRAD BROWN: We spoke about the Power meter on the bike, do you train to heart rate on the run?
DAN STUBLESKI: Yeah, I watch it. Usually I watch my pace more. The heart rate, as long as I’m not feeling bad, oh, if my heart rates up I’m going to slow down, no, it’s usually my pace is slowing down, I’ve got to speed up.
BRAD BROWN: Brilliant. Dan, thank you very much for your time once again here on The Kona Edge, much appreciated, we look forward to catching up again soon.