For the past 12 years, Corbin has been doing this exact run workout the Sunday before race day, and although she does it in the infamous Energy Lab on the Kona run course, she has a “replicate at home” version for our Triathlete.com readers.
The session is essentially a build run, which you can tailor to your own race-specific pace. Corbin says: “This is a bread-and-butter, nothing special workout, but what makes it special to me is the location of the run: the famous Energy Lab on the Ironman Hawaii run course. I park at mile 12 of the marathon and run from miles 12 through 20-ish of the race, which is into the Energy Lab, to the turnaround, back out and then return to the car.”
She describes the session as a simple build, starting with two miles easy jog, before progressing to two miles at “realistic” Ironman pace. She then targets two miles at goal Ironman pace, before hitting two miles at tempo. She wraps it up with a one-mile cooldown.
She says: “I like this run as by the time I do it I’ve been in Kona for a few days, so the heat and humidity is a bit more manageable. I like to have a variety of paces to wake the body up after a few days of rest. You have to practice patience the first part of the run and will then get a good idea of what race pace will feel like the last half of the run.”
Of course, not everyone can run eight to nine miles in a one-hour workout, so here’s how to replicate it at home. Start with a 15-minute relaxed warm-up, gently raising heart rate and getting your body moving well. Next up is 15 minutes at a “smooth” pace, think 6-7/10 RPE (rate of perceived exertion). The next 15-minute block sees you dropping 20 seconds per mile off the pace you were running previously—so this is a good jump in pace. But wait, you’re not done yet: for the final 15-minute block you’re going to be dropping another 20 seconds per mile. Finish with a 5-10 minute easy cooldown.
If you’re pushed for time and have a hard stop at 60 minutes then pare back the last effort to 10 minutes and spend the final five minutes cooling down.
Linsey Corbin’s Go-To Kona Build Run
15 minutes easy
15 minutes smooth, think 6-7/10 RPE (note your pace)
15 minutes dropping 20 seconds per mile off your pace from the previous block (7-8/10 RPE)
15 minutes dropping another 20 seconds per mile off your pace from the previous block (8-9/10 RPE)
10 minutes easy