Meet Phaedra Kennedy. Owner of PK Performance Coaching and Run Coach at Black Toe Running. Twitter brought us together in 2014 as I had followed her running posts for a couple of years and reached out to her for advice on running my first Boston and her return after the tragedy of the 2013 race. Now good friends, I asked Phaedra to share some of her insights into cross training for better performance, what to eat for fuel and what she does with her free time! Enjoy.
Me: So Phaedra, you just had an amazing race at the IronMan 70.3 in Muskoka and placed 2nd in your age group. Can you give us examples of how strength training improved your performance in this race?
PK: At the start of my training build, my coach had me doing a lot of single leg balance work and core work. On occasion she would give me more traditional weight workouts but the overall focus of most of my strength work was single leg balance work and core. Running and cycling are single leg activities so strength training that way makes sense, especially during your race season. A strong core will help you transfer power more effectively and it will also keep you stable. Effective power transfer means no wasted energy and that means you go faster. And we all want to be able to go faster, right?
Me: I’m always preaching that we need to eat for fuel. Did you change the way to ate for this race?
PK: Not really. I eat fairly “clean” 80% of the time. I just focused on making sure I was eating enough (with a heavier focus on carbs early to mid-week) and getting in the appropriate amount of protein and carbs right after my workouts to help with recovery.
Me: What’s your advice for women specifically trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight?
PK: Keep track of what you eat and measure your food. Figure out your macros and work with those numbers. I know when I “eyeball” something, it generally ends up being too much. Don’t rely on guesswork.
Me: As a busy coach and athlete what do you do for fun?
PK: I love a good coffee ride (easy bike ride to a destination coffee shop, stop for a coffee and a treat and ride back) so when I’m not training for anything specific, that’s what I do for fun. I also like to make jewellery and have been making charm bracelets out of semi-precious stones.