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Archive for July, 2011

Podium at Aronamen Triathlon in Italy

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

I did the short travel to Arona in Italy at the weekend to race Aronamen Triathlon. As it seems it was a very good idea, because I did my best 70.3 race so far.

Arona is a very nice town at Lago Maggiore in northern Italy. A wonderful location for a triathlon race! The swim in the lake went smooth and without any big problems. I could hold the first big group which was a good start for me. Just two men and one woman were out of the water in front of that group.

The bike course led alongside the nice coastline of the lake to a turnaround after about 20km. The first 30km were nearly flat and I felt really good on the bike too. Then the real fun began when we rode into the first climb of the day. But even there I felt fantastic and did not struggle like I did before the training camp in Switzerland ;-) . I think I´m really used to hills now after at least 30.000 m of elevation during the 5 weeks in Leysin!

My personal nightmare of the day began in the first decent. It was very technical and my rear wheel often tried to overtake me… Due to a part with bad roads in that decent I lost my P4 bottle with the gels (and this bottle sits really tight in the P4 rim…). In the 5 seconds after that my brain was working in high speed. Just continue and risk a bonk since I just passed an aid station or turn and pick it up again and loose some more time…

I choose the saver option and turned to pick it up again. I still think I made the right decision even though it got close at the end.

The rest of the bike ride was boring since I was alone all the time apart from the motor cycle 50 to 100m in front of me. At the end I had a 2:15 bike split on a course with 900m of elevation. Happy with that too!!! Just before the transition I caught up with the 3rd placed Vladimir Polykarpenko a former ITU guy who was first out of the water. After a fast transition I could put some meters between me and him (yes even long course guys can have a fast transition ;-) ) but he closed the gap within the first 500m of the run and we ran together for the next 20km! Psychologically it was the hardest run I´ve ever had because I have not been in such a situation before. I tried to pull away some times but he closed the gap every time immediately. Just 500m before the finish line an all or nothing effort rescued me the podium! I don’t want to know what would have happened if the finish line had been 10m further away…

The fastest run split of the day (1:17:40 including the transition) was again a personal best. It´s funny that I had my fastest 70.3 race (4:01:45) on such a hilly course ;-) . The second placed swiss pro Nicolas Beyeler and the first placed Italian pro Domenico Passuello were 1.5 /4 min in front at the end.

Now I´m looking forward to defend my title as north German long course champ at Ostseeman Triathlon in just 11 days!

foto by: http://www.aronamen.it/

Triathlon and Family best friend or worst enemy?

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

I was planning to write this blog already since some weeks but with two children it is sometimes difficult to get organized everything in time…

And that is exactly the topic this blog is going to be about.

I have got a wonderful daughter at the age of 2 years and 6 months and a little cute son at the age of 1 year.

To be honest, sometimes it is not easy to give a clear answer on the title question. There are situations in which it would be so much easier as a lonely single man, but also much less funny and fulfilled!!! My little son Lars has for example been very ill during the time I´ve been in training camp in Krabi. It was very close to that I rebooked my flight and got back to Germany of that reason. But fortunately he got better just before I made that decision! To be honest it was very difficult to focus on training these days. And when I come back home from a hard training session, I can´t just fall into my bed and enjoy the pain, but there are two little tornados who want to be entertained in the children´s room ;-) ! When I´m really exhausted I try to do some stuff with them where I have to move as less as possible, like puzzling or reading a book. For that reason we have installed a nice hanging seat in the children´s room where I can relax and watch them play. It is very handsome to have two children nearly at the same age, because they already begun to play with each other. Then it is just necessary to organize them a little bit, because both like to play most with the toy the other one is playing with ;-) . It is actually really relaxing to be there and watch them play and play with them. I think it gives me some extra energy which I won´t have without them!

It is also very important to involve my family in my training sessions, because they are the best motivation I can imagine and they understand much better what I´m doing every day. It can be very much fun to run a hard session on the track and watch my children playing on the field beside the track or on the track itself. My daughter is always trying to chase me with her little bike while Lars is playing in the sandbox for the long jumps and my wife is just enjoying the sun and keeps the two out of my way ;-) . On the long runs my wife is often with me on the bike with the two children in the hanger behind. If there is someone screaming “daddy faster” all the time, it never gets boring to run 2 hrs and more. And when it is hot weather conditions, she can provide me something to drink very easy.

Since it is dead flat at home, I do my strength sessions with Frida and Lars in the bike hanger behind my P4. They can do there midday sleep while I have a really hard resistance on the bike to get stronger.

And when one of them is ill and can´t be in the kinder garden for some hours, I ride on the bike trainer with a child sitting on the aero bars watching a nice cartoon.

I think I could mention at least 100 more examples like that, but the most important for me is to have them all with me when I´m racing important races. It is an amazing motivation to see them when it gets hard in the race. I don´t know if I would have won the Ostseeman Triathlon last year if they have not been there cheering on me. And the emotion to know that we did it all together was one of the strongest I have ever had when I was finishing the race together with my daughter!

I think especially for age group athletes who are working full time it is all about time management and involving the family in the training sessions to avoid any conflicts.

If you´re riding the bike with your children/s behind you, you are for sure slow enough that your partner can be with you or you might even have a hard session ;-) . Swim sometimes at the beach, while your family can enjoy themselves in the sun and you can practice open water swimming. If you are visiting friends, take the bike or run while the rest of your family is driving. You will have so much more qualitative time with your family and they will enjoy the additional time with you and there will be less “do you really need to do a bike/run session now?” ;-) !