Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/tbbh/public_html/blogs.teamtbb.com/wp-includes/ms-load.php on line 113
General « Joseph Spindler's Blog


Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Triathlon podcast interview

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Recently, I met Marco Sommer, from www.triathlon-podcast.de. It was a great interview and good talk. We covered lot’s of interesting topics like the actual doping discussions caused by the return into the sport of some convicted drug cheats, the WTC points system and of course training and culture within teamTBB and under Brett Sutton. It’s in German and ideal to shorten time at your next long turbo session or your travel to your next race. Check it out!


Name: Jo Spindler – Occupation: ‘Professional Tourist’

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

That’s what happens when you spend 8 weeks (so far!) training on Lanzarote, friends back home start to call you the ‘professional tourist’ – or, alternatively ‘pool-boy’ or ‘life-guard’ but that’s due to them jealously seeing pics of my tanned physique on Facebook! Little do they know that this ‘beach holiday tan’ is from countless hours training in the sun and in fact trying to avoid getting too much exposure! Doesn’t stop the friends back home thre

atening to bleach my skin back to an acceptable northern european winter colour when I return, such as back to their anaemic white!

All joking aside, of course it is a real privilege to be allowed to spend the dark, endless winter in the warmth of Lanzarote. Nevertheless my days here are filled with doing the day-job; hard pre-season training, coaching (including hours of technique/video and biomechanic analysis) which leaves very little time for the traditional holiday or leisure activities.

Unfortunately despite our length of stay on this beautiful island, we’ve had no opportunity to play tourist – no trips to the house of Manriques, nor the lava caves, not even surfing in Famara. Even my trusty copy of Schirrmacher’s Ego lies almost untouched on my bed-side table – although contrary to what you may be thinking, that’s nothing to do with the either the author or content of this particular masterpiece!

Always a silver-lining however (and I know you’re already feeling sorry for me!),  Finally, after much personal endeavour, driven perhaps by significant caffeine withdrawal, we found the perfect cafe and as a bonus, an excellent restaurant – afterall, if I’m not training/coaching I need to rest and sit around eating, right?! Another tick in the box is that both establishments are close-by and further maximise recovery time, bonus!

At Casa Matilda you get excellent Espresso, with the perfect Crema (!), round taste – and added to this a big range of homemade cakes and pastries. Especially real Apfelstrudel and amazing good white Tiramisu. The Café is in a small traditinal Canarian square which is dwarfed by a huge rubber tree in its middle providing adequate shade on the hottest days. Here you sit & relax in a tranquil and wind protected -and more importantly, totally missed by the hoards of conquering Easter tourists. It sure is hard to drag yourself away from the cake buffet and to jump on your bike and do the 3rd session of the day!

Obviously, as a professional triathlon coach I have to adapt and come up with a solution to this cake-ride conundrum. Well, I’d like to change directly from the afternoon coffee to the dinner!

Mr. Romeo is the name of our favourite restaurant. Of course we say this with conviction because we’ve done a rigorous (and unfortunately expensive) evaluation of all restaurants in Costa Teguise – forget your online tourist guide, just ask me…

It’s in it own charming courtyard too (this time with sea views) and not far away from Casa Matilda and stylishly furnished in shades of blue. You get crispy pizzas with very thin dough, homemade penne and ravioli, fresh fish and excellent steaks. Interestingly I’ve only seen women working there and so far haven’t met Mr. Romeo himself or in fact, if there’s really a Mr. Romeo? Not that is matters as this lady-team are doing an excellent job without him!

There are a few things which I’ll miss after my ‘professional holiday’.

Definitively the Espresso at Casa Matilda and the pizza at Mr. Romeo are amongst them. The sun and warmth of Lanzarote as well and hopefully, if I time it just right, we’ll return home at the same time that early summer arrives in northern Europe, afterall, I need to keep the old sun tan topped-up don’t I ?!

Winter training camp

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

We made a great decision choosing Lanzarote as our winter training base, the most important thing is that it’s warm! In our first 3 weeks on the island we had only 2 days of rain (ok, it rained 3x5mins – we even have a movie as proof!). And yes, Lanza being Lanza, it’s always windy but at least a nice warm wind!

Having trained on Mallorca in Dec

ember, it’s interesting to compare the two locations:

Lanzarote is much warmer (it’s off the African coast) and training is more weatherproofed. We can swim in the outdoor pool, mostly even without wetsuit.

Mallorca is the cycling mecca with lots of variety although Lanza’s unique volcanic environment (think Kona-like with its very own lava fields) has its very own unique & special charm.

But with its mountains, lush green plains and almond trees, Mallorca offers more in terms of sight-seeing and beautiful landscape. The roads are equally as good on both islands (it’s no comparison to the Lanzarote 10 years ago!) and much better than in many parts of Germany (!). L

anzarote is harder because you can’t do flat bike rides and the heavy wind is blowing like hell. 15km/h in your aero position, downhill, at 250 watts: that’s a real mental challenge!

Compared to our other Canary Island training camp last year on Gran Canaria, we’ve found Lanza to be much warmer. There aren’t long and steep climbs (you can see this as an advantage or disadvantage). There is less traffic on Lanzarote and (you won’t easily find this on Gran Canaria) plus we’ve found two really good time-trial routes.

We’ll certainly be coming back to Lanza’ in September. Heat, wind, hilly roads (and those Lava fields!) – probably there is no better location for a perfect Hawaii preparation.

For sure everybody wants to know how we train. Unfortunately I can’t reveal all our secrets, but here are some parameters: circa 34 hours of training with a focus on bike sessions. 6 swim, 6 bike and 5 run workouts per week.

But most importantly, is that our training is influenced deeply by the location of our camp. Based on the local conditions (e.g. landscape, weather, pool) every Camp location has its very own unique training. If we’re on Mallorca or Gran Canaria the same athletes would do a work with a different schedule/process, even if the race schedule is the same. Brett is a master in reading an area and its specific training facilities. His athletes are so successful because he sends them to the training locations which suits them best to improve their performances based on their weaknesses and strengths. Brett’s most important training tools are maybe the conditions of that location, such as the temperature, wind, mountains, hills etc. Brett uses this ‘environmental’ information more than any other coach we know who would usually be stuck on whether to use paddles and heart rate monitors on a particular day!

A typical or model plan doesn’t exist, certainly not one that can be repeated and copied. Brett therefore has a special training and ‘non-formula’ method which is always freshly adapted for different athletes and conditions.

Train smart!



Swimmer’s Ear

Friday, November 30th, 2012

With some of my teamTBB Germany athletes, I’m currently in a heavy swim block. The weather outside is pretty cold in Germany, with some snow already. So now ist he best time to work on that swim.

However, I suffered several times from swimmer’s ear, also called otitis externa. It’s an inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal. It occurs rather suddenly, rapidly worsens, and becomes very painful and alarming. The ear canal skin swells nd becomes tender to touch – sometimes to such an extent, that even chewing is painful. So I had to stick to very soft food, or simply eat less ;-)
As at least in European’s northern region lots of athletes hit the pool more often right now, I thought I post how I deal with this condition.

To develop otitis externa two factors are required (1) the presence of germs that can infect the skin and (2) impairments in the integrity of the skin of the ear canal that allow infection to occur.

Therefore it is very important to not injure your ear’s skin by inserting anything into the ear canal. Avoid strictly the use of cotton buds or swabs! It is the most common event leading to acute otitis externa!

As germs love warmth and wetness, swimming exposes your ear to lots of that germs, and the water entering your ear additionally alterates the your ears skin. So to prevent otitis externa it helps to stop water from getting into your ear.

Before your swim, put some cotton batting into your auricle to avoid water entering your ear canal. Even better is to apply some skin cream on the batting before putting it into the auricle. Skin cream contains fat and fat is hydrophobic. This works really well. Never use one of these ear plugs twice to avoid contaminating the healthy or healing ear.

Always use a swim cap, it holds the batting in place and also helps to avoid water getting into your ear.

If despite of all that you nevertheless develop acute otitis externa, go to your physician. He will remove debris (wax, shed skin, and pus) from the ear canal. Next he will insert a wick of cotton, saturated with a medication, which fights swelling and germs.

Also taking an NSAID (Paracetamol, Ibuprofen etc.) will give you some relief of pain and it also has an anti-inflammatory effect. Usually most oft the pain is gone within three days.

Your physician will tell you to stop swimming until your ear has healed completely. However, this is not an option for a TBB athlete swimming a heavy swim block. ;-) So using the above mentioned cotton batting with cream will sufficiently keep water away from your ear canal and help healing. Healing process may take a few days longer – but at least you don’t miss a session.

Happy swimming!

Challenge Copenhagen

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

My first long distance race after a 2 year brake of racing was Challenge Copenhagen last weekend. I enjoyed it very much to be back to racing again, including all the related mess of packing, traveling, waking up early and so on. ;-) However, the feeling of being fit and well prepared and operate at my limits weighs out everything. Well, I messed up the swim, steering to the wrong buoy at the start and loosing some feets. And, well, it took me 1 hour to find my bike legs. And, well, I died a bit at the end of the marathon. And, well, I had to run half the marathon with numb feet, and yes, the whole marathon with stitches. But when, 2 hours into the race, all barriers disappeared and the body finally got into racing mode, I flew through the field and it was a real cool pain party. After the bike leg I was in 12 position, but quickly fetched my competitors, one after the other. I made it into top 5 finally with only a bit more than 2 minutes to place 4, but unfortunately, a marathon only has 42,2 km. ;-)

We had perfect conditions, warm, sunny weather, spectacular crowd and the wonderful city of Copenhagen! Copenhagen has a unique flair, very relaxed people and the best is, that I never saw so much people doing their daily traveling with bike. At most corssing lights, you have 30,40, 50 cyclists, of all kind, students, business men, houswifes, all on their bikes. Lots of couples use a bike with a big basket in front, where one person sits and is driven around.
However, the race was compromised by Diana’s accident. Police and race marshals allowed a bus to cross the race course so short in front of her that she couldn’t brake or avoid the bus and crashed with high speed into the side of the vehicle so badly that she broke her collar bone. This is a thing which cannot happen under any circumstance in a race – as a racing athlete has no other joyce than to trust the safeness of the course and the circumspection of the race officials. She already was in third when it happened and had a good chance to win the race. Now her season is ruined, she has to have a surgery and cannot race for 8 weeks at least.
Coming back from my long brake and structuring my training in a new way, building up my performance from scratch, I further completed my coaching expertise. Especially with the help, knowledge and advise of Brett. And the best is: I am willing to share! My coached athletes will profit from that knowledge. So if you are interested please contact me at teamtbbcoaching.com.
There was some serious soreness after the race, however, I already completed 8 hours of training the 4 days following the race. So clearly on a mission again ;-) Thanks to my team, which believed in me and all my sponsors and supporters. Alex and Brett first of all, the crew at the Bike Boutique Germany, Cervelo who sent desperately needed parts to race hotel within no time, 2XU and Ralf from Filser Sport Marketing for fast suit and great short time support whenever needed, Campagnolo who also helped incredibly fast, ON Running, COBB Cycling, Ignite Naturals. Racing an ironman always looks like an individual performance. But for sure, you need an outstanding team and inspiring people behind you for outstanding performance. Looking forward for more to come!

Bike Crash

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

teamTBB Germany does a little training camp here in Bad Tölz. The weather is nice, not too warm, but after a long winter we are happy to ride outside. However, yesterday, when we did our 30/30/30 moderate/medium/mad session we had a really bad bike crash. We already settled into a nice rhythm and were just about to launch the mad turbo, when a car violated our right of way. Andrej, riding in first position, could slip through somehow, but when Yves and me tried to do the same we touched each other, our bikes got jammed and off we went through the air. Then lots of people, emergency, police. They took us to hospital. After lots of examinations, scans and X-rays they told us that we have lots of abrasions and bruises, but fortunately, nothing broken, head and spine ok. They monitored us for 2 nights and finally allowed us to leave hospital. Our hardware had less luck: Helmets broken into pieces, bikes broken, my beautiful Campagnolo wheels so badly crooked that we couldn’t remove them from the frame. And last but not least a friendly but stubborn nurse cut our beloved 2XU clothes from our bodies…

However, the most important thing is that Andrej, a Croatian national, didn’t get hurt. In case of injury he surely would have told the emergency guys to shoot him rather than to help him, as he forgot to buy a travel insurance for Germany.

During my stay in hospital I had to share my room with a guy. When he heard that I had a bike accident he proudly told me that he also had a bike accident. He was a bit older and a bit more corpulent than me and seemed to have really bad pain as he initialized every of his moves with a deep-drawn sigh. When I asked him how he got his rip broke, he told me that he was trying to climb on his bike, but couldn’t place his feet properly on the pedals. And while he was desperately trying to place his feet on the pedals, the bike slowed down, it almost stopped, he lost balance, crashed into the street and all his bones were broken.

So next time, when you go out for a ride, please remember that you don’t have to ride 45+ km/h to hurt yourself. With proper technique, it looks like you can do this with no speed at all.

Ride safe!!


teamTBB rocks Cologne226!

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Well, it’s 4am in the morning and I can’t sleep so I thought I post a quick note on the race in Cologne. We managed to have a double win, with Diana dominating the race from the beginning on in sovereign manner. Her task was to get her nutrition right and run a fast marathon. She accomplished this mission with a 3:11 personal best. Chapeau and congratulations! For me it was a bit harder as 120km into the bike I had a massive crash when I lost control over my bike at a big street bump at a speed of 50kph. However, bike was ok and so I put myself together, escaped the aproaching ambulance and went on. In T2 I was back 16 minutes – but a 2:50 marathon brought me into the lead at km 37 and I finally won the race! So double win for teamTBB – that’s awsome. However, now that the adrenalin is gone, my body hurts quite a bit. I have abrasions all over so don’t know exactly how to lay down and sleep. The aidmen had to cut me out of my race suit (it was badly disrupted anyway) and covered the worst wounds, but some are too big to bandage or tape them… It’s a pitty, as it was the best race suit I ever had. I will follow up later with some pics from the race. For now, I would like to thank Sebastian and Erik for their great support before, during and after the race; the organizer Uwe Jeschke for a perfect accomodation at the Maritim hotel right at the finish line; and surely Brett for having me come to Leysin for a short training camp leading up to the race. Without that I wouldn’t have won. Thanks a ton!

2nd at OstseeMan

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Jo, Christian and Horst

Last Sunday I raced Ostseeman and finished second in 8:31. Christian Nitschke, a young coming German athlete from Rostock, had a perfect day with even performances in all 3 disciplines. We battled it out till the end and the best won. Congratulations on a great job!

I started my race with a slow swim and didn’t have those legs on the bike. So I really had to push me hard through that bike split but still rode 20 watts less than last year. Still rode a 4:36 due to the superior bike set up of my P4 (more about that soon). In T2 I was 3rd with 9 min back to the leader and 3 min to 2nd. I knew there was a chance to still win the race if I could run a fast marathon. So I started with a fast but reasonable pace right away. There was not much movement amongst us during the first half of the marathon, but then the other guys slowed down and I could hold my pace. 2nd after 25km, but still 6 min on the leader. At an iron distance race, it can always happen, that out of a sudden your plug is pulled. So I pushed hard till the end, to be there, if Christian had to slow down. He felt my breath in his neck, I made him fear. But finally he made it to the finish line 3 min ahead of me. He paced his race very well and my 2:48 marathon didn’t catch him. Chapeau again!

So all in all: Not a perfect day for me, but I made the best out of it. Happy with my run time. And the swim and bike I will fix until my next race at Cologne 226. I will be strong there!

Thanks to Reinhard and all the volunteers and Glücksburg residents for a perfect organized race with really unique atmosphere and familiarity. OstseeMan is not the biggest or the most famous race, but it seriously is one of the most charming. I enjoyed my homstay with family Carstens very much, thanks a ton for all the support!

Lanzarote Camp III

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

After my last blog I got a lot of questions of what I learnd during my camp with the Germans and the Spanish matadores. Well, most of it is not explicit, it’s their attitude, their approach to training. First of all, I was astonished of how easy and relaxed they go for it. They simply love what they are doing. They are much more relaxed than the average athlete who is so much determined to his targets and high work ethics that he often misses to simple enjoy himself. The really good guys simply have a lot of fun. Big boys playing! But dont be foold: They joke all the time, but they do a ton of work! And they are not afraid to suffer. It’s part of the game, completely normal to them. A 5 hour ride with lots of hills, a fast run after that, then a good swim? They don’t make any noise of that. Just a daily habit.

Real pros ride their bikes differently. The average athlete always tries to prove how tough he is. He descends like crazy. Real pros risk nothing on a downhill during a training ride. They have the ability to descend fast, but they don’t if they must not, – just smooth, easy, controlled… and wait for the next hill to blow the group apart…

And training-wise? What about their magic sessions? Well, we talked a lot about training. But after all, there is nothing like a magic session. You would be surprised of how less the top end guys care about magic sessions. The secret is that they train a lot, train hard and with lots of fun. Ironman is for iron people. Or as Lothar would put it: Every rest day is a lost day. A lot helps a lot. More is better. Too much is only half enough. Running comes from running. And pain is weakness which leaves the body. Hehehe. Shut up and go hard!

Lanzarote Camp, Part II

Friday, February 5th, 2010

During the first week of my campe here at Lanzarote, I covered roughly 850k on the bike, 100k on the run and 16k on the swim. As you can see, pretty normal numbers. I did nothing extraordinary, no crazy sessions, just very consistent training. My body is responding quite well to the load and the sessions in the second week are (up to now) much faster. I am joining my room with Lothar Leder and Michael Eisenkolb, a long training buddy, with whom I did most of my first sessions starting back 10 years ago in Berlin. We are a good team, have lots of fun an laughs.

As I normally do all my training alone, I am enjoying training in a group very much, although it means that I have to change my normal riding rhythm (SRM paced) completely. For some rides, Ivan Rana, Eneko Llanos and some other Spanish pros are joining in, ensuring that the pace does not slow down too much ;-) . The group forces you to push your limits. Every day there is someone who has good legs forcing you to give more than you would have on your own or thought possible. On the other hand, group riding is dangerous as well – you have to control your ego closely and stay calm to not mess up all your base fittness by doing lots of sprints and power spikes. However, it is great fun, to ride and learn from the best. Train healthy and enjoy!