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 ?!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!]]>
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!]]>
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!]]>