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Joseph Spindler's Blog


Lanzarote Training Camp

January 29th, 2010 by josephspindler

Currently I am for a 2 week training camp on Lanzarote. I love the island: Lot’s of wind and hills and monotony! Weather is good, 20 degree, but quite chilly when you have a lot of wind. Today I finished my first 30k run this year. Maybe, over Chirstmas I forgot a bit how hard triathlon can be… Very happy to be back to the real triathlon training thing again.
It’s a great thing to be able to escape the heavy winter in Germany now. Nevertheless, I am a bit worried what happens if I go back again to -20 degrees and mountains of snow. Maybe I will squeeze in a big swim week and then head off to our team training camp in Thailand as soon as possible.

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So, how did you start the new Year?

January 2nd, 2010 by josephspindler

Well, let’s better start with how you endend the last year? For me, I did a 2 hour swim and a 3 hour bike – with rain, 3° Celsius and the last hour of the ride in the dark. As I like it, nevertheless. Thankfully, that training earned me the right to join the New Years eve party with my family. In Germany we usually have fondue or raclette for years eve meal, this year we had raclette. (By the way, for Christmas eve we Bavarians traditionally have sausages as the preferred meal – Weißwürste, sweet mustard and pretzels, don’t ask me why exactly).
It was a cold and clear night, but we lacked the discipline to wait until midnight and headed to bed at 10 or so. Nico would have made it till midnight, that’s not the problem. But the problem would be that he needs a week to get back into his normal sleep pattern after such an escapade. Me too, by the way (getting older??). Basically, I don’t like to start a new day feeling tired and sick anyway. So no drama here.

Now back to my first question. How did you start the new year? As far as I’m concerned , we started early, I put Nico in the baby carrier and we headed out for a long run (unfortuneately, pool was closed today). I love the morning of the first day of a new year very much. It is probably the most quiet morning of the whole year. Empty streets, no people around, everybody still sleeping. Clean, fresh, untouched light and air. Lot’s of good energy. Gives you the funny feeling of beeing both the last and the first warrior on earth at the same time…

All the best for 2010, keep on moving!

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Winter Dreaming

December 13th, 2009 by josephspindler

A good friend of mine sent me this video. Thanks a ton Doris!

That are exactly the dreams I am dreaming during winter time. Reminds me a lot of our bike rides in Leysin :-) ).


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Yet you are here

November 29th, 2009 by josephspindler

Yesterday, we did a family trip to Munich. We go there by train, it’s a scenic trip along the mountains of approximately an hour. It was a beautiful day, lots of sun – in fact the warmest 28th of November since 120 years. Christl went to the shops, Nico and me to the birthday party of a friend. He turned 50 today. We had good talks and a delicious lunch. And there was a women, Helena, with a wonderful soft and deep voice who was singing Spanish songs from time to time, accompanying herself with an accordion. She stood there, alone in the middle of a big saloon, singing, her eyes closed. Nico listend to her, motionless, mesmerized.

Back in town, we met Christl again at the Marienplatz. It was getting dark. Lots of people. Lots of Christmas stars. And there was a hughe Christmas tree in the middle of the place illuminated by literally thousands of bright lighting candles.

On our way back home, sitting in the train, eating some foods, we suddenly heard a hushed noice, like a small bird flying against a window. Engines switched off, the train stopped, somewhere in the nowhere before the next station.

Soon we were surrounded by dozens of ambulance men, police men and firemen as it turned out that someone decided to end his life with help of our train. The vehicle was not allowed to move for a long time. We sat there more than 2 hours. Talking our talks, thinking our thoughts. After we arrived home, I searched the internet for titan bikes.

Today morning, a poem came into my mind. Written by Rose Ausländer, it tells us to put things into the right perspective. Keen and gentle at the same time, her words fill me with solace, quivering confidence and an idea of unlimited freedom. You are everything. You have nothing to loose. Be what you are. Give what you have!

It’s in German. I tried a translation, however.

Noch bist Du da

Wirf Deine Angst
in die Luft

ist Deine Zeit um
bald wächst der Himmel
unter das Gras
fallen Deine Träume
ins Nirgends

duftet die Nelke
singt die Drossel
noch darfst Du lieben
Worte verschenken
noch bist Du da

Sei was Du bist
Gib was Du hast

(Rose Ausländer)

Yet you are here 

Throw your fear
into the air

your time is over
soon heaven grows
under the grass
all your dreams drop
into nowhere

the pink is fragrant
the throstle is singing
yet you may love
donate words
yet you are here

Be what you are
Give what you have

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November 18th, 2009 by josephspindler

A constant smell of chlorine is what I carry with me these days. Doc set me on a heavy swim program, hitting the pool two times a day. And whatever I do, the chlorine smell stays with me. Now, doc says, this is a good thing, since chlorine kills almost everything instantly. Maybe the best way to get through all those swine flue epidemies right now. Much better than having an inoculation anyway.

Now, swimming two days a time was really something I had to get used to. Initially, it took a lot out of me. But I kept going, and now, after 4 weeks or so, it’s not a deal that big anymore.

To the time before I startet this swim program, I considered a 4k session as a lot of work. Now, with swimming 8-9k on some days, a 4k session almost qualifies as a recovery workout. OK, depends, doc has some sessions which kill your arms with less than 2,5k – hehehehe.

Sometimes I look at all that training and racing I did throughout the last year as getting ready for this now…

Healthy training!


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Challenge Barcelona

October 9th, 2009 by josephspindler

With a 17th place and 8:48 hours, Challenge Barcelona was nothing than a very hard earned finish for me. Indeed, the race started to get tough way before it began. I started my trip on Friday and the first thing was that I lost my credit card at the train station. I noticed this at the airport when checking in my bike and luckily had still some cash left to pay the bike fee. Next thing, plane late and because of that delay I missed my train at Barcelona. I had to wait for the next one. Still no drama since I would arrive at me hotel at 10:30 pm or so, enough time to get a good sleep. When I left the train at Calella (a little town 50k north-east from Barcelona, where the race is located) and entered a taxi to bring me to my hotel, the driver looked funny at me. But he didn’t speak English, I didn’t speak Span, so I really was not sure, what he wanted to say. Finally he started his engine and got the car moving. And rode… and rode… and rode… It turned out, that my booked hotel was not – as ensured by the travel agency – in the middle of the center of Calella, but in another little town at the coast, about 15k or 3 more train stations far from Calella.

In the meantime, I was really tired, and just happy, that we finally arrived. So I checked in, carried my stuff to my room. And encountered the next problem. There was music. Loud music. Very loud music! Down below my window, the hotel guests were celebrating a party. There was a live band and it literally was like they were playing in my room. So I went back to the reception and asked to change the room. They told me that probably tomorrow, but there is no chance this night. So I went back to my room and tried to find some sleep. But it was impossible. I really had a band in my room! Finally I went back to the reception again: No, room changing not possible, but the band will stop in 15 minutes anyway. This was true. But when they stopped, I had the bum, bum, bum of a close disco in my room… and the snoring of the guy in the next room. It sounded like he was lying besides me in my bed… I finally could find some sleep…

The next day, I managed to change in a more quiet room, but it took me 3 hours and several talks with different head receptionists until I finally was allowed to change. So, as you can see, not the easiest way to get into race mode. ;-) I still was quite positive, tried to be not affected too much by all those detractions, was quite happy about my new room and was loking forward to the race.

Swim felt ok, but when I jumped on the bike I immediatly knew that it would become a tough day. I felt not fresh, had no good legs. In an Ironman there normally always is some period where you enjoy your speed, enjoy your body operating at it’s limits, time flies. Not so this time, I literally had to push me every single minute. On the run it wasn’t better. I had to push me forward from the beginning on, suffering a lot. Still hoped to catch some more guys during the last hour, normally my strongest part in an race; I just had to focus all my energy to get me to the finish line.

After the race, the struggle was not over yet, since my body really hurt. I was happy that I had booked a flight for 3 days after the competition. The first 2 days I wouldn’t have been able to make the trip.

The race itself was very well organized, especially since it took place for the first time. The atmosphere was very friendly and familiar. I enjoyed this very much.

So what can you take out of that story? Watch out when you book your hotel the next time! Don’t loose your credit card when travelling! And if there still is some trouble, deal with it and get your job done!

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New Hill Training Method

September 28th, 2009 by josephspindler

I always wondered, how these hills in Leysin are easier to ride. What is the ultimate hill training method?

I did a lot of testing: Long intervals, short intervals, steep hills, less steep hils, high intensity, less high intensity, big gear, fast spinning… I really tested everything!

Now, after 6 weeks or so after my last camp in Leysin I discovered the ultimate hill training method.

And because I am so a nice guy I would like to share with you. ;-)

Try it, nothing beats that! You will fly next season!

YouTube Preview Image

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Nico fighting with Mama’s Parfum Flacon

September 22nd, 2009 by josephspindler

Thought I share since it is so cute.

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Nerven aus Eisen

September 12th, 2009 by josephspindler

There is a short video report in German about the Cologne Triathlon on Kölner Stadtanzeiger. Here is the link (scroll down the articel):

Nerven aus Eisen



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Jo the Hunter

September 11th, 2009 by josephspindler


Cologne 226 was quite a tough race for me. Before the race, I thought a 58 min swim split would be quite possible. However, I finally ended up with 64 min. I really don’t know, why I couldn’t take my definitively improved swim from the pool into the open water swim this time. Fact is that Luke Dragsta was already riding his bike for 15 minutes when I came out of the water.

But feeling sorry with myself only because I had a bad swim was never and option. In fact, feeling sorry with yourself, only because your goals suddenly seem out of reach is never an option! So many wannabe ironmen do exactly the opposit: They give up before they even tried hard enough. Ok, I messed up the first hour, but there are 7 more hours to make it better. Do your job and when you finished look at the outcome. No pre-meditation how the day might be! Better focus on the task at hand and ride your bike. And ride it fast! That’s what you get paid for!

We had to do 3 loops of an entirely flat and more and more windy course. Initially there was a group of 3 riders at the front, consisting of Luke Dragsta, Heiko Tewes and Sebastian Küfner, an unknown 22 year-old German, who did his very first iron distance race. I made some time on Luke and Heiko, but Sebastian still pulled away and increased his lead from 15 min to 18 min in T2. 18 minutes! This was not exactly what I wanted to hear when I dropped off my bike. But at that time, I didn’t really care. I was not interested. I dropped of my expectations to this race when I jumped onto my bike after the swim. And guess what? Racing without expectations is so much easier! Now I was only looking forward to the run, to get out of the low aero position, to move my legs in a different way.
I immediately had a good rhythm. For the first 10k it was pure joy of running, what I call “the race feel”: the joy of feeling your body operating at its limits. All of a sudden, it turned a bit into pain run, since I got a tumb leg, couldn’t feel anything in my left leg, felt very wired. But nevertheless could hold my speed.

In the second loop of 4 my competitors slowed down. I could hold my run together and started to eat them up from behind. At the beginning of loop 3 I already was 2nd, but still 11 min back of the leading man. Can you be satisfied with second? No, you can’t! Beginning of loop 4 still 6 min left. Was it possible to close that gap? I was not really sure – but I had lots of good friends at the course, who yelled at me and believed in me so much! This gave me a great confidence boost, I put all in I had, really pushed my limits, and got closer and closer. I was flying. Nevertheless, at 40k there was still a bit more than a minute left. But now I could see him, I was getting closer and closer. But shit, why consists a marathon only out of 42k!? I already could hear the speaker at the finish line. Then, with 300m to go, I finally run past Sebastian. Sprinting, not looking back, just running, running – and crossed the finish line first!
It was a great hunt and I loved it and I think the spectators loved it as well ;-) .

That’s what I am, Jo the Hunter. I get what I hunt!

All my respect to Sebastian! He did very well and with a bit more luck he would have been the winner. Either way, this race was a great start of his iron distance journey. Keep on the hard work and good luck for your races to come!


Great thanks to Peter, Regina, Sebastian, Hasan and Nic for their believe in me and their cheering at the course.

And especially to Erik and Denise for a great homestay and all their incredible support all over this weekend!

It wouldn’t have been possible without you!

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