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Archive for April, 2012

Costa Brava

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

I am back home after another great week in spain. This winter spain really has become a bit of a second home. This time I spent 8 days in Tossa de Mar, which is at the Costa Brava. About 100km north of Barcelona. The area is famous for its amazing cycling routes. Lots of pro cyclists live(d) in the town of Girona, which is only 40km away from Tossa. After training in this area I also why it is so popular. The riding is just amazing. I really loved the nice climbs and quiet roads.

the main reason I went down there was that Eitzinger Sport invited me to be a guest in his famous cycling/triathlon weeks. Peter Eitzinger has been in the cycling/triathlon holiday business for many many years. And I was really impressed how well everything was organised. I had a great time and met a lot of new people. I had two lectures and I think it was interesting for the age group athletes to see how a professional athletes trains and lives.

Now I enjoy a few days at home and it seems like summer nearly arrived. But unfortunately I can only enjoy it for a bit. Next week I am off to the US already. Racing a non drafting olympic distance race in Knoxville and then not long till my first big race of the year is on. Ironman Texas May 19. After my knee injury and longer break in winter, I really can say everything is good now. the last weeks I was able to do my specific speed sets again. So that was a big plus and my shape is def really good. So I can travel to Texas with great expectations. But for sure I need a perfect day and I need some good luck as well. It is always a long day out there.

Just numbers

Friday, April 13th, 2012

This week I went to the EMPA in St.Gallen. EMPA is the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. I did a test on the turbo at race pace for 2hours. All this in Hawaii like conditions. I think this test is not so much about how much you sweat, but more what exactly you loose. Questions like “what is the consistency of the perspiration” are interesting. Getting information about how to get your nutrition right. You dont want to be low on sodium for example but you also dont want to overload it. The test showed me some interesting numbers about my electrolytes loss (natrium, kalium, magnesium,calcium). But with all tests and numbers you have to be careful. Tests like this are always  simulated situations. I didnt swim 3.8km in the ocean before, I didnt prepare like I would for a big race, I didnt ride for over 4hours , I could list up a few other facts easily. I think this is the same with most of the tests. Athletes looking for numbers and try to read too much into it. Here again, it is all about finding the right middle way. Do a test if you think it will help you, but dont get too focused on the numbers in training. In 2009 and 2010 I raced all my Ironman races with an SRM system on my bike. I remember racing Ironman South Africa (finished 2nd behind Raynard Tissink) staring at the display non stop, trying to keep a certain power output up where I wanted it to be. It killed me. I forgot to listen to my body. I pushed maybe too hard when I didnt feel good and maybe not hard enough when I felt good. Since I train with Brett I dont use the power output anymore. I go with my feeling again. I listen to my body and I dont set myself a limit with a number I see on my display. A few weeks after my Ironman St.George win last year I read an interesting post on Michael Weiss’s FB page. He posted his SRM data and he said “I pushed this unbelievable numbers and still didnt make up any time to the leader” … I tell you one thing, if I would have seen this number he was talking about, I think I would have slowed down as I would have thought “no way I can push that hard and still survive the marathon”. At the end, this are all just numbers. Dont set your limits by them. You will be surprised what you are able to do …


sweet home

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

I am back home from camp since a few days. And Switzerland shows itself from the best side. The month of march was 4-5°C warmer then the historical average. Global warming has its good sides (just joking;)). Temperatures went up to 20°C and it helped me to keep up the hard work from the Gran Canaria camp. Main thing coming back home is changing to another routine and getting used to it again. For me this means getting up at 5.45am, and start my swi

m training at 6.15am. Which means it is still dark and down to 2°C. Makes it a little bit harder then doing the same thing in countries where the sun rises early and temperatures are high already. But I am not complaining. I really have a great set up here in my hometown Willisau. The people look after me.  Nicole and I have our own lane in the pool every morning for two hours and we also have the key for the pool, so on the weekends we can swim there outside of the public hours. Then I have set up my own little training room which has a computrainer and a top (25km/h , 25% incline) treadmill in it. I spend lots of hours in there, that is for sure. It is my “hurt box”.

In general this is a very good area for training. As I am only 10km away from the alps, which means big mountain passes are just around the corner. But I can choose if I want to ride flat, rolling hills, 2-6k climbs or 10km+ climbs. Beside of the local 25m pool we have a nice like just 8km away.

The area here is also very well known for its endless Mountainbike Trails. Which means there is lots of trails to run on as well. Flat along the little river or up to the region called “Napfgebirge”. Named after the local mountain.

Yes, I will enjoy my time home before I am off to another short camp in Spain and then off to the US in may.