This alternative ‘groupsession’ was the last of 2020, the year that socially will be remembered as unethical, undemocratic, full of panic, disrespectful to people with severe chronical diseases, older people, lack of wellbeing, polarizing, …but not for our athletes…they keep going and try to put their one foot before the other instead of turning back or collapsing!
With respect to the rules of our gouvernement for all the other people in the same situation, very disciplined athletes before, during and after training, we could make sure outdoor training today happened safely (again) and only in contact within the athletes their own ‘bubble’.
So, early wake up this morning to kick off the first athletes on their run course, an easy variated warm-up followed with (depending on the athlete’s specific discipline) a more intense core and easy cool-down. After this run our athletes and cyclists could get on their bikes to spin out the run ;-). Winter is the perfect time to combine technical skills, endurance and strengthening. Today it was an all-in-one package. With the special training format, because of the lockdown, I wanted to offer a memorable wintersession…which most athletes and cyclists will never forget :-)!
For me as a coach it was great to see smiling, positive people. No nagging, but training, laughing and looking forward to what will be! Training correctly, smart…to perform better on raceday. That’s also what connects our athletes, whether you live in Colombia, Canada, Asia or Europe…our #TSPB athletes have this gift.
We had just one perfect day, and it felt like this again!
This I have to say,
We planned this session very well, correctly and according to all rules. This meant putting even more effort, energy and time into it. But what a pity then to see local clubs avoiding these rules and finding 10-man and +10-man groups into the forests and public roads. Each man has to play his own game, face his own consequences but the 4man bubble in outdoor training is not a difficult rule to follow! So at the moment, just do that!
Past season was a bummer for many athletes, restrictions for training and cancellations of races. While outdoor sports can always happen with a very low Covid19 risk. This is prooven this summer with no clusters coming from cyclingraces, running races or triathlons. Today the first groupsession of the winter prep was held. Focus on an endurance plate, with some short spicy toppings. Coronaproof, within regulations of the .BE governement and with advice of the Flemish gouvernement. All set for a nice day. All set for sports, good for mental and physical health!
This in contrast to what some people would like people to do. Stay home, do nothing, get in bad health mentally and physically. Well fuck that!
During the run we did a short hilly trailrun trough the forest, followed by an ‘old school’ fartlek on the park trails and an easy flat cooldown. All athletes at their own paces, fluently and structured. But above all laughs and enjoying sports. For some athletes this was the first ‘group’event in the last 8months.
After this run with quite some variation our athletes changed the shoes for the mountainbike. An endurance ride through fields, forest and singletracks made this 2h lasting ride enjoyable and fun despite some run and mud 🙂 With some challenging parts this ride was groundbreaking for some of them.
Well done and onwards to the next step!
Individual outdoor sports are in se coronaproof, keep going and keep doing this well structured and balanced. Not like a battering ram.
What a weekend for our athletes in Holland, the long course weekend in The Netherlands. Friday our athletes dominated the swimcourse, with 1st and 3rd position, saturday they dominated again with once again 1st and 3rd position and 4 athletes in the top 10 of GC!
Today the marathoncourse would decide if our athletes could maintain their places in GC and overall take the win or not! Very confident about our athletes marathonperformances on day 3 I believed this all was possible!
Today number 6 (Jesse M) and number 8 (Jelle) in GC were keen on a very strong performance in the marathon, trying to move up. The 2buddies both put the best of theirselves in this race and after 3 days they finished the marathon in 2h57 and 3h03′! Very shortly behind these 2 Jurgen finished in 3h04′ and maintains his 4th place in GC after taking 3rd in the swim and 3rd in the bikecourse!
Tim, the leader in the GC and winning both the swim and bikecourse had the control during the whole day, finished the marathon in 3h09 and wins the Long course weekend in 8h30′! Behind Tim it was Steven who moved up in GC thanx to a 3h17′ marathon and becomes 14th in GC, closely followed by Ignace on place 16.
In France it was Robby who entered another ‘red zone’ to race in the Duathlon de Savoie Mont Blanc, this extremely tough Long distance duathlon (10-60-10) with much altitude in it would become Robby’s toughest race ever! But het was ready, in shape. After months of good training today would be his D-Day…and how! A well paced first 10K run at 3’45/km made him enter top 10 immediately, during the bikecourse both the climbing and descents were no surprise for him. A recon a few weeks ago gave him this little mental advantage and he could put the bike down in 3rd position! Both triathlons and duathlons are always and only won during the run, whether you like this or not…Robby realized this and fights against number 4 who has a stronger pace in this runcourse…but Robby maintains and takes his first overall podium in a long distance duathlon surround by a European and World AG champion. A result to be extremely proud of. Robby came to us 4years ago, extremely overtrained and a hormone system totally disfunctioning as a consequence. Today Robby shows what’s possible with a scientific approach on training.
While cycling races are on for a 2months already triathlon organizers held their horses and waited, cancelled and are now slowly but surely back on track!
A nice racing weekend in Belgium this weekend! Yesterday our young Dutch triathlete could race in Triathlon de l’Ourthe in the Ardennes already!
Today our other athletes could start in in the 1/4 and 1/3 triathlons in Viersel! This morning the 1/4distance athletes took off in sunny conditions, of course this motivates a lot and also cycling can go safe along the canals. In this 1/4 distance our 2 man in the front of the race Lesly and Kristof did a very progressive race in which Lesly puts down a stunning off bike run with a 3’32/km pace on the last 10K! This made him move up towards 24th place in the overall Classification. With a very big limitation in swimming the past months this is a very good sign. U can say he touched the water the last months, and that’s about it 🙂
Kristof followed very closely behind with his fastest off bike run ever and took 31st! Yves (Masters 50+) and Roel followed a few minutes later!
In the 1/3 triathlon the athletes had a 1500m swim – 60K bike and 15K run along the canals in front of them. A fast race, totally flat and good to get in some fast racingkilometers and fast recovery afterwards!
Also in this race we had 2Ironman athletes in the race, Fast Tony and Sam. For Sam his first in Belgium…in years and a short in-between race with the eyes on Ironman Portugal in Fall.
Tony, last year’s number 21overall in Ironman Zürich and in preparation for Ironlakes, Belgium’s only full distance triathlon. This year with a pro field at the starting line. A good swim, and +/-320NP bike split made him move up towards a place aroudn 20th position. But as I wrote above…our athletes are known as winners, and triathlons are always (!) won on the run! Tony puts down the 11th running time and takes 15th overall! The man is ready…almost! One of those athletes always on top when raceday is there, not racing a lot but training smart and racing the same way. Also the athlete in which I recognize the most of that other Ironman Sam! Same height, same legs, same training perfection, performance, and not a coincidence today…the same bikesplit and racing in front.
Sam finishing just behind Tony as 23rd overall, after a comeback race after the swim he could put the bike down in the racks after 1h58′ and went looking for the win in the masters race. In which he succeeded perfectly. This race was a short break in training prep towards the first Ironman of 2020 for Sam in November.
A bit further in the field Jurgen and Georg prooved the progress they are making year by year and today they do another very good race in Viersel!
Our oldest master in the race, Raymond (AG50+), managed to do a very good race in conditions he doesn’t like (rain/cold). With memories to hypothermia in Alsdorf 2019 he kept himself warm and did a very consistent race today, a fast race! 7th place in his AG as a result!
Last but not least our female athletes kept the head up during the rainfall and managed doing very good races. Liesbeth had a tough run but steady and takes 5th (AG40), while Cai was performing in her first Belgian triathlon since we met and takes 4th (AG50), ready for the last 10weeks towards Ironman Portugal!
Onwards to the next races now! To begin with next week!
After the first races of 2020 the road was open for a serious springseason for our athletes! With wins, podiums and other excellent performances in road cycling and triathlon races in Spain and Belgium seasonstart was promissing!
Today Belgium is in lockdown untill April 19th. Possibly longer.
Covid-19, coming from China… in which the communist regime kept quiet about it before spreading it all over the world. Countries such as Italy and Spain got seriously infected first, we have some strong athletes living and racing mostly in Spain. They warned me before my own government did about the seriousness of this virus. It made us go in lockdown concerning all lactate testing and contact with athletes days before our own governement decided to do. The late responses of several governements in Europe are to call criminal at the very least. In USA the spreading now is only beginning….
This said, to provide background…,means that as all other athletes around the world athletes have no races in sight between March 14th and probably June 1st. Big organisations are cancelling and postponing races wisely to be secure and don’t go bankrupt when not postponing or cancelling in time. Smaller organisations probably will be held easier/sooner.
March 13th I have sent out an e-mail to our athletes to provide some background information and also to not panic about the covid-19 virus, keep cool and keep sight of what’s ahead and possible. Not on what will not be, that makes no sense at all. Not in the past, not now and not in the future.
Our athletes always work from a macrocycle which we put quite some time in, to gather and to look/find fitting races for that particular athlete. The bad thing is, that a few days will not happen as planned. The good thing is that 99%of this ‘cycle’ will happen. Every decent physiologist and High performance coach will see the light in this matter. ‘Instagramcoaches and athletes’ will not, they will bump into the mirror.
Don’t think, being an athlete, that Covid-19 strikes you down because a race is not happening. Covid-19 is harming many people in more severe ways physically, psychologically and economically or a combination of these.
Athletes will be in training modus for a longer period, but no athlete has become a worse athlete because of good balanced training. An athlete can become a worse athlete because of racing too much or training badly.
From day1 of Belgium’s lockdown we have seen passing stupid things athletes started doing. Swimming in freezing cold water, riding 400km rides, going to simulate bikeraces with friends through traffic,…. Maybe a 400km ride ‘can’ fit in a training program for some athletes, when well organised in your trainingschedule. Not ‘out of the blue’ as a panicking frog caught in a glass bowl. This ‘caught-frog-jumping-behaviour’ we can notice with athletes doing suddenly extreme long rides, extremely intensive ‘training’ or other…. We advice our athletes to stay calm, stick to the plan…and race later. Balance in training is key towards performance, both phsyically and mentally. Even our athletes in total lockdown in Spain and Colombia, where all training is done inside the houses or garden keep their calm, focus and will smack down the hammer hard!
Past week I posted Sergio’s 300m lap in his garden, but many more athletes are being creative right now. Javier (Kona 2019 AG athlete) is running a 95m lap in the parkingbasement of the appartment he lives in in Colombia. This in contrast with athletes ‘thinking’ they have a tough time because they are in need seeking attention by posting photos of themselves in sufferrooms with wifi, apps, fans, airco, food and all drinks. Those athletes have luxury now in training, no sufferroom ;-). Many more have ‘real’ sufferrooms such as the garden or basement…!
Our athletes/cyclists can keep their cool and look forward, not ‘a’ race is postponed. Season is postponed. But there will be a time after Covid-19. Training smart now, will result in performing better later! Of that I am sure. There are quite some professionel triathletes who don’t count many racing days throughout a season, that’s never a problem.
In Cycling, the number of racing days is often much higher, but even for cyclists. Think about how you entered past seasons after a good winterprep? Our riders always went for podia from day 1. They will after Covid-19. Of not many things we are sure in these days…of that I am :-)!
On a very positive note:
If the Kona world championships will happen in 2020, our athletes already will be represented because some athletes still realised qualifying before this pandemic.
In cycling first podiumplaces in Belgium and Spain are already taken.
No rider/triathlete can have an excuse of not having enough base and specific preparation towards the races
Our athletes who had Corona so far all recovered well, let’s keep it that way and hope medical experts find solutions soon.
My thoughts these days are going out to the people in worse physical conditions such as people with underlying diseases, older people and our athletes or partners of our athletes in medical jobs such as nurses,doctors and many others entering ‘the battlescene’ day by day! The athlete is at the sideline now, training well, but most of all a supporter of mostly his biggest supporter!
Storm ‘Dennis’ Arrived in Belgium!Bad news for our athletes because of cancelled races, but…a macrocyclus stays a macrocyclus and thinking problem solving is a good skill to develop as an athlete…So changes of racelocations and looking for races who did go on! 🇪🇸No problem in this for Anthony! Tenerife is about sun!Yesterday 4th in Tenerife and today stage 2 (final stage for him)! With a 24K climb today wouldn’t be easy and opponents such as Davide Rebellin https://www.procyclingstats.com/nl/rider/davide-rebellinAnthony did well after yesterday and did a strong performance on the climb (~ +-350NP)! This results in a 3rd place in today’s stage and 3rd place in GC! The start of the season, is always important! And our riders didn’t miss it!
🇧🇶 Jinn was racing in Venlo, as Belgian cycling cancelled all races for security reasons. In The Netherlands that was not the case. Jinn is looking for shape towards the first important elite races and did well. 6th place today! 🇧🇪 In Belgium many races cancelled, but there’s no storm harder than the ‘TSPB-Storm’, and so it was today!! Wim DC could change the cancelled duathlon in Hofstade for the 12K running race in Deinze! Strong as this master is he takes 3rd overall! In Kasterlee Iron Tony races in the 16K road/field race and finishes just aside the podium on 4th!!! Trail des Z’amoureux also in the Ardens, with trees falling left and right of the runners this must have been one of the most challenging trailruns in Belgium. The pure smell of sports and nature. Great adrenalineshot also! Nice results also of our athletes racing in Kiewit-Hasselt, with Raymond, Julie and Roel on 10K and Geoffrey taking top 10 in the 5K running race!
At the beach the strongest winds in the whole country were measured with over 100km/h gusts of wind…but that doesn’t stop ‘Flandriens’ from duathlon racing and shape chasing! I already knew our athletes have the best spirit in the world, but today they astonished again! Our female athletes at the starting line…made a clean sweep by taking all three steps of the podium! Emelie entering T1 first, just before Inge, Hannah a bit further! Inge took the lead on her beloved trails and Emelie kept strong in 2nd! Meanwhile strong cyclist Hannah moved up to 3rd to never let go this place anymore! Inge takes 1st, Emelie 2nd!
In the male race our sharp athletes were afraid of getting blown away…but that fear was not necessary! Robby confirms his strong testing results and huge progression to finish 5th! Lesly, finally got his chance to race a crossduathlon in Belgium and took it with both hands in these tough conditions by finishing on 10th after a close combat with strong Kristof on 12! Closely followed by Jesse in 17th position (not the coach ;-))
In the masters race Bart takes 4th as one of the older masters! While the much younger master Frederick also shows the big steps he made past months finishing 9th.
Sandman inferno also has a long version of this race, in these conditions the athlete racing it deserve not less than a statue! Steven and Sander survived these conditions and Sander could finally almost get into top 10…finishing 12th! Well done!
🇨🇦In Canada Ironman Vadim races the Montreal 10K, and does this in style…taking 3rd overall! 2 months to go before his first 70.3race of the season in Florida, USA.
And for those only drinking a hot coffee and not challenging the weather today! U’ve missed one hell of a big storm ;)But don’t fear, there will be one…every weekend from now!
📸 Steven Hamerlinck, thanks (y) (y) #Trainsmartperformbetter.com #TSPB #Jessevnsportscoaching
While the bottles of champagne are getting uncorked, glasses get filled…it’s time to have a look to what pas season brought to us! Evaluation is key to succces, looking in the mirror and being honest for you and the surrounding people to get to the best results. The hours athletes train must not be occupational therapy but results-oriented. Whether this reflects in personal growth, feeling good as performance wise.
2019 kicked of with victories and podiums in some runningraces in prep or as A-races for our athletes. Also our crossduathletes, mountainbikeriders and cyclocrossriders were under steam from the moment January and February began, victories in both disciplines confirmed this. Of course our annual after NY groupsession also was reflecting on the way our athletes were going to enter spring season.
When February came to an end, our road athletes and cyclists could show their power for the first time! With immediately strong results in cycling of Anthony, Dries, Tibo and Svenne who played a role for the podium from day 1 untill 9months later in the last races of the season!
In Triathlon the early season races such as Tenerife (1st AG, 9th Pro incl) gave a good insight in the way our athletes were going to perform later that season. With victories in several crossduathlons an trailruns in the beginning of spring the season couldn’t start better.
From April on all roadcyclists and triathletes were ready to go! With in triathlon Kona qualification in Ironman South Africa, 3rd in place in the duathlon nationals (and 1st master) and winning the regional championships Time Trial our athletes aimed very well towards the first series of championships. In triathlon, podiumplaces in Belgium, The Netherlands and France were earned. In cycling our athletes kept winning and taking podiumplaces, from juniors untill elite riders. For Bram a frustrating period by missing qualification for the Elite world championships mountainbike twice…by 1 spot! But perseverance kept him going and a few months later was capable of taking this qualification with both hands! In junior category Andres takes several podiums in the MTB marathons.
May traditionally is the launch of the Ironmanraces, with Bert (Pro) and Pirmin (AG) our athletes performed great from the start of the IM season with Pirmin taking the Hawaii slot. An example followed later that month by Javier (IM Cairns), Vadim and Sam (IM Boulder). These athletes, together with Alejandro (2nd AG IM South Africa) were going to race Ironman Hawaii 2019. Pirmin (3rd), Vadim (3rd) and Sam (1st) also could mount the podium in their qualifying races. In Bould it was Cai, getting on the podium but missing her slot by a hair.
But not only the Full distance world championships in Kona were a main goal for our athletes. Hannah and Dave succeeded in qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 worlds in Nice, France by putting down a remarkable race in Staffordshire, UK.
As the season continued and in both cycling and triathlon our athletes kept going strong and win races. Our youngest triathlete Rens mounted on the podium in his first 70.3 race in Lahti, Finland, while our professional triathletes took top 10 in Ironman Vitoria-Gasteiz ( Sergio 9th, Bert 10th).
July was a busy racing period in Ironman with many races such as Frankfurt, Klagenfurt, Zürich, Hamburg, Vichy!
In Zürich Steven and Tony put down a smashing result. Tony realised to finish 21st overall in this Ironman classic!
Summer also is the moment elite riders take part in several stage races followed by some (pro)kermesse races. Our elite riders could battle within the first places of the peloton in those races.
In the same period Bram finally got himself qualified for the UCI Mountainbike world championships, where he was going to race against the best ever riders such as Nino Schürter.
And what to say about Svenne, taking 3rd in the UCI world championships for Masters after breaking his femoral head. A very tough preparation on the Turbo and off the turbo, with almost no races and a coach saying: ‘Pain is French bread’ but also joining the man in his first race with the healed hip…is not only a physical but also mentally TOPperformance ;-)!
Another comeback-man this season was Hans, for most people he never was away…but somewhere he was involved in an ‘impingement’ and had to slowly build his way back. In his first race of the season the performance was already very good…but what he realised furthermore in Jabbeke and in his main goal this season Ironlakes was EXCELLENT! Ironlakes, a full distance triathlon with over 2000D+ on the bike and 380D+ on the run was going the be the race to see if Hans was back already or net yet totally…it seems he was! He won by far in this tough race and also won his 2nd full distance triathlon in his career. Who has?
Winning Ironlakes was excellent, the 6th full distance win so far for our athletes…but this inspired with excellent performances in the Ironman70.3 world champs of Hannah And Dave and more 70.3 races in autumn, our athletes kept performing well untill the last 70.3 races of the season in Lanzarote and Turkey! Only 3 weeks after the win of Hans in Belgium, it was Ironman Pro athlete Sergio who took his first full distance win in his career in Guadiana, Spain! This in the same style of Hans, leading and dominating the race!
In Ironman Barcelona our athletes did very well, our agegroupers were all heading towards a PB race and Bert, starting in the Pro race. Was on for his 3rd(!) Ironman this season and how! Another time confirming his place in the mid-field of the prorace with another fast time as result!
Traditionally the Ironman World championships are held only 1 week after Barcelona! Our 5 athletes Pirmin (Swi), Sam (Bel), Javier (Col), Alejandro (Spain) and Vadim (Can) did their best from start untill finish. Going into the race in Kona always brings a bit of stress and uncertain factors. But the results were satisfying with top 10 place for Sam, but also a sick Alejandro who vomited from Km 1 on the bike but maintained and could make the stomach work again at the end of the bike to finish with a 3h15 marathon. Javier learned a lot in his first race in Kona about humidity and travelling. While Pirmin and Vadim, 2 experienced racers had the time of their life and know what their working points are approaching Kona again.
For Vadim this was a seesaw to Kona 2020, because only 6weeks later he realised the impossible by finishing 4th in Ironman Arizona (US) and taking his slot 1 year in front!
In autumn cyclocross restarted, crossduathlons restarted and our athletes took podium in several races such as Wetteren, Damme, Malonne, Maldegem,…
In ‘Hel van Kasterlee’, (15K run – 110K MTB – 30K run) our athletes were alive in the race and at the sideline! We saw Stijn, Bart, Lucian and Hans black and full of mud all day, but at the finishline we could somehow still recognize a big smile 🙂
With the groupsessions of last months we can say 100% sure that in 2020 the motivation, consistency and spirit is burning more than ever! Now it’s up to our athletes to ‘Train smart, perform better’!