Podium for our duathletes in Kortrijk, excellent 4th for Dries in Elite race Zedelgem!

Big racing weekend in Belgium!

What a good start of the season for our duathletes today in Kortrijk!

In the male race it’s Robby who puts down a 3’30/km first run, strong bike and finishing off with a 3’36/km run! Duathlon is fast, hard and mean! Robby finishing 17th today!

In the female race national champion Claes was outstanding, but our athletes managed a strong race behind her and were found 2nd and 3rd very soon in the race!

During the bikecourse it was Debbie who overtook Emelie after a strong 1st run! In the 2nd run Emelie came close and finished strongly on 3rd place! Debbie stayed on 2nd place and has an excellent start in this sport!

Kan een afbeelding zijn van 3 mensen, waaronder Btsrn Emelie en lachende mensen
Good job of Emelie, taking 3rd!

Also in triathlon the first races were held, Yves started in one of his first 1/4triathlons in Hamme and the hot conditions gave him wings. Heading towards top 10 in the master category!

A bit further, In Beernem a very fast 1/4 triathlon race in sunny conditions! Probably inspired by our strong female duathletes in Kortrijk, she managed a good first race!In the male race Wim DK probably has his fastest ever race and takes 7th, while our cyclocrossrider/Cyclist Klaas starts his season with a triathlon! This coronayear running became a more important part of his program. With some trailrun races in his legs, his fast cycling legs and some swimming this triathlon was a nice goal in his hometown! Onwards to the next one!

Kan een afbeelding zijn van een of meer mensen, staande mensen en buitenshuis
Yves having an excellent race today!

Our Elite and also master cyclists from their side showed once again they didn’t miss the start of the season! In Zedelgem the Elite/U23 riders had a very fast race!

Geen fotobeschrijving beschikbaar.
Fast Elite race in Zedelgem, Dries taking 4th with avg 44.6km/h

Lars Van Coppenolle and Dries Maesen our men in the race.Dries went in the first breakaway with 6 riders and was followed by 14 more riders. 20man sprinting for victory, Dries takes 4th!45.6km/h avg today. After an excellent winter and spring it was definitely time to get racing again! Good start of his season! Lars VC not in the lead group, and has to recover quickly.

Kan een afbeelding zijn van staan, fiets en weg
Lars VC during this winter’s groupsession!

Tomorrow another race coming for both!

In the elite race in Rigenée Anthony in the breakaway for 1 lap but not a very open race, massive sprint in the end! Good start of the season riding the race intensities again! Now fine tuning towars upcoming races! For Svenne another top 10 today in Rigenée (Masters race) and closing his opening season with 6th and 10th place! A good start is always a lead up to more!

Ciao

Jesse

Good job of the guys in challenge Sankt Pölten – Alejandro crashes severly in the Spanish full distance champs.

Let’s begin with the positive news, 2 A-races in triathlon this weekend!
With the Spanish Irondistance championships around Girona a classy field entering this race, a lack of races in Europe right now. So races that are held…have a very strong field at the starting line.
Alejandro was more than ready to get himself into the race among the pro field, being an agegrouper.
Unfortunately or Alejandro a severe crash during the bikecourse obliged him to finish the race in the hospital, no fractures…so now licking wounds and coming back stronger. Eyes soon set on the next one!

With Cameron Wurf (UK) only 5th and Eneko Llanos (Spain) 10th, this race was meant to be hard!

Kan een afbeelding zijn van een of meer mensen, fiets en binnen
Alejandro more than ready to conquer this racecourse, a crash kept him away from the finishline.

In Sankt-Pölten, Austria Georg, Kris, Jeffrey and Jesse M were ready for their first race in a very long time!
The racecourse in Sankt-Pölten is quite hilly on the bike with a fast run course. The swim was divided over 2 lakes, with a 300 run in between both lakes. Tough, with only 15°C water temperature!

Kris (AG60), definitely the most experienced one of them, Kris has a very good winter behind him and felt strong before the race. This resulted in a splendid race in which he takes 5th in his AG! Now approaching his next race…Ironman Estonia!

Splendid 5th place of Kris today!



Jeffrey was very keen on racing and with Challenge Sankt Pölten he had the excellent race to begin his season!
A very strong 70.3 distance today, with his fastest half marathon ever…resulted in a 4h33′ performance and taking 16th in his AG! Next race Chtriman 70.3.

Foto openen
Sometimes you need to beat yourself, fastest run ever for Jeffrey (16th)


Strongest run of the day of our athletes by Jesse M., putting down a 1h23′ half marathon in his very first 70.3 distance and finishing 27th in his AG! Within a few weeks we’ll see him racing in France also!

Foto openen
Jesse running fast off the bike and putting down a 1h22′ half marathon!



Georg from his side had a very good day again, and was to glad to be back at it! Finishing 32nd in his AG he can look back to good debute of 2021!

Georg with a perfectly paced bikeride 250NP on the flats ~ 260-290NP on the 2 climbs! Resulting in fresh enough legs and a good run off the bike!



Upcoming weeks our athletes will be racing several races in Belgium, France and Canada! With only 1 goal, give the best they can..and winning has always been with them…so it ‘ll be now!


ciao

Jesse

Ironman 70.3 Acapulco Mexico – lead up race to Lake Placid for Javier!

After a year that was difficult for many athletes, I can say our Colombian athlete Javier is that one guy that definitely had the toughest trainingconditions of all of them. Living on the altitude of Bogota, where very severe rules were set to keep the C virus controllable… things were not easy.
No swimming pools open for a whole year, Javier is only swimming for a month at this moment! Above this he had a very long period not being able to get out of his appartment. This obliged him to run 68m laps on the parking lot. Intervals, endurance, … he didn’t skip any of it!

He didn’t complain, he acted, he did…for that, he deserves the deepest respect of all sportsmen. The true sportsmanship is in consistency, perseverance, finding solutions and slamming down the hammer at the end…even when you get ‘hit in the face’ more than once.

One of Javiers first sessions outside of his parking lot, being obliged to stay close to his home

Today Ironman 70.3 Acapulco, Mexico was held. A race that was in his book for a long time…and the first race in more than a year. Even 2 weeks ago it wasn’t 100% sure he could make te trip abroad. But once he was there the racing vibes grew. And how!

Javier did a good job, swimming a 1’33/100 pace! Fortunately swimming isn’t a weak spot of him. So with 4 weeks of key sessions he was on it. There was ‘a feeling’, maybe not the ‘shark’feeling, but at least the ‘orca’feeling.

On the bike Javier did an excellent job, constant pacing and moving up towards 4th in his AG, 21st overall!

Javier putting down a strong bike effort today, putting down the bike 4th in his AG!

The run has always been the trickiest point for Javier. And when you’re in for an IM top 5…you know there are athletes putting pressure on you…

A consistent year of running helps of course, and pushing it in the front keeps him within the top5!
Ironman 70.3champs qualifier, but above all…one step forward towards Ironman Lake Placid, USA.

2months to go.
Let’s slam down that hammer.

Foto openen
Javier getting his 70.3 trophy in Acapulco today!



Ciao

Jesse

Nathan wins at the beach – our athletes are in racemodus!

Good results of our athletes again today!Not many races, but those who are organized are dominated by the right athletes 🤙, the ones that are not afraid to suffer against themselves!North C-trail: Tough conditions for the participants, our athetes conquered wind, rain and storm. But after all, not super cold and athletes may not/never be afraid om some rain and wind.In the 21K race it’s Nathan who takes victory! 2nd race of the season so far for him and 2nd win!While in the female race Julie takes 4th and Veerle finishes a few minutes later!In the 28K race it’s Lesly who’s the guy on the podium, finishing 3rd!

Nathan entering the beach section, running to his 2nd victory of the season!

A few minutes later Steven settles down at place 6 overall (2nd master)In 10Miles by the sea our athletes were also strongly represented. Sven puts down another strong race in a strong field, finishing 5th!

Also our other triathletes gave the best of themselves and finished just inside top 20 (Dave 17, Niels 20). Yves takes 13th and finishes frist 1 M+45!

In Lembeke, the 15K trailrun was also held under the same conditions, but that’s what Robby likes. It inspired him to warm up his body and takes the first place! Another podium for Robby this season! Klaas (cyclocrossrider) isn’t afraid of some mud either, he runs off hard and takes 5th! Soon his races on wheels will start again, but the first part of the season the running races gave him an extra boost!

Klaas changed his bike for running shoes, awaiting for the first cycling races we planned some trailruns!

UK nationals duathlon – Triathons Mexico

In Belgium racing still not at full force, but some countries give the right example how to approach individual sports these days! The approach is simple: raceday!

In UK it’s Alejandro (Spain) who could race the UK nationals. This race is his final and only race in approach of the Spanish Irondistance championships on May 30th, where he will find a tough course with 2200D+ on the bike!
At a certain level speed also plays a role in Long distance triathlon. Training went fine untill now, but a race can confirm this and is a trial/error possibility in taper off and pre-race nutrition.

A good feeling leading up towards this race gave confidence, and this feeling also was transferred into performance today!



A good first run in Yorkshire lead him towards a good position at the beginning of the non-drafting bikecourse!
His first 10K was ran at 3’26″/km, on the bike a steady effort was planned and constantly powering the bike @290-300watts made him put down the bike in a top20 position. (~69Kg)

Of course places are divided in the after bike run, in triathlon…but also in duathlon!
You simply need to be able to run fast off the bike. Today the first race in more than 18months for Alejandro (Since IM world champs in Kona, Hawaii ’19!) but he prooves that no man has become a worse athlete of training right. Training smart, to perform better!
In a 3’29/km effort he moves up towards 15th place in GC and 6th AG place!



Triathletes often are not so keen on racing duathlons, this because of the hard running start. But a good duathlon can really be an eye-opener and boost for triathletes! In situations as the one we’re in at the moment it can be the perfect moment to try.

A strong off bike run makes or doesn’t make your race being a LD triathlete/duathlete! Triathlons are always won on the run!

In Topolobampo, Mexico Carlos had his last race towards Challenge Cancun (May 2nd). But also his first race since a long time! Hot conditions of course, but these athletes are used to this.
A good swim for Carlos, followed by a bike-run effort at anaerobic threshold makes him move up strongly towards this race! A good test and effort towards Cancun in 2weeks from here!

A good bike effort of Carlos in his first race of the season, in full prep towards Challenge Cancun (Mexico)

Ciao

Jesse

First spring races with several wins already!

All individual sports competitions at the moment are made difficult to get organised these days. But step by step organizers find solutions to get athletes back to competition.

Past few months a couple of trailruns and road running races were organised, most of them were won (or at least podium) by one of our athletes.

This weekend Trailrun Hoeilaart was held, with +/-250 participants on 4 distances (6K, 11K, 15K, 21K) these races proove to be done without any risks on healthcare, but with a lot of joy for athletes (and coaches).

The races that get organized are a relief for many athletes and something to look forward to these days!
In a ‘normal’ year our athletes are involved in high level cycling races and international triathlon races around the world in this period of the year. And mostly we have athletes in Ironmanraces from half of April untill October non-stop. This year, we are patient and hopefull of what comes.


With good news for example from UK, where Alejandro is competing the nationals duathlon in 2 weeks. Other countries will follow of course.

In Hoeilaart our athletes once again to be ready and in competitive shape!

In the 11K trailrun it’s Robby who once again takes podium, and more! He wins this intense trailrun with a combination of steep ups and steep downs! Perfect to lift the body to a higher level and fight your own mind.
Tim finishes a few minutes behind at 14th place!

Robby made the best of 2020, took a big step with podium in several big races and continues on this with another win in Hoeilaart today!

In the longest version, 21K this tough racecourse was fearfull. Perfect weather, dry surface but still the hills to conquer.
Our athletes dominated this keyrace of the day!
Battle modus was on, with good performances of Veerle in the women’s race and our male triathletes!
In the male race Michael, Bart DB, Niels (14th) and Kristof (12th) finish just outside the top 10.In the very front of the race it’s Wim DK who takes 6th (and by far the fastest master), while Stijn (2nd) and Nathan (1st!) are battling for the win up front! In the female race Julie takes 10th!
But with a 4’30 gap for Nathan he shows what we predicted, fireworks! Stijn kicks ass of the rest of the field and after Trail de Bruxelles he now takes his 2nd podium in one of the bigger trailevents! For Nathan this normally was his last race before Ironman Hamburg (Germany). But as this race has been postponed Chtriman 70.3 (France) will be the first!


Another clean sweep for our athletes with Nathan and Stijn winner and runner up in Hoeilaart!

Onwards to following weeks and months!

Ciao,

Jesse

2020 LOCKDOWN, THE APPROACH OF DIFFICULTIES OF OUR ATHLETES ABROAD – PART 3: Vadim – Canada

Vadim, In 2019 you raced Kona after a very strong qualifier in
Boulder,USA. U immediately wanted to take a chance on getting back to
Kona in 2020…and succeeded in Arizona, only 5 weeks after the World
championships 2019!
This meant a relaxed view on 2020 with a certain ticket for the World
Champs 2020. Only…because of Covid the race wasn’t held in 2020. So
your qualifier counts for 2021! How does it feel already being qualified
for the next world championships?

It feels very nice because I have less pressure on myself. My training became more relaxed mentally. I believe it also translates to better recovery & performance in the long term. 

In Canada the approach of the lockdown changed quite a lot. Pools
open, pools closed, pools open,…you trained a lot on the VASA ergo.
Currently you are back in the pool! How did this on/off period affect
your swimming skills?


I have VASA since August 2020. Recently we travelled to another province for a month and all my sessions during that period were in the pool. It took about 3 sessions (<=45 min each) to feel like there was no break and after that I even had few sessions where I swam easy at the pace which was not easy before the lockdown. Then I had to return and switch back to VASA which caused my upper body to be sore for a week! So I’m very confident the VASA training is at least as good as in the water in terms of muscle power and endurance and it takes very short to get used to the water. Also I have some allergy to chlorine so VASA makes my training more comfortable.

Kan een afbeelding zijn van 5 mensen, waaronder Vadim Suraev en lachende mensen
could mount the podium several times in 2019

You are used to a lot and long indoor sessions, both on treadmill and
turbotrainer. So lockdown wasn’t a big change in running/cycling for
you. How did you look at this whole lockdown according to training?


The lockdown didn’t change a lot about my training except the switch to VASA. However since we work from home, I have 1h30 spare daily because of no commutes and I think it means better recovery and performance. So overall I think the lockdown even has a potential to make me improve.

In 2021 you will race the Kona World championships, but after a year
without competition you want to be back at it and perform before this
race. Where and what do you wish to perform or aim at
?

Well, you still make me race at home :-))). My calendar includes 70.3 at Florida in April and a full in Tulsa at the end of May. I’d like to qualify for 70.3 WC which is supposed to be in Utah this year and most of all I want to see if I can improve my running at the races before Kona. I’m however ready mentally for the scenario where one more season is postponed, I’m pretty sure following the program you prepare will only make me stronger even if there are no races.

Thank you Vadim and onwards to Utah and Kona 2021!


Geen fotobeschrijving beschikbaar.
Strong cyclist Vadim racing his BMC-Zipp in Kona!


2020 LOCKDOWN, THE APPROACH OF DIFFICULTIES OF OUR ATHLETES ABROAD – PART 2: Alejandro – Spain/UK

Alejandro, you are a Spanish athlete living in London. In 2019 you
qualified for the World championships in Kona, Hawaii and finished in a
nice time of 9h16′. In your qualifying race you became 2nd overall
agegrouper in South Africa. A huge step, and opening windows for next
season.
In 2020 u wanted to chase a new ticket and pick up racing experience in
Kona to do even better. How did you experience the lockdown and training
during this lockdown?

Lockdown happened just 2 weeks before Ironman South Africa with all the hard work already done. When the race was cancelled I got quite upset but that feeling vanished quickly when I just realised how bad things were out there.During the rest of the first lockdown I just tried to disconnect from races and social media as there was lots of negativity around. First days were quite a challenge living here in the UK just with my wife and son but with all my family and most of my friends in Spain. In terms of training I really never stopped and here we were “lucky” to be able to exercise for an hour everyday that I’d use for taking a walk with my wife and son. Most of my training is indoors so did not affect my daily routine much. Swimming was another story. Fortunately I had an old second hand vasa trainer that I’d use almost everyday.

Geen fotobeschrijving beschikbaar.
Alejandro in Kona 2019 – Stomach sickness after the swim but improving during the race and finishing in 3h16′!


 Living in UK it was very difficult, you had a severe lockdown and
pools currently still are closed. During past year you have been
training a lot on the VASA trainer, how did you experience this as a
change for a regular swim?

I started using a non erg vasa trainer that was quite nice for swim specific strength but not very good for swimming freestyle. In june I sold it and bought a Vasa ergometer and started using it straight away. In terms of comparing it to swimming in the water I’d say using the Vasa ergometer is comparable to doing pull and paddles intervals but harder! Although you don’t use your core as much as when swimming in water you can still engage it and rotate a little bit on the bench to use your back and core muscles and avoid pulling with a flat body position.I’ve used it a lot since then and actually haven’t had a chance yet to swim in a pool (it’s going to be 1 year since the last time I swam in a pool). I could go for a swim on a lake near home last August and it just confirmed that not only I had not lost my swim fitness but I felt stronger in the water.Still I need to go back to the pool (hopefully they will reopen in March) to test how my swim is after almost 1 year just doing Vasa. But I’m certain it’s not gonna be that bad. 

Kan een afbeelding zijn van 1 persoon
Alejandro during his workouts with a lot of Vasa swimming – Turbotraining and running free of course!

You have always been used to quite some indoortraining on the bike
and treadmill, but of course you alternate with outdoor sessions. In a
normal year you also spend quite some training/working time in Spain. I
suppose that’s something to look forward too in the near future also in
preparation of Ironman Vitoria-Gasteiz and the Spanish triathlon
championships?

I’ve been training outdoors more often lately especially on the bike but still love training indoors and watching movies or listening to audiobooks while running or cycling. But I have realised how important it is to go outside and ride your TT bike before races. Keeping a good aero position outdoors riding on rough roads with wind gusts and so on has nothing to do with riding on the trainer.Regarding Vitoria I will hopefully travel there 1 month before the race and do some riding there. I’ve heard it is quite a fast course!

Geen fotobeschrijving beschikbaar.
2021prep mainly is happening indoor these days,it’s only a matter of waiting untill the right moment to break free for Alejandro

Onwards to IM Vitoria – (Kona!)

Jesse

2020 Lockdown, the approach of difficulties of our athletes abroad – part 1: Javier – Colombia

Javier, in 2019 you could qualify for Kona. A big dream you chased
and realised after putting down your strongest Ironman in Cairns.
A big step forward, of course you wanted to continue this step forward in 2020. Untill
the lockdown in Colombia came.  How did you experience the lockdown and
training?


 My pre-Covid19 plan was to chase a 2021 Kona Slot in IM Wisconsin (sept 13th) in order to have enough time to recover and prepare well.  When the pandemic started  I thought my late year race was not in cancellation´s risk. So I had no problems with keep high motivation´ levels.  The lock down brought big changes and challenges in my job. The first 3 months were so difficult and needed a big effort to modify the way my team works.  Fortunately I could manage and take the control back.  The training gave me the mental refresh I needed to keep the calm.  The homeworking let me avoid the Bogota´s Traffic jam and save about 90 minutes/day, so I started to sleep and recover better.



In Colombia pools were closed from April to September and now they
still aren’t available very often. In Bogota you could only swim in the
weekend, and for now all is closed again.
You are a steady swimmer. How do you look to this difficulty? 

I spent my childhood swimming. This background still pays, I remember i raced in IM 70.3 Panama 2016 without any swimming training in more than one year, and survived to 1900 meters in Panama Channel, and achieve a 70.3 World Championship´s slot.  This time I tried to save the shape with strength work at least 3 times by week, and did some open waters.  When I came back to the pool I still swam relatively good. I could swam about 5 weeks until the Covid´s second wave´s lock down. I´m confident I can swim soon and fastly recover the shape.  


Cycling and running outdoors weren’t possible also, which made you
train a lot on the treadmill and turbo. This fortunately was something
you are quite used to. U managed on doing your running sessions on a 68m
parking lot, down at your appartment. Non-sportsmen call that crazy,
sportsmen say ‘respect’ to this. How did you experience this? 

The running sessions on the parking lot was crazy, I focused on my ipod playlist and not get an ankle´s twist on the thousands of turns that I have to do.   I ran in that conditions about 2 months (from march to may), when I came back to street my running shape still was good.  And my mental strenght too.  My cycling training did not change, before Covid more than 95% of my cycling training was indoor because of time efficiency , bad weather and safety. With the lock down I started to do some sessions on Zwift,… so my lonely cycling sessions started to be more fun

Kan een afbeelding zijn van 1 persoon en glimlachen
Javier representing Colombia in the Ironman World championships 2019



In 2021 you are racing Ironman70.3 Acapulco, Mexico and Ironman Lake
Placid, USA. Training is going fine, without swimming at this point.
Performance and consistency are going hand in hand for athletes, past 9
months I never felt any lack of motivation but you always looked at the
positive points in this matter. Eyes on what will be, when it will
be…and meanwhile you are training smart, to perform better later.


 You planned on me a recovery period last September. I could refresh the body and mind, and came back to training in good conditions. I think my shape is coming  back and I´m going to be ready and strong for 2021 races. I hope to be able to come back to KONA.  

I´m hungry for race again!

Thanx Javier for sharing us your thoughts and onwards to what’s coming next!

Jesse

Groupsession ‘The rolling hills’ 2021

Also this groupsession was obligated to be done in 4man bubbles because of lockdown regulations.
But okay, that’s fine! A cold day was waiting for us and obviously our region was the only one in Belgium to be saved for a lot of snow. So clean roads and a little sun awaited us.
The first hour unfortunately the roads were getting slippery with the rising sun…being carefull during this hour was definitely important.
But slowly the road got better and better and our athletes could manage the 112K ride on the Flemish hills. 1400D+ waited for us through Huldenberg – Overijse – Rixensart – Bossut – Wavre – Bertem and Kortenberg. The one climb a bit steeper than the other.
Once the roads got cleaned up our athletes could settle their pace and manage to get in the planned efforts.

If the tough gets going, the going gets tough…looking forward now to the first races in cycling and triathlon…if gouvernements allow the normal things in life.

Our cyclists, triathletes and even some of our runners managed this demanding course in full prep towards 2021 season.

The first hour some of our athletes looked afraid because of the road conditions, and that’s logical with some places that were quite tricky. But once this got cleared we only had happy faces on this splendid loop.

Breaking mental limits sooner or later is followed by breaking physical limits!

Train smart, perform better,

Jesse