Ironman World Championships 2019, a strong squad racing!

Ironman Hawaii, the race all triathletes are or following or dream about competing in it!
Well for Vadim (Can), Pirmin (Sui), Javier (Col), Alejandro (Esp) and Sam(Bel) it was hard reality!
4 out of 5 who qualified by geting on the podium in their qualifying race!
Preparations were going very well, except for Alejandro who crashed and broke his collarbone but was on his bike after 2days in recovery.
Only 4 weeks before the race Sam got injured in the hamstringtendon. First we thought a muscular issue but later it became clear the tendon was damaged because of the saddle that was slightly too high on his new fast bike (Ceepo). Above this he got sick 7 days before the race, but fortunately athletes recover fast. No running untill the last 4 days before the race, which made it unclear of finishing would be an option.

Our athletes took a good dive in the Ocean and had good swims: Javier (1h02), Pirmin (1h03), Vadim (1h04), Sam (1h07) and Alejandro (1h09).

During the bikecourse it was in first place Pirmin (AG45) who moved up very strongly, he was chasing (former) professionals such as Alexandre Vinokourov and Mike Schifferle. Riding in top 10 untill T2. Vadim (AG 45) followed closely behind and positioned 13th before entering T2.

Deze afbeelding heeft een leeg alt-atribuut; de bestandsnaam is vadim-kona-file.jpg
Vadim moving up strongly on the bike with 257NP – a fast first 20K followed by a regular bikesplit.

Earlier in the bikecourse our AG35 athlete Alejandro got sick, immediately on the bike it was impossible to eat and hydrate well. In a world championship in hot conditions that of course has a big impact on your race. But Alejandro kept going and at the end of the bike he started moving up again. Feeling in shape but not being able to eat and drink properly is frustrating of course.

In AG 40 Javier came out of the water first, but fast Sam was once again going fast on the bike. This year Sam suffered from a sudden injury on the hamstring tendon in the last 4 weeks and being insure if running would go a (slightly more) conservative pacing was followed than normal.
With 257NP in the first half of the race and 256NP in T2 he did what was planned. And was ready to try running.
For Javier Ironman World Championships was a new thing, on the bike first everything seemed to go well but abdominal pains started to play a role.

Sam averaging 256NP during the 180K bike course


On the run course heat appears, and that’s the same for all athletes…every year! It starts around Hawi on the bike and then it never gets cooler again.
Pirmin didn’t have his best day with pain in his back, and had to adapt his ambitions today. Or as he describes ‘Fitness was supreme today, and DNF was NEVER an option’! That shows the mental capabilities of an athlete and still finishing in 10h13′!

Deze afbeelding heeft een leeg alt-atribuut; de bestandsnaam is pirmin.jpg
Pirmin finishing in Kona in 10h13′ after stunning swim and bike performance, but above all mental strength in the run



Vadim, 13th off the bike has the run as his weakest link in triathlon! Warmth and the marathon wasn’t his best friend today but he still manages to finish in 10h40′! Even at age 46 progression is to be made!


Sam (AG40) was uncertain how his hamstring would react on running a bit faster for the first time in a month. Adaptations in planning with a lot of ellipticalsessions and some aquajogging are good of course but never replace the whole run. Sam his plan was to start at 4’35/km and so he did, kilometer by kilometer and he moved up slowly. Halfway he positions himself 18th. but he and Olivier Godart (Lux) were the only 2 athletes not slowing down. The hamstring felt doable and pace was taken to a higher speed. So he moved up, towards 12 and with 5K to go a top 10 didn’t seem impossible. His wife Cai cheered on him and could tell him a top 10 was still in it. Fighting untill the finishline made Sam finish in 9th position! Another top 10 in the World Championships in his 10th year qualifying in a row.

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: tekst
Sam finishing after a 3h15′ marathon, finishing 9th (AG) in Kona

Javier from his side suffered on the runcourse, abdominal pains and hamstring didn’t feel well but he maintained the drive towards the finishline in his first World Championships. In Kona many athletes crack down because of raceday facts, as we saw in the pro field with Lange, Ryf,…but Javier kept going and finishes his first world championships in Kona in 12h! Being there was a real dream for Javier. A dream he made come true!

Deze afbeelding heeft een leeg alt-atribuut; de bestandsnaam is 72810000_686981611785011_8392402096799875072_n.png
We are proud to have this motivated Colombian in Kona, a strong season with 12th place in Cairns (Australia) as main dish and Kona as a tasty dessert!


In AG 35 Alejandro, uncapable of eating/drinking properly on the bike, was doubtfull approaching T2. DNF or trying to run and see what happens. We wouldn’t expect anything less than the 2nd idea of course! Alejandro started running a 3hà3h05 time schedule for the marathon. With a little drop of pace in the 2nd half of the race this perseverance was rewarded with a 3h15′ run, finishing in 9h27′!

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: 6 mensen, lachende mensen, buiten
Alejandro finishing in Kona in 9h27′ after a 3h15′ marathon!

A nice weekend behind us with athletes daring to race hard!
Well deserved rest now and loading mind and body for Kona 2020? 🙂

Ciao


Jesse

Ironman world championships 2019 Kona, Hawaii – An international squad of freebooters!

Upcoming saturday, October 12th, our athletes will appear at the starting line of the Ironman World Championships!
Getting at this starting line is the silent (or loud :-)) dream of most triathletes! In Kona, the physical format and psyche of the sport was born. Without Kona, there would be no triathlon as we know it today.

To get there once hard work, talent and dedication is key. And even then, there’s no guarantee on success. Our squad of athletes is known as the very best in Belgium, with a large % of athletes being able to qualify and to perform. This season 7 of our athlete qualified for Kona, 3 got very close and one day will get there (again). Perseverance is key in endurance sports. Not 1 of our athletes racing this saturday got it all served on a golden plate!

This year we have a very international group of athletes racing, since we began coaching setting up an international approach has been one of our missions. The composition of this squad confirms we approached that mission.

Our 5 athletes racing on saturday are almost ready to go, motivated and meanwhile tanned. To make sure they don’t burn theirselves raceday may come now 😉


VADIM SURAEV (Canada – AG 45)
Qualification: 3rd AG in Ironman Boulder (USA)
Strength: Very strong cyclist, mental strength and used to training hours and hours indoor during the tough Canadian winters.
Weakness: Perfect months leading up to the race, will be at full force!


JAVIER CEPEDA ( Colombia – AG 35)
Qualification: 12th Continental Championships Ironman Cairns (Australia)
Strength: Used to train on altitude in Bogota (+2000m) every day!
Weakness: Arrived late on tuesday and didn’t have his training equipments untill today! Stressy situation of course. Furthermore perfect prep!
Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen
SAM GYDE (Belgium – AG 40)
Qualification: 1st AG IM Boulder (USA)
Strength: 10th time in Kona, former AG winner and podia.
Weakness: A perfect summerprep got interrupted by a hamstring injury, did his first run in 4 weeks yesterday…4days before raceday!
Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen, fietsende mensen, fiets, boom, buiten en natuur
PIRMIN CHRISTEN (SWITZERLAND – AG 45)
Qualification: 2nd AG Ironman Lanzarote
Strength: Very good months leading up towards the race with good consistency
Is capable of putting down his bike in front of the race and then survive the run! Looks very relaxed!
Weakness: Perfect months leading up to the race, af full force!
Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen en buiten
ALEJANDRO CASADO (Spain – AG 35)
Qualification: 2nd AG Continental championships Ironman South Africa
Strength: Conquered a serious setback after a serious accident with a broken collarbone as result. He can conquer each setback during the race now.
Weakness: is turned into strength

We have no glass bowl of course, and I hate pre-race talking about results. Let’s hit the race, be focussed and dig deep! Work is done now and I have full confidence in this strong and motivated squad!

Shaka shaka,

Cu saturday!
Jesse

Ironman South Africa and 70.3 racing in Spain!

The biggest racing weekend of spring so far for our athletes, races in Germany, USA, Belgium, France, South Africa and Spain! All athletes dying to get into the races, knife between the teeth…

70.3 Sevilla, Spain for Sergio. For Sergio (Pro triathlete) the first big race of the season. After a winter of training looking forward to the races always feels great!

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: lucht, wolk, boom, buiten en natuur


More than ready to get into the race he succeeded a good swim and moved up towards 5th position on the bike. A 5th place which he could keep untill the end of the race! Next up: Marbella 70.3!

Tough racecourse in Sevilla – Hilly and windy – 281NP ~ 71kg

Sergio’s race was a good example to look at for our other athletes racing 70.3. David and Georg were racing in Salou (Spain) and put down very strong races. Georg is not a beginner but probably made a huge beginner mistake which he we will never make again…by forgetting his BIBnumber and getting DSQ. Despite that he continued ‘illegal’ and put down a 265NP bikeride followed by a strong run. A pity for him, because he was on his way doing one of his best 70.3 races so far!
David, http://www.neverbackdown.be , is diabetic Type-1. Each training, each race is trial and error but more and more he starts to get everything under control. And also today by finishing 70.3 Salou after a steady and well paced bikeride. During the run cramps came up, but he managed to keep all under control and finish well!

In Texas, USA, also a rookie at the starting line. With a running background (years ago), I was pretty sure finishing the race well wouldn’t be a problem. Bart aimed for a sub 6h time. I estimated 5h. Well…it became 4h56′. It may be said once again, a running background is a good background to start triathlon. If you have a bit of power 🙂

And then, Ironman time for Alejandro. A Spanish triathlete living in London and training 80% of his time indoor, between the 4 walls of his appartment. In Kona ’18 we took already quite a stunning performance by finishing in 9h14′ after a strong marathon side by side with Tony (4th in sprintduathlon Geel yesterday).


Stormy conditions in South Africa, a very rough sea swim in which 2 competitors were found dead. ‘A huge mistake of the organizers to risk these swimming conditions’ according to Alejandro. A short swim with slow swimming times in the pro category says enough I think…Alejandro survived…and even did well.

One eye on the pulse – One eye on the watts
266NP ~ 71kg put Alejandro into position for an overall top 5AG


Before the race tactics were clear, an eye on power and the other eye on the pulse. A consistent bike was performed and wattwise we were spot on it.
I know Alejandro can ride +/- 280watt on IM distance but then risks to run like a chicken towards the finishline. The loss in speed in some % less watts is almost nothing, the gain in running legs can be exponential.
And so it was, moving up to 6th AG positon after the bike with several (+/-20) other athletes still in the game for world champs qualification…his position was perfect. The first 5K of the run he ran the slowest time of all competitors who finished top 10. The last 37K he ran the fastest time of all competitors who finished top10. A consistent HR based pace kept his body under control, never gave him the ‘exploded’ feeling and made him run even faster in the end. With a tough headwind pacing on HR seemed once again the best choice!


Alejandro moved up, came even close to the podium in his AG but finished 4th…and qualified for the World championships in Kona, Hawaii in October. South Africa loves our athletes and our athletes love South Africa…that’s for sure! Astonishing in the overall result:

3h03′ in the final marathon after the swim and 180K bike – Kona ‘in the pocket’

Alejandro takes 5th AG overall and would have won any other AG

  • Alejandro takes 5th AG overall and would won any other AG
  • He beats former Pro athletes (who turn AG to grab the Kona ticket of course)
  • The fastest marathonrunners also seem to be the fastest overall performers. Running is becoming more and more dominant in the final ranking in highly densified fields.
Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: 1 persoon, staan
Crossing the finishline in South Africa!



Season is totally on, and our athletes are back on fire!

Ciao

Jesse

Ironman world championships Hawaii – Bert taking 2nd and much more!

Yesterday Ironman World championships in Kona, Hawaii! Thé race of the year in triathlon. One day that the whole world learns to know what triathlon is about. The performance, the spirit and the lifestyle of sportsmanship.
Simply being able to get to the startingline means you are one of the world’s best athletes in your category.
The race always leaves us with big emotions before, during and after. Getting there demands massive smart preparation, sacrifice and a great willing to simply race in this strong field!

7athletes qualified for Kona ’18, on a rather small traininggroup of triathlons. 4 racing the championships! For years now, our athletes prooved this squad is among the very best AGsquads in the world. This because of training, determination and a good spirit

Before heading to Kona, our athletes all felt great. They picked up shape very well and were ready to travel to the other side of the world to race. Once arriving there, the heat fell down on all athletes but the athletes all managed fine, only Sam. One of or absolute topAG racers felt difficulty on the bike. But ok, still 1 week before the race and overall feeling was good!

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen

Sam was one of the favourites in the AG 40 race, together with Bert and a couple of other Belgian athletes.

At raceday the swim is not unimportant in Kona, massive groups you need to pass if you come out of the water late. So being capable of putting down a good swim can make your cycling effort be more relaxed!

Our athletes came out of the water in +/- the time they needed to come out!
For Tony, his first Ocean race, Alejandro, Bert and Sam already raced in Kona before!
Bert: 54′  – Sam 1h06′ – Alejandro 1h07′ – Tony 1h09′

Most AG athletes participating in Kona, swim +/-5-6′ slower than in their qualifying  race, an Ocean will of course never have the same waves or current.

Once on the bike it became clear that Bert was in thé day of his life, moving up and also daring to take the lead within 60K on the bike! Risky of course, but he was in shape and prooved in Vichy and Lanza he can put down the 180K effort on his own.

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen en buiten

 

Sam from his side moved up strongly, Alejandro and Tony followed closely behind!
In Kona there’s always the drafting discussion, that’s why I really want to post the honest pacing of our athletes!
Bert had a very strong ride and put down 273NP ~ 72kg , Tony at 253NP ~71kg, Sam at 241NP ~75kg and Alejandro 72kg ~236NP

 

Bert bikefile.jpg

273NP ~72kg for Bert, riding himself to a 4h30′ bikesplit in Kona. World class ride!

Sam G bikefile.jpg

241NP ~75kg for Sam, not in his best day on the bike and with a big drop in both HR, power when temperature (blue line) mounts to its summit after 2/3 of the bikecourse.

For Alejandro ànd Tony the message was clear, both athletes have a good run in their legs and are athletes who can grow into the race. Steady pacing and only looking at their own HR/watt monitor and ahead should be the best recipe to use their strong run in the end of the race! Both athletes followed the plan correctly, nutrition was spot on it.

Bikefile Tony.jpg

Tony puts down the bike with perfect pacing, HR wise a ‘flat’ race in the right zone, powerwise he has a 253NP output for 71kg. The message to wait to the Hawi climb was followed perfectly, experts can get out this climb easily!

Alejandro Bike.jpg

Alejandro had a very strong bikeride, and moved up during the whole bikecourse to put down the bike after 4h38′!

At the beginning of the runcourse, Bert (AG40) was followed with 45″ of Bruno Clerbout (a Belgian former Pro Ironman, finishing 12th overall 6years ago). This opponent surely was someone to respect and not to underestimate. For Bert message was clear, running a top top marathon to get on the podium. Clerbout came within 10″ very soon, but a few kilometers further it was Bert who surprisingly accelerated and made a +3′ gap before Energy Lab. Unfortunately it was Clerbout who had something left in his tank and overtook the race with +/- 6km to go and take AG victory, Bert takes a very well earned 2nd place!!

BErt finishfoto.jpg

Bert finishing in 8h50′ and taking 2nd AG place in thé race of his life! What a great job and step up last 2years! Age is just a number?

Behind Bert it was Alejandro and Tony who ran very close to eachother during the marathon, but after 20K Tony made the difference and moved up from a spot just outside top100 towards 42nd at the finishline. With a marathontime of 3h15′ tactics worked out fine!

Tony G finish.jpg

Tony finishing after 9h14′ of playing ‘Pac-Man’ with a 3h15′ marathon time!

 

For Alejandro, who had a zombie-experience last year in Kona, this also was the tactics and it worked out! A 3h21′ marathon made him move up during the whole marathon to finish 46th and raising the hand high!

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: 2 mensen, staande mensen, schoenen en buiten

Alejandro on his way to finish the Ironman Worlds in 9h16′

Sam from his side put down the bike after 4h41′ and started running with the same feeling as he had on the bike. With a tough marathon ahead of him he litterally stopped his race after 8km…and as we thought Sam was dropping out of the race it was his girlfriend who ‘gave him some slapping to get him to the finishline’, as he described.
Sam is and stays a legend in Ironman, 2018 was not his year in Kona but Texas was with his recordrace! This also is Ironman, and Iron doesn’t bend easily!

I am very satisfied of the results of these athletes, Bert performed extraordinary to take silver in Kona, Tony and Alejandro prooved they own their spot among the very best IMracers in their AG and also that Ironmanracing is made how you get off the bike!
Sam bounced back, finished his 9th race in Kona and with some rest ahead he’ll put down another astonishing race in 2019!

Already looking forward to the following emotions…

Jesse