Ironman world championships Hawaii 2016, A thriller till the last mile!

Kona, that’s where the magic happens. Many athletes dream about it and each year the race shows why! Kona creates heroes, Kona reveals the hero inside of people. For sure that wouldn’t be different this year! 4of our athletes qualified this season and were ready to step into a dream of suffering, racing and heroes!

One of our athletes, Dave, couldn’t race Kona this year because of birth of his 2kids. Fortunately he didn’t register because 2weeks after his qualifier he got hit by a car and broke a vertebra. This was followed by 6weeks lying in bed/couch. Let’s say the start of dreaming about his future adventure in Kona!

The three athletes who did qualify and race were Heather,Pierre and Sam.

 

All 3 of them were keen on doing their best result that day, but also to have fun in racing in the most densified Ironman in the world! Without Hawaii, triathlon didn’t even exist!

3 different agegroups also:

-Heather (Canada) AG  F45-49

-Pierre (Belgium) AG M35-39

-Sam (Belgium) AG M40-44

The swimming start always is and will be a bit of nervous and stressy. Because of the highly densified level; in Hawaii the swim is even more important than in other IMraces. Our athletes knew this and tried to get out of the water with a comfortable and fast swim.

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The swimstart with Sam, Pierre and Heather among thousands of athletes in Hawaii. Hopefully they won’t touch the mass-start in Kona. It’s thé image of the race!

 

Sam was the first one out of the water  in 1h05′, which meant his fastest swim in Hawaii on 7participations. Pierre was one of the few athletes who swam faster in Kona than in his qualifying race, while Heather as being a very good swimmer she tackled some extra meters during the swim in 1h06′. So all athletes were immediately in the game for a nice result after the swimcourse!

On the bike we noticed that our athletes moved up, Pierre constantly kept passing athletes (and pelotons) and moved up 400places during the bike course! Heather definitely looked for a comfortable bikeride dealing with the warmth and the wind. It’s not an advantage for the AG women to start around 1h later than the male pro’s. They get the largest part of the heat. This in fact, makes the race even more difficult to the AGwomen than the pro men.

People immediately messaged me that Sam was moving up quite hard, looking closer at that point we noticed that Sam was riding the same pace as…the main group of the Pro race. With splits as hard as Frodeno and Kienle he rode till 80km in the race. Immediately after seeing this I had a flashback to what happened 1year ago. Only this time we didn’t know his HR/powerdevice didn’t work. So he was forced to race at a ‘feeling’. That’s why on the bike we registered no HR’s. BUT we could get back the info of the powermeter after the race!

Today, looking at the registered info we see regularly parts of 400watts during 45″-1′ and even a block of 20′ in it at 335watts avg.  Those parts are parts where he needed to pass pelotons and lose them.

At least we know what’s needed to handle a bikecourse on the level of Sebastian Kienle, Jan Frodeno…but honestly, it’s a bit too much asked. He came off the bike with a 272NP which is +/-10% less than his best Ironman-splits. Starting hard in combination with warmth affects performance.

 

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The 4h25′ of Michael Weiss (Pro,Austria)  normalizing 318NP, Weiss is 5kg heavier than Sam. Calculate yourself the physical effort he was producing…

Of course in that first part of the bike course Sam is someone who needs to ride to the front, which is not always easy to race at a constant pace because of big peloton’s he needs to catch. This certainly wasn’t in the advantage of Pierre also, who came out of the water in position 1300 and had to chase many athletes getting more to the front.Despite all of this there was no panic in Sam his head and trying to get the effort down he slowed down preparing the run..knowing he had suffered already a bit. Meanwhile his girlfriend Cai texted me to know in what position he found himself when he would come off the bike.

 

 

Pierre only had a few km to go on the bike and Heather was doing a steady bikecourse! Pierre was even heading towards a sub10h on this tough racecourse. Most of all it was the heat of which I feared for Pierre, I knew if he came off the bike well he was capable to show us a good marathon in the end!

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Dividing work – family – sports isn’t always easy for AG athletes, as we can see Pierre handled this very well. An irregular working schedule needs to be efficient. Making the right choices at the right time is a key to success!

 

For Heather the race came early after a blocked nerve she needed to handle. A perfect preparation till 2,5weeks before the Ironman and then that nerve got blocked. It needed time to be raceready and we needed to cut short the running part and focus on what do was possible.

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Heather on the bike towards her Hawaiifinish!

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Heather suffered of blocked nerve and this made us made choices, choices to start in Hawaii in a good shape and still being capable of racing well! Fortunately she had a great summer before!

Sam came off the bike 11th (AG) and rode the 6th overall AG bikesplit (of the athletes who finished top 100…), despite his ‘saving energy mode’ in the last part of the bikecourse.

On the run he took off relaxed, but still felt the impact of racing slightly too hard in the beginning of the race. 8,5kilometers he needed to get the engine running and still passed the 21k mark at 4’26/km. If you run this pace you know you are running among the faster runners in Hawaii. We knew of last year that running sub 3h is difficult…as nobody went under 3h in 2015 (AG). So we could get the info that halfway he was definitely in the game for the podium and was the only athlete getting faster and faster at that point.

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Sam during his fast 3h05 marathon in Hawaii, which brought him to a 3rd spot

From the 21K mark, nobody in his AG ran faster. It was just a matter of time to move up in places! 6K before the finishline Sam was in fourth and gave it all (see HR). It was Cai who could give him the info to chase French athlete Mettier in 3rd position. With only 1,5miles to go Sam overtook 3rd position and didn’t let his go anymore. At the end Sam ran a negative split marathon in 3h05′ (4’23/km). Only 1 AG athlete was capable of going sub 3h01.

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Today Sam had no constant HR in the ironman, he went out of his comfortzone, chasing the podium and getting it at 1,5miles before the finishline! With all respect for his concurrents who made him race this way.

On the podium, again! This 3rd place on the Ironman Worlds feels great! An athlete in great shape who gets his 4th Ironman podium  within 18months. The cyclingsessions starting at 9pm and finishing at 2am in the morning were worth it ;-)!

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Happy 3rd in his AG and 59th overall – back on the podium in Kona! It was former PRO Jim Lubinski who took the win!

Ok, we knew there maybe was more in it, when the pacing on the bike went perfectly…but humans are no computers. And computers may sometimes not function when u want them to…(ahum some will laugh…).

Times: 1h05′-4h51-3h05

Pierre who already had a whole day of catching up people on the bike, did the same on the run. Once again he took back 400 athletes (1 each 100m) on the marathon. Running a 3h22′ marathon in Hawaii is great, he showed to everybody he belongs at this level and paced/raced his race alone. No drafting, no cards …just effort!

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Pierre finished the race in 10h07′ after moving up a whole day and finished with a 3h22′ marathon!

At that moment Heather was approaching halfway the marathon, she ran consistently…But still we crossed the fingers to hope the nerve didn’t get blocked again. It didn’t and she even moved up places during the run finishing just over 12h. A pity her swim didn’t came out, because she sure is capable swimming sub 55′ in Hawaii!

 

 

 

 

Those athletes became heroes yesterday, finishing world’s most magical triathlon and a podium on top!

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Oh and the drafting, it’s easy to solve if they want it. Use drones or helikopters for filming spots and longer moments and DSQ behind the screen to have a good point of view. Show the DSQ athletes their card at the beginning of the run and give them a 60′ penalty. Case closed 😉

Proud coach, it was a fun night!

Jesse

A weekend with multiple wins in cycling and triathlon!

A week full of variety!

Challenge Almere-Amsterdam Half Irondistance,
Our athletes were hypermotivated before the start and were keen on setting a nice performance!
Adrian continues his grand cru season and finishes 9th (24-39), whilePierre finishes his last race before the IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii and finishes on a very nice 12th place (24-39), now recovery and the last trainingperiod towards the World championships in Hawaii!
Nico finishes a bit further after having to stop because getting stung by a wasp. But restarted and went all the way in the end!

In Chamonix Sebastien and Bart finished the Evergreen Endurance triathlon!

After the swim they rode very close to each other and once of the bike they realised they could better do the very tough runcourse together!  Finishing in the front of the field in the toughest European triathlon is very memorable!

 

 

 

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The swimstart at Challenge Almere (Netherlands) for Adrian, Pierre and Nico!

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Seb and Bart finished the Evergreen triathlon in exactly the same time after 19h and still in the front of the field!

Triathlon La Roche: Our athletes are entering their last races of the current triseason with good results. Remarkable performance by Tony confirming again and in his last race of this season he gets 4th behind Heemeryck, Goetschouwers and Sylvain Denis!
Pacing strong on the bike on this tough racecourse. In his first full triathlonseason he took a win on a 1/4triathlon and did splendid results on the half irondistances!

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Tony did a remarkable season with wins and a big step forward! Training smart results in performing better. As u can notice it’s all about training the right intensity, the right amount at the right time!

In Canada it was Andreas who entered the XTERRA Canada race in Woolastook and finishes 3rd overall in his first Xterra race. Big step forward past season for Andreas and it still seems to match between Swiss athletes and mountainbikes! And maybe it will be tough choice one day whether Andreas races the Xterra world champs in Hawaii or the Ironman World Champs in Hawaii 😉

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Andreas realisesa topperformance, finishing 3rd overall in the Xterra Woolastook (Canada)

A bit further in Halifax (Canada) Heather was more than hungry for her last pre- IRONMAN World Championship . Heather is a strong swimmer, she came out of the water as very first (before every male athlete!) and kept her first position in the women’s race!
Now 4weeks left before Kona, Hawaii.

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Our young cyclists are doing well, Q did a very nice race yesterday and Robbe tried to go in all the breakaways he could today which made him suffer in the end. But that’s something what makes you strong in the end. Today Dries (U23) raced in Overijse, hilly course, and got 11th in this Elite/U23 race after being in the right breakaway he had a small technical incident which made him lose contact with the main group. Still he was strong enough to handle his position!

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Heather is a strong swimmer, but it lasted for 30K before the first male athlete could take her back after outswimming the male field!

September, the month in which many athletes have the end-off-season-blues, but not among our athletes, battling till the end of the very last race of the season!

www.trainsmartperformbetter.com

 

The heat became fire!

On friday and saturday our athletes performed already astonishing, I had that little feeling that on sunday our athletes wouldn’t perform less. And so it was!

Jan started his crosstriathlon early that day (Watrissart-France) ,in his first triseason it’s clear this discipline is something that will fit him as the best. A good technique, strong cyclist and fast off-bike runner as he is, he got 2nd overall! For Joeri the race ended with a broken chain and alternative training!

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The looks of a rockstar, but the legs of sportsstar, Jan on his first overall crosstri-podium!

In Viersel(Belgium) it was Tony who entered the densified field of the quarter triathlon. With specialists as Goetschouwers, Jammaer,…we knew the swim would be important on a totally flat racecourse with almost no turning…just pushing. Tony did a good swim, and moved up a lot on the bike followed by a top8 runsplit he managed 11th overall in the end!

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Former duathlete Tony gets 11th in a fast 1/4triathlon with a high level of athletes at the starting line.

In France Séb did the Castleseries Half Iron in Chantilly, this was a top off of a big trainingperiod towards the toughest Irondistancerace in Europe, the Evergreen Triathlon in and around Chamonix. Food for challengers!

A bit further away in France the Ironman athletes showed determination! Michael reached the finishline in this Ironman with a non-wetsuit ! But it was Alex, who astonished. Alex came with us after an Ironman Frankfurt where need more than 13h to get to the finisline!

1year later he realises a great effort with a magnificent swim and a bik and run in which he kept his spot in the overal field! One day Alex will swim a sub 50′ IMswim, not sure about this…but very sure!

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Alex cuts off 2h30 of his Ironmanrace-time and now enters among the top15%, a big step forward!

6years I never would have thought I could be  celebrating 40 (!) wins with an athlete, today it became reality! Tom “deamon on  the bike” Vandenbussche  won the individual time  trial in Torhout and is having a supersummer! 2wins in 1 weekend is double champagne for breakfast tomorrow!  Super proud to work with this athlete, who came from far and started stepping up the podium and winning as soon as we focussed on the positive side in an athlete. That’s still my number 1 approach to athletes!

Late in the afternoon it was time for our Canadian athletes to go into the 70.3 triathlon in Maine, USA! Heather, Corey and Andreas were very motivated towards this race.

For Heather this race is her last step up towards the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii! Coming out of the water with migraine she managed the bike but then wisely skipped the run, being first in her AG. A good recovery now and then only the big Island waiting!

Corey and Andreas went into this race quite different, this was their main objective this summer. Corey was  not far behind on the swim and managing a 280NP ride he came off the bike within a position that was possible to reach the  podium. This must have motivated him to get off the bike fast and set the best runsplit only 33″away from 2nd position at the finisline! I repeat, if you can’t run off the bike..you can’t win!

Andreas from his part definitely did his best ever triathlon. You could say this was his breakthrough race, finishing 7th overall in Maine! Andreas realised a fast bikesplit and moved up even more places than Corey. Question was, what could he do on the run? Well, he smashed it…running  4th running split and entering top 10 on place #7!

Next week we have 3 World Championships,

with the Ironman70.3 WC in Australia, Raph and Sophie are at location already. The race will be very fast and the level densified.

There is also the World Championships cycling for amateurs with Ambrose, also in Australia and the World championships duathlon in Switzerland with Jan!

 

Train smart, perform better!

 

Jesse

 

 

 

 

 

 

A weekend with ups and downs!

Past weekend began great, but it had a big down also….

but first the positive news!

On friday our athletes had the right feeling and were  capable of racing for the medals!

In Lommel (UCI1.18) Jef was the first to go into a breakaway, the peloton didn’t let them go and so it was Svenne who once again went in the breakaway! They were off and averaged almost 44km/h on  this 85K criterium. In the last loop it was Svenne who went for the win, but some of his concurrents came back and so he was outsprinted and got 4th in this fast race! Hans and Tony, both in full preparation for  the national triathlon championships did a short preprace. Hans got 2nd in the Lakeparadise triathlon with his team and Tony raced for the win in duathlon Herentals and finally got 4th.  Meanwhile Gwendolyn became 2nd in Wenduine 10miles!

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On Saturday Germany was the place to be,
Joeri did a very good race in the XTERRA German tour, Schalkenmehren by getting 11th overall!

Anthony was riding on the Nurnburgring (Rad am Ring) and was out for a topperformance…till he flatted and had to chase the main groupe. After a soloride of 100K he managed a 26th place! Now getting ready for the Tour de Namur (UCI 2.12 – stagerace)!

GuydbOur young cyclists also had fire in the legs today!
Dries (U23) could ride the post-Tour criterium and was outsprinted by John Degenkolb (Ger) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita)http://uitslagen.dewielerbond.be/Kalender_Uit…/Uitslag.aspx…

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Robbe and Quinten (Juniors) have both made a long way already to where they find themselves right now. Both were in the breakaways and dared to‪#‎attack‬. Robbe was in the right breakaway and finished 7th in Tourinnes, Quinten was in a little group behind the leaders and took 16th! Both are first year juniors! Already looking forward to next season!

Meanwhile our oldest male athlete Guy realised again another Ironman70.3 finish! In Hungary he was capable to get his revenge for the flat tyres in Ironman Luxembourg! Now looking forward to Ironman Vichy and Turkey!

Sunday had to become another beautifull day, and it was…only it ended with an accident…

Our athletes are hammering hard, we  get used to it…despite that, we don’t forget it’s no evidence! Dedicated and hard work comes before the output and visibility!
In Ironman Maastricht (Holland) Patrick (25 AG – 10h02), Pieter (18AG – 10h14) and Toon (12h05) realised each for themselves their best IM result ever! The road towards a long race is also something to remember and be proud of!

In Bridgetown (Canada) it was Heather who astonished on the olympic distance by coming into T1 as first overall athlete, she left all male athletes behind her! Heather could hold her spot on the bike and during the run and took the win back home!

On the long course (Half Iron) Corey advanced Allan during the swim and they both came out of the water in the front. The swimcourse was in a river into the current!

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Corey and Allan both did what they had to do today and paced the race well. The weather was not easy as it was a warm day and drinks were not always easy to grab 😉!
On the run course our athletes are fast enough to fight till the end!
Corey won the party, and it was Allan making the day complete by finishing 2nd and once again confirms his high level he’s on for the moment!

 

In Oostende (Time Trial) Jan did 2 races, first he did the 13K ITT with racebike and later that day he rode the 26K ITT with Time Trial Bike! It resulted in a 3rd and 8th spot in the Masters race!

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After all these great results we checked our phone and saw less prettier news…Hans was involved in a frontal accident during a Timetrial…a broken shoulder has ended his 2016 season. Once again it makes us realise we must enjoy every moment of training and racing. Also the tough ones, also the flat tyres,….always look forward and fast forward!

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www.trainsmartperformbetter.com

Jesse

Challenge Saint-Andrews (Can): Hammer on the block !

In Canada the first big race of the season was on the program for our athletes, after a good winter and spring with already some very nice results in road running races we knew the running legs were there. And of course, it’s on the run u win triathlons!

The days before the race it became clear that it would become a cold day on raceday, and so it was. Wind and rain were there, and with that a little bit of healthy stress what to wear and what to eat…

The race ended up with smashing results of our athletes!
Already on the swim there was a very good performance of Heather, while Allan and Corey came out of the water together. Andreas followed a bit later, but took his time in T1 and lost too much time in transition! A little point to work at! Corey swam, some extra meters, just to make the race a bit tougher 😉

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All our athletes got chicked by fast swimmer Heather! Coming out of the water 5th overall that wasn’t so strange! Well done!

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The lake seemed peacefull the day before the race!

On the bike our athletes always try to ride to the front of the game, they did.

It was Corey who was capable of putting his bike in T2 first, but Allan was much closer behind than we would have expected already. That meant both were flying and were able to battle within the top 10. Andreas moved up A LOT on the bike, with a 12th overall bikesplit he moved up well and knowing his strongest point (the run) had to come…

In the Female race Heather was still doing a very good race and was battling for the win in her AG!

 

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Despite the very hard and hilly bike conditions our athletes could all move up to the front. After the bike everybody was battling for top10 in Challenge Saint-Andrews. This powerfile is Allan’s, he paced well and rode very efficient with a NP and AVG very close to each other.

And there we were…at the run course. Also hilly and not easy to run. But it was on that run that our athletes confirmed! Corey totally got in his pace and with a fastest run off the bike he moved up towars 1’of the leader finishing 2nd overall! A great performance of this triathlete!

The surprise of the day maybe was Allan finishing just next to the podium and becomes 4th overall!  His mate Andreas was our only male athlete on the runcourse at that moment and after a visit to the toilet and cramps coming up he still managed a good run, with the 10th running time he just fell  out of the top 10 in the GC becoming 11th!

In the female race it was Heather who kept fighting for the win in her AG and a nice classification in the GC. Doing one of her best ever races she became 2nd in her AG and took 7th overall!

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Heather on her way to 7th place overall in the women’s race and 2nd in her AG!

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Result STA

Our athletes did a consistent race with very good runs! 3 man in top11 of Challenge Saint-Andrews is something to be proud of! 1big remark in orange ;-)!

I am very glad our athletes raced like hell and were able to get these performances! They don’t have European weather in winter. We mostly doubt using the turbo or going outside. They don’t have to doubt at least…

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Athletes working smart, perform better! Don’t always put the same stress on the body. Recovery and training well gets you at the starting line in the best shape!

Train Smart, Perform better!

Ciao,

Jesse