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

Our athletes knock down the hammer from US over Europe to Australia!

One of the most loaded weekends with Long distance triathlon races of the season! A weekend in which our athletes raced in LD triathlons in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, US and Australia!
Important weekend also for a couple of our athletes with a World championships dream!

The first to hit the water this weekend was Javier (Colombia), putting huge steps past winter and working very accurate it was clear he was ready to do a personal very good race! There was a Kona dream (haven’t almost all LD triathletes have this…) but also realism. Doing a good race, and see what happens!

A very good swim made him step on the bike after 1h01′! On that bike Javier felt good! Living very high in Bogota, Colombia racing low should do good and it was! During training this sometimes is tough, but if there’s a positive effect on raceday…it’s very much a positive point!



This good swim combined with a fast and very well paced bike made Javier come off the bike within top 10. As Cairns is a continental championship…more slots are to be taken! Top 10 would be a certitude!
On the run course Javier had previous bad experiences in IM and wasn’t planning to have this in Cairns! We paced HR wise, which worked out perfectly. The only focus was the focus on himself and a possible place close to IM WC qualification!

Javier running himself towards his first Kona qualification in Cairns!
Strong biking of Javier in Cairns normalizing

Doing a good run and being able to keep the pace in it untill the finishline, temperatures above and around 30°C. In Ironman an athletes must keep going, because the end of the race can be astonishing in all ways. 12th place for Javier and a couple of hours of waiting for the final salvation!
Kona qualification was a fact! The day started perfect!

Obviously happiness for Javier, a dream coming true!

At the moment Javier’s race finished…our athletes in Ironman70.3 Staffordshire, UK hit the water. Not the best racing conditions, which made it a hard race! Both Hannah and Dave are in shape! Hannah could manage some very nice results in Elite cycling races and triathlons earlier this season, Dave prooved himself in his previous 2 triathlons.

Ready and still loading for a cold swim in UK

A very big step forward was made this year. Balance in training is key, if the balance is not there an athlete falls back to underperformance. Always.
Both athletes moved up well during the bikecourse to put down the bike in a position that would be very close to Ironman 70.3 WC qualifcation in Nice, France. And that’s also what happened!


Hannah’s favourite discipline as a former cyclist and pacing towards a good position!

Hannah kept her place within top 10 during the run course and finishes 8th! Dave from his side manages to finish 15th after a stunning race, perfectly paced and strong untill the finishline!

Hannah only 1m away from qualification for Nice!

For both good enough to qualify for their first Ironman 70.3 world championships!
A dream coming true!
3 world championships qualifiers on 1 day already? I was not dreaming!


A very happy Dave after his race in Staffordshire, never thought this was possible 1 year ago!

In the Netherlands, 70.3 racing in Terheijden! Tony is in his last trainingperiod towards Ironman Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain), this race would a last test and part of optimalization for him! Tony his weakest spot (if we may say this) is swimming, in Terheijden athletes have to swim 2500m instead of 1900m…perfect in full prep towards his IM.

Tony swam well, and this small ‘recovery’ week dit very well in his current shape! On the bike Tony paces at 320NP within HRzones and puts down the bike at exactly 320NP!

Tony, last year running a very strong marathon off the bike in Kona never disappoints when it comes down to racing!

Tony running himself towards the podium in The Netherlands!

A very tough challenger when you meet him in the end of the race!Running his half marathon at 3’50/km he keeps moving up untill the finishline and takes 3rd!

Tony running at the limit in Terheijden!

In Terheijden also MC takes 6th in the female race, which is very good in her first ever 70.3 race!
Our athletes were also involved in 70.3 races in Bonn (Germany), Obernai (France) and Herning (Denmark)!


In Herning the athletes had to conquer cold conditions, rain and wind in the face for the first 50K which made several athletes go into hypothermia!
But also racing in Belgium (1/4distance Beernem). Alex and Dimi both are in great shape and probably their best shape ever! 2 big boys who get faster and stronger by their age. ON this part they had a perfect example in Beernem…with Steven finishing 2nd (40+) in the masters race!

Terrible cold weather in Denmark, but Kenneth kept racing with a smile! Only question is: ‘what’s the song he was playing?’


Steven taking 2nd (masters) in Beernem!

And then, late in the afternoon (European Time) our athletes in Boulder, USA were on for a tough race!
Watertemperature was quite cold but above all altitude was heavy the first days after arrival! Racing at 1600m above sea level is not for everyone. During their first sessions in Boulder their body clearly needed to adapt.
Fortunately Cai, Sam and Vadim had a good preparation trainingwise but also altitude wise with periods of training high or sleeping high! The body surely adapted to racing conditions approaching raceday!
In contradiction to previous years where very hot temperatures were measured in Boulder today’s race would be very cold. With temperatures below 10°C. Which is cold for triathlon!
Fortunately our athletes could directly warm up on the bike, hitting the watts and going in search of the front of their AG!
For Vadim, coming out 6th in AG45 pole position was visible very soon in the race! Sam from his side had a 10′ gap on the leader and Cai got on her bike with the same gap!


Once on the bike endurance, strength and globale shape becomes the most important issue! Our athletes moved up quite fast!
Vadim got company from Swiss Mike Schifferle (Pro untill 2018), with his registration for the race…only 2slots would be divided between the rest of the athletes! Vadim and Schifferle in the lead, up to the opponents to chase them down. But these positions were held untill T2!

Vadim was in 2nd, but had chasing athletes close to him before the start of the marathon! With one of the fastest AG bikesplits and faster than a few Pro’s this 46year old Canadian prooved he was ready for a big effort!

Vadim taking off a few % too hard in Boulder, difficult to see but this small % can come back to an athlete in the very end of the race! ~ 256NP

Sam was aiming for a ride at 250-260NP , not overdoing it to save energy for the tough run course following! Very soon Sam took his place in the top 5 of his AG, once the athletes passed halfway the bikecourse Sam takes the lead and takes a massive advantage of 15′ when he enters T2!

Sam running towards AG victory in Boulder

His bikesplit was good for the 10th overall bikesplit, Pro field included!
Without problems Sam was ready to take his slot and qualify for the 10th time for the Ironman World Champs!

Very constant pacing of Sam, moving up and taking the lead with big dominance

On the bike Cai also did great, the bike discipline is definitely her strongest discipline and it made her move up towards 3rd position! In the first half of the race a couple of othere athletes sticked around her but once got further in the race her advantage on 4th and 5th place become bigger! Big enough to come off the bike with podium ambitions!

Cai riding herself a way towards a possible Ironman podium in Boulder!

3 athletes on the podium at the end of the race? It became a possibility…and this ‘crazy’ weekend definitely gave confidence that all is possible!
Sam moved up very strongly on the runcourse, the further the run was the more advantage he took in his AG…but he also moved up towards the Pro athletes and a very good overall position was in it!

Sam going for a 4h31′ bikesplit in Boulder! Good for an overall (pro included) bikesplit


The runcourse was tough, over 300D+ and a lot of turning combined with altitude didn’t make it an easy job. But he manages to become 14th overall and win his AG by far! Kona qualification was a fact! Packing and flying to Kona for the 10th time in October! When all goes as planned…things seem easy! But things aren’t always as they look like!
For Sam also a preparation is full of ups and downs, being capable of dealing with small setbacks is what makes the difference between winners and losers…

A tough race course in Boulder (300D+) and the organisers also liked to make the marathon 2km longer
Thumbs up for Sam in Boulder – winning his AG with a big advantage!

For Vadim Schifferle (fastest AG athlete – 13th overall) was out of reach from the beginning of the run course, focus on keepin his top3 spot and Kona qualification! Only 3 slots, so no mistakes to be made!
Vadim ran very constantly in the first half of the marathon! But then slowly HR dropped. Not a lot, but by small %. This definitely was caused by his first 40km on the bike, in which he kept a pace slightly to high.

This always comes back to an athlete at a certain point! But, fortunately we are talking about little% and shape, endurance and strength was at 100% before the race. Vadim never dropped a lot of pace keeps fighting untill the finishline, being passed by 1 athlete in the very end he takes podium, 3rd!!
What a day! 3athletes qualified for Kona, 2 athletes qualified for Nice…on 1 day! At this point we passed midnight…so maybe I do was dreaming??!

Vadim fighting for the podium, and succeeding! Kona’s calling!

Unfortunately for our sleepquality Cai was in a very close battle for the podium ànd for a slot! Putting down the bike in 3rd position with quite a gap in front of her. Focussing on her own race and not trying to close a 15′ gap was the best she could do! Behind her, a fast running athlete was coming step by step! With only 2,5km to go her advantage dropped to only 1′. Fortunately Sam already recovered a bit and ecouraged her to keep going strong! With success…taking 3rd place and making the race complete!
unfortunately only 1slot in this AG which means no qualification but marvellous performance…her name needs to be changed to Le’Suffer’!

Cai on the red carpet in Kona, taking 3rd place!

All 3 athletes on the podium in Boulder, this clearly lead to a party

3times Triathlonfire in their legs: Sam (Bel) 1st – Cai (Bel) 3rd – Vadim (Can) 3rd
CU in Kona!

This weekend also means that in Kona we will have ‘thé’ AG squad in the world ready to roll!

Qualifiers for the Ironman World Champs, Hawaii so far:


* Pirmin Christen (Switzerland)

*Alejandro Casado (Spain)

*Javier Cepeda (Colombia)

*Vadim Suraev (Canada)

*Sam Gydé (Belgium)

Working with athletes all around the world remains an eye opener, an experience that’s very unique in the world. Our approach towards training, vision and communication is key! Thanks for all these athletes to give the best of themselves…as we give the best from ourselves!

Straight forward and no-nonsense, at your service!


ciao,

Jesse