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


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

 

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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

The ‘Houston rockets’ and medals on French and Belgian duathlon championships!

This weekend was ‘championshipsweekend’, with the Northern American Ironman championships in Texas (USA) for Cai and Sam, the French duathlon championships on the long distance for Hans, Séb, Steven and Inge and the national sprintduathlon championships for Wim adrenaline would rush through the veins. For sure!

The good about these sports are that if you are prepared well, you are ready for racing! With dedication to the raceplan (and nutrition) the rest follows normally! If it’s hot (30-35°C in Texas) or cold (8°C in France and cold rain all race long) that doesn’t matter. Shape decides what will happen, all the rest are sidestories.

In Texas, both Sam and Cai took off well during the swimstart. Somehow Cai found herself closed in a bit during the swim but despite that both athletes got on their bikes in +/- the time that was planned. And then, the race starts for real!
On the bike Sam had to close down a 10′ gap with his opponents in the M40. With topathletes such as Dan Stubleski, Mosley and others it would a nice race to follow.
39Pro athletes also at the starting line, many points to gather for the KPR-ranking, important to get to Kona! This strong field and perfect weather conditions (as in almost no wind) would lead to a legendary race with several records broken! Matt Hanson for example ran the off bike marathon (42.1km) in 2h34′ after 3.8K swim and 180K bike. This day in Texas will be remembered. But not only by the toprange of Pro athletes racing it.

Soon it became clear that Sam was moving up in his race, of course this is a well known fact in Ironman, but you still have to do it! With the flat and straight roads it was a good race to pace very consistent.
Despite the groups Sam had to overtake, which made him push a bit harder of course, he felt great on his bike and never found himself into trouble.

Sam NP

Sam’s bike effort of 278NP-4h18′ , was good for the fastest bikesplit in Texas!

In the very end of the race Sam was clearly going a bit harder than his nearest opponents, of which a few just behind him. So it would also become a tactical race, once off the bike! After 4h18′ the bike was put in T2. A quick calculation made us already dream of a very fast time. But as everyone knows, in a LD triathlon you better don’t dream. You have to do it.

Cai from her side was asked to pace at 150watts and keep her HR around 145BPM. She did what she had to do and also felt very good on the bike, enjoying her race she moved up A LOT untill she got on 8th place in her AG in the end of the bikecourse.
With 10women within 3′ in this AG all would be played during the run!

 

A lot of questions about the fast bikesplits in Texas, but the answer on the real bike length is simple. 176km (as in many Ironman races), no wind…and unfortunately indeed no referees controlling the ‘bunch’ of athletes. The better cyclists of course have no benefit of this. The ‘bunch’ has. A pity! It made many athletes come off the bike close together. But as Sam said this morning. Once you start running…’the masks fall off’.

The first kilometers of the run Sam started in a good pace, despite that he was passed by a couple of athletes who were running at 2h45′ pace. Wise decision of Sam not to follow but follow his own pace. Once the athletes were approaching halfway the runcourse it became clear that race opponents of Sam were the guys that were predicted. The athletes starting too fast were left behind.  Stubleski in first place, Caron and Mosley were the guys who would be there untill the finishline. And no one to underestimate of course.
At kilometer 35 Sam had a 3′ gap behind Stubleski, at that point…it seemed that 2nd place was the highest possible thing to achieve and still ready to finish below 8h30′ with a fast marathon!

 

That marathon was fast, and in the last kilometers Sam went all out and closed down the gap to 30″ at 40.1km! 30″ behind with 2K to go…Stubleski and Sam in a nice battle, with the last 2km of Sam pushing it all the way he finished….9″ before Stubleski!

Sam Run

Sam with a fantastic marathon at the end of the race, 2h53′ and with 9″ ahead just enough for the AG win!

Sam never ran in 1st position during the whole race untill the very end…how nice is that! But also a big thumb up to Stubleski, making the race hard during the marathon. Athletes can lift eachother to a higher level during a clean battle!
For the 3rd year in a row he gets sub 3h on the marathon, in Texas he even broke his fastest marathontime in an Ironman!

Sam G AG results

A result to be very proud of, this will be printed and put on my wall today!

The result of Sam is the result of a real AG athlete with a full-time job, thinking no-nonsense, enjoying it all and putting in the effort where needed. That sub8h30′ was just a matter of time.

We would almost forget to say, but Sam did qualify for Hawaii of course. Where he will race for the 9th!! time! But first, rest!
In Kona he will join Van, Bert and Tony, our other athlete who already qualified earlier!

Sam G finish

Sam crossing the finishline in Texas, no words needed!

In the female race it was Cai who ran a good marathon and was able to finish her race in 11h10′! Finishing 10th in her AG was a very honest result. The female AG’s don’t have the quantity of slots that the male athletes have. With only 1-3 slots divided in the Ironmans it’s not easy to get one but still chances to go!
Well done!

In France, all eyes on the national championships long distance duathlon (10-80-10). With 4of our athletes, the race was one of the maingoals of this spring for these athletes.
Hans won the race in Douai already, but now it had the championship label…and that’s what you could notice from the start! A very fast start with several athletes running the first 10K in 30-32′ here. With Hans heading towards transition in 17th position, Séb and Steven ran a bit further and Inge in 8th position in the female race they entered T1.

Hans VDB

Hans picking up one of the female athletes, who started 5′ earlier, during the first run!

The bikecourse in Douai is full with roundabouts, turnings, ‘faux plats’ and wind…always wind! Today there was some extra with rain all day long 🙂 Well, if you come from Flanders…that must give wings!
On the bike Hans decided not take risks on these dangerous roads, but halfway the first lap…the speaker already noticed he moved up towards 13th position. At that point it was only Jean Eudes Demaret (Former Cofidis pro cyclist and 2016 Elite national champion triathlon) who rode slightly harder. Behind that it was Hans who had to face 2 little groups. Strong as he is, the further the athletes went in the race … the more he moved forward. To finally put down his bike in 7th position! Excellent! A top 10 in this field would have been a great job!
Séb came back to Steven on the bike and both athletes moved up well during this bikecourse. Inge from her side, a bit afraid of the weather before the race, had strong legs and after the bikecourse she put down the bike 3rd! Very close to number 2 and with a good gap behind her.

Hans VDB bike

314NP for Hans his bikeride, unfortunately the last 5-6km towards the race location (each lap) athletes had to be very carefull with slippery roundabouts and cars blocking the roads.

In this type of LD duathlons the places are not divided in the first run, not on the bike…but during the 2nd run…with Hans putting down the bike 7th and a 1’30” -3′ gap  on the faster runners of Run1 it seemed impossible to still move up places. But from the first kilometers Hans had a good pace. His running style looked relaxed and with a 2′ gap behind him he only had to look in front of him! In front of the field a couple of athletes were crashing as usually on the long distance.

HansJesse

Hans in 7th, only 20″ and 1’20 behind on 5 and 6. With this pace 5th pace would be possible!

After 5km Hans still was 7th, but in those last 5km a lot happened in front of the race and suddenly Hans appeared very close to number 5 and 6, which he overtook in the last kilometer. Jean Eudes Demaret crashed totally in the last 5K and his 4′ advantage melted down fast! With only 7″ left at the finishline Hans finishes 5th today in this field!

Hans run 2 geen greintje verval

Hans never dropped the pace during his off bike run! Which made him move up in the field and finish strong!

 

Steven had some bad luck today and got a drafting penalty, missed the turning for the 2nd loop and because of this he ran an extra 800m.

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A good looking Steven on the racecourse, but the weatherconditions made the race more chaotic than planned!

Séb from his side did an excellent race, he builded up from behind and finishes 45th after an excellent 2nd run. Ready for the LD triathlons coming now!

Hans finish

‘La Machine’ and Le Nord….rain or sunny, he eats it!

In the female race Inge never looked giving back her 3rd place at another competitor. A focussed 2nd run in which she has to learn to be confident. If there’s suffering, everyone is suffering! Finishing 3rd on these national championships is another step she made! With Ironman Zurich in July she has her first Full distance triathlon coming! If you can do this today, the Ironman will be peanuts ;-)!

Inge

A last word with Inge, clear language.

After France, back to Belgium…in which the national sprint duathlon championship was held. Normally I don’t like sending athletes to this format. Because of the lottery aspect in it. But with Wim, we have a very particular athlete. A fast and steady runner with more and more cycling experience also. In the master category this was his only medal missing in Belgium after 2years of duathlon! And once again this strong master showed his fast legs by getting into  T1 first. But with his opponents not changing shoes he missed the train towards T2. It made him chase the leaders on the bike, but with not enough cooperation it was the bronze medal that was the highest possible to get! And he did! First maingoal of the season for Wim accomplished! Now full focus on the European long distance championships, which will be followed by the nationals in May!

Wim DC

Wim, bronze in the national championships sprint duathlon! Excellent performance and ready for the Europeans!

Recap of another “Grand-cru” year in 2017!

A long year is almost behind us, our athletes performed like bosses, from January till the end of December the one performance after the other was made!
This year was a year that personally wasn’t my easiest, with the loss of  out mother. But as we learned to stand tall in difficult times…we kept going….and stood up again. Personally I must/will thank all the people who gave even the smallest  word of support. Without the small or bigger supports maybe 2017 wouldn’t have been like it became…at sportslevel!

In January our athletes just drunk their last glass of champagne and the first races were there already, our athletes were involved in some road running races with for example the half marathons where we had 6 of our athletes crushing the 1h20′ and even some guys below 1h15, that already was a good sign towards the season. At that point our athletes hadn’t had any hard sessions yet. Base was good, strength was good…and then  you can be already at 90% of your PB…if you approach training with a good periodisation. Laziness is never rewarded in sports, being creative and being a silent worker is!
Klaas, our cyclocrossrider even took an unexpected podium on the regional championships cyclocross!

klaass

Klaas heading towards the podium on the regional champs!

In February

our Canadians woke up and the first road races (running) were held overthere, with the Boularderie half marathon for example where Corey, Allan and Andreas took an exceptional clean sweep!

In Belgium the tough Sandman duathlon was held, with the win of Inge and very strong Hans in the male race. Both, at this point, were far from peaking period. With the results we knew in spring there would happen something…and it did!

Meanwhile the French speaking part of Belgium had its championships duathlon. There also our athletes got podium and even won the masters race.

hans-vdb

La Machine has to explain how he dropped his opponents

At the end of this month our cyclists turned their engines on, immediately followed by big results! There was Svenne who already got podium and Anthony who was on for a S U P E R – Season who got 4th in his first race in Lens-Saint-Rémy.

March traditionally is the month where all sports cross eachother…road cycling, mountainbike, duathlon, triathlon, marathons,…but it’s also the month where you show what you’ve been up during winter.
March began with a duathlon win in Ashford (United Kingdom), Anthony who rode himself from the one podium to the other and wins in Tournai (Belgium). There also was the resurrection of Guillaume, who turned back into cycling and came back…stronger than he ever was before! There was also the trailrun on Ballon d’Alsace (France) where Arne got an unexpected podium and of course the duathlon in Hilversum (Netherlands) which closed the month!

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A lot of fighting spirit for Anthony, with strong racing and wins already at the beginning of the season!

In April the cycling season continued with wins in Couvin (Belgium), Mariembourg (Belgium) and Frankfurt (Germany). While our duathletes won races in the Netherlands (Ter Idzard), Germany (Eschweiler) and France (Douai). In Douai it was Hans who was able to put down an extraordinary result by beating former Pro world champion Koen Maris. Not so far behind it was Jan who, with the fastest 2nd run, could move closely to the front! In Spain it was David who did a great race in Orihuela early in the season and in Florida (USA) Allan won his race!

A bit more to the South Ironman South Africa was the first Ironman planned, with Pierre, Cai and Sam we had 3 athletes being capable of qualifying for Kona.
What happened there went just perfect! Pierre realised his best ever race and qualified for Kona for the 2nd year in a row, while Cai (5th in her AG) just missed the slot but managed to do a race perfectly as planned.

Sam from his part, once again took an IM podium by finishing 2nd AG overall (after former PRO Godart) and ran for the 4th time in his career a sub 3h marathon! Also his ticket was in his Bioracer-suit pocket!

 

 

 

Yes, April was the first peak for some of our athletes…and it was spot on it!
For the others…May became the first peaking period … and that promissed to be at least as surprising as April!

May was the month of duathlon championships,

with Jan becoming AG European champion and Wim losing his 3rd AG spot in the last kilometer we had success and learning in 1 race towards the world championships in September! Only 6 days after the EC the Belgian national championships were held in…Holland. In Almere Jan took top 10 overall and Wim managed himself to get his first medal on a national championships and got 3rd (masters).

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Jan and Wim racing the European championships Long distance duathlon

In Mallorca (Spain) Adrian raced his first main goal of the season and in the 70.3 raced he not only got 2nd (AG), but also took a nice overall ranking and qualified for the 70.3 world championships.

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Adrian running towards his AG-podium in Mallorca 70.3

Next to these races our athletes also managed to perform in Belgium and Canada in several cycling and triathlon races

 

Of course after a period like April and May, in which many outstanding performances were set by our athletes a coach silently hopes this can inspire the other athletes to perform at their verrrry best in the rest of the season. And it did!

In June this list of podium spots were reached:

  • SWIKE Harelbeke: 3rd
  • Half Irondistance Troyes (France): 2nd
  • Rev3 70.3 Quassy (Canada): 2nd
  • Half Irondistance Terheijden (Netherlands): 3rd
  • Duathlon Baddeck (Canada): 1st
  • Duathlon Baddeck (Canada): 2nd
  • Duathlon Baddeck (Canada): 3rd
  • Ironman 70.3Luxemburg: 1st AG Inge
  • Ironman70.3 Luxemburg: 3rd AG Steven
  • Cyclingrace Zomergem: 2nd Guillaume
  • Mamer Duathlon (Luxembourg): 3rd Jan
  • Cyclingrace Zottegem: 2nd Guillaume
  • Time trial Zolder: 3rd Jef

Next to these results, multiple top10 races were made by our athletes!
In the triathlonraces of Meer, L’eau d’Heure, Oud-gastel, Couvin, Alpsman…our athletes performed very well.
In Ironman Klagenfurt (Austria) we saw our athletes stepping up a level with athletes going sub 10h and sub 9h30 for the very first time!

 

 

Unfortunately for Bert in Challenge Poznan (Poland), he was sent the wrong direction…being in 2nd position and having to quit the race. Bert was approaching the leader at that point and ready to take a full distance win! This made him keen on performing at least as hard later on this season…

July, the first month of summer…traditionally a loaded month with Ironman races in Frankfurt (Germany), Zürich (Switzerland), Santa Rosa (USA), Lake Placid (USA), Nice (France) and Whistler (Canada), but also the full distance races of Gravelines (France) and Challenge Roth (Germany). In all of these races our athletes gave the best of themselves with some extraordinary results in the end!
Each Irondistance also is a learning process, that’s what a few of our athletes experienced. The way you enter the race is crucial!

 

 

In Roth for example, Hans was our 2nd AG athlete getting SUB 8h45! With a win in his AG and a top overall ranking this was certainly his best full distance ever!

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In Lake Placid (USA) Cai came very close again to qualifying for the World champs after a strong race on this tough racecourse, while Same managed an 11th place (overall) and another AG win!
A very strong performance again, and much more to say and reflect about it then just ‘eating chicken soup’ ;-)!

In Aarschot it was Bert who took his 2nd masters victory of the season, Inge who took the AG win in Xterra France, Anthony just outsprinted for the win in Rad am Ring (Germany), Corey getting 3rd in 70.3 Saint-Andrews, Allan winning the Aylesford triathlon (Canada) and Robbe (junior-cyclist) getting his first ever podium!

Next to all of these races it was Jan who was the 2nd Belgian in 2017 winning a Long distance duathlon (only 2 will win a LD road duathlon in 2017) in Gravelines (France)!

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August is known as harvest period in Europe, the end of the road seasons approach and time for those who built a good base to finetune towards the last races!
Our athletes wer on the pdoim tri/duathlonraces and multiple cyclingraces in Belgium The Netherlands and Roumania, while in Spain David got himself on the podium in Medina de Rioseco (Spain).
In Belgium it was Bart who astonished in the tough Belman race by finishing 9th, where he found a racecourse that fitted him perfectly!

 

 

But Augustus also was a month of quite some Ironman racing!

With 70.3 races like Zell-Am-See (Austria) and Vichy (France), where our athletes performed very well. On the full distance in Maastricht (The Netherlands) Tim got 21st overall, and missed his slot by 1place after a 3h00 marathon which was the 6th overall (Pro incl) running time! Later that month our athletes also raced in Ironman MT where Allan got very close to a slot, Ironman Kopenhagen(Denmark)  and then we had the Ironman in Vichy!
A magical day for one of our athletes, who flew and was in the lead of the race for a very long time!! Bert came through on the bike as 2nd very soon, with nobody around him and chasing groups behind him. With the rolling start it’s difficult to see where you are in the race, and the packs behind him of course were not easy to manage. With a fast bikesplit he put down his bike and started on the run course! Soon it was clear that former Pro and strong performing Clerbout came closer and approached him (timewise) . But nobody could avoid that it was Bert crossing the finishline 2nd!

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Bert crossing the finishline in Vichy (France)  finishing 2nd in Vichy

A magical moment for our athletes to have one of our athletes crossing the Ironmanfinish like this! In the end it was Clerbout who won (faster time by +/-5′). Bert was our 3rd amateur athlete within a year who finished in 8h45 or faster! A performance to remember, and to be very proud of!

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With his fantastic performance in Vichy, Bert already qualified for the 2018 World championships!

Only 1 week after the adrenalinerush in Vichy, our athletes registered for the World championships duathlon in Zofingen (Switzerland) were ready…to rumble!

Hans, Jan and Wim had their chances on the AG podium and were keen to get on it!

For all 3 of them the race turned into something fantastic, Hans (1st AG 35-39), Jan (2nd AG 35-39) and Wim (2nd AG 40-44) found themselves on the podium after the race!

With Hans who became first overall amateur and Jan who became 3rd overall amateur our athletes had their place between the Pro’s!

 

 

Only 2weeks after his 2nd place in Ironman Vichy it was time for Bert to enter the 70.3 world championships! With our well known Dan Stubleski at place number 1, Bert his 5th place was well earned! What a season for him!

Later in September we had 2 athletes ready to qualify for Kona 18 with Tony, strong as always and approaching his first Ironman in Wales! In Wales he got the company of Stijn, also racing his first Ironman! Both athletes did great and on this tough and very cold racecourse, where pro-athletes like Romain Guillaume had to leave the race because of the cold, Tony was capable of qualifying himself for the Ironman World championships 2018 in Kona, Hawaii!

In Chattanooga (USA) it was Van, our Californian trailrunner/Ironman athlete…with a super fast run of the bike he won the AG (45-49) and got 15th (!!) overall in his Ironman! With his slot in the pocket he is flying into 2018!

With several races like Gerardmer XL, Knokke, Damme (with another OUTSTANDING win for Inge) , the national duathlon title (masters) for Wim and victory for Andreas in Canada (Fiddlers half marathon) road season was topped off!

At this point our cyclocrossriders already had don their first races again!
October approached and Kona 17 came closer!

But first there were the Ironman race in Barcelona(Spain), where Jens was on his way to go Sub9 and take a Kona-ticket also! Only in the last kilometers his race got really tough finishing 4th(AG) and just not enough for the AG podium! But a magnificent race for one of our younger athletes in the Ironman circuit! Jens did a super season with quite some races all the way in the front of the race and finally closing his season with a fast race in Barcelona!

Also in Barcelona was Sem, a big step forward for him….finishing the race just above 9h30!

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Jens in Ironman Barcelona on his way towards 4th AG place

In Ironman70.3 Turkey Adrian astonished once again by getting another Ironman top10! Another good season for him this year with some nice goals to look forward to!

But not only Ironman has races in October, Vincent and Arne went to Empuriabrava to race their half irondistance and finished 21st and 22nd in this beautifull race in the north of Spain!

Of course there’s only 1 ‘all-eyes-on’ race in October and that’s the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii! With Sam and Pierre racing this year we hoped for the very best! And all was going perfectly, with both athletes having a good swim and immediately heading forward on the bike…untill Sam got a penalty…5′ of STOP for him!
Despite this penalty he went as hard as before the penalty for the rest of the racecourse and managed to STILL have the fastest AG 40-44 bikesplit and the 4th overall time….how fast were his legs! On the runcourse Sam couldn’t make the difference anymore and after being in the battle for the podium untill almost the end he finally got 7th! Pierre finished a bit later and completed his 2nd Kona-race!

 

 

The week after Kona our athletes already came together to have our first groupsession, a relaxed fartlek run and groupride were on the menu :-). The begin of a good season is where the past season ends!

In November it was clear that our cyclocrossriders got stronger and stronger, with Klaas getting several podiumplaces and move up towards 3rd overall in the Cyclocrosscup!

Kevin from his side amazed by getting the 2nd place in the regional championships, a nice step up in his comeback year!

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December, the last month of the year and also a month in which many athletes enter their first prepraces towards ’18 with nice results in Run and Bikes, Offroadduathlons, trailruns and the continuation of our cyclocrossmen in a season full of suspense! Also a crucial month for training towards spring season!

But above all…there’s Kasterlee. A LD duathlon only known in Flanders, BUT with a great atmosphere and something special about it! A main goal for a couple of our athletes!
A main goal that was more exciting even than predicted, and finally one of our athletes won the race. Inge dreamt about winning it and she did! After mechanical problems she fought herself back into the race and won! That’s the mentality you need as an athlete, never give up!
In the masters race it was Wim who won, with his 11th overall place and super fast run off the bike! Marvellous season they both had!

 

 

 

In Thailand the riders of the WTT/W2W are also keen on starting their season and already in December the first races ar on there! With 4podiumplaces and 1 victory they immediately show what’s possible if you work smart!

 

Extra goalsets for the next  year are simple – evaluation within 12months:

  • getting our 10th world championships medal
  • win a continental championship
  • win a pro cycling race (UCI)
  • At least 5 selections for the Ironman World Championships 2018, Hawaii
  • win our 5th Irondistance race
  • selection for UCI Gran Fondo world championships Varese (Italy)
  • selection for the European championships cycling (UCI-PRO)
  • Selection for the 70.3 World champs in Nice 2019
  • Get a 100% ratio start/finish in all Ironmans
  • Race with a lot of determination and beat yourselves physically and/or mentally during each race.
  • Train smart, perform better (in real-life races, not on Strava, Zwift or on other Instagrams ;-))!

The page of the book of 2017 will be turned on December 31st, then we only look forward again! First date to meet…January 21st, group session ‘Jessevnsportscoaching-classic’. Be there, or be square!
Have a good party!

*The full list of podium places in ’17 , but with 3days to go and knowing our athletes this can still change!

Ciao,

Jesse

Ironman Hawaii 2017, Sam and Pierre in the battle ring!

Yesterday Ironman Hawaii 2017 was held, the World championships Ironman and that one race everybody follows and skips a night for 😉

Our athletes had a good preparation, Sam had after his 11th place  (2nd AG overall) end of July in Lake Placid (USA) and Ironman South Africa in April ( 2nd AG overall) 2 good races in his pocket this season. After Lake Placid training went well, the last weeks before departure he sometimes had to find the small gaps in his time schedule and finished training at 2am. But without a no-nonsense mentality from time to time, no combination of topsport and a fulltime job!
That last part also counts for Pierre, our other athlete in Kona! For Pierre it was his 2nd participation, for Sam his 8th (!)
Pierre from his side had a blocked back in the last 3 weeks before the race and we had to skip a week of training. Fortunately his shape was well. And with 2 Ironmans done this season, confidence was at its place.

During the swimming part the target for both was to keep contact with their racegoals. For Pierre that was a sub 1h15′ swim in the Ocean. For Sam it was getting as close as it could out of the water compared to the other favourites in his AG. With a 1h05′ swim, Sam did the same swim as last year, and never swam better in Kona. Pierre got out in 1h12′! Perfect, everybody on the bike in a good time. Always good for the mental part in the race!

Once on the bike Sam moved up fast, before the race we spoke about a defensive and very realistic pacing plan. Hoping this would end up in a fast and economically paced racing time!
Pierre got the message to pace at 215-230watts, and never to go higher during the race.
Both athletes were pacing perfectly and gained >600 places in the overall race.
Heading towards Hawi he started coming close to the best AG racers already!

Overtaking a group of 15-20 athletes (wheel in wheel) Sam had a motorbike with a referee in his back. Which he knew…So he followed the rules to certainly not bump into a card by an athlete blocking. When he overtook the whole group the referee on the motorbike gave him a card. Why????!!!! was his logical question…’Drafting’ she said!
He swallowed the penalty, and stood still for 5minutes! A a lot of athletes who he took back in the first half of the race could retake him. Which of course makes it difficult AGAIN, having to pass these athletes again.  An athlete riding the FASTEST pace of the whole AG bunch at that moment, passing 600 athletes…is not drafting dearest ‘referee’.

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Halfway the bikecourse Sam was in search of the first AG racers untill a lady on a motorbike kept him away from this.

 

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‘Proof is in the pudding’, they say. Here’s the pudding…The first and 2nd half of the bikecourse Sam rode a comparable wattage and HR. A pacing athlete moving up…This is not ‘a draftfile’. And if we look closer into the file, we can even see a wattage that’s slightly higher (because of having to pass the groups)…

But ok, things are as they are…we immediately noticed that he lost quite some places after 122K…and now we know why. After this ‘penalty’ Sam moved up again and was capable of coming off the bike in 5th position in his AG! Within 6′ of the later winner Huhndorf.

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Before the race we marked 2 topfavourites for the world title: Stubleski (USA – multiple IM AG world champion and current 70.3 world champion) and Olivier Godart (Lux-IM Pro untill January 1st 2017). Despite his 5′ penalty Sam still rode the FASTEST AG split, and the 4th overall AG split. Without that penalty Sam would have put down a 4h38’50” bikesplit and the 2nd overall AG bikesplit behind Jakob Wissum (Denmark) and in touch of the first AG already.  An athlete in that position always have an ‘extra effort’ in the pocket!

Pierre on the otherhand was pacing like asked, while temperatures got warmer and warmer and went up to 37°C with a lot of humidity. Today would become a tough day for all competitors! The feeling of being cooked slowly became to enter the body of Pierre. The run, his topdiscipline would become hard he felt. HR was right, and not heading out too fast out of T2 would become an important issue!

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224NP ~ 69kg was Pierre his bike effort. A good effort which brought him +/-600places up front in the race!

Pierre ran a quite regular run course in Kona, but on a pace that wasn’t his normal pace…and that would be like this for a lot of athletes yesterday in Kona. Frodeno, Kienle, Sanders,…they all had a point where they ran into a wall. But these Pro athletes surely have a higher base-tempo to fall back on.

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Pierre running towards the finishline in Kona!

In the AG race, no athlete ran faster than 3h02’…knowing the best of the best amateur athletes are racing in Kona, that’s not ‘hyperfast’.
But Pierre managed to not crack down and finish the race in 10h35′, which he may be very proud of. The blocked back a few weeks ago almost did us think the worst.

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His 2nd finish in Kona is a fact, Pierre realises a tough edition of the Ironman World champs and is already looking forward to his next race! Time for recovery now first!

On the run course Sam was in battle for the podium a few minutes behind the first athletes in his AG and working his way to an overall top 50. Knowing 50Male Pro athletes may take part of this race, only the best of the best get there, this motivated of course!
The run began well, but very soon Sam kept a good eye on his heartrate, the heat was getting in to his body and he wisely decided to only pace HR wise to survive this tough marathon. After a few miles into the run Sam was spotted 7th. This place he could hold on to untill the end. A tough run today for Sam who took his time to hydrate at the drinkstations and finish well! Sam gets 7th on the world champs today,  after a good race with some bad luck followed by a hot run in which he could defend his spot. Without that penalty I am quite sure he finishes very close to another WC podium!

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Sam on his way to place 68 Pro included and 7th in his AG!

Next to 7th place in his AG (40-44) Sam also showed he’s still there finishing 68th overall, 3rd Belgian (behind Aernouts and a strong Montoisy)!
Very proud of our athletes racing thé endurance event in the world, Ironman world championships, Hawaii.

See you next year: Tony, Van and Bert already qualified and looked at yesterday’s race with big eyes!

But can Sam and Pierre requalify? That’s the question!

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The look of a tired athlete, satisfied having put his 8th Hawaii finishing on his conto! Take your rest, you earned it!

 

Train smart, perform better!

 

Jesse

Ironman World Championships, Hawaii…our athletes in the ring!

3days only, that separate us from the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii! Past few months our Ironman athletes gave us goosebumps with so much top performances and world championships 2018 qualifications!

 

But first things first, and all eyes are set on this year’s Ironman World Championships!

2 of our athletes qualified AND took their slot towards the race on saturday!

A high densified field at the starting line, maybe the strongest field ever…

With Jan Frodeno (Ger), McMahon (Can), Don (GBR) ,Kienle (Ger), Lange (Ger), O’Donnel (USA) , Buckingham (RSA), Hoffman (USA) and of course the Belgians Van Lierde and Aernouts….

Our athletes who will try to give their best on raceday:

Pierre Beaufort (Bel – AG 35-39):

  • 2nd time in Hawaï, qualified in Ironman South Africa after a strong race.
  • Strength: Fast run off the bike –  prooved in Frankfurt that even in tough conditions he stands tall.
  • Weakness: Has to fight himself into the race after the swimcourse.
  • Remarkable facts: 3rd Ironman in 2017, blocked back 3weeks ago which took him 5days away from training, loves the Kona-atmosphere!

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Sam Gydé  (Bel – AG 40-44):

  • 8th time in Hawaï, Multiple AG winner. 11th Overall in his last IM (Lake Placid -USA), qualified earlier this season in IM South Africa.
  • Strength: Consistent athlete,  Prooved last year that the race is over at the finishline, taking back 3rd AG place in the last mile.
  • Weakness: Has no time to draft.
  • Remarkable facts: Last weeks before departure to Kona he finished his sessions at 2AM. At least the jetlag won’t harm him.

 

 

Saturday evening (European time), we’ll follow our athletes with lots of pleasure!

Our 2018 qualifiers can look and learn for their race next year :-)!

ciao
Jesse

 

 

 

 

“Gentsche Fjieste” from érezée to Nice and all the way to Lake Placid!

“Losers focus on winners, winners focus on winning”, this quote was sent to me by one of our cyclists past week. This rider is out from February till end of June by a stupid accident he had. But his mentality is strong it seems, his point was: ” I Don’t focus on what other cyclists are performing NOW, I am now mentally ready to focus on where I am heading to”. And I can’t say I didn’t like this mentality.
Many athletes/cyclists focus on what other athletes do or perform, but forget to see what they are doing good/wrong, where they come from and don’t know at all where they are aiming at. Aim too high, lose a lot. Aim to low, never be (personal) succesfull! Aim right, train right and get your mentality right. That’s the message, and that’s the people we work with.

Our weekend started with a holiday in Belgium on Friday, for athletes that means OR a good training day OR a raceday! Our athletes raced in various triathlons and cyclingraces!

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Our athletes went out hard on this national holiday, like Dimi in Kapelle!

On Saturday the National Championships Mountainbike were held, with Wim. A Cyclist/MTB ride we are working with and having his first REAL goal of the season.
Wim is someone who was very anxious about training guidance and not being able to combine training with work. But step by step he noticed that it’s just professional coaching that directs you to racingpleasure, trainingpleasure and work-life balance throughout the year. And then, the big week was coming. With good testresults and very good prepraces (also in roadcycling) confidence was there. A for him UNUSUAL taper-off phase came and it’s logical that feels weird. But one thing is for sure, it pays off.
Wim did an excellent race on a very tough racecourse taking the bronze medal home!

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A fresh body in shape is capable of going hard for a long time. In these XC races athletes must be capable of pushing at anaerobic threshold an above all the time.

 

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“The 2 in front of me were simply better, 3rd place was the maximum I could get out and I got it” was Wim’s reaction after the race!

A day later all eyes were set on our athletes racing Ironman Nice (USA) and Ironman Lake Placid (USA), both races have an important % of climbing. In Nice the run is flat, in Lake Placid hilly of course.

Our athletes in Lake Placid, Sam and Cai raced their 2nd IM of the season.
Every Ironman counts as experience and it’s very much possible doing 2-3 Ironman races a year, even as an agegrouper. But plan this right, plan this wise…especially with a 3rd race (in Sam’s case) planned in Hawaï at the end of the season.

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Sam on his way to the fastest AG bikesplit, only 4Pro’s were faster!

Lake Placid definitely was a goal to approach, for both Sam and Cai.
Rolling start in Lake Placid, which makes it more comfortable for the athletes in the first hectometers of the swim. Easier also to focus on your own performance and not being disturbed during the race.
Another good swimming performance of Sam (1h01′) made get in touch of the front of the AG-field early on the bikecourse. Cai also did a good (her PB) swim with 1h17′ and was ready to attack the climbs, her favourite part of the race.

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The Hilly bikecourse in Lake Placid definitely a race that attracks strong cyclists

On the bike Sam moved up to the front very soon on the bikecourse and halfway the bike he was leading his AG. At the same time we noticed that not many athletes were going faster, so he closed down the gap with the overall AG leader on the last climb.
But even more astonishing was the way he cycled in this topfield of PRO-athletes.
With Brent Mc Mahon (who broke the world record in IM Brasil 2016), Andy Potts (7* IM winner, former Olympian, World Champion 70.3,…), Justin Daerr (8*overall IM Podium),  TJ Tollakson (Multiple Ironman winner), Jim Lubinski (Current AG world champion),…

An honest bikecourse in Lake Placid, because of the profile of the race always makes gaps between the athletes. Fun to race these kind of races if you don’t like the drafting in Ironmanraces.

Cai from her side was keen on this bikecourse, and raced perfect. With a 167NP for this Irondoc she moved up to 5th place overall with the podium in sight. A slightly higher poweroutput than planned. But not too high to influence the run! It was going to be a close combat between the AG women.

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Cai with moved up to place 5, cycling the 2nd bikesplit in her AG

On the bike Sam could make speed on this racecourse and realised the 5th overall bikesplit (Behind Tollakson, Mc Mahon, Potts and Daerr) and fastest AG on the bikecourse! With temperatures just above 20degrees Sam forgot to drink from time to time which made him feel slightly dehydrated getting on the bikecourse. At that moment he was leading his AG far ahead and in 13th overall place close to the 1st overall Agegrouper.

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Sam begun the slightly dehydrated and had to refuel seriously during and after the run!

This athlete had a 4th overall running time on this hilly course and finished 6th overall. Feeling a bit dehydrated Sam turned down the pace a bit and kept his rhytm and control in his race to finish 11th overall and win his AG (40-44)!

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Sam running a consistent race and heading to the win in his AG and finishing 11th overall!

For Cai the race on the runcourse went well, it was tough but also on the run she realised perfectly what we planned before the race!
With the performance she did, she would have been on the podium the past 2years. Today a few women were stronger and she finishes on a nice 6th place, with only 2slots in her AG she still goes to Hawaï in Sam’s supportcrew.

 

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It’s nice to see Sam once again in the overall front of an Ironman. With behind him the current AG world champion.

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In Nice our athletes were represented with (I think) the biggest fancrew!

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With good swims our athletes could get on the bike well. It was Bart who could move up in his AG and ride the bikecourse as planned. With an eye on the watch the planned goal was an easy catch! But THE mistake athletes make when they come off the bike well is starting their run way too fast. If you feel good, way to build up your race till the 2nd half of the runcourse and not go faster than the pacingplan!  But a race that goes 95% well is a good race for sure!

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Bart getting stronger year by year, finishing in his 3rd Ironmanrace!

For Wim, Ironman Nice was his 2nd Ironman and with high expectations he came out of the water! Unfortunately a mechanical problem, a broken time trial steer, almost made him not finish the race! But with some McGyver tricks he could put everything together and ‘ok’ for the officials. Despite this bad luck he realised to finish in his Nice among his supportteam!

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Mechanincal problems didn’t stop Wim, the finish was his goal…mission accomplished!

With this weekend being done, the season is far from…there is a lot of racing left with still 2Ironmans this month. In Santa Rosa (29th- USA) and Whistler (30th  – Canada) our athletes will again give the best they can!

From Belgium we got nice news from Robbe, racing GP de Tirelite at Leuze-en-Hainaut, where he could make it in a breakaway with 4 other riders and sprint for victory! Only 1 rider could outsprint him and like this he takes his first podium as a cyclist! Congratulations!

We don’t often talk a lot about our junior/youth athletes, because in our vision youth sports is a process. Not  a goal. And if you re-read the first 10lines of this blog you will realize the process evolves in the good direction 😉

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Robbe (right) getting his firt podium in Leuze!

 

Train Smart, Perform Better,

Jesse

Magic May was a good appetizer…half Iron fest in Canada and France!

Excited! That was how our athletes went into the Half Iron races Ventouxman (France), Troyes (France) and Quassy (USA)!

Ambitions for these races were high, but realistic. They were ready to race hard!

In Ventouxman, Alex got the heaviest race course he ever did in front of him, he managed well and can consider this as a perfect lead-up towards Ironman Klagenfurt (Austria)!

In Troyes, a bit closer to Belgium Cai and Inge were the female athletes. Johan, Steven, Hans and Sam the male competitors. With Cyril Viennot (France – 2015 ITU world champion ELITE) and Antoine Perche (France) the level would be high, and getting into the front of the race difficult! In the female race Julie Le Colleter (France – Multiple medal winner on French national championships and GP duathlon winner) would be the top of the race.

Hans and Sam sure are well known in France so not capable of racing in the shadow. This 2700-80-20 Half triathlon for Sam is a race between his 2 Ironmans ( South Africa and Lake Placid), For Hans the final lead-up towards his 3rd A-race of the season…challenge Roth (Germany).

Our athletes went out for the swim well and got out of the water ready to race the bike! It were Steven and Johan who came out first, before Hans and Sam…followed a bit later by our female athletes.

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Steven first out of the water and ready for a very good race!

Once on the bike it was clear the power was in the legs and our athletes rode theirselves to the front. It was Hans who passed Johan/Steven first, followed by Sam riding a 300watt paced race and have a steady but fast race!

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Johan and Steven on the  roads around Troyes, both chasing a good result.

Very soon it became clear that Hans was keen on another topperformance, trusting on his powerfull bike and fast run off the bike he was ready to…put down his bike 12th.
Sam followed a bit later.

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Hans pushing his own limits and picking up group by group in Troyes

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Sam shortly behind Hans going faster every lap and getting ready to run steady!

 

Meanwhile Inge was capable of getting into 2nd place in the female race behind Le Colleter and  it would be a hard mission to keep that spot in this field. Cai from her side moved up on the bike and as there was no +50 category she would race in the +40 cetegory. At the end of the bike she came close to the podium in that younger category.

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Another massive performance of Inge in Troyes, who rides towards the podium!

 

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Hans puts a regular 313watts on the pedals and it made him move forward…fast!

Mostly it’s the run where all the fun becomes PAIN, but as we were in France…PAIN was only French bread. So feeling no pain…just dreaming of a big bread after the race…makes it work!

Hans and Sam both in pole-position for a top20 in T2 started running on a fast pace and they managed till the end. Hans with, once again, superlegs ran the 4th running split (!) and was capable of running himself towards 5th place! A place never expected before the race…in this field!

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Hans is getting on the podium a lot lately and in Troyes it’s no different and well earned after a perfect race!

Sam kept his pace and ran a steady 3’55/km to end up 18th today and looks back confident towards his next Ironman after todays race!

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Not so much later Steven finishes before Johan! The female race was still on at that moment and Inge, who feels very fine on training lately, was going for a very strong race and didn’t only win in the masters category, but also got 2nd overall!

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2nd place for Inge in Troyes, and she can look back happy to that!!

Not too far behind some other female power was on her way to the finish, Cai who got 7th (masters) did a +/-20′ faster race than her last participation in Troyes!

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Cai running off the bike with her faster pair of legs!

In Quassy (USA) our Canadian (and Swiss) athletes went out for a first A-race of the season. For these athletes it would directly be their first tri of the season…not an easy one to begin with!

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Andreas – Allan – Corey pretty relaxed before the race!

During winter they worked a lot on their swim effort and it payed off. Corey and Allan came out of the water quite close to each other…but Andreas kept contact also! And that’s a good sign towards the Ironman coming!! Happy about this!

Once on the bike the mission is to move up, to be capable to start running in the front of the field! Corey really unleashed his legs on this heavy race course…the bikecourse had +/-1300 D+ for 90K and it made him move up towards pole position for the medals after he bike!

A bit further both Allan and Andreas made their way towards the front a bit less aggressive but ready to start running well! Allan had a bikecrash only 3km before T2…which fortunately didn’t stop him from moving on!

I knew these athletes were running well, but how would they run after the bike. I consider this after bike run as a specialty and knew they trained at the right intensities and  right volume to get this in balance. And they did. All 3 of our athletes put down a top 10 running time in the end…and Corey he smashed it! With 1h21 on 300D+ (!!!) running course he could get himself on the podium of this Rev3 in Quassy!

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Corey with the fastest running split towards 2nd place behind David Morris (5th IM Lake Placid – 9th IM 70.3 Atlantic City)

Allan and Andreas came close to top10 but just stayed out of it on 11th and 12th place with a fast run off the bike! They didn’t miss their start of the season and with another race in a few weeks this is good for the confidence!

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Corey ‘smooth’ on the runcourse, heading towards the fastest run!

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Not only raceday in France and Canada, but in Belgium our athletes raced fast in Meer, L’eau d’Heure ,… and a special format: “Swike”. This is a ‘Swim-Bike’ event. A bit like a triathlon without an ending…but ok! Anyway for this edition it was one of our younger triathletes Pascal who managed his first podium of his career finishing 3rd!

 

For Anthony it was retake of races after a week out of competition to rest a bit in an already nice season!  Svenne is recovering from his crash and at the moment we only do electrostimulation on the muscles.
Guillaume from his side took 9th on saturday and today in Grace-Hollogne, on a tough bike course, he chose to attack. At the end of the race he found himself in the lead group but a tactical choice broke this group in 2 and Guillaume had to be satisfied with 4th place! Not easy for a hungry athlete! Week by week this rider is in the front…there will be other opportunities.

As we coach (a strictly limited/exclusive) small group of youth cyclists, we don’t often put info about these young riders online, simply because I don’t want young athletes put under pressure. But we are glad to announce that one of our young riders could take the regional championshipsjersey (road cycling) this weekend after already having the regional championshipsjersey in the cyclocross competition.

We have a past, the present and definitely the future. A future with well motivated people structuring their sport into their life!

 

Train smart, Perform better!
Jesse

Ironman South Africa: Our Ironman athletes getting out of hibernation with the hammer on the block!

The only difference with bears and other animals after hibernation is that our athletes don’t have regular caves…their training’caves’ are made to come out of winter in shape!

Today was the first big day of the season for our Ironmanathletes, goals were set and realistic. All 3athletes were keen on…getting a slot for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaï! The dream of many long distance athletes…simple? No! Not at all!

We were expecting a high level of athletes in this race, in the pro-field…but above all in the AG (non-pro) field. That meant our athletes had to be in shape, but not at all cost. I like to have a little bit of reserve into the prep towards an early IM. If one qualifies…ok, that’s an early good shot. If one doesn’t qualify…we take another chance later in the season! The athletes involved in this race are amateur athletes, with a big willing and day in – day out consistancy. A spirit of no-nonsense and taking care of the body with a close eye on practicing high level sports on a healthy way!

To give you a closer look on just 1 specific difficulty each athlete had to conquer oftenly, maybe you can find a difficulty of yourself in it:

  • Pierre: very irregular working schedule with long shifts and a 130K (1 direction) ride to his work
  • Cai: Often doesn’t know when work is done, as being an engaged doctor
  • Sam: Often has to start training at 8PM, finishing at 2am.

Just to show, that every athlete has his difficulties. Like everything…the way to approach the difficulties makes the man/woman in the end…today I can say they approached this as champions 😉

The swimcourse in SA is known as being quite difficult, you can see this at the times the pro athletes swimming times. Our athletes at the starting lines are not our ‘fastest’ swimmers. But that’s no issue at alle, a triathlon is about how fast you are beween start and finishline, the rest are only numbers 😉
It was Sam coming out of the water first (1h06), I remembered his 2015 AG win where he swam almost 2minutes longer. So I knew that was quite OK in order to get in front of his AG! Pierre also had a 3minutes faster swim than last year and Cai, who wanted to ‘feel free’ in the water and had a non-wetsuit swim was faster out of the water than her IM SA 2016.

On the bike Sam directly managed to move up, we planned a conservative pacing with only 260-270NP ;-), not having any high peaks and build up during the race! This worked very well, after the race we notice no other AG athlete could come close to the speed he produced (except for 1 athlete who rode 2′ slower but crashed a bit on the run).

Sam-Gyde-Zuid-AfrikaExceptional into this is the fact he had nobody of the same cyclinglevel  around him. With a 4h38 he moved up towards the top positions in his AG. But a fast run had to come out of the legs to get on the podium!

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Sam managed a consistent bikecourse, putting down the number 1 cycling split with 265NP!

Pierre was very annoyed only 12hours before the race…dead battery in his powermeter…ouch! Not the best moment for having this of course. So change of plans and pulse-pacing! No real problem, but if your mind is set on the powernumbers you need to make a mental ‘click’ in the head. He did! On the bikecourse Pierre moved up towards  32nd position in his AG before putting down the bike. Our cards were to play on the run….

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Pulses, not at all old school. On raceday definitely a good pacing strategy!

Cai, who came out of the water 10th had to move up on the bike, her strongest discipline.
She moved up towards 5th position at the end of the bikecourse and could start running where we expected her to be. The mission definitely was to run faster than she ever did in an IM!

On the run course we could immediately see the fast first 10km of Sam. What we know of the past is that…if Sam has a bad off-the-bike part that it’s mostly at the beginning of the run. He didn’t have that and we could already dream of another IM podium!

After 21km he averaged 4’08/km…that’s FAST! But in his 2nd part of the marathon there was hardly a slower pace to finish at…4’15/km, all of this after riding the fastest bikesplit…looking a bit further we see he also ran the fastest AG running split with this 2h58′ marathon! Really Amazing, once again (after Klagenfurt 2016) racing a sub9’er (8h51′) and taking his 5th FULL Ironman podium in exactly 2years!

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A well paced marathon of Sam, in which the engine kept ‘running’!

Sam (42years and getting better by age 😉 ) finished as 2nd overall AG athlete, and 22nd overall (Pro included) today. It was former Pro-athlete Godart (Lux) who takes the overall AG win and category win in this strongest (!) AG. We congratulate Olivier for this victory and whis all the best in Hawaï. Here’s the story of why Godart turned AG athlete again.

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Great to see Sam is among the PRO-athletes, being a ’24’ years old AG athlete! He didn’t have a ‘pro-life’ leading up to this race and even did every single swim-bike-run in ‘ergo-style’!

 

Pierre was doing the impossible and very soon he appeared within the top15 of his AG. BUT it was very exciting, he was running super fast and passed halfway on a 3h10′ pace…the densification in this AG (for the Slots-position) was huge. But Pierre felt great and had wisely decided to not go faster in the first part and try keep this pace as long as possible…well he realised something none of our athletes managed before in an Ironman. He ran exactly the same pace in his first as 2nd part of the Ironman! Not 1 second of difference! After his 3h10′ marathon (12th overall AG running split) he got 7th!! More than enough for his Kona-ticket!

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Amazing run of Pierre, keep calm…keep calm…STING!

That made our athletes already go to Hawaï with at least 2! 2out of 2…it seems ‘normal’ but I can not say this isn’t a relief for a motivated coach…now we can work ‘relaxed’ towards Hawaï 🙂

 

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Pierre does it again, stronger than ever before with a 3h10′ marathon he qualifies for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaï!

And…then there was Cai, still in the battle for her AG-podium. She was tough on the marathon, was able to run her fastest marathon ever and finish within the TOP-5! Unfortenately the women’s Agegroups don’t have the same number of slots for Kona. Probably only the top2 will have the capability of going to the race in Hawaï! So Cai gave a present to herself and registered for her next Ironman at the beginning of July!

Well done!

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5th place for Cai in her AG, cutting down her racing time by +/- 30minutes compared with 2016

 

I can’t be more proud as a coach than this…our athletes gave the best of themselves and nothing more was in it! Races went perfect and our athletes went into this race with ‘grinta’…lots of it!

Also in Holland we had 2 athletes racing the Hoorn-duathlon, Jan and Adrian had a pretty close combat on a fast race course. They went all the way and Jan got his first podium of the season, finishing 3rd overall! Adrian only a tiny bit further took 6th!

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Fast race course at Hoorn, something for the TT-specialists!

 

Train smart, Perform better!

Jesse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Maze runners, the path to success!

The first weekend of september would be loaded with races and not the least!

3 world championships ( Ironman70.3 – ITU/Powerman Duathlon Long distance – Cycling Amateurs UCI) and many other important races!

Let’s begin with  the world championships races, in Australia Raphael and Sophie found themselves among the top of the triathlonworld. The racelocation was splendid and  that always gives wings!

Raphael had to start first and we were focussed on doing better than his place on the  world champs last year! He was in shape, ready! All went to plan, a very good swim and a fast bike…but then a card and a 5’penalty. This would be an expensive one..We asked Raphael how he could get this penalty and clearly he got blocked. He had no need to draft, because he prooved to ride this pace easily in former halfs! A pity, but he went through and with a very strong offbike run he finished in  4h19′ in Australia! Because of the highly densified level of this race the 5’penalty costs him a 16th-17th place! That would be even better than expected!

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Our athletes in Australia managed their races well can look back at a great adventure!

Sophie from her side needed just 1h longer than Raphael, and managed a solid race!The goal was to swim well, cycle below 3h and put down a 5’00/km run, we can say he managed all! Being part of the  world championships is an honour in IM(70.3) racing, only the  very best get this opportunity!

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On a World Championship the best come around, our athletes had the honour racing them!

 

 

A bit further in Australia, in Perth, our Canadian master cyclist Ambrose rode his  world  championships. With good legs he got closed in at an important moment and had to chase the head of the race. More was in it for him, but cycling is more than pushing the watts of course. Some good luck and being at the right place at the right time also makes part of it!

In Switzerland, Zofingen, the ITU/Powerman World championships duathlon took place! As we have an honour to defend with 3 AG world titles, 2 AG vice world champions and an 8th place in the 2012 PRO race (with a fulltime working amateur ;-)) we were focussed on this for months. Jan was ready, more than ready. All duathlons so far this season..he raced in the front. Knowing Zofingen has a 30K run in the end,  this is his race! He was keen on getting back there after a severe bikecrash last year! Already in the first run he placed himself just behind the profield. 18th he was coming out of T1. The 150K bikeride was hard, but he defended his position well and put the bike down in 25th position! The 30K run in the end would be tough and he  was moving up place by place! The race was  won by another Belgian (Odeyn) with a strong progressive race. A long Belgian tradition goes on in Zofingen!

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Jan becomes AG world champion duathlon, finishing 14th overall among the pro athletes!

Going deep till the finishline in this tough race made Jan lost conscience 15’after the  race, but after a good meal he’s already the old him again!

In the short distance race JanG got a 19th overall place and 2nd in the masters classification! All signs were good in advance and this is a nice confirmation of his  summer!

 

Except for the World Championships a few other international races were held, in  Xterra Denmark Joeri was keen on the AG podium and so he did. “A nice racecourse and 2nd in my AG, super satisfying to pick another slot for the Xterra worlds and to show I am worth it”

 

In Gerardmer (France) they had a classy field at the starting line, with Andi Boecherer (Ger) and Van Lierde (Bel) it would be a absolute triathlonstar to win! Boecherer was the strongest, Van Lierde 2nd! Behind that 2 of our athletes gave the best of themselves!

Sam did a good race, that totally fits into his Hawaii preparation, with I think his fastest swim ever there. On the  bike he simply was strong and on the run he kept moving up towards his final spot. 17th at the finishline and 2nd in his AG!

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Gerardmer is not an easy bikecourse, the irregularity in bikecourses demands a lot from athletes. It’s much harder to pace this right and not explode during the race.

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Cai from her side did a very strong race and that resulted in her AGwin! After becoming 4th and 5th (AG) in Ironmanraces this season…now she takes it all.

 

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In Brugge, our ‘sub50 Jeroen’ won the swimrun. He experiences the use of training smart!

Svenne, 10times podium in the road cyclingraces this  season. Always just not winning kept fighting all season, believed in it…and yesterday he won! This morning he sent me a message :”Alles op alles” or “all on it”…well, today he won again! Svenne is no sprinter, and this makes it difficult to win. But on the tough race courses he’s  always in the main group, if he’s not in it…he closes the gap later! This is an athlete with an absolute positive spirit. The season he is riding is fantastic, and not done yet! More to come!

Our other cyclists had less luck this weekend, 2of them crashed (bad weather) and Anthony who was in the leadgroup of 10 in Luxemburg had a flat tyre and no immediate backup! On to the next race!

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There is NO other Svenne than this Svenne, giving it for 100% 2wins in a row for this rider!

And last but not  least Tom who became ‘The Beast 2016’,  in Lynmouth UK Tom was ready for his 2nd Half triathlon of this season! This time it was a race beyond tough. It was extreme! The THE BEAST TRIATHLON is a half triathlon with extreme bike and run courses. The run course for example has 800D+ in it! On Tom’s site  you will soon find more about the course! This race was the maingoal for Tom in this part of the season. Not knowing who the other athletes were it was difficult to predict the outcome! Earlier this week Tom let me know the percentages on the climbs would be very steep.

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With 324NP Tom could pace himself to the front of the field and save enough energy for the 800D+ run!

My answer was simple: “It cuts the crap”. And so it did, the strongest man in the races lasted in the end and Tom was capable of winning his first Half Triathlon! Only, because of the wild sea…there was no swim. So it became a duathlon, which turned into his advantage! 1big race to come for Tom within a few weeks. But now, coming home and take a few days of  active recovery. I think, he’ll need it 😉

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Tom, turned from cyclist into duathlete, and last season into triathlete. With 3 Triathlonwins of which ‘The beast’ and a top 10  in Monts de Guéret…this has become a super season for him!

Oh yeah, Maze Runners…yesterday I looked at this movie and a group of people had 2 choices. Keep on living in a circle of complaining or getting out of it, moving forward, live and explore what’s out there  and not having to “what if..”. Today I thought about that movie again…;-) #TSPB

 

Ciao

 

Jesse

 

 

 

When the hunger is there, you can do it everywhere…

Here you have one  happy coach, the biggest tri-weekend of the season…with many athletes  getting involved in races! We knew our athletes are in great shape, but every raceresult depends on how an athlete gets up and goes into the race!

With big races coming we mentally load to the race and look really forward to what’s going to happen. You win some, you lose some…but winning some sure is much nicer.

Saturdaymorning I was in Holland and could witness the raise of Tony (Young duathlete transforming to triathlete) who was able to do a very good swim followed by a super 40K TT and 10K cruising @3’30/k pace to finish the day. He won with >5’advantage on his concurrents. He won his first ever triathlon and confirms the Half distance results of Leuven and Bonn! Great to see the development of this athlete.

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Tony won his first triathlon ever, now having a (short) resting period and then full speed ahead to a good summerperiod!

A bit further in Holland the Run-Bike-Run series in Amsterdam were held, Jan was invited there to do this race and he did great finishing just before former European Champion Vandersmissen! Building towards the World Championships now for Jan!

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Saturdayafternoon we heard some of our athletes who messaged or called, with lots of energy to go into the race. Every athlete has its own mental approach, but I felt concentration and willing to do well everywhere.

Early in the morning on sunday the Ironmen were ready to enter the water in France and Austria! Meanwhile I went off doing a short spin to get down my stresslevels…I was out with somebody and said: “who knows, maybe 2 sub9’ers…if that happens it would be great!”

In France Hans swam a good race and could enter transition with a reasonable gap on the fastest swimmers! It was one of our athletes Seb, who lives on the racecourse, who messaged us that at Watten (K35) Hans had only 26″ behind the first athlete. At that moment I knew he would get into the lead. For a good cyclist that’s an advantage. Especially in a race like Chtriman where you don’t have pelotons (you do have these in IMlabels). Being in the lead also means you’re in control of the race and don’t have to  accelerate to catch groups or ‘legal-drafters’.

 

The advantage on Julien Boulain (Fr) seemed to be growing fastly in this man-to-man battle. Hans never could be sure, because Boulain his status and former IM  results. But this was no Ironmanlabel, so the cyclingpart only got more important. Pacing was done on exactly the wattage we talked about before the race, so if nutrition was ok…

Again I am not posting any wattagefiles of Hans, just because I want to express the great swim and run he did!

He sure should be capable of battling for the win by doing a good marathon. And he did!

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Racing the IM marathon steady like Hans did is the best way to approach your IM marathon. Starting to fast is just good if yo  want to be knocked down somewhere!

His last kilometers must have been great, he kept on running and found his best legs to close the marathon after 3h05′!

Our first Irondistance overall winner of 2016 is Hans! Knowing he did the  racecourse in 9h07′ with a 186k bikeride…it seems he has the legs for finishing sub 9h in a full soloday!

Hans Chtriman

The greatest feeling an LD-triathlete can have is crossing that finishline, a personal ánd an overall victory! Great vibes!

A full moviereport of Chtriman 2016 A full moviereport of Chtriman 2016 

In Ironman Austria we had  Cai and Sam and 2 rookies  (Jorn and Peter) starting the race! Bad weather also was predicted so some tension was felt there.

Bad luck for Jorn before the  start, going to the toilet and not finding back the guys with his wetsuit. Some panic before the  start, but above all he had to get into a starting box that was too slow for him. The whole swim long he had to make his way through the field, but still entered T1 after 1h00! Sam followed close behind him, while Cai and Peter also came out of the water shortly behind each other. At that moment Cai was already in 11th position in  her AG!

Debilde

Despite some troubles before the swim, Jorn still managed to get out of the water in 1h!

Once on the bike everybody got his recommendations to follow…

During this Ironmanrace you have a totally other impression about the cyclingpart than u have in Chtriman. Ironman is too much loaded with athletes and strong cyclists don’t get the full benefit out of it (especially in  AG-racing). I was already disgusted, really  disgusted after seeing IM70.3 Lux racepics.

Lux

Ironman should stop tolerating these kind of acts. It’s becoming a normal thing to do. But it’s disgusting, far away from the real Ironman spirit. But it also let’s  me understand how some pussy cyclists can ride fast…while they are not able to do it solo…Epicfail of these athletes! (Photo Ironman Lux 2016)

Well, in Austria you have a rolling bikecourse which is perfect for moderate cyclists to cheat. Groups of  >20 in front of the AG race, wheel to wheel….that’s not nice. The speed is hard and the watts are low. The guys pushing their own pace should be respected. I say: Ironman, stop acting this way but give more penalties, for the love of this sport!

But ok, that said…back to the games, Jorn and Sam went out there very fast and it was Sam who moved up during the bikeride towards 21st overall and came off of the bike in 1st position (AG). Perfect circumstances to get his Ironman Hawaii qualification!

Jorn got into T2 a bit later and was on track to be another surprise today!

finisherpix_1311_056046

Another 0,9″lost during his race by playing with the camera for Sam

At the moment Sam came off of the bike, I calculated that with a good run he would be capable of finishing sub9h! What happened then…nobody could predict. He realised his fastest Ironman ever and reached the finishline in 8h42′ after a 2h57’marathon!

Sam is not racing a lot, but within the last 14 months he took 3 AG victories, and now breaking his speedrecord! He took his qualification for the Ironman World Champs in Hawaii and can join Pierre (Bel) and Heather (Can) in Kona!

Sam run

Just like Hans in Gravelines (Fr) Sam realised a perfectly paced marathon! 4’13/km after 21K, 4’16/km after 42K!

A nice fact to know is Sam could beat the powerrecord on a full distance among our athletes, I think he was stimulated by Hans setting the new Half distance record in Troyes ;-)! But once again, I won’t post the powerfile, just because you wouldn’t believe it…

Behind Sam, it was Jorn who did everything to  finish sub9h30. From the moment he saw it was possible he pushed his body to the limit and ran his last km sub 3’50/km which was his fastest of the race! If you pace well, you are capable of growing during the race! Super glad for this athlete who was involved in an accident exactle 7days ago, his bike was totally wrecked so had to ride on the  bike of a friend!

Cai did a perfectly paced bikecourse, and ran a good marathon. It made her move up towards 5th place in her AG and just missing a ticket to Hawaii. This 51-year old lady finished twice top5 in an Ironman within 10weeks!

Peter was the most unknown factor in the race, how would his body react on this long effort. Clearly he was ready and the taste of reachint the finishline is sweet! Becoming an Ironman deserves the deepest respect!

 

 

How much inspiration did our other athletes need to compete later that day? Not much more I think!

In the half Irondistance at Gravelines (France) it  was Raphael who was extremely motivated to get into the top 10 of this regional championship half irondistance!

He went out hard on the swim course, but just missed the 2 main groups. So it would be 93K solo against the wind. Raphael got stronger past years, and I was sure he could manage his own race! He  did, he raced 90K solo and kept the gap around the same! But he  moved up to 11th and then his strong offbike long run came! It had been a tough race for all athletes and some totally were knocked down, while Raphael moved up! He finishes 4th! And that was even better than we hoped for! Also in the top20 overall Steven also got 4th in the masters race! Our other athletes all had a good race and fun, Wim for example was very proud on the fact that Hans (winning Chtriman) supported him during his race! Working with these athletes I  can only be happy that our athletes have this kind of spirit! Healthy  positivity is what an athlete needs!

Raph Amato

Raphael in full effort heading towards 4th place! Supernice result and it’s just a matter of time before we see him into the foodsteps of our Irondistance athletes…

In the female Half Irondistance at Gravelines Inge surprised,by circumstances not sure being able to compete in this race earlier this week, she got out of the water in  5thposition. Once on the bike she moved up to first place and she won her first Half Irondistance! One more race to go now for her before a short and well earned resting period!

Hans en Inge

Hans and Inge on the podium in France, 2winners!

And then the night fell…so the Canadians woke up… and started in their first triathlon of the year! Corey was very keen on the Inguish triathlon, he wanted to win this edition and went out very hard! But it was Andreas who seemed to be the runner-up in this race!

Andreas did better than his Swiss national soccer team the day before and kept his 2nd place till the end! Corey took the win with much determination!

In the sprintdistance we had Allan, who had a light muscle rupture earlier that week…by doing something he promissed never doing again!!! A wise decision to switch towards the sprint race, and with his current shape he was able to win and take his first triathlonvictory! More about this on his  website!

 

Now looking forward to next weekend with the European champs Ironman at Frankfurt and the National Champs team time trial! It’s fun being on the run!

These athletes performing now are just enjoying the efforts they put in months ago!

This was an extraordinary weekend, with many races. Our youngsters and older athletes performed like bosses!

Train smart, perform better!

 

 

Jesse

 

 

If you are not afraid of getting the wind in the face!

Athletes are constantly looking for the most efficient position during a time trial, or triathletes during their non-drafting event. Of course if you are a “drafthole” you can stop reading here ! Or not…

In my opinion it still is “the puppet on the bike that makes the bike dance…”. After this report you can certainly make your own conclusion about that. There are legends in cycling who tried new positions. We can recently think  about Landis with his high arm positioning, but in my mind the most remarkable athlete on that part was Graeme O’Bree, the man was simply a genius, an inventor. He made his perfect bike out of a washing machine. Later no athlete ever has been that creative anymore. And maybe never will, because common sense believes an expensive bikeframe is a good bikeframe.

Obree Washing machine

O’Bree was a genius and reinvented the bike. He made other cyclists think about positioning. He was more than a cyclist.

It was in his opinion that you don’t need the most expensive gear, but your position,  a good wheelset, chain and  good functioning bikeparts made your race.

It’s also in my opinion that expensive bikeframes don’t make you cycle better. Your physical shape, your positioning, and good working gear does. When I look around between my own athletes I can make the conclusion that one of my  strongest TT-specialists won several ITT-races on a rebuilt roadframe of around 10years ago. But there’s 1 thing right about the bike, he’s positioned well on it!

One of my athletes, Sam (Gydé), is a hard working amateur athlete performing on a very high level and is also constantly looking to test new gear and looks at the efficiency of it. In that opinion he recently did a windtunnel test to  see, feel and test different positions in different situations in a Long Distance Triathlon event.

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Sam had the chance to do this this at Flanders Bike Valley very recently!

The Graphs and photos below are all property of Flanders Bike Valley.

Important to know: Every test is done during 8minutes at 40 and 50km/h. So make the conclusion yourself if you ride slower or harder in  a triathlon to what might be the benefit of it for you!

Question1: 

I ride with a frontal drinking system, if I cycle without drinking or with drinking do I have a lot of drag?

drinksysteem

As we can see, athletes working with a frontal drinking system will not have more drag while drinking. Knowing drinking only lasts for several seconds we can make the conclusion that a frontal drinking system on a long distance event is efficient.

 

Question 2:

Do I need a helmet with a visor or  without it?

visor of bril

Here we notice that at 40km/h there is almost no benefit for the one or the other. But going at higher speed we notice there is more drag with a visor compared to no visor and only sunglasses. We were astonished by this, but why buying a helmet with a visor if you have no benefit of it… Especially  in triathlon an open  helmet will be a bit more refreshing. Something to think about…

Question 3:

Putting my head down and the tail of my helmet up, how much more drag will this give me?

Hoofd up - down

I think it’s quite an important amount of Watts saved just by looking to the front and avoid looking at your HRmonitor or just at your frontwheel. Many athletes make this mistake, once going very hard they start looking down and make a lot of drag. If you look at the speed, you see that in shorter distance triathlon events with high avg  speed this can be an important issue.

 

Question 4: What’s the truth about more aero shoes?

Schoenen

Sam compared several shoes, all high quality brands…and this came out. We compare with Lake because Lake Cycling is one of our high quality partners. It’s clear that the aero benefit of different kind of shoes have no influence on your bikeperformance. Of course a good fitting shoe is much more important to bring the power from the foot  over the crank and the chain towards the backwheel. So pick your shoes based on the fitting of it!

 

Question 5: 

Are my clothes influencing the drag?

suits

Well this is very clear I think, specific Time Trial suits seem to really advantage the bike effort compared to Triathlon clothing. But of course, you will not be able to swim or run with comfort in a TTsuit. This also shows the specifity of clothing. In long distance triathlon there certainly is the search to reach the level of a TTsuit. But it’s also clear that if you put on a cycling jersey during the cyclingpart, make sure it’s an aeroshirt!

BrookeBikeBrazil2

Brooke (Can) racing in a regular cyclingshirt during an Ironman. But aero of course!

Question 6:  

Is it beneficial to put my aerobars higher or lower? Do I need to sit to the extreme to ride fast?

 

Stuurhoogte

Each position has a difference of 1cm in height. If we look at the  40km/h wind speed we notice there is almost no difference in drag. But still, I would advice to short distance athletes ( ITT -sprint or 1/4 tri) to sit in the most aero possible position. If you are a LD triathlete you should be racing in the most comfortable position of the three positions. The benefit you have by getting as aero as possible is too small to take risks on that part.  Athletes who race their Ironman at 30km/h should not even have to doubt about it!

 

The last test Sam could do was testing how beneficial it was to take risky positions in a downhill. He tested 3 different positions and there was no big benefit for one of these three. So in a downhill, play safe, be aero and push the pedals where you can instead of taking risks!

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I hope you had a good reading, Same dared to get the wind in the face…once u have turned u’ll get the wind in the back. I hope you have…and remember “don’t blame the bike”!

 

 

Jesse

A weekend with plenty of surprises!

Past weekend was a very loaded weekend with Ironman South Africa, Ironman 70.3 Florida, 111Portocolom, Regional Champs road Cycling, Duathlon Ter Idzard and of course Marathon des Sables!

In Ironman South Africa we had 3 athletes going for their first race of the season: Sam, Cai and Pierre. Halfway the bikecourse Sam and Cai were close to get on their first Ironmanpodium of the season, while Pierre was pacing like asked.

Earlier in the morning Sam woke up with GI-issues and slowly he ran empty. Once off the bike he decided  not to run and overload his body. In Klagenfurt Austria he gets another chance which he will fully take!

Sam Fietsprofiel

Unfortenately Sam woke up with GI issues, which slowly emptied his tank. His HR shows us how he ran empty after 130k

And so chances to get a podium or a slot for Ironman Hawaii for one of our athletes got smaller, BUT both Pierre and Cai were well trained and in shape to race hard. Cai came off the bike as 3rd, Pierre put his bike in T2 as 18th. So both were in the game for their ticket.

Sam fiets

Sam testing his new bike, but having GI issues, now he knows how to finetune he bike

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Cai paced her  race very well, and once on the run she could keep fighting for the podium. Unfortenately she missed the podium by 1 spot. Knowing this was her agegroupwinner, we can say she earned the podium!

Cai finish

Cai – Mum, doctor, triathlete,…and raw- may be very proud of her performance, we’ll get her an earned bronze medal ourselves!

Loopgrafiek Pierre

Pierre ran a consistent marathon – build up your race, don’t crash!

Pierre ran out of T2 very fast, we knew by his prepraces his shape was very well. But how would his body react on running off the bike after 180K? Well, he kept on going and ran a consistent marathon, which resulted in a great performance. Pierre who chased his slot for years now became part of the Ironman Elite winning  his Slot for the Ironman World Championships Hawaii! Well Pierre, you can book your flight to Kona!

pierre

Pierre was a bit nervous before raceday, big waves in SA! But this never took his mind away of chasing a dream: Qualifying for Kona!

sam loop

Sam:”I tried but it was not going to happen. I came for the win – no other race plan, so it would be silly to waste more energy.” Sam started his road to Ironman Austria yesterday!

pierre

Here he is, the CondrozMan…winter is much more severe over there than in the rest of Belgium and still…he qualified for Kona,Hawaii! A relaxed, stressless 2016 towards Hawaii is left! Enjoy!

In Portocolom 111 Arne and Stefanie took part of the game! Arne had an irregular winter behind him and it would be hard to push back the 100hilly kilometers. Halfway he was doing well, but then he felt u can’t fool the basic principles. An early spring race is a good way to think and work from towards the rest of the season.

Stefanie went out with ambitions, but after the national Xduatlon championships she suffered of some kind of virus, with only  4 weeks left after these nationals,a long nighttrip to Mallorca  and of course studying things weren’t always easy. But still, the date of the race stayed the same: 10th of april. During the last 10days slowly she started feeling better. Stefanie didn’t ride her PB wattage on the bike and that must have played in the head. But with only 14watt NP

Powerbalance stefanie

Powerfile – bikecourse Portocolom ’16

 

less than her victory rides last year she did what was possible that day. Emma Bilham sure was a deserved winner, Stefanie at the end of the race took a nice podium again and got 3rd. An athlete with ambitions and sure tough and beautifull races coming!

Stefanie.jpg

Stefanie gets 3rd at the 111Portocolom behind E.Bilham as a winner. And look who won the men’s race 😉 Congratulations MVC!

In Florida70.3 Ironman Allan and Andreas, both hungry like wild wolves towards their first race of the season, had a great racing location. They left cold Canada behind them and chose for the heat of Florida! Both were well prepared, a lot of their sessions were done indoors and feeling the road under their wheels must have given inspiration.

Allan took off very well on the swim and immediately was in the front of his game during the bikecourse. Before the race we targeted a certain amount  of power to ride which he could maintain without blowing up his body. With a good off bike run he could keep his spot and finished 13th in this IM70.3

AllanHRfile

A hilly bike course – but a steady ride, the perfect recipe for a good off-bike run

Andreas did what u never must do before a race, forgetting to bring a wetsuit! So it was a non-wetsuit swim for him! Still he did well, but lost 1-2′ and got more stuck between the slower bikers.So chasing was his option…and so he did! Once off the bike he also felt great and with a 1h26’run on this hilly course he moved up to 17th position!

D+florida

The hills around the run course in Florida make the race a bit more challenging

Earlier on saturday Jan realised his first overall win in one of his favourite Dutch races at Ter Idzard. This 10-40-5 non-drafting duathlon came after a good 10 days in the Italian mountains! This is a race that’s  very satisfying, last year he crashed very hard and now he showed that an athlete is only defeated when he gives up! Fight back, don’t play Calimero, and try to be the best you can! Jan did…everybody can!

Jan M

“Fight back after your crash, fight back and try to win (and stop eating Snickers)!” is what we said to Jan. He did! Look how proud a man can be!

Also our cyclists are doing great, we saw Maarten and Svenne always in the breakaway at Diest (1.18) and this resulted in another podium for Svenne! He is doing super this season, and already very early in the season. While Dries and Anthony had regional championships road cycling, both did a good race and seem to get back on track after their crashes!

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Svenne is about cycling and smiling in one sentence, he loves to train…and loves to make the races! 3rd and a lot of healthy fruit to eat – aged 41 he’s only getting stronger it seems.

 

Think positive,think forward…and fast forward a lot of nice things will happen!

Jesse

 

 

Ironman All World Athletes Ranking

Ironman’s top ranking for AG athletes is out since this weekend! We were glad to see one of our athletes on the number1 spot from this year!

And yes, it’s no one else than Mr.’no nonsense – train hard, train smart’ Sam Gydé! A well earned certification for this strong Belgian athlete!

What was needed besides training: 8th place overall in  Ironman Mount Tremblant and overall AG win,  Overall AG win and continental title in Ironman South Africa and his participation in Hawaii!

Here you can see the winners in all agegroups!

Ciao Jesse

A weekend to remember – about winning and trying to win – Ironman Hawaii and Half Empuriabrava

Yes, 10th october was the date to save…Ironman Hawaii!

Sam , Hans and Raphael qualified for this A-race, Raphael said no to his slot and choose for the IM70.3 world champs in Zell. As a young athlete we are sure Hawaii comes back for him.

Sam qualified by overall AG winning in South Africa and Mount-Tremblant, Hans did this in the European Champs in Frankfurt!

Both had a marvellous season behind them and were ready to go into this race!

All went well, when we saw from the beginning of the bike course both were moving up very quickly. They were close to each other at the beginning (within  1′ is  close in such a race).

But very soon it was clear that Sam was doing very good on the bike, he realised bikesplits that were very fast. In the third section he rode faster than Frodeno, Kienle and all other competitors. At that point he was going very hard. Was it too hard? Maybe.  Sam was out there  for being the  best I and not for an average performance. That was his goal, that was where he went for!

After exactly 100K on the bike we notice a sudden change in graphs for Sam. Which didn't happen in any 2015 races before.

After exactly 100K on the bike we notice a sudden change in graphs for Sam. Which didn’t happen in any 2015 races before.

Very soon we had the feeling Hans was  having a very good day as well. He wasn’t losing a lot of time on the pro riders, even winning on pro-group 3. At Hawi he showed up very fast and it was clear he  was pacing perfectly. Being there in  such an environment gave him the wings he needed for this race! Hans never had podium ambitions, but what he did have was the ambition of  being as good as possible!

Hans his power - HR - Cadence file is steady. Well paced and nothing than feeling good on the bike

Hans his power – HR – Cadence file is steady. He begun a bit harder than expected. But needed to ride away from the pelotons. Where ‘legal’draft is a real disease.

All was going well till Sam suddenly, after 100K  got hit by a hammer. We noticed several things out of his files and for sure this wasn’t what we expected to happen. These things we could put together.

  • Pain in the back
  • A big drop in HR of 10BPM
  • A drop in Power
  • A much lower Cadence – 10RPM
  • Finally resulting into cramps in the last 40K where he lost much time, coming of the bike with cramped muscles.

Sam took off very hard, maybe slightly too hard.

Sam took off very hard,
maybe slightly too hard, maybe something was blocked in  the back. The powermeter was showing a beginning between 10 and 45milesof 296NP

These splits turned out in a 269NP for Hans, coming from behind this was just a great effort to start running in the top 100. It should be good for the 4th overall AG bikesplit.

These splits turned out in a 269NP for Hans, coming from halfway the field this was just a great effort to start running in the top 100. It should be good for the 4th overall AG bikesplit.

So where we expected Hans and Sam coming off the bike …suddenly only Hans turned up. And it lasted for minutes before Sam showed up. First thoughts were going to a bikecrash. Fortunately this didn’t happen.

269NP without aero helmet ;-), or after all ... the legs push the body...Hans crushing it on the bike!

269NP without aero helmet ;-), or after all … the legs push the body…Hans crushing it on the bike!

Sam never showed up as fast in Hawi before, but the end of the bike was a torture. After 100K it snapped somewhere.

Sam never showed up as fast in Hawi before, but the end of the bike was a torture. After 100K it snapped somewhere.

Hans  came off the bike with a super-output and feeling, he started the marathon at 4’23/km which was too fast for him. But we forgive him, he was enjoying his race and running between fast runners in a races simply pushes you also! After 10K he wisely reduced tempo a bit to run to the finishline without any problems! Hans set a great performance of which we are very proud. He made a long way past years becoming a toptriathlete and I will never forget where he came from as being a cyclist. Past year he won his first duatlon, his first half triathlon, became european Champ duatlon and now he was out there…racing in  Kona! A dream coming true, living it together with his biggest supporter  Carine (who took most of the  photos in this blog). In tritraining it is very important to have a good periodisation, Hans was on the spot…from april till october. Call  him a Flandrien!

Hans running down to the finishline and crossing the line with a big smile! Thumbs up!

Hans running down to the finishline and crossing the line with a big smile! Thumbs up!

For Sam the beginning of the  run was just struggling with his cramps, and that’s not good for the mind of course…Despite that he was still in the game for getting his AG podium or even  a win, but cramps ruined this. He started the marathon in pain and walked by the residence where he stayed, thinking about getting a shower.

This wasn't the run we expected, Sam was in pain but after 10K of walking he got in a 4'38/km pace again with walks to not get into cramps

This wasn’t the run we expected, Sam was in pain but after 10K of walking he got in a 4’38/km pace again with walks to not get into cramps.

This is the way Sam normally runs. This HRprofile we see again after 10K on the run. Of course with the cramps and walk on a bit slower pace.

This is the way Sam normally runs. This HRprofile we see again after 10K on the run. Of course with the cramps and walk on a bit slower pace.

Evaluating Hans his run we see he took off a bit too hard, but still this is a very normal graph for Ironmanracing. Most athletes will have this kind of graphs. Try to be very regular and not burn yourself too soon!

Evaluating Hans his run we see he took off a bit too hard, but still this is a very normal graph for Ironmanracing. Most athletes will have this kind of graph. Try to be very regular and not burn yourself too soon!

And after 10K of walking and not getting in his pace he took off again.Whole race long cramps where there and that for already a very long time! Supporters and other athletes who respect him for the athlete he is motivated him. At that point it was about having the real Ironmanspirit, or not.  

Sam in pain, but not giving up!

Sam in pain, but not giving up!

After 10K his run got better and he took back lot’s of people! The last 30K he ran an avg of 4’38/km without getting pushed. For him this wasn’t about performance anymore, but about chasing the finishline. Running 4’38/km in cramps and walking by the aid stations means energywise there was no problem. What the problem was and why he got in to cramps we are looking for. We have some ideas and for sure it will have been a chain of a few things.

The positive point is that Sam took back lots of crashing people, and showed up at the finishline just after Hans coming in.

No words needed I guess..

No words needed I guess..

Later that day I heard a very happy athlete and an athlete with some disappointment.

Ironman Hawaii was done, nothing could be changed about the result. But it was legendary again with a strong Frodeno and too many crashing Belgians!

Both athletes get rest now for a few weeks, but you may know that 1 of them already is very keen on his next Ironman.

At the same day Stefanie was racing in Empuriabrava (Half Triathlon), Stefanie is doing great races this period and once again hammer was on the block for her!

Stefanie pushes 232watts NP away on this bike course! Which was good for the best female bikesplit!

Stefanie pushes 232watts NP on this bike course! Which was good for the best female bikesplit!

In Empuria Stefanie did a good swim and took  victory by coming off the bike very strong. The 232NP she pushed is  hard in female racing! It gave her some time ahead of the 2nd and 3rd woman. On the run she could run steady at 4’27/km for the first 15K. But at that point she was sure of winning the race and slowed down (because it got tough) to a 4’35/km.

For Stefanie season is almost done, and it’s clear…she was hungry at the end of this season.

2nd consecutive podium for Stefanie in Empuria. She may be proud putting 2 Half distances on her resume!

2nd consecutive podium for Stefanie in Empuria. She may be proud putting 2 Half distances on her resume!

We have won together past weekend and we have not won together. But anyway we will win again! 

A proud coach about the way our athletes acted in their races and dealed with situations!

Jesse

Great performance in Ironman Mount Tremblant – 8th and AG win for Sam!

16th of August once again we had someone with ambitions racing in an Ironman with a decent pro field of which we pointed out Jordan Rapp (USA) and Paul Ambrose (AUS) were the top of the field.  Ambrose won the 2015 Ironman Australia and Rapp is a multiple Ironman winner….

Sam’s ambition was clearly to win his agegroup, enjoy the race and do a good nutritional and racing test with Hawaii coming in 2 months. First things first, in the last months of preparation we must say everything went well in his sessions. Figures were good, no injuries and a good health. Which of course means a lot in preparation of a big race. It was clearly he was capable to do a good race.

Athletes never train the same amount or intensity all year long. Recovery is an important issue when it comes to periodisation. Never forget that if you want to approach your goals. Get the balance!

Athletes never train the same amount or intensity all year long. Recovery is an important issue when it comes to periodisation. Never forget that if you want to approach your goals. Get the balance!

Swimming and Sam, don’t tell me that doesn’t work for the 100th time. His swim was  were we liked it to be, within the limits of being in the game.

What if he could swim faster? That question has been asked to me for at least 20times the past 48hours. How many times he must have heard that? How I answered it in my opinion…

1) If  you swim a 1h04 Ironmanswim, you DO can swim, and if it’s not your best discipline so be it. Live with it, act with it and try to focus on the positive things in it. Sam is now training every week 1 of xx sessions on getting a different, more efficient stroke and  power has an other input…

My suggestion:

Sam is now focusing once per week on improving his stroke and getting more efficient, power and endurance in other sessions. Let’s see, I believe he can swim a 1h00-1h02. But if he does, it must be done as economic as he swims now…if not, I rather see him swimming a 1h05.

2)The swim is only 1/9 of an Ironmanrace, you better lose  5’/h there than on the bike or run… US pro athlete Jim Lubinski prooves that being steady over 3disciplines can bring you to a good performance on prolevel, just saying… successfull and fast triathlon is still a combination of all three disciplines.

3) I will tell you in person if you ask. Sometimes I can be a bit ‘direct’

It's not because a discipline is not your 'top'discipline that it's not a good discipline. You can not get in top10 of an Ironman if you are not at least reasonable good in all disciplines.

It’s not because a discipline is not your ‘top’discipline that it’s not a good discipline. You can not get in top10 of an Ironman if you are not at least reasonable good in all disciplines. Look, this is how we approached the last block of 3 months towards Canada.

On the bike Sam had to get in the rhythm after some wetsuitwrestling (he won the fight, and it would not be his last one that day), but once he was in the rhythm the hilly track was really his cup of tea. Sam is someone who thinks about his bike, his gear and also keeps on improving and tinkering around with it. He astonished me last time, when he showed me the hole he cut into his frame for an internal hydration system. It has its purpose, but you must dare to do it. On the bike Sam really flew and despite the more easy beginning he established a strong 290NP. For the cyclists among you, you can compare this to an average poweroutput of an average (pro)continental cycling race over the same distance. (data from our own cyclists elite/pro, proven over different races  – difference in weight 2-5kg) Of course there is a big difference in power and heartrate and the length of these.  But all of that, is another topic.

The quality of the bike course was very high - how did Sam approach the race HRwise, flat!

The quality of the bike course was very high – how did Sam approach the race HR wise, flat! With a good nutrition plan and of course a correctly trained body it’s possible to stay steady.

Sam came off of the bike with a good feeling and directly took the pace that was planned to race on. A fast move out of T2… and see what happens. A marathon after the bike is unpredictable, but there must be a plan, and offcourse we advise you to have a plan B also if you would try this. Looking in to his data we see following things.

After a fast start on the run, the drop was not heavy. An athlete who was capable of running steady till the end on hilly run course.

After a fast start on the run, the drop was not that big towards the end. An athlete who was capable of running steady till the end on hilly run course.

Sam had a 4’18/km after 37K, at the end of the race he averaged 4’25/km on the full 42,1km. He focussed on the first AGplace, he was sure of winning at that point and it made him run more comfortable. In Hawaii for sure he will be pushed by many other very strong  AG athletes, who will try to win the AG race! Let’s hope Sam can be amongst those warriors.

Thumbs up for this performance! 8th and a victory added for a passionated athlete!

Thumbs up for this performance! 8th and AGwin for a passionated athlete!

And now…realising a big performance always comes with questions…will he be in shape for Hawai, will he be recovered? I believe he will, health and accidents can always happen. But if he reaches the swimstart in Hawai in this shape, he will perform well!

Hammer on the block for Sam, congratulations...earned every day, every week of the year!

Hammer on the block for Sam, congratulations…earned every day, every week of the year!

Another crazy weekend…Ironman European Champs Frankfurt (Ger) and Chtriman Gravelines (Fr)…Hans going to Hawai!

What a weekend, last weekend Ironman Frankfurt was on the schedule for some of our athletes, in numbers 6 of them! Arriving in Frankfurt was a bit of a bummer, once you got out of the car the hotness kicked you down…On raceday 39,5degrees and hottest day EVER in Frankfurt. Most of the cycling and running course were in full sunshine…our athletes shaked by the idea of 9-12hours racing in this weather. But motivation was there, and no way back…so raceday was on!

The swimming course was a very nice track, 2circles to do and in between an australian exit!

Because of a water temperature of 26,4degrees there was no wetsuit allowed,  but on the swim no surprises for our athletes. Everybody got out in a nice time and could leave T1 with a good feeling!

Fortunately  the race started early and the first 2hours of the bike course temperatures were OK, after it…it became hot. Lots of roads where brandnew and the sun made temperatures on it above 50degrees.  It was clear our athletes were riding hard in the race and very soon Hans (Bel) and David (Esp/Ger) appeared behind the pro athletes where Jan Frodeno (Ger) was hammering the field 

.Really an amazing race to follow and seeing this former Olympic Champion winning his first Ironman!

David just behind Hans on Heartbreak hill and still laughing and chasing the Ironmanfinish

David just behind Hans on Heartbreak hill and still laughing and chasing the Ironmanfinish

A bit later Peter, Nesten, Sem and PJ were riding on the heartbreak hill, they all seemed ok at that point! Frankfurt became warmer and at noon temperature reached 39,5degrees in the shadow. Sufferfest would begin now! While we were waiting the athletes on the run  course, Hans was the first I saw coming. There he was, perfectly in the game…for a cherry on the cake, Hawai! Some quick words of which I knew he would be able to go steady. He was suffering, but ok. A few minutes before I had seen Pro athletes looking like ghosts on the run. He wasn’t! He stayed steady till the end, a bit of drop in the pace was ok. But even on the run he kept on eating pro-meat. As 30th (pro athletes included) , 2nd Belgian behind Frederik Van Lierde on this European Championship and 5th in his AG he crossed the finishline. This really is the output of a big input, congratulations!

Hans  crossing the finishline, he knew he was in for Hawai! Happy and well deserved! West-Vlaanderen has a top Ironman agegroup racer!

Hans crossing the finishline, he knew he was in for Hawai! Happy and well deserved! West-Vlaanderen has a top Ironman agegroup racer!

David came by 10’later,also on schedule for a slot to Hawai, but he looked white and had deep eyes. I have seen David a lot on trainingrides, on which he picked me up and dropped me off again. This wasn’t the David I saw then, the eyes were fading away and I thought he would have to quit the race. He had very hot and his body didn’t react anymore like we wanted. But he broke through this difficulties and finished with a smile in still a decent 10h21. And he should, finishing an Ironman deserves the deepest respect, also if it’s an hour later than where we aimed to. A good recovery followed by a toprace will be the best cure for him!

Peter looked good all the way! And did a very consistent race!

Peter looked good all the way! And did a very consistent race!

Starting in wave2 our other athletes came by a bit later, and yet at the beginning of the run we saw Peter was into the game. He came a bit earlier even than expected. Just a few minutes behind him a well racing Nesten could begin his first runninglap of 10K followed by PJ and Sem! Everybody was on the run course now and aiming for the finishline!

They did and realised a dream! And above all they became athletes…the difference between doing a sport and being athlete I’ve explained them already…and they got it very well!

These 3guys became an Ironman last weekend! Sem, PJ and Nesten smiling after the race!

These 3guys became an Ironman last weekend! Sem, PJ and Nesten smiling after the race!

Ironmanracing has maybe one problem coming up, If you ask me what’s the level of agegroupracing? Well, that’s very simple. It’s more difficult to get into the top 15 of the agegroupfield, then getting a top 15 in the profield.

Comparing the profield with the agegroupfield...Hans and David would have been in the top20 of the pro-field if they signed up 'being a pro'

Comparing the profield with the agegroupfield…Hans and David would have been in the top18 of the pro-field if they signed up ‘being a pro’

I love the motivation of our athletes, they live the sport with a no-nonsense mentality…it keeps us going for performing high! As a coach I got goosebumps when my athletes crossed the finishline, they rocked Frankfurt!

Our athletes working on one of the winter-groupsessions,  some of them got commented they would be good too early! Well, train smart, perform better!And you'll be good 365days a year ;-)

Our athletes working on one of the winter-groupsessions, train well in winter or you’ll be in shape too early or too late 😉 Train smart, perform better!And you’ll be good 365days a year 😉

An exciting day it was....

An exciting day it was….

Was Sam Gydé hiding himself in Frankfurt? I don't think so, working hard in perfect Hawai-weather!

Was Sam Gydé hiding himself in Frankfurt? I don’t think so, working hard in perfect Hawai-weather!

On the same day of Frankfurt we had the most beautifull race of northern France having place. In Gravelines Chtriman 113 took place as the French National Long Distance  Championships, with 3000m swim – 90k Bike and 21K run it is also the perfect prep race for athletes willing to step up to the full distance! There also our athletes performed like a boss and they may dream one day of becoming an Ironman!

Sébastien was racing hard in Chtriman and put down his best ever race, despite some technical problems on the bike!

Sébastien was racing hard in Chtriman and put down his best ever race, despite some technical problems on the bike!

Next week another big race is coming up, Ironvitoria-Gasteiz in Spain, where Brooke will try to aim as high as possible!

Train Smart, perform better!

Jesse

Half Triathlon weekend in style!

Past weekend was definitely one of those grand slam weekends! With 3 Half Ironmandistances we had 3 major goals coming! Saturday Brooke realised her double after doing a great race again in Deauville (France) She took the win by coming out of the water 2nd and having to wait till the end of the run to be sure of her 2nd consecutive win! Click here to hear interview with Triathlete Magazine!

Brooke takes her 2nd win on 7 days!

Brooke takes her 2nd win on 7 days!

In Troyes (France), approx. 500km further we had Sam and Hans racing in this nice field of athletes! Both of them did a fine race and ended up 10th and 11th scratch within 10’of

Hans and Sam after the race, happy about racing in a great setting!

Hans and Sam after the race, happy about racing in a great setting!

winner Damien Fauvre – Felix. With 2700m of swimming they choose a race to make it for both some more difficult to come back…you have to find your challenges 🙂 For Hans, this  race was once again hammer on the block in a superseason, while Sam loves this race because it’s organised by his Team and is keen on performing for them and so he did by getting in that top10!

The making off a macrocycle 365days in advance, is the success of  a good season! Being in shape too early or too late is such a pity of each effort for athletes!

The making off a macrocycle 365days in advance, is the success of a good season! Being in shape too early or too late is such a pity of each effort for athletes!

In Ironman70.3 Kraichgau (Germany) Raphael maybe surprised the most! Only some nerves the days before could keep him away from his ticket to the world championships! But he was strong and took his ticket to Zell Am See, World Championships Ironman70.3!

A well built load during the year with a wise tapering off lead to qualification for Raphael!

A well built load during the year with a wise tapering off lead to qualification for Raphael!

His performance was not only good enough for the ticket, but he also became first Belgian age group athlete! Raphael his season so far is very successfull! With his 4th place in the Half Ironmandistance race of Choisy Au Bac he prooved to be consistent!

If you work hard, you can play hard. If you played hard, you MUST smile hard!

If you work hard, you can play hard. If you played hard, you MUST smile hard!

Once again our athletes simply conquered Europe, Proud Coach!