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

 

 

National title cross duathlon for Stefanie

Past weekend the National championships cross duathlon were held in Belgium,

the first race for a title here also! Late october we put this race on the program for Stefanie as a first test before going into road triathlon season. For that, we skipped the road opener at Herderen and went for physical check-up to Retie, the place to be.

bk adam

Crossduathlon has slightly more things needed than a good shape: you need the right gear and technical skills. The first thing was a regular 26″ Mountainbike and the technical skills were something she definitely worked on during winter by racing 2 crossduathlons. This is also something she will need in the LD triathlons she will race, all of them have serious downhills in it.

Winning was not thé must do in this race, but racing hard and trying to go out of comfort was. Mission accomplished…but with a win at the end!

Stefanie can be very happy winning this national title and can hang this jersey in her trophy room!
A long distance triathlete winning this specific championships…was it just a coincidence Bart Aernouts (Uplace-Bmc) won the men’s race…or after all aerobic capacity matters!

bk 2 adam

 

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