It’s Thursday morning and I have a rest day that only consists of a run in the afternoon. I have already trained 18 hours in three days this week including hard bike sessions in the hills and mountains Monday and Wednesday, hard run Tuesday and hard swim Monday. So it’s been a good week so far. Next week I’ll turn down the intensity a notch before two hard weeks again the weeks after when the Danish national triathlon team returns down here.
I’m having a very consistant period of good training. My biking is on a good level again after all the work I have put in riding the hilly Fuerteventura and I can feel I have some of the same power on the bike as I had in the Olympic distance days and that was one of my purposes for moving down here in the winter period.
First non wetsuit swim for 2 months
The Olympic pool in Playitas has finally been fixed so it is heated again after that heavy flood we experienced back in late November. First the pool had to be emptied because of all the mud and then the heater had to be replaced. That means that I have had my first swim in two months without my beloved Blue Seventy wetsuit!
It does feel good to be able to swim in the pool in nothing but trunks and a blue sky as the scenery, though.
After two months of wetsuit swimming I just need a couple of sessions to find the rythm again. In a period like that I can clearly feel how much effect a wetsuit has on your swimming even when you are at a high level like myself. In the suit you are a little faster, don’t use as much energy and you can get by with shorter breaks during the sessions and feel less tired.
When I started doing triathlon 13 years ago the quality of the wetsuits were not the same standard as now where they are very comfortable. I have really enjoyed my Blue Seventy Helix suit these two months where I have been forced into the suit in the cold water! You don’t really think too much about swimming technique when are you swimmer, but these wetsuit sessions have shown me how important it still is to pay attention to those little things and how important it still is to keep the technique sharp. A piece of advice to all triathlon AG’s out there is to keep trying to work on your swim without a wetsuit. You never know when you need to do a race without it!
A group of Denmark’s best swimmers from Elite Swim Esbjerg are in Playitas at the moment and I swam with them on Monday. Most of them kicked my ass but it was fun. One of them was participating at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 in the breast stroke, Chris Christensen and also one of the best open water swimmers is here, Mathilde Riis Sørensen.
My equipment is getting ready for season start
Right now I’m in my annual and difficult process of getting all my gear ready for the start of the season and this involves a lot of emailing with my sponsors. E.g. I have to order at both Specialized (my bikes), Zipp (wheels) and SRAM (components) and I’m having all the parts sent to Denmark to get it all put together by the mechanics at Heino Cykler. I have a set of bikes both in Playitas and then in Denmark for when we move back. It makes it easier for future camps that I can just have bikes stored in Playitas so I don’t have to take the bikes with me every time.
Ecco is working on getting my bioms ready for Abu Dhabi in the Danish red and white colors so it matches my red/white race setup all the way. I’m also looking forward to seeing the Craft boys complete my race suit in Danish style! Specialized will be present at the competition in Abu Dhabi and that is great news for me as I’ve been working my Shiv hard these past months in training in the mountains, so it will get a good make-over before the race by the Specialized mechanics.
Q&A with 2nd and 3rd in Hawaii
Wednesday night Andreas Raelert (2nd, Ironman Hawaii 2010), Marino Vanhoenacker (3rd in Hawaii 2010) and myself were in a Q&A-session in the sports bar at Playitas. The bar was packed and it was certainly more popular than the regular Wednesday night karaoke. In the picture, its Marino left, Andreas in the middle and a guy named Rasmus to the right.
It was a nice hour of Q&A’s where we answered individual questions as well as sharing our thoughts on different things. I was asked about many things; why my race in Hawaii went so wrong, what I did right in Challenge Roth and where I like to train in Playitas. And then of course they wanted to know our thoughts on why each of us will win in Hawaii in 2011.
Competitor TV and Triathlete Magazine have had a couple of guys working here the last days and they taped the whole thing, so hopefully you guys will be able to see it at some point. They are also doing other stuff with me and the rest of the elite athletes currently residing in Playitas so be sure to tune in on Competitor TV the following days.
Star field at Abu Dhabi
The last four years winners of Ironman Hawaii, Chris McCormack (2010 and 2007) and Craig Alexander (2009 and 2008) have announced that they’ll race Abu Dhabi International Triathlon too. This makes the field the strongest (by far) outside of Hawaii. All of the 2010 Hawaii top-10 (minus Raelert) will be there, and so will fellow Dane Martin Jensen and myself. I think it’s good to have this strong field of class athletes and that makes this race very interesting. You just can’t predict who will end up on the podium in a race that is the first in the season for many and that has this distance of 3 km swim/200 km bike/20 km run.
Last year Eneko Llanos won the inaugural race with Bockel placing 2nd and a guy named Rasmus Henning 3rd. There was hardly any wind in 2010 but they say it might be windy this year and that will probably mean a hard day at the office with a 200 km bike ride. I just can’t tell who will do well because the pre race favorites may not be able to perform well this early in the season.
Last year the überbikers didn’t have the advantage everyone thought they would so at the end of the day, the one breaking the tape will be the man who can handle the tough bike course best and still run very fast. My favorites a month before the race would be Chris McCormack, Eneko Llanos, Marino Vanhoenacker, Dirk Bockel and myself. We are all capable of running fast after a long and hard day on the bike. Well, it will be very exciting to see who will run of with the USD 50,000…
Until next time – be well!