I just arrived for KonaSeptember 27, 2010
I just arrived for Kona, Hawaii for the last two weeks of preparation for Ironman Hawaii. Two weeks of getting used to the heat and humidity and train on the course as well as getting the body into that 12 hour time difference from Denmark.
I was at home for a week after my two week training camp in Playitas Fuerteventura – a really good camp where I trained for about 40 hours a week.
It was great to see my family again, but it is difficult to get home for such a short period of time after two weeks of being able to focus completely on training 6-8 hours a day and my recovery. And eating.
The weather also turned from sunny and nearly 40 degrees celcius in Playitas to only 14-15 degrees in Denmark with lots of rain. It was back to reality and not the optimal situation, so next year I’m thinking that I’ll stay in Playitas for last week and then go directly to Kona and then bring my family down to Fuerteventura the last week.
Lots of happy training
I really entered the zone and had a nice rhythm in training from morning till evening. In my few rest days (where I only did hard swimming and core/fitness training) it was difficult keep my good focus from the long days. The less hard days obviously have a physiological function, when you put your body under such intense pressure as I do. But it is hard to keep motivated on the rest days as I felt they interfered too much with the good flow I felt on the long days.
It is actually quite interesting that you enter a zone where it feels good to train hard for 6-8 hours a day. My recovery was working well during the night so I felt ready the next morning. The demand for being fully focused on the long days is big and you need to be on top of your game mentally. The demands are smaller on rest days, the intensity and motivation drops and it gets harder to concentrate and thus more difficult to get through these days.
Especially last Monday, which was the last rest day before two long and hard days and then departure, was tough. I felt it did more harm than good. In the big picture it will probably the best to have those rest days, but my legs weren’t too good on the last two days of the camp and I felt it was more difficult to get back into the zone with training long days.
Luckily I finished off with a good brick run. No matter what I know that I got that brick run down at any time. We biked 200 km pr day the last two days where I felt tired and with heavy legs. The temperature also reached nearly 40 degrees Celsius so it was good Hawaii specific training. My bike level was not too stable and of course we had to drink more that last couple of days so we were hydrated and ready for the run sessions. Out last brick run was a good Hawaii specific exercise.
Brick run in Hawaii conditions
Fellow Dane Martin Jensen who will also compete in Kona, trained with me the last week and fellow Specialized athlete Jimmy Archer joined me both weeks. Jimmy and Pete McCrory from Trips4tri assisted Martin and me on the last brick run of the camp so that we could train fluid intake under very warm conditions.
We had arranged an aid station on our 1,4 km lap (a little less than a mile) where we had first energy drink, then ice and then cold water handed out to pour on ourselves. It was a good exercise in receiving and effectuating fluids quickly as well as feeling the cooling effect from ice and water and putting the ice in the cap and in the ice pockets on the race suit. It was nice to test it and as it was warm and the aid stations are located at every mile in Hawaii, it was very specific training towards a quick entrance and fast exit at the aid stations in Kona.
I learned last year that it is imperative for me to lose as little speed as possible going through the aid stations. I would rather be able to get as much in me as possible without losing speed so I will grab one cup with my right hand, make a swift pass to the left hand and drink it while my right hand grabs another. Then I will be able to grab 2-3 cups every time when you go through fast as I do.
Can perform in competitions even when training is a little off balance
Even though my biking hasn’t been optimal in training I know that I can perform well in competitions. In Challenge Roth I had the second best bike split and my training has been pretty much the same as leading up to that race. And I’m not one of the über bikers like Chris Lieto is or Torbjørn Sindballe was.
I know that many has to feel they reach their top level in training to be able to perform well when the gun goes off, but I know by now that I can race really good without feeling I hit my highest level in training.
My race mentality is very strong and I can always mobilize what it takes in the races so I’m not letting a non-optimal training get the best of me. As long as I train the kilometers I need to and I get my time in the aero bars, that’s the most important thing. I know my strength isn’t to train fast to be able to race fast, but as long as I can race fast when I need to I’m happy.
Overall it was a really good camp. The feeling this year was the same as last year, where I was in pretty good shape until I broke my hand in a bike crash. My body feels good and I’m able to absorb the many hours of training. I can train hard and still be ready for the next day
I had a good run in Challenge Roth and I continue to have faith in my running abilities. My swimming is also at a good level and I have been swimming a few times in my new Hawaii Blueseventy suit and it’s great. It is a non-sleeve suit with short legs. It is made of textile as the rules for neoprene has been altered in triathlon as well as in swimming. It is really cool and it feels great swimming in it.
I will return with another blog before the big race with the latest updates on training, my competition and where to follow the race live on race day.
All the best,