It´s some time ago since I wrote my last weekly race recap. This does not mean that there have not been any great results over the past months. It just means that I have been a bit lazy with this part of my work recently.
The triathlon season is still some months away in Europe, but since I do work with athletes that are spread all over the world, there is someone racing somewhere almost every week.
Ironman 70.3 Taupo – New Zealand - 70.3 World Championship Qualification for Marco Schönmann
Marco Schönman combined a vacation with his Family with an early season race in New Zealand. Marco had one of his best races so far despite the fact that close to 100% of his preparation on the bike was done on the turbo trainer. In addition he had to use his old TT bike (with a not very optimal position) because the new one did not fit into the bike bag for the flight. He had a good swim as usual with a swim split just over 30min. Marco felt strong all day and finished the ride after 2:39hrs just to let it follow by a very strong 1:35hr half marathon! Marco could finish the race in 5th position in the 35-39 agegroup. That´s his best result so far and he qualified for the 70.3 world championship in Nice later this year as a bonus. What a great way to get the new triathlon season started!
Ironman 70.3 Bangsaen – Thailand
The Singapore based athletes Magnus Grimeland and Tim Marbach both races the 70.3 Bangsaen at the 24th of February. Tim already had a great result in California in December (70.3 Indian Wells) where he finished the race just over 5hrs. The race in Bangsaen was even a bit better from my point of view. He exited the water after 42min. It was a very choppy non wetsuit swim, which made it a lot slower for everyone. Tim still was amongst the best 20% of all athletes after the swim, which shows how difficult the conditions must have been. He had a good day on the bike and really could work his way through the field with a 2:38hrs bike split. That gave him a very good position at the start of the run, which is definitely his strongest discipline. Even though he struggled a bit with some stomach issues (and stitches), he had one of the fastest runs of the day (9th of his agegroup and 35th overall) which gave him the best AG position he has had so far. Tim finished the race in 14th position of the 30-35 agegroup. He only started with triathlon about 18 Months ago in summer 2017!
Magnus Grimeland has a very busy year behind him and the training was very limited. Nevertheless he tried to squeeze in a training session whenever he could. I am actually always surprised about his results, knowing how limited the time for the training was over the past months. Magnus finished the race just over 6hrs under the very hot and humid conditions that are usual for Southeast Asia. He was amongst the fastest 25% in the 35-39 agegroup. I really can´t wait for a period with some more consistency in the training as I am quite sure that Magnus would move through the ranks very fast in that case!
100*100m Swim event in Hamburg and half marathon in Kiel
Sonja Barth joined me last autumn after she could not run for most of the last season because of a nasty foot injury. The half marathon in Kiel was the first real test of fitness after we did slowly built back her run volume over the past months. We are definitely not there yet, but the half marathon was better than expected. With the recently still relatively low run volume it was crucial to do the 21km run with a progressive pacing strategy, to make sure that it does not get too hard too early. Sonja really executed the race plan to perfection and finished the run after 1hr39min44s. That was actually even a little bit faster compared to last years run despite that she did less volume so far. I am really confident that we will built a great run fitness over the next few months!
Only one week later, Sonja was facing the next big challenge. She joined the 100*100m swim event in Hamburg for the second time and could prove that not only the run fitness is getting back, but that the swim is already on a very high level as well. Her average pace for the 10km swim was 1:42min/100m. Most of all it was a very constant effort from the beginning to the end! Very well done!