Long distance world championship – winning a silver medal – pictures and comments.

So, the distance to cover was an open water swim over 3 km in the harbour of Odense, then a 120 km bike ride, and finally a 30 km run.

This means it’s somewhere between an Ironman and a 70.3. Hence the plan was to go a little bit faster/harder than in a full distance IM, but not as hard as the other week in Elsinore.  I wanted to reach the podium and thought that on a good day I’d absolutely have the chance to at least be involved in a battle for the victory in my AG.

Equipment for the race: Orca Predator wetsuit – brand new, Argon 18 E-119TRI+ with Corima disc and 78mm front since the course was fairly flat. Spiuk aero helmet and bike shoes. Swe national team 2-piece suit. ON Cloudflow running shoes, no socks. Throughout the race I rely on my own nutrition: Maurten 320 on the bike and Marten 100 GEL on the run.

In retrospect it’s clear that I was never close to win this race, but on the other hand I surprisingly pushed my self to a runner up position – without being aware of it. So to conclude: I’m very happy with how I played the cards I had in my hand in this long distance world championship.

I don’t think a detailed report on every aspect of my race is interesting; so I’ll limit my notes to some take home messages to myself and those who might be interested:

Race morning: Inspired by my friend Lars Rosencrantz I was on site early. Actually before they opened the transition area. This turned out to be a huge advantage since the organisation was ”not the best”, leaving many athletes still in line to get in when the first wave started (!). For future events: Be there early – it’s simply not worth sleeping an extra 15 minutes.

Swim: AG 18-49 started a few minutes before 50+. I started ”firm but not rushing” leaving a little gap to the front pack in my wave after a few hundred meters. But for the first time in my life I was able to close that gap! @simcoachens instructions on repeat inside my head; initiative, catch, relaxed. After 500 m we started to catch the slower guys in the previous start wave. From then on it was open water slalom…



At 1500 m there was an Australian exit – if I had known this was a photo session, then I’d try to look less like a bad Voldemort look alike.

Special cred to Adam Kjellström who managed to take the in action swim photo below.de13e595-b5cb-4e7c-a3e6-3cd23884970c

T1: Interesting arrangement not letting the athletes see where their T1 bags are hanged up before the race, leaving us running around like maniacs searching for our bags and trying to interpret small hand written signs with BIB numbers… no more comment needed…


Bike: A beautiful two-loop bike course on the Danish countryside, and it was totally closed for traffic – simply superb. The weather had changed and the previous days 30 degrees and sunshine was replace by clouds and a bit of wind. The wind made the bike course harder than I had estimated, and after a quarter of it I started to feel that this wasn’t a great day for me. I struggled to keep watts and couldn’t find a relaxed ”in the zone” feeling. I didn’t want to risk my run performance, so I adapted to the fact that I didn’t have a great bike day and just focused on doing a good job anyway.


The craziest moment during the bike ride: With 20 km to go the ventilation of my Spiuk Aero helmet was demonstrated: A bee is sucked into the helmet from below the visor. It gets stuck above my left ear and I hear the characteristic buzz of a bee that is not comfortable with its beeing (!). For a second I hesitate, and then I start hitting the helmet on the left side as hard as I can and try to squeeze the bee by pushing the helmet around.

The bee did not hesitate for a fraction of that same second… And I feel the pain from the sting slowly get more intense whilst smashing and squeezing the helmet. I would have loved to have this sequence on video; it must have looked very awkward and quite funny.

After a while I realise that the pain is there and that it will stay for a while. But I’m not too worried since I’ve had bee stings before during racing, and my experience is that the
pain goes away after an hour or two.

Take home message: Even if it’s not my best day – just keep on working – medals are not distributed based on how I feel during the race.

T2: Dismount line at the end of a downslope(!) into a parking garage… This is the first time I get of my TT-bike with locked brakes standing on the front wheel. I’m not sure but it could be that I did an ”over-the-aero bars-pj77rmuauxsgie8jcibnmehou.jpgdismount”.

The find-your-bag-if-you-can-arrangement was copied from T1, and just as bad as in T1…

Run: A four loop run course in the beautiful city of Odense. And just as the bike course, the run course was an athlete’s only area. That was really great! No risk of colliding with pedestrians or strollers, so we could fully focus on our running… and looking for toilets in case any of the 1000+ athletes would find themselves in need for a bio break during this 30 k run… Unfortunately the organisers had missed this little detail…so our search was in vain… To be fair they realized this little mistake and arranged a few during my last lap. Ironically this meant that some of the athletes that spent almost an hour in line for the toilets in the morning, now lined up again during the race…

sfy2qhnvbfdkosut7dfz6hq8ts.jpgMy own running didn’t live up to my expectations either: I usually wait 2 km to assess the run form since I know it takes some time to switch from biking to running. But once again, I searched in vain: I didn’t have that flow feeling I so badly need to be able to pull of a good run. I timed my self approx. +10 sec/km compared to race plan. So instead of making up time, I was falling further behind.

Until now I didn’t know how I was doing compared to competition. This is according to plan since I want to race my own race, but now I was curious. Two friends standing about 1 km apart shouted that I was fourth after lap 1. I then passed a friendly Danish athlete who said, ”Now you only have to catch Krüger to take the lead”. This was a surprise. But Krüger was several minutes ahead, and I was more occupied with a mind battle regarding whether to finish or not. I simply could not keep a good rhythm. Occasionally I had short episodes of good run feeling, but most of the time I had to fight physically and mentally. I was passed by an US athlete in a furious tempo and almost gave up. The following two laps I was told I was in third position. I had no idea how far it was to 2nd or 4th when I headed out for the last lap. For the last lap I found motivation in my ”PodiumTour2018” mantra. I was in third position, it was the world championship, and ”pain is temporary…” I told myself that if I loose that 3rd position, at least I should make them have to fight for it. So, I keep running the best I can. This turns out to be a very good decision: Unaware of it I pass Oliver Degenhardt for 2nd place during the very last kilometres. The American that passed me in high speed and almost made me give up was in another AG… So i’m really happy I finished strong after all.


Conclusion – don’t quit when it hurts* and I’m tired, quit when I reach the finish line. The reward might be greater than I expect.

Michael Krüger was outstanding and the man for the top of the podium this day. Personally I’m really happy with the outcome and proud that I showed myself that I could pull off a good result by compensating a lack of perfect physical day form with mental focus and determination. It didn’t come easy – but podium positions never do 😀


* I’d like to point out the importance of judging the situation and differ between ”bad pain” such as an injury or real health issues, and ”good pain” which is a natural consequence of the racing at high effort. See blog post from 2014





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2 B prepared 4 a B race

To get extra speed pacing and also for the joy of racing: Tomorrow Saturday May 12 I’ll join the young guys in the Swedish duathlon championship. 10 k run, 40 k bike and finally a 5 k run.

Racing a non priority race is a good opportunity to practice a chill approach to a start. I’ve prepared my space ship like super bike, but otherwise I don’t want to get carried away with all preparations.

The training has only been adjusted slightly and I’m already looking forward to Sunday’s long distance bike ride.

Next Saturday I’ll run GöteborgsVarvet, the worlds largest half marathon race. Again – a non priority race to get a quality session and have fun.

Those to ”BIB-training sessions” will serve as great fun opportunities to gain some speed for the upcoming 70.3 European Championships in Elsinore June 17th.

For me the key is to remind my self that it is B-race, and I must admit that it’s not always easy 😁. But I’m getting better at it for every year!

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Finish Ironman South Africa 2018

Running on clouds down to the finish line in African Championship April 15th 2018.

Big thanks to Anders Björkqvist for this high quality clip!

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Race reflections from a CHAMPIONship


This year my inspiring mantra for training and racing is PodiumTour2018. This translates into five main races during which I will try to reach the podium in my AG. The races are

  • Ironman South Africa, African Championship
  • Ironman 70.3 Elsinore, European Championship
  • ITU Long distance World Championship
  • Ironman 70.3 Port Elizabeth, World Championship
  • Ironman Hawaii, World Championship

Sunday April 15thwas the first race, Ironman SA, and the outcome was good – to say the least. Actually, I struggle a bit with how to deal with the outcome. Since I have the ambition to share as much as I can with those who are interested, I want to write a race report. However, I have found it hard to feel at ease with the ”Now I’d like to tell you…”-perspective. One reason being the fact that I’m a bit overwhelmed by the outcome of the race. I fully understand that it may sound weird, but that’s obviously how I’m wired.

Hence, after some thinking, I’ve decided to write to myself instead. Hereby I hope to share an open, honest and prestige less view of my race. Whether it will be of any value for you as a reader is up to you. I’ve done the best I can and leave to you to use it at your will or discard it

Think of it as explicit art – if you don’t like explicit art – don’t visit an art exhibition with explicit art.

So, if you don’t like to hear the thoughts of a guy who just won his age group in Ironman African Championship with a 48-minute margin, I urge you to stop reading and spend your time on something you like instead.Sweet dreams

Dear diary,

You know I was curious regarding my form since I hadn’t swam open water since Ironman Kalmar last August, I have done all bike training since October indoors, primarily on my Kickr, and even the run sessions have to a large extend been indoors at O2Tri and different NordicWellness gyms across the country due to business trips. Would I be able to translate all this indoor training to a relevant IRL-race performance in (for a Swede) hot conditions mid April in South Africa? And just the fact that the first race since the Ironman in Kalmar would be a full Ironman 8 month later – how would that be?


Ridiculously good, really great and simply awesome.





With a 48 minutes margin! …Not  ”four to eight”, but forty-eight!!

Yes – it’s true. You know I wouldn’t lie to you – you’re my diary.

I’ve actually asked myself how it was possible, and if the result is ”valid”. And I think it is, you see, it was my first race in AG 50-54, but I would have won the 45-49 too, finished 2nd in 40-44 and third in 35-39…

How do I tell anybody something like that without coming across as simply too full of my self?!

And how do I use this outcome wisely now that I want to continue my ”Podiumtour2018”?

I’m not sure yet. I think I’ll grant my self a few more days in ”contentment & recovery mode” and then start planning for the coming weeks of training together with Oscar. And I think I’ll ask Anna-Karin if we could find some time to sit down and reflect on my swim since I’ve obviously have taken a leap forward there under her coaching.

Imagine if I could build on this and rip of a 55 min non-wetsuit swim in Kona in October – that would be awesome. And there has to be a way to get there – we just have to figure out how.

I’m so blessed to have met her, Anna Karin @simcoachen. Had she not decided to quit working as a teacher and start her business Simcoachen.se AND then continually strived for improving her services, then I would never even been close to the swim I had in thefullsizeoutput_772 Ocean in Nelson Mandela Bay. Her kaizen-way of swim coaching is a fundamental prerequisite for me being able to act according to; what got me there won’t get me there. It’s interesting to reflect on how another person’s courage, determination and mind-set makes me successful.

I’m also really happy for my decision to get a tri-coach for the first time in my life. I’ve always been self coached as a triathlete, and I think me and my self have had a really fruitful coach-athlete relationship with many good achievements, the latest one being a new Ironman PB of fullsizeoutput_7708.52 in last years IM Kalmar.

And yet, again, what got me there…Asking Oscar if he could take me on was my first choice and I’m of course super happy that he accepted. He’s got the relevant education, he’s got the experience, also as an athlete, and he’s committed to his work. This all adds up to a coach that really challenges my way of training without losing the success factors that has helped me up till now. At he obviously knows what he’s doing 🙂

So, dear diary, writing these lines I realise that I really want to make sure I tell these two great coaches how much they’ve contributed to my achievement in SA.

Now to the race: I’m not sure where to start. I mean, the outcome feels a little bit unreal. Yes I had high expectations. Yes I aimed for the podium in my AG.

But AG course record and a 48-minute margin…

I’ll make it short, more like a note to self that I can use as guide in future races:

Really relaxed morning strolling down to transition with Fredrik Ekström and Maria Åberg 04.45.

Success Factors: prepared Maurten evening before, light breakfast, staying in my own race when thinking of the day to come.

Lined up for swim with Lisa Hansson in row 7. Great to have someone to chat with. Felt relaxed, I know I can swim 3,8 km without getting tired. Beep – jogged into the water and started swimming with focus on technique, Anna Karin’s instructions on repeat in my head for the next 55 minutes 🙂

IM SA Swim to T1SF: Focusing on my own race, finding my rhythm, relaxed, initiative in catch and avoid over gliding.

Transition swim to bike – turned out that my time T1+T2 added up to approx. what many competitors used for T1…

SF: Know my gear and my route through transition.


Bike: A bit lonely…:-) I’m glad that I managed to stay focused and calm even though the splits weren’t the ones I had hoped. With my 4.41 bike split in Kalmar and all the Kickr-training I thought I should be a bit quicker, but then again; speed is secondary, power is primary. I felt I was fairly able to keep the planned power taken into account that the tarmac was worse than I thought, giving me quite a challenge to stay smooth with even pressure on the pedals. This is the first race i finish with bruises on my elbows – and no, I did not lose the pads.

SF: Stay calm, as long as I’m not too far from target power and don’t get overtaken too often, I’m doing a good job. Stay focused and disciplined, and leave the beautiful views to the photographers to use. I enjoy the view of rough tarmac and potholes for 5 hours…

IM SA Bike 1lap

T2 – pain is temporary…I’ve never experienced such sharp T2 surface to run on off bike. I even took a glance under my feet while putting on my ON:s to see if I was bleeding (no, I wasn’t).

SF: Keep running even if it hurts, transitions are quite short after all…

Run: Felt quite fresh off the bike and once again focused on finding a good rhythm. The water sachets were new to me and I think they worked really well. Cold and fresh tasting water that I could carry with me between aid stations. On the way up to the 2nd turning point at approx. 8 km I saw Björn Andersson and asked him if he had any idea I was doing compared to competition. On the way down from the TP he had checked and shouted ”it’s 20”.

?!? Twenty? Twenty what? I asked. Minutes he responded. What do you mean 20 minutes? You’re leading your AG with 20 minutes.

This was the first time during the race that I got any info regarding how I was doing compared to my fellow age groupers. I got a bit confused. Since it was a rolling start someone could have started 5 minutes behind me, now be 3 minutes behind me and thereby lead by 2 minutes, so up till now I had not spent much energy on what the other guys did.

Lap 2: ”About 25 minutes”.

Lap 3: ”It’s 30 and you’re running 30 sec/km faster than those behind you”.

I honestly had a hard time believing this was true. I excuse my self with the fact that as the race go on I simply get lets say less and less clear in my mind….

But – the last kilometres I relaxed and just enjoyed the unique cocktail of feelings that only a long distance triathlon is able to provide: Pain, exhaustion and pleasure – it’s simply such a fantastic feeling.

Success factors: Great to have Maurten in special needs – fueled me well all day long. Staying in my own race, stick to the plan and don’t cut corners on nutrition.

IM SA Red carp flying


Dear diary – I got a clip from my super supportive beautiful wife Åsa who followed the race back home in Sweden. I posted it on facebook and after a couple of days it had over 2000 views. I think I’m behind at least 1000 of these views. Don’t tell anyone – but it just fills me with so much inspiration and joy to watch this clip. Then Anders Björkqvist posted a clip that was even longer so I can hear Greg Welch & Co when they realize I’m AG 50-54. Yes – THE Greg Welch & Co. How cool is that!

May be it wasn’t a coincidence that I bought the German magazine Triathlon at Frankfurt airport on the way to SA. It contained a very inspiring interview with Patrick Lange in which he shares his favourite training track: “Erfolg ist kein Glück” with Kontra K.

/Calle – one down four to go – PodiumTour2018



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Time to race!

My inspiring mantra this year is PodiumTour2018. Now it’s time to see whether I’ll make it to the podium on this seasons first race; Ironman South Africa, African Championship. I’ve no idea how the competition is in my AG since I’ll do my own race anyway. Time will tell (literally).

My plan is to have a steady relaxed swim and the forecast seem to say calm waters. If I exit the water with a sub 1-hour swim I’ll be satisfied.

T1 is quite long (approx. 2,5 min)

Regarding the bike I aim for an even pace and I know it might be a challenge since the tarmac is quite rough with frequent bumps, but still, that is my plan. It’s hard to estimate how long it will take but I’d like to get off the bike having spent less than 5 hours in the saddle.

T2 is just as long as T1 since it’s the same route in the opposite direction.

For the run I’ll aim at 4.30/km for a start. If it gets very hot I might have to drop the pace accordingly, but it would be awesome to run close to 4.30-pace most of the 42.2 km.

So, now you know my plan.

My BIB is 204 and the race is covered with live reports here at Ironman Live.

Race starts at 06.30 local time here in Port Elizabeth = CET.




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Optimising your training – the art of separating right thing from right way.

Last weekend the schedule said: Fri swim 3 k and a gym session, Sat 4 h bike followed by 30 min brick run. Sun 28 k run.

This weekend the schedule said: Fri swim 3.5 k and 15 km run, Sat 4 h bike followed by a 45 min brick run. Sun 30 k run.

As you can see I’m building up to IM SA April 15th with a few key long distance sessions in end of Feb and beginning of March. Since it’s winter I do all biking inside on my Kickr, and brick runs are also done inside on a treadmill (due to minus 1-10 degrees outside…)

With 6/7 weeks to Ironman South Africa I’m of course keen to stick to the plan. Especially on weekends since that’s when these crucial long sessions are possible.

So, how did I do regarding training these two quite similar weekends? Very well! …In two totally different ways:

Last weekend started strong with a perfect early swim session Friday morning before a full day workshop (covering change management…), but in the evening I felt tired and decided to skip the gym. Saturday morning I still felt tired and not entirely well. After breakfast I decided to cancel the bike & run session, even though it was one of these key long distance brick sessions I so desperately need in order to prepare for Ironman SA. Come Sunday and I’m still not feeling ok. I.e. the 28 k run is converted into a 20 min easy walk (completely Lycra free!)

This weekend started of just as good with a 3.8 k swim (300 m extra yes, and 1.30/100) and a strong 15 k run in the evening (IM pace: 4.30/km). Saturday gave the opportunity to start the brick session in great company at O2 Konditionscenter, even though I was alone the last part of the 4-hour of biking and for the 10 k treadmill run… (4.25/km). The Sunday 30 k run was scheduled as “easy”, but I’d lie if I said it felt easy to get going. However, 2 hours and 27 min later I’ve covered the distance and I had done it as planned in zone 2.


I would summarize the training these two weekends as optimal. Not the planned or preferred last weekend, but optimal taken into account the circumstances. And if I have a good race in SA I will use these two weekends as a reference for future situations when I, or someone else, should realize that the planned sessions will serve their purpose best by being cancelled.

(But I would argue that if I don’t succeed in SA we couldn’t say that it’s because last weekends cancelled training. That’s simply a misinterpretation of casual relationship)

So – to get to the conclusion of this post:

Effective – when I adjust to reality and execute the right thing. The sessions that will serve my long-term goals best (which sometimes means the planned sessions, sometimes something totally different).

Efficient – when I focus and execute the session in the right way.

Optimizing my training would be a combination of adjusting to reality and execute the sessions focused and with good form. I.e. execute the right session in the right way.

I would say I did that – both weekends!

I hope you can find the strength to cancel the right session for you – and thus optimize your training and achieve the goals you’re striving for.

All the best



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What does it take to win?

April 15th I will start in this years first race; Ironman South Africa, which also counts as African Championship. IM SA is one out of five prioritized races I plan to participate in during 2018. The others being one European Championship and three World Championships.

I chose these races already last September, and since then they’ve played their role as guides for my daily decisions very well. So far the ambition to reach the podium on some of these races had led to tree major changes in regard of my training:

  • fullsizeoutput_770I’ve hired a coach. Oscar Olsson at O2Tri is now guiding me in my training programme and I visit his training centre on a regular basis to get inspiration and feedback.



  • fullsizeoutput_772I’ve increased my participation in the training group FastLane under supervision of head coach Anna-Karin Lundin at Simcoachen.se. Add to that individual coach sessions incl. video analysis and tailored drill programmes.


  • I’ve become a Wahooligan. Since I got my Wahoo Kickr I’m able to conduct high quality sessions on my TT-bike several times a week, no matter what the weather is outside.

    In my power cave it’s always the perfect temperature and a light breeze 🙂 .

Living in Sweden means that I can’t conduct really race like training sessions for at least another 2 months. It’s too cold for open water swim sessions, long hard rides on a TT-bike or run activities that simulates race circumstances. But thanks to the changes mentioned above, I sense that I’m on the right track; I’ve lowered my swim CSS 4 secs since November, I consider my 120 min Kickr rides ”business as usual” and I run my 1 k FTP-treadmill intervals ”relaxed” @3.25. This would not have been the case had I not decided to challenge the way I plan and execute my training.

So what is it I’m striving for? Honestly it has taken me some time to really understand and grasp what’s really driving me this year.

And then recently on a flight back from a workshop in Munich I took the time to relax and seek inside my self. And in a combination of reflecting on the crucial ability to separate my view of me as a person and the view of my performance in a given situation, and what I want to achieve with my training and racing this year I realised: I want to win.

Now, it might sound obvious and simple, but to me it wasn’t that simple. Partly because I felt a strong need to avoid striving for ”being the best”. Being the best would to me be too close related to me as a person and thus don’t serve as a guide for performance. I don’t want to be the best; I want to execute a great race, fast enough to win. I don’t focus on my competitors, since they can’t guide me to my best performance. I focus on my own race. Of course like to know how I’m doing during the race, but I don’t use my position during the race as a guide for decision-making until the last 10-15 km of the marathon in an Ironman. This helps me to race MY race, and by doing so I feel that I’m more able to deliver a good performance. A performance that defines whether I reach the podium (”I did great!”) but do not define me (”I am great”). Thus, I want to win, not be the best. Some may say it’s semantics, and I won’t argue against that, I just use it to my advantage during training and racing 🙂 .

This is also one of the most frequent challenges I discuss with younger athletes. How to understand, deeply and truly, that my performance in a race does not define me as a person. Once we honestly believe this, the door to our full potential is opened. Mainly because it allows us to try, to experiment, to fail and to grow. And I still want to grow as an athlete.

Last year my theme was ”Just for fun – with a purpose”. It guided me to a great season with my 8.52.12 in Ironman Sweden as grand final. AG 1st, 5th Swede and 14th overall including male pros was a very inspiring way to round off a Just for fun – season before leaving the 45-49 AG.


Cbr i rondell

Now with only two month left until Ironman South Africa I feel curious to see to what extend I’ve been able to develop. Will the swim sessions with Simcoachen transfer to the open water swim in Mandela Bay? How will my Kickr-sessions do as substitute for outdoor bike rides? And will my strength training and treadmill workouts help me to keep it all together during the long hot marathon in Port Elizabeth? Eight weeks from now I will know.

Now you know what I’m aiming for during this season.

And I’ll get back with updates as IM SA gets closer.


Instagram carl_brummer


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2017 I’ve had Just for fun – with a purpose as guiding mantra.

2018 I’ll turn 50 and I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to use “OnTop@50” as inspiration and guide for my training and racing next season. On top in the meaning feeling content, balanced and “on top of things”. I want to build on my experiences from 2017 and further develop my physical and psychological capabilities in training and racing. There is also a competitive touch to the mantra, and therefore I’ve put together a race schedule labelled Podium Tour 2018. I think stretched targets help me prioritize and stay focused during training, and I definitely aim for at least some podium positions for 2018.


Podium Tour 2018

Ironman African Championship, Nelson Mandela Bay, Apr. 15th.

Ironman 70.3 European Championship, Elsinore, Jun. 17th.

ITU Long Distance World Championship, Odense, Jul. 17th.

Ironman 70.3 World Championship, Nelson Mandela Bay, Sep. 2nd.

Ironman World Championship, Kailua-Kona, Oct. 13th.


So I guess it is time to start training…:-)


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A Kalmar Ironman PRE-race report.

A RACE-report from Kalmar Ironman will follow, but first I’d like to take you back to the days leading up to Kalmar with the ambition to inspire other athletes who work consciously on the mental aspects of training and racing.

The following text was written before Kalmar Ironman. Now I want to share it to give an idea of how I was thinking and preparing my self mentally for Kalmar.

3 times 70.3 in 3 weeks – Intense mindfulness

For the season 2017 I had two main races I wanted to complete: Vansbro Triathlon July 1 (1/2 IM distance) and Kalmar Ironman Aug 19. The overall mantra for the season is set to Just for fun – with a purpose*. I want to develop a more solid ability to stay in a relaxed mental mode the days leading up to and during races. One reason for this is the joy it gives me. Instead of feeling anxious and tense I want to sense the joy and contentment a race gives when ”treated right” from a mental aspect. The other reason is that I know it does affect my ability to perform positively when I stay relaxed. Not ”off” or ”fat and happy”, but rather tuned in, prepared and relaxed.

Maybe you could call it Intense Mindfulness. Intense because racing any triathlon distance with some kind of ambitious target is very challenging, physically and mentally. And Mindfulness since the key in his case is being ”fully there” mentally, and this in a relaxed and focused way – with a large portion of contentment in the situation.

For me KBT has been a useful tool in business, not the least in terms of managing my own situation as a leader. And since I build my way of coaching my self in triathlon on my experience from business, it’s been natural to involve simple KBT in handling the mental aspects of racing. Getting aware of what beliefs and mental paths an approaching race triggers is really interesting, and of course a stepping stone towards being able to consciously choose constructive thoughts and thereby positive feelings.

For various reasons I ended up racing the IM 70.3 European championship in Elsinore two weeks prior to Vansbro and IM 70.3 Jönköping the week after. This makes three 70.3 distances in three weeks (22 days to be exact). I viewed the races as follows:

Elsinore – no pressure – really! I just wanted a race before Vansbro since I didn’t want to race the Swedish Championship as the first race for the season. This gave an excellent opportunity to practice “just for fun – with a purpose”. The preparation the days before the race and at site were minimal and not even close two how I usually prepare. Outcome – AWESOME RACE finishing 2nd in my AG and rank 1 of all Swedish athletes. This really gave me something to reflect upon in terms of relaxing vs. overdoing.

Vansbro – race relaxed with the goal to make it to the top 10. I don’t race as an age group athlete during the Swedish Championships, and there are loads of younger athletes that are strong, so I knew it wasn’t going to come easy.

So the aim was to build on the experiences from Elsinore and add some “pressure”. The outcome was great. I was able to swim relaxed, bike steady and perform a solid run resulting in an 8th rank overall. Super happy. I felt that I was “on to something” in terms of handling anxiety and staying “cool”.

Jönköping – push the limits in terms of recovery and, if possible, qualify for 70.3 World Championship 2018.

I registered on site the day before the race – lucky there were a few slots left! I decided to drive the bike course by car in the afternoon, and during that trip I became even more aware of the on and off button – how to switch between “just for fun” and “pressure” just by thinking of my own race as a solo event or as a happening in a context characterized by the presence of competitors and high expectations. By shifting my mental picture back and forth while driving, I could actually sense how the tension in my abdomen and shoulders changes.

I wouldn’t say that I’ve become an expert in this field, but I do sense that I’ve made progress. The three races combined have given me insights and experience to build upon.

Now it’s time for Kalmar Ironman. It’s the full Ironman distance, which I usually perceive as more than twice a 70.3. My ambition is to:

Stay relaxed and get a smooth swim. If I’m out of T1 before my race time passes 1 hour I’m on track. This is in case of nice weather. If it’s windy and rough water the race time becomes less relevant.

Deliver a solid, disciplined bike ride during which I’m able to keep my watts, stick to the nutrition plan and stay tucked down in aero position. I hope to get though T2 just under 5.50 on the race clock since that will give me 3.10 for a sub9.

I believe I can perform a solid run based on my running so far this season. I haven’t had any run session over 21 k, but I think 4.30 should be quite comfortable and I would like to go as fast as close to 3 hours.

My mantra for the race is of course: Just for fun – with a purpose, and I hope I’ll be able to stay in my own race mentally.

If I’m able to finish “Sub9Top10” it would be simply amazing. I e finishing in under 9 hours and among the top 10 of all Swedish athletes. This year Kalmar has the male pro field, so I’m aware it might be quite impossible, but I like it as an inspiring vision for my training.

I hope this post can support other athletes in there strive for mental development – with a purpose.

Have fun!


*  First I took quite some time to define the mental mantra that would guide me through the season. “Just for fun – with a purpose” isn’t just a catchy phrase. It’s truly my guide when I reflect on why and how I want to prepare for and complete a race. It reminds me of having fun. It tells me that the way to success goes through having fun. It also grants me permission to have fun! And – it reminds me that there is a purpose for this. Actually there are multiple purposes: Have fun – it’s a purpose in it self. Have fun so I stay relaxed and thus achieve my full potential as a triathlete. Practise having fun – it’s a skill that has to be developed and nurtured. Racing half and full Ironman distance races isn’t pleasant by default… actually it’s rather painful as everyone who’s done it knows. So, if I want to continue grow as and athlete I want to improve my mental skills relevant for triathlon.




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Carpe diem 70.3

Logically this should have been a race report from Vansbro Triathlon last Saturday. A race that went simply great and earned me a precious top 10 rank (8th) in the Swedish Championships after 1.9 swim, 90 k bike and 21 k run. I’m so happy for the outcome of the race, not the least the run portion since I kind of bonked last year. This year I had the 5th fastest run of the day!

But instead this is a short Carpe Diem 70.3 note:

I asked Oscar Olsson (O2Tri) what he thought about the idea to race Jönköping 70.3 only a week after Vansbro (which was two weeks after Elsinore 70.3…). He said 1) Recover properly 2) Give it a go. I also asked Clas Björling for his advice at the finish in Vansbro, and these gentlemens advice have guided me during last week. 

And here I am…signed up for the race at 13.00 today on site, and booked a hotel at 20.00 (!) when I realised it was getting a bit late to drive to my parents in law (1.5 h drive) for some sleep and then drive back…

Now a late (a big know-do gap here…) pre race dinner, some extra fluids and go to sleep. 

Not my standard procedure. But I’m enjoying it to 💯% and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s race and to find out how my body will react to a third 70.3 within three weeks. Just for fun – with a purpose!

BIB (selfmade!) 1906 

Start 8.50 

Live coverage here

Time to enjoy summer and smell some flowers 😊

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