A puzzling race

Raced Vansbro ½ IM-distance a week ago. A very nice race with awesome facilities. As an example: No waiting in line for WC before start – and 900 people racing!

But when it comes to my own performance I’m a bit puzzled, and that bothers me quite a bit since I’m racing Challenge Roth July 17th, i.e. next Sunday.

The weeks leading up to Vansbro Triathlon were spent in the USA. First a week in Tennessee with visits at Hilde’s (our daughter) host family and friends in Clarksville, Nashville sightseeing, and a wide selection of burgers and local beers :-). Then a week in New York – with more sightseeing and a bit of shopping… The training during these weeks was reduced to running and gym sessions (incl. 2 x bike sessions on a standard gym bike – I’ll never forget that saddle… ) But! The final training session was a wonderful bike session with Lars Rönnberg in Prospect Park. Racing around a 5 k loop in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, on a Sunday morning certainly was an inspiring moment and not like any other bike session I’ve experienced. Special thanks to Lars!

So – we came back from the US on Tuesday in the week leading up to Vansbro on Saturday, and since I’ve been running more frequently I went to Vansbro with the expectation of an ok swim and bike and then I would really feel strong on the run.

Outcome: The Swim felt terrible – heart rate booming and I had issues with breathing, I couldn’t keep up with the swimmers around me and found my self swimming on my own after a while. I even turned to breaststroke to be able to breathe properly. But – still, 27.37 isn’t a bad swim split for me and I exited the water as no 13, which also was my BIB, out of 80 in the elite field (since I don’t race as AG in the Swe Championship).

Out on the bike I almost immediately find my rhythm. I ride solo so it’s easy to race according to my own plan and preferences. My bike split is 2.16.04, the 13th (!) in the field… And it’s a ride I’m really happy with.

And then comes the run… and I just can’t fin my running legs. Now – it’s relevant to ask if I went too hard on the bike, but I don’t think I did. A kept an eye on my Garmin all the way, and watts and pulse were according to plan. I keep running, but my Achilles tendons really hurt and the speed declines and at km 8 I even walk for a while. I’m not sure whether I should continue or not, but decide to value it as a quality training session. With a run split of 1.29.53, which is more than 10 minutes slower than last years Swe Champ race over the distance, I finally reach the finish line as…no 13 IMG_6342

Since the race I’ve tried to get back on track, not the least mentally. I’ve rested and I’ve tried to build some self-confidence through targeted training session, but “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”.


To boost myself I go back to the ITU European Championship at Powerman Denmark in May and the my AG 2nd place there, and to the strong race I had in Gothenburg Triathlon just before we went on holiday.

Certainly I can’t expect a top 10 finish at the Swedish Championships if I don’t prepare accordingly.

I’d like to express my thanks to Kari Martens who helped me to analyze the race and see what I should be happy with and also reminded me of the fact that the preparations for the race were all but perfect. I really wanted to race in Vansbro, but also wanted to go to the US and meet our daughter Hilde and spend a couple of weeks with the family on holiday. You know – a least some times you can’t have your cake and eat it too…

And some more reflections are:

  • Maybe I had too much caffeine before the swim start, and that the high dose in combination with some race adrenaline triggered my heart rate to go bananas? I mean, after all – the swim wasn’t bad, it just felt terrible.
  • Maybe I proved to my self that I’m capable of a 90 k solo ride at 40 km/h without going all out – that’s actually really good.
  • Maybe I didn’t fuel properly during the bike and run?

I don’t know if this post can help someone else, but I realise that it did help me to sort out the thoughts and feelings during and after Vansbro Triathlon. I guess we all have our periods of doubt a regarding our own potential and capabilities. And sometimes these thoughts are triggered with really bad timing.

Now I will focus on next Sundays race in Roth, taking care of my Achilles and build some mental strengths – I know I’ll need that in Sundays full IM distance race.

May the force be with us all!


PS – Already looking forward to next years Vansbro Triathlon and the Swedish Championship – I just have to figure out how to get a BIB between 1-10 and then prepare so that I finish accordingly 🙂




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