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.
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 the 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 8.52 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 🙂
SF: 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…
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.
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