Let's go 2017

April 11, 2017

Walliseller triathlon, Switzerland 09.04.2017

 

This Sunday was an amazing start into the triathlon season. The sun showed itself early and it looked like a promising beautiful day to blow free the engine. The sprint triathlon in Wallisellen, Switzerland was only going to start at around 2pm, so plenty of time to cheer on my fellow “trigether” Triathlon Club friends at the Zürich Marathon!

 

My friend Patrick, who recently became a dad, wanted to challenge himself to break the magic 3hour barrier. He knew it was an ambitious goal but he just went for the try. At the 30km he had to back off a touch to make it to the finish line safe and sound – he ended up with a 3:06hrs, huge day for him. He will be back for the unfinished business!

 

Bags packed and ready (the night before of course- German style) I was heading out to the close by race venue. 100g of carbs in a 800ml bottle of "Sponser competition" (the only sportsdrink that is hypotonic that I can stuff in as much as I want - with isotonic I get stomach issues) plus a "Sponser Liquid energy salty" gel at the start of the run should get me through this in one piece.

 

 

This even which is part of the Swiss Tri circuit, is a two day event. Switzerland’s best professional and olympic athletes use this one to test their legs in a separate “pro” category.

 

After picking up my race bib and chatting to some friends, I made my way to  T1 to set up my new “Cube C:68” with the “Swissside Hadron 800+” Aero wheels – what a beauty, my absolute dream bike!

 

After my usual warm up (10min easy jog, some running drills, dynamic stretches, accelerations and swim ropes to wake up the arms) I was making my way to the pool. 12x 50m were waiting for me, a tricky distance and easy to blow up due to lack of respect for “only” 600m. The turns would have to be made under the swimming ropes in a zick-zack fashion until you enter on the other side of the pool.

 

Nervous faces around me, one last deep breath and shake out of the arms. An interval start, leaving every 10 sec was waiting for me. 10, 9,… 2, 1 and goooo!

 

 

I dived in and tried to settle into a non-hectic but strong pushing rhythm. The idea was to swim controlled for 3, push harder until 6 and then really go for it. Well, the race had other plans with me today. Unlucky for me, I was put into an interval where people around me were swimming at a much slower pace. That meant I got to know two faces of strangers more than I wanted to and quite an adventure at the wall to find a spot to do the flip turn. Probably lost up to a minute in the swim due to that, but not something I could influence, so I did the best I could and sprinted out of the water to T1. After 53sec after exiting the pool I was already on my bike (3rd fastest overall) trying to get my wet feet into my already clipped in bike shoes.

 

Three laps of each 5k with a few good hills in them were waiting for my “Cuby” – I was just the passenger trying to hang on. The idea was to ride 9/10 effort all the way and get out of the saddle at the hills and push them as hard as I could. Last year I felt I lost valuable seconds on the hills because I rode them steady strong IRONMAN-style. Not sure what’s better since I was looking like I headbutted a stone wall on the crest of the hill, but hey I loved it!

 

A consistent three laps later I dipped just under 25min for the bike I hopped off the bike to enter T2.

 

 

I made it a quick process and jumped into my new Newtons (Gravity 5) running shoes.

To be honest, I had to take a closer look to make sure my legs were still attached to my hip since there was not much input coming at me once the first stride hit the ground. Thankfully the course starts with a beautiful uphill to make sure you really don’t feel anything anymore.

 

I raced without a watch for the first time I believe so with those two extremities hanging on my hip I was not sure if I was running 5:00 or 3:00 min/km. After 2km I felt like I get a feel for my legs again and I could actually start pushing. Unfortunately, I only had 2km left to push since the race was over then. I believe this is a good thing, since my legs are not meant to be as quick responding as sprint distance triathlon legs.

 

 

 

I focus on long-distance after all. That’s why my coach thought it would be a good idea to go for a two hour bike ride right after the triathlon in the hills of Zürich. Fun story, I met a complete stranger at the lights and we rode together for that duration, chatted along and had fun. That’s what I love about the sport, it just connects people, no matter which age.

All in all, I am very happy with the start of the season. It looks like I am going to have some strong legs and arms this season. Just have to make sure I stay healthy and happily

balanced and the rest will sort itself out.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

More coming soon,

 

Matti

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