#Training – The mid-year report.

Mid-year report, possibly and more or less, first half of the race season is done. Summary of this would be Geneva Half-Marathon with a personal best and sub-1 h 25, Ironman70.3 Switzerland as first triathlon and sub-5 hours’ time, Triathlon International de Genève and Triathlon the Nyon with both top-50 finishes. All races were in Switzerland and all were satisfying results.

Preparation this year has been better, although, start was not so great with the marathon distance goal falling apart due to a tibial periostitis and almost stress fracture. All of this took me off running for more than a month, which actually did not prove as bad as I thought. Instead, I focused on swimming and cycling which definitely helped on this year achievements.

Still and while achieving great results with lot of work behind each of them to make it happen. I thought the triathlon Ironman70.3 and Olympic format (1.9/90/21.1//1.5/40/10) to be great although with a preference for the longer one now.

The big difference being intensity over the complete effort, as I said in previous posts, I started swimming on the first week of January and came from being able to float to actually being able to sustain the effort while not pretending to be a swimmer yet. On the other hand, my cycling pretty much improved, thanks to a lot of training with some serious people. Running just benefitted from the overall cross training I guess but improved as well.

Saying all this and looking at result sheets and analysis of various races I did, the simple fact is that if you’re not performing well in all three disciplines, it makes it hard to deliver. Triathlon definitely is an intense sport but being able to get all three disciplines and effort to go together definitely made me fall in love with it. Not saying I’ve reached that point but still, it is a great sport..!

Back to the races, Geneva Olympic distance was a great one, at home with the start just 500 meters from my bed. Swimming went alright, although, there was wind and quite a stream to face in the lake but it ended up alright. Bike leg was a great one, the course being challenging with six loops comprising the famous Geneva Impératrice climb followed with a good descent and main part being flat/rolling. Something, which pretty much fitted my profile while the run was flat but with a few ups, quite though if considering the heat and tiredness. Still, result was a 33rd place finish (OA/Men) and 18th in my age group and yes it definitely felt intense.

Overall form after the Ironman70.3 was good, the Geneva triathlon taking place more or less a month after. I do not think I really rested after in-between but probably was at peak in terms of fitness. Moreover, let’s say that while being intense, the fact that all three distances were shorter probably proved easier for the mental and helped sustain the effort and intensity.

Then, fatigue did hit the Monday after and I decided that it would be the last race of summer but well, with training going and friends talking about it, I just entered the Nyon triathlon at last minute and I thought I would take it as a test. In addition, original plan to do Lausanne were canned as work agenda and possibly holidays would clash.

As a last minute entry, no goal was set; I thought that I would take it as a way to improve my technique, transitions and overall race form. Due to weather prior to the race, I was to tackle my first swim with no wetsuit as lake would be warm. Second point was to cycle with no aerobars and try a new bikefit that I arranged the week before, this in order to eliminate back pain but also power over the course. Last would be to try and battle the mental on the run to achieve a time closer to a normal and dry 10k run.

It didn’t all go according to plan. Wind hit big time and water proved very wavy so it was decided that wetsuit would actually be allowed. A great decision if looking at the water. I really thought I should have brought my surfboard, it would have made it easier. On the bike, position proved an improvement although more kilometres are needed to definitely confirm it. And last with the run, it proved a very good one, strongest one of all three triathlons done this year.

A top-50 finish with a 50th place finish OA/Men. A very rewarding one as late entry, tired and not pretty much focused on that race but I did survive the swim and bike plus run permitted good again.

As mentioned above, tiredness did hit before and after Nyon even more so then I decided to take a proper break, holidays had been confirmed but 10 days of no sport at all while going away in Italy for 5 days in Madesimo would prove a good decision I thought. Okay, I did remain active with a 43km/+1700m hike with my “Italian Connection” friends, but it was over 10 days, all more about rest, sleep, good food and good times.

Now and just back from it, I can confirm the decision and overall, I now feel ready for the rest of the year with one further goal to come for the end of the year. The one originally planned for the start of the year, the marathon distance. 9 weeks to go and fingers crossed all will go according to plans. I’ll be back, now time to focus.

Cheers, Louis.

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