I was swimming well until the month of March or so – and then COVID finally hit me… In bed for a week, I was hit hard and could not swim at all. In April I also organized two kids camps which prevented me for swimming. So, all in all probably lost a good 4 weeks, but more importantly I lost my consistency. Once I could swim again, I unfortunately felt some pain in my should blades and this again prevented me from swimming for long periods. I used the swim cords more, and did not swam more than 2000m at a time in the lead up to the event… not ideal… I knew I had lost my sharpness and therefore at least 2-3 minutes of my swim time.
I purposely didn’t train too much on the Time Trial bike. Why? Because mentally I find it very draining, and I wanted to keep my mental bullets for the race. My FTP has been the best almost, I raced a bit on Zwift and had good results. I did some long rides on my road and mountain bikes and felt good.
Here I think was my best preparation. I didn’t run hard at all – just consistently and built up the long runs very nicely at race pace and above. I was quite confident in my running ability.
Full credit to the work I did with Petri. We did some hard sessions especially lifting super heavy weights on squats and also building my explosive power with jumps. We went against the traditional strength programme, as we both believe in short and sharp efforts with heavy weights are best suited to build strength, even for endurance athletes.
Mental strength is something I trained a lot. I practiced visualization a lot, especially for this course, so that my subconscious would “expect” what would happen when the going got tough.
I also practiced the Wim Hof method extensively. Not only the cold-water exposure with regular cold showers and ice baths, but also the breathing techniques and routines that help you relax and reach the deeper parts of your brain.
Overall, very healthy, I did not change much in the last few years. I tend to have a flexitarian diet. I eat mostly vegan, but I eat eggs regularily and sometimes I have some fish, but never red meat, I simply don’t digest it well. Alcohol consumption was usual, nothing extreme, but this is something I might need to reduce in the coming year, in order to get better sleep, and therefore better recovery. Actually, one thing I changed is that I almost doubled my protein intake in the last year. I use plant-based protein shakes and have them usually 2-3 times a day. As a flexitarian it’s difficult to get enough protein and research suggests that we need 1.2 – 1.6 grams of protein per kilograms of bodyweight, and that’s a lot! make the calculation, I’m sure you’re not eating enough protein…