After my result in IM Hawaii 2013, I got the opportunity to become professional triathlete. The last three months have been very interesting. I had always wanted to know what it would be like to have more time in winter to train, recover and sleep.I was a little afraid of this big change though, because I didn’t know how my body would react to a short off season after Ironman Hawaii, the daily winter training and the increased volume and intensity. But it’s going fine.
From November till January, I have been able to train regularly. An acute Achilles tendinitis was under control fast thanks to daily exercises and more time to do injury prevention work. On the first of February, I took the plane to Lanzarote, where I had four weeks of solid training and recovery. It helps of course that I didn’t have any cold this winter. I guess it is because of less contact with viruses and bacteria (in the train, at work, etc.), a winter with higher temperatures than average, and more sleeping hours. The one cold I had last week, was tackled efficiently by rest! Before, I would have continued my workouts and work. Now, I took a break of three days and I was healthy again.
Two swim workouts extra per week this winter has led to a 2”/100m faster base pace and a better feeling in the water. I even found time to (finally) learn to swim butterfly! It’s always fun to learn something new and I believe that it will make me a better freestyle swimmer. On the bike, I’ve gained strength. In Lanzarote, I did all my workouts alone to make sure that I would bike at the right intensity for this period of the year. I don’t think that I’ve ever cycled so well in February. My average paces in Lanzarote were very good and are promising. Running is also going fine. I still need to put many miles in, but I’m confident that I will be able to run a decent marathon in ironman.
This all leads to my best fitness ever in March. I would have liked very much to race in spring, but, unfortunately, I’m not able to do any big spring races overseas, because I don’t have budget for expensive plane tickets. But soon, there will be races in Belgium and Europe. I’m really looking forward to race and to find out if all the training has paid off.
I have also had time to post some extra pictures of Ironman Hawaii, which can be found here. Many thanks to Elke and Sofie!