You are an Ironman Champion

I got exactly what I came all the way to Hokkaido, Japan for! I am now an Ironman Champion – I like the feeling. I flew out there about a week before the race, since it was a 7 hrs time difference from Denmark and I wanted to be fully adapted to the 6 o’clock start on race morning.

The first 4 or 5 days I think I was the only English speaking person on the island of Hokkaido. It was some interesting days resulting in me eating things I had absolutely no idea what was, but it gave me the time to sort all those things that need to be sorted before race day. It was the first time they had the Ironman on Hokkaido, and even though the Japanese are very well organized there was a few things they can improve until next time. It was very difficult to find a good map of the bike course, and they didn’t put up any signs on the course until the night before. Since the bike course consisted of a short 25km out and back section with one big loop in between, I didn’t have the opportunity to ride the course before race day. Maybe it was also for the best, as the bike course can best be described as very challenging. The out and back section of the course was very easy and almost completely flat, but the middle section consisted of almost 2000m of vertical gain over 130 km. It was lots of climbing, steep descents with very sharp turns at the end, which meant you didn’t carry any speed from the downhills along for the next climb.

The race started quite controversial, as 4 or 5 Japanese pro athletes cut the swim course short (about 7-800 meters approximately) and thus were first out of the water. At first they were given a 4 minute penalty, but were later given another 4 minute penalty. Still the penalties didn’t quite match the advantage the gained from getting out of the water in about 45 minutes instead of 55 minutes.

I exited the water in a slow 49 minutes, still thinking I was way ahead, so I was very surprised to realize that I was only 5th or 6th position. Onto the bike I got straight into my pace, and soon caught up with the cheaters. I went straight by them, as I didn’t want to give them a chance to pace off me. Coming off the out and back section I didn’t know what to expect, so I tried to keep my pace at 340w going uphill, 290-300w on the straight and slight uphill sections and be as aerodynamic as possible on the descents. 340w is a fair bit below my threshold, so I knew I could keep that pace for a substantial amount of time. The km’s went by while drinking my High5 Isogels, and all of a sudden I was back in T2. I hadn’t seen anybody since I overtook the Japanese guys in the beginning so I didn’t know how far I was ahead. I had been told everything from 2 minutes to 10 minutes from the officials out on the bike course.

The run course started with a short 1,5 km out and back section, before we went out on the longest leg of the run course. During the first 3 km I didn’t see anybody, and my Scott Plasma bike was still the only bike in T2, which meant my lead was at least 14-15 minutes. After the 2nd turn around at 11km I timed my lead to 25-26 minutes, and from that moment I knew I could just cruise all the way to the finish line. Still 42km is a long way to run, but I tried to go as easy as possible and crossed the finishline in a totalt time of 8.47 with a 3.01 marathon. At the finishline I did an interview with firstoffthebike.com about the race:

 

After the race I went straight to the airport and caught the first plane back to Denmark, had a short change of clothes before I was back in the airport with Mette – headed for a well deserved holiday in Rhodes. It was 2 lovely weeks with pure recovery for body and mind.
Since my return to Denmark I have been getting slowly back into training, and right now I am targeting a few races by the end of the year to secure my slot at next years Ironman Hawaii. Currently I have 2000 points from Japan, and it takes an estimated 3000 points to get into the top 40 that will be selected on July 31st next year. The ranking can be found here.

 

 

IM Japan

Since my last blog entry a lot has happened. I won my first 70.3 race in Racine, Wisconsin, my website got hacked and was down for quite a while (thanks Henrik for fixing it!)

Last friday I travelled to Japan to prepare for the Ironman on the 31st. I haven’t done an Ironman since Hawaii 2010 so I’m obviously a bit excited about the race. We only decided a few weeks ago to do this race, so I haven’t done the usual block of training to prepare for the race but still my fitness should be good enough that I can have a decent result.

IM Japan is the first race that qualifies towards 2014 IM Hawaii and if I do well on Saturday this could be the only Ironman I have to do before October 2014.

No matter what, I look forward to the race on a tough and exciting course and to test myself on the full distance again.

Challenge Barcelona European Championships middle distance triathlon

Sunday, May 19th was the true date of my comeback. ETU European Championships on 1/2 Ironman distance in Calella, Barcelona. I did race a few weeks back in Challenge Fuerteventura, but mentally and physically that wasn’t a race to me but more of a break/test in the middle of a 6 week training camp in Club La Santa. In Fuerteventura I was 4th, but I didn’t really care much for my overall position as much as testing the things we had been working with in the camp. In Fuerteventura some things went well and somethings didn’t, my fitness wasn’t as good as I had hoped but my foot held up nicely on the run, albeit I ran a very slow pace for the 21km.

After the race in Fuerteventura I ramped up my training and logged some big weeks which immediately resulted in both weightloss and fitness gain. After a total of 6 weeks in Club La Santa I was feeling fit and ready to race. I went back to Denmark for a week and then headed on a long roadtrip to Calella with a stop over in France to test the bike course for World Champs.

 

I arrived in Calella a week before the race with plenty of time to test the new bike course. It was challenging indeed with long climbs and a very steep and technical descent. It was propably the toughest 1/2 Ironman bike course I have ever ridden. At least it was the slowest 🙂

The race it self was not too interesting. I had a bad swim in very choppy water, and lost about 30 sec to Toft and Gomez. Then I lost another 20 sec in transition due to bad luck. I caught Toft in 2nd place around 70-75km, and almost caught Javier Gomez just before transition.
Starting the run 20 seconds behind Gomez and just under a minute ahead of Jens Toft, I knew where I had to focus my energy. I ran really well on the first loop (11,5 km), and could see that I had increased the gap to Toft. I kept the pressure on in the tail wind on the last outbound leg of the run course, but at the last turn around I slowed down 20-30 sec/km as I was way too far behind Gomez to run for 1st place and 3rd place was no longer an issue.

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Overall it was a good day for the Vikings in Calella, as each of us came away with a medal from the race. National Team Coach Krüger in the middle of the picture above had done a good job preparing us to race day.

Working on my comeback

2012 is in the books, and triathlon wise the year definitely wasn’t a good one. My stress-fracture in the medial sesamoid-bone kept me away from training for most of the year, and away from running in exactly 53 weeks.

The complexity of this injury didn’t become clear to me or my team of doctors until far too late in the season, and had I known from the start what I know now about the injury I would have done many things different. But that is life – we learn, live and move on.

Training now is going well, but after almost 12 months of break there is a need to be very delicate about everything and building slowly into the rhytm of training every day again.

Since new year I have been a couple of weeks in Fuerteventura using the Playitas resort as my base, and last week was spent in the area around Nice in southern France training with one of the athletes whom I coach. Finally this week I’m in Austria doing some XC skiing to get a bit of adversity in the training.

As for my racing schedule this year I definitely have some plans, but I will wait and see how the training progresses and race when I’m fit. There is always a race to be found somewhere…

Coaching

Har du også lyst til at hæve dit niveau i triathlon så er du velkommen til at kontakte mig for mere information angående coaching. Skriv på martin@jensentri.com og jeg vender tilbage hurtigst muligt.

I går var det tid til 3. udgave af Challenge Copenhagen, Danmarks største triathlonstævne. Ligesom sidste år, hvor Niels Brandt Jørgensen præsterede den bedste tid overall i AG klassen, var en af de atleter jeg træner med helt fremme i forreste række. Under vejrforhold der var betydeligt langsommere end sidste år var det fantastisk at se Allan Jakobsen vinde AG 35-39 og blive nummer 10 overall, sætte PR med 40 minutter og køre under 9 timer for første gang med 8.50.51 samlet.

Allan skiftede job i løbet af foråret, og kombineret med en flytning på tværs af landet i starten af sommeren havde Allan masser af udfordringer i forhold til træningen frem mod en ironman, men sammen vi fik struktureret en god plan sammen frem mod Challenge Copenhagen.I går præsterede Allan stærkt i alle tre discipliner, og viste at kontinuerlig træning på trods af en til tider meget presset hverdag altid giver pote.

Allan holder nu en velfortjent ferie inden træningen mod de sidste stævner i år og næste sæson begynder igen. Imens har jeg glæden ved at se andre af mine atleter præstere hhv. i den kommende weekend i Kalmar og senere på sæsonen ved det store mål: IM Hawaii.

Playitas, Fuerteventura

Hi there…

 

I’m sitting in front of the sportsbar in Playitas looking at the finishline for tomorrows “Challenge Fuerteventura”. I’m obviously not racing, as I’m still trying to recover from the stress-fracture that has been bothering me for exactly 16 weeks today.

It has been 16 weeks of frustration, hope, disappointment and lots of time to think. Injuries suck!

I wish that I could write about good news from Fuerteventura, but reality is that the injury is not healing as fast we hope for. After my last camp in Playitas I kept 8 weeks away from cycling to see if that made the difference, and the foot also got a lot better. Then last week, back here in Playitas, I started biking slowly again. The result was, that my foot started hurting again, so now I’m back to only swimming!

We are constantly looking into new things to do to speed up the recovery, but for now I’m just sticking to recovery in a warm climate, so I’m staying down here for maybe up to another month!

Cheers, stay safe and injury-free!

 

No I’m not racing 70.3 Texas this weekend…

My injury is slowly coming along, and the day where I can take my first steps running in 2012 is not so far away! It has been 3 very long months, and I’m not even there yet… But I try to keep my spirit high, and prepare myself as good as possible for when I return to full training.

Meanwhile, besides nursing my injury, I have been building up my new Ceepo Stinger road bike that I received a few weeks back! I think the result is awesome and the few rides I have had on it has been great.

The bike is equipped with the best groupset ever made: Shimano Dura Ace Di2! Perfect shifting and the joy of never having to adjust gears anymore 🙂

I’m flying down to Playitas in the weekend for a camp. If I get back to full training during the first 2 weeks down there I will extend my stay to put in a good block of training. Hopefully I’ll not be back in Denmark before I’m fit again!

2 months of silence

Spring is just around the corner and the 2012 season is just about to start. For a lot of people it already has started, and with some very interesting results!

I planned to race in 70.3 Panama last weekend – a race that Lance Armstrong chose as his comeback race – but unfortunately I am once again struggling with an injury.
This is my third stress fracture during my career and is obviously very frustrating. When you are recovering from a stress fracture, there is only one thing to do: patience. So I have been patient, and doing my best to avoid putting any stress to my injured foot.

Unlike last year, where I rushed from my injury to the first race of the season, I have decided to take a more slow approach this year, and give my body the time it needs to fully recover and rebuild from there.
Hopefully this means that I will be even stronger when I do toe the startline and hopefully this will also help me prevent injuries in the future.

So for now my plan is to get free of injury and rebuild fitness. I have some races that I do hope to do this year, but for now I will keep the plan to myself.

Hawaii qualification

I’m in Denmark again, and is slowly getting back in to training! My main goal for 2012 is Ironman Hawaii, but to participate in the big race on the Big Island in October I have to qualify. To qualify for Hawaii I need points for the Kona Pro Rankings, and to get points I need to race… That’s what I’ll do – 70.3 Panama on February 12th and IM Melbourne on March 25th… After those two races I’ll see how many points I have gathered, and make decisions about the rest of the season after that!

Happy training!

Ironman Arizona

I’m not going to write a long entry about todays race right now, but just want to let you all know that I didn’t finish the race. My body was REALLY shattered after Vegas!

Today both my body and mind didn’t work with me, and I was running in strong pain right from the go. My head couldn’t handle having to deal with that pain for 42 km. I’m disappointed, but I THINK it was the right decision. We will never know, though!

I’m going back to Denmark on Tuesday. Older. Wiser. Stronger. 2012 WILL be better.