Abu Dhabi International Triathlon

I had an offer I just could not refuse: enough air miles to get me to UAD and free accommodation plus an amazing looking early season race: the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. Can´t wait to swim the the Gulf, cycle through the desert and on the Formula One Yas Marina Circuit, and run passed Emirates Palace.

I signed up for the Short Distance: 1.5k swim / 100k bike / 10k run

Body Composition - Dez 2011

Body Fat14.5% (LA 10.9 RA 9.0 RL 12.1 LL 12.3, B 16.8)
Total Body Water61.5%
Muscle Mass69.6kg (LA 4.2 RA 4.4 RL 11.7 LL 11.7, B 37.6, 5)
Physique Rating6
Basal Metabolic Rate2113 KJ
Metabolism Age28
Bone Mass3.6kg
Resting Heart Rate51

That's it. The 30 week training plan for Ironman Germany is about to start. Weight a bit higher than expected, but still ok. The body fat values cannot be compared with previous results as I changed my profile on the scales to athlete mode. Resting heart rate is very good!

I am a bit concerned about 2 niggles: my hamstring started playing up 2 days ago after sitting on the train for 5 hours. Also, my right knee has been giving me grief for some time now. I have been doing regular strengthening exercises on a wobble board and hopefully this will improve things.

Stadtlauf Eppelheim

Stadtlauf Eppelheim 10k - 46:04 [Results]

km 1: 4:36
km 2: 4:36
km 3: 4:35
km 4: 4:26
km 5: 4:36
km 6: 4:40
km 7: 4:27
km 8: 4:45
km 9: 4:37
km 10: 4:36

M40: 12th out of 22
Male: 67th out of 139
Total: 70th out of 185

Nice little local race in perfect conditions. 3 laps round my old school village in Eppelheim. Felt much better than on Tuesday. Really wanted to crack the 46:00, but somehow things didn't work out at the end, even though I kept overtaking all the time. Garmin showed 220m more again?

Hockenheimring 10k

Hockenheimring 10k - 47:08 [Results[Certificate]

km 1: 4:38
km 2: 4:44
km 3: 4:41
km 4: 4:42
km 5: 4:42
km 6: 4:36
km 7: 4:43
km 8: 4:50
km 9: 4:44
km 10: 4:36

M40: 80th out of 173
Male: 449thout of 947
Total: 508th out of 1244

First time I ran on a Formula One course. Great feeling!

I hadn't prepared for this at all, but was still surprised about the lack of speed. But, as usual, there are a number of excuses: it was quite windy and Garmin showed 240m more than 10k. It is still a very poor performance, so I decided to run another 10k on Sunday to see if I can come up with more excuses... Race report and more pictures.

Movement Analysis

I underwent a very professional gait and movement analysis. Details can be seen in the detailed report. The bottom line is that I need to strengthen my core (no surprise there) and also have to make sure my knees get stronger as they bend inwards which has a knock-on effect on the rest of the body while running. Highly recommended!


Elbaman 70.3 (1.9 / 94 / 21.1) 6:38:09 [Results[Certificate

Swim - 36:47

T1 - 1:56
Bike - 3:35:05
T2 - 1:17
Run - 2:22:11

M1: 54th out of 73
Male: 221st out of 311
Overall: 238th out of 346

This was probably the most spectacular race I have done so far: swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, cycling in beautiful Elba and running along the beach. The time has been disappointing - again - and things went all wrong on the run - again.

Picking up race pack and checking in the bike on Saturday was a very low-key affair. No stands, no fuzz, and hardly any checks. Easy. A last 10 minute swim in the sea to get used to the salt water and swimming without wet suit, which we were told are not allowed as the water was supposed to be 25 Celsius.

As there was only a single transition area, setting up kit on Sunday morning was relatively straightforward. We made it to watch the long-distance start and then went on to get changed and started preparing for the race. To our surprise everybody was wearing a wet suit and word spread that they are allowed after all. Hooray. I was just about to go into the water for a bit of a warm-up when I realised that some Mussolini marshall was handing out dozens of 10 minute penalties as it was apparently not allowed to enter the water prior to the race. Weird, but who argues with a little dictator with a whistle and a yellow card… A bit of a panic set in when I realised 5 minutes before the start and already in the start block, that my mobile phone was still in my tri-suit. So out again, taking off the wet suit to get the phone and everything in reverse.

There was about 350 starters in the race and the start was not as hectic as expected. There was a sand bank after approximately 100m and much of the swimmers starting walking again for about 30 seconds. As always, I started to slow down a bit at the half-way point, but got through the first leg in no problem. The time was not spectacular, but ok. Through the sand, underneath some showers to get rid of the salt and approximately 400m through Marina di Campo into T1 and ...

... on to the bike for 2 tough laps. I had cycled the route once a few days prior to the race, so knew what to expect. I managed to hold back on the first lap and, apart from 2 near collisions on very technical downhill serpentines, I felt quite good. I started to feel the lack of training on the up-hill sections on the second lap and the last undulating and windy 20km were quite tough. The bike leg was supposed to be 94km, but everybody I spoke to had clocked somewhere between 96 and 98km. Must be Italian miles.

I knew that my running is extremely poor at the moment, so I started at a very moderte pace of around 5:30 km/h. Despite the heat, I felt quite good until the half-way point when I started to get sick. Every time I ran, my stomach started to cramp up and I had to revert to walking. Not sure whether this was caused by the isotonic drinks that were handed out or the fact that I couldn't go to the loo properly before the race. Either way, it was quite frustrating as my legs seemed perfectly fine.

The finish was great as Aileen joined me for the first time. We got a nice medal, a finisher shirt and some lovely food. All in all a highly recommended race in a beautiful setting.
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Darmstadt Half-marathon

Darmstadt Half-marathon - 1:47:13 [Certificate] [Results]

1: 5:12
km 2: 5:08
km 3: 4:29
km 4: 4:50
km 5: 4:59
km 6: 5:06
km 7: 4:45
km 8: 5:04
km 9: 5:01
km 10: 4:53
km 11: 5:02
km 12: 5:03
km 13: 5:10
km 14: 4:50
km 15: 5:19
km 16: 5:36
km 17: 4:57
km 18: 5:13
km 19: 5:13
km 20: 5:36

km 21: 5:11

M40: 51st out of 146
Male: 295th out of 801
Overall: 332nd out of 1084

Another half-marathon, another poor race, just a different set of excuses: I expected a flat, fast run, on tarmac and, given that the start time was 9am and most of route went through forest, good running conditions. What we got was an undulating race (almost 200m in altitude), mostly run on gravel. What was the real killer though was the high humidity - it was like running through a rain forest. I don't think I have ever lost so much liquid on such a short distance. I never really found a rhythm and faded on the last few kms. Well, it was a good and tough workout, but nothing worth repeating...

Power to the people

Finally, managed to get out on my new wheels (HED Jet Flamme Rouge 6&9) with Powertap SL+, courtesy of eBay. I decided to sell my Zipp wheels and change to wheels that are

  • Not as deep as the Zipps as I was struggling on the fast downhills
  • Have clinchers as I know how to fix them and need to carry less stuff with me on the bike
  • Have aluminium rims so breaking as less of a gamble
  • Change to 28x11 at the back to get up those hills

The fact that the wheels came with a Powertap was a big bonus. 

Did the first ride as part of the RTF St.-Ilgen. I have now silly amounts of power data; just need to find out what it all means and what I can do with it...

70.3 Germany

70.3 Germany WIesbaden (1.9 / 90 / 21.1) 6:14:10 [Results[Certificate

Swim - 37:48

T1 - 4:23
Bike - 3:17:17
T2 - 1:34
Run - 2:13:07

M40: 167th out of 273
Male: ???th out of ???
Overall: 944th out of 1547

They call it the toughest half day, and tough it certainly was.

Because of the 70.3 label and the race hosting the European Championship, everything was done by the rule book. The race briefing lasted for 90 (!) minutes before I made my way to the checkin area and swim start on Saturday, which was almost 20 miles away.

An early start was needed on Sunday morning. Why a half-distance has to kick off at 7am remains a mystery to me. The swim was in a relatively small lake that includes quite a number of turns plus a short exit after two thirds of the distance. The M40 was the biggest group again which resulted in the usual nonsense throughout the swim. I struggled to find a proper rhythm and got out of the water about 2 minutes slower than expected. T1 required covering a distance of 700m, hence the slow transition splits.

Off we went on the cracker of a bike course with almost 1500m of climbs. I managed to keep it easy on the first third, before the rain started. Nothing heavy, but enough to make the downhills a bit more challenging. I really felt the benefit of having ridden the course 3 times prior to the race, as I overtook a lot of riders on the last third. I reached well over 80 km/h on the last long downhill into Wiesbaden. Apparently, the pros hit almost 110 km/h - total and utter madness.

I was almost 3 minutes ahead of schedule when I started the run and was optimistic to beat my 6 hour target. The run course is 4 laps through a nice park. It is never really flat; nothing serious, but enough to make finding a rhythm difficult. The same holds for a lot turns and changes of the surface. All was good until km 7 when all came to a halt and I started to walk. I just couldn't get myself to run through the pain barrier. I realised at the start of lap 3 that 6 hours is not doable which resulted in even more walking breaks. The result was a half-marathon personal worst.

A great event with a very tough bike course. Would I do it again? Maybe to get the daemons  out of my system.

Lesson learned: Improving the bike at the cost of running and the lack of bricks doesn't really improve things at all. My running has to get better again. Not sure where the mental block comes from as I can torture myself on the bike any time. Plenty of work ahead after a well needed rest. 6 weeks until Elbaman!

Aqua Sphere Kayenne

First swim using my new goggles. Very impressed, especially with the fastening and adjusting mechanism.


Römerman (1.8 / 42 / 10) 2:46:30 [Results]

Swim - 23:12
Bike - 1:35:10
Run - 48:07

M40: 43rd out of 89
Male: 203rd out of 378
Overall: 228th out of 448

This is a fantastic, but tough local race. Swim downstream in the river Neckar - hence the good times -, a tough bike course with 600m of climbs (up to 16%) and a tricky run as there are no real straights. Got mild cramps in my calves on the big climb and started to cramp up in my right upper leg on the last 3k. Quite happy with my time, but would have liked to crack the 2:45. My running has to improve!

Speyerer Brezelfestlauf

Was pacemaking my dad to a 2nd place in the M65 at the 8.2km Brezellauf in our home town:

Lampertheim Sprint

Lampertheim Sprint Triathlon (0.5 / 20 / 5) 1:08:00 [Results]

Swim - 10:10
T1 - ??
Bike - 32:15
T2 - ??
Run - 23:15 (approx)

M40: 33rd out of 113
Male: 71st out of 261
Overall: 74th out of 332

This was a great little race. The swim was very hectic and there was too much fighting going on for my taste. I panicked a bit at the first turn after I was hit quite heavily and had to slow down a bit. The bike part was very flat and very fast. An average of over 37 km/h says it all. My run was average - I have no idea where my pace is gone.

All in all a nice local race. Shame I missed the 1:08 by 8 tenths of a second. Definitely doing this again if it fits in the IM schedule.

IM Frankfurt Registration

Here we go again. Just signed up for Frankfurt IM 2012. And so have Jeff and Michael from Up & Runners. Great stuff!

Lisburn 10k

Lisburn 10k - 47:04 [Results]

km 1: 5:28
km 2: 4:38
km 3: 4:24
km 4: 4:31
km 5: 4:41
km 6: 4:34
km 7: 4:43
km 8: 4:46
km 9: 4:40
km 10: 4:39

This was an unplanned race, but as I was in Belfast on business I thought I might as well use the 10k as a good speed session. Unlike the start, conditions were perfect. Even though the race was chipped, there wasn't a timing mat at the beginning. That wasn't helped by the fact that a lot walkers decided it would be best to position themselves towards the front and trot along 4 breast. I lost more than a minute on the first km and had to slalom through people for another km. I had also forgotten how undulating the course is and that I haven't really done any speed work lately. I came home in 47:00, but reckon that it would have been a sub 46 net time without the walkers at the start.

Was great to meet up with the gang from Up & Runners again!


Somehow a picture with me in it made it in the latest edition of the TriTime magazine. I am the fat bloke in the back row.

29 May 2011

Tristar 111 Germany Worms (1 / 100 / 10) 4:24:57 [Results]

Swim - 18:23
T1 - 4:59
Bike - 3:01:49
T2 - 1:47
Run - 57:57

M40: 82nd out of 138
Male: 411th out of 643
Overall: 451st out of 780

It all started with a big shock on Friday evening when I looked up the race web site: I wasn't registered! I simply forgot to register for the race months ago and there was no late entries. Friday evening was a very grumpy one. A team mate came to the rescue. He was registered, but couldn't race, because of lack of form. So, I raced incognito in the age group M25.

The swim start was really well organised. We took off in batches of 10 every 5 seconds or so. I felt really comfortable in the water and was out in an acceptable time. Then came a 400m run into T1 on the pavement - not very pleasant on your feet, but ok once you were on the carpet.

A bit of a struggle when I jumped on my bike as one of the rubbers I used to attach my shoes to the bike didn't snap. The first 15km were flat and very fast as the wind came from behind. Then, the real part of the bike course started. A couple of hills, nothing serious, but undulating all the way and very, very windy. This was probably the windiest conditions I have cycled in in a race. I was glad that I had changed the front wheel from the Zipp to the Easton. From approx. 70km onwards, both my upper legs started to cramp up. This wasn't too bad on the bike, but was horror on the run.

T2 was easy, but what followed wasn't. I had severe cramps in both upper legs from the very beginning. I was able to jog for a few hundred meters, before I had to stop, stretch and walk. The time says it all. 

I was glad when it was all over as the pain was everything, but pleasant. Very impressive post race food area, a good T-Shirt and a nice medal. If it fits in next year, definitely a race I am going to do again!

21 May 2011

Mannheim Half-marathon - 1:45:28 [Certificate] [Results]

1: 4:55
km 2: 4:46
km 3: 4:47
km 4: 4:52
km 5: 4:57
km 6: 4:52
km 7: 4:55
km 8: 4:56
km 9: 4:57
km 10: 4:59 - 49:01
km 11: 4:54
km 12: 4:57
km 13: 5:02
km 14: 5:03
km 15: 5:00
km 16: 5:01
km 17: 5:15
km 18: 5:04
km 19: 5:06
km 20: 5:06
km 21.1: 5:25

M40: 84th out of 406
Male: 446th out of 2343
Overall: 481th out of 3233

Hm, this was not the race I was expecting. Woke up with a sore throat after very little sleep, but felt okish during the day. It was quite warm at the start, but cooled down a little bit during the race. I was aiming for a sub 1:40, but realised after 15 minutes that this is not going to happen. Just felt really weak throughout the entire race and even though I took on loads of fluids, my throat was dry througout. At 14k I was even taken over by the 3:30 marathon pacemaker...

Let's put this down as a bad day. If things don't improve next weekend, I will have to do a major re-think and maybe get a checkup done. Taper time.

Calw Sprint Triathlon (0.5 / 19 / 5) 1:15:00 [Results]

Swim - 9:54
T1 - ??
Bike - 39:33
T2 - ??
Run - 25:32

M40: 25th out of 37
Male: 120th out of 205
Overall: 135th out of 260

It was scheduled as a B race and a B race it was. I turned up quite late as I got lost on my way to Calw.

Great way to organise a swim in a pool: a competitor started every 20 seconds on the first lane. After finishing a lane, you changed over to the next lane until all 5 lanes were completed. My swim (no wet suite) was quite eventless and I was quite happy with my time.The bike course was quite tough. A long hill right at the start, followed by an equally long downhill. After a few more undulating km, a stinker of a climb towards the end with 18% ascents. I got into T2 with a pulse of 180...
... and out of it with an equally high heart rate. The run started with a hill! I wasn't the only one who had to walk parts of it - otherwise my pulse would have exploded. I got quite sick quite early in the run and never found a good rythm. There weren't really any flat parts on the course that explains the  pathetic time (which includes the transitions). Really tried to crack the 1:15, but had nothing left in my body and the heat didn't help either. Was rather sick after the race and couldn't eat for a couple of hours, but recovered quite quickly.
All in all a good event, but not the performance I had hoped for. Still loads to do before the important races take place.

Body Composition - May 2011

Body Fat19.1% (LA 17.4 RA 14.7 RL 14.7 LL 15.8, B 22.0)
Total Body Water56.5%
Muscle Mass65.7kg (LA 3.8 RA 4.0 RL 11.1 LL 10.7, B 36.1, 5)
Physique Rating7
Basal Metabolic Rate2006 KJ
Metabolism Age30
Bone Mass3.4kg
Resting Heart Rate58

Weight moving in the right direction, but body fat far too high. 1kg (acceptable) and 3% (unacceptable) higher than a year ago. Also, resting heart rate a bit too high.

Compact Crankset

Given the upcoming races with ascent of up to 18%, I have decided to change to a compact crankset. And what a difference it makes. Rode the Römerman bike leg yesterday with no real problems. Great.

So, 50/34 on the front instead of 52/39 and a new chain to round things off.

Gertfred Sprotte Gedächtnisfahrt

Another act of madness: have been talked into doing the Gertfred Sprotte cycling tour. 201km and 2750m of climbing. This feels impossible, especially on a day when you had to cancel the planned ride due to cold / man flu.

Finis Swimsense

Did my first swim with the newly acquired Finis Swimsense.

It is supposed to measure the number of strokes and the time for each length and it claims to recognise turns no matter what stroke you do. This works great, but not when you do drills. Unfortunately, this is what we do most Thursdays. I think this will be a great tool when swimming distances as it gives you great stats and shows when you are starting to worsen.

Training Camp Day 7

Last day of an amazing, but very exhausting week with 23(!) hours training. Did an easy 2 hour ride, followed by a 45 min run.

Thank you Friends on Bikes for a good week. Time to go home now.

Training Camp Day 6

... and a killer stage it was. 2,700m in climbs and 6 hours in the saddle. Toughest ride I have ever done, but well worth the experience. This would be much easier if (a) I had a 34 chain ring and (b) would weigh 10 pounds less. This is the climb to Mount Limbara (1,360m):

The climb even made it on www.quaeldich.de. I think I am going to have a beer tonight!

Training Camp Day 5

Easy ride today in preparation for tomorrow's killer stage. Best scenery so far, when riding around the Island of Magdalena.

Training Camp Day 4

Rest day. Well, rest from cycling. We went for an easy run in (very) undulating terrain and almost 30 degrees, but stunning scenery.

Training Camp Day 3

That was the toughest ride so far, but all good. Starting to get the hang of the hills, hills, and more hills. 123km and 1,600m of climbing, and over 5 hours in the saddle.

Rest day tomorrow. No cycling, but probably going for a little run.

Training Camp Day 2

Much easier ride today. Less speed, fewer hills, and shorter distance. Did a brick session instead of joining the others for their monster ride and managed a 30 min (very) hilly run.

Training Camp Day 1

Arrived late in the hotel on Sat evening and didn't sleep too well. My snoring room mate didn't help ;-)

We decided to join the crowd from the organizers for their introduction tour. Moved on at 30km since it was too slow and had a nice break at km 50. Got lost after that and ended up doing a few extra miles and hills... Oh, and got sub burned even with sun lotion applied.

Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

Just received my new toy to take measurements first thing in the morning.

13 Mar 2011

Kandel Half-marathon - 1:42:34 [Certificate] [Results]

1: 5:04
km 2: 4:57
km 3: 4:56
km 4: 4:50
km 5: 4:49 - 24:36
km 6: 4:46
km 7: 4:51
km 8: 4:51
km 9: 4:50
km 10: 4:50 - 24:04
km 11: 4:45
km 12: 4:51
km 13: 4:48
km 14: 4:46
km 15: 4:49 - 24:01
km 16: 4:46
km 17: 4:58
km 18: 5:02
km 19: 5:01
km 20: 4:47 - 24:34
km 21.1: 5:20

M40: 111 (206)
Men: 435 (994)
Total: 475 (1288)

First race of the season. Had it down as a C race and a test race it was. Just couldn't pick up the pace as planned and started to slow down from km 17. Too much weight, too much body fat and not enough speed. Perfect conditions and a perfect / fast course.

Body Composition - March 2011

Body Fat18.4% (LA 17.8 RA 15.8 RL 14.9 LL 15.7, B 20.4)
Total Body Water57.1%
Muscle Mass67.7kg (LA 3.9 RA 4.0 RL 11.3 LL 11.0, B 37.5, 5)
Physique Rating7
Basal Metabolic Rate2067 KJ
Metabolism Age30
Bone Mass3.5kg
Resting Heart Rate57

Things haven't really improved. Time for some strength training and low-carb diet.

Red Wine is a pain in the ar$e...

... literally. Had too much red wine on Friday evening and fell down the stairs. Hurt my bum quite badly. I could hardly walk on Saturday, cycling was sort of ok. Sunday was equally painful, so I skipped my planned long run. Things were slightly better today. I ran for 30 minutes - things improved throughout, so I am hoping to be ok(ish) tomorrow.

Lessons learned? Probably none ;-)

Well, a week on, the pain has mostly gone, but a lovely spectrum of blues has appeared...

ZEO Personal Sleep Coach

This is the best toy I have bought in a very long time. In short, you wear a silly looking headband during the night and the ZEO measures your sleep (deep sleep, light sleep, REM and wake phases) and also calculates a ZQ (sleep quotient). You then then enter some values for a number of so called sleep stealers, e.g. having exercises vigorously in the evening. Over time, their online software provides you with very good analyses about your sleep, factors that impact on good and poor sleep, and also effects it has during the next day. Here's a couple of screenshots and also a report from the first week of usage.

Spinning Marathon

Took part in the first 2 out of 3 legs of the TSG Weinheim Spinning Marathon. 3 hours with a 15 minute break at half-time took its toll after about 2 hours. Good fun, but very exhausted...

Swimming Technique

Got filmed again in training. Getting a bit frustrated as I haven't really made much progress recently. Technique still very poor.

Dein linker Arm zieht unter Wasser zu weit nach aussen und ist zudem extrem im Ellbogengelenk gestreckt! Denk daran dass Du ein Bierfass unter Deinem Körper durchschieben möchtest!! Oder einen großen Gymnastikball!

Ellbogen taucht zu erst ins Wasser ein. Es sollten aber die Fingerkuppensein die als erstes Eintauchen. Du musst auch noch viel viel mehr den Unterarm ans Wasser anstellen. D.h. HALT am Wasser finden. Momentan schneiden beide Arme durchs Wasser und geben Dir so kaum Vortrieb!!


Took part in my first ever spinning class with the tri club. This felt like 90 minutes of lactic acid. Very tough, but very good. Also signed up for the club spinning marathon in 3 weeks time...

Race Plan for 2011

After a lot of deliberation, I have decided for a race plan for 2011. Unfortunately, St. Pölten 70.3 is out and I hope I can transfer my number to 2012. See 'Upcoming Races' block on the side bar.


After struggling with flu-like symptoms, I went to see my GP today. Diagnosis is that a previous viral infection hasn't cured properly plus an infection of the sinuses. So, I am on ant-biotics for the next 7 days and have been told to reduce exercising outdoor in the cold.