30 Aug 2013

Racing season!

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All my athletes had their important races over the last 2 months. From a coach view it is very emotional. I stand at the race track or follow the live ticker while hoping and fevering although I can’t really help. Nevertheless one is hoping that the athlete is doing everything right and that you as a coach made the right decisions regarding training and racing.

Some of the highlights:

teamTBB professional athlete Per Bittner was able to qualify for the world championships in Hawaii. After an excellent race in Melbourne and a few points from 70.3-races he had a good position in the Kona Pro Ranking. A top10 result at IM Frankfurt would have qualified him. But unfortunately a technical defect made such a place impossible. Nevertheless he got a lot of points with his 14th place but it was unsure that it is enough for the 1st cut-off for the World Champs. What to do? Wait and hope that it’s enough? Or give it another shoot? We decided to race IM Suisse only 3 weeks after Frankfurt. And fortunately it was the right decision! As it turned out, Per would have missed the qualification at the 1st cut off by 25 points! But even more important: Per pulled out a great race in Swiss. He not only reproduced his performance from Frankfurt, rather was able to improve himself a lot. To place on the podium at Hawaii-like conditions gave him lot’s of self-confidence and a big push for his Hawaii prep. This is, how it often turns out: A pretended compromise leads you perfectly to the next target!

David is a success story! He joined me 2.5 years ago to help him with his preparations for his first ironman race. Only 3 long distance races later he now qualified for Hawaii when he won the slot at the IM UK this year. However, our initial planning was different: We planned IM Frankfurt for his main race as it’s one of the races with the most Hawaii slots available. But an injury leaded to a re-planning. We set sails for IM UK rather than racing IM Frankfurt under-prepared. Again, it was the right decision. David not only got his slot but even was in touch for the podium.

Markus Hörmann is a young German development athlete for teamTBB. Racing his 1st year as a pro he won some German short distance races and made a fantastic race at Chiemsee triathlon. Added to this he collected his first experiences in strong international fields at Half-Challenge Rimini and 70.3 Wiesbaden. This season was really an apprenticeship for him to build a basis for his future career. He made his first successful steps in adapting to the high training volume & intensity and as well to deal with the increased pressure associated with being a professional athlete.

Christian Nitschke was able to win the Ostseeman 4th time in a row (once more than I did, eventually I have to race there again to set things right… ;-). But although 4 in a row sounds easy this was also a hard race to be won. The season planning was totally different from what he is doing now. Christian had the strength not to give up his whole season when a very bad cold 2 weeks before of his main race of 2013 impeded a start. We had to change entire race planning. But with his win at Ostseman (and hopefully Cologne this weekend) again the pretended compromise became the perfect solution.

Sandrine had an incredible intense season, doing a lot of shorter races. She improved in all 3 sports and was able to win the ITU Olympic distance races in Hamburg and Stockholm. Not only her age group, she won the race overall.

Some other athletes finished their first Ironman or half-ironman race. Which is sometimes an even bigger achievement than winning a race. With literally every athlete, I can tell a story and it’s amazing and encouraging to see them succeeding in turning themselves into the best they can be.

So I’m very happy with my interim balance as a coach. And I still have some aces up my sleeve… ;-)

What I want you to take away from this blog: The most successful races might hide where you never expected them to be. There is no “perfect” preparation. But when you get your chance, your preparation has to be at least as good to snatch the opportunity.

The best coaches enable you to write straight on buckled lines!

See you at the races!


Joseph Spindler

Joseph Spindler

Jo is not only a great athlete - through his experiences and studies - he is a fantastic coach as well

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