Danni reclaims the Ironman 70.3 World Championship Title in Chattanooga! Photo: @DonaldMiralle
Now that a few days have passed since Daniela Ryf, aka Angry Bird won her 5th Ironman branded World Championship title, we want to share with all of the Trisutto family how this success was achieved. Also when things don’t go right that we don’t hide from telling our readers what happens and why, so they don’t fall into the same mistakes.
Why the heading – ‘Against all Odds’?
It is public knowledge that the Angry Bird has spent 6 months of this year as the injured bird.
While people look at her results in awe, one could be forgiven for thinking her injury can’t be too bad. Most athletes would love to have results like Ironman Africa Champion, Challenge Roth Champion, and winning a number of other races in between! However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Danni’s back problem was dire, as she has alluded to in her social media. If she had her way, and medical opinion had its way, there would have been no Chattanooga, no upcoming Kona, and definitely no Roth! It was that bad. However we discussed the situation, and decided on following the coaches plan. The same plan that has seen Corinne Abraham have a great season culminating in qualifying for Kona. A plan that is used for injured horses that can’t do the normal training volumes and routines.
We used races to hold condition till the injury (that was continually worked on) recovered.
This is mentally taxing for an athlete who can’t work as much or as fast as normal. The only time they are allowed to push is the second phase of each discipline in races. Now that the 70.3 World Championship has been run and won, we can share the reason for the slower first part of swims in races during the early part of the race season. Also why the power house bird bike was not there, and the reason for the steady runs at the start of races. They are all planned, and I must say have been executed by the bird magnificently!
That is what I applaud and appreciate. Danni didn’t win the race in Chattanooga – she won it at these other events, and at training months before. All the time having to go against her natural instincts of harder is better. This takes incredible strength of character, and is a masterful display of belief in and patience of the coaches plan. Simultaneously carrying the weight of her own team manager questioning her longevity and speed while every day fighting for season survival. It was and is the character of a true champion.
We let our hair down a bit at the 5150 in Zurich to show any doubters that the Bird is coming not to race, but to regain her title of Queen of non drafting triathlon. Injured or not, will be ready to go to war. While some might not have understood that message, I can assure you all the men that raced pro in Zurich did. Once we took care of that, we started to build the work back into her training. The 70.3 World Title was the World Championship she wanted to win back this year!
So only now do we think of Kona, and go to work on that goal. Yes, Danni had not done any of her Kona workouts from the last 2 years because of the back injury. However scary it might be, she is at not at top fitness but I’ll make it very clear, she went to Chattanooga 100% in war mode!
There will only be one certainty in Kona – if you want to take the title off the injured bird then you are going to have to be prepared to fight to the death for it! It is her way. It is the Trisutto way! I was humbled by her attitude and performance at Chattanooga, that when the starting gun fired, she was intent on giving it her all! That made me a very proud coach.
The challenging hilly course at Allgäu proved to be perfect preparation for Chattanooga. Photo Credit: Michael Rauschendorfer
Lastly I want to thank good friend and team mate Philippe Blatter, who helped the bird when she needed a confidence building race last month, in order to get her head in the right place for the attack on the World Championship. Phil personally ensured she got the race she needed. The Allgäu Triathlon in Germany had Danni believing she could do it. Until then she was merely hoping coach was right. Once back from Germany the Angry Bird was her old self. Thank you so much from both of us!