Daniela Ryf wins her third successive Ironman World Championship Title. Photo: Ironman Media
I have been asked about my silence after Kona, and that I must be excited at the outcome? Questions such as:
Surely I must have enjoyed the race?
Were you worried to see Daniela so far back?
What did you think of Lionel Sanders race?
These were the recurring themes of the enquirers. So let me respond to each one, in that order.
Am I excited?
I was extremely pleased that Daniela was able to perform 100% to her potential on the day.
The theme for this year was ‘fight’. However to me the only fight that excited me last weekend was the absolute courageous return to racing of Matty Trautman. Only 8 months ago he has in a horrific collision with a car, breaking his back, and had two titanium rods inserted. Two Doctors prognosis were that he would be lucky to be able to run more than a shuffle. The best prognosis he may be able to run at 65 to 75% within 2 years.
A courageous return to racing – great to see Matt back on the start line last weekend in Sun City.
To see Matty win his test race, a sprint event in South Africa, then to back it up with a win in the Olympic distance race, to me personally overshadowed anything I saw about ‘fight’ in Kona. This was the ultimate fight and after such trauma both mentality and physically that made me very excited.
Did I enjoy the race?
No, from a female race point view. I enjoyed Chattanooga so much more. It was a ‘real’ World Championship, as the female athletes had their own race. Apart from bloody mindedness of the ‘stake holders’ this can also be done in Kona. Seeing so many motorbikes so close to the athletes is just totally not needed.
Watching the men strung out in one big slip stream also seems ridiculous, as are the rules of passing. Why? Because the course deems it necessary.
Then watching the massive packs of age groupers lining up at the penalty tents, for being not cheats, but victims of the conflict of profit verses a real World Championship for those guys. To see them to be wrongly accused of drafting because of limitations of a course to handle 2500 athletes is sad. So no I didn’t enjoy the race, as it could easily be so much more.
Was I worried?
No I was not worried to see the bird that far back. We go into races with game plans. Usually not one but three. One of Danni’s great talents is her ability to follow instructions while under extreme pressure. To be honest I have not trained an athlete better at this.
Being an ex-international swim coach I know the swim career of Lucy Charles. While most people in Triathlon don’t understand how much talent one must have to swim her times, the engine it needs, the discipline and ability to sacrifice is not lost on me. This is indeed a great athlete, and Danni was advised she most likely won’t be in front till late in the bike ride. Lucy’s bike ride was such that if Danni tried to shut down that gap earlier, it could have cost her the race. Danni’s plan was always to go after the last 40km on the bike, and go she did!
It was a master class in strategy from her, under pressure to execute her plan. She then controlled the run at all times, but that is where we agree to disagree. Danni won by 8 minutes with the brakes on. That is no ‘fight’.
Lionel Sanders race?
He did not win, so I don’t get why I am asked about this. Why the hype in the sport? Over what?
He gives 100%.
He trains hard.
He shows courage.
I’m sorry, but these to me are just attributes of any athlete who wishes to be the best that they can be. I’m sure Lionel would be the first to agree with me. These attributes are expected as normal at Trisutto, not something special.
To the winner – I was cheering every metre from the Energy Lab for Lionel. Why, when he is not my athlete? A Kona without teeth tends to throw up these wet runners that can handle some heat. Sanders ride from 6 minutes back was enormous. Then when there, he continued to compete from minute one till the last minute. He gave 100%. Sometimes the scoreboard doesn’t’ show the biggest success.
So there are the questions answered.
James, Corinne, Rei and Celine in action in Kona.
We had a super performance from James Cunnama, and his season has made me very proud to help him rekindle his best performance.
We had Reinaldo Colucci, Corinne Abraham and Celine Schaerer also competing. All took home lessons a world championship can give. Reinaldo needs to re-group and find a clear path to do the work necessary to be on the podium. Corinne just small refinements in all three to make the top 10, of which I think she can. Lastly Celine did a great job to qualify. That was her championship. Now she knows what is required when the very best are all in one place.
That’s the way Kona was seen through my eyes.
Join Trisutto Head Coach Brett Sutton at his remaining training camps in 2017 in Gran Canaria.
Gunning for history. Daniela Ryf going for Triple Ironman & Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Photo: Korupt Vision
With close to 10% of the professional field at Kona now training with Trisutto coaches my traditional pre-race preview is getting more difficult. Instead of sizing up our competitors, I’ll be wishing all the best for our coached athletes across the board. We know they’ll be ready.
In the meantime for our followers here’s a short preview of my squad starters:
I’ll lead off with the great Daniela Ryf. After overcoming a difficult season I’m pleased to say that the Bird is back at Kona – injury free and close to her near best. Winning three in a row is a huge feat at any World Championship event, at Kona it makes one legendary with only a select group of athletes having accomplished it:
Dave Scott, Paula Newby-Fraser, Mark Allen, Natascha Badmann and Chrissie Wellington.
So we wish her best mechanical luck on trying to achieve her destiny!
James Cunnama is back at Kona and carrying a few more weapons than his last couple of forays to the Big Island. Armed with a stronger bike and returned run form, if the favourites decide to play games we could see the giant Saffa taking matters into his own capable hands.
Also returning on somewhat of a reconnaissance mission is Reinaldo Colucci. Rei has started back on the journey I first set for him nearly 16 years ago. While he surprised me in the interim by having a massive ITU and Olympic career it was always Kona that Coach dreamed for him. So he is paying his dues this year, but look for the tall timber from Brazil to give it a massive shake in 2018.
Also returning will see the Welsh Wizard Corinne Abraham. After two interrupted seasons with injury, I’m so proud to see her put together an outstanding season that lands her back in the Big Island. While no one is paying her much attention in the pre-race favourite lists, Coach thinks she will be vying for the best run split coming down the Queen K.
It’s a proud moment to announce the prodigal daughter Celine Schaerer will be making her Kona debut. Celine will not just be in attendance, but is going to find Kona very much to her liking. Like Corinne the heat and toughness of the run course is only going to help Celine. And with no massive packs of men bringing the women up to this swim-biker, things could be so different for her at Kona.
Finally, special mention to Jane Hansom who is returning to Kona to defend her World Championship won last year. The Burglar is getting fitter by the day and again will be a formidable foe for any looking to take her crown.
Best mechanical luck to all who are competing!
Join Trisutto Head Coach Brett Sutton at one of his remaining training camps in 2017 in Cyprus or Gran Canaria.
As we see on social media many are now at or heading to the big island, excited for the big show.
Each athlete will be champing at the bit to pull out the bike and hammer down the Queen K. There will be three types of athletes there by now.
The ‘Worker Bees’. The guys who have been working hard, saving up their money and holidays so they can be here for the biggest race in Ironman. They will have missed vital workouts, had to shorten others and now think they’ve got a whole 10 days to catch up and get their final work in.
The ‘Long Taper’ Brigade. This group are content ‘knowing’ all the work is done, so they’re happy to just to chill out and relax. They will be well at ease with themselves as most will have a coach who has a dogma for long tapers, and has assured them all will be OK.
Finally, we have ‘Deep Thinkers’. Similar to the ‘Long Tapers’, but are not overly convinced by their coaches and so are worried they’re going to wreck their race by too little work. This group tries to settle down, but on about day three start to think over everything very deeply and decide ‘I do really need to do a little more, if I’m careful it won’t hurt’.
Now, I’m not having a go at anyone in the above three categories and neither am I presumptuous enough to tell anyone what they should do. But this is the advice I give to my own athletes (pro and age-group) who have found themselves on the big island with just under two weeks to go. It has served the Trisutto squad pretty successfully and while it may not make you quicker, it may just save your race.
So, the three Golden Kona rules that don’t change no matter how fast or slow you are.
1) Stick to your own routine:
If that means in London you always swim in a pool, don’t now start swimming in the beautiful ocean just because you don’t have it at home. If you normally swim at 7am, don’t go swimming at 7pm so “I can watch the sunset”. If you usually run on a treadmill, get out and find one in Kona.
2) Stick to your own sets:
If you have been doing 3-months of certain sets, DON’T (you hearing me!?) Don’t start watching the pros and say I’ll give that a bit of a try because it could improve me. It won’t and it could kill your performance. That goes for the swim, the bike, and the run. If the race is over and you still want to try it, then be my guest. But not before the race.
3) Stick to your own nutrition:
Don’t go changing your race food or lead up nutrition. ‘But Sutto, it’s hotter here’. I know that. I also know that the biggest group walking along Alii Drive come race day are those that took steps to change their eating going into and during this race, because ‘Wow! It’s hotter than I thought.’ It is too late to change now. Stick to what you know.
In conclusion, you’ll find the golden rules have absolutely nothing to do with enhancing anything. That’s because when you hit the big island the biggest performance enhancer is not changing a thing. Go with what you’ve got and go knowing ‘this is what got me here in the first place!’
Join Trisutto Head Coach Brett Sutton at one of his remaining training camps in 2017 in Cyprus or Gran Canaria.
Athletes training at our Kona ‘Hell Week’ camp in Lanzarote earlier this month. Photo: James Mitchell Photography
Every year pre-Kona I’m inundated with enquiries about race day nutrition, often sparked by articles of ex-athletes giving out advice they didn’t use themselves when they were at the top of their game.
This is not an article to get into the pros and cons of different nutrition strategies, but rather a directive to Trisutto athletes on behalf of your dismayed coaches. Hold the line! Stick with the plan you have worked out with your coach and practiced in the run up to what should be a celebration of your ultimate day in multisport.
The temptation to try something new, or take on tips and advice from people that don’t know you in the misguided belief that it could help you on the big day, when the nerves and insecurities are already starting to bubble, is to invite disaster.
You have planned your feeding, you have practiced the plan in qualification. Now on race day work that plan! If you’re under pressure aid stations should be looked at as islands from heaven.
I can tell you there are more theories, opinions and half cocked research about race day nutrition than you can count. The majority of which would be a compliment to refer to as ‘pseudoscience’. But whatever the potential merits, positive or negative, so close to the race are irrelevant.
At this point in time, the advice of sticking with what you have practiced is the only good advice you’re going to get.
Similarly, changing sessions after hitting the Kona highway or pool because a 55 year old male or female blows past you while you’re on your easy ride is as ridiculous as one can imagine. Yet every year it will happen. They maybe having the best session of their lives, only problem is it’s on the wrong day. Leave them to it.
We open every Trisutto camp with a lecture about the sport. What is Ironman triathlon really?
I make very clear that at Trisutto we believe swim, bike and run come a bad 3rd, 4th and 5th in priority. To me the most important disciplines of Ironman are:
2. Calorie intake!
No athlete on the second Saturday of October at Kona will be celebrating a great race performance unless you have nailed these two features.
Having a few extra calories will be far more preferable than having too little! You can bet on it.
Join Trisutto Head Coach Brett Sutton at one of his remaining training camps in 2017 in Cyprus or Gran Canaria.
A great weekend of fast racing in Jersey with Nicola back in the thick of it and finishing on the Podium!
It was a big weekend for the Trisutto sutto crew, that included the amazing comeback of our Olympic Champion Nicola Spirig at the Super League. To prove again what a champion Nicola Spirig is, racing only 16 weeks after giving birth, in a format of 6 short fast races races in 24 hours. Just being able to participate is remarkable, however to be the bastion of consistency in every race and to finish on the podium at the end of the weekend speaks for itself.
Pepper took a couple of tumbles at Super League; heal quickly Barb! Photo Credit: ThatCameraman
Nicola was joined in Jersey by ‘pepper’ Riveros who unfortunately had a nasty fall in the practice round before it even started. Barb soldiered on taking part in day one, then in day two showing great courage saw her in a great position only to crash out on the bike. This was not her fault and the offending tape on the course was removed for the second and third races. We hope her injuries heal soon.
Super work at Ironman Italy…, congratulations Andrej!
On the Sunday Andrej Vistica hit the podium again with a great third place at Ironman Italy. This is his third podium in three Ironman races in a month for Andrej, a brilliant effort.
Race Recap from Coach Mary Beth Ellis:
Lisa breaks through with a fantastic victory in Madrid!
Winner Winner Fried Chicken Dinner for Lisa Roberts! She captured her first Iron Distance win this weekend in Challenge Madrid. She bested a tough course and all the competition with a monster race-best bike and run combination. At Trisutto, our team is confident this is the first of many long course wins to come. Congrats Lisa!
Race Recap from Coach Jo Spindler:
Congratulations Salim on a win in Mallorca!
This weekend added 2 more age group Champions to my squad: Salim won his age group at Challenge Madrid and Victor won his age group at IRONSTAR 226 in Sotchi!
Due to the hard bike course with almost 3000 meters of climbing, my race prediction for Salim was 11:26:17 hours – which turned out to be pretty close to his 11:20:34 finishing time. Swim went well, Salim did exactly what I recommended, got into a rhythm quickly, stayed out of trouble and focused on sighting. Bike went well, despite the tough course and a longer riding time, he had a new PB normalized power for an iron bike leg. Salim finished off the race with a very strong 3:17h marathon.
A great day in Sotchi for Victor.
Victor not only won his age group but also came 4th overall at IRONSTAR 226 in Sotchi. He had a super strong swim and bike, then struggled a bit on the run for the first 20k. But since it was a home race and his wife and many friends were supporting he had not much choice but to continue. Luckily he did, because he felt really strong again on the 2nd half of the marathon. Winning the AG was well worth the battle. Fantastic race, fantastic result!
A tough and worthwhile training day for Diana in Minorca, great work!
Diana did the Artiem Half Menorca Triathlon winning the women’s race. This race fitted perfectly into her preparation for Kona. It was a intense and very tough training day with not only 1200 meters of altitude on the bike but also a hilly (but very scenic) half marathon in Fornells. Great race, great outcome! And winning gave Diana that confidence for the big game on Kona.
Race Recap from Coach Ed Rechnitzer:
Scott digging deep at Augusta.
I had Scott Bradley racing at the popular 70.3 Augusta (over 3,300 participants) this past Sun, toeing the line with the likes of Andy Potts and Jesse Thomas. Scott emerged from the water in 19th and hammered his way up the line into the top ten. He held strong on the run, towards the end duking it out between 9th and 11th. Scott successfully fought back to take 10th overall. In his words – “Overall I’m pleased with the day. I felt consistent and in control of myself all day. No real bad patches. I know it’s current aided, but 3.20 back from Potts out of the water is a real highlight for me! “. We’ve been working hard on his swim and it is slowly paying off. Still more work for sure but he is on the up and up. Congrats and well done Scott!
Race Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:
Chiin running strongly at Powerman.
Chiin-Hooi Tan raced in Powerman Denmark, a 10k run, 60k bike, 10k run format on a multi lap course. A challenging format for sure, and a 2nd in category and 4th female overall an excellent result for Chiin’s current fitness level, always finding something a little extra on race day 🙂
Steve Pressman raced in Ironman Chattanooga, and had an excellent swim, and bike combo. New race nutrition worked a treat – another convert to the chocolate on the bike during Ironman 🙂 Unfortunately not such a good day on the run for Steve, ending his day at mile 17, however the good news is the progress this last year, and really now is about putting it all together on the day.
Race Recap from Coach Perry Agass:
Memorable Ironman debut for Laura!
This weekend we had Laura Fidler take on her 1st ever Ironman at the integral Ironman Italy. Not really doing any specific Ironman training as such she was coming into this race in some good form, Laura gave a great account of herself and I was very encouraged by her debut performance crossing the line 13th overall and 1st in her AG in 10hrs, This athlete is one hard grafter and this is proof that dedication pays off, always progressing to be better, well done.
Carmen led from the go and had a great race in Cyprus.
Carmen Macheriotou is gearing up for her last 70.3 of 2017 so decided to pop herself into a little sprint race in Cyprus called the K1, she basically led from start to finish and postioned well amongst the Males also , good warm up well done.
Second place for Davina.
Davina Greenwell took on The Gautlet ( at Hever Castle / part of the Castle Series in the Uk) Davina last year won the super sprint here as her first ever Tri, she came on board with me in March so hasn’t been with me long but is progressing fast. Davina works very hard, gets her head down and does the work and this w/e she was rewarded very well crossing the line 2nd overall and only 10sec behind the winner, also the fastest female bike split of the day. Only her 2nd Middle distance race in just 12 months in the sport, showing really good progress a fantastic result Davina well done
Race Recap from Coach Carson Christen:
Well done Maxi, quite a race!
Maxi Spahn entered a 54km MTB Marathon in Germany this past weekend. With some professional athletes lining up on the start line, it would be a great test of fitness. Maxi produced a great race, and he attacked the pros on the last climb of the race, and no one was able to respond! Unfortunately, with 5km to go, Maxi snapped his chain and was forced to run the rest of the route. During this time, a 40sec gap to 2nd place evaporated and Maxi was left to finish in 2nd place. A very frustrating end to an otherwise perfect race, but great on you Maxi for finishing the race (running with a MTB) and persevering to a podium place! Top step comes next week!
Jappas Du Preez is in the midst of a post-Ironman season break in order to recover mentally and physically for next season. But he had the urge to enter a small run race at home, and jumped into a 5k. Showing some good recovery, post- IM Wales, Jappas ran a 17:30, finishing 2nd, and setting his 2nd best time since we started working together! Awesome work, Jappas!
Race Recap from Coach Mateo Mercur:
Patricia with her winner’s bouquet.
Patricia “The Germanator” Neubauer finished her triathlon season on a high at the Carpinteria Triathlon, a classic event in the Santa Barbara triathlon community. Pat’s instructions were to blast the swim and the bike, leave nothing for the run, and then run! The Germanator followed her plan to the letter and came away with a new best time for the Olympic distance, her first category win, and an overall women’s podium position, finishing third for the day. It was a massive season for Patricia. This fall and winter will be a run focus, and next year The Germanator will take on her first Ironman!
Jamie, ready to battle the men in the surf.
Jamie Christie drove down the coast from Los Angeles to San Diego to compete in the 70.3 Superfrog on a stretch of beach between the Navy SEAL training grounds in Coronado and the US/Mexican border. Jamie lead the women’s race out of the water, and because of the rolling start, she got to mix it up with the men on the 2 lap surf swim. Jamie kept herself in the fight with a solid bike, and hung tough on the run which challenged competitors with a mixture of hard packed and soft sand running. Jamie came to this event on a mission to earn a start at the 2018 70.3 World Championships. Jamie finished a respectable 6th in her category and was able to secure a roll-down slot to punch her ticket to South Africa. Well done Jamie. Get ready for a big year in 2018!
Race Recap from Coach Irene Coletto:
Ironman debut for Serena and she looks pretty pleased about it!
Serena Pruzzo: raced at IRONMAN Cervia – full distance on Saturday. For her it’s was a first Ironman. Serena worked hard in all season for this dream. I’m so proud she finished the amazing race and she become an IRONMAN in 14:56:31! The way was tought with some obstacles but she never lost the willpower. Well done Serena!
Well done Stefano, a great race in Italy!
Stefano Curzio: raced at IRONMAN Cervia – full distance on Saturday. We known during Trisutto Camp at Fuerteventura last winter. He had bad memories about his last IM. Bad feeling and physical difficulty. We did a specificy plan in this months where he training of quality. He arrived the days before the IM with load physical and mind. He did a perfect race, with fast swim and good bike, during the run he has suffered from adductor. He finished the race in 10:59.16 with solid performances. One hour less of his last IM! Stefano: we have achieved the objective!!! Yes!!!!
Race Recap from Coach Vassilis Krommidas:
Manos deserves a great thumbs up!
This week was the time of Manos Kelaiditis who compeet in Berlin Marathon. Despite the last-minute flight’s mishaps and cancellations, he managed to arrive late afternoon of the previous day of the race! Manos made a nice race, following the plan we had said despite the intense hip pain that emerged from the 16th km, resulting in a PB of 28 minutes with a time of 3:46!
Race Recap from Coach Rafal Medak:
Smiling faces on the podium in Spain.
This weekend Carolina Lanza traveled to her home country, Spain, to race a middle distance triathlon. She has been training very consistently and was looking to perform and show results of her hard work in the race. Carolina did exactly that: solid swim, a very strong bike and run to win her Age Group, 3rd women overall! It was a very satisfying to see her performing with determination and having fun at the same time. Carolina has done very well in creating balance in her life – managing a very demanding job, social life and training. I’m very happy and proud to see Carolina enjoying her achievement! Great job and keep smiling! (…and yes, Carolina earned her cocktails! )
This time is was about the family. Remy and Raffy enjoying their their time and medals! Well done boys
Hever Castle Triathlon was on the cards for Nicholson family this weekend. David didn’t give himself a lot of time to recover from the solid effort in tough conditions last Sunday in Ironman 70.3 Weymouth. However this Sunday was all about the family day out. Both of his sons, Remy and Raffy, were competing in triathlon too and Clare was their great supporter as always. David focused on making this race a good training day. He wasn’t feeling fresh but still put a very solid effort in all 3 disciplines and even racing tired still finished with a PB.Remy and Raffy did really well and had a lot of fun. What a nice way to spend a family weekend, sport and triathlon for everyone in a beautiful setting. As David wrote in his report, “it was very happy experience for the whole family”. It’s exactly what triathlon should be! Well done David for making this a memorable weekend for you and your loved ones!Now we focus on recovery and planning next blocks of training for what looks like a busy racing schedule for David.
Race Recap from Coach Susie Langley:
Pleased to see Tracey Horne pop herself into another local training race over the weekend with a good outcome. For Tracey it is all about learning to enjoy the process of simply swimming, biking and running again, without bogging herself down with any pressure of results! Every athlete needs to learn what works best for them! Good job Tracey 🙂
Congratulations to all athletes competing this weekend.
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