The Art of the Taper

The Art of the Taper

Ready for action. Trackside at our Malaysian training base in Iskander Puteri. 

As athletes prepare for their key races, thoughts turn to tapering. What, when and how?

Tapers are an individual thing, however one can be guided by the general principle that triathlon of all distances is an aerobic sport. Even sprint distance racing is a minimum of one hour in duration.

If we consider an Olympic distance, also commonly known as ‘short course’ racing, we are looking at a race that takes around 2 hours for the pro’s to complete – a time duration which is far closer to the time required for elite marathon runners to finish their event. Hence, going the distance in triathlon is paramount, even in ‘sprint’ and ‘short course’ triathlon racing. To do this to the best of ones ability requires being strong the last third of the swim, the last third of the bike, and for the last third of the run. If your chosen race is Ironman, then in addition, how can you be strong for the last 3 hours of your day, where for many the metaphorical wheels fall off?

The simple fact is most triathletes taper too much. They worry about being super fresh for a race, when in fact ‘rested’ is fine.

Feeling super fresh at the race expo, the welcome banquet, and on race morning can lead one to a false sense of expectation, and reality. ‘I feel terrific, let me at it!  To only then find half way into the bike that the body says ‘I do not feel so fresh anymore!‘.

If you are an athlete who has a 7 – 14+ day taper leading into your race, this is an area you may want to examine in more detail. Rather than drastically reducing the volume from your program, we advise to reduce the intensity in the last 7 – 10 days leading into your race. Maintain some volume in your taper to keep your ‘aerobic engine’ topped up and ready for your big day.

Remember that fresh is only best if you are buying fruit.  Even meat is better slightly aged!


Robbie Haywood is Director of Coaching at Trisutto, with over 15 years experience. He spreads his time between his home on the Sunshine Coast, Australia and the Trisutto Headquarters in St Mortiz.

Join Robbie at one of the St Mortiz Camps in June and July and in Cyprus in May.

The Magic Comes From Within

The Magic Comes From Within

The gracious Ed Whitlock broke another World Record when 85 years old. Photo Credit: Todd Fraser/Canada Running Series

Last weeks news of the passing of Canadian running legend Ed Whitlock, prompted the following reflection – Robbie.

In 2003 at age 72 Ed Whitlock become the first person 70 years or older to run sub 3 hours at the marathon, with a 2:59:10 at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. At 73, he lowered that to 2:54, and last October, at age 85, he ran 3:56:33 at the Toronto Marathon, becoming the first in person over 85 years old to break 4:00 and taking 28 minutes off the previous 85+ record.

How was Ed able to achieve such amazing feats?  As with champions from all walks of life, The Magic Comes From Within

Whitlock did practically all of his training in 5-minute perimeter loops of the Milton Evergreeen Cemetery, a short jog from his house. When asked why he chose that venue for training runs of up to four hours, Whitlock replied, “I would prefer not to run around in small circles day after day, but overall, taking everything into account, it sort of suits me. If it’s windy, I don’t have to face the wind for too long at any one time. If something happens, I can be home immediately. There’s nothing perfect in this world.”

Whitlock also defied convention in his approach to non-running activities, in that he did no stretching, strength training, or cross training. When he was injured, he simply stopped running until he felt able to resume his high-volume training. He followed no special diet, other than to eat enough to keep his weight up. Whitlock mostly ran in old shoes he’d won at races or had otherwise received; he said the racing flats he wore to break 4:00 at Toronto were 15 years old.

Whitlock said, “I realized in my late 60s that this silly objective of being the first person over 70 to get under 3:00 in the marathon was just sitting there waiting for someone. I thought it should have been done long before, but there it was, so I thought I should make an effort at it.”  Runners World

Incredible feats are not the sole (or soul!) domain of sports. When trekking in the Himalayas, visitors are sure to experience local sherpas / porters carrying towering loads on their backs, their packs sometimes heavier than their bodies. A 150-plus pound pack on a 125-pound man, and the sherpas carry their packs up and down mountains, day after day, year after year.

How do they manage such feats of strength and endurance? Lengthy scientific experiments and study offer little light, and can only conclude:

What these sherpas are doing, from our perspective, is sort of unimaginable, even for athletes. In Western society, we no longer have a real handle on what humans can do physically because we’re so far removed from this level of daily work that we physically can’t do it anymore. They simply go. And they keep going.

Returning to the sporting arena, two coaches of champion runners that greatly influenced training methods, are Arthur Lydiard of New Zealand and Percy Cerutty or Australia.

‘It’s just a matter of understanding what’s necessary and to discipline yourself to do it.There is no need for a separate mental training program of affirmation and visualisation if it is inbuilt into the training program. There is nothing more confidence-building than the knowing of thorough preparation.’  – Arthur Lydiard

(left to right) Peter Snell, Murray Halberg, Barry Magee and Alan McKight training on the 22-mile Waiatarua Loop in NZ.

Likewise Percy Cerutty, who’s ‘Stotan’ philosophy sits at the core of his coaching philosophy –

‘I do not seek champions. I cleave to ‘triers’ who are sincere. The ‘lessor’ trying to become ‘more’ appeals to me more than the ‘arrived’ wishing to go further. It is the ‘overcoming’, not the ‘success of’ that is important. It is not the winning, it is the journey. It is not the ‘doing’ but the ‘trying’. All the world admires a ‘trier’ – and that is something we can all exceed at – to be ‘tops’ in being a sincere and punishing ‘trier’.

One must have tenacity, loyalty, be able to withstand physical hardship, know oneself, remain un-influenced by trends and dogma, and have informed intelligence.

To live this way of life is hard. It is not for weaklings. It is the way that is travelled by all the truly great ones. It requires strenuous effort of body and mind.  Fail, is not in my dictionary. I’ve got a good dictionary and the words ‘fail’ and ‘failure’ have been ruled out for years. I don’t know what people are talking about who use that word. All I do know is temporary non-success, even if I’ve got to wait another 20 years for what I’m after, and I try to put that into people, no matter what their object in life.’ – Percy Cerutty

Percy Cerutty – Maker of Champions!

Returning to Ed Whitlock, one additional characteristic is also to be observed. Ed was renown for his modesty and simplicity.

“I never know what to say to people who say, ‘You’re an inspiration.’ What do you say to that? I’m not an inspiring person at all.”

Truly an example of The Magic Comes From Within

Athletics – How To Become a Champion; by Percy Wells Cerutty
Why Die? The extraordinary Percy Cerutty, maker of champions; by Graeme Sims



Robbie Haywood is Director of Coaching at

Inquiries about Trisutto Coaching Certification can be made to:


Race Recap: Podiums across Europe

Race Recap: Podiums across Europe

Eimear Mullan finished in third place at Triathlon Gerardmer.

A relatively quieter weekend of racing from the squad following the successful build up and finish of the Ironman 70.3 World Champs.

This weekend we saw Ritchie Nicholls and Eimear Mullan racing at Triathlon Gerardmer. A good opportunity for a training race with Ritchie finishing Top 5 and backing up from the 70.3 World’s the week before. Eimear finished in third place, in typical Emu fashion running herself the podium. Great job.

Race Recap from Coach Bella Bayliss:

Bella_Bayliss1Great results from Marc Stettler and John Stapleton.

This weekend my squad saw two great results! Marc Stettler finished the very challenging PowerMan Zofingen long course Duathlon World Championships in 9 hours 14 minutes and 16 seconds.

I have been coaching Marc for 12 months and he has come a long way in a year!

Some years ago Marc was coached by Mat O’Halloran so he had a good idea what hard work was, but when we started 12 months ago Marc had taken some time off. In the past year he has worked really hard, been diligent every day with his training, keeping in good contact with me and we have made real progression.  He lost 30kg this year! He is in the shape of his life.  I am so proud of you Marc.

Marc has lots of goals ahead so we will continue on!

John Stapleton overcame some problems with cramping in racing that he has been having recently. Yesterday he raced The Lost Sheep, a tough Half Ironman in Ireland and had no problems! So now he will continue to work away for his next goal Ironman Barcelona.

Race Recap from Coach Edith Niederfriniger:

MirkoMirco after his second triathlon finish. (Good to see him after St. Moritz Camp!) 

My squad had eight athletes racing in different races over the weekend.

International Triathlon, Mergozzo (Italy, Middle Distance):

1st. place for my pro athlete Martina Dogana in 4:31.38!

3rd. place with a relay team for Emanuela (she did the bike part in 3:35).

Middle distance triathlon Locarno (Switzerland):

12. place F20 for Valeria in 5:16.33

10. place F35 for Mery in 5:22.34

40. place M35 for Mirco in 5:02.56 (it was only his second triathlon at all!)

Triathlon sprint distance Cremona (Italy):

Stefano Matalucci, 1:12.39 (he is a IM athletes and did the race just as a good intense workout in prep for 70.3 Pula in 2 weeks).

Other 2 athletes did bike races to prepare upcoming triathlons:

Granfondo Scott, 105km, 1200+ : Davide finisher in 3:11

Granfondo Torino, 114km, 1810+: Marco finisher in 4:46

Race Recap from Coach Lisbeth Kristensen:

Maurice_1A 1:22 minute run split for Maurice Inzirillo at the Locarno Half!

So impressed with Maurice this weekend. While he had a few technical problems he did a great job. He’ll be a bit humble to mention it but at 55 years young to run a 1:22 for 20km is very impressive after a difficult time on the bike. Here is Maurice’s race report:

Never give up. Nice swim today and out of water 7th of my group. Bike was terrible! All the shifting system Shimano DI2 was out of order. Impossible to use it. So all the bike leg was done with the big gears 53-13. I spent 10 minutes to figure out what was wrong. Impossible to reset the DI2 and impossible to shift manually the front gear to set the small one. I was so upset and ready to give up. I was finally able to move my back gear from 11 to 13 so I decided to do the bike leg with this config. Not the optimal one with 430m total elevation.  
T2 4th of my group and 46th overall. 
Run was just fantastic. 1:22.28 my best leg: 1st of my group and 11th overall! Total: 4:42.51 4th of my group and 70th overall!

Race Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:

Sarah Keller ran in the Switzerland Marathon Light 10km race, setting a new personal best time. Very happy for Sarah, and her consistency in training is now showing through.

Congratulations to all athletes competing over the weekend. online professional coaches are available to help improve your performance here.

Born Winners – Victories for Squad

Born Winners – Victories for Squad

Mary Beth Ellis – 2015 Ironman Mont-Tremblant Champion.

She’s just a winner. Yesterday’s Ironman presented every conceivable obstacle for Mary Beth to have a bad day. Trained to dog tired condition, she raced Alpe D’Huez two weeks ago, which in itself was a follow up to her runner’s up position at Ironman Zurich. A plane trip, a change of time zones, no sleep the for two days as we arrived late as we could. Lesser human beings would have just raced this one for training. However they’re not the Honey Badger. When the gun goes off it doesn’t just start the race – it defines what MBE is, was and always will be: ‘The ultimate competitor’.

A little over 9-hours of giving it every thing she had. And when her body said no more? She just dug deeper and did what very few can do – improvise and overcome. Make no mistake Mary Beth is a born winner and is going to finish her career with Ironman Titles into the double figures.

Carina_BThird place for Carina Brechters at the Allgäu Triathlon Half Distance.

This weekend I was also very happy with Carina’s second attempt at the Half Ironman distance. We are working towards teaching her to ride a bike like the big dogs do. This takes time, effort and commitment. She is now showing the latter two. Time will tell if she has what it takes to do that for three years.

Recap from Coach Jo Spindler:

Andrej V1

Embrun, France – Andrej Vistica’s already impressive 2015 season continued today with a fantastic win at the 32nd edition of Embrunman.

In addition to it’s long tradition Embrunman is famous for it’s very difficult course. With more than 3800m of ascents on the 186km bike leg and a run course that is far from easy, this race is formidable and known as the toughest iron distance event in the world. The race has cult status not only among French triathletes.

As per tradition the race started at 6:00h, in complete dark. For the first 20 minutes participants need to follow a boat with a light reflector. Vistica exited the water with Victor del Corral and with a 3 minute gap to lead group with all the main favorites.

After the first 40km of the bike ride Vistica caught the lead group and went for a solo break. His lead grew steadily and he reached second transition with 6 min lead to James Cunnama, 9 min to del Corral, while all others had double-digit gap. The ride was made even harder by the rain that started on top of Col d’Izoard. The temperature on the top was only 5 degrees Celsius.

Although Andrej’s lead was reasonable, the race was far from decided. Both Cunnama and del Corral are known as very strong runners. In the first 3km Cunnama took a minute out of his gap and it looked like a matter of time that he would take the lead. However, by the half-way point Cunnama only managed to get another 45s closer and then Andrej’s lead started growing again. At the end, Vistica added fastest run split (2:53h) to his fastest bike split and won the race with a huge margin of 12 minutes to Victor del Corral and James Cunnama.

At the finish line, Andrej was very pleased with his effort:

“This is my best race performance so far! I’m very happy! Coached by Jo Spindler, I spent the last 4 weeks in St. Moritz preparing for this race in Brett Sutton’s group and it obviously paid off.”

Andrej PodiumMen’s podium: James Cunnama, Andrej Vistica and Victor del Corral.

At the German Allgäu Triathlon (Olympic distance) our Philipp Gubler placed 2nd in his age group, beaten only by Sebi Kienle. Philipp placed 6th overall only a few seconds behind Faris al Sultan who came in 5th!

Steffen Warias raced ICan Nordhausen in Germany. The gourmet chef from Merseburg raced hard and the work paid of with a 3rd place in his Age Group. He had a solid swim and bike and at the end he hammered the half marathon in 1:36h which ended up in a 4:57h total. After a broken collarbone we’re looking forward to his first long distance at Cologne226 since 3 years now.

Thomas_SThomas Schäfer second at the ICan Nordhausen.

Finally, our para cyclist Thomas Schäfer raced the ICan Nordhausen as well but only in his parade discipline: cycling. Thomas team achieved the 2nd place in the relay category. He hammered the bike and had the 2nd fastest bike split of 2:10 over 90km of the day. Well done to all our athletes competing today.

Recap from Coach Bella Bayliss:

I feel happy and I have a big smile on my face today because we had some very, very good performances this weekend. The winning will come when these people work as hard as they do.

This weekend Esther and Victor were our role models for the kids at TriActiv Lanzarote.

Victor_DCVictor del Corral: Runner’s Up at Embrunman.  

I have competed in tough races all over the world, but having also raced Embrunman many times I know it is one of the hardest iron distances out there. Starting the swim in the dark at 6am, a 190km ride up and down the French Alps including the Col d’Izoard which is over 2300m, then the marathon up and down the hills of the village of Embrun. Victor has been dealing with an annoying niggle in his ankle since Ironman UK, so although we had planned to go to Embrun we knew the ankle may make the race difficult.  He had a very good swim and bike, finishing the bike in 3rd place ahead of race favourite, Marcel Zamora. After 18km on the run his ankle began to get sore and difficult but he kept his concentration, he ran 2.56 with the bad foot, passing James Cunama to come 2nd!  Congratulations Andrej Vistica who was the champion of the day with a great race. On the podium were all athletes who have been helped by Brett or by Brett’s coaches!

EstherEsther Rodriguez 2nd at TriNautico sprint distance.

I took Esther Rodriguez on at the beginning of the summer, I am very happy to be working with Esther because she is a gutsy and hard working girl, but in the need of being pointed in the right direction with some solid training.  I am really enjoying seeing Esther take this training on board and getting stronger by the day. I work with Esther at Sands Beach, she helps me with the kids training so we are a little Team. TriActiv Lanzarote continues to go from strength to strength.

Esther came 2nd at the TriNautico sprint triathlon on Lanzarote yesterday, after a solid swim bike and run.  She was a great role modal for all our juniors also racing. Now we continue with the training for her upcoming Spanish Championships and 70.3 Lanzarote.

Bella Squad

James Mitchell raced the same sprint triathlon. After some injury problems it was lovely to see him enjoy the afternoon race with no problems. Hollie Craddock racing also back on track after some recent injuries.

Mia Leadbeater raced the adult sprint race continuing to show her hard work and dedication to us all.  Congratulations Mia on your great race. Marcos Knight, Jorge Wilkes, Adrián Rodríguez Hernández, Juanma all raced the kids race showing us all how it is done. Well done all of you. Lots more to come from all of you and I’m very proud of you all,

Aya Stevens came 4th at the Slovakian Mountain Bike Championships as training in preparation for the upcoming Xterra UK! Richard Newey smashed his 50mile TT pb by 4 minutes in England while he continues to prepare for 70.3 Worlds then Hawaii. Great work Richard.

Recap from Coach Susie Langley:

MarianaMariana winning the 10km event at the Maratona de Santa Catarina.

Congratulations to Mariana Andrade for another win this week, this time in the 10km event at the Maratona de Santa Catarina. Sharpening up the run legs before heading to Challenge Maceio next week.

Jessie Donavan and Anne Basso both raced at Ironman Mont Tremblant. Jessie rode very strongly through the field and fought on hard to secure a 6th place finish.

Anne performed consistently across all 3 disciplines and finished in 11th place. Encouraging signs for both women. team member, Trevor Desault, representing the boys in Canada also finished a solid 6th. Great job guys.

Recap from Coach Luis Villavicencio:

Lottie Riddle


So proud of our Squaddie Lottie Riddle who in her 3rd Half Ironman distance has achieved something very special. She did a great job doing a PB and winning her Age Category! Well done Lottie, very happy for you.

Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:

GiselaReichmuthGisela Reichmuth was 1st place in her category!

Well done to two of my Swiss athletes racing this weekend in cool and wet conditions in Switzerland and Germany.

Sandy Benz was 1st place female overall in the Rhyathlon at St Gallon, a local sprint triathlon.  A training race for Sandy, as she prepares for the ITU World Championships in Chicago in September.

Gisela Reichmuth was 1st place in her category, and 6th female overall at the Allgäu sprint triathlon in German.  A good results off the back of Ironman training this season 🙂

Well done to all of our athletes competing this weekend. online professional coaches are available to help improve your performance here.

Inspiring Weekend of Results

Inspiring Weekend of Results

Diana Riesler winning Ironman 70.3 Gdynia this weekend.

This weekend saw the squad throw their full support behind the Home of Triathlon initiative here in St. Moritz. It was also a spectacular demonstration to our young pros about what it takes to be a true all round professional and champion.

On Saturday Nicola Spirig spent all day shaking hands, giving high-fives and signing autographs for the 119  competitors at the Kids Cup series that holds her name. This year they doubled the number of competitors in what turned out to be a terrific event. After starting the race, being on the finish line to watch every competitor finish and then presenting the awards ceremony – who do you think Coach spots on the bike at 6pm, swim bag over the shoulder preparing for the next day’s race?

NS-KidsCup17Nicola Spirig Kids Cup presentation ceremony.

The Top of the World Triathlon

On what is now home turf the squad were out in full force for the adult’s race on the Sunday. One of the reasons we have the success we do within our squad is because of the mutual respect our athletes have for each other. Respect in that while everyone remains friends off the course, all know when the starter gun goes off no-one takes any prisoners. So there was no walkover in this race with our Honey Badger (Mary Beth Ellis) sticking it to the short course champs on the swim and bike. swept the podium with Ritchie doing a good job to run away with it, chased home by the impressive up-and-comers Alan Carillo and Reiny Brown. The latter being given a little lesson is aggressive race riding by the female World Long Course and Olympic Champ.

In the women’s race, Nicola, weathered the early onslaught to take out the inaugral Home of Triathlon race and was followed in by Eimear Mullan and MBE.

Well done to all.

Race Recap - HoTThe squad in action at the HoT Triathlon this weekend: Ritchie Nicholls (1st), Alan Carillo (2nd), Reiny Brown (3rd), Mary Beth Ellis (3rd), Eimear Mullan (2nd) and Nicola Spirig (1st).

Elsewhere, congratulations to Julie Derron who took out the Swiss Junior Championship in Nyon this weekend riding down the top girls and proving to strong on the run. Trent Simmons also did a great job with a solid performance to take the 2nd fastest run split in the men’s race.

Finally, very happy for age group athlete Alicja Medak, who won Ironman 70.3 Gdynia this weekend taking her age group in her home country of Poland.

Alicja RRVictory in colours for Alicja Medak this weekend.

Race Recap from Coach Jo Spindler:

Diana RRSecond time within two weeks Dian Riesler has found herself on top of the podium.

It really looks like Diana likes racing in Poland, as she has now won the 2 most prestigiuos races there within only 2 weeks! This weekend, she backed-up her performance at Challenge Poznan with a win at Ironman 70.3 Gdynia. Diana exited the water in 2nd position, only 45 seconds back to first. Thanks to her traditional super-strong bike performance, she took over the lead at 10km on the bike course and extended her margin to second place to 5 minutes when hopping off the bike. She continued to gain time on the run course and won the race with a superior lead of 13 minutes. At the finish line, Diana was very happy:

“Finally I could win my first Ironman 70.3 title! That is fantastic! We worked very hard to get my speed up so that I am not only competitive at long distance races but also over shorter distances. I’m glad that the hard training of the past months paid off today.”

Coach Jo was also pleased with Diana’s performance:

“In Poznan she won the race with a strong run, but she almost lost the race on the swim. Today she won the race with strong swim and bike performances. Since Posnan we adjusted some things in the pool and found the ‘missing link’. I’m happy that today her swim is back to what it should be.”

Well done Diana!

Oliver RROliver Klaus blazing away at the Top of the World Triathlon this weekend.

Oliver Klaus was the athlete who stood up for my squad at St. Moritz Top of the World Triathlon in St. Moritz. He hit the podium in 3rd place – despite coach gave him a 5hr bike ride the day before to tire his legs for the race. The tiredness of that ride should protect him from going to hard on this sprint distance triathlon. However, it looks like Oli outraced his legs. 😉 Oli enjoyd the race very much. It’s just a fantastic landscape up there! Great job, Oli. Nice way to start the training road to Kona!

Race Recap from Coach Lisbeth Kristensen:

Kitty RR1st place and onto the World Champs for Kitty Perle.

I’m a very happy coach this weekend! Kitty finished Dublin 70.3 and won her age group, 30-34, in 4.59.03!! It seemed as if it was a tough course. She was a bit back on the swim but then she hammered on the bike and she had the fastest run and bike split. She qualified for World Champs in Australia next year! She’s been working so hard and I’m very proud of her!

Fran Bungay also just became the European Champion in her age group, 40-44! She’s just brilliant on the bike. She had a good swim too and the run is come nicely along too!

Here is Fran’s take on the race:

After a great bit of training in the Alpes and the short course Alpe D’Huez triathlon race, (winning my age group, top 10 finish and posting the third fastest bike split up the mountain), I headed over to Germany to race in the European 70.3 Championships in Wiesbaden. I was disappointed to learn that the swim start was changed to a rolling start, turning the race into a time-trial, and resulting in a horrible messy swim, worst I have experienced in a long time in terms of being pulled at the ankles, swum over, hit, etc. However, was pleased to hit the hilly bike course and put some time between me and my fellow competitors! 10 minutes faster on the bike than last year, (which must have something to do with those mountain hill reps!) the key was to keep the legs moving on the run! With still a fair bit of work to do on the run due to a few years of injury, I have to really focus on being positive, and Coach Lisbeth has given me a few aspects to focus on which were working really well… Until on lap 3 I fell on a manhole cover, twisting and damaging my ankle. With only a lap and a bit to go, I obviously carried on, and on finishing headed to First Aid!  Really pleased to have finished as European Champion in my age group! So heading to physio tomorrow to assess the damage. With under three weeks to go until the World Championships I’m hoping for a quick fix!!

Fran RRFran at the awards ceremony.

Race Recap from Coach Andres Castillo:

Brian Moya RRHe’s back. Great return to racing for Brian Moya!

This was a good weekend for my athletes, starting with Alan Carrillo with a second place at the St. Moritz triathlon in his preparation for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 3 weeks. In Bogota, Brian Moya returned to triathlon world after a broken collarbone 2 months ago with a win in the Colombian National cup and just 2 weeks after his 2nd place in the duathlon Pan American Championship. In the same race Juan Herrera was second in his age group. For my US athletes, Rob Straznitskas was 3rd overall at the Maine State Triathlon and Walter Rhee did a good training race in Texas in his preparation for Ironman 70.3 Texas.

Well done squad. Keep up the good work.

Race Recap from Coach Luis Villavicencio:

Very proud of my athlete Daniel Barrundia competing in the Collegiate Nationals this weekend. Daniel is an incredible kid, he attends a very prestigious university in the US (Georgia Tech), has a computer science major plus an internship with IBM!

Today he placed 30th from over 410 males beat 90% of the field! This is his recap:

This weekend, my teammates of the Georgia Tech Triathlon and I competed in the Olympic-Distance National Championships in Milwaukee, Wis. This was for all an A-Race and a great way to finish up some really hard training we put over the summer.

Less than a year ago when I started training with you my mind set was completely different. I was just starting with triathlon and I was trying just to finish up races. Hard to believe that this weekend I had a plan set in mind and goals that I wanted to achieve!

Like my coach always says: ‘trust your training and race smart’. Thanks to your advice and training I was able to accomplish these goals and have a new PR.

I can’t wait for the upcoming races of the season and specially my first Ironman 70.3 in Miami at the end of October.

Race Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:

MelanieBensonAndNicolaPool RRMelanie and the champ at St. Moritz.

A super weekend again with my athletes racing in Ireland, Germany and Switzerland.

Melanie Benson after a 12 day visit to train with us in St Moritz headed into 70.3 Weisbaden. I can’t be happier with Mel’s attitude and progress this year.  Despite a race morning stumble, resulting in a suspected broken toe, she had the fastest swim in her category, and a solid ride before calling it a day early in the run. We can do a lot with Mels ‘improvise and overcome’ attitude 🙂

Sarah Keller returned to St Moritz (after attending camp two weeks ago) to race in the Top Of The World Triathlon, in St Moritz.  Sarah was first female out of the swim in her wave, and did a super job all day. Sarah improves ever week, as she builds back to full fitness after some time away from the sport.

Neil S RR

Neil Scholes secured a 5th place finish in 70.3 Dublin. Coming from a background of 30 years marathon running Neil has worked diligently on his swim, and was in good company today right from the gun. Still work to be done, but we are on our way.

Gisela Reichmuth, her brother and her husband raced Flumserei Duathlon, placing 2nd overall team. A ‘fun in the sun’ race day, and a reminder that there are some super local races out there to enjoy 🙂

SarahKellerLeadFemaleWave2TopOfTheWorldTriathlon2015 RRSarah Keller exiting the water this weekend.

Congratulations to all athletes competing this weekend.


Weekend of Podiums and PBs for Squad

Weekend of Podiums and PBs for Squad

One of my favourite races: Alpe D’Huez Triathlon 

For the first time in many years I was not able attend the Alpe D’Huez Triathlon this season. A very special race to me, having first spent a season there in 1992 and making the pilgrimage back with the squad every year since 2007.  However, were well represented in spirit with many former squaddies making the journey back and our own Honey Badger (Mary Beth Ellis) and Ritchie Nicholls competing in the spectacular but gruelling long distance event.

While riding in a solid second position Ritchie Nicholls suffered a puncture, which put him out of the race, while I was very happy with the all day training hit-out for Mary Beth Ellis who took 2nd behind an impressive Emma Pooley.

Alpe D Huez1Ritchie and Mary Beth at one of the most spectacular race courses you’ll see.

This weekend also saw our emerging pro, Carina Brechters, continue to improve her run and take a solid Top 5 in the Triathlon Bundesliga series. She’ll now return to St. Moritz where we’ll get to work on that final leg as we progress to the podium.

Carina_BCarina Brechters competing this weekend.

Recap from Coach Jo Spindler:

Steffi Jansen had a fantastic day at Ironman Maastricht! She not only won her Age Group, but placed 5th overall in the women’s field. Steffi had a personal best swim, exiting the water in 9th place. She executed her race plan very well on a tough and windy course and made up a lot of ground. Coming off the bike in 2nd position already, she quickly took over the lead in her age group and worked herself into the pro field with a strong run. Steffi is a dedicated athlete with a high degree in self-organization and self-discipline and I’m very happy she was able to pull off such a good race!

Steffi JansenTerrific performance by Steffi Jansen.

Thomas Schäfer had his season highlight – the Paracycling Worls Champs. He raced himself to 2 fantastic 6th place finishes in both the Time Trial and the Road race. Initially, he was a little bit disappointed, as he hoped for a medal in at least one of the events – and he was really close as well, missing the podium only by a few seconds. Especially during the road race, he pluck up courage tried to break away from the field, but at the end was caught by the peloton again. Even more impressive that after this effort he could do so well at the sprint to the finish line! Compared to his last World Champs, he improved his performance and competitiveness by a huge amount and now is really in the mix at the very top end of his sport. At the end, it’s only your imporvement and performance, which one can control. And if you’ve done the best what you could on that day, you can be proud of yourself. With his great performance he emphasized again that would be a competitive nomination for Germany’s team for next years Olympics. Well done, Thomas!

Thomas SchaferGutsy breakaway performance by Thomas Schäfer.

Chris Nitschke had a tough and humbling experience at his ‘home’ race Ostseeman. He clearly came to defend his title there and was on the way, taking over the lead at the start of the marathon and leading till 10km. But unfortunately, already at the beginning of the marathon an old hip injury broke up again and restrained him from running fast or running at all. He suffered a lot of pain and wouldn’t have finished the race, if there wasn’t so much support from the crowd at the course. It was a very emotional finish and we all wish him a speedy and fully recovery!

Christian NChris Nitschke competing at Ostseeman.

Finally, Carole Fuchs had her first race under my guidance. She raced Ironman 70.3 Cebu, had a personal best over this distance right away, placing 6th in the pro women’s field and earning herself a bit of money. We worked hard on her swim over the past few weeks and that improved swim fitness already paid off. Carole’s strength is her bike and she showed this by riding the fastest bike split of the day, followed by a good run. There is lot of work to do for Carol, especially in the water, but Cebu was a great start of our coaching relationship.

Carole FuchsA personal best from Carole Fuchs.

Recap from Coach Bella Bayliss:

Over the past 2 weeks there have been some great training races.

Esther Rodriguez won the women’s race at a 12km trail race at Tahiche, Lanzarote, while Justi Perez came 4th, close to the top 3 in the same race as Esther.

This weekend Esther came 2nd woman in a 2km competitive open water swim race on Lanzarote. Well done Esther.

Bella Squad1

This weekend also saw Lucy Biddlestone winning the 10km Barranco del Quiquere trail run in Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote. While my junior, Marcos Knight came 13th overall in the 5km race.

Keep up this great work Everyone 🙂  I am proud of you all.

Bella Squad2

Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:

I’m delighted for my athletes who raced this weekend. Competing on 3 continents they had performances that encourage me in many ways.

Jason Ramdeen raced in the Loggerhead Triathlon in Florida, with yet another podium and 2nd in his category, and 10th overall. Another solid result from ‘Team Ramdeen’, with his wife and young son there to support.

Jason RTeam Ramdeen out in full force.

Jason Richter was the overall winner of the ‘Down to Run Full Moon Endurance Challenge’ 10 mile trail race in Florida.  This starts after sun down on an off road course, lit only by runners head lamps. Jason took an impressive overall win on a water logged course. Earlier this year Jason decided to change focus from triathlon to running, has embraced our ‘White Kenyan’ run program, and is achieving super results – all while making a career change with a heavy study schedule on top of a full working week. His goal is to run the Boston marathon in 2016, and he is well on his way.

JasonRichter1stOverallDownToRun10mileTrailRace1Impressive win for Jason Richter.

Frank Matthews, raced at 70.3 Durban. Traveling from UAE for the race, Frank gave it a red hot go. He put himself in the mix with an outstanding swim / bike combination, and with that attitude he is one to watch for a podium at any race. We can do things with athletes that have Franks drive, and work ethic.

Finally, Chiin-Hooi Tan was overall winner of the Vikingman in Denmark!  Chiin continues to go from strength to strength, backing up after recently qualifying for the 70.3 World Championships.

ChiinCongratulations Chiin-Hooi Tan taking out the  Vikingman Championships!

Recap from Coach Luis Villavicencio:

A weekend of exceptional performances for my athletes this week. Firstly, my online athlete Stewart Mackay overcame a 5 minute penalty to still beat our pre-race goal of a sub 6-hour 70.3 race in Durban, South Africa by nearly three quarters of an hour! Well done, Stewart. The next goal a sub 5-hour is definitely on the cards!

Stewart M

Also, our squadie Jose Iturbide used his Triathlon fitness training to help take out his third National Race Car Championship crown in a row.

For those who may not be familiar with Jose Jorge, he is a champion race car driver who started training for half marathons simply to improve his fitness and become an even better race car driver! After success at the half marathon, I started to convinced him to try out triathlons and now he has qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Austria in August! What an athlete.

Jose Iturbide

Congratulations to all our athletes competing this weekend. online professional coaches are available to help improve your performance here.