Friday, April 8, 2011

Always something new to learn - bike fit with Fit4bike

As you may know, I have been riding the E114 with more of less the same bike fit or riding position since November 2010. I cut a few spacers out and lowered the handlebar to a pretty aggressive position, which initially caused me some pain in my shoulders. All change takes some time to get used to, so I have been doing many kilometers, training for IM St. George in this position and now finally find that I am almost there. Sunday I was 2.5 hours in aero position in the ICAN Marbella race with no pain and feeling really good, but you can always learn more.

Inspired by Louise, I found out that the Danish branch of Fit4bike was an ex-colleague from my years studying as an Engineer, Kim Visby - former professional triathlete and now co-owner of Fit4bike.

By exchanging a few videos with Kim, I quickly learned that a few changes was required:
  1. My left leg is longer than my right leg - compensate by putting spacers under right cycle shoe ... I am now riding with 6mm under that shoe. Also I made sure that the shoes are now as far apart as possible.
  2. My elbows needs to be further out in front - Kim suggested 1-2 cm, but will try 3cm as this is the next option the Argon18 E114 bike gives me. This is is somewhat a small weakness on this bike, as it has no stem - frame, handlebar and fork is fully integrated.
So with only 4 weeks to go to Ironman St. George it is of course a calculated risk to play with these settings, but I have full confidence, that the advice will help me. Worst case, I can change it back before race day.

It is truly a pleasure to work with such a competent person as Kim. As we´re both engineers educated from the same institute, its easy to understand and adapt to the Fit4bike-way of seeing the body as a machine, which can work optimally, given the right conditions on the bike!

I can strongly recommend working with Fit4bike which has office in Denmark and Spain (Madrid and Canary Islands) - find all contact details on their web, right here:

Check new comtemporary fit here:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Half Ironman ICAN Marbella - Not a Jedi yet

Finally time for first race in 2011 - important as preparation for Ironman St. George the 7th of May. The company could not be better & jolly, traveling with Monica & Guillermo, arriving to Marbella late Friday night.

Saturday meeting and greeting friends from Denmark, Barcelona and earlier races, some race-thoughts re-established themselves:
  1. I have frankly never really given a shit about time. Being serious about the sports in which I have competed, be it: golf, football, climbing or even skateboarding - it has always been more a quality thing over a pressure to push time, race against the clock and the field. This is all new to me, but a crucial necessity to learn and master, if we wanna make it through to the 7 or 8 (i.e. finishing in 7th or 8th place in my age group) slots that will give us a ticket to Ironman Hawaii, Kona. Guillermo is WAY more competitive (with some 300 tri-races completed) than myself on this aspect and I still have a lot to learn.

  2. Triathlon is a fantastic sport when it comes down to meet amazing people. There´s an almost-family-like feeling about the lunches and dinners or even to the "can-i-borrow-your-pump" on race morning. Great to meet Danish pros Jens & Aleksandar- admirable down-to earth attitude and making us proud on Sunday, finishing 5th & 7th respectively! Good work guys - keep it up!
Sun hasn´t even gotten up, so its still fairly twilight-ish when we (400 participants) jump onto the 1900m swim. Can´t see much yet, arms and legs everywhere - have to stop a few times, recover my goggles and cap that gets torn off at the 3rd buoy. Honestly feel pretty bad (panic may be the best word) in the water and I never find a good rhythm or fast pair of feet to draft behind, so I guess I can´t complain much about the 32 mins.

On the bike the heavy clouds are lurking over us and we reach a 4 lane highway with rolling hills after about 10km. with only one (1) day of tapering, I am sure I am still fairly tired, but my legs feel like on fire and I easily chase down a big bunch of people, both on the climbs and down-hill. It´s truly a great joy to be on top of the E-114 and just pounding past strong bikers. I fuel well and feel awesome, even after swallowing at least a gallon of seawater in the swim! It´s starts raining, but its all OK, just be more careful in the slippery round-abouts. Uncertain about the total climb, but probably around 800-900m. Off the bike after 2h35m - only 2.50m slower than Guille (aka Obi-Wan), who around this time was in 11th place - amazing, taking the pro-field (of some 25 pros) into consideration.

Pacing pretty hard on the run with a friendly German called Stephan - we make it to around the 12km mark at a pace around 4:10 km/km - faster than I would have imagined, after not running for 3-4 weeks (injury) and pounding so hard on the bike. My hope (of course) was to catch Guille, but with 9 km to go, he was still around 4 mins. in front of me - mission impossible. There´s always a bill to be paid and I dropped the pace to around 4:50 for the last 5km, finding the great excuse that it was "probably the best for my achilles" (which of course is bullshit). The tendon is a bit sore this morning, but I feel OK and I hope I am now fully recovered for last 2-3 weeks of training before tapering for St. George. Finishing in 4h48m!

All in all a great race and experience - and a few news lessons learned:
  • Training open water swim before the race would have helped me in the water. Definitely swimming Barceloneta these next few weeks - anybody in?
  • Pacing better on the run would have given me a slightly better position, but not as much fun (and fear on Guillermo´s face, when we met the first time :-)
  • I have learned a lot on the bike - thanks to all the good people who have been bearing with me and waiting on every hill top for the last few years!
  • ICAN Triathlon again proves to be amongst the best-in-class, when it comes down to organizing and executing races! Thanks!
See all results here:
Photos and videos to be posted soon...
Love - T