A NEW APPROACH TO MIDDLE DISTANCE RACING
Last year, when I was looking for a new coach, I contacted Maarten. Firstly, to get to know each other. But also, to discuss our ideas about training methods, my athlete profile and to set goals for the 2023 season. After a few weeks we had a conversation again and this started a new chapter in my triathlon career. The focus for this year: middle distance racing.
After training with Maarten for over half a year now I can positively say I made a lot of progress in all three disciplines. The key to achieve this was a structured plan and listening to how I individually respond to the plan. This training-reflection method really works for me. At first, I had to get used to letting Maarten know how I felt every training and keep in touch with him on a regular basis. But now I understand that only with my feedback Maarten can adjust my trainings so they are in line with what we want to achieve.
Over winter, when we started, the main focus was on some volume trainings and short high intensity work. We tried to achieve a slightly higher VO2max with the intensity. At first the volume was not that high since Maarten first wanted to know how I respond to it. After the intensity phase we ramped up the training volume to 15-20 hours per week. Just before race season the last phase mainly focusses on race specific trainings. Long sweet spot bike intervals, long tempo blocks on the run and longer swims, sometimes including wetsuit and open water skills.
Another key change for me was the strength training in the building phase. I never did this before, so it was a whole experiment to start incorporating strength into the schedule. On a regular basis I get outside help with technique swimming sessions. And in my case, Maarten works together with Patrick Stitzinger to optimize my running potential.
The triathlon season is still young, but I’m happy that I was able to show the progress I made over winter in Nieuwkoop. Especially after a frustrating start of the season in Fréjus (gut issues on the run). I guess everyone has their ups and downs. It’s what makes this journey so interesting. I am looking forward to the rest of the season and keep making progress together with my coach Maarten.