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Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA
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As I sit here back in Denmark I can't help but smile when I think back on the 2014 year. I thought 2013 was good but this year has been something else. It is the first time in my 6 years as a professional triathlete that I have really strung together a season that I am incredibly proud of. It was not perfect but it was definitely great.

Winning Challenge Bahrain was the icing on an incredibly satisfying year. After the disappointment of Mont-Tremblant I always felt like I had unfinished business. I am very happy that the commitment and investments we made towards Bahrain paid off. What happened in Bahrain was no fluke and I have a lot of people to thank for my successes and especially the Bahrain victory. The person who has contributed significantly and who I owe a large part of the thanks to is coach Joel Filliol. I moved to Joel at the back end of 2011, under what were then controversial circumstances as I left a national coach towards the end of an Olympic cycle. Post Olympics I then opted out of the national federation and funding program to go my own way. At the time I felt I needed this return of independence, do what I felt was right and find new 'unridden' ground. This brought me to non-draft racing and now in 2014 it is safe to say it was worthwhile.

But what has Joel done? What has changed for me? Why did I perform the way I did in Bahrain? Having been given the go ahead from Joel to do this. We will both actively commit our time over the coming days/week or so to this "Ask Us Anything" thread. Joel is currently on camp in Portugal whilst I drown myself in wine over here in Denmark ;-) Please excuse any delays in the responses but fire away and we will both do our best to make this worthwhile.

Thanks


London 2012 Olympian : 6 x IRONMAN 70.3 Winner : 2014 Challenge Bahrain Champion : 2014 Hy-Vee 5150 Champion : Master of Human Nutrition - Twitter: @helle_f Facebook: /helletri Web: hellefrederiksen.com

Sponsors: Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon - Nike - Sands Beach Active - NormaTec - Bragi - Hotbox Roasters
Last edited by: helle_f: Dec 10, 14 5:21
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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Huge congratulations on the win, fantastic work.

I know a lot of people will have some great questions for you so I'm just going to sit back and soak up as much information about the making of a champion as I can.

Thanks for doing this.


Blog: http://www.coopstriblog.wordpress.com
Latest blog: Setting Goals. With or Without Gin.
Date: 10/31/2017
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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Helle,

Thanks for joining us. What are your race plans for next year? What is your analysis of the recent Challenge announcements and what effect will it have on pro triathletes next year? Explain for us the dynamics of being on one of the currently few organized professional triathlon teams and what is your view of what the future holds for these type teams.

Best holiday wishes!

David
* Ironman for Life! (Blog) * IM Everyday Hero Video * Daggett Shuler Law *
Disclaimer: I have personal and professional relationships with many athletes, vendors, and organizations in the triathlon world.
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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Congrats. Is there something about your physiology that allows you to benefit from the non draft format more than the ITU format where the bike has more variability and less consistent power effort? Or did you change something in your training for this. HyVee + Bahrain is a solid year. What are your thoughts about how the Challenge Triple Crown can be used to grow the sport in terms of pulling in outside sponsors who are not involved in the sport (you have spoken eloquently about values that pros can bring). What is the focus for next year?

Finally one of our forum posters, a single age group woman mentioned she was reluctant to travel to Bahrain alone, perhaps you can share your views, albeit as a pro, you were likely more taken care of than an age grouper traveling by herself. But perhaps hearing the views of the women's division champion might alleviate the concerns that she and others may have to make the trip to Bahrain/Dubai/Oman.

Well done and congrats on your year.

Dev
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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Congrats on the great season, it is awesome to see someone who had a career before triathlon successful.
Nutrition - any tips on daily nutrition and race nutrition? I know this is different for everyone but just your general thoughts. Also what nutrition tips for women do you have that would differ from men?
Training - what changed this year? For the HIM distance do you focus more on intensity or distance when training?
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [david] [ In reply to ]
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David,

You are welcome. 2015 plans are currently being revised. Had you asked me the same question prior to Challenge Bahrain and the announcement of the triple crown I would have said my 2015 season would not start until April. I would also have said my 2015 season would focus on hitting race best form at IRONMAN 70.3 World's at Zell-Am See. Now I can not say the same, I may once I reflected and digested it all but for now we have chosen to not make any plans until I learn more on the triple crown, support platform, sponsor recognition of such events etc.

My thoughts on the Challenge announcements? Amazing and much needed. There will no doubt be an effect, to what level I do not know but I feel it will delay the short course athletes jump up to IRONMAN if they were considering it. There is now more incentive, prize money and exposure opportunities (or at least promised to be) in these Middle East Challenge races that athletes like myself almost have little to no incentive to go long. Especially when our heart doesn't want to go long. I do feel the lack of coverage IRONMAN 70.3 World's got this year really effected how athlete's and people view the value of 70.3 World's.

Uplace-BMC. This is an incredibly organized and professional setup. For me in 2014 it has actually not changed my, or others, racing and training dynamics which I applaud. I put a large part of the success the team has had down to this. We are not governed to do this or that in terms of races or training, we are not dictated by a sports director telling us what training and food to eat. We are still independent. Of course we have team goals but we share a common trait, all athletes on the team want to win or podium at races, this is in line with the team goal. We are provided with support as and when we want it and this matters. I think teams, if actually having goals and intentions to want to take on other teams, is the way this sport can grow and become more commercial and exciting. What is very important about teams though is that there has to be consistency and an identifiable image, there needs to be a purpose. I feel triathlon is and should always be an individual sport but if we want to commercialize the sport I feel teams can, if done correctly, provide a better platform to attract endorsements, develop athlete performance, help companies develop products and in general develop the sport. The biggest thing that is lacking for teams to really 'turn the wheels' is a commercial series, the developments of the middle east may just bring that.


London 2012 Olympian : 6 x IRONMAN 70.3 Winner : 2014 Challenge Bahrain Champion : 2014 Hy-Vee 5150 Champion : Master of Human Nutrition - Twitter: @helle_f Facebook: /helletri Web: hellefrederiksen.com

Sponsors: Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon - Nike - Sands Beach Active - NormaTec - Bragi - Hotbox Roasters
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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Helle,
congratulations to a great season and an impressive win at Bahrain!
I read on your website that you list Holstebro as your home town. I really love Vestjylland and its coast (and I have spent some very nice and relaxing days in Holstebro). So how much time do you actually get to spend at home over the year?


Cheers,
malte
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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A Huge congratulations on a great 2014 Helle! I was on the edge of my seat throughout the Bahrain coverage as you ran your way to victory. I've got a few questions if you don't mind.

What was the Bahrain experience like? Many have been saying how well organized and professional it was. How the royal family rolled out the red carpet for you professionals. How would the athlete experience compare to the 70.3 world in Mt Tremblant for example? I'm not asking you to speak ill towards WTC but just curious what your honest opinion is on this topic when comparing the two.

Did you change anything in your preparation for Bahrain vs Tremblant? Did you just have a good day or were you confident going in that you had a victory within your grasp? What hurdles did you have to overcome that the coverage wouldn't have given us insight into?

Last but not least is the 20M non-drafting rule. I know it's likely a touchy subject for you with the recent Twitter activity but I'll ask regardless. How close do you feel the pro field was to adhering to the 20m rule? Did you find it difficult to judge if you were far enough/ too close while out there? Do you feel it was a fair race like it was intended to be with the lengthening of the non-draft zone? Do you feel it played to your strengths or hindered your performance?

Thanks for taking the time to reply to the ST community. It's really amazing that the triathlon world is so small and I could have the Challenge Bahrain champion replying to my questions. Enjoy your wine and a little R&R ... If you're into whites with a hint of citrus try Stone Leigh Sav Blanc (great with warm goats cheese and honey) ... You can thank me later!

------
"Train so you have no regrets @ the finish line"
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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$100,000!!!

So what are you going to splurge on?
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [fierceSun] [ In reply to ]
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dont forget denmark is high tax country then the coaches shrare ( v deserved me thinks ) so make it more like 50 000

fierceSun wrote:
$100,000!!!

So what are you going to splurge on?

http://www.pb3coaching.com
Last edited by: pk: Dec 10, 14 8:37
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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Congrats on the win! You looked very fast yet comfortable on the run. Can you describe your typical run training leading up to a HIM race?

- how much weekly run mileage?
- how much time spent slower than race pace, at race pace, faster than race pace
- do you include resistance training and explosive exercises like plyometrics?

____________________________________

Race Reports | Oxygen Addict Podcast
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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What wine is your tipple of choice?

Congrats on a stellar year.
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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So happy for you Helle.

I remember just a year or so ago you had some birch allergies or the like rear their head, and can't even imagine something like that.. to train, be ready and then have your chest lock up etc..
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [Maui5150] [ In reply to ]
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interesting you should mention birch allergy. I was just reading an article about cross reactivity of certain food allergens with birch pollen and how these could cause seasonal GI intolerance to certain foods. definitely applicable to nutrition choices in an endurance athlete.
http://www.foodintolerances.org/default.aspx
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [robgray] [ In reply to ]
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robgray wrote:
Congrats on the win! You looked very fast yet comfortable on the run. Can you describe your typical run training leading up to a HIM race?

- how much weekly run mileage?
- how much time spent slower than race pace, at race pace, faster than race pace
- do you include resistance training and explosive exercises like plyometrics?

I really like these questions. I would love to hear Joel and Helle's views on Polarized training, ie not training in that middle zone 3+sub threshold range. Run and bike would be cool.

The ins and outs of being on a team would be interesting.

I know you should never ask a woman's weight, but you seem so petite on the podium. So what is your FTP and what is that in W/kg :-)
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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Congratulations on a great season and thank you for being so open on here and with your new facebook series. Great stuff!

My question is for you and Joel on your approach to bike training for the non drafting events. What has been key in your transition to one of the stronger riders out there? Also, power based riding? Days per week, etc.



https://twitter.com/mungub
http://benmunguia.blogspot.com
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks Dev,

I'm now starting to identify that my physiology is definitely more suited to the non draft format more than the ITU format. It is clear that I have a much better ability to sustain high consistent power outputs over large periods of time, of which is not 'relevant' in ITU, or not so relevant at least. Despite my 40km average power being higher in non-draft races than ITU races the requirements of ITU do not favour a rider of my type. What I really like about the developments of non-draft and half-distance events, as shown this weekend, is that you really need to carry no weakness over all 3 disciplines to come out on top. This trend I only see getting stronger over the years.

In terms of training approaches, not a lot has actually changed to be honest, of course we focus more now on the longer sustained efforts rather than short peak power accelerations, especially on the bike. Swim and run is very similar in terms of pace focus. Prior to the London 2012 Olympics we focused on efforts reflecting the ability to run 34 minute 10km, we still try and stay in contact with that type of effort.

Triple Crown, this is a huge opportunity, not just from a professional athletes perspective in terms of big prize money but in terms of growing the sport. I have long been frustrated with the lack of exposure in the sport. We as athletes and more so event organisations have an obligation to sponsors to provide them exposure. Irrelevant of what the minority might think we absolutely need this sport exposed and commercialised. Outside sponsors are looking for a way into this sport but they don't want to come near it when they lack any significant opportunity to get recognised. Only last year I spoke with a strong title sponsor of a world tour cycling team. His words to me at the time were pretty simple but pretty obvious, he got more eyeballs seeing his brand and hearing his story per $ spent than he could get in any other sport. Yet he acknowledged that triathlon was an incredible sport to be a part of. This showed me how much it meant that companies desire that exposure. Having heard a lot in Bahrain this weekend I really feel that Challenge understand what this sport needs, not from a business perspective but from a sporting perspective. I'm excited to follow the developments.

Regarding Bahrain and my experience as a woman, this is a great point and thank you for raising it. It should be noted that despite being supported to go to this race I actually opted to not stay in the race hotel for my own preparation reasons. I was in the capital, Manama, due to race start location, which was far more a populated area than the Sofitel location where all pros, and a large portion of age group athletes stayed. This likely exposed me more to the culture and people of Bahrain. We chose to rent a car, not relying on the chauffeur service plus we ate out most evenings. For me to feel more safe and suited to an foreign environment or new country I do a lot of research to find out if there are any cultural/religious rules or etiquette that you ought to follow. I do that to respect the new country and its people but more so for myself to feel prepared. I can say honestly that I felt Bahrain on the whole was far more westernised than you could expect. I did travel with my fiancé, Ben but not for the reason that I felt unsafe travelling there alone. Had Ben not been in a position to go I would still have gone alone and probably still put myself out of the pro support locations/services. Upon reflection of the 6 days we spent in Manama I would never discourage a female travelling to Bahrain to do that race and I would certainly go again. At the end of the day we are travelling into a new country and my feeling is that providing we know and respect they culture there is no reason to feel afraid. I'm expecting the same in reference to Dubai and Oman.


London 2012 Olympian : 6 x IRONMAN 70.3 Winner : 2014 Challenge Bahrain Champion : 2014 Hy-Vee 5150 Champion : Master of Human Nutrition - Twitter: @helle_f Facebook: /helletri Web: hellefrederiksen.com

Sponsors: Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon - Nike - Sands Beach Active - NormaTec - Bragi - Hotbox Roasters
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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Congratulations on the win. I have been disturbed by the fact that the main person bankrolling this race is accused by multiple sources of being directly involved in the torture of pro-democracy activists in Bahrain. Do you think that it is right for you to participate in this race, thereby indirectly legitimising not only the oppressive Bahraini government but also the extremely unpleasant behaviour of which Shaikh Nasser is accused?

Lok forward to your reply

Cheers

Rob
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [mungub50] [ In reply to ]
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Our approach to the bike could be described generally as 'the right load at the right time'.
Most often we do two specific power based sessions on the bike during the build up to events.
We use different types of sessions including strong finish rides, race specific power sessions, and sessions with targets over race pace.
It's a pretty simple approach, and has worked well for Helle.

>>>>
JoelFilliol.com - check out the Real Coaching Podcast
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [robgray] [ In reply to ]
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Hey robgray:

Helle usually runs between 4-6hrs per week.
Most runs are easy, with two main sessions per week, which will be faster than race pace for the main sets of these sessions.
Resistance training 2x per week, no plyometrics.


J

>>>>
JoelFilliol.com - check out the Real Coaching Podcast
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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Given the caliber of the competition, the prize purse and the live coverage, do you think Challenge Bahrain has earned the title "70.3 World Championship"? And will you call yourself the Half Ironman World Champion?






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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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Given your long course talent, any kona plans?

____________________________________

Race Reports | Oxygen Addict Podcast
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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helle_f wrote:
I did travel with my fiancé, Ben

Damn.
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [James Haycraft] [ In reply to ]
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James Haycraft wrote:
helle_f wrote:
I did travel with my fiancé, Ben


Damn.

Yes, we all have a crush on Ben.






The Age Group Home on Facebook
Twitter jokes
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Re: Winning Challenge Bahrain and non-draft success - AUA [helle_f] [ In reply to ]
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