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
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