Olympic Triatholn Yverdon and Davos Race Report


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The season came to an end with the races in Yverdon and Davos, both olympic distance. I was supposed to do a 70.3 IronMan in China on September 23rd but the government of the city of Chongquing revoked the permission to organize the race and therefore the organizers had to cancel the event.

The race in Yverdon, on Septmeber 9th, was the 9th and only draft-legal race of the Swiss tricircuit. I finished the race in 2:07:06, in 11th position overall and 8th in my category. The weather was absolutely amazing and the water of the lake in Yverdon was cristal clear like in a tropical island. On my way to Yverdon I was kicked out of the train because I didn’t have a reservation for my bike. I arrived there at 10:20, only 40 minutes before the start of the race. Luckily the train station was very close to the start and I managed to do everything on time, even a short warm up in the water. The swim included an Australian exit and it went quite well. I managed to keep a 1:33min/100m pace, with wetsuit.

After the swim, I did my best on the bike to reach a fast group to take advantage of the draft-legal race. Unfortunately, the course was very technical with a lot of corners, ups and downs… The other competitors seemed to know the course much better than me and I was loosing a couple of meters from the group after every corners. I managed to stay with them for about 2 of the 5 laps and then I had to continue on my own because the rest of the peloton was not so fast.

In the run I managed to pass some of the cyclists that were in the fast group. I had the 4th best run split of my age group and 5th overall. The course was over 4 laps on a “cross coutry” surface in the park nearby the beach. It was flat but the soft surface didn’t make it easy at all.

The race in Davos, on September 15th, was the 10th and last race of the season in the Swiss tricircuit. I finished the race in 2:11:23, in 9th position overall and 7th position in my agegroup. Last year the weather was horrible, it was already snowing in the middle of Septemeber. This year we have been lucky and the weather has been amazing the entire weekend. However, the water in the lake was extremely cold. Add 1.500 meters of altitude and you can imagine how hard it was the swim. Not to mention that because the lake was quite small, the swim course had many corners and it was quite confusing. I had horrible feelings at the start and I was tempted to quit the race but I didn’t see any boat nearby and I continued to swim. At the beginning I was struggling because I was feeling like I was not able to breath. I guess that after a while I got used to the hard conditions and I managed to complete the swim with an average pace of 1:41min/100m… Quite bad for a wetsuit legal swim.

Right after T1 while I was trying to wear my left shoe on the bike, I hit one of the barriers on the lef side of the road with my hand and I got three cuts on the upper part of my hand. I was bliding quite a lot for the rest of the race but it was not so painful and I managed to continue. I was quite fast on the climb to Fluelapass and I passed a few triathletes, including my friend and rival Jurgen. At the top of the pass it was mandatory to wear something with long sleeves before starting the descent back to Davos. We had the possibility to leave a jacket or something in a special bag in T1 and it was transported to the food station on top of Fluelapass. Unfortunately, the bags were stored in big boxes and not racked in numerical order like in T2… On top of that, the volunteets did not help the athletes searching for their bags… I lost more than one minute just to find my bag… As a consequence two athletes managed to catch me again. The descent to Davos was quite fast and not too dangeros. The turns were not very sharp and the asfalt was dry thanks to the wonderful weather.

Jurgen managed to catch me on the top of Fluelapass and we arrived to T2 together. He started running a bit faster than me and he took about 200m advantage in the first couple of kms. I managed to keep the gap constant and in the 9th km, uphill, I managed to reduce the gap. However, in the last turn before the beginning of the last km, almost entirely downhill, he noticed that I was getting closer and he started a long sprint to the finish line 😀 and he finished about 1 minute ahead of me.

Now the season is over and I’m enjoying a “break” with no pressure for training: I do what I like whenever I feel like doing something. In november I will start again to add a structure to my weekly planning until the end of the offseason. Until then I will just enjoy doing sport with my friends and maybe I will try to break my personal records in running.

If you like this post, remember to give it a thumbs up and if you have any questions, leave a comment below. You can follow my journey on my social accounts @alexciherean Write to you soon! Cheers!

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Triathlon Locarno Race Report (Sprint&Olympic)


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The race in Locarno was the 8th stage of the Swiss Tricircuit. There were two options for the participants: middle distance and olympic distance. However, the day before, on Saturday, the orgnizers offered as well a sprint race, outside of the tricircuit. Since I had to go to Locarno on Saturday anyway (because the race on Sunday started early and it’s quite far from Lucerne), I decided to sign up for the sprint race as well.

I arrived to Locarno with my friend Adrian around 2pm. We went to the hotel to check-in. We thought we had plenty of time because the sprint race was starting at 5:30pm. However, we didn’t know that the registration was closing at 3:30pm (and Adrian still had to register) and that the transition zone was closing at 4:15pm. We arrived to the expo area at 3:45pm. The organizers where so kind to let Adrian register for the race despite the official registration time was already expired. We had to run back to the hotel to pick up our stuff and we came back by bike as quicly as possible in order to leave our stuff in the transition zone before 4:15pm. It was quite an adventure but we managed to do everything on time… And then we had to wait more than one hour to start the race…

The organizer selected the 30 participants with the best time in this race in previous years to start in the first wave at 5:25pm. The other participants started 3 minutes later with a rolling start with 2 athletes every 15 seconds. My swim was quite good and I passed many athletes. T2 was quick and I was going very well until one of the pods of the power meter broke down and went into the chain. I was in 6th position and chasing the leaders but I had to stop for about 2 minutes to fix the bike. I finished the bike as well as I could without power meter… I was so upset for this issue that I ran as hard as I could and I averaged 3:39 min/km on 5k. I finished the race in 1:01:52 in 12th position in my age group. I think that I could have finished easily in the top 10 without the issues with the power meter but anyway it was a great workout.

On Sunday I went to prepare my stuff in the transition zone early enough. I tried to repare the power meter but it didn’t work. I will have to replace the damaged pod. The start of the swim this time was by waves and I started with all the other man in the olympic distance at 8:30am. I went with my friend Jurgen quite in the front and we started to swim quite fast. I averaged 1:32 min/100m on 1.500m (with wetsuit). In T1 I was still very close to Jurgen but then he was faster than me on the bike and the run. I did the entire bike segment without power meter for the first time in a few months. I think that I managed to pace myself quite well anyway. I averaged 39km/h with tired legs from the day before. I don’t think that I would have been much faster with a power meter. T2 was quite good and the run as well. My legs where really tired, especially my calves, but I was able to keep an excellent pace (3:57 min/km on average). I hope I can run at this pace in my next 70.3 IronMan in Chongquing. I finished the race in 2:11:09, in 11th position in my age group and very satisfied for the performance and for the entire weekend.

After the race I spent some quality time with my teammates, my sister and one of my coworkers. Many familiar faces came to Locarno for the weekend. It was a great event and I think that I will come back next year. I’m not sure if I will do the double again but I want definitely to race here again. This coming weekend I will go to Yverdon for the 9th race of the tricircuit. I’m looking forward to racing in a draft legal race for the first time this season.

If you like this post, remember to give it a thumbs up and if you have any questions, leave a comment below. You can follow my journey on my social accounts @alexciherean Write to you soon! Cheers!

Uster Triathlon Race Report


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The race in Uster was the 7th competition of the Swiss Tricircuit. It came 2 weeks after my succesful 70.3 in Benton Harbour. I was not very focused during the race but I managed to finish in 11th place. The first week after the race in the US it was mainly a recovery week with very easy swimming, walking and a bit of running. The second week back to Switzerland I started to come back gradually to my training plan. In two weeks I spent only one hour on the bike but I was feeling fit.

For the swim we were allowed to use the wetsuit because the temperature of the air was quite cold in the morning. However, the water was at least 23 degrees. I went to Uster by train and I was there at least one hour in advance with enough time to prepare everything and warm up a little bit in the water. I was quite unprepared for this race since it was my first time and I didn’t have time to check the course properly. I didn’t know or at least I didn’t remember that there were 2 laps for the swim. After the first lap I thought that we were already done but when I saw only 12 minutes on my Garmin I had to figure out where I had to go to start the second lap. I finished the swim in 25:42 and T1 went quite well.

The bike course was flat and fast. I averaged pretty much the same watts that I had in the 70.3 two weeks before. I was expecting to have more power for an olympic distance but I guess that with only one hour of home trainer in two weeks it was not possible to go faster. Anyway, my average speed was 39.8 km/h and my final time was 57:55. At the end of the first lap I took the wrong turn and I guess that I lost at least one minute. Without this mistake I think that I could have finished the race in 8th position.

After the bike, T2 was ok, maybe it took a bit too long to wear the socks and the shoes, but then I started running at a great pace. I was feeling really good and I averaged 3:53 min/km and I made a new personal best in 10k(38:23). My weight is going down week after week and I think that this is improving my running. I’m not sure if it is affecting also my swimming and cycling. I guess that I should not loose more weight now.

This coming weekend I will be in Locarno and I’m looking forward to racing the sprint distance on Saturday and the olympic on Sunday. If you like this post, remember to give it a thumbs up and if you have any questions, leave a comment below. You can follow my journey on my social accounts @alexciherean Write to you soon! Cheers!

70.3 IronMan Steelhead Race Report


 

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The 70.3 IronMan Steelhead was going to be the A-Race and one of the highlight of the season and indeed it was. I finished the race with a new PB in this distance, 4:28:48, about 7 minutes better than my previous PB in Vichy last year. I was 5th in my age group and I got one of the two slots for the 70.3 IronMan World Championship 2019 in Nice. Mission accomplished!

However, it was a quite complicated weekend and it was not easy to achieve this result. When I arrived to the venue on Saturday and I unboxed my bike from the Scicon travel bag, I soon realized that both shifters were not working. I inspected the bike after the flight and everything seemed right. Unfortunately, something internally in the shifters failed and they were not working anymore. I should have tested the bike as soon as I arrived to the hotel on Thursday but I didn’t… This was my first time travelling by plane with my bike and for sure I made a rookie mistake. Next time I will test the bike well in advance and I will make sure that when I travel to the venue, the bike is ready to roll. Anyway, as usual there was a bike mechanic tent at the IronMan expo and I went there to get my bike fixed. We spent literally hours trying to solve the problem but, unfortunately, there was no way to repair the shifters. The guys at the expo were amazing and super supportive. Ethan from Bike and Life started to call the shops in the area to check if someone had the shifters in stock. Unfortunately, we didn’t find them. Luckily, at the racedaywheels.com tent they were renting bikes for the race and they happened to have a Scott time trial bike in my size available. It was not exactly like my Scott Plasma Team Issue but it was pretty close. We brought the bike to Nick from K&G Bikes and he set up the new bike with my wheels, my bottle cage, my bento box and my spare parts bag. He also took the measures from my bike to set up the saddle in order to allow me to ride the bike in a position as close as possible to my own bike. We finished working on the bike at 9:30pm… Luckily in this race, same day check-in was allowed. Actually, Ethan was allowed to enter the transition zone any time and he let me enter to put my bike on the rack. I went to the hotel and I prepared my electrolyte and all the other stuff for the race. When I finished it was almost midnight and I had to wake up at 4:30am the next day… I think that I don’t have to tell you how did I sleep 🙂

Anyway, on race day I had breakfast and I went to the Jean Klock Park to leave the rest of my stuff in transition. Despite the troubles of the pre race day, everything was ready for the race. I was finally feeling relieved and I couldn’t wait to start the race. I was in my best shape of the season and I knew that I could achieve my goal even with a new bike set up in the last minute. The temperature of the water was 0.1 degree F above the limit and therefore the wetsuits were not allowed. The water was really choppy and it made a very rough swim. I did my best but it was very hard to swim fast, fighting with the waves with scarce visibility and without wetsuit. I finished the swim in 35:45 with a pace of 1:50 min/100m. It doesn’t seem a good split but still it was the 10th best time in my age group.

The transition was long and narrow but unlike other IronMan branded races, we where allowed to leave everything in one place together with the bike. There were no blue and red bags on the racks. I think that this makes the transition faster. Starting the bike segment I was feeling great. It was almost like riding my bike. I forgot about all the troubles of the day before and I focused only on my Garmin Edge to make sure that I was keeping the right pace. The bike course was very flat with only 350 meters of elevation. Most of the 90k were on a highway along the coast of lake Michigan. The roads were not in perfect conditions but definitely much better than in Vichy. In the first half of the race I was feeling great and I was keeping the average at about 285w. In the second half I started to feel less energy. I took my nutrition as planned but my low back started to hurt a little bit and I was not feeling as comfortable any more. At the end of the race my normalized power was 275w. According to my FTP my predicted normalized power for a 70.3 is 271w at the most. This means that I pushed beyond the limit… Or maybe I should test again my FTP 😉 The variability index was 1.02 which means that my pace was very steady (which is a good thing in a time trial). The average speed was also not bad at 39.6 km/h. I think that with my bike, pushing the same watts I would have reached 40 km/h on average, saving maybe a couple of minutes. We will never know. My bike split was 2:17:05, 4th split of my age group. With a bike set up the day before. Pretty amazing 🙂

At the start of the half marathon I was feeling great but I was also feeling that my quads worked a lot on the bike segment. I think that in the first 5 km my average was close to 4 min/km. Aerobically I was feeling good but I knew that my legs were not going to be able to sustain that pace until the end of the race. My quads were hurting more and more km after km. I tried to stick to Ronaldo Ferreira, a triathlete in my age group that was running at a similar pace since the beginning of the run.  We passed each other several time during the run, keeping the pace as high as possible. With 7km to go I had a feeling similar to when you hit the wall in a marathon. My legs were feeling empty and hurting quite a lot. I lost a few meters from Ronaldo and I had to make a huge mental effort to raise the pace again. I trained for this race for months and I was not going to waste minutes in the last km of the run. Pain is temporary but glory is forever. I ignored the pain coming from my legs and I started to run again as fast as possible. I think that the last gel helped me also a little bit. At the end, after this race I was going to have a week of holidays in Chicago: enough time to recover from a huge effort. I passed again Ronaldo and this time he was not able to keep my pace. I flew to the finish line closing the half marathon in 1:31:15 with an average pace of 4:21 min/km. I think that I can improve my run considerably and if I do, chances for a podium will be really high. The second place was only 5 minutes away… It’s something that I can definitely achieve for next year.

At the end it was just another race. This approach helped me to go through the troubles on Saturday and to give my best on Sunday. The people at the IronMan expo were absolutely amazing and without their help I would have not achieved this result. The big goal of the season is achieved so now I have to find a new motivation for the last month of competitions. In the 70.3 IronMan Chongquing they will give 25 slots for Kona… I’m just saying 🙂

If you like this post, remember to give it a thumbs up and if you have any questions, leave a comment below. You can follow my journey on my social accounts @alexciherean Write to you soon! Cheers!

 

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Triathlon de Nyon: first top 10 of the season!


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The race in Nyon was definitely the hardest of the season so far. I thought that I was not performing very well but apparently the race was hard for everybody: I managed to finish 7th in my age group and after 6 races of the tricircuit I’m in 4th position in the ranking in my age group.

Nyon is relatively far from Lucerne. The race start was at 13:40 and I had to leave from Lucerne at 9:00am. I arrived in Nyon at 12:23 and the transition zone was only about 10 minutes away. I met my friend and rival Jurgen there 😀 he came with an earlier train from Rapperswil. It was a beautiful, sunny day and extremely hot. No wonder that the wetsuit was not allowed in the swim. I left my bike for a few minutes with Jurgen and I went for the registration. Then we went together for the check in and when we were ready it was already time to go to the lake for a quick warm up.

The start of the swim was from the water. I picked the right side as I don’t like to start from the middle. I said “good luck and see you later” to Jurgen and I went to the right. The water was great. It was warm and the lake was calm. The swim was good, I had good feelings but my pace was not that good. I averaged 1:43 min/100m, about 3 seconds slower than in the first non wetsuit olympic race of the season in Zug. The transition was extremely long, about 900m uphill to reach the stadium where the transition zone was located. I finished the swim (exactly 1500m) in 26:17 and T1 was 3:02.

The bike was on a 4 loops, hilly and super hard course. Definitely completely different from what I have been training for the race in Benton Harbour. I managed to keep a decent pace for the first 2 rounds but then I disconnected mentally and phisically. On the climbs it was extremely hot and the descents where technical with a lot of corners. No time to relax. I finished the bike segment (42km) in 1:10:36 with an average power of 248w: less than what I normally do in a bike workout… During T2 I was a bit surprised to see almost nobody in the transition zone… I thought: where is everybody? For a few seconds I didn’t even know where I had to go but I figured it our quite quickly.

The run was great. The first 2k of the 5k loop were a bit hilly and the last 3k were flat or with a light descent. My final average on the 10km was 4:13 min/km. It’s not super fast but I had the feeling that I could keep that pace for another 10k. I’m confident that I can keep a similar average in the 70.3 this week. I finished the 10k run in 41:10. For the first time I ran faster than Jurgen but for the first time he was faster than me on the bike and he managed to finish ahead in 6th place.

Despite I was suffering more than in any other race of this season so far, I am very pleased for the top 10 and I am confident for the 70.3 IronMan Steelhead. I expect the bike course to be not nearly as hard as in Nyon and I hope to have my best bike performance of the season. If I can keep a decent pace in the swim and a good pace on the run, then it’s going to be the race of my life 🙂

If you like this post, remember to give it a thumbs up and if you have any questions, leave a comment below. You can follow my journey on my social accounts @alexciherean Write to you soon! Cheers!

Sempachersee Triathlon Race Report


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The race in Notwil was the 4th in 22 days. It was a sprint distance after 3 olympic triathlons but it wasn’t any easier. It was just shorter. The pace was quite fast for the entire race and I finished in 1:06:09, 18th place in my category. I have lost one place in the Swiss Tricircuit ranking and I’m now in third place in my age group. It would be nice to keep this place until the end of the season but with 5 more races to go, it’s going to be hard.

Sunday it was a glorious day for a triathlon: sunny but not too warm. The temperature of the water was 23 degrees and therefore the wetsuit was not allowed. The start of the race was a time trial with a triathlete starting every 15 seconds. My predicted start was at 9:09 am. I arrived in Notwil by train shortly past 8am with plenty of time to go through registration and check-in. Once I was ready, I jogged to the swim start that was quite fare away from the transition (around 1.5km I guess). I warmed up for about 10 minutes and then I lined up with other triathletes to get ready to start my race. I found right in front of me my friend Jurgen Leo Foley who’s currently leading the ranking in my age group and overall. Fast guy! It was great to start behind him because he set a great pace for the entire race.

The swim was 750 meters long in the Sempach lake going from the start towards the transition zone. The water was warm and calm and being a time trial there was no traffic but basically also no drafting because I was not able to close the 15 seconds gap with Jurgen. T1 was quite long as there were more than 500 meters between the lake and the transition. At least, without wetsuit, running to T1 was not so bad. I swam the 750 meters in 12:13 with a pace of 1:36 min/100m. The pace was 4 seconds per 100m faster in Zug, again without wetsuit. In Zug the distance was almost double though, but it was a mass start and therefore I could take advantage of some drafting. I consider this as an improvement compared to three weeks ago because I swam faster, in a time trial mode and I was feeling good in the water. I wonder if I could keep this pace on 1.900 meters without wetsuit… We will see in August I guess 🙂

The bike course was 2 laps on a 10km loop. The first 2 km were flat, then there was a hill of about 3km and the following 3km were a descent coming down from the hill towards the transition and again 2km flat before starting the second lap. I managed to close the gap with Jurgen in the first round and we passed each other several times before T2 but I didn’t manage to break away. I finished the 20km in 30:59 with an average speed of 38.7 km/h and average power of 290w. There were almost 200m of elevation and despite I had my best performance of the season in terms of power, the average speed was not so high. Anyway, in Benton Harbour the eleveation will be a bit more than 300m in 90km 😀 I guess that the most important thing is that power is increasing 🙂

I arrived to T2 together with Jurgen but I was a bit faster and I manage to start the run a few seconds ahead. However, he run faster than me and he was able to catch me at half of the first of the 2 rounds of 2.5km. I didn’t look at the watch during the run. I just tried to run as hard as possible to keep “fighting” with Jurgen. Once he passed me I didn’t loose so much at the beginning and I had a pretty good pace for the entire race. It was a great motivation 🙂 I finished the run in 19:03 with an average pace of 3:47 min/km. Finally I have been able to have a decent run after a hard bike. At the end Jurgen was faster than me but only by 30 seconds. Let see if I can catch him in one race before the end of the season 🙂 The fight for the 1st place is stil open 😀

A special thanks to my Loolaba team mates for your support. Carol and Peter raced in the duathlon early in the morning and then they joined Adrian and Sabrina to cheer for Lilian and I in the triathlon. Every race is better with this club! You are the best!

If you like this post, remember to give it a thumbs up and if you have any questions, leave a comment below. You can follow my journey on my social accounts @alexciherean Write to you soon! Cheers!

Triathlon Uri: 2nd place in the Swiss Tricircuit Ranking


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Last Sunday in Uri it was my third Olympic Triathlon in 15 days and it went pretty well. It was a bit shorter than the standard distance and I was able to finish the race in 1:56:19, 13th place in my age group. This gave me enough points to reach the second place in the Swiss Tricircuit Ranking in my age group and third place overall! Not too bad. Now let see for how long I can hold this position in the ranking. It’s going to be hard.

My day on Sunday started very early, at 6am. I had breakfast, I picked my stuff for the race and I brought them to the Loolaba van parked nearby my apartment. I went with my teammates Adrian and John to Uri quite early because we had to set up the stand before the start of the first race of the day: the duathlon. It was an all day event, with sprint and olympic distance, Swiss Elite National Championships (male and female) and all the youth categories. I helped out with the stand until noon then I went to the registration and I checked in my bike and the other stuff for the race. The start of the olympic distance was at 1:50 pm. I went to warm up in the water around 1:30pm. It was a sunny and very hot day. I enjoyed being in the fresh water 🙂

The swim was a two loops course. It was quite windy and there were waves almost like in the sea, especially until the first buoy. The rest of the course was not so bad. I struggled a little bit in the first segment of the loop but in the rest of the course I was feeling quite good. I was not so fast though, definitely slower than last week in Spiez. My pace was 1:39 min/km but the total distance was only 1.100m and I managed to finish in 18:28. T1 was very long though. There were at least 300m between the lake and the transition zone. Maybe they tried to compensate with a shorter swim 😀

The bike course was 3 rounds on a 12km loop. It was mostly flat although the wind in some points was very strong. My bike split was great: I finished the 36km in 52:20, 3rd time in my AG, only 20 seconds from the best time of the day. I averaged more than 40km/h and 277w. I passed many athletes, even some of the elite age groupers who reached T1 faster than me. However, my T2 was quite slow and they passed me again before starting the run segment.

As I said at the beginning, it was very hot and running in the middle of the afternoon was definitely the hardest part of the race. My target pace was 4:00 min/km but I was not able to keep it even for the first km. The course was 4 rounds on a 2.5km loop. The first 2 rounds were decent at about 4:10 min/km on average. In the 3rd round I started to slow down and in the last round I was running around 4:25 min/km. At the end I finished in 42:08 with an average pace of 4:19 min/km.

Overall I’m satisfied of the outcome of the race and of my current level of fitness. I would like to improve my running before my A-race in August. I’m running at a good pace during the run key-workout. Now I have to understand why I’m not able to keep that pace in a triathlon. Possible causes are weather and tiredness, since I’m not tapering before these competitions. Or maybe I just have to be patient and keep following my training plan 🙂 Let see how it goes this coming Sunday in the Sempachersee Sprint Triathlon.

If you like this post, remember to give it a thumbs up and if you have any questions, leave a comment below. You can follow my journey on my social accounts @alexciherean Write to you soon! Cheers!

Second Olympic Triathlon in 7 days in Spiez


Last Saturday I did my second Olympic Triathlon of the season only six days after the fast race in Zug. The weather was amazing the entire day in Spiez. It was a bit windy though. In some segments on the bike course I was not feeling comfortable in the aero position because the bike was kind of shaking due to the wind and I was not feeling in full control of the bike. Anyway, I finished the race in 2:13:50, 19th in my age group. I was expecting to be about 4 minutes faster. However, 19th place, considering that the race was valid for the Swiss National Championship, is not too bad. I was about 5 minutes faster than 4 years ago when I did this race for the first and only time.

I arrived in Spiez by train at 12:34, a bit more than 1 hour before the start, enough time to go through registration, check-in and a bit of warm up. The temperature of the water in Lake Thun is usually quite cold, therefore this time the wetsuit was allowed. It was my first race with my new Zoggs FX1 and it went pretty well. The distance was exactly 1.500m and I finished in 23:47, a pace of 1:33 min/100m. My target for this season is to reach a pace of 1:30 min/100m in the half IronMan distance (1.900m) and I think that I’m pretty close. I have to try to improve about 3 seconds on 100m over the next month. At the start I was quite in front on the left side. The group with the fast swimmers broke away after a few minutes and I was able to keep the pace of the chasing group. I was feeling comfortable in the water and I’m very happy with my new wetsuit. Since I started to race in triathlons, swimming has been my least favourite part of the race, especially with a mass start. This season my feelings are completely different, I’m enjoing the swim as much as the bike and the run.

The bike course was quite hilly (350m of elevation), especially if compared with the course of the Zug Triathlon of last week. A few meters after T1 there is already a steep hill, luckily not too long. The first half of the course was mostly uphill. However, except for a couple of steep and short hills, the incline on the rest of the course was very low and I could perceive it mainly because of the effort that I was making on the bike. I was trying to keep my watts above FTP but I think that I should have pushed harder. In the second half of the race the incline was mainly negative and in some segments I was riding above 60 km/h effortless. I was much faster than in the first half and I didn’t need to push nearly as hard as in the first half. I have to keep this in mind if I race again in Spiez next year. Anyway, overall I’m satisfied of the performance on the bike (1:02:43 in 40km).

The run course was made of two laps of 5k with a first kilometer on a heart-break hill. In the firs lap I was doing ok but when a I had to go through the hill a second time I struggled a lot and the rest of the second lap was not nearly as good as the first one. I finished the 10k in 42:40, almost 3 minutes slower than in Zug. For sure the course was harder and probably I was more tired than last week. However, I want to be able to run on tired legs at 4:00 min/km. Let see if I can reach this goal in the next race in Uri this Sunday.

If you like this post, remember to give it a thumbs up and if you have any questions, leave a comment below. You can follow my journey on my social accounts @alexciherean Write to you soon! Cheers!

First Olympic Triathlon under 2 hours in Zug


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Two months after the first race of the season in Wallisellen (sprint distance), I was really looking forward to competing in my first olympic distance of 2018 in Zug. It was a very fast race and for the first time I have been able to break two hours. Honestly, the distance was a bit shorter than the standard, especially in the bike (38 km). However, I was 15 minutes faster than last year and 14 minutes faster than my personal best in this race, therefore I’m fully satisfied of my performance.

This year I’m 100% focused on triathlon and this was only my second race of 2018 so far. I was really looking forward to testing my conditions after a two month block of intensive training. The temperature of the water on race day was 22 degrees celsius and therefore the wetsuit was not allowed. It was definitely unexpected since it is the first time in 5 years the the wetsuit is not allowed in Zug. It was a bit of a schock for me and my team mates of Loolaba. However, after jumping in the fresh water for the warm up, I forgot about it and I started focusing on the race. The swim course this year was a bit different, after the problems caused last year by the floating first buoy. I made sure I had some reference points before staritng the swim in order to go as straight as possible during the race. My wave started at 8:25. I was very relaxed, maybe too relaxed. They didn’t count down to the start so I was a bit surprised when the race started 🙂

The swim was good. I was able to keep a good pace. I was feeling comfortable in the water and I had a good visibility of the course. I was able to finish in 21:57. It was about 150 meters shorter than the standard distance but my average pace was 1:40 min/100m, not too bad for no-wetsuit swim. On the bike I had a bit of troubles to fit my shoes because the first part of the bike course in the old town was on cobblestones. However, after this little problem I started to push as close as possible to 300 watts. At the end of the race I averaged 274 watts, 41.8 Km/h and I finished the 38km in 54:36. Starting the run I was feeling great and maybe I went a bit too fast, 3:50 min/km. I was not able to keep that pace but at the end I completed the 9.7km in 39:28 with an average pace of 4:02 min/km.

In conclusion, I think that it was a very good test. I can still improve a lot my running pace and I have to make sure that I have enough endurance to keep this pace over the 70.3 distance. Now I have three more triathlons until the 8th of July and the goal is to practice and improve the race pace. Afterwards I will have a “break” of almost one month. I will use that block to increase the endurance to the race pace achieved until then. If everything goes as planned I will be ready to rock at the 70.3 IronMan Steelhead on August 12th.

If you like this post, remember to give it a thumbs up and if you have any questions, leave a comment below. You can follow my journey on my social accounts @alexciherean Write to you soon! Cheers!

First race of 2018 in Wallisellen


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Hi guys, as always, since I live in Switzerland, the first test of the year is the Internationaler Walliseller Triathlon, the first race of the Swiss Tricircuit. It’s a sprint triathlon with special distances: 600m swim, 15km bike and 4km run. The race starts as a time trial with a triathlete starting every 15 seconds. Since the swim is in a 50 m swimming pool, that’s probably the only way to do it.

But there was much more going on in Wallisellen during the weekend. I went there with my Loolaba teammates Adrian and Tom to prepare the stand for the expo on Saturday afternoon. At 17:30 the kids where racing and at 20:12 a 10k night run took place. The program for Sunday was: “team relay” at 10 am, “triathlon experience” (no license) at 10:05 am, pro race at 12:00 pm and “triathlon competition” (licensed athlete) at 14:10.

My day started at 7:30 am, preparing the stand for the second day of the expo. Around 9:45 am I left my colleague Adrian in charge of the stand and I went to the swimming pool for the start of the team relay race: yes, I was the swimmer 🙂 I did the 600 m in 10:08, a bit slower than expected. There was a lot of traffic in the water and in some points it was not possible to pass the other swimmers. Anyway, I had one of the best times in the relay race 🙂 My teammates Tom and Lilian did a great job in the cycling and running segments and we placed 7th, 6th in the mixed relay team category. It was my first time racing in a team and I’m so happy for the top 10 and so proud of my teammates, those who raced in the team and those who were along the course cheering for us and taking pictures.

After the end of the relay race I came back to the stand and I helped out until about 30 minutes before my start in the individual race, that was at 15:12. This time I managed to swim faster (9’50”) as there was no traffic in the water. I had to pass only one swimmer and I didn’t have any problems. My swim was 45 seconds faster than last year and I think that over a distance of 600 meters it is a big improvement in 12 months. I think that my off-season and pre-season training are paying dividends. Same for the bike: I did 26’14”, 41 seconds faster than last year, not too bad 🙂 On the other hand, in the running segment I was 18 seconds slower than last year with a time of 15’36”. But I’m totally fine with that because last year I spent the off-season training for the Boston Marathon and my running volume was at least double the amount of this year and my weight was about 7 kg lower.

To sum up, it was a great weekend, I enjoyed spending time with my Loolaba teammates, working at the stand and racing. In total I was 54 seconds faster than in 2017. I’m definitely excited for this result. I didn’t expect to improve my PB by almost a minute in such a short race. I think that I’m on the right way to reach my goal: getting a slot for the 70.3 IronMan world championship in Nice in 2019. The next test will be in Zug on June 17th, stay tuned!