After watching a lot of my friends complete the inaugural 70.3 Raleigh this past weekend, I am excited to see where my form is and cannot wait to get started with race season. Challenge Kraichgau is coming up this Sunday (06.09.2013), it is the biggest half iron distance event in Germany. The course is known to be difficult. The swim is in a lake, which usually is pretty warm this time of the year, but the sun has been waiting to come out so the water temp is expected to be around 64 degrees. The area is also called the region of a thousand hills, and that’s what the bike course is. There is total of ~3000 ft of climbing, but the course profile says it all.Bike course Challenge Kraichgau: Source: http://www.challenge-kraichgau.com/challenge/strecken/
One of the fun things on the bike course is that there is a timing mat at the bottom and the top of the last climb, so everyone can compare their times with the pros. Unfortunately 70.3 World Champ Sebi Kienle had to pull out of the race last minute due to sickness. Andreas Raelert and Timo Bracht are the two big German contenders among a strong pro field at this race. The run is a three loop run that is almost just as hilly as the bike course, maybe not as many feet of climbing, but the profile is similar. Time Bracht said something along the lines that, “this run course could have been designed faster”.
Not that the temps are super hot here now, but the race organizer recommends to acclimate to the higher temps. We have had weather in the 50’s and it is predicted to be 75-80 on race day.
I have done quite a few things differently this time around. My winter training has been loaded with longer runs and rides in what I like to refer to as the MA (Mark Allen) heart rate. I certainly have not gotten in the hours I would have liked to, but there is the weather, work and some other things that are quite important (wife, dogs etc :)). In addition I have done athletic training, which has fixed my knee issues. The knee issues had led to an imbalance in my quads, where my left leg was weaker than my right etc. We also fixed my gluts and I can now proudly say that I have a bubble butt :). I hope it will show in the bike and run splits!! A huge thanks goes out to Oliver Schuppien and Phillip Brinkmann at Centrumed for their support and smarts with the athletic training and the others at Centrumed for the physical therapy!!
The motto is: race hard, charge up that last hill and see what”s left in the bag for the run!!
If you’d like to follow the race: http://www.challenge-kraichgau.com/ There will be a live stream and live results.