With the start of the triathlon season literally right around the corner, I wanted to take a moment to (re)introduce my 2018 sponsors and partners. The relationship behind these brands are important to me as I strive to associate with likeminded companies. Please check them out and give them a follow on social media. It’s no secret that triathlon is an expensive sport and without the financial and material support, I would not be able to live as a professional athlete. Cheers to the team that help me...
...to swim, bike, run
For those who know the story of my first triathlon, it was very much done at an amateur level with a borrowed bike, pink-flowered surf suit, no clip-in pedals, no tri-suit and yes a little sitting during transitions, but I was hooked on the sport. However, racing at the international level requires a certain caliber of equipment and the following three sponsors are my choice in swim-bike-run material.
...To travel, train and race
...to keep my body in one piece
...to spread a little belgian pride
...To be better
For those of you who have read until the end, I hope this blog was not construed as simply a plug for my partners. My aim in writing is to remind myself of a simple truth: we never do things alone. When I race, I also race for them. Knowing I have a full team behind me fuels me. Thank you again for the support and I’m looking forward to going full throttle at WTS Abu Dhabi tomorrow (Friday March 2, 2018 at 15:36 local time). Watch the race live on Triathlonlive.tv and check out my full 2018 calendar here.
Thanks for reading,
In all honesty, 2017 was a make-it or break-it year for me. After a challenging 2016 season, I began the year with some fairly clear performance goals. These correlated to a legitimate break-even analysis: given the investment I wanted to make, I knew I needed a certain income from prize money or sponsors to financially break-even. Contrary to some perceptions of professional athletes in general, in triathlon, with the exception of the top 3-5%, most Elite triathletes on the ITU circuit have rather meager, unstable incomes. While I am not doing it for the money, (and I don’t think many of my colleagues are either), we do need to make a living. Otherwise, triathlon just becomes a hobby.
It is with great pleasure to announce my newest partnership with Scott Sports. This is an incredible company that is committed to doing things right and takes no shortcuts when it comes to designing and building the best dang bikes around. Check out the video below and you'll understand why I love riding the Scott Foil Premium.
The last eight days have been action-packed competing at the European Championships over 3 distances: Sprint, Olympic and Mixed Team Relay finishing 4th, 5th, and 6th respectively. Overall, these are encouraging performances building a solid consistency throughout the season. In all honesty though, being so close to the podium is disappointing, but it is also what keeps me focused and motivated moving forward. Here is a quick race-by-race recap:
To the external eye, a training camp can seem like a sunny holiday for athlete's to work on their tan while working out. From an athletes’ perspective, going on a training camp is akin to going into the office to focus and get work done before a big presentation. Finding an ideal location with adequate infrastructure for triathlon training, safe roads, geographic accessibility, suitable climate, and so forth is never easy. However, I discovered Banyoles, Spain last year leading into the Olympic Games and it is my place of choice again this year.
I am proud to announce that I have teamed up with Agenda Sports & Elements as a Triathlon ambassador. Agenda is a leading sport agency in Spain and they work with a reliable network of providers to offer tailor-made packages including everything from accommodations, transport, sports facilities, plus help with amenities like physio and medical services.
The last 14 days can be summed up as: 5 plane rides, 2 countries, 3 races – a sprint, super-sprint and Olympic distance - countless bowls of rice, a 4th place and 9th place finish. Here is the race recap from my Asia tour.
If the two images below can characterize my past two race - the World Cup in New Plymouth, New Zealand and World Triathlon Series in Gold Coast, Australia - then I am reminded of two simple truths: daily intentional work can lead to big results, but if there is no struggle, there is no progress. Here is the race recap.
New Plymouth World Cup
1) What is it like to train with your significant other?
Hello dear readers, welcome to 2017 and my first post of the new year! In my previous blog, I outlined my decision to join the Triathlon Squad based in Poway, California. After nearly two months training with the squad in what is affectionately known as ‘Powadise’, here is a friendly reminder to myself: recognizing a need for change is the easy part, fully implementing and sustaining changes requires a lot more effort.
This is not surprising news. Just like Newton’s first law, people seem to have a natural tendency for inertia. Athletes, in particular, are specifically trained to be creatures of habit trying to convert certain movement patterns into muscle memory. This means altering or reversing some of these routines tends to be - consciously or subconsciously - uncomfortable. Thus, to fully embrace a new process and new way of training requires a daily commitment to being uncomfortable.
For example, I am really focusing on breathing earlier in the swim with a deep hand entry. This has been particularly hard for me to overcome, in part because doing so goes against a movement pattern I’ve perhaps repeated hundreds and hundreds of times over the years. Despite my mind screaming to breathe earlier with every stroke, coupled with the coach’s verbal pool side reminders, changing this bad habit has been - and continues to be - a struggle to execute correctly. When any change is required, it will be hard regardless, but here are some strategies I’ve tried to employ to accelerate the change process:
If there has one thing I have learned to be true during my 28 years on this planet, it is indeed that as Charles Swindoll said, "life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." Some lessons you have to learn the hard way, but those events can be an excellent catalyst for change. And I am ready for a change. Thus, I am excited to announce that I will be joining The Triathlon Squad coached by elite coach Paulo Sousa and based in Poway just outside of San Diego, California.