Raynard Tissink Triathlon Coach
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WEEK 6: Brought to you by Velocity Sports Lab

After a few days of feeling like I was getting on top of the battle with the altitude towards the end of last week, this week seemed to be a step backwards. In fact, swimming and cycling feels worse than it did after I just arrived at altitude, and I’ve really been struggling to stay focussed and motivated to keep struggling through each day’s training.

Everything seemed to take a turn for the worse after Wednesday’s long ride. While out on our usual 150km loop through Estes Park, Freddy and I decided to explore a different route on the way back. I figured that at worst, the new route would be about 10km longer, but the change of scenery would be welcome. Well, the scenery was incredible, unfortunately, so was the amount of climbing that came with it. We spent the next 3hrs between 2000m and 2500m above sea level. Being asthmatic doesn’t help and I began hyperventilating and getting extremely dizzy from the lack of oxygen, and eventually I was unable to produce more than 170 Watts going uphill (a normal climb would be between 300 and 350 Watts). To make matters worse, we missed the turn back down the mountain to Boulder which added an extra 20km to the ride, and I had nothing left to drink for the last 50km of what turned into a 210km suffer-fest.

The rest of the week has been nothing short of horribly slow, with lots of suffering just to try and stay with Freddy on the bike and with the group in the pool. The lungs have been taking major strain as soon as the tempo of any training session increases to more than crawling speed. On Friday I was seriously considering throwing in the towel, but decided against it after some consideration for the circumstances, as well as a decision to cut back on the strenuous efforts in training for a while. I’ve also decided to skip out on the next race in California next weekend so that I don’t have to do any quality sessions. This way I’ll be able to get all my big mileage weeks out of the way without the pressure of trying to get speed work in for the race. Hopefully by the time I’m done with that, I’ll be well and truly adapted to the altitude and my body and lungs will be able to cope with the intensity that will come after that.

Missing next weekend’s race will make qualification for Vegas extremely difficult, as I’ll only have one shot, at the Boulder 70.3 on August 7, to achieve the required points I need to get into the Top 50. Most of the other athletes will have 5 races counting towards their qualification process, if I include Boulder, I’ll only have 3. Luckily I’ve never been afraid of a challenge.

Raynard

Annah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017

After a great first year racing in the professional category in 2016, I was amped for the 2017 season. Feeling stronger and fitter and more in the "right head space" - I had done some great training over December spending many many many (and many more) hours on the bike - I loved it. My swim was starting to click, I was starting to understand the phrase "feel the water", and my running was strong

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