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28. Jul 2012

Train like a professional - Part 1

Tips and favorite training sessions of the Raelert-Brothers

The Raelert-Brothers are on their way to Kona. Andy and Micha want to be at the starting line together on October 13th. The Raelert-Brothers finally have a dream: That one day the name of their family is written in the winners list of the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Big Island of Hawaii. That’s the goal they work for as hard as possible – to improve themselves as athletes who are able to fulfill their dreams. They build up their training consistently: they develop a broad base first and then they improve their fitness up to a “racing level”. That also includes several core units that have special importance in the preparation, because they give the two Rostockers the necessary fine-tuning in training.

Mixed-sessions are a perfect training tool for race preparation


"In my preparation for the big competitions a combined training is the most important unit for me", Andy says, "my favorite unit is a race simulation in which you get a good feel for the pace that is struck in the race." The World record holder on the Ironman-distance believes in a special training session during his preparation for the Ironman World Championships in October in Kona: "For four hours I’m on my BMC bike – and I ride just a little below my race pace. Immediately after that this bike ride is followed by a run over an hour - again as in the speed range that I strive for in the race", the reigning ETU Middle Distance Champion and winner of the Challenge Roth 2011says. "This session gives me the right strength and the necessary pace for Ironman racing. Moreover it builds up my confidence."  It is equally important for Andy and Micha to prepare their minds for the long and intense competition: "The mental strength is the key to success", Andy says.

Advice from the pro - Preparing for the big goal


Training and competition schedules are very important. All the training procedures the Raelert-Brothers are adapted to accord to training and racing calendar.  Before they start into the season they discuss about the race calendar and structure their training schedule. "We try to do everything so that we may experience a perfect day on race day", Andy says. “You have to prepare your body and even your mind for the intense and long races." It counts every day ... every training session.



The first triathlon - here are some short tips:


"Those who are already running regularly can easily prepare for competing on the olympic distance of 1.5 km swim, 40km bike, 10km run. Just start with your preparation! If you’re a runner, please give yourself some time to learn something about the other two sports – and even for the transition. We recommend that an athlete who regularly runs two to three times per week (5 to 10 kilometers) can be successful on the olympic distance with a specific preparation of at least three months. “It is important that you listen to your body and listen to the warning signals”, Andy says, “and please take ‘em seriously. I know myself that this is not always easy, but to take care of your body should always be on top of your list!” Therefore, a medical examination is useful - even before the project triathlon has begun.

 

Just keep in mind: The balance between the training and business obligations and family life is very important. And keep also in mind: There is no perfect workout plan for anybody. Because everyone is different and lives under individual conditions, a training plan should be understood as a guideline. It is only an advice, which training could help for moving forward on the way to the finishing line. In a technically discipline like swimming it may be helpful - especially for the so-called non-swimmers – to work with a swim coach at the beginning. That will help to solve technical problems from the start - and it will save you from some frustration. Especially in crawl swimming a lot of details are important: arm stroke, hand position, leg movement, body position in the water, rotation.

 

The intensity of the training should be increased slowly and carefully. Who trains for his first start on the olympic distance over three months in the summer could cut this time for example into four blocks of three weeks: In the first block, there are two weeks of training, each with about 5 hours of training time - and the following week is  a so-called recovery week with about 4 hours of training. In each block, the volume will increase by about 2 hours of training time per week. At the end of the recovery week in the fourth block there is your great day: race day.

"The key point for a good race is a good recovery during training”, Andy says. “I recommend you to portion your training. You are no pro athlete – so you should keep in mind, that it is most important to stay healthy. Maybe you don’t train every day to have enough time for private belongings. And do not risk any injuries because you’re training sessions are too hard. If you fall ill during your training block – give your body the time to recover first and start to think about training again after that."

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