Challenge Roth: Preparation, Predictions, and Tactics
Things here in the Bockelsphere have been going well over the last few months. I had a great training block in Lucca in Tuscany throughout May, then spent June working hard at home in Luxembourg, and now I am in Fuschl-am-See in Austria where I have been hammering some late-game brick workouts and getting mentally prepared for what lies ahead of me in Roth, where I will head in a few days time.
I am in good form right now and have been able to max out my training and I feel very confident. My post-Melboure hip injury isn’t bothering me too bad, although I wasn’t able to prepare perfectly for the run, but I guess we all have a few things that aren’t 100%, and after considering my Melbourne preparation, I think that running a little less might not be so bad.
There are a few things this year’s Roth preparation that vary slightly from last year’s, although the main themes stay the same (if it ain’t broke…). Like last year, we decided to focus a lot on Roth as the highlight of my summer season, but of course there is no ignoring that Kona is to follow, so I won’t be shutting down the engine too long after I cross the finish line on July 20th. Like every year, I have taken my main season goals very seriously and have pulled out all the stops in training–I guarantee that there will be nothing left in the tank on race day and I will be leaving it all on the roads of Landkreis Roth.
In terms of tactics, this year’s race will be a little bit different than last year’s because there are so many quality athletes racing at “the fastest birthday party in the world” for Roth’s 30th anniversary, and this will of course have an impact on how the race unfolds. There will be a couple of fast swimmers out in the canal so I won’t be all by myself out front, which is actually good for me. I believe the tempo will be really high from the get go, with all of the top-swimmer/cyclists out front. Those who can’t hold their own in the water may find it difficult to keep up with the top 5 or 6 guys in the lead group, and I am very sure that the pace will be high very early and this could open a large gap to the rest of the field (i.e. the slower swimmers and bikers). In any case, I am prepared for whatever happens on race day. My running is coming along nicely, biking is excellent, and swim form is on par, so I am ready.
If you are going to be one of the over 220,000 spectators and athletes out in Roth this year, make sure to come by and say hello! I will be appearing at the following places and times:
Uplace-BMC Lounge – 4:00pm on Thursday, July 17
Erdinger Party (wear your Lederhosen!) – 5:00pm on Thursday, July 17
Talk with the Pro’s (Challenge Lounge) – 5:00pm on Friday, July 18
…and of course on Sunday, feel free to yell my name from the sidelines, or from the race course if you will be taking part!
Best of luck to everyone out there who is racing! It is going to be an unforgettable experience!