Saturday 3rd of March saw the worlds best triathletes descend on Abu Dhabi for the 2012 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon With 3 races taking part simultaneously the field was littered with local and international athletes of note ready to take on the Abu Dhabi course in what could only be described as windy and overcast conditions with the race actually seeing a delayed start due to visibility issues!
But what is my interest in such a race? Yes of course it’s always great to see world class athletes go toe to toe on your doorstep in a grueling endurance race such as triathlon, but my main attention was firmly focused on 5 athletes who I have been working with over the last 4 months…..today was a day where I could see the impact of the work we had done!!
Flanners and Marsh at the end…..#stillfresh
I sat down with Neil Flanagan (Flanners) in October and he had one simple request:
“I need more strength and power so I can go faster”! He then proceeded to tell me he had never lifted any weights in his life despite having just completed Hawaii Ironman in 10 hours 50 minutes! This guy was a freak and it was my job to make him stronger and more powerful. I was also able to provoke him to think about how his preparation and lifestyle enhanced his performance, we discussed nutrition, supplementation, rest and recovery before I introduced him to “life by the spread sheet.” That was the killer blow!
After a couple of sessions Flanners decided to deliver to me 4 more endurance machines who also had the same request….more strength, more power! No problem!
The approach with these athletes and the stand I take is very simple. They know how to swim, ride and run. Now doing excessive amounts of those three things will give you one result…..tiredness and lots of it. It has been proven over and over that endurance athletes of this caliber need power and strength and that is my forte! We have worked for the last 4 months on developing their power so that when they execute any of the three disciplines they are able to do so more efficiently and for a longer period of time as they have more strength to do so! Sounds pretty simple really doesn’t it? Well of course there is a little bit more science behind it that’s it in a nutshell.
So back to Abu Dhabi and of course the only thing the athletes and I care about……. performance and results. If I told you 3 of the guys were in the top 10 overall for the sprint distance, our girl was 17th overall and 2nd in her age group in the short course, and our other short course man was 8th in his age group….you may be a little surprised. The results get even more phenomenal when you learn that Flanagan (39 years old) placed second overall with a 23 year old taking first place! Roy Nasr (48 years old) placed 10th overall and our female machine Boom placed 2nd in her age group having been on the borderline of abandoning the race after riding the first half of the 100km ride with a broken bike!!
Catching up with Flanners after the race he hits me with a short phrase and I know exactly what it means to both of us, “Operation freight train on track” This is in reference to the power and strength that he requested. We are turning this freak into a freight train and the results are coming! He goes on to mention how different his preparation this year was compared to last years race. “Nutrition and mental preparation is my top priority leading into a race, something I never thought about till we hooked up.”…..he continues “My one small concern when I started this process was weight gain through increased muscle mass – I am no longer concerned – with the right nutritional strategy, which I believe is overlooked by so many endurance athletes, I have seen phenomenal increases in strength and power over the last 4 months, with no weight gain whatsoever – and there is a lot more to come!”
Our female weapon Boom told me. “The power I am developing is another level, its what I need for this sport and its what I will need when I do my first Ironman later in the year.”
Are you an endurance athlete? What are you doing to increase your strength and power? What attention do you give to nutrition? What is your mental approach?
Results of the InnerFight athletes:
Sprint Distance overall standings:
Neil Flanagan 2nd (1st in age group)
Simon Marshall 7th (2nd in age group)
Roy Nasr 10th (3rd in age group)
Trudy Sturkenboom 2nd in age group and 17th overall
Ben Walton 8th in age group and 69th overall
All results are available on PREMIER TIMING