This weekend will be my 6th attempt at the Ostseeman Triathlon in Germany, which also happens to have been my first Ironman distance race in 2008. I have won this iconic race in northern Germany four times in a row and this Sunday I am hoping to bring home a 5th win.
My preparation has been close to perfect apart from having an injury that prevented me from running fast for a few weeks in May but that is now in the past and my last known day off to date with no training was in November, so from that point of view there are no excuses ;-). But from a more scientific point of view I like to rely more on numbers than on feeling, therefore I started to train with a power meter in March, which has helped me improve a lot on the bike. Numbers don’t lie.
Thanks to my new Cobb JOF seat, which is now finally available in Germany (through www.nitschke-triathlon-onlinehandel.de), I was able to make some improvements on my bike position as well. This will not necessarily show in a faster bike split, but I am sure I can save much more energy for the run.
My running has never been better; therefore I am really keen to run a sub 2:50 Marathon, which I know I am capable of. To be honest this is one of my main goals for Sunday (besides the win). I had a 2:53 on that course 4 years ago and have improved so much since then... All in all it will be very hard to improve on my 8:17 from Cologne last year since the course in Glückburg is not easy.
Many participants think they will find a nice flat bike course in northern Germany, but that is far from that the case. The new bike course has 245m of elevation for every 30K loop, which adds up to an estimated 1400m elevation on this 6-loop course. In addition the bike course is quite technical and it is a huge advantage to know it by heart. The run course is not flat either with almost 400m of elevation.
The toughest competitors will be the German Pros Sean Donnelly and Till Schramm. Both are much heavier guys than me which will be an advantage for me again considering the course and the conditions, it is going to be quite warm about 26-28°C.
I am so looking forward to this weekend since the Ostseeman crowd is just amazing. Normally 20,000 to 30,000 people are there on race day cheering on the participants, which makes it a truly unique experience.
I have been to Glücksburg so many times that it always feels like coming home. Therefore I will enjoy my home race advantage on Sunday.