Gerard Vroomen

12 months ago I signed up for Ironman Canada, but due to our involvement with Team CSC I never got to properly start my training. The endless trips to Europe and general workload kept me away from the pool, off my bike and out of my running shoes until early July. At that point I had to make a decision to either start a seven week training program or forget about IMC and go to Europe to watch the Tour. Nigel convinced me that my situation was not hopeless, and put together a plan that was both realistic and reassuring. I only had 10-12 hours a week to train, but he made sure those hours counted.

The keys to a successful race were identified as learning how to pace myself throughout the race (given that there was no large training base to fall back on in case I went out too hard), and how to get the nutrition right. I have to say that in both areas Nigel gave me the tools to toe the starting line with a level of confidence far beyond my training level. The swim went as well as could have been expected from a brick like me and the bike was the strongest 180k I have ever put together, not super fast but without a single bad moment. Unfortunately the run started out strong but was cut short by a forest fire-induced asthma episode.

But overall it was an awesome experience, race day as well as the training weeks of building physical & mental strength and developing a race strategy. Plus now I know I can leave starting my training quite late, even for an Ironman. But that may not necessarily be a good thing!

Gerard Vroomen - co-founder Cervelo Cycles.