Daniel & Jean-Claude Besse

Natation Vélo Course

News: Entraînements et camps

Tales of a Journey: Borders

First thing I want to write about are the borders. It makes for some memorable moments for several reasons, but mainly because we crossed quite a few of them. Thankfully though, the Swiss ID is well accepted and we did not have any real issue at any point. We are actually so unused to have to prove our identity anymore that it is only shortly before the departure day that we thought to check if a passport or visa was required. None of them were, altough it would have been funny to have stamps from all border crossings as a souvenir. Anyway, let's jump to the list.


Border not seen.


Border not seen.


Going from Slovenia to Croatia is the first border that we really notice. Before that, we were on our usual well-known Schengen safe-space so to say, altough only a very recent invention in history and something that would surprise generations back.

The first sign is actually before the border, and I don't mean by that a real traffic sign, those remainings are also to be found in Switzerland, although their meaning lost in importance. Still, related to traffic, the sign I mean is a car jam with vehicules queuing over maybe hundred meters. Confident like always, that it is a police control for motorized vehicules primarily, we overtake the whole without a word and get in lane jsut before the officers cabin. When our turn comes however, a small hello doesn’t seem to make it and I have to reach for the wallet to get out the cards. Me not being prepared leads to a bad look from the other side of the glass window and a grinse meaning something like, “where you really thinking you could pass without even showing a document?”. The power-play, to which anyone who did the military is used, or anyone who does a similar trip for what it matters, continues when he takes an extra little while longer to check us out and asks to take off the sunglasses and smile like on the card. Little annoyance but the message is clear. Let's not try to escalade that so rapidly or we won't cross 10+ borders.

Another funny thing we forgot by being so used to Schengen is that borders are double. You go out and the you go in. The control we did was only us leaving Slovenia and we get a second control shortly after. In general, the second ones will prove to be more thorough than the first ones, but us being ready means that this was not the case this time.


While most tourist cars are taken outside the queue for extra controls and we are repeatedly told that officers will found a reason to stop tourists and extract from them a little bribe we only got the soon-becoming standard “Where do you go?”. To which "Neum" is a satisfying answer.


Here not even the car queue is attention worthy. They seem to know Neum is basically not really leaving Croatia and so we are barely re-entering.


With routines all things get better, or so they say. Nicole gets to show the ID cards for once and we both stand straight with sunglasses down. All is well until the cards are handed back and she dares a “Is it OK?”, greeted with an overly-aggressive “What do want?!?”. Doing the things right at the border means also understanding when to leave without disturbing the calm by asking the question. Well, in that case we thankfully understood this as a “leave, before I change my mind” and flew cards in hands, packing again only when out of sight.


The border is grouped in a single building and our cards go through from out to in without requiring us. As an exception, we pass the border in a group of three as another bike-packer from Luxembourg has been riding with us for about an hour. The passports get a bit mixed together in the process, but otherwise its seamless. Purely administrative, but as simple as it gets.


Here begins the “single-person in the street” business. Although the road is small and not really touristy, we are greeted by individuals helping us changing currency and we get some Denars for our few remaining Leks. Probably not a good exchange rate, but we have no idea what each is really worth and have only about 5-10€ left.

In the controls, our cards are now scanned and registered, but that will be the norm for the rest of the trip.


On a rainy little pass at 1300m above sea-level is the first time the answer to the “Where do you go?” is considered non-sufficient.

- “Kyustendil”, I say.

- “Kyustendil?”, he repeats with big eyes saying “I’m not here for a joke, tell me for real”.

- “Kyustendil today, Istanbul in the end”.

- “Istanbul!” … change in look … “Respect.”


The only crossing point in the region is on the highway. After quite some reflection the evening before, we decide to take that route and get confirmation by our hotel manager (“It’s Bulgary, not Switzerland, just ride the shoulder…”). Nobody is surprised to see us there, only our IDs lead to some wondering looks and the following exchange:

- “Hello”. I hand the cards.

- Looks at them from the front, then from the side, as if checking if it’s monopoly money. Turns to his colleague, not knowing if he or we are dumb.

- Colleague stays still for a second before shouting “Switzerland!” as if he found the last pokemon card missing to his collection. Then adds a few words in Greek and ends with an even bigger smile.

- First office registers the cards in the scanner and wishes a good journey.

Being on a highway, we get to a third counter about one kilometer later. Before we really know how to behave at a highway toll register, a woman waves at us and clears any doubt with “come forth, it’s free for bikes”.


This border is the hardest to miss. On the last 30km, the vehicles we cross are increasingly getting military ones. Here again, we have to change at the last minute from a small road to a bigger one to pass the checks. The border is basically one bridge with heavily-weaponized patrols on it and imposing fortresses on each side. If that might add to the nervosity, it is actually a false alarm. Waiting times for trucks are huge, but for us bicycles, the process couldn’t be simpler. We get through in no more than five minutes. The only mention-worthy detail is that we get an entry paper to show at the exit point with an ink stamp on it. We managed to keep that paper safely until the airport in Istanbul, but learn there that the entry control was done in a sloppy way. We should have gotten one paper per person and with the name written on it. Anyway, the look of the officer clearly means “uh, again an officer on a road border that is just not to the level of airport controls” and the problem is no longer ours.

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Tales of a Journey: Recap

With media consumption being so fast nowadays, actual news in the form of reports get slower. I mean by that, that by the time I get to order my thoughts and write some satisfying text about it, everything is already on Strava and other social media platforms and the focus as shifted to the next topic already. There is something I promised though which I want to talk about now, namely our bike trip with Nicole from St.Antönien to Istanbul.
Nicole said in her report that I would write some more words about anecdotes, so I guess a bit more than a month later is the right time to start. Articles will follow, but maybe before that, and just to as an annex to a scientific article could be, you want the raw experimental numbers in a table. So here is a recap sparing words:

DateNameDistanceElevationTime movingTime elapsedAvg speedMax speedAvg powerMax powerNPStrava
2022-Sept-8St.Antönien - Merano173.7km2897m7h30'16"9h8'11"23.2km/h65.8km/h172W565W210W7780480886
2022-Sept-9Merano - Cortina d'Ampezzo134.9km2786m6h42'22"8h3'7"20.1km/h65.6km/h169W487W198W7785758323
2022-Sept-10Cortina d'Ampezzo - Udine155.2km1337m5h39'39"7h31'14"27.4km/h72.9km/h146W449W216W7791410417
2022-Sept-11Udine - Rijeka163.1km1151m6h8'58"7h58'39"26.5km/h62.3km/h151W422W178W7796278088
2022-Sept-12Rijeka - Seline183.1km1790m6h42'56"8h17'40"27.3km/h61.2km/h166W449W193W7801834220
2022-Sept-13Seline - Split165.2km1346m6h45'41"8h48'21"24.4km/h53.5km/h155W362W217W7807706753
2022-Sept-14Split - Neum151.3km1502m6h22'27"8h34'43"23.7km/h48.1km/h160W404W187W7812875234
2022-Sept-15Neum - Dubrovnik67.4km623m2h51'17"3h37'4"23.6km/h48.1km/h162W408W193W7817250535
2022-Sept-17Dubrovnik - Bar152.1km1672m5h56'19"7h37'19"25.6km/h59.9km/h173W446W204W7828636843
2022-Sept-18Bar - Bulqizë173.3km1941m7h26'31"9h19'54"23.3km/h49.6km/h153W550W188W7833853277
2022-Sept-19Bulqizë - Skopje175.6km1423m6h58'57"8h46'37"25.1km/h57.6km/h154W450W181W7839068037
2022-Sept-20Skopje - Kyustendil130.3km1872m5h58'41"7h50'32"21.8km/h58.3km/h147W399W180W7844479491
2022-Sept-21Kyustendil - Sofia84km984m3h38'47"4h14'41"23km/h57.2km/h146W373W174W7848623659
2022-Sept-23Sofia - Sadanski180.2km1671m7h11'17"9h4'23"25.1km/h57.3km/h163W467W191W7859539092
2022-Sept-24Sadanski - Kavala160.2km1354m6h3'53"8h1'17"26.4km/h57km/h157W391W185W7865770917
2022-Sept-25Kavala - Alexandroupoli165.8km1033m6h25'15"8h16'24"25.8km/h58.9km/h136W428W160W7869952132
2022-Sept-26Alexandroupoli - Tekirdag159km1505m6h7'23"7h22'30"26km/h66.2km/h135W416W161W7874623980
2022-Sept-27Tekirdag - Istanbul138.6km1154m5h19'0"6h12'9"26.1km/h58.4km/h135W445W166W7879845913

And if you think that it's enough data to find any correlation, well, be my guest (limited linear fitting, if you want elephant-fitting you need to export the data).


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Running on carbon

Le texte original est ci-dessous. Cliquez ici pour une version en français.

While carbon is prevalent in the cycling industry since a long time, carbon fibers weren’t found much in running shoes until the very recent developments, starting with Nike’s breaking2 project. I got converted in 2018 already, when I acquired a pair of the Vaporfly 4% FlyKnit shoes that I wore during the IM Barcelona. Recently though, a lot more offering came to the market, with the likes of Saucony (whose Powerrun+ foam I really liked in the Triumph17 and Freedom3 training shoes), NewBalance (whose fit is slightly less well adapted to my feet), Adidas (finally with a worthwhile replacement for Boost? I still miss my original Supernovas of 2016…), Hoka (not a super fan of the low drop options), or Brooks (which I stopped buying after the disappointment of the Launch4).

While marketing got involved, upping the prices and (artificially?) limiting availability, I still managed to acquire a pair of Saucony Endorphin Pro and Nike Alphafly Next% (would have loved to try the Adios Pro as well, but couldn’t find it). The feeling is a little different between the two pairs, with the Endorphin more traditional, and the Alphafly giving a very distinct sensation of being different. Both do feel like they make it a little easier to hold a tempo pace, and have the legs recover faster after a hard race (especially calves, there could be a little more strain on the harmstrings though).

Me running the first 2k with the Reeboks. Notice the smartphone on the biceps, beeping every 10s (50m) to ensure exact pacing.

In order to check on those sensations, and try to see which shoes is better for me, I decided to run a quick test on the track with Jamie. Plan: 4x 2000 m on a fast pace, that builds a little bit of lactate, but not all-out session either. I opted for 3’20/km pace, which sits between my 10 km and half-marathon pace. Shoes to be tested: a training shoe (to have a baseline), the Reebok Floatride Forever Energy, which is a very nice training shoe, but I would never wear in a race. An old-school racing shoe, the Nike Streak 7, which is close to my choices up until mid-2018, and likely still now up to 5 km races. Then the Endorphin and finally the Alphafly. I picked the order training -> old-school -> new gens in order to avoid attributing any potential trend to fatigue during the session.

Results: (updated with weigths according to comment by David)

Shoe Weight (pair) Lactate Heart rate Feeling
Reebok Forever Floatride 569 g 4.3 mmol/l 175 bpm hard
Nike Streak 7 423 g 4.0 mmol/l 176 bpm ok
Saucony Endorphin Pro 457 g 3.4 mmol/l 175 bpm easy
Nike Alphafly Next% 506 g 3.5 mmol/l 173 bpm easy


Top: Streaks, Endorphins, Alphaflys (left to right). Bottom: Performance&Joy's lactate measurement device.

Obviously, much better tests could be devised, but the decrease in lactate confirms my feelings of having in my hands a new generation of shoes that are a significant improvement over the old-school light and thin ones. Heart rate is likely not really dropping because of the heart rate lag and fatigue acquired during the session (when I don’t change shoes, the heart rate steadily increases from one repetition to the next at constant pace).

Distinguishing the two carbon-plated shoes is not within the quality of this quick test, which probably means I’ll use the one that I prefer the feeling of (if you feel confident, you’ll be fast). Not so clear yet to me, since the Alphafly gives me this mental boost of being something different, while the Endorphin is kind of a traditional shoes that you forget, which means the feet response is more intuitive. I may also change which pair I wear depending on the terrain or type of race.

Could you report shoe weights?
par David the 14-11-2020 at 11:15
Excellent point. Measured on my kitchen scale (all in my size, that is 44.5 for Reeboks, 45 for the other 3):
Reebok: 569 g
Streaks: 423 g
Endorphins: 457 g
Alphafly: 506 g

par Jean-Claude the 14-11-2020 at 11:32

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Aero Testing

Le texte original est ci-dessous. Cliquez ici pour une version en français.

I think it’s clear that we’re not the strongest riders compared to our other triathlon abilities. Certainly, the bike portion is where I have most potential to improve my ironman times and bridge a little of the gap separating me from the prize-money range. While some of it certainly comes down to limited time to train, hours in the saddle that get converted into much needed watts on the pedals, repeatedly the data seems to indicate that some other competitors are much better aero than myself and Daniel. Free speed that I’m simply giving away.

While my position has certainly converged slowly over the years (see pictures), there is still work to be done. With the power meter available, one can simply go out in the field and test how fast the bike is rolling for a given power output.

2016 position.

2017 position.

2018 position.

2019 position.

2020 position.

More precisely, one does evaluate the “virtual elevation” assuming zero wind, or correcting for wind with a captor like the aerocomp or similar. On a calm day, we went out to the panzerpiste with Daniel, a flat section to avoid too much variations in speed, low wind and out-and-backs avoid unnecessary extra parameters to fit, and finally no cars avoid drafting effects. I took my new Ron Aeron X wheel, the MET Drone wide body helmet, as well as the Zipp 858 and the Giro Air Attack helmet of Daniel for the first tests. Two rounds with each setup, summarized in the table and plot below.

Lap Description CdA out CdA back CdA avg CdA std Time AvgP NP
1 MET+disc 0.2427 0.2496 0.246 0.005 4:57 308 310
2 MET+disc 0.2479 0.2392 0.244 0.006 5:01 298 302
3 MET+858 0.2531 0.2531 0.253 0.000 4:59 310 310
4 MET+858 0.2548 0.2479 0.251 0.005 5:00 304 305
5 Giro+858 0.2766 0.2627 0.270 0.010 5:02 314 313
6 Giro+858 0.2740 0.2661 0.270 0.006 5:02 314 316
7 MET+disc 0.2522 0.2427 0.247 0.007 4:57 311 314
8 MET+disc-fast 0.2488 0.2505 0.250 0.001 4:46 355 362
9 MET+disc-hands 0.2514 0.2453 0.248 0.004 4:58 309 308

Laps 1 and 2 were to test what would have been my competition setup this end of the year. Laps 3 and 4 the setup I had planned for Hamburg, before getting the disc rear wheel. Laps 5 and 6 to see whether a small round helmet would be a good option. Finally, lap 7 to verify long term drifts (such as wind picking up), lap 7 faster, with Daniel drafting not too far, and lap 8 with slightly different hand position (together above the bars instead of gripping each extension.

CdA results.

While the helmet difference is clear, and netting me somewhere around 10 W of gains (at the expense of being hotter), the wheels are much trickier to separate. The Aeron X seems to be slightly faster (2-3 W), but it could also be simply due to the different tire setup (Continental Attack + Vittoria latex tube for the 858 vs Schwalbe Pro One tubeless for the disc, both in 25 mm). Nevertheless, I feel like putting the disc wheel for competition is justified, since it’s just as fast without wind, and I expect it to sail when the wind picks up.

Obviously a CdA at 0.24-0.25 is not considered fast, not even close (and some may be the powermeter calibration, but I guess a lot can be done on the position as well). But it's a baseline to start doing some changes not just by eyeballing it, but with some reliable way to figure out whether it's worth it or not.

In Daniel’s case, the difference is even less clear, as he’s likely better hiding his head when not looking forward. This was just a first test; we’ll be sure to make some more in the next spring when the weather gets nicer again in Switzerland.

In the meantime, here’s a video of my current position, let me know if you have inputs! 


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Lactate test

Truth is, we should have been in Marbella, debuting season 2020 with a half-ironman. The virus you all heard about had other plans, and imposed unprecedented changes to everyday life. As long distance athletes, when something unexpected comes about, which is often the case, you deal with it the best way you can. Both Daniel and I are not too worried about pools being closed and not swimming for a while. We have years of swimming background, and a good feeling for the water should come back as soon as we put a focus on it again. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. I was really happy about my swimming shape in March. I am not panicking about the loss of swimming ability, such that I’d go in cold open waters for a quick training.

The cancellation (or very long postponing) of races meant one thing for sure: training had (and has) to be adapted in consequence. That was the first realization. As Switzerland was moving towards a lock-down, both Daniel and I decided to reduce the intensities on the running side. His Achilles and my right hamstring are still finicky, and putting them at risk for an unsure racing calendar makes absolutely no sense. Back to the drawing boards then. And if you can count to three, you’ll realize that one discipline remains: cycling. The quarantine provides an opportunity to work on our weakness. The problem is, it is hard to train and plan consistently when work, social life, and travel plans get rearranged in a very sudden manner. So after a few weeks of transition, I asked Jamie about assessing my current level of bike fitness, such that we could put a well-designed focus on improving this aspect in the next months.

Lockdown = more time indoor.

She offered to perform a lactate test to find my endurance and sweet spot zones, where training of aerobic and anaerobic capabilities can be targeted. The protocol is relatively simple: after 5 min of warm-up at 130 W, every 3 min we go up by a step of 30 W, and measure blood lactate concentration together with heart rate. The night before, I predict that lactate will start increasing at 180 W, where I typically notice a slight increase in my feeling of difficulty, and diverge not far above my ironman tempo (250 W), but that on short steps I can keep up to 400 W, or half an hour of testing.

The result? https://3record.de/u2/activity/view/48035/lactate, also represented in brief in the picture below.

When was the last time you saw a PRO lactate test openly public clin d'oeil? (Reg.=Regenerative, GL=GrundLage - endurance, WT=WettkampfTempo - competition tempo, HI=hohe Intensität - high intensity).

At rest, my lactate was at about 1.2 mmol/l. The absolute value is not so important, but rather that it later went down as I started exercising in my regenerative zone. The first 10 minutes of the test are very easy, and nothing substantial is happening. Heart rate steadily increasing, but no other physiological sign. At 190 W, 130 bpm, Jamie notices my respiration rate going slightly up, and sweat starts pearling on my skin. Clear indications that I am entering the endurance zone, which is confirmed by the lactate showing more concentration in the blood sample (I don’t see lactate results during, but could have predicted that step).

In the next three steps of the protocol, lactate increases moderately. The heart rate response is a bit too slow to see the steps, but it keeps its steady progression. At 280 W, the rate of increase of lactate suddenly cranks up. Slightly below that value will be my sweet spot training, with the aim of pushing that barrier up with every minute spent close to it. I enter the competition zone, where distance up to half ironman are performed. Burning sensation in the legs, but with grit, one can hold it for up to a few hours. Above 340 W, my lactate is diverging, heart rate slowly saturating, legs begging to stop the test. I cannot hold the prescribed pace for the 400 W step, but with a final lactate concentration of 13.4 mmol/l I certainly gave it all I had on that day.

Painful, but insightful and quickly over.

In the week that followed, I also performed an FTP test (on not-very-recovered legs, but still gave it my best) in the same conditions (indoor, no fan, on the bars). I wanted to aim at holding 340 W for 20 min, but that turned out too much, and I – slightly disappointed – averaged 320 W, see https://3record.de/u2/activity/view/48206/ftptest. This corresponds to a ‘trainer-FTP’ of 304 W, and sweet spot range of 88-93%, 267-283 W. Actually all consistent with the lactate test. I just had in mind tests previously performed on an outside climb, with a road bike, giving a tad more than 10% extra FTP.

In the weeks that are coming, lots of training will aim at improving the base by riding around 190 W, the first threshold found in the test. Some with no/little sugar, some longer, a little variety is always good. Once a week a sweet spot session is planned, where relatively long (6-30 min) repeats at this somewhat comfortable but hard to hold pace progressively improves your ability to go hard for long. The other key session every week goes high up in the zones, with short burst in the high intensity zones to keep the legs fired up properly.

I don’t know yet which race will put this new knowledge and structured training to test, but stay tuned for faster bike legs! (Feel free to get in touch also if you have insights to provide based on the linked data.)

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Training Camp Lanzarote

February 2020, barely a month ago (though now it feels like we have changed planet). No lock-down in Europe, the flights operating just as usual. Ready to board one of them are 6 triathletes on their way to Lanzarote. The team is made up of 3 fast (Silvan, Daniel and myself), 2 furious (Jamie and Nicole) and RW (Hervé). All preparing a season of triathlon, but at various stages of training. Once rookie-pro (Silvan) has accredited is CO2-inflator as safe-for-flight, all board the Edelweiss plane to Arrecife for 10 days of sun, fun, and sweat.

Once arrived, coach Jamie has organized five stars’ transport and villa, and planned a jog along the coast. Just to show that while Dani knows the main streets, she knows half of the people on the island. Connections are always good to have. After a first trip to the local SPAR (which seemed like buying for a month but lasted only two days in our fridge), we were ready for going to business: eating right is the only way to train right.

Bike group.

The week had a heavy focus on the bike, especially for me, having still tight hamstrings on the right leg since last summer. I decided to avoid running on two consecutive days, and only one harder session in two weeks. We start our first ride with a broken bottle-holder for Jamie and later Nicole, my front bottle has a hole that I did not notice, since it felt in Switzerland before packing. A bit of last-minute fixes with tape and glue required. We figure out our options for pool swimming: 50m outdoors at about 3km from our place. The real training can begin.

The weather is quite optimal, with comfortable temperatures for wearing short sleeves and a gilet (and if you’re Silvan, a third layer, and in the pockets the complete package of IVP and rain jacket). Wind is relatively weak at the beginning, and while it did pick up in intensity in the second half of the camp, it remained not too bad. I get to train staying on the bars in faster descents or cross-winds, where I am definitely not pro-level.

Soon intensities begin, with 4x20min on the bike, where the 2 furious can show their level of readiness for IM South Africa (which got cancelled since). Daniel is pushing the pace in front, and myself somewhere in-between, but I can almost hear Nicole breathing on my back! Pretty sure it’s mainly the new iron supplement she’s taking… RW is doing his best to keep up, but without a TT bike, and, with the most time to his big goal race of Thun, the going gets tough sometimes.

Mirador del Rio.

On the running side, Silvan is also coming back from an injury and Daniel feeling his Achilles tendon. They are then both up for a slow trail run while the girls go faster, longer, harder. In the pool, I have good water-feeling, as has been the case quite often in trainings lately. The little amount of salt present in the water makes up for very fast times, always positive to see the times from Oerlikon improve.

Running selfie.

As the camp progress, various people get a bit more tired, or motivated at various moments. All look forward to the Tour de Lanzarote: a one-stage, 180km, nearly-all-road-covered, day out there. I also have my difficulties towards the end with fog covering the lenses of my glasses plus insets. I prefer to stay in the bars a bit further back and not follow directly the wheels in front of me. But otherwise I quite like the island. A few more options than in Gran Canaria or Tenerife, a bit flatter though still hilly, cars quite nice with cyclists as often in Spain.

At home, in our free time, the tasks are split between cooking, shopping, cleaning, trying out massage/compex/therapic gun/blackroll, and playing a few rounds of a game called f* the neighbor. Some play a bit on their bike position: I for example move my saddle up by 2mm, which leads to more tension in my hamstring, and thus decide to bring it back down by 3mm. I feel like I can put out a bit less of power, but if it saves my muscle that’s all good. Nicole realizes that she mounted her saddle a good 2cm too low! Jamie tries a few positions of the pads to soften the load on the shoulders.

And, because the house is so big, planning a movie mannequin-challenge style. Goal: place everyone in weird positions as many times as possible, immobile, in one smooth movie through the house. The film director spends a while writing the storyline with the full crew. Result here ( https://www.instagram.com/p/B8uLYRMhqbu/). The recovery day towards the middle of the camp also included a touristic route through Arrecife passing along the airport.

Open water swim.

There’s still swimming in the ocean, with increasing amount of waves in the second week. The water is quite fresh for those without suits, but it is a good training to be in open water. A few more intervals on the bike. By now we know most of the roads, but still figure out some combinations that feel like a new route. The girls have a long run planned, I opt for another bike tour with the pros. Towards the end, the legs start to get heavy. The sky gets full with a sand storm from the Sahara Desert. We get a last easy ride in, with a lot of photo stops. And get ready to go home (without the extra jamón for Silvan and RW sadly).

In total, I get about 1’000km of biking, lots of fun, and a good base to prepare the season to come.

Beach picture.

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Camp d'entraînement Porrentruy

A peine le temps de respirer une fois de retour à la maison, et au soleil de refaire son apparition après l’épisode neigeux du dimanche, que Pâques arrive, et ainsi donc le traditionnel camp de Porrentruy avec le Rushteam. Rendez-vous habituel jeudi soir à la Ferme du Bonheur, et on prend congé avec Daniel l’après-midi pour rejoindre l’Ajoie à vélo. Le temps est au beau fixe, et l’on s’embarque de bon train direction le Fricktal pour rejoindre le Rhin qui nous amène jusqu’à l’entrée de Bâle. Un peu épuisés par le trafic, nous bifurquons sur la France pour rejoindre le Jura par l’arrière et sa fameuse montée sur Ferrette. Les forces s’amoindrissent quelque peu, mais à deux les relais sont toujours motivants, et après un rapide arrêt à la coop pronto de Porrentruy on retrouve nos collègues de la région lausannoise à l’apéro devant la ferme. Un signe d’un bon week-end qui s’annonce.

Pâques oblige...

La piscine est toujours aussi agréable et les entraînements intenses. Le vendredi, puisque la sortie vélo est plus facile, à part les sprints dominés par Matthieu, je propose un 10km progressif en enchaînement. Daniel, Philip, Josué et Matthieu se joignent, mais après un kilomètre plus maitrisé à 4’07 les esprits s’échauffent et l’allure diverge… Le groupe se disperse et il faut se faire violence pour continuer à progresser. Au total Daniel se tient dans mes pieds avec une-deux relances pour nous donner un 37min tout rond. Joli effort, et bon choix de le prendre le vendredi, car ensuite les sorties vélo prédominent le programme.

Avant la première sortie.

Samedi comme dimanche c’est de grosses attaques dans les bosses, beaucoup de watts dépensés, un premier groupe assez homogène mais qui semble chaque année de plus en plus rapide. Les jambes brûlent parfois, les sommets de montées sont sévèrement disputés, on joue le jeu des sprints malgré le manque de pep face à Matthieu, mais surtout un grand plaisir de retrouver et rouler avec les potes. Autour des 270w normalisés les deux jours sur environ 3h30, soit de grosses séances qui puisent bien dans les réserves, mais sont clés dans la préparation. Rien à signalé niveau santé, c’est important aussi !

Orange dehors.

Le lundi le camp approche sa fin, mais pas avant la traditionnelle sortie avec le GS Ajoie, où un peloton de 39 personnes roule ensemble à bon train direction St-Hyppolite et la portion rapide vers Glère, la montée sur Montancy, où nos temps seront moins bons que les années précédentes mais tout de même respectable étant donné les efforts du week-end.

Avec le GSA.

Le soleil a joué fortement de sa présence sur des conditions optimales pour le camp, un grand merci à Gaby, Stéphanie, Daniel et Matthieu pour l’organisation et bonnes courses au Rushtistes !

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Camp d'entraînement Toscane

Début avril, départ un vendredi soir direction la Toscane pour un voyage de nuit en car. Un groupe d’une quinzaine, attendu sur place par Jamie et Pade pour une semaine de sport avec Performance and Joy. Après la prise des bungalows et montage des vélos, le camp débute par 70km de vélo. Les routes sont pas en très bon état, mais la bonne humeur bien présente. Je roule souvent hors des barres sur mon contre-la-montre, aussi bien pour éviter les nids-de-poule que permettre un rythme un peu plus modéré dans notre petit peloton. Première montée sur le Tirli, négociée plus rapidement.

Séries en montée à vélo.

Sur la semaine, la météo est parfois limite capricieuse, et il faudra faire avec en planifiant les sorties vélo. Les distances sont souvent assez courtes (avec un maximum à 105km), mais l’intensité est présente dans les petites bosses sur l’arrière-pays au paysage magnifique. La pluie s’arrêtant souvent le matin, c’est par du renforcement ou un petit footing que les journées débutent. Quelques glaces sont toutefois au programme, malgré les habits longs souvent enfilés...


Le programme nous emmène sur la piste finlandaise à pied, dans les côtes raides surplombant Castiglione della Pescaia pour un sunrise run le lundi, ainsi qu’un lactate sprint le mardi. Le but étant sur 2km de faire monter son lactate dans le sang le plus haut possible. Un peu moins de 8min pour ma part (dont une petite pause dans des travaux imprévus), et à peine plus de 4mmol/l. C’est très peu, peut-être trop court, ou peut-être confirmant mon impression d’être à l’aise sur la durée mais incapable de forcer le rythme sur courte distance ?

La natation en piscine privée de 25m extérieure me fait bien plaisir, et les sensations sont nettement meilleures qu’à Oerlikon. Le style a encore du progrès à faire, mais qu’importe si la montre est satisfaite. 2x5km sur le programme, et quelques autres entraînements plus courts. Ça me redonne goût à la natation.

Bain en mer par 14 degrés.

Ma ligne à moi !

Niveau course à pied je prends la semaine un peu plus relax, notant que mes périostes recommencent leur état critique où ils se plaignent à intervalles réguliers des chocs subits. Des séries plus rapides uniquement sur le sol mou en forêt, et quelques footings lents autrement.

Footing au bord de mer avec Jamie.

L’ambiance est joyeuse entre participants, et la nourriture excellente, apportant le soutien nécessaire à une bonne récupération et préparation de la suite. Petit triathlon le vendredi matin, effectué en teams, avant de prendre une demi-journée de pause et rentrer en car le samedi. Une semaine passe si vite ! Nous sommes déjà mi-avril, et après Porrentruy les compétitions démarrent, alors que la neige s’invite une fois de plus à Zurich…

Team TVO

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Camp d'entraînement aux Canaries

Une fois n’est pas coutume, j’ai profité des vacances de Nouvel-An pour démarrer le kilométrage vélo aux Canaries, délaissant le froid continental le 28 décembre. Arrivé sur place avec Jamie, et une fois l’AirBnB trouvé à la bonne adresse, c’est le coup de départ de 10 jours sportifs. Pour cela, rien de tel que le prologue, petite boucle de 30km droit au nord de Maspalomas.

El Molino de Viento avec Jamie

Les jours se suivent et se ressemblent passablement ensuite, avec un fort accent sur le vélo. Dans la région, les tours sont souvent vallonnés, et plutôt venteux du côté de l’aéroport. Malgré le contre-la-montre, les moyennes sont moins impressionnantes qu’en Suisse. Entre 30 et 130km quotidiens, pour un total de près de 800km sur les 10 jours. Peu d’intensités, de par mon programme de saison encore lointaine, ainsi que dû à un mélange rhume/toux qui m’accompagne tout au long du séjour. Pas de problème pour rouler en endurance, mais à la peine dès que je tente d’accélérer la machine.

Étant triathlètes toutefois, la plupart des jours sont doublés, soit à la piscine soit en courant. Quel plaisir de nager dehors en piscine de 25m, où mes chronos sont bien plus rapides que dans l’éternel bassin de 50m d’Oerlikon… La température de l’eau externe chute toutefois au court de notre camp, de sorte à ce que l’on doive sortir les combis néoprène pour la deuxième moitié du séjour.

Après quelques jours, Silvan et Jan nous rejoignent et accompagnent (malgré quelques problèmes de livraison de vélo) dans nos tours quotidiens. Je m’habitue gentiment à un nouveau bike-fit de décembre qui me positionne bien plus bas sur la selle et les bras resserrés devant les genoux. Dans les descentes je m’en sors pas si mal, il y a de quoi s’exercer sur les virages aux Canaries ! Reste la route défoncée de la descente du Pico qui ne me convient pas sur guidon plat…

Position basse sur le clm.

Seuls quelques petits intervalles à mon programme, suivre Silvan en montée sur 4x20min. La première est bien difficile, mais je tiens sur la durée. A pied c’est dans les pieds de Jan que je dois tirer plus fort ; les jambes semblent présentes, mais faut que la toux disparaissent pour sortir le grand jeu.

Tour récup avec tout le groupe.

En résumé dix jours autour des 20 degrés, dans un environnement idéal pour s’entraîner. Certes probablement tôt dans la saison, mais j’espère que ça formera de bonnes bases pour le printemps.

Beaucoup à manger!!
Le groupe au sommet de "Muchos Rampos"

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Camp TVO Lanzarote

Alors que Jean-Claude et moi partageons souvent la grande majorité de nos entraînements, nos programmes se sont retrouvés presque opposés pour cette période de février et début mars. Alors qu’il avait l’année passée pu profiter du camp du TVO à Majorque, c’est moi qui me suis lancé direction Lanzarote avec notre club de Zürich cette année. Ne pouvant pas à cause d’obligations à l’ETH, Jean-Claude n’en est pas moins parti sur une île voisine avec papa et maman la semaine précédente. Ajoutant à cela le fait qu’il a été loin pour une conférence à Los Angeles la semaine suivant mon retour, nos entraînements communs se sont comptés sur les doigts d’une main sur presque un mois.

Mais je m’avance un peu trop, il en était resté dans son récit à ma jalousie lors de son retour et du fait que je l’ai amené faire une longue sortie vélo jusqu’aux abords des pistes de ski de fond de l’oberland zurichois dès son retour.

Sortie dans le froid à Zürich
Sortie dans le froid de Zürich: de retour du chaud pour Jean-Claude et avant de partir vers le chaud pour moi.

Deux jours plus tard, il s’agit déjà pour moi de récupérer sa valise et remplacer ses habits par les miens afin qu’elle reprenne l’avion dans l’autre sens. La semaine s’annonce glaciale en Suisse (ce sera au tour de Jean-Claude de jouer au jaloux et sortir à vélo par des températures négatives), et au contraire, parfaite pour le sport en extérieur sur les Canaries. La journée typique pour moi est une course à pied d’une dizaine de kilomètre, un vélo de 2h30-3h ainsi qu’une petite natation, souvent en décontraction (à l’exception d’un traditionnel 10x100 départ 1’30). J’essaie toutefois de varier autant que possible pour éviter notamment une blessure comme celle que Jean-Claude a eue en augmentant subitement son volume de course à pied à Majorque. Une légère crainte de le copier me trotte en tête à chaque petite douleur et je m’accorde ainsi de sauter la série sur piste du vendredi (rallongeant quelque peu le vélo à la place) ainsi que tous les footings « récup » de l’après-midi.

Entraînements de course:

Les petites folies auront été un long-run rythmé le samedi matin de 25km dans le vent ainsi qu’une course au KOM Strava sur le tour de la lagune devant l’hôtel ; manqué pour une seconde lors des 3x10’ du lundi, il m’a fallu aller le chercher le mardi matin vite-fait bien-fait avant de faire le check-out et quitter Lanzarote. 8’56 en 3’02/km de moyenne après une semaine de camp ; couché à plat ventre moitié sur le trottoir, moitié sur la route, il n’y a que le goudron qui peut deviner un sourire : la forme est bien là !

Entraînements alternatifs (principalement vélo et natation pour moi):

Mais au final, et on le dit jamais assez, le plus sympa dans ces camps d’entraînement, c’est de passer une semaine dans la bonne humeur avec un sacré groupe d’amis qui sont là pour la même chose que toi et qui partagent les efforts (98km de course, 369km de vélo sur des Cannondale en tiagra de l’hôtel, ainsi que 11km de natation en 50m extérieur) comme les moments de récupération (la bière sur la terrasse ou dans le sauna, les activés alternatives, les nombreux repas au Delphinos, et j’en passe). Mis à part un mal de gorge qui s’est propagé parmi nous tous sur les derniers jours, tout a été parfait pour moi ; à refaire une fois les deux ensemble avec Jean-Claude !

Sorties, apéros, selfies et autres:

PS: Et si, quand on croise Ronnie dans l'avion au retour, les copains soient plus rapides que moi à répondre à sa question de si on s'est bien entraînés en mimant des gestes de levées de coude, ou que ça le fasse rire d'apprendre qu'on va faire Zurich pour la première fois, et bien tant pis, ou tant mieux, c'est marrant ainsi.

Heatmap Lanzarote
Heatmap de mes parcours cap (en rouge) et vélo (en vert) générée par notre programme 3record: sur 8 jours à Lanzarote, on a presque exploré toute l'île!

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