My thoughts. My opinion & My reflections.

Just Helle and her open mind.

Through the lens; committing to racing at your best

An educational photo series captured by Danish Sports Photographer, Jesper Grønnemark with words by Helle Frederiksen. To be our best and to race at our best we need to recognize the things that help us perform. This photo series captures my environment that, as a team, we have invested in, providing me the best opportunity to race at my best. – Build your team Triathlon on paper is an individual sport, yet to be successful in triathlon it is anything but an individual sport. Like most things, the environment that we create for ourselves is something we have a lot of control over. People and the people we work with contribute to this environment. Never under estimate the importance and impact good people have on your performance, irrelevant of your targets. Patrizia Pastwa has become influential in bringing me back to the top of this sport from injury, and is one of those people who enables me to race at my best. I wanted to race at my best at The Island House Invitational Triathlon and having Patrizia on hand was going to enable me to do this. Recognizing event logistics and eliminating stress Being 9 years a professional and having raced in over 120 international competitions, you learn to recognize quite easily the things that cause stress and negatively impact a race. Going into competition, your goal should always be to eliminate as much stress as possible. Familiarize yourself with the surroundings and logistics of a race. Ask yourself “Can you ride?”, “What are the logistics to riding?”, “Where and when will you train?”. Asking yourself these questions...

Overcoming challenges for a stronger version of you

It’s been a period spanning 18-months. 18 long, career changing months, but now, having dealt with chronic knee and leg injuries for what has no doubt been the darkest days of my eight year professional triathlon career, it’s time for me shed light on my story. A story I hope will help you recognize that injury doesn’t make you a weaker, lesser athlete—if you want it to—injury can make you a stronger, better and more well-rounded athlete. I’ve kept the whole story of my injuries on the down-low for much of the past 18-months, mostly because I’ve only recently come out of the battle. I hadn’t found a safe place and I hadn’t found the confident Helle that was sure of herself. It’s not easy to admit that I—an Olympian and now 7-time IRONMAN 70.3 Champion—was struggling every day to be pain free. As professional athletes we’re perceived as “super human” but in fact we are anything but. We are just like you, and just like anyone else we think, ponder, wonder and analyze. We get scared when something we love so much could potentially be taken away from us. The truth be told there were periods during this injury/recovery period, whilst partially bed-bound, I couldn’t see a return to the sport. Not because my drive and passion was no longer there, but because people couldn’t give me answers. People couldn’t accurately tell me what was wrong. But I’m here now—fit, healthy and on a road to the strongest version of me. For some time now I have wanted to share some of the key points that brought me...

Voices – More voices are better than none

A personal ‘note’ to professional athletes globally… “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success” – Henry Ford Earlier this week Jodie Swallow, in her words, put forward and published her motivation for helping start the newly formed Professional Triathlon Union (PTU). As like many of Jodie’s written pieces it had meaning, delivered a message that hopefully inspired those that were uncertain. Helped them to see that there really is only one motive for this new union; “for the greater good of our sport.” I wanted to take the time to put together my thoughts. If Jodie’s message wasn’t strong enough already then I think we all agree, more voices are better than none. Now hold that thought, read that again, “more voices are better than none”…now read on. Why are we here? Why have we, Mirinda Carfrae, Timothy O’Donnell, Jodie Swallow, James Cunnama, Rachel Joyce, Sebastian Kienle, Meredith Kessler, Dirk Bockel, Angela Naeth, Andreas Dreitz, Mary-Beth Ellis, Pete Jacobs, Scott DeFilippis, Dylan McNiece and myself, come together and formed what is today known as the “Professional Triathlon Union”? Honestly, because it really matters. It really matters that every single athlete that represents themselves as a “professional athlete” has a voice. We are “professional athletes” so rightfully we should help shape the future of our sport, triathlon. And how does that happen? It’s the same way that Tennis professionals, Golf professionals, Racing drivers and the like all became able to express their voice…it’s called uniting, coming together, collecting thoughts and inspiring change, pushing for the greater good of this sport. Voices Let’s be honest, we, professional triathletes...

‘The Dash’ by Bragi

‘The Dash’ by Bragi, in my eyes is one of the most innovative and yet necessary pieces of audio equipment in modern times. I believe this has the potential to change how we listen to music and get performance data, all whilst training. I am so proud to play an active part in such an amazing project.

A fall, likely to be one of the hardest

I swim, I bike, I run. I do this because I love it. When a medical professional tells me I can’t, it hurts. A lot. No matter how many times we fall, we can never quite relate to how hard it actually is to fall, until we fall again. I have just been diagnosed with Costochondritis, an inflammatory condition of the costal cartilage and quite frankly I hate it. I am not going to sit here and write I have a big smile on my face and I am so happy because I ain’t. What I will sit here and write though is I have been here before and I will be here again. It is time to put my knowledge, experience and never give up attitude into good use. I have fallen many times in my career from that discus prolapse in 2007, numerous bike crashes, over use injuries, parasites, burnt feet, the list goes on. Falling is part of growing; it shapes us, makes us stronger, keeps us in touch with reality and brings out the best in us. However there is one thing about falling that is no secret; it does hurt. The doctors say I have to rest, so what is the story and what is the situation? Well hopefully I can curb my frustrations in the best way possible and bring some good out of a bad situation. If not then I can at least enlighten you all, on what I can only describe as weeks of on-going nightmares. ‘In search of fresh air’ It has been 5 weeks since my withdrawal from Rev3 Knoxville....

What I eat and my approach to food…

So following on from yesterdays blog this post now covers what I eat and how I approach nutrition whilst my career is high performance sport. My approach to nutrition and food is very simple, I base everything around intaking macro nutrients: Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats (Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids). In addition I then seek out micro nutrients: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Selenium, Calcium, Zinc and Iron. All of these key macro and micro nutrients I seek in the food I eat over a period of a week. I don’t physically register the intake of these macro and micro nutrients I am just aware of what food types they are in. To ensure I get all of these micro and macro nutrients, well it is quite simple, I make sure it is only these food types that are in my cupboard and in my fridge wherever I am in the world. So why do I look at my food in a categorical way? Now this is where my education benefits my career. When we perform daily at such high intensities and volumes I am aware of exactly what nutrients our body uses during the course of a training session, hard training day and week in general. My aim through restoring all of these key nutrients is to ensure my body is in energy balance. These key nutrients are not only what my body uses and I need to restore, it is also a massive contributor to my bodies healing and recovery process. So why the above macro and micro nutrients in particular? Below I have very simply...

How I train and what I eat…

The question that seems to interest a lot of people, so why not write about it?  First of all before I go any further, can I just have a moan?…I am tired. I can’t moan to Ben because he often tells me to suck it up and I can’t moan to Joel because he just smiles as if to say “Great! We are on target.” So instead I thought why not moan to you guys. You listen right? Or shall I just shut up and get on with it?  Now when I say tired, I mean physically fatigued, this last training block has been very hard. Mentally I am great, my body is holding up well but WOW it is over loaded at the moment. You know when you wake up and just wish you could stay in bed, well I had that this morning… …we all get it, open the training program, take a double glance at it to say “really? Oh s**t this is going to be a struggle”. My job is high performance sport and since working with Joel I have grown to realise that unless there is major concern or something is not right then there is no real place for moaning. So as much as I hate to admit it, when I get the Filliol smile and the Powell words of suck it up, I guess I should do just that. I have a team around me that I trust 100% therefore I just have to get on with it, however it is nice to let off some steam once in a while so...

Never Give Up – A film by John Hicks

Never Give Up, filmed by award winning director of photography and film John Hicks, beautifully portrays my outlook on life through a combination of powerful/well thought of scenes, epic landscapes and perfectly composed music. I personally narrate the film aiming to provide a very personal yet powerful message about life and decisions in life that have made her who I am today.The film is a production proudly supported by Nike, HED Cycling, Sailfish and Active Lanzarote.Enjoy...

Never Give Up: The Film – What is it?

So for sometime now there has been some very dedicated people putting the finishing touches to a film production that started back in January. It puts a huge smile on my face to say that tomorrow we will release a very special, short artistic film called Never Give Up. Yesterday on Facebook I posted several stills from the film and before it goes live I wanted to just explain a little bit about it. Never Give Up is a film, directed and shot by award winning international photography and film director John Hicks. John beautifully portrays a life message that I carry so close by me throughout my own life, never giving up. The opportunity to work on a production with John Hicks was presented to me back at the start of 2013. John had shown an interest in my career but more so my story and my approach to life, he wanted to portray this in the way he knows best, film making. Link: Never Give Up Q&A: John Hicks on Helle Frederiksen’s approach to life John’s previous work has included shoots with John Travolta, Lance Armstrong, Dame Ellen MacCarthur and so many more. So it is very humbling to think that a small country girl from Denmark holds appeal and interest to a big time film and photography director like John. The film itself is very special and I am so proud to have had the opportunity to be a part of it. The film aims to promote my outlook on life, not just in sport and triathlon, but life in general. I have been amazed just how well...

Ironman 70.3 San Juan – Why did I win?

I have to say last weekends result surprised me a little, not so much that I actually won more so the way in which I won. I think it surprised a lot of people. I would be wrong to say I didn’t think I could win San Juan; I did, although the thought was a little distant and I was in San Juan as an ITU prepared athlete aiming to have fun and observe some legends. My training has been consistent and my mindset towards my training and racing has become a lot clearer of late. My decision to actually fully commit to non-draft racing only came about 4 weeks ago. My initial focus on early season goals was primarily to perform well at ITU World Triathlon Series San Diego with my first season peak targeted at being for the ITU European Championships in June. My preparation all winter has been focused around ITU racing and this peak in June. Ironman 70.3 San Juan was always in the plans however it was only ever supposed to be an experience race and act as prep for San Diego. Only 4 weeks ago, after it was revealed my national federation was to primarily support long distance athletes focusing on Kona, over Olympic focused athletes competing in the ITU World Triathlon Series, I lost trust in the system and decided to go my own direction. It was only 4 weeks ago that we switched my focus and training approach 100% to non-draft competitions. Group rides become solo specific rides and that was about as much as we changed. Other than this my...

New beginnings and new opportunities

New beginnings and new opportunities For the 2013 triathlon season I have made the decision to opt out of the Team Danmark funding system. Triathlon is booming and opportunities are out there. I need a set up that allows me to be a part of this fantastic development. I have chosen to follow my own path instead of a path chosen by DTriF (Danish Triathlon Federation). I am looking to further my international success all be it, now as an independent athlete for 2013.I am truly grateful for all the years of Team Danmark, DTriF support. However Triathlon is my life and I owe myself a set up that can support my hard work and my ambitions to further my success at an international level. My decision to become an independent athlete for the 2013 season is a decision based on my own individual interest to benefit my career. Rio 2016 is still in my sights; however there is currently limited economic support from DTriF when you chase Olympic success. So from here my primary aim is to focus on my immediate future, hit the big races and provide myself a better all-round financial security. There is a wonderful world out there, waiting for me to explore it. I am really excited and looking forward to great successes in 2013. My new independence and ability to explore will see my focus primarily be on Olympic and half distance events, the majority of which will be of the non-draft format based in the U.S. Since the early part of February I have been based in the U.S close to the National...

Breasts and bum don’t make me world class

A couple of days ago, I posted this image… It created quite a fuss and it even made the Danish media, featured on sporten.dk. What really has interested me since posting the image, is the response, the varied reaction to the image. This response has really provided me a great starting point for this article which highlights we, as human beings, have to accept who we are. We choose our own path in life and therefore we need to accept all the factors that go with it. No matter what our interests, no matter what direction in life we lead, we need to accept who we are and no matter how much we may want it differently, often our chosen direction in life leaves us no choice but to accept our body for what it is.  Now it is no secret I am a girl but what is probably a secret is how much of a feminine body I naturally do have. Many years ago I worked in modelling and I was not a model for my highly toned, highly muscular physique, and I was definitely not a model for being skinny and petite. I was in fact a model for my curves and my lady like features. Back then I was proud of my body and had accepted who I was.  I was curvy and I was happy. Today I am still proud of my body, despite a small part of me looking forward to the return of my curves in years to come, I have no choice but to accept my body today for what it is. My...

Lance: My FINAL thoughts.

Just under 12 months ago I wrote my thoughts on a certain Mr. Armstrong entering the world of triathlon. I was excited to follow his progress and the impact it would have on our sport. He was an inspiration to many at that time, including myself. Now I have no respect for him what so ever. This is what I now think. – Lance deserves his life time ban.– Lance deserves never to race in sport again.– Lance deserves to loose everything he has lost.– Lance deserves to be forgotten. However Lance does deserve some credit for the fact that no matter how much PED’s he used he is an exceptional sporting performer. I am tired of hearing about Lance! – All those that were, and are, part of the same culture deserve lifetime bans from ALL sport.– Know one deserves a lighter sentence for admitting the use of PEDs, know one deserves a come back after cheating. My question after all of this is how can governing bodies and federations justify a non-lifetime ban for anyone who uses PEDs. On what grounds do they believe people deserve another shot in sport when they are caught cheating or confess to cheating? That system is a joke! I encourage the day where the rules for ALL sports state ‘you dope, your banned for life – zero...

Nike – Reassuring beliefs

What a way to start my Christmas celebrations by announcing Nike as a continued sponsor in 2013. Having signed an initial two year contract back in 2010, Nike will remain a major partner to my career as a professional triathlete in both 2013 and 2014. Like most of us I am someone who occasionally needs reassurance, reassurance that the things I am doing and the things I believe in are correct. These reassurances and beliefs primarily come from training and racing results, however sponsors contribute massively to the belief an athlete carries with them day to day. Over the past years I have really worked hard to solidify my brand and my position as a professional sports person with a Master in Human Nutrition. I believe strongly in what I do and will continue to operate to my beliefs. Having Nike as a major partner brings no greater reassurance and belief; the path that I am currently on is a path that is recognized and trusted by the worlds leading apparel company. Words can not describe what their support means to me. I certainly believe my biggest career result is yet to be achieved, however being part of a very select and trusted group of Nike sponsored athletes will always be considered as a highlight now and in years to...

Triathletes train as triathletes NOT swimmers!!

So this past weekend I started my ‘Better Swimmer’ initiative, a two part swim program for 16 persons, split over two weekends. I chose to split the swimmers into four separate groups. My purpose for doing this was so that I could keep the training extremely personal, whilst at the same time allowing for a very relaxed, cosy environment. It was a great couple of days and I am now looking forward to the coming weekend to finish off what we have already started. Having now had some time to reflect on the weekend, one thing that struck me, and struck me hard, was how these athletes attending the swim program had been taught to swim. The first thing that was clear is that these persons were not on the course to learn to swim, instead they were on the program because they love triathlon, they are relatively new to the sport and they want to do all they can to get better. I think it is only right that they get taught things that will enable them to be more efficient and quicker in open water and triathlons. They are not training for a local swim competition of 1500m in a lane all by themselves, therefore their stroke does not need to be long, pretty and slow. Instead they are training for open water/triathlon racing, racing that will see them surrounded by 100’s of others swimmers, they will need an increased turnover, an ability to catch the water almost instantly, they do not require a long glide in the water. As newcomers to the world of swimming any long gliding...

Kona, Kids and Investment…

Well we are now in September and yet again the race season is almost done. Not mine, but I am sure many of yours is. My 2012 year was all about qualifying for the Olympics and achieving my best result. I hadn’t really planned much beyond this. Despite achieving qualification, I did not achieve my best result at the games. Such is life, we learn, we get stronger and we look ahead. It has taken me some time to figure out exactly what I want from the remainder of my 2012 season. Do I chase the ITU World Triathlon Series and head to the grand final in Auckland? Do I take my end of year break and have a holiday? I have asked myself many questions over the past month. Not only have I asked myself questions but so have interested persons…Kona, Kids and Investment have been dropped into the Q&A sessions. All questions have been quickly disregarded with either laughter, looks of insanity or “not now”. Now I think that people assume that because I am 31, well educated and now an Olympian – I should be content. Firstly I am not really 31, I am 24, or at least I feel this way in my mind and in my body. I am still learning, still developing and most importantly still getting faster. I do not want to waste this speed by opting for career change to long distance racing or even starting a family – hell no! When I can not keep up with the fastest short distance triathletes on the planet then perhaps I will reconsider....

Realizing a dream…(Pt. 2) – Achieving and Appreciating Support

“On successful completion of my degree I made the sacrifice and commitment to reach the London 2012 Olympics. Since 2008 this has been my ultimate goal, certainly not my only goal but definitely the main one.” Closing out a four journey at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. No better way to reassure myself that the correct belief and approach works. Know what you do, believe in it and go and get it. A sacrifice to not only to be the best athlete I can be but to develop an entire business model into one of meaning and value. The purpose? Earning support and realizing a dream. This goal, like most is something that I have certainly not achieved alone. I often get the question how do we do it? How do, we as athletes, set ourselves a goal, accomplish this goal and then build beyond this? The answer is pretty simple and does not need so much thought. Support. Without support, so many others and I simply could not have done it. No matter how big or small the level of support is, it all plays a vital role in the daily ‘cog turning’, required to reach an Olympic start line. But how much support does exactly go into an Olympic campaign? Honestly it cannot be measured. Reaching the Olympics is simply not done alone, somewhere, somehow each an every athlete is supported, some more than others but we are all supported. But how do we get support? We have to earn it. Just like a paperboy has to earn his pennies and just like a...

Realizing a dream…(Pt. 1)

”To realize a dream we need to overcome nightmares” As we now get ever closer to the 4th August, I am very close to realizing my childhood dream of competing in the Olympic games. As the foreword states, to realize a dream we need to overcome nightmares. This blog post, part 1 of a two part blog post on ‘Realizing a dream…’ Dreams, long-term goals and commitments certainly do not come easy. Often people set their goals and before their journey has even begun they pull the plug and re-assess. Why? Because they hit a stumbling block in the road, they faced an obstacle that was not in the ’dream’. Well in short, the script that takes us towards our dreams and goals is very rarely written, as we would like it. In order to achieve what we believe we can achieve we need to make sacrifices, we need to ride the storm and most of all we need to accept that pain and defeat is all part of the process of becoming successful. I, for one, can certainly speak of this first hand. My journey to London 2012 Olympic qualification has certainly not been a straightforward one, and now despite being qualified I am still rising above the nightmares to fulfil what I set out to fulfil. Whilst I write this I am sure there are athletes and persons out there that have suffered far greater nightmares than I have, yet they still remain successful, why? They can take a hit, they can rise above defeat and most of all they believe in their ability to succeed. My...

Nothing complicated, just business.

The season is finally under way and WOW I am happy it is. After many months of hard work through the winter, it is often the case that getting the first race in the bank successfully provides such a relief and sense of satisfaction. I have been based down in Noosa, Australia since March 8th. I have 3 races scheduled within this block of travel, with Mooloolaba ITU World Cup, this past weekend being the first. Mooloolaba is always a tough race but high winds, rough water conditions combined with the strongest start list ever assembled for an ITU World Cup event meant there was to be no hiding out there. (Pre race talk with coach Joel Filliol) Rough seas meant the swim was a very physical battle, never before have I experienced screams 400m into a swim race. Well I did here, I imagine (hope) they were screams of frustration, never the less girls were screaming around the first buoy. It was pure hell, know one wanted to give up their line, so as you can imagine 50+, adrenaline filled, girls all caught around one turning buoy makes for a messy scenario. It is definitely not for the faint hearted. Safely managing to get around the first buoy it was then all about keeping my focus. I swam as OK and kept my head on the task, not worrying too much about what was happening around me. I exited the water approximately mid pack. Immediately committing to working hard and closing any gaps ahead of me. Video of Swim Start Working well with fellow scandinavian Lisa Norden (Sweden),...

A 4 month reflection

Whilst now sitting on my flight from Lanzarote to Denmark I had time to reflect, time to summarise my past 4 months stay based at Europe’s Biggest Playground – Club La Santa. Why Europe’s biggest playground? Well Club La Santa is just this; Europe’s biggest playground for active people. If you are an active person, there is simply no better place to come and spend your vacation. Club La Santa is also a Triathlon mecca, beginners, amateurs, elites and professionals from all over the globe use the resort as a winters and all year round training location. Having been in the fortunate position to partner Club La Santa back in November 2011, my winter home has been nothing but perfect. In this blog I want to highlight a few areas, areas that have allowed me to successfully complete my most consistent winter period to date. Climate & Location Club La Santa being situated on the Volcanic Island of Lanzarote, offers a perfect training climate through the winter months. Exact temperature figures I am not so sure of, however one thing I can tell you is I have never had to consider putting on a pair of over shoes, wrapping my fingers in full covered gloves, actually not even wearing a full length cycling jacket in the whole 4 months. That I think says enough about the winter climate in Lanzarote. The location and surrounding area of Club La Santa is ideal. Based on the North Western side of the island, there is perfect access to all terrains for cycling and running. Cycling in general is tough, not only due...

Wear it. Mount it. Love it. Welcome GoPro.

I am happy to announce GoPro as an official partner for 2012. Using GoPro HD products/video technology will allow me to analyse areas of my training and performance that have been unexplored previously. GoPro will allow the work and co-operation with my overseas coach, Joel Filliol to be at the highest level possible. File sharing technology and regular communication will mean my relationship with Joel is hands on despite our overseas relationship. GoPro will allow no stone to be unturned as I prepare for my biggest Triathlon year to date. I will use GoPro in many aspects of my daily training. Continuous work in the water, out on the road, both running and riding will help me push my training analysis to a new level. GoPro will allow me to engage with my followers and supporters, giving me the opportunity to teach, show and inspire the grass roots of todays sport. As the sport continues to grow it is important that we, as athletes, are able and willing to grow with it. Working with GoPro enables me to stay in touch with the needs of professional racing and performance. Having access, not only to GoPro products but also GoPro production team will really ensure we get the very best out of today’s leading HD video footage. I am privileged to join a very select group of athletes that includes windsurf guru Christopher Friis. I am honored to join a very select but exclusive group of athletes formed by GoPro Brand Manager, Anders Elmholdt Pedersen. Anders recently commented on my representation of GoPro. “Helle is a world class athlete and...

The LANCE effect…

Now since Sunday evening the triathlon community has exploded into a frenzy of joy, celebration, anger, disbelief, excitement you name it, it was felt about the sport of triathlon. Why? Because Lance Armstrong yet again defied almost everyone’s expectation at Ironman Panama 70.3. Having listened to many debates, seen 100’s of tweets, status updates on Lance and his explotion onto the tri seen. My inbox has also increased in size since Sunday. So here I want to quickly summarise my points of Lance Armstrong and his performance on Sunday. – Firstly knowone can deny the man has talent. To be able to swim as quick as he did, ride the way he rode and run away from some of the Sport’s greatest names is – TALENT. You ask any professional athlete just how hard they have to train to be at that level, their reply will often astound you. Lance, being a human, will also have to train similar quantities and intensity levels. – To swim that level takes years and years of dedication, commitment and patience. It simply does not happen over night. There is no question Lance has always maintained his swimming ability, you simply can not buy a swim performance of the kind he produced on Sunday. Being a 7 x Tour De France winner and still finding time to swim to a high level – Respect. – Accusing the unproven is a dangerous game. Jodie Swallow quite rightfully pointed out this morning on Twitter, Torbjørn Sindballe’s recent piece on ‘Can we welcome Lance to tri?’ was, no doubt, an excellent read, powerful. However quoting Lance’s...

Discipline, Belief and Self Control

It has been a little while since I have really sat down and got my head on an ‘educational’ blog post. I enjoy writing these blogs as it is, from similar blogs, I learn. I have learnt many things during my months down here at Club La Santa. Importantly I have gained a big understanding of 3 important traits – Discipline, Belief and Self Control. Without these traits my time down here at Club La Santa may not have been as successful as it has been already. I arrived on Club La Santa early November 2011. Since this time I have been fortunate to train with many of the worlds leading Triathletes. Many of them asking the same question “How can you stay here for so long?” now if I am honest, I don’t really delve into asking “what do you mean?” My answer is the same thing every time without really thinking about it “easy…” Now in reality, it may not actually be so easy for some. I am not, in any way, referring to this as a bad thing. Each person is different, what works for some does not always work for others. (Despite often being alone, having the ability to believe in what you are doing is everything. Discipline, Belief and Self Control – 3 traits with big control on success) Club La Santa, as mentioned in a previous blog post, is Europe’s biggest playground for active people. So I really can understand should athletes feel they could not stay here for prolonged period of time. There are many good things going on here, so many...

Reynolds Cycling 2012

I am very pleased to announce my continued work alongside Reynolds Cycling in 2012. I have been working with Reynolds since the middle of 2010. They are undoubtedly a worldwide leader, innovative in design and production of high performance carbon fibre bicycle wheels. Reynolds wheels are recognized for their commitment towards AG2R Pro Tour cycling team. With their RZR 92.2 mm wheels proving to be one of the fastest wheel on the market. Their position within the sport of Triathlon is rapidly on the increase. With a very respected group of sponsored Triathletes, 2012 is set to be yet another great year for everyone involved with Reynolds Cycling. Reynolds Wheels are available throughout Europe and the U.S, at all leading cycling/triathlon stores. Their ‘Spin it up’ test ride program allows cycling and triathlon enthusiasts the opportunity to test what their wheels have to offer. Visit your local Reynolds Cycling dealer for more information on ‘Spin it up’. In 2012 I will be racing on the RZR 46mm Tubular (968g), training with the ThirtyTwo 32mm Carbon Clincher (1351g) and TT’ing on the RZR 92.2mm rear. Visit MyRide section on my website to see just what my 2011 combination looked like 🙂 Good luck to all my fellow Reynolds Cycling sponsored athletes, I wish you all the best in 2012. A massive thank you to everyone at Reynolds Cycling for your continued support. For more information on this amazing company and their products visit. www.reynoldscycling.com Follow Reynolds Cycling – Twitter and Facebook. Official Press Release – Click...

Winter update

So it has been some time since my last blog entry. I am very happy to write that I have settled in well on my winter home of Club La Santa, Lanzarote. As many of you would have seen through my Facebook page, the weather here is great. It allows me to train unhindered and also outdoors. This for many in central/northern Europe is tough at this time of year. (Despite a big physical demand, mentally I am relaxed and excited when looking forward) I am currently coming to the end of a solid block of training and look forward to a slightly easier period over Christmas. Fortunately for me Club La Santa is the perfect get away for elite athletes at this time of year, which has meant I have been far from alone when out training. Helen Jenkins, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Jodie Stimpson, Kerry Lang, Vicky Holland, Timo Bracht, Daniel Unger, Stephan Vuckovic, Mario Mola, Felicity Abraham are just a few of the elite triathletes who have been based at Club La Santa. (The consistent warmth of Lanzarote makes Club La Santa a perfect winter base) Work under new coach Joel Filliol is great. Joel has an amazing way of communicating and connecting with his athletes and despite us being approx. 5000 km apart at this time of year the relationship and work could not be better. It now looks likely that I will remain based on Club La Santa until the end of February. I then plan to head down to the Sunshine Coast of Australia where I will meet up with Joel and the...

New season, New start, New approaches

“A person/human being eminently skilled in something, as an occupation, art, or science is often referred to as a master.” A strong word? Yes. A fitting word? Undoubtedly. I have recently made the decision to leave my long standing coach Michael Krüger. The decision has been an extremely long and thought out process. Michael Krüger I regard as a master at his occupation. Without Michael’s expertise and guidance I question whether I would be calling myself a professional triathlete today. In 2006 I raced my first World Cup in Hamburg, Germany and placed 57th overall. In 2009 I was one step away from the top of the podium in Huatulco, Mexico. In between all this has been ITU European Cup victories, ITU World Cup top 5 finishes, National Championship titles all of which I give all credit to Michael. These results would not have been possible without his guidance and work over the past 6 years. Despite all of the above I believe I have yet to show my true potential. Which is the main reason for taking the next big step in my professional triathlon career. In order for an individual athlete to be successful they sometimes need to step out of what is comfortable and convenient by making decisions and taking chances that they do not know the outcome of. This reduces the element of ‘what if?’ from the thought process. Undoubtedly I have had my best years, until now, under Michael and as Kara Goucher, perfectly sums up here, change is hard. However I am fully confident that in my case, change is good. ‘From one...

Europe’s Biggest Playground…

So as you may have already read I recently announced Club La Santa, Europe’s leading sports resort, as my new sponsors for 2011/2012 beyond. So what does this mean? Of course I am not going to go into the specifics, as is the case with any sponsorship agreement, but I am happy to tell you a little more about Club La Santa as a resort and how we plan to collaborate. Firstly Club La Santa is Europes leading sports resort situated on the island of Lanzarote. Lanzarote is one of many Spanish Canary Islands which lie in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 100km off the coast of Morocco. Due to its location it experiences good weather all year round, of course you can get the odd one or two weeks that is wet and windy but temperatures very rarely drop below 15 degrees during its cold periods. However the wind is ever present. (8 lane outdoor pool is perfect in the mid day heat) For many, myself included, Club La Santa is regarded as a triathletes playground. It has everything a triathlete needs 8 lane 50m pool, 6 lane running track, fitness centre, massage therapists, physio therapists, bike centre for hire and repair of bikes, open water swimming facilites, weekly running, triathlon and duathlon events plus more all of which is contained within the resort. Step outside the resort and the cycle routes are some of the best, tough but good. Good mountain climbs, good road surfaces and more importantly the traffic is cyclist friendly. Coastal trails allow for endless running with nothing but a few rocks seperating you from...

Sushi, Rice and Fried Frogs…ASIA

So after over 15 days away from home it is finally nice to be back in Denmark. I am a little bit late with this latest blog entry and it is simply because I have needed to get over the jet lag. Thankfully I can now say I have fully recovered from the travel and I am now able to reflect on my time in Asia. Beijing?!?! Did Beijing even happen? Not a great experience all round but I do not want to sit here and make excuses for why I DNF’d. A number of factors resulted in my DNF but nothing worth writing about… On to Yokohama, the following week. WOW I was happy to get out of China. Despite Japan being only a 3 hour flight it seems a million miles away from China. You can clearly see the difference in how the two countries are run. Of course politics plays a massive part in the social experience but there was not really a social experience in China, I suppose a reflection of the politics behind the country?! Anyway safely in Japan and my hunger to race and race solid was big, extremely big. With only 7 days in which to turn around my confidence and belief it meant a lot of communication with the people who believed in me the most. 48 hours before race start I had identified a clear race plan which enabled my focus for the race was where it should be. The method was a visual process of breaking the race into segments and focusing on all the key/critical points individually. This...

Beijing WCS…or lack of.

Hhhhhmmmmm Beijing…to be honest I have already forgotten about the race (or lack of) so not really so much I can fill you in on. I can say that I was extremely frustrated and annoyed to not fully get into the race. There were 1 or 2 factors that lead to my DNF but nothing worth talking about. No excuses. I am now fully focused on Yokohama. I am hungry and driven to prove a point, one thing is for sure I have some devils inside to let 🙂 I am currently now in Yokohama I arrived Thursday evening. I am regularly training with Lisa (Nordén) as I am the only member from Denmark at the race. It is nice to push some hard swims together and get out on the bike. Lisa is great company so it is nice not to be alone while travelling. Yokohama is a busy place and extremely hot and humid. Everyone is in the same race though so no disadvantage here. From now until Monday (race day) it is all about keeping the legs active and then making sure I am on that start line ready. Thanks for all you support. Live coverage of the event can be seen via...

CycleFit.de Official Sponsorship

I am very proud to announce a newly formed sponsorship with CycleFit.de. The sponsorship which will run until the end of 2012 will allow me access to CycleFit.de’s exclusive fitting service along with MotionLogic Insoles. Company founder Lloyd Thomas has created a very respectable reputation throughout the cycling and triathlon world. Firmly establishing CycleFit.de as the worlds leading cycle fit company. HTC Highroad, Commerzbank Triathlon Team plus many of the world’s top individual cyclists and triathletes all use CycleFit.de and their services. Cycle fit is vital for injury prevention and also maximizing your race performance. Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced professional there is no doubt that CycleFit.de can optimize your race day performance. Unlike many other cycle fit companies, CycleFit.de have education of the highest degree no only in cycle fit but in human movement. This reassures me that the service they provide is of the highest standard. I look forward to a successful partnership. For more information on CycleFit.de and their services please click...

A step forward and a step on the podium

This past weekend saw me racing in the beautiful town of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. I had chosen to race this European Cup event as part of a consistent training block. All in preparation for Beijing and Yokohama WCS. I made the short flight over from Copenhagen, Denmark on Friday morning. This allowed me plenty of time to relax and settle. I had raced and won Karlovy Vary European Cup in 2008 so I knew what I was in for. A very tough race over an extremely tough race course. Conditions on race day were perfect. Clear blue skies with temperatures reaching mid 20’s. As race start approached I was relaxed and confident. The 3 lap swim consisted of a tough uphill exit after every lap. I positioned myself well through the first lap and exited the water in 3rd position. Upon entering the water again it was clear that there was a break away of two athletes ahead of me, Gaia Peron (ITA) and Rahel Kueng (SUI). The gap was a little to big for me to bridge. I positioned myself towards the front of the lead chasers. It was a tough swim. Entering T1 you could definitely feel the uphill exits in your legs. I had a smooth T1 and exited leading the chase group. The two leaders had now managed to put 30 seconds into the main bunch. Impressive swimming. (Swim exit and entry bridge) Once onto the bike my legs instantly felt good. We ascended out of the lake area and headed back to town. 6 laps in and around the city made for some...

DNF such a positive experience…how?!

Going all the way back to the beginning of July ITU World Cup Edmonton was a little disappointing. I went to Edmonton hoping for a big result. Those horrendous blisters, suffered in the Europeans, had healed well but I was still only able to manage an 8th place finish. However 8th is still a respectable result and I was able to take many positives from this high finish despite a disappointing race. One positive that I was not able to take away from this race was an intestinal parasite (Giardia Lamblia). The evening before my start in Edmonton I was feeling very nausious, I put this down to race nerves/excitement. On race morning the nausea was still there and throughout the course of the race only got worse. The 10 km run was simply a case of survival to the finish line all that kept me going was olympic points. My recovery after Edmonton was extremely bad and I simply wanted to just sleep, sleep, sleep. The nausea was always present and it now became a big concern that I was suffering from more than just travel sickness. My energy levels really deterioated and the easiest of training sessions was putting me in bed for 2 – 3 hours immediately after. I wasted no time in getting stool samples tested however the results were negative. This now was very alarming as I was still in a very low training phase and even after a 3 day period of completely nothing my symptoms were still the same and I was exhuasted. While awaiting my blood test results I got informed...

HF Triathlon – My Very Own Coaching Company

I am very proud to announce the launch of my newly founded triathlon coaching company – HF Triathlon. The company has been in production for the past 9 months and to now finally unveil it to the public is a very proud moment for me. I have established the company to provide elite level coaching to athletes at all levels in the sport, at an affordable price. Having been in top level sport for many years I understand what an athlete requires from their coach. However unfortunately, in my opinion, there are not enough options available to the growing number of triathlon competitors worldwide. Founded along with my partner Ben Powell, HF Triathlon is committed to athlete care and attention. I will take a backseat role in the company whilst still having a vital part to play in the design and planning of each athletes training programme. The day to day running of the company will be taken care of by my partner Ben. This allows me to continue to focus on reaching my peak and London 2012 Olympics. Triathlon as a sport is growing rapidly, a clear sign of this growth is, this coming weekend the London WCS race will be hosted live via big screens in 6 cities throughout the UK. 10 years ago triathlon was a little known sport rarely found on internet search engines. Now with events such as The London Triathlon hosting over 11,000 competitors it is a clear sign that high quality coaching companies need to be established. I am passionate about my sport and I am also a realist. I know that...

Training for Triathlon – Part 3

As many of you, like myself, are deep into your race season I thought it was appropriate for this next article to be based on ‘Getting ready for race day’. Whether you are a race day expert, complete novice or a soon to be Challenge Copenhagen finisher this article should give you a few extra pointers to ensure your race day experience is the best possible.Race day preparation is very much individual. We are all special and unique in our own way therefore it very much depends on the person how they prepare for a race. What I aim to do in this article is provide you with some useful tools that can enable your preparation for racing is a good one. I will cover many areas including race day focus, morning preparation and training preparation so I hope it will give all of you something to take away. (Many first timers will race Challenge Copenhagen, preparing well will help your final result) Pre race preparation This area covers the entire period leading up to a race. It includes your winters training and all training sessions leading to your big day. Identify your goal and how much you are willing to sacrifice to achieve this goal. Once you have done this write it down and keep it somewhere so you can always remind yourself what you are aiming for. As training progresses it is not uncommon that people get ahead of themselves and try to determine new goals. This is fine but by having your initial goal established anything beyond this is then a bonus. So as an example...

Training for Triathlon – Part 2

This next part in ‘Training for Triathlon’ I am going to cover the topic of ‘Speed’. Speed is one of the most important elements combining in success. It is common knowledge that without speed racing almost becomes participating. In this article I will try to highlight the importance of speed training throughout all disciplines. Being a short distance athlete I am no stranger to speed sessions. Week in, week out I conduct speed sessions in the pool, open water, on the bike, on the turbo, in the forest, on the treadmill the list goes on and on. The reason why I do this? Simple. Without speed I would be absolutely knowhere in the sport. As a previous blog entry outlined No Adaption = No Progression. This applies to you also. Whether you are a sprint distance competitor or an accomplished Ironman finisher you all still need speed to reach your full potential. Of course before you can really work on becoming faster you need to be a) Fit b) Strong c) Prepared to suffer. If you was to take anyone of those traits away you would be putting unnecessary strain on your body. The risk of injury would be greater and also recovery would be far more susbstantial. Speed is often an element added to an athletes training programme as the new season gets closer. 8 times out of 10 speed sessions become more the norm during a training week when a major race is the focus. This ensures the athlete is at optimal performance levels and able to withstand higher race intensities. However many athletes will perform some...

To be or not to be that was the question…

Sorry for the delay on this latest blog entry things have been a little bit busy since arriving back in Denmark from Spain. The delay in publishing this latest post has enabled me to really reflect on my race and the result. Had I written this post within 24 hours of the race my reflection may have appeared a little different. Now 5 days post race I can look back and say I am satisfied with my performance and result in this years European Championships. I will now try and give you a clear insight as to why my thoughts/reflection has changed in the past days… Leading into these European Championships I was very happy with my shape. Having evaluated past races and identified areas that were letting me down. Training had been tough but tough in these areas that were preventing me from a big result. Swim-Bike brick sessions and hard bike intervals were the focus while the rest remained consistent. Running sessions were possibly the quickest sessions I have ever completed. So there was no denying I was confident I could race well. Early season goals were set as a top 8 Europeans finish. The goal going into this race was still the same but deep down I believed if it was to be my day then a medal was possible. Pontevedra, Spain was the host of this year’s Championships. Being the home city of reigning world Champion Javier Gomez crowds on race day were spectacular. This generated a great atmosphere and the vibe around the race site was simply awesome. Racing with start number 4 allowed...

Training for Triathlon – Part 1

Ok so as promised here is my blog entry on open water specific swim training. I will now over the coming weeks conduct a series of articles titled ‘Training for Triathlon’. This entry will be part 1 in that series. During the last part in the series I will announce something very special. This announcement will then ensure you’re road to the top does not have to be a lonely one. Thanks for all your support. Enjoy. As many of you are aware Triathlon as a sport is growing massively across all distances. Initially many Triathletes believed that in order to be the best Triathlete on the planet you would have to swim like a swimmer, cycle like a cyclist and run like a runner. How times have changed!! A recent study on ‘Science in Triathlon’ concluded that Triathlon is to be perceived as a sole sport and therefore many training techniques need to be adapted and developed in order to assist in the growth of the sport. I want to see the sport grow therefore with out expert guidance we are all pretty much alone out there. This adaption and development has been in the sport for some time now. I would like to give you some training methods and advice that can hopefully help with open water swimming. It is no secret that my swimming ability is very rarely shown when in open water. As the level of this sport is changing rapidly I knew something had to change in order to ensure I stood the best chance of improving my open water swimming. So I sat...

I am not a Time Trial specialist!!

So as I wrote in my most recent blog post, this weekend was all about trying to regain the Danish Elite title. A puncture in 2010 forced me to retire from the race and also unwillingly give up my Danish Champion status (see month of defeats…for more details). Unfortunately 2011 is also going to be a year where I do not carry the status of ‘Danish Champion’… Despite the Danish Championships having no relevance to my London 2012 qualification I was still very much hoping to capture yet another Danish title. Due to the tight schedule of races offering qualifying points for the Olympics the Danish Triathlon Federation opted to shorten this year Elite Championship. Now racing over the ‘Sprint’ distance of 750m Swim, 20km Bike, 5km Run it was to be a short and sharp battle to be crowned Danish Elite Champion 2011. Sprint distance racing has less impact on the body, therefore enhancing recovery time during this busy racing period. Definitely giving thumbs up to Danish Triathlon Federation on this one. The week prior to this race was a tough one, not physically but more mentally. It was a week full of uncertainty and a roller coaster of emotions. Upon arriving back in Denmark (Monday evening) from Madrid it became clear that I had at some point during the race in Madrid encountered a heavy impact on the underside of my foot. Tuesday morning the pain was considerably bad, taking no chances, I visited Team Denmark’s base in Brondby to get an ultra sound scan. In my mind I feared the worst – a stress fracture. Fortunately...

No adaption = No progression

So while I am currently 10000 m up into the sky flying back to Copenhagen. I thought it was no better time to reflect on my 16th place finish yesterday in Madrid WCS. Going into Madrid I was very confident with my most recent block of training. I was able to take many positives from my early season races whilst working hard on the areas that prevented me from ensuring I was consistent in all my performances. A lot of the training sessions I conduct are based purely on past race experiences and specific areas that need improving. Having such a close support network ensures that each race is analysed in great depth which allows us to pinpoint exactly the areas that need to be improved during the next block of training. Having really worked hard in my weaker areas I was on the start line in Madrid confident and sure I could race hard and perform well. Race conditions were great; 27-degree air temperature ensured a hot day of racing. 23.8-degree water temperature made for pleasant swimming without a wetsuit. As many of you will be aware I have not truly established myself as an ’exceptional’ open water swimmer. Based on my pool times I should be regarded as one of the fastest swimmers in the sport, but this sport counts for nothing if you can’t adapt to open water swimming. This is something I have learnt the hard way. Prompting me to adopt a new approach to swimming. One approach I have adopted is that I now train in the pool as a Triathlete not a swimmer....

4th – Monterrey World Cup

I got it right – finally! It is kind of a relief to get a good result under my belt after a lot of”not so good” results. This was a result I knew I was definitely capable of but up until now ‘I had not got it right’. The most important thing is that it has now moved me up in the Olympic rankings – so I’m now ranked 30th – out of 55 slots. It was a very early morning in Monterrey. Due to extreme weather forecast the women’s start was moved from 8.30 am to 8.00 am as they expected temperatures to reach low 40’s later in the day. By that the men’s race could also start 30 minutes ahead of schedule. The Athlete’s lounges opened 1,5h before race start and at that point it was completely dark outside. As ITU races don’t tend to be such early starters it had been a while since I had experienced race preparation in total darkness. As I mentioned in my race preview the swim was very narrow. After 50 metres we (75 girls) were squeezed into a 40 metre wide space and within the next 40 metre it narrowed to only 10 metres wide. It created a lot of turbulence and fighting. I didn’t have a good swim but I still managed to get out of the water towards the back end of the first group. A smaller group of 6 got away but got caught quite soon into the bike. Only Sarah Haskins (USA) was strong enough to ride solo up front. Haskins rode very hard entering T2...