Since Ironman has offered Olympic gold medalists Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) and Flora Duffy (BER) wildcard entries to the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in October, Blummenfelt says he’ll pass on the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt in order to go after the World Triathlon Championship series title.
According to a release from Blummenfelt’s Bahrain Endurance 13 team, after Tokyo Blummenfelt had plannded for a “quick turnaround in training to get on the podium at the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt and secure a Kona start.” With the Kona spot secured, that opens the door for Blummenfelt to focus on earning the world title in Edmonton – he’s currently just 39 points behind WTCS leader Alex Yee. The winner in Edmonton will earn 1,250 points.
“On one hand you could say it could have been really good for him to test out the distance before, but on the other hand he’s in really good position for the overall series win at the Grand Final,” says Blummenfelt’s coach, Arild Tveiten. “It’s very good that he can go and perform at the level that he needs to be and then switch to the Ironman.”
Renowned for his long, hard training regimen, Blummenfelt says he would have liked to have been on the start line in Frankfurt. “I got to do nine hours combined of race pace on Monday and Tuesday before I got the wildcard, so I was actually thinking almost like I hope I’m not getting the wildcard because I’m really prepared for Frankfurt now,” he says. “But also it makes it much more likely that I can have a good race against Alex Yee in the Grand Final. It’s going to be a proper battle for the overall in Edmonton.”
Once he’s done going after the world title, Blummenfelt seems to have a pretty clear picture of what training he thinks he needs to do to excel in Kona.
“We will trade off a little of VO2max because I have a high enough one for Kona. From what we’ve done so far, it’s not the VO2max that’s the limiting factor. So I guess it would be sea-level training and then heat preparation. We’re going to be just trying to get the power and muscular stamina up because it’s one thing to run a three-minute pace for 10K. It’s another thing to do 3:45 for two and a half hours off four hours on the bike in a tight TT position.”
He’s also got a pretty clear strategy for the race in Kona:
“I think I can run away from everyone on the Island. The biggest failure I can have, or the biggest mistake I can do is to go too fast and try to put pressure on other athletes too early. To me, it’s more about surviving until the last 10K. So that means swimming with the first pack, just staying there and not really worrying about the guys from behind catching us or not. And then I’ll just do nutrition right. Coming to the run is just about going at my pace for as long as possible. And then with 10K to go, it’s more than enough time to smash it.”