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Iron Mike: Back across Europe

The challenges of Michael aka “Iron Mike : Iron Mike: Back across Europe

Michael Monsieur, head of the HeX metrology laboratory in Gosselies and Technical Supervisor, is also a great sportsman outside his professional activity. In fact, the HeX employee travels all over Europe throughout the year to excel in various half-Ironman events. After a long break due to Covid 19, Michael returned to competition on May 30.

Could you tell us a little more about your May 30 adventure ?

Mike: I took part in the half Ironman (70.3) in St Polten, Austria! Finally a race number after weeks of training and many postponed events without being able to compete! In fact, two races were planned at the start of the season (70.3 Venice Jesolo and 70.3 Aix en Provence) but were cancelled due to the pandemic, forcing me to fall back on a plan B, i.e. the St Polten Half-Ironman in preparation for the 70.3 in Finland, where I’m hoping to put in a fine personal performance in the age category and, who knows, if I’m lucky, land the Holy Grail, qualification for the 70.3 World Championships.

What are the distances for each discipline?

Mike: My favourite triathlon distance is the half Ironman, also known as the 70.3,

consisting of : – 1.9km swimming, – 90km cycling and finally, – 21.1km run,

a good compromise between speed and management.

What’s your overall race time?

Mike: Every race is different, of course, but in this particular configuration, which was relatively difficult given the altitude difference and the weather conditions (wind++ and rain), I finished in 5 hours 10 minutes, which puts me in the top third of the overall ranking of 1,500 athletes, including 125 professionals. Even if I’m not satisfied with my race and my time, the hours of training have paid off.

How do you prepare for this kind of race?

Mike: Combining work/family life and sport is a challenge in itself :), but I’m lucky enough to share this passion with my wife and I have the support of my children and my employer 😉 Basically, depending on the phases of preparation during the year, I train 6d /7 and regularly 2x/day, which corresponds on average to 3 swimming sessions, 3 walking sessions and 3-4 cycling sessions, which adds up to between 10 and 12h per week.

What tips do you have for preparing for an event like this?

Mike: I’d encourage everyone to try a race they feel like doing, whatever the distance, and for this one, for example, I’d say:

  • Choose an event that thrills you
  • Vary different types of training in all 3 sports
  • Training adapted to your level
  • Objectively quantify the time you have available for training, so that you are always psychologically serene.
  • Don’t hesitate to seek support and coaching to prepare in the most efficient way for the time available.
  • Cycling/running sequences
  • Listen to your body (injury/pain)
  • Taking care of your body (dietetically and nutritionally)
  • But the most important thing is to enjoy and be motivated 😉

Before his next objective in Finland on July 3, relive in photos his last 70.3 in Austria.

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