Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Faris Al-Sultan Talks About Ironman Hawaii

Faris, where do you prepare for this year’s Ironman Hawaii?

It was always my aim to prepare as close as possible to Hawaii. In the last years the choice was California and it will be again the destination for this year’s camp. I thought al lot about places. San Diego would be a perfect location but traffic increased a lot in the last years. I hope that Santa Monica, where I will train this year, will be a good place. A week prior to the race in Hawaii I will fly to Kona.

How does your training the weeks before the race looks like?

I developed a system over the last years, which I will follow. The last 2 or 3 training weeks I have some key workouts on my program. I will repeat them every week. Amongst others it is a hard and a long bike ride and a long run with race specific elements. The recovery/tapering phase starts 2 weeks before the race.

How do you feel that all Ironman athletes of Abu Dhabi Triathlon Team qualified for Hawaii?
This is awesome! After all the problems with injuries we had nobody thought that it will be like that. I am looking forward to training with all our guys. Except Pete, who will stay in Australia, all athletes of the team will come to California.

Will there be a team tactic in Kona?

No, the races of the long distances are and will also stay individual races in the future. But all our athletes are good swimmers. Depending on the race we will probably work together.

What are your personal goals for the race?

I will hopefully arrive in Kona without any health problems as I had them last year. So I think I can improve my 10th place of 2009. The goal is a top 5 result.

Who will be your main opponents?

From my point of view that are the well known names as Craig Alexander, Andreas Raelert, Rasmus Henning, Chris Lieto and Marino Vanhoenacker. But all pro athletes try to go as close as possible towards their limits. So it could happen that not all of them will see the finish line.

How do you think will the race be this year?

That is pretty hard to say. In the last years many athletes tried to hide on the bike to save energy for the run. As there are fewer pro athletes it will probably be different this year.

Which equipment will you use in Hawaii?

The only thing which is not clear right now is the swim suit but the rest is race approved:
Swimming: AquaSphere goggles(Seal XP)
Cycling: Storck Aero 2, Shimano Di2, SRM powermeter, Xentis Mark 1 TT wheels, Xentis aero bars, Continental Competition tubs
Running: adidas adiZero Tempo
And of course my Oakley Radar’s.

How is your nutrition during an Ironman?

It is good and a lot ;-) I will start with PowerBar bars and then I will continue with bananas. After that I will start with PowerBar gels and at the end there will just be fluid nutrition.

How does your time look like after Kona?

I will leave the island pretty soon. Not that I do not like it but I want to spend some time at home. The following 4 weeks are recovery weeks and I will start to prepare for the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge. An Abu Dhabi Triathlon Team will again compete there. Beside myself Rachel Joyce, Christof Wandratsch and Werner Leitner will be part of the team. After we had to drop out in 2009 the main goal is to cross the finish line. As running through the desert, mountain biking, climbing and canoeing are the disciplines I have to practice some of it to get used to all the equipment.

Do you have any tips for Hawaii rookies?

Enjoy the race! Try to finish and do not push too hard! The race is definitely tougher than all European races.

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