For the past week, Mario “team leader” Huys and Michael “Miki” Weiss have been staying at my apartment in Roquebrunne, France.
Michael “Miki” Weiss is an austrian professional triathlete and ex-pro-mountain biker who is sponsored by a naseba company, ambitionlife. He was here to participate in the Monaco 70.3 ironman (half ironman distance)
Last year, although Monaco 70.3 was the first triathlon Miki had ever entered, he finished 2nd place overall.
I had heard a lot about Miki and his crazy, obsessive bike training (he has been a professional mountain biker since he was 15) so I really enjoyed the week, getting to know him, as well as learning about his training, diet and his bike tips.
Being an ex-competitive swimmer, I understand the importance of resting, tapering and being off ones legs before a big meet. However, (apparently) Miki has a different style.
The “team leader” and Miki both explained to me that he was training for Kona, and although trying to win Monaco was important, Kona is their focus. (Kona is the Ironman world championships in Hawaii in October)
Two days before the Monaco 70.3 ironman, Miki went for a 4 hour “easy” ride up and around my home in La Turbie. The area where my house is in France is famous for the long winding hills …. its absolute hell for me to train in La Turbie because some of the hills are so steep, it hurts physically going up them and scary as hell going down them … thus I train most of the time on flat, less steep hills in italy…near my Roquebrunne apartment.
Although I know nothing about bike training and tapering, I asked Mario (Miki’s coach) if it was a good idea to do so much training before a half ironman??? After his “easy” 4 hour ride, while I read for most of the day, comfortably laying down on my couch, Miki went swimming and played around, seemed to have a great day, but …. in my eyes, he wasted a lot of energy.
The night before the race, Miki went to the ironman pasta party and drank 3 beers and ate like crazy!!!
Seriously, I fully expected him to bomb at the Monaco race…
The morning of the race, I got up when Miki did (around 3:15) and I discovered he was putting the dishes away from the washing machine … although I was grateful to him, I was shocked and told him not to worry about doing the dishes, just focus and get prepared for his race.
The beginning of an ironman, even the half ironman is very exciting to watch. 1800 people standing together anxiously waiting for the start horn to blow…
I stood with the “team leader” as we watched Miki run with 1800 other people and dive into the water. Miki is not a great swimmer, thus he came out of the water in 99th place, starting the bike leg already nearly 6 minutes behind the leaders.
Mario told me not to worry, Miki will catch them …..
But, I kept thinking of his 4 hour “easy” ride, 2 days before.
Mario and I had done a 3 hour training ride just the day before. I was stiff and sore, so I have a difficult time understanding how one can ride 4 hours in the hills around the south of france in the heat and not feel tired and sore 2 days later.
… I went to the gym once Miki started the bike leg of the race. Less than 90 minutes later, I got a text from Mario telling me Miki was now in 2nd place. Incredible to catch up so much time, so quickly – there were 40 other pros entered in the race, not to mention the 99 people he would have had to pass going up and down steep hills.
In the end, his bike split was 4:54 faster than anyone else.
I watched Miki do the transition from bike to run … he is 6’3″ and 70 kilo, a pretty big guy so I was interested to watch his run technique.
After hammering the run…up and down the steep hills in Monaco in the heat, Miki finished 2nd place overall.
He was very excited at finishing 2nd because he did not fully rest for this race; it was just a training race before Kona next month.
I probably spent a good hour with Miki and Mario, then Charlie and I went to the VIP section overlooking the Monaco port to eat lunch …. probably, a good 2 hours after Miki had finished, Mario and I then drove home ….
On the drive to my apartment in Roquebrunne, I noticed several cyclists riding on the other side of the street (the opposite direction we were driving) with ironman stickers on their bikes…. naively, I said to Mario that these people seemed to have dropped out of the race??
Mario laughed and told me these people were still in the race, they just had not finished their bike leg yet.
Then it hit me …. I am going to be one of those people when I do my IM in Dec.
(the people still riding their bike, yet to run the marathon….while the winners have finished the race, shower, eat, change their cloths and take naps)
Miki is only 28 years old. He started last year to compete in triathlons; he has great potential.
I look forward to supporting and watching his career develop.
Great job Miki! Very impressive.
I can’t imagine what you will do in Kona after resting and being 100% prepared.
make it happen.