1. Tell us your career in a few words. Have you ever participated in the EDF Alpe d'Huez Triathlon?
I’m practicing Duathlon/Triathlon for about 17 years now. The Alpe d’Huez races belong to my calendar every year as I missed only two editions since the landing in 2005. I’m already in 8 editions and I vary between the Duathlon, the Short Distance and the Long Distance. This year, I’ll participate to the Duathlon and the Short Distance. In a few word, here is my record:
- Duathlon: many times Short and Long Distance French Champion; European vice-champion and 4th of the World Championships
- Triathlon: 1st of the Ironman Nice; two-time winner of the Half Ironman Monaco; many podiums in the Embrunman; winner of the Gerardmer Short and Long Distance; two-time Long Distance French vice-champion
2. You will go to the long or short distance race this year? Do you prepare it specifically? If yes, how?
This year I’ll participate to the Duathlon and the Short Distance. The Alpe d’Huez path is challenging and specific. Riding climb is my favorite riding discipline so I try to ride lots of climbs during the training to approach the 21 turns to my best!
3. Do you recommend a specific lifestyle the week before the race? (food, sleep, training…)
A healthy life is important before every race with a good sleep and a varied and balanced diet. The Alpe d’Huez races have specific characteristics: a challenging bike course and a running course in altitude. To prepare specifically the race, it is necessary to train regularly with steep climbs. If possible, arrive to the Alpe d’Huez a few days before the race to acclimatize to the altitude. Remember to drink a lot the days before the race.
4. Could you provide advice to manage the race as well as possible? Which gear ratios use for example? Which kind of food?
Be careful! The Alpe d’Huez path is very challenging, noticeably the first turns to La Garde. Don’t panic, it is important to conserve your energy to finish the climb in good conditions! It can be very hot so remember to drink a lot, profit to each supplies even if you drink by little sip. Concerning the gear ratio, I recommend a 11/25 or even 11/28 to be sure to have enough teeth during the steep turns. Noticeably for the Long Distance because the Alpe d’Huez path comes after riding 100kms and the legs are still tired… The Verney Lake is very cold so envisage some warming cream to put under the wetsuit. It is necessary to eat well all along the effort. I advise to have 2 bottles on the bike (one for the energetic drink and one for water). You must eat before feel the need: energetic bars for the riding and energetic gels for the running. Don’t change your habits on the race day and test your energetic products during the training. I can advise the fresh energetic drink ISOTONIC POWER, menthol flavor, from STC NUTRITION. Concerning the gels, I recommend also the gels enriched in BCAA of the same brand because they are liquid so you can eat them without water.
5. Could you provide advice to manage the recovery post-race as well as possible?
We often think the race is over when we cross the finish line, but you need to optimize your recovery if you have planned to link races. For this purpose, the hours following your race are essential; we talk about “metabolic window”. Indeed you’ll reconstitute your body reserves during these few hours post-effort. So remember to drink a lot, if possible a recovery energetic drink or water enriched with minerals or even a soup! Remember also to reconstitute your glycogen reserves with rice, potato… The Alpe d’huez’s supplies is good for this, there is hot dishes and many good things to eat! So enjoy this moment of conviviality well-deserved post effort! :)
6. Do you have a pro’s trick?
If you participate to the Long Distance, enjoy the breathtaking panorama of the bike course and noticeably the Ornon path! You’ll almost forget the effort and reach the top without realizing! :) Whether you’re participating to the Duathlon, Short or Long Distance, enjoy your Alpe d’Huez’s destination! Move around this friendly mountain resort and enjoy the conviviality of the reception the organizing team reserves to you! You’ll want to come-back every year just like me! :)