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Arild Tveiten - Can Kristian Blummenfelt go sub 7?
Episode 11226th January 2022 • Inside Tri Show • Helen Murray
00:00:00 00:56:01

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Arild Tveiten is Head Coach and Sports Director for Triathlon Norway. He has been key to Norway developing as a triathlon nation, from Kristian Blummenfelt's gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics to 70.3 World Championship successes for Gustav Iden. We pick his brains about coaching Kristian and Gustav and we find out more information about preparing for the Sub7 attempt, and why he believes Kristian Blummenfelt has a great chance.

You'll hear:

08:25 Start of the interview with Arild Tveiten

10:45 Arild Tveiten says 'We can repeat our medal again in Paris, but I'm not sure it will be Kristian Blummenfelt again. If we are able to fight for two medals, we will be really really happy and a medal in the mixed relay would be the ultimate dream for us."

17:05 At what point did the coaches think it would be Kristian and not Gustav winning Olympic gold? Kristian was just one step ahead. He had no sickness, no setbacks.

18:45 How do you manage competing athletes who are all vying for the same thing? We try to avoid them racing each other in training "You need to compare yourself to yourself and not to the others. You need to pay attention to each athlete and their individual needs, but they also know that they need each other to bring out the best in themselves"

22:45 How Arild approaches a bad race with his athletes.

26:50 We talk about the Norwegian triathlon suits. "I knew they would be controversial, but I love them. We had actually been racing in the Tokyo suit all season, but just in a different colour."

28:45 We talk about Arild's training for Norseman. He got a black T-shirt in 2005. "I have unfinished business with Norseman, I know my fitness level is completely different. But I need to do it and I need do something different for myself before we start the big build to Tokyo. I will coach myself and I know what to do and how to prepare for the race, but it is difficult to put the time in!"

32:00 "The sub7 project really excites me. You first think, it cannot be done. But I think Kristian can do it. I like that kind of challenge, because it challenges us to dig deeper into the science. The knowledge they are getting from it will benefit the whole team as we head to Paris. You need to dial in to the nutrition. You need a team of really strong riders, but at the end Kristian needs to run a 2.25 marathon and you don't do that unless you are really well prepared in training and you have your nutrition dialled in. A lot of the research they are doing now is getting better knowledge on that. But he still needs to run at least 10 minutes faster than he did in Cozumel. I can't believe how fast it is. You need to find some of the best professional cyclists in the world."

40:30 I don't think about what we have achieved, I just try to work with all of the athletes to help them be at the best level. That is my focus and when we get big results, I don't think about it. I am always looking forward, perhaps a bit too fast. But I am just moving forward all of the time. All of the coaches at the highest level are working every day. It is a lifestyle for us. Our sports scientist Olav Aleksandr is good friends with Dan Lorang and when you talk with other top coaches, everyone is thinking I need to get better knowledge. You always want to learn. And I think that is the driving force behind some of the best coaches.

45:00 No, I wasn't expecting to be in this position as coach of Norway. I was very uncertain if I should do it and the first 3 or 4 years I was thinking 'is this sustainable' but after a few years I'm thinking ok, it's ok. But it is a lifestyle and you put a few other things to the side, like family.

48:55 Training update from Helen and Rich about the Highland Ultra

Find out more about this week's guests

Arild Tveiten Twitter

Naw'r yr awr podcast - Helen's been challenged to an interview in welsh (!) later this year on the welsh triathlon podcast.

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