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Racen richting IRONMAN Cozumel : Marlene de Boer wordt vierde bij  Challenge Vieux Boucau

Racing towards IRONMAN Cozumel: Marlene de Boer finishes fourth at Challenge Vieux Boucau

, by Johan Boef, 5 min reading time


After a strong season, triathlete Marlene de Boer decided to race a full-distance triathlon in Mexico. Previously, she took part in Challenge Vieux Boucau in France. Despite a disappointing swimming part, she made up for a lot during the cycling and running, finishing in fourth place. Marlene's mental strength has been remarkable this season and she is pleased with her performance.

After winning at IRONMAN 70.3 Cork and an excellent race at Challenge Almere, Marlene de Boer had more than achieved her goals for her first professional season. She did not end the season, because she still felt exceptionally well. On the way to her last full-distance triathlon of this season in Mexico, she completed a half triathlon in the south of France. 

Photo: (c) Jules Claudel

"A friend of mine signed up for the Cozumel Ironman in Mexico and then I decided to try that too," says Marlene about the last big race of the season that awaits her. "It's a fairly flat, non-technical race, so that suits me. It's just a lot of fun to try to get the most out of it again this season." In order to get a good start again in Mexico after a long season, she made a plan together with coach Yvonne van Vlerken: a training camp in Girona and then end that period with a race. "That became Challenge Vieux Boucau in France."

Racing at full speed, not with the handbrake on 

It was the first time that this race was organized, but despite the difficult to reach location on the Bay of Biscay, about 200 kilometers below Bordeaux, there was a strong field of participants at the start. "That was a bit of a shock, but it was actually a very nice opportunity," she reflects. After an intensive training session, with only a short taper of a few days, things could become difficult. Because even so  it was 'just' a race in preparation for the full distance in Mexico, there is no holding back for Marlene. "I find it difficult, because when I race I just want to race flat out. With the handbrake on is not possible for me."

Catching up after a bad swim 

It was a race under tough conditions with lots of rain, strong wind and cold swimming water, which demanded a lot from Marlene's mental toughness. Especially when the swimming part was disappointing. "I'm not proud of that swim, I missed the group, I was just not there. But on the bike I overtake a number of girls and then at a certain point you are not far from the front. But you cycle also a bit in no man's land. And when it rains very hard and is cold, you sometimes think: now it can be done. But I am very proud that, despite that thought every now and then, I just persevered and am keep pushing. I ended up running a very strong half marathon.

Marlenen de Boer towards Ironman Cozumel

Photos (c) : Come Bonnet

Mentally very strong 

It is perhaps a common thread in this season that Marlene has to rely on her mental resilience, but still manages to surprise herself again and again. "It looks like I ran 1 hour 20 minutes, that's just good. I think I came off the bike in seventh or eighth. I overtook four more girls and was able to get to fourth place. This gave me a lot of motivation. When I overtook one, I saw the next lady walking further along. Only the podium, I never saw those ladies. So I think that was the highest possible.

"I'm enjoying it, I think that's the biggest conclusion, that I just really like it," she concludes. "I had another chance to race and I did well again. And so the list of good results is getting longer," she laughs. "And of course you always want more, but I think I'm just very satisfied overall."

Tips from Marlene to use the winter to get off to a good start in the spring:

  • Before the winter break, put a number of things on paper: learning points that you think you can improve during the winter. You have a longer period to work on that. In the winter, my focus is on getting stronger and I try to structurally work on core stability and strength
  • You have a longer period of time to focus on your swimming technique . So find a swimming coach, join a swimming club or a group where you swim with faster people and find someone who can help you with swimming technique.
  • Mobility is very important for swimming, so work on that. Try to develop a short routine for yourself, where you do mobility exercises for 15 minutes two to three times a week. Focus on improving your mobility in your upper back, neck and shoulders.
  • Make videos , especially for swimming, so you can focus on technique
  • Work on your posture on the bike . The winter period is a great time to work on being more ergonomic on your bike.
  • I also enjoy cycling indoors for myself. Last winter I checked off all the routes on Zwift . And yes, put on some music
  • Make running fun by combining it with local running races
  • What makes winter running manageable is good clothing . A headband, gloves and a good jacket. And make sure you are visible. I always wear a good running lamp and reflectors in my clothing. TIP: TriathlonWorld now sells beautiful reflective socks from Incylence !
  • Don't worry too much about the weather. I think that with a good cycling suit and a good running suit , you can go outside quite nicely

You can read her previous blogs here: 

MARLENE DE BOER BECOMES VICE-EUROPEAN LONG-DISTANCE CHAMPION IN ALMERE AND WANTS MORE: 'THIS IS NOT THE END POINT'

MARLENE DE BOER'S FIRST PRO VICTORY IN CORK 'THIS GIVES A LOT OF CONFIDENCE

LEARNING MOMENTS AS LEGO BRICKS FOR CONSTRUCTION: EK IRONMAN IN FRANKFURT MAKES MARLENE DE BOER MORE COMPLETE

MARLENE DE BOER CLOSE TO WIN IN NIEUWKOOP'S TRIATHLON AFTER IMPRESSIVE CATCHING RACE 

FIRST YEAR TRIATHLON PRO MARLENE DE BOER'S EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES, AMBITIONS AND LESSONS 

TRIATHLONWORLD STARTS COLLABORATION WITH PROFESSIONAL TRIATHLETE MARLENE DE BOER 

LEARNING MOMENTS AS LEGO BRICKS FOR CONSTRUCTION: EK IRONMAN IN FRANKFURT MAKES MARLENE DE BOER MORE COMPLETE

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Racing towards IRONMAN Cozumel: Marlene de Boer finishes fourth at Challenge Vieux Boucau