Klean Athlete Ironman Recap
Klean Athlete Sponsored Athlete, Balazs Csoke, took a few minutes out of his busy training schedule to reflect on his last Ironman in Lake Placid. His fourth and final race, which qualified him for the championships in Kona, Hawaii.
Q: With your last race being a few months ago, how were you feeling for IM Lake Placid?
A: I went into the race very confident about my general endurance. However, I wasn’t sure if I was fit enough to race well. I knew my main goal was to secure my spot for Hawaii, and to do this I had to race very smart. I needed to stay calm throughout the day and try not to leave too much on the course. Ironman is 50%, so self confidence and focusing on the race is critical.
Q: Have you raced IM Lake Placid before?
A: No, this was actually the first time I had even been to Lake Placid. I had heard a lot about it previously, and I was very happy to have the opportunity to compete in this race.
Q: The Adirondack Mountains are known to be challenging, were you nervous for the climb?
A: I did a little research before the race so I knew what to expect and it definitely changed my attitude before the race. The bike course was very hilly, and to conserve as much energy as I could for the run, I was looking to flatten out the course by holding the same wattage on the bike. At the start of the run I was a bit scared of the hills but thanks to a lot of uphill training on the treadmill I was strong enough to hold the constant pace on the run.
Q: Any highlights from the event for you?
A: Oh absolutely, at mile 25 I fell back to 5th place and the guy ahead of me was pulling away but with about a half of a mile to go I decided to give it a try and catch him. At that time I had to find some hidden speed in my legs. I ended up reaching him only a couple of hundred yards from the finish line and the two of us had a sprint finish for 4th place.
Q: That sprint finish was amazing to watch! This was your second sprint finish this year. How will you work on “speed” as you said?
A: After that sprint finish, I was really happy that I do a fast running set every week on the treadmill.
Q: Only needing 4 races to qualify for Kona must be a great feeling. Is there anything you’ve done differently this season that you think may have attributed to the great season?
A: No, because when I planned my season last year my goal for this upcoming season was to compete in 3 Ironman’s. But as the quality of the professional field grew bigger than I expected I was forced to do a 4th race. By doing this 4th race, though, I don’t feel it had any disadvantages. I believe this race helped me gain more experience, improved my consistent performance and gave me a great advantage in my future career.
Q: Do you have any favorite races? Any of them from this season?
A: I absolutely liked Ironman New Zealand. It was such a stunning and gorgeous location in a small town with an extra supportive community. I am definitely looking forward to going back there next year.
Q: Are there any “dream” races you’d like to try out next year?
A: Honestly, right now I am focusing so much on Hawaii, that I don’t even think about next year! That is definitely going to change after October.
Q: If you weren’t a pro what would you do?
A: It’s hard to imagine my life not being a Professional Athlete, but I’d be interested in seeing how I could incorporate my athletic attitude in a regular job setting, whatever that might be!