Ironman swim - Don’t train your strength, train your weakness
Ironman swim - Don’t train your strength, train your weakness

Ironman swim – Don’t train your strength, train your weakness

Ironman swim - Don’t train your strength, train your weakness

On The Kona Edge today, we touch base with Christian Haupt and discover his determination to learn to swim.  At the age of 31 he learnt how to swim crawl and dedicated his off season to improving on his weakness and not on his strengths.

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BRAD BROWN:  Welcome back onto another edition of The Kona Edge, time to chat some swimming today and it’s a great pleasure to welcome back on, he is the 2016 Ironman Age Group World Champion, 35-39, Christian Haupt. Christian, welcome back onto the podcast, thanks for joining us today.

CHRISTIAN HAUPT:  Thank you for the invitation.

BRAD BROWN:  It’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Ironman Age Group World Champion, it sounds good?

CHRISTIAN HAUPT:  Yeah, it sounds good and it feels good.

BRAD BROWN:  I’m sure. Christian, let’s talk about your swim, you mentioned to me that out of the three disciplines the swim was your weakest and you haven’t always been a swimmer. You’ve worked really hard on it haven’t you?

You’re never too old to learn

CHRISTIAN HAUPT:  Yeah, definitely, I couldn’t swim, I couldn’t do crawl at the age of 31 and then I just started with learning crawl and it was very tough because everybody said to me: Why do you want to learn how to do crawl because you’re a Duathlon vice World Champion, so why do you want to learn how to do crawl, but I felt that I wanted to start triathlon and I wanted to be successful like in the duathlon. I know from the first time I have to learn crawl.

BRAD BROWN:  Christian, for me that’s amazing and I know a lot of people who are afraid to get involved in triathlon and do an Ironman because the swim is a huge obstacle for them. Talk to me about the process of when you’re 30 or 31, deciding you want to do this. How did you go about it, what did you do to learn to do crawl and not just learn to do it, but learn to do it as well as you are doing it now?

CHRISTIAN HAUPT: Yeah, I have one thing that was perfect. My girlfriend who I met this year when I was 31, she was a swim trainer, so I have the best conditions to learn swimming, but she has to live with one thing that my parents called, if he wouldn’t learn swimming, that’s not your mistake, he learns very slowly and it was a very hard process. She said to my parents: No, no, wait a minute and after one year I could do crawl but of course I’m not fast, it’s not a process from one year to learn crawl at this level that you can swim the Ironman in one hour but yes, every winter I ask myself: What do you want to do? Do you want to train your strength running and biking or do you want to challenge your weakest discipline and yeah, every winter I said, okay, when I’m training very hard to learn swimming I have to put in this, round about 5-10 hours a week for swimming for some weeks. I answered the question to myself, okay, I have to learn swimming because when you do an Ironman very well, you have to be an accomplished athlete, so that’s the reason why I answered every year the question, okay, don’t train your strength, train your weakness and that was swimming.

BRAD BROWN:  I think that’s incredible and I think that’s advice anyone can use for any of the disciplines, but obviously it works for the swim. What do you really enjoy doing in the water, what is your favourite swim workout?

Dedication improves your Ironman swim

CHRISTIAN HAUPT:  My favourite swim workout, I think it’s something included, like 10 x 100m, 10 x with paddles and 2 x 400m with go fast out of the turnings, that’s the first 10-15m, that’s what I swim very often because I think the 400m are broken with a fast part and the arms are the main point at the swimming, so that’s the reason why it’s my favorite swim unit, that these things are included. Of course, every time a little big technique units, but just only 200m or 300m or something like that, not too much. I think when you want to swim fast, you have to swim fast, that’s the reason why I don’t do 600-700m technique.

BRAD BROWN:  I love that, I can’t add anything more to that Christian, if you want to swim fast, swim fast, that’s what it boils down to. Christian Haupt, as always, great to catch up, thanks for joining us today, we look forward to chatting about your bike next time out.

CHRISTIAN HAUPT:  Yeah, thank you.

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About Us

Brad Brown is a 40 something age grouper that dreams of one day qualifying for and racing on the big island (He may have to outlive everyone in his age group though).

Morbidly obese in 2009, Brad clocked in at 165kgs (363lbs) at his heaviest.

He's subsequently lost a third of his body weight on the way to a half Ironman pb of 5:06 and a full Ironman pb of 12:21.


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