Interview with BIX athlete Ivan Vlasenko
Ivan was born in Russia and grew up with cross-country skiing in Siberia.
In 2010 he bought a one way ticket to Bangkok and has been living in Asia since. In 2015 he ran a PB marathon and shortly after started training for triathlons. Today he is leading training sessions at Triathlon clubs - Ironguides, along with online and personal coaching. We are proud to have Ivan as part of the BIX team! Now, let's dive into the interview and find out more about his running journey, training routine, hydration and nutrition:
1. Tell us 3 things about yourself that might surprise others
I started sports at the age of 6
My first sport was judo (training for 3 years)
Sometimes I can't hold back tears
2. Tell us about your running/ triathlon journey - how did you start?
My background is cross country skiing in Siberia, so I found love for endurance sport when I was a teenager.
When I got my bachelor degree, I moved to Asia as I always dreamt to travel. That time I wasn’t in any race mode, but after a while I started pushing myself and joining races without big expectations. In January 2015 I ran a 2:51 marathon in Kon Kaen (Thailand) and as I remember from that year I shifted my focus to triathlon training.
3. Quick overview of your nutrition plan for a Half Ironman - before, after, and during the race
No big changes in the diet during race week, I maintain the same ration: high carb diet (fruits, salads, pasta, bakery, cereals).
Day before - not experimenting with the food is the first rule (Spaghetti, rice, bananas).
During the race I use energy gels on the bike with water and electrolyte drink. The main focus is avoiding cramps on the run which could easily happen if you use just water - especially in the Asian climate.
Straight after a race it's important to drink a recovery mix drink and get some food 30-40min later. And of course a big dinner at the end of the day
4. Quick overview of your breakfast, lunch, and dinner during a typical training day
Breakfast: oats with fresh fruits/frozen berries, coffee, bread.
After my first training session I drink a Smoothie with Bix hydration tablet to boost recovery, 40-45min later a bigger meal - soup, salad, rice, potato.
In the late afternoon light snack - normally fruits or and coffee with some bakery products. And dinner is so various. In few words - I eat a lot!
5. Your 3 most important recovery activities
6. Overview of a typical training week
Mostly two sessions a day, 7 days a week, 30 days/month. Mixing intensity and volume each day.
So the average week is ~15k swim, 400k bike and 30-70k run. But it depends on where I am in the season and of course (race schedule). If I’m preparing for the long events (focus more on running and bike).
For Duathlon events (5-40-10 or 10-60-10) - Lots of speed work both on bike and run off the bike.
7. What was your biggest running/ triathlon accomplishment?
I believe in big wins in the future. But for now I finished few times top 3 in the Powerman World Series, fastest age grouper at Challenge Thailand (1,9-90-21) in 2016 and 2017, won Sungailiat and Bengkulu triathlon (both Indonesia), placed top 3 at 50km trail race The North face 100-Thailand.
8. Your 3 running or triathlon goals for 2020/ 2021
At least 1 big goal: Ironman 70.3 WC in New Zealand (postponed to early 2021).
1. Describe yourself in 3 words: pushy, steady, hardworking
2. Favorite race? Sungailiat triathlon (Indonesia), Bangsaen triathlon (Thailand)
3. Favorite running shoe? Saucony Kinvara
4. Your most important running gear? Running shoes
5. Favorite snack/ gel during a run? Only for long runs - Bollox energy gel
6. Are you a flat, uphill, or downhill runner? More like a flat, but I feel strong on rolling hills and stairs
7. Run in the cold or run in the heat? Run in the heat 100%
8. Favorite racing distance? Half marathon and 70.3 in triathlon
9. Favorite course? Banyan tree Bangkok, vertical race (fastest win ever, 6min12sec) :)
10. Triathlon or Running idol? Tim Don and his come back to life and professional sport after a serious injury.
11. Strength workouts indoor or outdoor? Any that works and fit schedule.
12. A quote that you would put on a T-Shirt: Train hard