Coach Inigo Mujika with Olympic triathlete and coachee Ainhoa Mujika

With Ainhoa Murua in Zarautz (Photo: Finisher Triatlon magazine).

Finisher Triathlon magazine has just published in its issue 127 an interview with Olympic triathlete Ainhoa Murua, with whom I work since 2004. The article includes a text that I wrote on Ainhoa’s preparation for the 2012 London Olympic Games, reproduced below:

“Few triathletes enjoy the great experience of participating in the Olympic Games. Fewer qualify to compete in two editions of Olympic distance triathlon’s biggest competition. And even fewer have been able to race in the three editions that have taken place so far. Ainhoa has in front of her the opportunity to be part of that select group of elite triathletes who can say they have been Olympians three times, after her participation in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

The way to London 2012 is long and difficult, just as the ways to the Greek and Chinese capitals, but the goal is big and worth working hard for. Ainhoa’s position is quite propitious not just to qualify for London, but to attain there her best result so far.

The Olympic qualifiation process was initiated in the Dextro WCS of Madrid 2010, where Ainhoa obtained a good 9th position, followed by a 4th in the European Championship in Athlone, 9th in Hamburg, 11th in London and 9th in Kitzbühel. The Grand Final in Budapest did not go as good as we wanted, but Ainhoa recovered well to obtain her first ever World Cup podium finish, being 3rd in Tongyeong. These results allowed Ainhoa to finish 2010 in the 12th spot of the Olympic Qualification Ranking. The season was long and tough, and Ainhoa accumulated more training hours than ever before (1,035 km of swimming, 12,300 kilometers of cycling and 2,500 kilometers of running), but we managed to avoid injuries and illness and the results arrived, mostly due to her consistency in the swim and the improvements in the first transition and the run.

This season we intend to follow the line initiated in 2010. It has been a dificult Winter, given that the previous season was very long and she ended up paying the toll. Ainhoa had some up and downs in her motivation level, but with or without motivation, she did not stop working, working a lot, and the outcome of all that effort has started to pay off: the Dextro WCS in Madrid showed us, penalties aside, that Ainhoa’s form is as good or better than last year’s, and if everything goes as we expect, next September she can finalise her qualification for London 2012 Olympic Games. It would be a great reward for an exemplary triathlete. Go Supermurua!

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