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Bart Aernouts: the Belgian Bullet trains with Technogym

He is among the strongest Ironman athletes in the world and his nickname gives the idea of this. Bart Aernouts is the "Belgian bullet". He is one of the two athletes to have succeeded in the epic feat of breaking through the eight-hour wall (7:56:41 his record) in Kona in 2018, the competition in Kailua, the Big Island of Hawaii, where he has played eight times. Better than him did only the German Patrik Lange, who stopped the clock at 7:52:39.

In that context, Bart had not got off to a good start, finishing the first leg swimming in 40th place. A placement that would probably have discouraged anyone but Aernouts, who, in addition to the built, has a will of steel. It is precisely because of his winning mentality that one of the legendary Ironman champions, Bob Babbit, says that "when Bart races, he never makes mistakes. It's like everyone else is playing checkers and he's playing chess."

Bart started 2020 at rocket speed, winning Dubai's 70.3 and shattering the competition's historic record, now set at 3:33:45. However, he did not have time to enjoy the crown of "King of Dubai" , due to the lockdown imposed by Covid-19, had to change not only his programs, but also his training routines. Let's see how, in the interview Bart Aernouts gave to newsroom.

“ First of all, during the period of isolation and with the cancellation of all my competitions, I took a step back in the volume and intensity of training. Riding and running indoors is easier to concentrate on the real task of training, and it's also the only way to perform specific training sessions perfectly. There are no distractions and no need to pay attention to anything else, time flies and even safety".

Bart's loyal companion during this period was Technogym's Mycycling. “It certainly helped me maintain a training routine and above all it kept me in shape! I was really happy to have it by my side. I also have a weakness for beautiful, well-designed and high quality products and MyCycling is definitely one of them. The app is very easy to use and connects to all online training platforms.

The period of isolation imposed by the virus has also allowed these extreme athletes to experience, in addition to training, new virtual competitions. "I took part in the Ironman VR5 race and it was a great opportunity to continue competing and to meet the triathlon community online. I am sure that these virtual races could help many athletes to stay motivated and find a new goal in these difficult times.”

What is the main difference between Ironman Virtual Race and Ironman outdoors?
I think there's a big difference between the two. The virtual event will never be the same as a normal Ironman event, however I was very surprised to feel my nerves tense before the start of the virtual race. I think there will be still room for this type of race in the future, once everything goes back to normal. It is a very simple way to bring together athletes and  sports fans around the world, as well as to have fun training and competing together.
And how have the other Ironmans adapted to this first half of 2020?
"Some athletes managed to stay very close to the normal training routine, as in some countries the isolation was less rigid. Others didn't have a chance to do any normal training and had to find new ways to stay fit. There have also been athletes who have done all kinds of challenges or crazy training sessions. Let's wait some more time and see what the impact of all this will be in our next competitions."

The edition of Kona 2020 has been postponed to February 6, 2021, but the countdown for these men of steel has already begun.

Ironman 70.3 is a variant of triathlon (swimming, cycling and running) with longer distances than the classic or Olympic triathlon, which are half as long as the Ironman. The 3 fractions of Ironman 70.3 are so divided:

  • 1.9 km swimming (1.2 miles)
  • 90 km by bike (56 miles)
  • 21.097 km running, half marathon (13.1 miles)

The definition of Ironman 70.3 is the result of the sum of the three distances in land miles (1.2 + 56 + 13.1 = 70.3).

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