Triathlon GOAT Mark Allen has been told ‘the game has moved on’ after he raised questions about the chances of Norwegian stars Kristian Blummenfelt and Gustav Iden starring again in short-course racing.
Six-time IRONMAN World Champion Allen gave his take on the Scandinavian stars dropping back down in trip after their full-distance exploits in 2022. He feels that recovery is the big issue, given the sheer toll that Ironman racing takes on an athlete’s body.
Not everybody agrees though, notably another former Ironman star in the shape of Britain’s Tim Don. He believes the incredible science employed by the Norwegians is on a different level to anything we’ve seen before.
Tim Don on Mark Allen verdict
Speaking on the Short Chute Show from Super League Triathlon (watch the full episode below), he explained: “I think the game has moved on. The science is just light years away from what Mark was doing back in the 80s and 90s, it really is. Taking absolutely nothing away because back then the training philosophy and load was just phenomenal.
“The fact – and going off tangent here – that there are other Norwegians improving at an alarming rate if we look at recent races, there is definitely something in their philosophy and madness. And I think Mark needs to go to Bergen and sit down with Olav [Aleksander Bu] and have a chat, and I bet you he changes his mind.”
While Don believes things are very very different now to when Allen was ruling the roost, he does admit there are risks for Norway’s finest. He highlighted the incredible challenge Blummenfelt and Iden are about to take on next month, attempting three major events over three different distances on two different continents. In the space of a week.
Risk for Blummenfelt and Iden
He said: “But it is a risk, their race schedule in August is insane. They are flying from Paris after the test event, that night, to Singapore to race the PTO event 48 hours later. And then to Finland for 70.3 Worlds. And in between, they are going to Taiwan for a sponsorship commitment. It’s absolutely mind-boggling.
“But if anyone could do it, who could it be in the world of triathlon? Is it gonna be Jan? No. Alex? No. Could it be Kristian? Yes.”
Before that epic stretch we will get another chance to see just how Blummenfelt and Iden are progressing in their return to short-course racing this weekend, when the pair line up at WTCS Hamburg.