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Norwegian triathlon star Gustav Iden has shed more light on the Achilles injury that curtailed his first season back to short course triathlon in 2023.
The former IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion has endured a torrid time of late, with injury and personal loss leading him to describe this past year as the most challenging of his personal and professional life.
Looking ahead to the Paris Olympics in Santara Tech’s most recent YouTube video, Iden did share a silver lining to his injury woes – a progression in his swim – but admitted that the Achilles issue was still unresolved.
“Everything has been a challenge this year”
Evaluating his past season, Iden candidly shared his disappointment in the way last year panned out, revealing that nothing went his way.
Photo Credit: Wagner Araujo / World Triathlon
“2023 was the worst year of both my career and life in general. There wasn’t much to say about it in terms of positives. I didn’t have one race where I was happy and there were very few training sessions that were going in the right direction, basically everything has been a challenge this year.
“What I thought was just a ‘good excuse’ to finish the season early with a slight Achilles pain has been with me for almost half a year now.
“I don’t have any experience being injured [so] it’s quite challenging, I don’t know what the best direction to take is and I don’t know what pain is good and what pain is bad.”
“I had the best swim results ever”
At the team’s first altitude camp in Morocco, Iden tried to return to some run training. However, another flare up in his Achilles forced him to seek medical help and cut the camp short.
“I’ve been struggling with my Achilles for an insanely long time now. In Morocco I started running a bit again but the pain came back quite quickly so I decided to cut the Morocco camp a bit short and go see a doctor in Germany and get some PRP [Platelet Rich Plasma] treatment.”
Despite the frustrating setbacks, Iden did find some time to reflect on the positives of the past few months, with his swim fitness making a considerable step forward.
“Sadly my Achilles has not been good enough to do the bike or the run VO2 max but the swim was surprisingly good and I had the best swim results ever.”
“The swim has been what I’ve been struggling the most with my whole career basically and I said jokingly at the swim test that the swim is no longer my weakest link, but that’s only because I can’t run.
“The swim is getting better and hopefully I can keep on improving it because I feel like things are going more smoothly in the pool.”
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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