Paris-Nice, this should have been the come-back race for cyclist Lars Boom after his surgery. Last January, Lars had surgery on his heart as a consequence of cardiac arrhythmias. A very intense procedure for the heart, but luckily has now been resolved. Just as he was ready to return with a come-back at the cycling tour Paris-Nice, this was unfortunately not granted as Lars got struck with the flu. Vifit Sport had the chance to talk with him!
What did this particular race mean to you and what were the key challenges?
“My biggest goal for Paris-Nice was to regain fitness. Unfortunately, when I got struck with the flu, I was forced to abandon. Therefore, I will not be racing the spring-classics.”
What do you do after each stage to relax and refocus?
“After each race it is important for us to take a lot of rest. After a shower and a massage, I’m just lying on the bed watching movies and try to sleep around 10PM.”
How has the training been going after surgery, what did you have to do differently?
“Most important was to not force anything. I had a bad feeling and then got the flu. My condition wasn’t as good as before the surgery of course, and I had to begin working on my basic stamina again.”
How does your fuelling differ day by day or do you go for a similar approach daily?
“Mostly, Paris-Nice is a cold race. Therefore, it’s important to eat enough. During each stage I ate a lot of bars and gels, but also rice cakes. Additionally, when it’s cold you may tend to drink less. So you need to be aware of this to make sure you keep hydrated.”
How has the surgery affected you mentally? For example, has it made you more cautious about training and racing? Or has it actually made you more confident knowing that the issue has been dealt with?
“It’s intense to have surgery on your heart. After I had the surgery, I was very focused on my heartbeat, especially the first time I got back on my bike. I was a bit uncertain at the beginning but I’ve learnt a lot from this period, and I am confident that I will get back.”