60 SECONDS WITH OUR TRI-HEROES
Away from geothermal pyrotechnics, white sands and pristine waters, Kona has a different side. The notorious Queen K highway rolls relentlessly through a baked and barren landscape. Blasted by winds straight off the ocean, heated by miles of lava fields radiating the searing power of the sun. Out here, there is nowhere to hide.
Great performances do not happen by chance. In the end, all we see is the race. What we don’t see are the months of planning and preparation, the countless days of pain and sacrifice. And who better to lend exclusive insights to this rigorous regiment of training than our tri-heroes?
We invited the #MyCanyon community to ask our triathletes all types of questions, ranging from race preparation, injury & recovery to their Canyon Speedmax.
What is your speed record with the new bike?
What’s your race strategy? Pedal like hell and trying to „survive“ the run?
I'm a one-trick pony.
On average, how many watts do you put in?
This year hopefully 290W
How do you like to relax?
On the couch.
What would you recommend to a first time Ironman participant?
Stay patient. Speed kills not the distance.
Looking back at the 2018 season, what are some of your personal highlights?
2018 was my best season so far, my personal highlights: 1st at Challenge Roth & Heilbronn, 2nd at 70.3 Kraichgau, 3rd at 70.3 Marbella
What are your male and female favourites to win Kona?
May the best one win! ;-)
How many miles a week do you ride?
I ride between 200 and 400km per week. That is about 125-250 miles - always quality over quantity!
Do you have any good luck charms that you can’t do without?
My good luck charms are my socks from Incylence. :-)
When did you start cycling?
I started cycling as a little kid, getting into "real" training, when I started triathlon at the age of 14 years.
Do you ever ride MTB?
Yes, I love it! Mostly during the early part of the season to have time to heal from all the little crashes. ;-)
What is the longest you’ve went without training?
Two days? I went crazy.
How many espressos do you drink a day?
When it comes to food, what is your greatest weakness?
Pizza and banana bread.
What are your plans for life after your pro career?
Going on sports adventures (Cape Epic, Transalp, etc.)
What is the best part of how the Speedmax fits your position?
Endless flexibility to adapt any position.
What is a country you have never been but would love to, to train and visit?
Norway during midsummer.
What do you like most about cycling?
I enjoy a lot the diversity cycling offers. You can choose between long climbs - that might take your breath but reward you with stunning views - or flat and very fast sections that satisfy your need for speed.
When will you do some downhill biking?
There are already a lot of great downhill riders, so I can easily stay in my comfort zone. ;-)
How many hours do you train on your Speedmax?
That depends on the time of the year a lot. In winter it’s usually only 1-2 indoor sessions of 1-3 hours. When race season gets closer, however, up to 20h per week.
Do you listen to music during your workouts?
Only during indoor workouts! When riding outside there is only one thing keeping you safe: Yourself. Since you only see what happens in front of you, it is absolutely important to hear what is happening around you.
How many km's before the start of the run do you take in your last nutrition on the bike?
Since I only use gels, I take the last sip out of my bottle just before the transition zone. If you eat bars during the bike leg I would recommend switching to liquid energy before the final hour before the run.
Do you beat Frodo often in training?
Only when he’s injured ;-)
What is the hardest training session on the bike?
It’s always the lactate step test. You need to push until you have nothing left!
How do you manage fatigue and recover for back to back sessions?
Sleep! Lots of it.
What is your biggest motivator that keeps you going through training and racing?
Self-improvement! I truly want to see how far I can push myself and what my body and mind is capable of.
Your results are always so consistent, how are you able to race so well at every start?
I don’t race too often but when I do, I want to make it count so I never take any race for granted.
What was your longest ride?
210km. It was totally flat and < 6hours.
How heavy is your Speedmax?
TT Bikes aren’t lightweights. They have to be aero and fast so my Speedmax is around 8,5kg.
How does one get more endurance on a bike or how does one stimulate one’s body to drink less water?
Uhm, good question. But I’m not sure if it’s a good way to do endurance training without water. Better to avoid (sometimes) carbs for a different training stimulate.
How do cyclists settle their need to use the toilet during the race?
That’s easy: Stop at a Dixi… hopefully you aren’t in a rush. ;-)
In what percentage of your FTP do you race during an Ironman?
When I’m in peak shape I do 70-80% of my FTP in Ironman.
Which one is your favourite triathlon?
There is no other triathlon like Ironman Hawaii. What's so special about it is not only the race itself but everything that comes with it- the people, the landscape, heat and humidity. And most importantly it's atmosphere that you will sense as soon as you get off the plane.
Have you always been a good runner or have you had to work on it?
I've started running when I was still young and due to so many years of practice my running has already been quite good. But I'm still working on my running skills up to this day.
How are you finding Canyon’s gravel bike, the Grail?
During my season I barely find time to get on my Grail but as soon as I have the time, I hop on it. As a former MTB athlete I really enjoy getting on the Grail.
How do you prevent neck and shoulder discomfort while riding on aero bars?
A good stretching routine and a massage every once in a while can really help.
Why did you choose Canyon and not some other brand?
I chose Canyon because I knew that to be able to perform my best I would have to work with the best equipment available. That's what Canyon offers me day in and out.
What difference is there in your new Kona bike to the old one?
The new more aero cockpit, a narrower base bar and a custom chain ring. Oh and a hot paint job.
If you had a hype song, what would it be?
The Beastie Boys for sure, probably Make Some Noise!
Which part of the races do you prefer?
Those finish line feelings, especially the finish line party late at night.
Where was your biggest challenge during a race?
Crashing on the bike in Hawaii last year. Getting up and controlling my emotions to have a successful race was one of the hardest challenges of my life.
Why did you want to become a triathlete?
I love the community of triathlon, everyone is so nice. Plus the feeling of achievement of just completing some of the challenges triathlon training offers.
Photos by: Tino Pohlmann