Jan Frodeno tackles Ironman
A few days to go before the 2014 running of Ironman Frankfurt, we were able to catch up with Germany’s Jan Frodeno. Frodo’s first attempt at the Ironman distance has to be one of the most anticipated triathlon debuts to date. He has become synonymous with success. Olympic gold, national titles, huge accomplishments that are virtually impossible to overshadow. But, the daunting distance and the hallowed grounds of Kona seem to be ultimate proving ground. Here are Jan’s thoughts on this coming weekend, and the year ahead.
- Are you more excited or intimidated by this first full Ironman?
Excitedly nervous I´d say.
- Please tell us how your training has been different now that you are training for an 8-hour race instead of a 2-hour race in the past and a 3.45-hour lately.
Well, I´ve gone to 70.3, intending on going long from day 1, so it´s been a progression. Trying to find a good mix between intensity and endurance- it´s not just all slow, long stuff. Of course I´m doing more riding and longer runs, but overall I still train about 35hrs per week.
- How critical are your equipment choices for the different courses now that the distances are so much longer?
I´ve become so much more aware. On the bike it´s obvious: more aero equals free speed and saving energy for the marathon. But also running, things like finding the right shoelaces makes a difference. If you get a blister, a marathon won´t be fun.
- Can you detail your equipment choices for this race?
Riding a Large Shiv with integrated nutrition and hydration, Zipp Race extensions, SRAM RED 22 and a ZIPP 808, Super-9 combination.
- You have a tendency to race from the front. With this being your first full distance race, will you race it the same way, or will you try to "manage" your effort by distance?
This will be the biggest challenge: trying to race inconspicuously. The less you see me for as long as possible, the better. The field is too strong to put on a show, especially for a first timer.
- How critical your Quarq power meter will be for you to manage your power at this distance?
- Will you use your Quarq power meter as more to control our output, or to push you to drive harder.
I have a feeling that will change throughout the race. The power I want to hold is far from being max, but as the race goes on and fatigue kicks in, it will be challenging to hold the output.
- What have you learned from the IM 70.3 races you won this year that will help you for Frankfurt?
My biggest help was in Utah, the US champs. Being so close to quitting and being in a world of hurt made me realize that I will most likely feel very ordinary at some point and still keep going and thinking strong thoughts.
- Were you expecting to be that performant for your first long distance season?
I wasn´t expecting anything, just as I´m not expecting anything for Frankfurt. I´ve learnt to take baby steps, one by one, and then good things come of it.
- Are you more enjoying long distance races than short distance races?
For now I am. It´s also something new after many years of Olympic Distance racing.
- What represents Kona vs the Olympic Games?
Wimbledon vs Olympics
- Would you ever consider doing any more ITU draft legal racing?
Sure, maybe one day.