German superstar Jan Frodeno has a firm grip on the triathlon world – and he doesn’t intend to let go anytime soon. 220 sat down for a chat with the Ironman World Champion post-Kona
220 Triathlon: How are you feeling coming off the big win – has it sunk in yet?
Jan Frodeno: To sum it up simply: pretty sweet! If you spot me in the street, you’re likely to catch my random dancing moments in public.
Tell us a little about the pressures of race week?
It was a massive backpack to carry, for sure. Lots of people had put the race down as being run already and forgot that Kona is the most unpredictable race on the planet. Having some good people around me helped to keep my eyes on the prize.
It has been a massive year for you. Did you expect such impressive results this year?
I’ve learnt not to expect anything. It was all about working hard and focusing on the process. Those were my goals, and they paid off.
How have you been preparing for Kona?
This is never easy to put into words, but it all starts with goal setting – in this case, one I set myself about three years ago. There has been a huge learning curve in all my training, nutrition, aerodynamics and race equipment that all added up as part of one huge puzzle. It’s all very individual, but I chose to be in a familiar environment around friends, family, athletes and coaches (at home) for as long as possible before flying into the capital of doubt, Kona.
Tell us a little about the competition on the day. Who were some of the guys to watch out for?
Of course my favourite rival and fellow German, Sebastian Kienle, was the one I’d picked out to keep my eye on. But other than that, if there was one thing last year showed it was that big names mean very little on this island. It’s really hard to not make predictions, because everyone is doing it, but you need to stay in the moment as much as possible.
Conditions on the day were a bit rough. How did you go coping with the heat of Kona?
Well, it was less windy than last year, but looking out the window in the morning I knew it was time for a conservative race, especially with all the expectation surrounding me. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, which I knew would make for a really long marathon if I overpaced.
At what point in the race did you know you’d won?
The finishing chute!
What’s the secret to your success?
Consistent hard work is key, as well as making sure that I’m in a happy place at all times.
Any tips for Ironman athletes?
Make sure you’re doing it because you love it.
What are your goals now for the future?
Being a kick-ass dad (his first-born is due in January) and hopefully winning a few more Konas.
THE SHOES THAT MAKETH THE MAN
The Vaypor Zeros are the most aerodynamically advanced out there. When out on a 180km TT it only makes sense to have the best, especially considering the uncompromised fit. And in transition there’s no penalty in using this type of shoe compared to the heel loop and single strap design. Once you’ve practised the entry into the shoe, there’s very little difference in terms of transition.
I may be only new to the Bont family after joining just a year ago, but the team is awesome and I’ve really enjoyed working with them. We’re working on some exciting new ideas that I’ll be testing soon. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled.
When it comes to fit and design I’ve gone with the custom colours and the moulding option (I like to make fine adjustments). I find there’s no need for a full custom shoe for me.
As for other shoes in my arsenal, I also use the Vaypor S, purely because it’s the most stylish shoe out there; the Riot for mountain biking; and sometimes the Blitz, which I find the lightest, best-vented option for super long and hot training rides.