Jan Frodeno is the current German triathlon champion but he did not start at the recent 2008 ITU World Championships to concentrate fully on his Olympic quest. He has been on the podium in World Cups before, but doing that in Beijing would be sweeter.
ST: Jan, looking at the weather conditions this year in Vancouver, were you glad you opted to not participate?
Jan: Not really. I love racing, traveling and would have liked to see Canada. The weather is not too much of a concern - it’s cold for everybody and generally I can handle bad weather. Also a world championship is something I'd always want to be a part of.
ST: As the current German National Champion, what are your expectations for Beijing?
Jan: In the past years Germany has produced some really good athletes, who have a similar level and continue to push each other. This can be challenging at times, since most of us train together and someone has always got a good day. So it takes a lot of focus apart from the dedication and perseverance that everyone will need.
ST: What else is on schedule for you in 2008?
Jan: Not much honestly. I missed world champs in order to prepare better so all I'll race is Hamburg and maybe one or two small races. Right now my sights are firmly set on the games and I will see afterwards whether a middle distance, the other world cups or something completely different will tempt me.
ST: What is your athletic background and who or what inspired you to race triathlons?
Jan: I come from a swimming and surf-lifesaving background. Really it was the 2000 Olympic race that inspired me a lot and when someone said to me as a joke "hey, why don't you try a triathlon?" I thought why not and after my first race I was hooked!
ST: Please describe a typical hard training week for us.
Jan: A hard week usually has about 35 hours, 25kms in the pool, 400 kms on the bike and 120kms running. Generally I'll spread sessions so that I have 2 quality swim and bike sessions as well as 3 hard run sets, plus a brick session. One day is rest where I take it real easy and maybe do a swim and an easy jog.
ST: What do you do to stay motivated to train?
Jan: Sometimes I look at videos of big races or performances but in the bigger picture, goal setting is the way to go for me. I tend to be a little over motivated though and sometimes rather need to hit the brakes (or have my coach step on them for me) than do more.
ST: What is your favorite race and why?
Jan: My favorite race used to be Mazatlan, because it was a real journey to get there - also I love Mexican food. Hamburg comes in an obvious second - where you there? If not look at the video… The atmosphere was amazing.
ST: How you typically spend the off-season?
Jan: In my former hometown Cape Town, South Africa. Winter can be pretty tough in Europe so I avoid it except for two weeks of cross-country skiing. Also we travel a bit with the team to Lanzarote or altitude in South Africa. But before any of this happens I put on 5kgs and party - resetting my mind. Every now and then that is important.
ST: Have you had help with your bike fit?
Jan: A little from a former coach, but really I just played around to find what's most comfortable.
ST: How are things going for you in terms of sponsorship?
Jan: Decent. I have some good support to cover what I need and a little more.
ST: Do you follow any other sports?
Jan: Not really. I enjoy watching beach volleyball or surfing or sometimes the 3 triathlon disciplines.
ST: Can you share with us some of your food likes and dislikes?
Jan: Like I said Mexican is good, especially because it's spicy. Of course mediterranean food always goes well and sets the basis of my everyday nutrition. Also sushi is great but hard to get around where I live. I'm not a fan of things like liver, kidney…
ST: What about music? Anything you listen to more often?
Jan: Very old, but Jay-Z and Linkin Park made a great album. Otherwise electro-minimal house music and the usual day to day chart stuff for some variety.
ST: What was the last book you read?
Jan: Michael Chrichton - Next. Pretty freaky…
ST: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Jan: This time of the day? Probably on the bike…
ST: Jan, is there anything else we should know about you?
Jan: I always eat a slab of chocolate the night before a big race.
To learn more about Jan visit jan-frodeno.com