Interview with the Swiss Duathlete Fabian Zehnder
in preview to Powerman Alsdorf in August 2021, we would like to introduce our athletes and get to know them:
Please, introduce yourself and highlight some important moments/successes as athlete
My name is Fabian Zehnder, I live in Switzerland and work more or less full time as a primary school teacher. My most important successes in duathlon are for sure the good results at the Powerman middle distance European Championships: I got 5th twice and finished 4th once within the last three years and I have been always very close to the podium.
How did you become a duathlete?
Actually, I startet as a runner in a multisport-club called TG Hütten. There were a lot of triathletes with fancy bikes. So first, I just wanted to have such a bike, too. I started to increase cycling training and I think in 2008 I toed the startline for my first duathlon.
From your personal perspective, what is special about the run-bike-run format of Powerman World Series?
The run-bike-run format is very though. It is definitely special that in the elite field the first run is so fast. I usually attempt to race the first run between 90-97 percent of my all out capacity. The second run is primarily a mental challenge.
How often did you compete at Powerman Alsdorf and what is you personal highlight of this particular race?
I have raced there just once. The organization is outstanding and the entira region around Alsdorf is very nice. I also think that race organizer Patrick Thevis put a lot of effort into this event and has put a really good team together.
Have you participated in any other Powerman World Series races? If so, what is your „don’t-miss-race“?
I have participated in a lot of Powerman races so far. As a Swiss citizen, I have to say that everyone should come to Zofingen and race there at least once.
How does a typical training week looks like in your preparation for a Powerman race (apr. 2 month proir to the race)?
Because I work almost full time, my weeks are never the same. During summer, I often train between 12-16 hours a week. During the preparation for a long distance race, I try to increase the kilometers on the bike. Mostly, I do two trainingcamps per year, favorably in February and April. I think the most important thing about training is that you love your sport and the challenges within the training process - and of course, to have good friends around you.
Despite the current uncertainties of racing in 2021, do you have a competiton schedule in mind?
Not really, hopefully in March and April I am able to make some decisions and scheduling for races.
Last but not least: What are your best advices for athletes who want to participate in a Powerman race?
I think the most important thing is that you enjoy the race. As I said, the start at a Powerman race is very fast. Stay calm and do your own pace. Always try to be more or less in your “comfort zone”. In the last run there is still the chance to win or loose a lot of time. In case you saved some energy for that part, you can pass many athletes with a big smile and you will keep your first Powerman race always in good memory.
Thanks for sharing your experiences and insights with us! We wish you the best for your individual and athletic goals.
We are excited to see you racing in Alsdorf on August 15th, 2021.
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