Dubbed as the greatest triathlete, Jan Frodeno, a German triathlon athlete, is one of the most renowned and successful triathletes in the entire history of the sport, winning the 2008 Olympic champion and the Ironman World Championship three consecutive times in 2015, 2016, and 2019.
“I need pressure to get the best out of me,” says Jan Frodeno. This is one of his secrets in accomplishing all the wins and titles he has for the past years playing Triathlon. His drive to win every race results from the strong dedication and discipline he poured out to achieve it.
Before earning the title, “The G.O.A.T”…The Greatest Of All Time triathlete, Frodeno, has put so much effort in his months and years of training. To understand the preparation behind his success, let’s find out the everyday routine and secret diet plan of this IRONMAN world champion.
Who is Jan Frodeno?
Jan Frodeno is a son of Christa Frodeno and was born on August 18, 1981, in Cologne, Germany. He married Emma Snowsill and had two children named Sienna Sofia Frodeno and Lucca Leo Frodeno.
At the age of 15, he had started as a swimmer in South Africa. He then started playing Triathlon and even went to Germany to compete in the Triathlon-Bundesliga in 2000. From that, he was qualified to join the national team in the year 2002.
From the year 2005 to 2008, Frodeno placed second and third in multiple World Cup races. Before earning his first-ever Olympic victory, he first bagged a sixth place at the 2007 World Championships. In the same year, he won the German Championship as well.
During the 2008 Summer Olympics, he won his first-ever gold medal.
He finished once 4th overall during the World Championship Triathlon Series in the years 2009 and 2010. Frodeno was supposedly bagging the World Champion title in 2010 again; however, due to an injury, he struggled to win the title and lose the overall title to Javier Gómez.
In 2012, he returned to play in the Olympics and competed in the men’s Triathlon event, where he had finished the race at 6th place. The following year, he decided to retire from the shorter standard and sprint triathlon after he bagged the gold medal.
In 2015, he won the 2015 Ironman 70.3 World Championship after he had defeated the defending champion Javier Gómez and another competitor, Sebastian Kienle. Likewise, in the same year, Frodeno has won both the Olympic Triathlon Gold and the Ironman World Championship title.
He had set a new record for the long-distance (more than 5 minutes to 7:35:39 hours) in Roth Germany on July 17, 2016. Frodeno also won his second-time Ironman World Championship in the same year. And then bagged his third Ironman World Championship title in 2019.
Jan Frodeno's Workout Routine
Frodeno, one of the fittest people recognized worldwide, spent at least 35 hours per week doing all his training. He shared that his standard training week includes 35 hours of training, combined with 12 hours of physio sessions.
He ensures to keep his training in balance all the time; consistently switching between swimming, biking, and running. Subsequently, his preparation hours strictly comprised of the following sessions:
- Swimming – 25 km
- Cycling – 400 km
- Running – 120 km
Frodeno’s training session is composed of 2 quality swim and bike sessions and 3 hard run sets that are always supplemented by a brick session. Since these are high-intensity forms of training, he blends them up with an immense volume of low-power aerobic training.
He is largely dependent on pilates and says if he had just one tip to advise other athletes, it builds up a more their core, getting it stronger and stronger. Another great tip he shared is that his long-distance running improved through a combination of training of muscular control and improved posture.
Frodeno additionally brings up that even though consistency is the key, there is no whipping yourself and hope to get lucky to deliver great performance. This will leave you tired and drained, and incapable of doing the training the next few days.
He rather pulls for training within his own body limitations. He also expresses that being injury-free is very important for him, particularly when competing for the Ironman championship. Working with a full-time physio helps him to stay injury-free even after an intense workout.
The German National team coach, Dan Lorang, was his coach who tracked and kept an eye on all of his workouts from a distance. Plus, all of his training sessions were logged into an online system, monitored by his coach, and catches up with him once a week via an email or phone call.
Short series in swimming
- 400 m warm up
- 15 x 50 technique, 5-10 recovery
- 4-8 x 100 (Making 15 »sprint and 85m smoother), 15 recoveries
- 3 x [8 x 50] (the first block each 1 ‘, second each 1’10 and the third each 1’20)
- 3 x 200 pull boy
- 200 soft styles
Bike speed work
Frodeno continued to work more on his intensity and speed during workouts. As he said,
“Twice a week, I do VO2 max work, something short and hard with a brief rest, 30-40 »intensity followed by 10» soft or 90 »intense followed by 30» soft.» They are short intervals without enough time to rest to fully recover, and this work ranges in periods of 10 to 15 minutes.”
- Heating, 60′ roll at a rate around 95 ppm
- 3 x 10 ‘(with 30 »from VO2max + 30» gentle recovery)
- 30 ‘easy back to calm
- Foot race work on track and dirt
Running training on foot.
- 3 km of soft heating + technical exercises + four progressive 60-80m
- 5 x 1000 at a constant rate, resting 90 »between each recovery.
- 3km soft trot back to calm.
If you want to know the actual intense training of Jan Frodeno, you can watch it here in this video:
Jan Frodeno's Diet Plan
Frodeno follows a normal and unglamorous eating routine pattern for a man who has won the Championship for the world’s Ironman title.
He doesn’t confine his calorie intake to get excessively lightweight and improve his running pace. Instead, he depends on a normal diet or eating routine made out of whole food varieties – he’s never on a very strict diet plan or too complicated eating regimen. He simply eats non-processed foods.
He adheres to a well-balanced eating routine, and he sources his supplements and calories from different foods. He keeps rice as his number one source of carbohydrates. Aside from his usual pre-race pasta tradition, he burns-through a rice supper the night before the race.
In one of his interviews, he has admitted that rice is his number one source of carbohydrates.
Moreover, Frodeno loves smoothies so much, and it is usually a healthy combination of dairy and fruits. For him, smoothies are such a great way to keep his body heat temperature down after intense training. His number one smoothie contains equal parts of:
- Protein powder
- Raw milk
- Peanut spread, and
- Macca powder
This smoothie formula is a great blend of carbs in which he gets protein from milk and protein powder and healthy fats from the peanut butter. Macca powder is a real superfood that contains cancer prevention agents, nutrients, healthy fats, plant sterols, essential minerals, and amino acids.
Jan Frodeno's Race Diet Plan
When he is in a big race, he generally follows a grain-free eating regimen that is still very well-balanced with heaps of healthy fats. He additionally attests a plain dinner the night before the race.
- Pre-Race: Aside from eating a pre-race pasta, Jan Frodeno takes energy powder as a pre-race schedule. Not long before heading into the water, he takes energy gels, and keeping in mind that he is on the bicycle, he combines the energy gel with green tea powder.
- Nourishment Box: He keeps around 2 bundles of energy chewy candies in his nutrition box. He says that he tops off himself with whatever fluid he gets his hands on during a bicycle leg, which is generally water.
- On The Run: When he is on the run, around 6 guide stations are loaded up with his favored nutrients. At every one of these, he gets a bottle of cold water which contains an energy gel together with it.
- Post Race: Once he arrives at the finish line goal, his physio is waiting for him there with a container of chocolate-enhanced protein powder.
Jan Frodeno's Vegan Diet Plan
After his second success at Ironman Hawaii 2016, placing a second spot, Jan Frodeno went leaner, and he addressed full credit of his weight loss to his vegetarian, meatless eating regimen. He says that the explanation for going vegan was his affection and love for the sport.
He experienced somebody who has tested positive for clenbuterol from tainted meat. As a professional athlete, he put stock in keeping this game as perfect as could be expected, and facing the challenge of testing positive was not a danger he could take. That is why he adhered to a vegetarian diet, and before the year’s end, he lost some weight.
His Active Recovery
After an Ironman, it is essential to recuperate well, and Jan Frodeno comments, “In Ironman races, most of the stress is mental, so I try to recover mentally first and have a beer with my friends, just to relax. I also take a protein shake immediately after the race.”
Then the following day, he tried to do something more of an active recovery exercise like swimming. He said that if you don’t move after the day of competing, Ironman is the worst thing you can do.
Becoming an Olympic gold-medalist and gaining the recognition of THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME TRIATHLETE like Jan Frodeno requires double effort in intense training and a strong mentality. Yes, his diet plan is not a bit strict or so, but still, it needs a strong discipline to maintain his physique and stability.
As he says, “I am made all of the days you don’t see me, not just the one you do.” Frodeno is one of the living proof that hard work never got wasted. If he was able to do it, so can you!
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.