If you could go back to when you did your first Ironman race or first Kona and give yourself any advice, what would it be?
Go out there and do your best. I want to compete and be remembered and always make the best of the situation.
You're studying psychology so we particularly want to get your insight on how important mental preparation is in your training and pre-race build up?
The mental aspect is definitely very important in long-distance racing. To understand why we make certain decisions in certain situations and how to train to make better decisions next time is interesting. The impact of our thoughts cannot be underestimated. Our body reacts and follows on what we focus on. Being able to learn to control your thoughts in difficult situations is essential to achieve peak performance and can definitely be trained.
In your experience how important is sleep to performance and why?
Sleep is the key to recovery and being able to train and push hard mentally. In intense training phases I sleep eight to nine hours per night as well as getting two one-hour naps during the day.
If you weren’t a professional Ironman triathlete, what do you think you would have done and why?
It took me 20 years to accept that I actually was a professional triathlete, so for now I am happy with what I am and don’t think about what ifs.
To what extent does winning make you happy and what does true success look like to you?
Winning gives you satisfaction but has nothing to do with happiness. Success as well has nothing to do with happiness. Happiness is a feeling that comes and goes. You can be successful and unhappy. Having a purpose in life as well being able to enjoy and share the special moments with people I like makes me happy. But performing at my best... that makes me happy.
Where would you like to be in five years?
No idea. I'm too busy focusing on the now, for now!