FENELLA LANGRIDGE AND FREDERIC FUNK SHARE THEIR TOP TIPS FOR RACING LIKE A PRO

DANNY HOLMAN - 11/22/2022
Fenella Langridge and Frederic Funk are two of the top names in Triathlon. We are psyched that they are taking part in the Triathlon Fall Fest and doubly-psyched that they found time to sit down with us and share some of their expert insight on the sport.
Fenella joined us from rain-soaked England and Frederic from cold and unsunny Germany to chat and you can see Frederic in action at Triathlon Fall Fest at Wanaka on Thursday 24th and Fenella at Challenge Roth on Sunday 27th.

Hi guys and thanks for joining us. We hope you are well and are enjoying your well-deserved off-season... or are you missing the summer already?


Frederic: 

I’m fine, thank you. Of course, I miss the summer, mainly the good weather and longer days but also racing, training and travelling. But after a long summer, there's nothing more enjoyable than a well-deserved off-season.

Fenella:
(laughing) Well, I'm currently at home in the UK where it is very dark and it's raining a LOT. But apart from that I am very well and enjoying getting back into training and into the swing of things. After a really good 2022, I had about four weeks off and am now just gearing back up.

a female triathlete swimming lengths in a pool


Could you tell us more about your training routine at the moment? What does your week look like?
 
Fenella:
Right now I am literally in week one of training on my TrainingPeaks plan. So there's a little bit of structure to my week, maybe one or two things a day, nothing too crazy, with just a little bit of intensity over all three disciplines. I'd say last week maybe 8 hours of training and this week might look more like 10 or 12 hours and then I'll slowly ramp up from there. 
 
Frederic:
Well, after my last race in St. George I actually didn’t train anything for two weeks. Now I’m slowly finding my rhythm and routine again so I do something everyday but just for fun and without a plan really. The structured training will start again at the end of November.


cyclists passing crowds at Challenge Roth


Have you planned your next season already for 2023? When is your first race?
 
Frederic: 
Unfortunately, I haven’t planned anything yet because I’m waiting for the PTO World Tour schedule. The only sure race is the Ironman 70.3 World Champs in Lahti at the end of August 2023 for which I've already qualified.
 
Fenella: 
Next season is all a little bit up in the air for me too. I think the main aim will be ROTH and hopefully Kona and around that, I hope to do some of the PTO races. And because they're not being decided yet, the season's still a little bit unplanned. But yeah, definitely the main two races will be ROTH and Kona.
And I guess I've already started preparing for it, as if I want to race Kona. I'm probably gonna have to do an early-ish Iron Man race to do that. And so yes, as I start training, I already have those kinds of races in mind and they are my motivation. I just enjoy training anyway so it's always nice to have a little bit of a goal.


What does your schedule look like when you have a race week? I guess you don’t train very hard before the race?
 
Frederic:
I do less and easier training, apart from one harder session in each discipline to keep my body activated. For running and swimming, I do this session 5 days before race day and cycling one day later, sometimes with a run off the bike at a race pace. 
 
Fenella:
No, I guess I don't train very hard before a race. But what the race week or the few days leading up to the race will look like does vary depending on the time of year and the priority of the race itself.
And yeah, that does change during the season. At the beginning of the season, I'd say you're a little bit fresher, so you could probably do a little bit more. But towards the end of the year, when you've got a lot of training and racing under your belt, you're a bit more tired, so the race week would look slightly different. I guess a general rule of thumb would be, decrease the volume but maintain some of the intensity, just to make sure that you're not fatigued but are still quite sharp.


a selection of energy foods and drinks
 

 

How about your nutrition? Could you tell us more about what you eat before, during and after the race?
 
Fenella:
Normally, about one or two days out, I avoid all fruit and fibre and vegetables and probably limit the amount of coffee. I have so that it limits the chance of getting any gut issues. Then during the race it's all about carbs and glucose and hydrating. After the race, it depends on what time of the year it is and how much indulging you can do. But yeah, just refuel the best you can - your proteins and carbohydrates, and just make sure you're restocked.

Frederic:
Before the race I only have digestible carbs, so a lot of pasta the day before and white bread with honey for breakfast. During the race, I have my carb mix on the bike which is 270g of carbohydrates and on the run, I take three gels with 30g of carbs each. After all those carbs and sugar, I can’t wait for a good fatty burger after the race.

 

 
I heard that some pro-triathletes have some rituals before the race. How about you?
 
Frederic:
I wouldn’t really call it a ritual but before every race I have the same routine from the moment I wake up until I’m at the start line. I wake up, have two double espressos and my breakfast, pack my stuff, brush my teeth, check my bike in transition and get the rest of my transition ready, find a quiet place, listen to my pre race playlist while having another double espresso, warm up a little with some running drills, put on my suit, wetsuit/ speedsuit, have a gel 20 minutes before the start, get into the water for a 5 minute warm up and then get to the start. Every time. 
 
Fenella:
I don't think I have any rituals before a race. I guess it's just the little things you do day-to-day in terms of your preparations. So maybe general mobility and making sure you eat similar things, but yeah, no real rituals that I would get all scared of if I wasn't doing them (laughs).

 

 

Will you also race now in late fall or in early winter? Maybe some running events or indoor races?
 
Frederic: 
I'll mainly be on training camps and preparing for racing in the summer. My first race won't be until April/ May.
 
Fenella:
Maybe I'll do a running race or a time trial. I've done a few indoor races. So if they fit OK and they're not too logistically hard and they don't take too much out of you for the rest of the week, then yeah, I'll give a race a go.

 

An cyclist using ROUVY on his indoor trainer

 

What role does your indoor trainer play in your training? Do you use it throughout the year?
 
Fenella:
I use my indoor trainer during the whole year, especially living in the UK. We have dark, cold, wet, frosty days here where the indoor trainer becomes a vital tool and I think it still does even when it's nice outside - so I still use it through the summer and do at least two or three rides or runs indoors. It means you can maintain that quality at the right intensity and stay in the time trial position without any interruptions. I value my indoor trainer very, very much.

Frederic:
Since I have a good indoor trainer and a nice app like ROUVY, I use it every time there's bad weather outside or in winter when it gets dark way too early. But when it’s good weather I still try to go outside as much as possible of course.

Fenella Langridge approaching the finishing line in a race
 

And finally, if somebody wants to do a triathlon for the first time, what would be your pro tip?
 
Frederic:
Be well prepared, don’t underestimate nutrition - which means eat a lot before, during and after the race. Pace yourself well and, last but not least, have a lot of fun and enjoy it!
 
Fenella:
Mainly just go through the processes in your head.
Don't overcomplicate it. It's swim, bike, run. You've done them all before and mainly just enjoy it. The triathlon is an amazing sport and it's got the best fan base and the best people involved in it as well, and they're so supportive. So just keep asking questions - there's always things to improve on, so don't worry if it doesn't go right the first time - you're gonna get better and better and enjoy even more. So yeah, smile through the pain and just keep going. You'll love it!
 

And we love you! Thanks so much for your time and insight! We really look forward to seeing you ride in Triathlon Fall Fest and best of luck with your season in 2023!

 

 

programme for the triathlon fall fest

 

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