Patrick Lange has returned to regular training after lots of PR appearances. A chat with the 2017 Ironman world champion in Lanzarote about his season plans.
February 8, 2018 | PERSONALITY|
Catching up with Patrick Lange
TriathlonWorld.com: Your outstanding 2017 season finale was the victory at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. The season did not go as planned until then. Looking back, what are your overall thoughts on how the year went?
Patrick Lange: In the last few months I have become aware of how much one is measured by the result in Hawaii. When I compare my third place from 2016 with the victory, the difference between the media spotlight and the attention of fans and sponsors is striking. It clearly demonstrates the importance of the race. But it's also clear that I can't be satisfied with the beginning of last season. The injury put a lot of obstacles in my path, but it also started positive things and I was able to learn a lot of new things. Of course, I had to be patient, but I could also hone my mental approach, which made it very easy for me to get back into the game because I was really motivated and kept thinking "now more than ever!" The closer it was to Hawaii, the better it was.
What are the things you learned from the injury? Was it around your approach to training?
That's what it's about. I really had a very good early form and was able to perform well in January at an Olympic-distance race in Abu Dhabi. But I also know now that I need to avoid so much intensity so early in the season and shouldn't necessarily push to my limit. Most of all, during the injury I met many doctors, physiotherapists and osteopaths, which allowed me to discover a lot of new medical approaches. In the end I found someone who approached the problems with an alternative medical approach and examined me with regard to heavy metal pollution, which is a factor in Germany. In hindsight, we found that the injury stems from that. We were able to eliminate this issue and I feel that now, with a "clean" body, I am recovering much better and, of course, this offers some potential for the future.
After your win at the world championship, you traveled a lot and made many media and sponsorship appearances. Have you had the opportunity to process all the hype from the last few months?
Every appearance was positive in itself. My management team has been careful to thoroughly select which dates make the most sense for me. During that time, everything was very well organized, but it was also work and made me really tired after a while. The recovery period after the Ironman took longer. It also made it hard to reflect on the race and the typical long bike rides where you are alone and can think about it were missing. So I still have not fully assessed what happened over the last few months. My coach, Faris Al-Sultan, was in the same situation (Al-Sultan won the Ironman World Championship in 2005) and told me that it took him more than nine months to process the changes that came after his win. But now I'm getting back into the usual training rhythm, which has helped me get off this "treadmill" and get a clear head.