Made in Roth – back to the start
Find out more about pro runner Sebastian Reinwand and his next big challenge “Made in Roth”. The triathlon newcomer in an exclusive interview.
Pro runner Sebastian Reinwand and his mission triathlon
For 35 years, the Middle Franconian town of Roth has been making triathletes rejoice: 3.8 kilometres of swimming, 180 kilometres of cycling and 42.2 kilometres of running.
What sounds undoable for “normal sports enthusiasts” is the next goal for pro runner Sebastian Reinwand. At the most tradition-rich long-distance competition in Europe with more than 3,400 individual competitors and 650 relay teams from 76 countries, he wants to complete his first triathlon – in less than eight hours!
In the interview, the triathlon newcomer tells us what inspired him to take on the “Made in Roth” challenge, which difficulties he has to face as a runner and why Simplon is his first choice.
Made in Roth
How old were you when you took up running?
I was fourteen when my parents put me in an athletics club in 2001 – because I was spending too much time in front of the TV. It didn’t take very long until developed a passion for it, though, and eventually switched to a running club in 2003.
What were your biggest successes so far?
Definitely taking part in the European championship in Berlin this year and winning the German runner-up title in the marathon discipline with which I qualified.
What inspired you to take on the “Made in Roth” challenge?
Having grown up in Roth and having experienced the Challenge Roth multiple times as a spectator, it was clear to me that I wanted to take part in it myself someday. For me, it’s out of the question to just finish it, though. I need to have a goal that makes me go all-in. I’m curious to see what my body can accomplish in the brief time period until the triathlon in Roth.
Combining three disciplines in one competition is difficult for everyone, but especially for triathlon newbies. What are the biggest (physical) challenges?
For me, the cycling part will be crucial. I have plenty of respect for having to sit in the aero position for four hours or more. A marathon takes a little bit more than two hours – in terms of maintaining the energy level, that’s relatively easy to manage. During a triathlon long distance, you need to really conserve your energy, though. You can’t just go full speed all the way through.
Training plan, diet and preparation
How are you preparing for the triathlon?
Mostly, it’s lots of training. For me, the most important thing is to amass lots of kilometres from January to July and not injure myself. The motor is there thanks to running. Now, the frame needs to be rebuilt and that only happens with lots of test drives.
Because of the short duration of my preparation, I don’t have any time for major errors. That’s why I met with Dan Lorang, the best-known triathlon coach, to talk about my endeavour. He put me in the hands of two experts: Sebastian Zeller for performance diagnostics and Christoph Grosskopf as a trainer.
What does your training plan look like?
Currently, I have a bit of a handicap when it comes to running. I can only swim and cycle. At the moment, I go swimming five or six times and cycling five times a week. Add to that two athletics training sessions. Running would be another five or six sessions.
What does your diet consist of?
Usually, I cook for myself every day and keep an eye on the quality of the ingredients – I primarily shop at organic supermarkets and, if possible, buy regional produce. Lots of fruit and vegetables, potatoes, millet, quinoa, occasionally pasta. With the exception of cheese, I don’t consume any dairy and only very little meat. Instead, I eat lots of fish – just because I like that. My daily routine starts with fresh grain porridge prepared with my own grain grinder.
How are you mentally preparing yourself?
I don’t get too crazy ahead of the competition. I calm myself by meticulously planning everything, so I’m prepared for all eventualities. On the day of the competition, I do my warm-up with my headphones to be able to completely switch off. Of course, you’re nervous right before the start – anything else would impede performance.
You’ll complete part of the triathlon on a Simplon bike. Which one did you decide on? And why?
I decided on the MR.T2, a triathlon bike. It leaves nothing to be desired. For the reason of aerodynamics, I wanted an integrated drinking system and brakes that are hidden in the fork. Additionally, the build of the handlebars offers a lot of options for customisation, so I can finetune my position throughout the course of my training. Compared to the competition, it’s very lightweight which matters to me because I only weigh 65 kilos myself.
What do you like best about the Simplon bike?
The streamlined design along with the high-quality components. Even I – as a total newbie – manage to safely make it down the 48 hairpin bends on the Stilfserjoch thanks to the disc brakes. My favourite is the Pride – I would hang that one on the wall in my living room just to look at it.
From all options that all play in the same league, I instantly liked Simplon. CEO Stefan Vollbach called me personally one day and the chemistry was just right. Within a week, my first bike arrived at my doorstep. Another company offered me an influencer contract, which I absolutely can’t identify with.
Sebastian Reinwand in a character check
How would you describe yourself in five words?
Goal-oriented, ambitious, reliable, caring and well-organised.
What are your biggest strengths and your biggest weaknesses?
I’m a perfectionistic and I’m good at self-assessment, which is incredibly valuable for high-performance sports. Except that sometimes it might prevent a “performance explosion” from happening if you think “I don’t believe I’ll be able to compete in this”. '
What’s your motto in life?
“It’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle.”
What are your hopes and wishes for next year? Name three!
Staying injury-free, tailwind for the cycling part and no cramps while running.
What are your goals for the future? The Ironman on Hawaii?
I haven’t thought this far ahead yet. Hawaii is the big goal for all triathletes. I’m originally a runner, so I always look for perfect conditions and the fastest possible times – that’s why Roth is such an amazing fit for me.