Are you married? Do you have children?
Yes, I have three daughters from my first marriage.
Are you still working? If not, what was your occupation?
I was a chef—and a pretty good one, for many years.
When did you start with triathlons and what attracted you to this sport?
1984. The reason I started with triathlon was that all participants could do well in their special field, and this was always appreciated by the participating athletes.
Have you always been a physically active person?
There are many older people who practice sports. What is your personal motivation to participate in competitions?
I have many international friends in my age group. We’re always happy to see each other again and measure our strength. And we are very grateful that we’re still healthy enough to do this.
How many hours do you train each week? Do you have a training schedule? A trainer?
I have been keeping a daily training log for years in excel, where I record my heart rate, the exertion levels, amount of kms etc. I know my body very well. I train between 10 and 15 hours a week.
It gets pretty cold in Oberägeri, what do you do to stay fit in the winter months?
If the weather is bad, I use rollers and treadmill at the Ägerital Sport Center, otherwise I go snowshoeing on the Mostelberg and cross-country skiing in Rothenthurm. I also run outdoors and I swim at an indoor swimming pool about 20 minutes away, in Baar (Lättich)
Do you have friends your own age with whom you train, or do you mostly train with younger people or alone?
I usually train alone.
It is often said that it takes longer to recover when you get older. Do you feel that way too? Or are you an exception?
It’s hard for me to say because I really don’t feel like that!
Do you have any nutritional advice or any recommendations for the ideal diet?
My wife is an excellent cook and prepares everything from fresh ingredients. I eat salad and fruit every day and I really recommend that.
Does your body set limits for you during training or a competition?
Not really. I still reach a heart rate of 170 without problems and I have an average heart rate of 156 in the Ironman 70.3 competitions. But I never really exceed my limits (I would choose to walk a bit during the marathon instead) and so I seem to score well in terms of endurance.
What is your favorite training session? Do you like slopes or do you prefer riding on flat terrain?
Unfortunately the IM 70.3 always has an elevation of some 1500 meters, and of course this forces you to train on a lot in the mountains. But since I live at an elevation of 750 meters above sea level, I am surrounded by hilly terrain anyway.
What are your goals in 2014?
Qualifying a 5th time for the World Championship in Rapperswil-Jona or Wiesbaden as well as defending my title at the 5150 in Zurich. Since I’m the oldest one in the 70+ age group, I might have to delay until 2015, but I’m sure that I will already give my best this year.
What do you recommend for people who only discover the triathlon at an advanced age?
First, definitely consult your physician, then start with the sprint distance triathlons, and later go to short distances. I also found out that if someone is good at the breaststroke, it isn’t necessary to learn the crawl. Learning the coordination required for the crawl at an advanced age is difficult, and the time lost can be recovered again on the bike or run. One thing is certain – sensible sports can only improve your quality of life at an older age.
“People don’t move less because they get old, they get old because they move less”
Wolfgang’s original MyRide submission can be seen here: http://www.bmctempo.com/myride/tm-02-wolfgang-k/