Patrick Lange, who has won the world Ironman championship twice, is proud of being the first athlete break the eight-hour mark - KONA - to finish the world’s toughest challenge. The triathlete, who has trained in both Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, describes the islands as “perfect for winter training with everything to be great training bases”.
For people who don't know you, tell us about yourself and your relationship with sport. How did you start and what are your greatest achievements as a professional athlete?
I started with the triathlon when I was 15 years oldalmost by accident, but I fell in love with it immediately.
So far, my greatest achievements as a professional athlete are two world Ironman championships (2017 and 2018), and the Roth Challenge in 2021.
If you do a good job in the Canary Island competition, you are more than likely ready to compete in Kona.
After coming fourth in the ‘Gran Canaria Challenge’ and your victory in the Tulsa Ironman in 2021, you recovered after a few hard years when you were not at your peak of fitness.Competing at your best depends on a well-planned training routine. Can you tell me a bit about yours?
I tend to get up at six o’clock in the morning to ready myself for the first session of the day, which is swimming. Depending on whether it’s an easy swim or one with intervals, I have a small breakfast or just a coffee. Then I have a second breakfast after my swim and enjoy a bit of a break, writing a few emails or making some calls. At around ten o’clock, I get ready for a two-to-three-hour bike ride. When I get back, I have lunch and do a few more work-related tasks.
Sometimes I go out for another ride, just before dinner. I have dinner at around 7 pm and I try to get to bed before 10 pm, because I must get up early the following day. That’smy training routine.
You came to Gran Canaria for the first time in 2019, realising that you needed to step up your training regime. How did your first visit go and who told you about the islands? Did your stay in the Canaries live up to expectations? What would you say makes the Canary Islands different from the other training destinations you have used?
Gran Canaria is one of my top choices for training. The mountains and the wind are enough to make anyone a strong cyclist! Numerous professional cyclists had told me that they liked training in Gran Canaria, so I thought there must be something in what they were saying.
The Canary Islands are ideal for training during the Austrian/German winter, because the weather is perfect for cycling long distances in the sunshine.
You have also trained in Lanzarote and stayed at Club La Santa. What makes this club so good for professional athletes?
Club La Santa has everything needed for a great training camp: two swimming pools, a gym, a lake for running and staff there to cook and clean. What’s more, the people are extremely hospitable and welcome you with open arms and a smile on their faces.
Gran Canaria is one of my top choices for training. The mountains and the wind are enough to make anyone a strong cyclist!
This year, 2022, you published your biography entitled "Becoming Ironman". Do you mention the Canaries in your book?
Yes! If you decide to read it, you’ll find a section about the Gran Canaria Challenge!
Now you mention it, you competed in the ‘Gran Canaria Challenge’ to prepare for the competition in Kona, the toughest Ironman in the world. Why did you choose this competition as training? Do you know of any other competitions in the Canary Islands that professional athletes can use to train for major challenges?
There are a lot ofgreat races in the Canary Islands that you can use as milestones to guide you on the road to top fitness in Kona. They are all hard, because you must deal with strong winds, hot temperatures and challenging cycling routes. If you do a good job in the Canary Island competition, you are more than likely ready to compete in Kona.
What are your favourite spots on these islands?
There are so many beautiful places on these islands! I’m happy to be near the sea with an ice cream parlour nearby ;)
Which are your favourite natural areas on the islands where you have trained?
The Timanfaya National Park is a brilliant option!
How would you sum up the Canaries in one word?
Exceptionally beautiful (please, read it as a single world ;))
Any tips for people visiting the islands?
I would say: Visit as many different places as you can and try the incredible island cuisine!