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On Saturday, Sebastian Kienle will for a seventh time take part at the most prestigious Ironman in the World – IM Hawaii. The 2014 champion has never finished lower than 8th and has stood a remarkable 3 times on the podium. But what do his last preparatory weeks on Big Island actually look like?

After his victory at Ironman Cozumel in late November 2017, Sebastian qualified early for the IM World Championships in Hawaii. This allowed him to build his season entirely around this race. His Challenge Roth victory was just a stepping stone on his attempt to win a second Kona title.

As in previous years he came to the island 5 weeks prior to the race to adapt early to race conditions and to use the optimal training environment for his final preparation. His training team is the same as in previous years.  

The Kienle Crew 

Lubos – His coach since the beginning of his career. The Czech native and Swiss resident follows every one of his star athlete’s training session on  the big island, either via paddle board during the ocean swims or following by car during his bike sessions. 

Tine – Mrs. Kienle makes sure that her husband feels relaxed and comfortable in the weeks leading into the race and coordinates his media requests. The former runner also joins for most of the run sessions. 

Petr – his physiotherapist for years and also one of the main favorites for the age group overall title in Kona this year. 

Ronnie – the veteran of the sport is not only a great training partner for Sebastian, but also one of his favorite guys to hang out with. The two have been friends and fierce competitors since the beginning of his career.  

Maurice – The young gun is for the first time on the big island and has been coached by Lubos for many years. Sebastian enjoys showing the newbie around the island. 

The Crucial Point in the Race 

There are not many who can handle the demand of an Ironman better than Sebastian. In 17 Ironmans Sebastian, has never had a DNF or finished out of the top ten.  

“When the point comes were you are about to break, when you struggle and you don’t want to continue. In this moment I try to keep telling myself that this is actually the moment for which I worked for the whole year.  It is the moment when you don’t want to be there anymore. The moment when you want to be in your hotel room, lying on your bed with the AC on. Everything else in the race is actually just leading to that point. That’s what the whole race is about.  So I am actually trying to look forward to this, to the point when I am about to break, because this is what defines this race. I am getting myself ready for that point and try to push even harder when it comes,” says Sebastian Kienle. 

Video/Photography: Korupt Vision