For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.
Five-time Ironman Austria winner, Marino Vanhoenacker, took a break from his triathlon training at Playitas Resort on Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) to tackle ten “questions” from Triathlete.com.
Name: Marino Vanhoenacker
Birth Date: July 19, 1976
Hometown: Jabbeke, Belgium
Triathlon Team: Commerzbank
1. Weekly hours of swimming, biking, and running (mid-February)?
My focus during training camps is on biking, so I ride for around 20 hours. I do four swim sessions of ninety minutes each, and about three-to-four run sessions of one hour each.
Back home [Belgium], it’s a whole lot less on the bike. Swim is about the same, and I run up to six sessions a week—including some longer stuff.
2. First event of 2011?
Abu Dhabi, March 12, 2011.
3. 2011 race calendar?
Four races, starting with Abu Dhabi. Ironman South Africa [April 10, 2011]; Ironman Austria [July 3, 2011]; Ironman WC Hawaii [October 8, 2011].
4. Favorite race?
Ironman Austria, my family and I always look forward to stay at the lake for a few weeks. We just love the surroundings and the people down there so much.
5. Fastest Ironman time?
Seven hours, 52 minutes and five seconds, at 2010 Challenge Roth. [Fourth-fastest Ironman-distance race in history.]
6. Best race-related advice you’ve received:
Everybody is hurting sometime during the race.
7. Tip for first-time Ironman racers:
“Enjoy the race and the way toward the race, and try to position this sport and everything that comes with it in your life so it doesn’t bring to much stress.”
8. What do you think of the WTC points system?
WTC makes rules, and I do the races the best I can. I’m not really thinking about the whole points system; I just try to win.
9. Last book you read?
I don’t really read books.
10. Last song you downloaded?
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (the song with the ukulele “Over The Rainbow”).