The Challenge Davos is even more in the focus of all triathletes this year. We are aware that this year the attention has shifted to the sport and has receded into the background. We are now all the more focused on this unique sporting event that will show us what we have been working so hard for. For our athletes Ruben Zepuntke & Imogen Simmonds, who will be competing for the first time this season, we will see what this race has in store for them. In an interview with us, Ruben talks about his race preparation, his training when there are no competitions and what he learned during this time.
Preparation for the race
Ruben, what does the race mean for you in the current situation and how did you mentally and physically prepare for this competition despite the great uncertainty as to whether the race will take place or not? Are you missing the competition routine as preparation?
Since I was a Challenge Davos Ambassador before the start of the Corona Pandemic, I associate a lot with the competition. The race speaks for itself. The cold alpine lake (approx. 14-16 degrees) twice the Flüela Pass with almost 2400 m ascent and a half marathon. It's a damn tough competition. In addition, a great starting field with many big names. All this makes the Challenge Davos one of the competitions in 2020 and that's why I'm looking forward to this competition all the more.
Of course, I'm very nervous before this race because the current situation means I have little idea where I stand or where I currently stand in the field. Of course, performance diagnostics and systematic training help me to assess my own performance, as well as the feedback from my trainer. But whether I'm missing the competition routine, I can only say after the race.
What is it that drives and motivates you in such a situation? Were you afraid that all your training effort could be for nothing?
In general, I think that the special situation has helped me a lot from a sporting point of view. Even if I couldn't show myself to my sponsors, I focused on my weaknesses and was able to work on them effectively. Even small steps are big successes and motivate you to continue training. I often convince myself in training that I'll get back to exactly where I was before. A few steps back are not a problem either, but rather the solution to the problem. Every training effort brings me further and all spheres are open to me. Whether it's enough to beat Jan is another question.
What can you take away from the time? Does this forced break this summer also bring something good?
The pandemic has made me aware again of how fragile and threatened our world and our coexistence is. I realize triathlon isn't the most environmentally conscious sport because of all the travel. That's why I'm enjoying the time away from major travel and competition stress before we can get back to normal. Because then the real big problems start again, like climate change. And I very much hope that we can counteract climate change as united as we are fighting the pandemic together.