Next up on the Team KEEGO Series - our most loyal KEEGO Pioneer and owner of possibly the craziest World Record in cycling - Frederik Böna! Read to see what keeps the Double Everesting recorder going.
Spoiler alert. It's noodles.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Frederik Böna, I come from a town on the edge of the Neckar-Odenwald district. I studied in Würzburg and now I live in Bammental in the Kraichgau region, between Heidelberg and Sinsheim.
In 2017, I started riding road bikes more ambitiously. Cycling very quickly became my great passion. The more metres in altitude, the more fun I have. From 2018, I therefore focused more on cycling marathons in the Alpine region. In 2020, I started to realise my own projects with the road bike more and more often, partly in connection with fundraising campaigns. The highlight so far was certainly my world record for the fastest double everesting in connection with a fundraising campaign for a women's centre in Afghanistan.
Professionally, I work as an integration officer for the Sinsheim city administration.
Why are you passionate about your sport?
Cycling means freedom for me.
I can ride as long as I want and wherever I want, I'm out in nature and can always push my physical limits. In addition, I can switch off very easily when cycling and just have carefree fun.
What does your training look like?
My training is very time-consuming. I usually train between 20 and 30 hours a week. Time-wise, this is only possible because I cycle my way to work and thus combine it with my training. My training usually involves a lot of elevation gain, especially on the Königsstuhl, Heidelberg's local mountain, which I actually ride up and down several times every week. Fridays and weekends are usually long and calmer training sessions, during the week I train shorter and more intense.
You have achieved a very special feat - the Double Everesting world record. Can you tell us more about your preparation for this extreme challenge?
Since I had chosen April 10th for my world record attempt, I had to train a lot in the fall and winter. While many other cyclists at that time still train mainly indoors on the roller, I rode almost exclusively outdoors. This was not always easy in the relatively hard and snowy winter of 2020/2021. Riding outside for five hours in snow and strong winds is not necessarily pleasant. If I'm honest, however, it's precisely these training sessions that I need in part. It takes a lot of effort to get on the bike in such conditions, but in retrospect I have never regretted it and sometimes feel a certain satisfaction at having braved the weather. I also agree a bit with Friedrich Nietzsche: What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
It was difficult to also collect as many altitude meters as possible already in winter. Uphill was never a problem, but downhill was sometimes a big challenge on slippery roads. Nevertheless, I was able to complete my training completely as planned. In extreme conditions, such as slippery roads, I sometimes switched to the roller and rode on Zwift. I even did a virtual Everesting there at the beginning of February. That was incredibly tough for me mentally - I'm simply an outdoor athlete.
Are there guidelines for how much water you want to drink each day? Are there foods that you particularly like to eat, but never on race days?
As far as hydration and nutrition are concerned, I actually don't think much about it. I always drink relatively much in general, especially water or tea in everyday life. However, I don't know how much I drink, I just go by feel. During sports, I usually drink isotonic beverages.
i like to eat many different kinds of food, but especially fruit.
I particularly like bananas, kiwis, blueberries and raspberries.
But otherwise I also like to eat asparagus and as a cyclist, of course, pasta.
In everyday life, I often eat bread or rolls with whole grains, porridge and muesli. On competition days, however, I keep my hands off them, because otherwise the fibers would get to me.
What do you think is a key difference/advantage you have as opposed to other athletes?
I rarely have bad days. Actually, I can almost always get my performance when I want to. I also never have any motivation problems when it comes to my training. Even in winter, in the evening after work, when it's dark and freezing rain, I get on my bike, ride off and do my workout.
What are your goals? - What keeps you going?
My biggest goal is to continue to have fun on the bike and stay healthy.
Athletically, I dream of a world record for the fastest triple everesting and the most vertical meters within 12 hours.
I would also like to be on the podium in one or two bike races, such as the Maratona dles Dolomites, in the next few years.
Why do you use KEEGO?
I spend a very large part of my free time on the road bike. Of course, I have to drink a lot in the process.
With conventional bike bottles, I've always had the problem of never getting rid of the plastic taste. Not to mention the health risks posed by the plastic particles. I pay attention to a healthy lifestyle, have never smoked or drunk alcohol. In fact, it's almost absurd how long I've been drinking myself out of plastic bottles on the bike.
After drinking from the same two plastic bottles the whole time during Paris-Brest-Paris 2019 over 1,200km, at some point it was just disgusting, I reacted and looked around for alternatives. In the process, I came across KEEGO relatively quickly. At that time still quite new on the market, but I liked the revolutionary approach. I was thrilled right from the first test. Natural taste, easy to clean - that's exactly how I always wanted it!
As time went on, I became aware of other advantages. The fact that the bottles are so easy to clean means that they can be used virtually "forever". In winter, drinking from the bottles also keeps you warm longer, and in summer it stays cool longer.
Please tell us something about the most difficult moment in your career or life and what you learned from it or how you overcame it.
When I was physically almost immobile and bedridden for weeks at the end of 2018/beginning of 2019 with severe back pain, I was also probably going through the most difficult phase of my life mentally. During this time, I realized which of my friends I can always rely on. That gave me a lot of strength. When I was able to start going on walks again, things slowly started to look up. During the first longer walks with my dog, I learned to appreciate movement in nature in a completely different way.
Overall, however, I have to say that I have fortunately been spared very difficult phases in my life so far.
Is there a person in your life who has had a decisive influence on your career as an athlete or your life in general?
Actually, there are several people who have significantly influenced and, to some extent, inspired me as a cyclist.
A good friend of mine - Michael Leiblein - showed me that it is very possible to ride a road bike for more than 100km on several days in a row. He gave me a lot of tips and accompanied me during my first long training sessions.
Rainer Hess, with whom I rode Paris-Brest-Paris in 2019, has impressively shown me time and again that it is usually not the body but the head that is the limiting factor on the bike.
Joachim Heitel prepared me for the Ötztal bike marathon in 2017 and thus opened the door to the bike marathon scene for me in the first place. He also rode the first two tours over 300km with me and was with me on Mont Ventoux when I conquered it six times in a row.
Peter Morstadt's reports on his experiences with various cycling marathons in the Alps gave me a taste for the sport in 2017.
For some time now, my girlfriend Kathi has also been supporting me in all my actions with the racing bike. Without her, my successes in 2021 and especially my world record would not have been possible.
But my life in general was very much influenced by my parents and grandparents. Without them, I would certainly not be who I am today.
KEEP GOING Frederik!