Jan Frodeno’s top swim tips

The multiple Ironman world champ, Jan Frodeno, on how you can become a faster swimmer, The Magic 5 and why it’s time to ditch the toys


In the new edition of 220 Triathlon (issue 385, out now) we exclusively interview Jan Frodeno and The Magic 5 team about the new partnership between the multiple Ironman world champion and customisable swim goggles outfit.


The collaboration was announced in the summer, with the reigning Kona champ and 2008 Olympic gold medal winner saying the only potential problem with The Magic 5 goggles is that they’re so comfortably he might forget to remove them in T1.

“It would certainly make for an old school look on the bike – I think Oakley used to make some like that,” Frodeno reflects. “But it would be a lot better than Rasmus Henning’s experience of leaving his swim skin on in Hawaii for the cycle leg. At least you wouldn’t be at a disadvantage with the goggles.”

As for wearing them as intended? “The first time I really realised how good they were was when I kept them on my face when I was doing a kick-set. I don’t think that has ever really happened before.

“Previously, I’d either take my goggles off completely or rest them on my head. Or if I was having 30sec rest between reps, I’d always use that time to readjust the goggles. Now I put them on to dive in and take them off when I get out.

“Goggles are something that everybody needs but while it’s very individual, it’s also such a mass item that it needs to come at a certain price to be considered worth investing in the technology.

“When you look at a pair of Swedish goggles for $5, there’s not much margin there. As tech improves, there’s an opportunity, a demand and a must to keep developing. Hats off to the [Magic 5] guys, they were swimmers frustrated with the product.”




My swim coach is still [legendary Australian coach] John Rodgers. While we speak infrequently, I have his book with 150 favourite swim sets and I have similar sets on the same days every week that we slightly build on. There’s a lot of consistency – if you don’t want to call it repetition – in swimming.


A lot of triathletes jump in with pull buoy and paddles from the get-go. You’ll get faster splits, but it’s not a realistic representation of where you’re at. It also messes with buoyancy and stroke technique. If you’ve the patience to see through a slower swim set with just togs and goggles, you’ll still swim faster when wearing a wetsuit.


It’s frustrating to hear for anybody starting out because we are always looking at the clock, but dedicate a part of your swim to how you feel in the water. Do a little experiment by pulling up your toes and seeing how much resistance that creates. It’s tiny surface area but shows it’s worth working on swim technique and front crawl swim position.


Most people are quite surprised if they are filmed as to how they look in the water compared to how they feel, including myself. But I’ve found it to be a huge help. Notice the little things such as your head position.


Considering how repetitive swimming is, it’s a very technical sport. Stop looking at the clock or thinking ‘I have to get to 4km or the day will be rubbish,’ and dedicate some time to working on technique. There is generally nothing better than finding a swim coach.

Frodeno and Haug’s coach Dan Lorang on how to train for Ironman

Jan Frodeno’s key Ironman training sessions and advice

Jan Frodeno’s sub-1hr session: 1km run reps


Challenge Roth: how Frodeno broke the world record