PATRIK NILSSON

We asked Patrik a few questions about what makes him tick....
What does it take to be an Ironman athlete?
Ironman is a lifestyle and so is it to be an Ironman athlete. To become an Ironman you need to have a real drive, motivation and the right mindset to day after day do the training that is needed to cross the finish line. But I do think everyone can become an Ironman... It is hard work, but I do believe that everyone is able to cross the finish line with the right training and motivation.
Why does this sport give you a “rush”?
I started with triathlon because I needed a new challenge. I soon found out that triathlon and Ironman would always bring me a new challenge. There is always something to improve in the sport... You are always able to work on something from speed, endurance, transitions, swim, bike, run and so much more when you want a new challenge.
Then of course the people in the sport, the races and everything around racing and training is amazing and brings joy to the life you have chosen.
What’s your worst injury? And what did you do to recover?
I usually struggle with some small injuries in my calf or Achilles. Together with my coach and help fom the team I try to find a training load and training that is possible for me to do everyday without being injured.
I did run into a mental challenge in 2016 that might have been my worst "injury". It took a lot of motivation away from me, but together with family, friends and my coach I got back on track on found the joy in triathlon.
What’s the highest point in your sporting career so far?
I think my 8th place finish in my first Ironman World Championship 2017 was my biggest highlight in my career together with my first Ironman win which was Ironman Malaysia in 2014.
What is your ambition for 2018?
As a professional athlete I think you always want to improve... So improving my 8th place in 2017 from Kona is the main goal. I would also like to do a good race during Ironman Texas and the 70.3 European Championship.
What’s your best recovery advice for after training? And after a race?
I always think that protein as soon as possible after a race or training is a big key. Your body needs the carbs together with protein and will be very essential after a hard race or training.
What’s your favorite food?
As I am from Sweden I think it has to be the Swedish meatballs from IKEA... Or a good piece of meat together with a good root vegetable mash.
What do you do mentally to prepare for an Ironman event?
I try to relax with my family and find focus together with them... I usually do not do anything speciall more than trying to relax. It is very important for me to be a bit nervous, but as always it has to be in a level that is under control.
Who’s your best training partner and why?
I like to go on training camps with the team. It has big value for me, since most of the training I am doing is alone. On the camps everyone has different strenghts, views on triathlon and how to perform... So it gives a big insight in how to perform in different ways....
What does a typical training week look like for you?
A normal training week in the winter usually consist of 30h training spread out on 5 swim session, 5 sessions on the bike, 5 run sessions and 2-3h of strength training.
What part of the training / sport do you love most? And hate most?
I love to find that flow you do sometimes, where the training is going well and you find a good rythm with family, training and life. On the other side I hate it when you get injured and are struggling to find motivation and a good feeling in the training.
How can we, as Vifit Sport, best support you?
For me, Vifit Sport will be of big value in my recovery, injury prevention and 
performance leading up to the Ironman World Championships.
What’s the best character / personality trait about you? What would your fans love most about you?
I think my best personality is my "down to earth" attitude... I try to talk to people around me, no matter the level they train/race on. I am 26 years old, father of a 7 month son and loves the lifestyle triathlon brings.