Kris Coddens-XTERRA Pro Athete

Kris Coddens is one of our XTERRA Pro Athletes. He was the ETU European Duathlon Champion in 2015 and finished second behind Ruben Ruzafa last year at the ETU Cross Triathlon European Championship. Being a father of two, having a full time job and still being able to win or finishing among the top in every race he participates, is not an easy job.

We took some time to talk to him and see “What it Takes” to be a pro at the highest level:

XE: What is your Name, Country and residence?

Kris Coddens, Torhout, Belgium

XE: Are you a full time pro Athlete, if not what is your occupation?

I’m a full time sports teacher in school, I mostly teach gymnastics, athletics, some swimming and theoretics at 17-18 year olds.

XE: Family Status?

Married, 2 kids of 3 and 4 years old.

XE: What is your daily or week training plan?

About 12-15 hours in school weeks.

XE: What do you eat for breakfast before a big race?

Bread or oatmeal.

XE: What type of diet do you follow?

The “just try to eat normal” kind. I’m lucky I don’t have to worry about weight but trying not to be that skiny.

XE: How many years you have you been involved with XTERRA?

Since 2012

XE: What is your athletic background-How did you started?

I started as a Duathlete. I took two seasons off to build our house, and after that I decided to entered to a new challenge. I started non drafting triathlon but always loved mountainbike, so I quickly discovered XTERRA the most beautiful form of triathlon.

XE: Which of the three disciplines is your favorite?

The bike, although run suit me best.

XE: How many XTERRA did you raced in 2016, (results)

XE: In 2016 you started the last race of the season with the possibility to win the Tour. What went wrong?

I think i lost the Tour as i was not so lucky in 2 races: In Xterra France I had a flat and did not managed to repair it. So I rode the last 5K on the rim loosing precious time. In Denmark the day before the race I bruised my ribs. I still raced but that did not worked out well. I also had mechanical problems in the mud. Also, the second half of the season after France I did not manage to get my best form back. It is sometimes hard to combine family and proper training.

XE: Nico Lebrun says you are like him, your weakness is the swim part, do you really try to work on it and get better or you prefer to become better biker and runner ?

Yeah that swim… 🙂 What do you think is best? I’m slowly moving forward with my swim performance, but I try to look for the right balance in time I invest to it. Combining job and family/kids, my training time is limited, and the time I should invest to swim one minute faster for example, would probably cost me more than a minute if i reduce the training time for the bike or the run.  I would love to swim faster, but don’t want to loose bike or run performance for it. I prefer to race trying to catch up all the guys instead of being hunted! But one day i would love to start the bike part together with all the other competitors… 😉

XE: What is your favorite XTERRA?

Xterra Belgium offcourse :-p. Incredible experience for me to win the inaugural Belgium race, but for the rest it is difficult question. They are all different and most of them have their special aspects. There are many more that i want to discover. Let us say the Greece or Maui swim, the Sweden or Denmark bike and the Sweden run. As for total beauty, the Swiss or Germany are among the best.

XE: How do you keep the balance between regular (work), family & friends and training? How do you keep motivated?

Hard one: I am very happy to have the best wife, if there is a second one take it for yourself :-). Talk a lot with her and make a good season plan. Try to find the balance so everybody around you can be happy. Then be gratefull for what you can do. Be happy with your results, good or bad, if you do your best on race day. Enjoy the fact that you are able to combine your work with racing and visit all this lovely places around the world. Even when you fail, stay positive & enjoy all these beautiful adventures in your life.

XE: What is your suggestion to someone that wants to change his life and start racing pro in XTERRA?

As above: first look for a good planning that everybody can be happy with. As soon as you manage to hadle it and keep your fitness at a pro level, just join the family and enjoy!

XE: What are your XTERRA plan for 2017?  

Three opportunities during school holidays: Xterra South Africa and Costa Rica, but also Pentincton Canada (ITU crosstriathlon worlds). Nice challenge: the double ITU EC Crossduatlon and triathlon in Romania. The rest that fit in the planning: Xterra Greece and perhaps Denmark.