Jean-Paul Frijns (NL)

Jean-Paul Frijns. 1973. Haarlem. The Netherlands.
“The secret isn’t in your legs, but in your strength of mind.”

Sporadically dragged into the Amsterdam Rembrandt and Vondelpark, Jean-Paul got in his early 30’s introduced and simultaneously forced to get off the couch and start running by his girlfriend - the hard way. 
He took running to the next level when moving from Amsterdam to the city of Haarlem about 10 years ago. And looking back, that makes total sense when having the luxury of calling dunes and beach your backyard. 
Fast forward about 15 years he runs wherever and whenever he can. Whether that is on streets, tarmac or trails. However, the latter is what he enjoys most lately and also introduced him to the world of endurance sports.
Running (fast) half marathons had to make room for (ultra) trail events all over the place. Must be said that Jean-Paul picks his race events wisely and doesn’t sign up for a race every other week. He likes the adventure involved in running events and loves traveling places to participate in an event. Especially when there are mountains involved. Years ago you’ll found him shredding on his snowboard down mountains. Nowadays it’s the other way round and is it the elevation by running up mountains to refocus and what makes him stoked to participate in an event.

If not running, you’ll find Jean-Paul either visiting hardcore shows, expanding his vinyl collection buying wax on the world wide web, spending time with family and friends, or traveling places to eat the best plant based food you can possibly think of.

„Winning isn’t about finishing in first place.
It isn’t about beating others. It is about overcoming yourself.
Overcoming your body, your limitations and your fears.
Winning means surpassing yourself and turning your dreams into reality”
- Kilian Jornet

First race ever (date, place, time): Like pretty much everybody else you’ll never forget about your first race. My first race was a half marathon in a small place called IJsselstein. Saturday May 26th, 2012 was the day. The hottest day of the year. And for that I had to pay the price. Nine or ten km into the race I ended up having the worst allergy attack you can possibly imagine. Completely destroyed while running in the middle of meadows, freshly clipped grass and hay bales. Had a hard time breathing and making it through these 8 or so never-ending kilometers until being back on the road running the final stretch far away from meadows and back to normal breathing. Despite the not so proper introduction it tasted like more. So I continued training and setting new goals. In the beginning I was mostly running street races, but over the course of years switched to running more off road from spending countless hours running loose sand, beach, dunes and the infamous Dutch mountains in Zuid-Limburg.

Favorite Willpower item: Easy one and obvious answer; each and every item that futures one of my designs. Just kidding of course. Willpower items I really like are more functional ones as the Adventure Bag and Top Loader Backpack. 

Favorite race event: So far all races were great and come with a good story. I guess I pick my races wisely and do not show up at the start of a race every other week.

The good (about running): Exploring (new) places & taking things to the next level by challenging yourself. 

The bad (about running): Injuries

The ugly (about running): The moment that everyone bumps into, especially when in a long race; the moment you encounter the man with the hammer.

Top5 Running Songs: I barely run while listening music. When I do it’s during a recovery run or when working my way back into shape from an injury. When listening to music it has to be stirring and preferable hardcore or punk influenced music. However, occasionally singing a long to music from Dave Hause, Cave In or Rise Against while out running might also happen.

Top5 Ever Songs: Music has always played a big role in my life. Always eager to dig into new music. Grew up listening to new wave and dark wave music in the 80s. Tape trading is what we did back in the day which led to receiving a tape one time of which one side was songs by acts like The Sisters Of Mercy, Fields Of The Nephilim & Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. On the flip side of that same tape I got a 45 minutes introduction to punk and hardcore with bands like Minor Threat, Negazione, CCM, Dead Kennedies, Discharge and so on. From that moment on it went all downhill with my taste in music. From new wave to punk and eventually hardcore. Picking favorite songs is a difficult task for sure. I just like too many styles and think that each genre has flawless bands. Since hardcore music easily is my driving force for the past 30+ years I should stick to this genre and drop names of bands like Bad Brains, Gorilla Biscuits, The Hope Conspiracy, Cro-Mags, Unbroken and Youth Of Today. All great bands that stood the test of time in my humble opinion.

Favorite Pre-Race meal: There is not really a pre-race meal that works best for me. But I learned during the course of years that I have to make sure to eat my own food and not rely on food from others. Usually I eat rice mixed with sweet potatoes, a lot of veggies and some sort of tofu or seitan chunks in the mix. Aside from training on eating food while running, I usually start changing my way of eating a week prior to a race. 

Favorite Post-Race meal: When done racing I can’t eat for quite some time and basically live off water for the first couple of hours. But, when I start craving for food it’s mostly salty natural chips, candy and ice cream. Loading up on salt and sugar. Speaking of sugar, a Vitamalz always works top notch for me after a race. Basically making up for all the greasy junkfood I missed out on while prepping for a race.

Wanna share a recipe? Am a sucker for good salads. Here’s one of my favorites, a salad with quinoa and chickpeas.
We are taling 4 portions here. This is a great dish for lunch or dinner. It contains good fats (olive oil), green vegetables (broccoli), whole grain cereals (quinoa) and proteins (chickpeas).

Ingredients
- 100 g quinoa
- 240 ml of water
- 425 gr chickpeas, drained
- 110 gr broccoli, chopped into small florets
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- pinch of dried tarragon
- 2 tsp coarse mustard
- 3 pinch of salt

Preparation
Boil quinoa with water in a small pan over high heat. Lower the heat, put a lid on the pan and let the quinoa simmer until it is tender and the water has been absorbed. This takes around 20 minutes.
Put the cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl. Add cickpeas, broccoli, garlic, lemon juice, tarragon, mustard and olive oil, plus a pinch of salt. Stir until everything is mixed.

Bon appetit!