Swedish triathlete Jesper Svensson was a natural in the water from a young age. In 2015, he discovered his love for triathlon after competing in his first half distance event. Three years later, in 2018, the former swimmer won his full Ironman debut in Brazil. And he would taste gold again later that same year in Barcelona. Don’t be fooled by his kind and gentle demeanor - it belies the beast inside. This sweet Swede has all it takes to dispatch the competition and reach the top.
How did you start running? I was always a very active child. When I was young, my parents were my swimming coaches and, during breaks at practice in the summer, they thought I needed to gain some strength in my legs. To do this, they took me out for my very first running session as a child.
Why do you run now? I run because it's such an easy way to train. When I worked full time as a swim coach, I often ran to the pool just to fit some more sessions into my weekly schedule.
What was the most important race you’ve run to date? The race that changed my view of triathlon was in Sweden in 2015 – even though I had a bit of bad luck. My bike got a puncture, but I still fought until the end. Afterwards, I felt like I had some kind of talent for triathlon and I made the decision to focus on the event and work with a coach for the first time.
What is your pre-race ritual? Before important races I always do a “3-days to race” session, which is the last hard session I do. After that, I try to eat well and recover as much as I can and mentally prepare myself for a hard but good race.
What do you think about while running? I usually think about my technique – I’ve had to change it a lot since I started. Otherwise, I think about having an easy but fast feeling when I am running.
What is your go-to training meal? I have some porridge, bread, yoghurt and I always have an espresso.
How do you recover after a tough run? A nice shower, a recovery drink and then just relaxing.
What song is your go-to for the run? I like motivational songs, like movie soundtracks.
Who is your “team”? My girlfriend Elsa, my family and my coach Frank.
Apart from endurance sports, what is your passion? I like to relax with a good movie or play some video games. I also enjoy food a lot.
What was the best piece of running advice you ever received? The best advice was to get my core working while I run. When I got that to work my body leaned forward more and I was able to run faster. But I had a hard time to get that into my run. I needed to work in the gym first to get the feeling from the core. Only then could I apply it to my run.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps? I came from a swimming background and did not have a lot of running kilometers in my body. So I started to slowly build up my legs with easier and longer runs in the forest and trails. I listened to my body and increased my training hours, little by little, so I would not get any injuries. Today, I still work every week on strength and pre-rehab.
Why On? The first time I tried On shoes they fit my feet so well. I just chose shoe that worked for me. I like the innovation with the ‘’run on clouds’’ feeling and I know what type of shoes used to give me injuries. With On I have never had an injury. I think that the best athlete is an injury free athlete.
What’s your favorite On shoe and why? I like the Cloudflow, both as a race shoe and a training shoe. I can easily run 100k week with the same shoe. They are built to sustain this.
What’s your favorite item of On apparel and why? The Hybrid shorts, because they are lightweight but still have pockets so you can bring energy bars and all your stuff with you.