Your Alpine Triathlon
in Zell am See-Kaprun
Trail running, swimming, cycling: Zell am See-Kaprun, with its landscape and Lake Zell, offers the ideal conditions for this combination. We accompanied professional athlete Johanna Hiemer on her Alpine Triathlon and got tips for training.
Johanna Hiemer is actually a winter child - actually. The 27-year-old is a professional ski mountaineer with one declared goal: to take part in the 2026 Olympics. But if you want to get to the top as quickly as possible in full skiing gear and ahead of all the other competitors in winter, then you have to do one thing above all in summer: training. And for this, the professional athlete has chosen Zell am See-Kaprun.
Recently, Johanna visited our region and mastered her personal Alpine Triathlon - even though her training schedule is more focused on trail running. "But the local conditions, with mountains and lake, are simply ideal for triathlon."
Around the Plettsaukopf Reservoir to start with
The first discipline – trail running – was Johanna's favourite. She chose the Panorama Trail, which leads around the Plettsaukopf Reservoir at Schmittenhöhe. From here you could even extend the loop and run to the Areitbahn intermediate terminus, then head downhill towards Schüttdorf and along the lake to the starting point.
"Trail running allows me to train time-efficiently and very effectively," says Johanna Hiemer. As a mum of two, it is important for her to be able to plan her training well and achieve a high training workload within a short time. "I really enjoy being out in nature, and with trail running, the terrain is constantly changing. That makes the training exciting - also for the mind!" she says with great enthusiasm. "I also like the fact that you don't need much equipment for trail running. Actually, only good running shoes are important, then you can get started," she encourages beginners to try this sport as well.
Training favourite: The SUUNTO 9 Peak
And Johanna always has further training partner with her: her Suunto watch, model Suunto 9 Peak. "Via the Suunto app, I can get the customised plan my trainer sends me on my watch. That's super convenient." She uses the route navigation of the robust GPS watch especially for new routes she hasn’t used before and thus lets her smart watch guide her. In addition to route planning and the compass, Suunto 9 Peak also offers a barometric altimeter.
"The heart rate measurement via the watch is also important for me. I need to know my pulse rates to be able to control my training well," says the athlete.
Swimming in Lake Zell
And because the Suunto watch is waterproof, it also accompanies Johanna to the next part of the triathlon: swimming in Lake Zell. Johanna has chosen the starting point at the Seespitz lido for her swimming, and from here she heads into the - still somewhat cold - waters of Lake Zell. In the course of the summer, the lake warms up to 23 degrees and is perfect for training - or cooling down on hot days. Johanna still knows this part of the Alpine Triathlon from her participation in the IRONMAN 70.3 Zell am See-Kaprun: Here, too, the athletes have to cover 1.9 kilometres of swimming in Lake Zell.
By the way: There are three lidos with additional swimming pool, restaurant, action and fun facilities, changing rooms and sanitary facilities around Lake Zell. There are also numerous free of charge places for swimming along the lakeside. You can find an overview of the lidos here.
"You have to be extremely fit in all disciplines"
"I'm not really a triathlete anymore. But I find competitions like the IRONMAN 70.3 Zell am See-Kaprun extremely cool because I like the atmosphere there so much. In triathlon you have to be fit in all disciplines. It is so varied and your body and organism have to adapt so quickly. You have to train very intensively," Johanna explains - and after mastering the swim course, she jumps on her bike for the final part of the Alpine Triathlon.
Cycling up the Mitterberg
The cycling route takes her from Lake Zell uphill to the Mitterberg opposite the town centre of Zell am See: from here you can admire the region in all its glory once again - Lake Zell nestling between high mountains, as well as the Kitzsteinhorn, which watches over everything with its glacier. "I went to school in Saalfelden and then studied in Salzburg. The Kitzsteinhorn has always been my favourite training place," she recalls. What she appreciates most about the region is its versatility: "The combination of lake, glacier and mountains is amazing!"
The Zell am See-Kaprun region offers a wide range of bike trails, not only for professionals: from short, crisp mountain bike tours to long road bike rides or gravel bike trails full of variety. If you want to follow in Johanna's footsteps, this is the tour for you.