Wednesday, December 16, 2009


So far, so good. Always in the beginning of a training season I have to slowly build my distance and speed in order to look after this left knee of mine. It tends to pain slightly, but after about six weeks or so it just goes away. Currently my knee is feeling very good and I will look after it while I am building my base. I am building my base until end of May 2010 after which I will plan the next 12 months leading up to Ironman South Africa 2011. I will do a few duathlons and also a few half Ironman distance triathlons.

I will focus a lot on my running and will have to do a marathon or three next year. I will not go out to smash times, but will really focus on my target Ironman marathon speed. If I can easily manage around 4:20 per K I will be happy. I am not too worried about the bike speed as I know it is within what I can achieve. Also the swimming is not too much of a head ache; I will just swim around 2000m per session and then pick the miles up around January 2011. I don’t want to make my swim sessions too long as I will lose motivation to keep going. It is my least favourite discipline by far! I will focus on building up to 1 hour Ironman pace and get my body used to the rhythm. I am a strong believer at ‘target pace training’ and will strive towards that in all three disciplines.

I am currently swimming 3 times a week and will do around 80 laps per session. I like the short swims and that is why I will keep it short for as long as possible.

In the gym I am really putting a lot of effort into strength training and will continue building for the next month or two. There after I will up the reps and keep the weight constant. The weights are killing my legs, but it is improving weekly. My core training is very tough, but it is one of the most important aspects of being a good runner. I will just have to keep the sweat pouring!

I am cycling 3 to 4 times per week, with one power/hill session, one time trial session and obviously a long ride. I am comfortable for about 2h30 to 3h, but then my legs are nearing the limits of my current fitness. I would like to up that to about 5h and then maintain that till October 2010. Then I can start bombing some really long rides.

I am very unfit and it really shows on my runs! I am running 4 – 5 times a week with also one hill/power session and one long run of (currently) about 15 – 20K. I will start doing time trials in about 6 weeks time when I feel my knee is comfortable with the speed increase. I am running very very slow at between 5 – 5:30 per km pace. I first want to get my weekly distance to around 50 – 60km and then I can work on upping the pace.

I am very grateful to have a training partner in my son. I have never had a running partner who is faster than I am and I am looking forward to the TT’s we are going to race in the future! Not that I will be a problem for him, but I will have him as a carrot…hehe! Today we almost had 4 hours in the saddle. I love the mud although it's a pain in the butt to keep the gear clean!!

His track season starts mid January 2010. He is on schedule and I am looking forward to this coming year. It is his last year doing 1200m and I think he targets to peak at around 3:30 -3:40. His base is very good and we are starting with his speed/track sessions next week. Nice burning lungs and muscles…the joys of track racing!!

Have a great week and remember to live HARD!!

Be strong!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

2010...BRING IT ON

I am not a big fan when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. My biggest issue with the whole ‘let’s become as new person’ next year, is that if you realise that something in your life has to change – just freaking do it! If it can wait till the end of the year, month or week then it just isn’t that important to you and I will almost put money on the fact that you won’t keep it up anyway! Change has to be done slowly. Change has to be calculated. Change has to be achievable. Otherwise it will just be another failed attempt at something that will now be even harder to achieve come the next ‘new year’!

Measured against my friends in the sporting world I am really not the best athlete in the world! But, once I put my head to something I rarely don’t achieve it. I set unrealistic goals, give myself enough time and then work my ass off to get there. I have to date only done 2 triathlons ever! My first was a half Ironman, the 70.3 in East London, South Africa. That day was the first time I have ever swam in the ocean…mind you, it was my first open water swim EVER! To top it all, I received my time trial bike the day before the race AND raced with it! Ideal hey!! During the swim I wanted to quit the race after only 5 minutes, but I just couldn’t find a damn boat to pick me up! I kept going until I was a bit calmer and then just went 10 strokes at a time. It was horrible. With the cycling leg I had a torrid time in this very uncomfortable position on my new bike. After about 70 kilometres my hamstrings were cramping really bad not being used to sitting so much forward. Needless to say it was very painful. My preparation was crap. My race was crap. Could I have expected anything better? No – what I put in was what I got out.

Then came Ironman South Africa. My preparation was 70% of what it could have been and I was really hoping to grind out a sub 10 hour. When a group of riders on our December holiday heard what my goal was they just cracked up and called me a fool. They said I had no idea what an Ironman was and that I will definitely not achieve my 10 hour mark. Maybe I was one. But this fool is as hard headed as a good old African rock. I said 70%. Why? Did I do any open water swimming? No! Only one previously and that was the terrible race I was talking about above! Here I was again. Only this time it was two 1,9km laps. After the first one I started cramping and really just hung in there for the remainder of the swim. I was cramping so bad that I couldn’t get my wetsuit off by myself and I had to unclip my cycling shoes from the pedals and put them on sitting down! For 180 very sore kilometres I had to nurse my cramping all the way riding the laps like a turtle on holiday. I then knew I wasn’t going to love the run. My honest feeling was that I would be able to manage the first 14k lap, but then I would have to walk the remainder. I was cramping like crazy. I stuck it out on the run for 2 laps, but on the 3rd one I was just hurting too much. The cramps turned into one long cramp not letting go at all. I crossed the line in 10h 17. Was I pleased with the time? Hell no! My goal was 10 hours and I failed myself. I am so proud of the medal, VERY much. It was the hardest achievement of my life. I pulled myself after only 1,9km’s into the race right till the end. When I look at the swimming photos as I run to transition one, I can see the disappointment in my eyes. There I knew that I had let myself down in training.

Now, let’s get to the goals for the new season. I have got two: 1st – Train with my son and help him achieve his goals. 2nd – Start my 2011 Ironman training and do it WELL!

Wessel wants to achieve the following in 2011:

Get provincial colours in athletics, cross country, duathlon, triathlon and cycling. He wants to secure some sponsors with whom he can start a relationship. I will be there motivating him to keep his hard work up and be responsible to those who invest in him.

Regarding Ironman 2011. I have set myself some ridiculous goals once again. I will not post the total time that I will be chasing on the web. I have posted my approximate separate goals previously: swim 1 hour; cycle 4:45 and run 3 hours. Apart from the swimming, I will coach myself as I am yet to be convinced that paying a lot of money towards coaches will really benefit my cycling and running. I know what exercises, power and endurance work I need to do to achieve the cycle and run goals. I am very sober when it comes to my weaknesses and I will this time work my butt off to get stronger…and yes, I will be well prepared for the open water swim!!

This is the sporting goals of TriJackal and the Weasel. We will do our best to achieve these. All we can hope for is good health and all other factors outside our control to work out well too.

May your goals be big ones too and I hope that we can share the tears of joy once we achieve them!

Be strong and live hard!


Sunday, December 6, 2009


Gimme sunshine everyday! That’s how I feel after a cold winter and a very soggy start to summer. Just watching the children outside jumping on their slip-and-slide describes the monstrous delight summer contributes to life. When summer came, our family grew by 5 little kittens, 3 little chicks, two pigeons and 4 rabbits! It looks like a farm out there. But, nature has this miraculous way of joining life and sunshine together that makes us experience something which is so wonderful and special. Something which cannot be put down in words or even be explained by a very literate tongue. Just one day it is there. And it’s so special, like right now.

Having endured a very tough 2009 in the mining industry with the economy going for ‘six of the best’ in the principal’s office, I am so looking forward to the upward turning of the graph in 2010. No matter what financial beating we have endured, I still have a really beautiful and ‘truly the best in the world’ wife, two lovely and talented kids and to wrap it all together like the ‘y’ in candy, is the fact that they are all in such immense shape and blessed with exceptional health.

Focus can be a strange thing if pointed at the less important subjects in life. It can make a teenager think that a pimple is the end of life itself. It blows out of proportion the milk I forgot to buy on the way home. It lets a little bit of bread crumbs on the back seat of the car bring endless tears in the eyes of a little heart. And for what? Just to be an ass to one self and to be an idiot to all other on earth. Focus is as important to life as breathing to the body. But, when constantly inhaling poisonous smoke, then quality of life and health will die a slow slow death. What is easier to make a success of? To sell 4 or 5 great products or to try and sell 100 great products? Remember ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’?

My focus for 2010:
1. Family
2. Health
3. Business

That’s it. Family will take rank above crumbs on the back seat. Jumping on a slip-and-slide will be done even if it causes a grass burn or three. Celebrating the cat’s birthday by eating burnt muffins on the lawn together with 4 little dirty hands will also take rank. Watching a girly movie with the lady of my life even though I cannot keep my eyes open…will be done (with a light beer in hand of course)!

Health is very important to me and I can boast that my children look better than a collectors Ferrari locked up in an expensive Italian show room. Since they were little we have had the two sweets per day rule. They can have two of any of the tasty stuff that children love, like crisps, fizzy drinks, chocolate bars, etc. in any combination and obviously limited to small sizes! They will train and keep fit and look after themselves. We have been taken on by many of our friends who calls us too strickt when it comes to sweets. Really? If I look around and read about the obesity problems in the younger aged children then it makes me sad. Very sad. Children decide the diets in the family, children demand the ‘STOP” when passing McDonalds on the way home from school. At parties at my house I have seen some of the children finish off the bag of candy, the cake and then they top it all up with a 150g bag of chips! The diet problems of the people on planet Earth is the responsibility of the grownups. My children’s physique is my responsibility and I will honour their little bodies and treat it with respect.

Let’s focus on what we focus. Let’s give the summer the chance to make us happy and not let life be winter all year long.

Now I will go play outside before I get on my bike and go for my three hour ride. I got this fat around my belly and I will get it away…come sweat and tears!!

Have an awesome day and remember to be strong and live hard!


Thursday, October 22, 2009


I am sitting and gazing out the window at the wind gently pulling on the leaves of our raspberry tree outside. Another day has broken with golden streaks of light brightening up the grey coloured landscape of our city. Yesterday I did a short run and after that I jumped on my little 125cc motorcycle and rode with Wessel as he did the final part of his training session. Man he looked so comfortable as he strode along finishing of his workout for the day. Kids truly are trophies we do not deserve or earn, but they are a privilege to have and love. They truly light up my life.

A few weeks ago Wessel entered his first 'open' cycle road race. For the first time he was competing against not only his age groupers, but also against adults. Although he is 11 years of age, the youngest category for him to compete in was under 14. I remember the lady at registrations making fun of him and asking him if he would be able finish the 50k ride. Myself, I didn't know what to expect. He has only raced a max distance of 30km's before and against children of his age. My thoughts were that only finishing would be great and that a top 10 in the 14 years age group would be above average for an 11 year old.

Because it was a race that started in Middelburg and finished at Loskop Dam 50km away, I had to take the car to the finish and therefore could not ride myself. My great friend, Johann de Klerk (did the Cape Argus in 2:47 which is brilliant)said that he would take Wessel through the race. He really couched the young lad and told him where to do what...there are a lot to learn when riding in a big group for the first time! We really thank him for that! About 5km before the finish there is a very hard 2km climb and that is where Johann told Wessel to go. I was sitting on the other side at the finish line watching the first guy crossing the line. 'Well done' I thought as I prepared myself for another 20 minutes or so before the little man would cruise in. Up in the distance, about 1,5km away, I saw the second guy racing down the hill towards the finish area. As he was about 300m away I noticed the tiniest little figure sitting on his wheel and looking very good. Could it be? As Wessel crossed the line in third over all, I was just so amazed and overwhelmed with joy. No time to get a camera ready. No time to cheer. He wasn't due for a while still! Just so unexpected!

Hard work pays off. Full stop.

In our family I was the fit one. Doing Ironman and racing my bike on weekends. He was 'just' the child. But, on that weekend things changed around. A child became the hero in his father's, mother's, sister's and friend's eyes. My thunder was stolen! I am still preparing to compete at the Ironman World Chanmps Kona 2011. I still want to be competitive in my age group. With all this in mind, I also know that the real race is up front. Where Alexander and Lieto fight it out. Never will I compete in that arena, but he is approaching it at speed.

All I want to say to The Weasel is this: In the hard world of sport, thunder theft is allowed. Work hard and fill up your bags...the journey is a great one.

Thanks to all my friends who train with him when I can not. For all the motivation and inspiration. Johann de Klerk, Warren Graham, Johan Stemmet. You guys all are part of the team.

Now, I should go get on my indoor trainer and kick out another two hours! Don't want to look too bad against the young man!!

Have fun out there. Be strong. Live hard.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Have you ever seen the state of a tarred road which had been closed to traffic for a couple of years? It's condition is like that of a ancient sunken sea vessel. The whole surface is covered with cracks resembling varicose veins and the structure has grass and weeds growing straight through it. It is covered with dirt and looks like some scene from a horror movie. It is a sore eye to see and it is just unbelievable to come to the understanding that constant traffic would have kept this road 'healthy' and would also have extended it's life span.

Are we any different? Aren't we all like little roads designed to convey whatever we have chosen our cargo to be? I am totally convinced that this holds some truth, however ridiculous the comparison might be. The main truth in this whole picture we have just seen is this: Traffic is to a tarred road what healthy living and training are to the human body.

During the last three months during which I was plagued by injury and sickness, I was just dumb struck by the speed at which I in 'flesh' became the closed tarred road! I am over weight, unfit and while in this useless condition, I just started beating myself up over how I let it all go this far in the first place! When we as muscle driven vehicles stop doing what we do, then we become dusty, cracked and broken. We are susceptible to sickness and we open ourselves to depression and all sorts of ugliness.

All a road needs is a car or a truck or a bike to cruse over it every now and again. Not all are freeways carrying 10,000 cars per hour. Not all are quiet roads running through a neighborhood. But all roads have this in common: they need traffic.

I will never ever totally 'close my road' in the off season. I will close some lanes for 'maintenance', but there will always remain an open lane or two for some traffic to flow. Whether I just do easy gym sessions or whether I just go for relaxing swims.

When a road has been ruined by being closed for too long, then it takes a LOT of money and effort to recondition it back to tip top form. That is where I am at now...LOTS of effort and time to recondition my body.

Never again.....and that is a promise! Let the road begin.

Be strong and live hard!


Monday, September 21, 2009


The Weasel has been sticking it out when it comes to his training. In the last three or so months I have seen a steady change in him as a whole.
Physically his body is fast becoming man and his little legs are starting to look like bonsai Armstrong legs! His mind and commitment is astonishing. For an eleven year old boy I am amazed at the effort he is putting in to fuel his dream. But, we are taking little steps.

His running is strong and last week I picked up a little fatigue. I told him to drop the effort a little bit and this week we will drop the intensity again to let him recover for a 50km cycle race this coming Saturday.
He easily runs 4:20 - 4:40 1200m. His long runs ave about 4:40 per km which I am happy with. He complains its too slow, but we will gradually pick it up.

His cycling is strong, but he needs distance in his legs. On the weekend we did a 60km ride and on the last 8km he dropped us by about 4min. I am unfit, but still!!

We are looking forward to the race Saturday. It is a 50km from Middelburg to Loskop dam. It will be his longest to date and I am looking forward to his feedback afterwards.

He started training with a Polar 625x. It is interesting to see the heart rate of a young boy. Max is about 210 and his resting is 59.

Myself. I have started slowly after my injury. Running 2 - 3 times per week and the same for the cycling. I don't know how I will ever catch up with the young lad again...but, I enjoy the easier side of things!

Have a good time and be strong and live hard!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009


After the Tri Nations rugby match between South Africa and New Zealand, my wife an I went for a dance at the lodge where we were staying for the long weekend. Obviously it was very casual and therefore I was wearing shorts and my crocks. As we went for a 'fast' Usain Bolt turn (picture that!!) my foot slipped out of the shoe and I fell hard on my right buttock! The next day I couldn't walk and took some Voltarens for the pain. It went on like this for 11 days and I decided to go to the Doctor as it wasn't getting better. Well, to make a long story short, I tore the muscle - I actually fell it to pieces! No training for at least 4 - 6 weeks.

Bad timing, huh? The Weasel's training is picking up nicely and now dad/trainer/motivator is out of action. Well, he must just persevere and keep grinding it out until his old man is up and running/cycling/swimming again.

You should have seen his face when I gave him the Cervelo R3! Man, he totally freaked out. Love him and hope he keeps going.

Till next time, happy living!

Be strong. Live hard.


Thursday, July 23, 2009


After a month of some quiet time I have made a decision regarding my current Ironman plans. Seeing an 11 year old boy and an 8 year old girl growing up at the speed of light, I have decided to devote 100% of my time to them.

Tianari loves acting and scrap booking! I laugh and enjoy it with her mom and her, but I cannot contribute much more than giving my full support to her and the things she loves. I am a boy and I know nothing about acting apart from what I see in movies!! She has me always and I am there for her.

Wessel has a bright future in the sporting world and I want to take the steps with him because this is what I can relate to. After long rides on Saturdays I am too tired to go ride with him and this made him neglecting his training because of dad not being there. It isn't safe for him to cycle alone and should something happen to him I won't be able to forgive myself.

I will swim, cycle and run every meter with him. I am looking forward to it and in a few years time I can do Ironman 45-49 age group, who knows?

I am breaking the news to him soon and then the road begins...look out for the Weasel...he is strong, he is fast and he wont give up! Beware young world out there! The champ is focused now.

Till next time, be strong and live EXTRA hard.


Monday, June 29, 2009


Good day all. Long time not hearing from me? I have been away from the office a lot on business and it has kept me from putting pen on paper! Sometimes we put our minds to a cause or we plan the future as much as we can, but then we are often bowled a un expected ball and our pre meditated shot does not fit anymore.
I have really committed to Ironman 2010 and my lifestyle has changed to suit this undertaken quest. The last week or so we have landed a franchise deal for our province which will cause me to be away from home too often. I will travel 5 – 6 hours a day and therefore will have little family time. I will have to do a lot of admin after hours as we will be seeing clients during day time. I am not a professional athlete and my work is what feeds the children.
Hopefully we can work hard to make this a success and then in a year or two I can go for Ironman again. In the mean time I will keep on training where possible because we do not know how things will pan out in the future.
Let me know what you take is on this and please leave your suggestions. I am excited about the business and I must focus on this for now. Should we have bought an existing and smooth running entity, then it would have been easier to maintain a working days hours. But, our province is very big and would require long distance travel making the daily hours to work much less.
It saddens me to temporarily shelve my dream, but hey! Life goes on! This venture is potentially very big for us and I have to pursue it in full.
Have a great day and always remember to live hard and be strong!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Things happen...

Sunday was an extra ordinary experience for both me and my son. As we went for our long run we ran along side the local casino and mall. As we passed the casino a thundering gun fight burst loose making us dive in behind an armco barrier next to the road. It was a weird experience for me in the sense that it was the first time ever that I had to react to a possible life threatening situation regarding a child of mine. The biggest sore for me wasn't the shooting as such, but within my heart as I was looking back to where he was lying at my feet and reading the emotions going through his 11 year old mind at that stage...not nice. Constantly asking:'Daddy, whats happening? What's going on?' Cars were all over the place and two bullets ricochet right over our heads into the trees behind. He did the first 12k's with me and after I had dropped him off at home, he begged me with tears in his eyes not to run by the mall again.
I do know this: our little ones matter most and we have to look after them first. I will do whatever I can to make a future for both of them in a safe environment. Shootings are a weekly occurrence in our city and I will seek wisdom in making my choices regarding this.

Wessel is really getting fit and he is becoming stronger each and every week. With the hill sessions he is whipping my butt dropping me like an old horse...and hey, I'm really not that bad!! Great future little man, just keep up the hard work!!

My training is back on schedule again and I have recovered well after the week off from 'sweating'. I feel a bit tired, but that's normal and I have found my heart to be a bit higher than normal. Another three to four months and I think that I will be on par with my fitness levels of Ironman SA 2008. That will give me six months to get really strong and put in the IRON MILES!!

I feel really good about meeting my goals for 2010. I will not be competing in any triathlons before IM SA 2010 and will run a marathon (42.2km) around November/December. I will really try to see how close I can get to a time of 2:50 which will give me a great base for a 3:05 - 3:10 Ironman marathon at the end of April next year. Doing the marathon in November will give me a lot of recovery time too. I feel much stronger than previous years and I know these times are well within my ability.

Believe it or not, but my swimming is improving! I am getting the lap times down and I am sure that with blood, sweat and tears I can get it down to a 1 hour IM swim!! I am really excited and I am really trying to do my best regarding technique, etc. Slowly but surely I am getting there, but currently still as unfit as a rock! Come October, I will put in major open water miles in both the dam and sea to make sure I don't suffer from cramps coming out of the water like in 2008. It stuffed up my whole Ironman that year making me cycle and run with such pain that I just coasted to the finish.

Cycling, brrrr! The winter time is a pain regarding this discipline and although I love it most it is the one this year that I battle most to do!! My indoor trainer is broken, but luckily my dad has a nice one that I can use since he is also not riding during this time of year. I only need to keep my fitness levels up until September this year to enable me to get the miles in to take me to a time of around 4:45 come April 2010.

On yesterdays cycle with Joahan Stemmet, my chain slipped as I stood up on an uphill section and I bumped my left leg right above the knee cap. Hell it was sore and I think I will give it an extra day with ice and rest.

That is just about it from South Africa regarding my progress. All the best with your endeavors and I wish you great health and safe training.

Remember: Although we live in a sometimes wonderful and sometimes unfair world: always be strong and live hard!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Equipment in our world is extremely expensive. Especially if one is looking at becoming competitive on national or international level. As soon as athletes start training for 30 hours or more per week for 5 years or longer, then the differences in their performance become very very small. Advantages are then looked for in faster wet suits, a more aerodynamic bike and even in lighter running shoes. The problems are that the companies manufacturing these products spend millions in perfecting a possible world leading product...with us the poor amateurs 'sponsoring' the development cost and big profits they make in the process.

The question is this: Does the 3 minutes I save in total Ironman time through the usage of these products over and above the cheaper products make a difference in my position? Unless it is a sprint for a podium spot, then obviously not. But what drives us to spending these tens of thousands of hard earned bucks? Well, I suppose it can be that it is our passion and that it is not much different from the guy who spends all he has on new golf clubs! Or a local racer spending all he has to enter a few rally races. Or even the man at the shooting range blasting away at a few coloured circles looking hazy through the rising heat waves.

Whatever it is doesn't matter as long as it stays fun and realistic. As with anything in life the little word 'balance' pops up. ANYTHING can be wrong without balance. Wine! Chips! Sweets! Relaxing! Name it.

I can probably do a very similar time by using cheaper equipment, but why feel crap doing something you love!! Some time ago I spent bucks on two new pairs of running shoes, but I've been battling with them ever since! They give me blisters, they hurt my right foot and they squeak when they get whet!! But, I love how they feel and I really hope that my body will adapt to them asap. I do not want to go back to my heavy, lazy!

I ride an old Scott Plasma tt bike and I love that bike. It is very light and fast and I will ride it for the next two years to come. It is comfortable for me and although it isn't as 'cool' on the eyes as some other machines, it still gets the job done!! I must say, when my friend Johan Stemmet gets his new P4 I will want to be one of the first to touch it...what a beautiful piece of carbon!

My wet suit is an Orca and it is about two models back. I know nothing about wet suits so I will say this: it is tight, it makes me chafe around the neck and it is a pain in the butt to put on and take of. Need I say more?? I don't like the stuff, but they do make you swim faster...much faster! I will most certainly not buy a new one until this one gets torn or gets stolen.

Give some feedback below regarding your equipment...we will enjoy your thoughts.

I love my sport for it is tough, yes very tough. Cold weeks like we have now makes it even harder than is necessary! Equipment? It must be the most beautiful in the world, for sure. But, it is the muscles and the blood that make it move...and that is what counts in the end!

Last week I was sick. Missed 7 days of training, but I think it was a wise choice to do nothing. I recovered in full and started again in full.

All the best with your week. Remember: Be strong and live hard!!


Friday, June 5, 2009

Just laughed like a nut. Have a look and smile into the weekend!

Weekend safety tip: Don't drink and drive!

Have fun.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Getting fit

Man it takes a long time to get fit again. That dreaded day when you stop to train and you climb onto the very popular gluttony bus, then your form disappears as suddenly as the pay cheque you receive at the end of the month. Suddenly you battle to get rid of the simplest of bad habits and then, when you look again, you are an over weight and unfit lazy couch potato. With your latest athletic achievement reduced to a mere distant memory which is now used by your sub conscious to beat the crap out of your already 'drowning' confidence.

I am definitely NOT a dietitian, but when it comes down to losing weight, it all boils down to the following: you have to burn more energy than you have than you consume. Burn more kilojoules than you put into your mouth.

Now listen to this interesting fact: in order to loose 1kg of body fat you have to burn around 37,000kJ! Quick diets which make you loose 4kg in the first week only comes down to water loss. Not fat loss. Loosing fat is a long and hard and 'lots of self discipline' road. And that 37,000kJ is over and above your daily meals and drinks.
Lets look at this example. Lets say you consume 10,000kJ worth of energy daily. Now you decide to start using your tekkies again and to bend some iron at the gym. Lets say you burn an extra 1000kJ per day like this. That means that you will burn an extra 5,000kJ per week (only train 5 days a week) and 35,000kJ per month - wham! There you dump your first kg! You are overweight by how much? Do the math may take a while, but you will get there.

I have dumped 7kg the last four or so months, but I have also built some muscle in the gym. And taking that muscle is heavier than fat, that makes the scale not very accurate regarding fat loss. With 7 still to lose till April 2010, I have lots of time!!

I ended up with a bit of flu and stomach sickness this week and that kept me from three days of training. I don't mind to miss a few days when I am sick, because usually when I keep on training in the cold air then I tend to drag it out my recovery for two weeks or longer. You can't get unfit or get fat in a week so I just chill out and enjoy the off time!

Just want to thank Raoul at for a brilliant wine show over the weekend. When I went there I thought it would be a small thing, but man was it cool! With over 200 exhibitions and LOTS of wine to drink it was the most fun I've had in a long time. My suggestion is to do this twice annually and covert the whole country to the industry! Well done! please visit his web site and support his cause.

Have a good one and remember: be strong and live hard!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Quick Fingers.....

Enjoy people with extra ordinary skills? Well dig in and be amazed....

Have fun today!


Friday, May 29, 2009

Hey, live your life!

Ever wondered why we are exited about Friday's? Why are weekends better than any other days? Why is a birthday more special than the day before or the day after? You are older, yes, but only by one day from yesterday. Yet it stays special. Why is it that?

I can understand a holiday because of the change of surroundings. Going to the sea, seeing a lion in the Kruger National Park, diving with a great white shark...always exciting!

The sad part is that we are so focused on the the 30 minute lunch break or the 15 minute tea time that we wish our lives away. Looking forward to something exiting makes all else mediocre in comparison. The 6 weeks leading up to the holiday at the beach are the worst of the year! We convince ourselves that we are over worked, sick of the daily routine, irritated with our colleagues and that we can't continue without the break!

Life is living 24/7. Full stop. If you are not enjoying it then change it! That is what sets us apart from the animals! You are a HUMAN. We shouldn't be content with unhappy. We shouldn't be living in a cage. You shouldn't. If your circumstances are the cage then don't be boxed in and limited by the 'measurements' you have allowed others and yourself to construct around you! Get the hell out!

Ja, but it's not that easy! Isn't it? Take a calculator and add up all the lunch breaks, tea times, Saturday's and Sunday's, holiday's and every day you look forward to. That is how much you live per year...around 40% of it? Well done, nice! 60% of the time you are wishing your life away. It should rather be 98% living, joy, fun, health - that is GGGGGGGood! Make a change. Make your work fun. Get up 30 minutes earlier than normal and walk around the block. Freeze a bit. Turn you knuckles red from the cold. See the frost and smell the winter! Go have a coctail with a loved one at 11pm ON A WORK NIGHT! Just the two of you. If all the others are dull, stuff 'em! It's your life, live it.

Some people are paralysed. They have no choice and that is real tragedy. Me living my life as if I am paralysed is just plain sad. I am inserting a clip that really touched me and it made me see what a William Wallace saw. Freedom. Freedom from unhealthy routine, freedom from limited thinking, freedom from fear of change, freedom from a life that others chose for me and freedom for a better future.

A man loves his paralysed son. This father loves his son so much that he doesn't care about experiencing winning for himself, but rather to have his 'limited' son experience a bit more about dad's love for him. He swims 3.8km in the sea pulling his son in a boat. He rides 180km with his son with him on the bicycle. He ends by running 42.2km pushing his son to the finnish line. A whole Ironman event. For the sake of love. For the sake of life.

Life is short, very short. Get out and pull, ride and push yourself to the finnish. Don't regret not living it to the fullest. Like they say at Nike: Just do it!

Be strong and live hard.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009


How dee all ya mates of mine! I am embracing this warmer weather with all that is in me. It is so very very great and I do hope that it stays like this until spring time! The last few weeks were a bit chilli, but nothing too serious, just enough to dampen the motivation.

My good friend, Johan Stemmet ( is going to Kona and that just lifts my motivation to give everything in me to get into the top three athletes in my age group at Ironman South Africa 2010. Hearing him plan and starting his training program is so the 'real deal' that it lifts one up. With it being so extremely expensive, I have told myself that if I don't get a top three I will not be going to Kona, even if I do qualify with a lower spot. It will lift me to not miss training sessions and to really commit to my schedule.

Last week went really well. I only missed one cycling session, but because it was my rest week it didn't bother me too much. My motivation is OK and I am still very positive.

The running is going well and I am so so comfortable. The hill sessions are tough. I am doing a 10k run with 4 x 600m hill repeats included. I try to do the first three as close to three minutes each and then go hard at the last one...still my 11 year old son whipped my ass by three seconds. He just pulls away from me little by little. I hate that feeling, but Wessel, being mine, makes me proud! I did my 5km time trial went well averaging 3:50 per km not pushing my heart too high.
I am happy with this considering I am still very early in my program and still very unfit.

The cycling time trail was done the day after the run tt and I felt it in my legs. I did post my best time for the last three weeks for a 29:35 over the 20km's. The long ride was very easy, maybe a bit too slow, but at least we went out in the cold. When I returned home after the ride my feet were still frozen.

The pool's temperature is a bit warmer making the early morning swims easier to do. Hanging around 20C it is far from perfect! This week the sessions are 1,5km and I am still focusing a lot on my stroke. I need to gain 4sec per 25m lap on average to get down to a 1 hour 3.8km swim...ouch.

The gym is hurting me like a dog! An extra set is being added this week making me very sore! BUT! Sore=strong=GGGGGoooood!

Of for my cycle now! Have a great day.

Be strong and live hard!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fence walking...

As I drive to and from Secunda many times a week, it cuts the leash of the busy schedule which occupies our every thought and lets the mind wonder in directions it hardly ever dares to go. It's nice to think about things you can't change. It feels weird being a man to speak about friendship, life and love on a public blog...why? Hell, girls do that! We drink beer, drive fast and watch rugby...and if no one looks, we even give a glance at the cheer leaders doing their jumps and stuff.

We live in a world filled with so much feeling that I think if I could put just a small part of it into my body I would die an instant death. Life is like walking on a fence. We are born fence walkers. Some of us stay on this fence from the day we were born right until the day a family member takes a shovel and starts filling your place inside the earth with tears running down his face. Never ever tasting the extreme in any way whatsoever, living a very ordinary and very plain life. Is there anything wrong with this? Hell, no! Billions of others would give up their whole fortune for an ordinary life. We work, we go home. Kids are born, go to school, study, leave the house. We still work, we retire, we grow old, happy and healthy. Nice.

But, the fence isn't always this friendly. Somewhere someone wins his 7th Tour de France and somewhere a person has been sitting in a wheelchair since childhood, not even knowing the feeling of shoes on his feet. Somewhere some healthy bloke drinks and smokes for the 70th year straight, not even outing a cough at night, yet somewhere is a 12 year old girl living her last days on a lung machine staring at a little bird just bathing in the sun on the windowsill. Somewhere an average grade 12 scholar inherits millions from a person he never knew and somewhere a honest man looses everything he has worked for for 30 years just because of the current economy doing what it is doing. Somewhere a mother cries from happiness holding a baby daughter for the first time, but somewhere a mother beats her baby to death against the bedroom wall. Somewhere a man drives around a corner on his way home and later that night he greats his family and they have supper together, while somewhere a man drives around a corner only to be hit head on by a drunk man thinking he is funny, killing him instantly. He did not have supper with his family.

I know how my walk on the fence has been so far and so too do you. Reading over what I have just written it is very clear that life is full of unexpected 'it won't happen to me's'. Whether good or bad, accident or lotto win. Is it fair? Again, hell, no! Did the young man deserve to inherit the fortune? No. Did the father deserve to die in the car accident? No!

Work your hardest. Train your hardest. Be honest. Be true. Love. Respect. If we can network together in life with all of the above weaved into our being, how wonderful wouldn't life be? After all, having done and lived all of the above, then it does not matter on what side of the fence we land. On one side of it it is spectacularly unfair. On the other it is like receiving a bit of heaven.

No one can even start to give a true answer, but only speculate. Every person's or religion's answer will differ and even possibly offend the other. All I can say is that I too don't understand this part of life. But what I do know is this: Being true and honest will make the side that the fence chooses to throw us much, much easier to handle should it cross our paths. All the best to everybody walking the walk. May hard work pay off!

See, a man can talk about 'weird' stuff too!

Be strong and live hard!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Tough going made better by you

Reading the Twitter updates from pro athletes at the 2009 Giro and also from friends busting their guts out while others are still lying in bed digesting the Big Mac super sized meal gobbled down with a case of locally made lager. Reading blogs posted by other athletes and friends sharing their chosen 'road to travel' in the finest of detail. Not training alone every single day, but having someone right there beside you sacrificing their time so that your road can be made less strenuous. This is how life should be, this is what relationship is. What a great week it was! I know we must pursue our dreams because that is what makes the best moments in life the BEST!

Seeing my son at 11 years of age committing to giving his all because average just isn't good enough any more, has me in awe! Getting up at 4:30 three times a week to swim in cold water because that is what it takes to be the best. Running five days a week because that is what it takes to be the best. Cycling three times a week because that is what it takes to be the best. Bust your guts. Eat right. Sleep well. Sacrifice a lot...all in the name of a dream. Maybe somewhere someone would see the effort and commit? Maybe have lady luck smile upon him one day just like she did on a little Lewis Hamilton a few years back? Who knows? Those days don't come for free and it takes hours and years of commitment and sacrifice to change fate or to force a dream into reality...keep going my son. I look up to that and he motivates me...being so small, yet every gram of his 29kg stature grinds it out daily. Don't live on favours, but deserve what you get from your hard work.

Back to me. Last week went great. My weight is dropping fast now. I have lost almost 20cm and 6kg since the 6th of April. I have two 'eat what I want' days, on one I may not eat a lot and on the other I can go wild! The gym work is starting to pay off. I am slowly gaining strength and I can feel my core improving weekly.

Swimming = cold! But, I don't care any more....just shut up, dive in and swim. My distances are still very short and I really try to focus on a swimming video posted by Raoul de Jongh on his website The footage is very clear and it opened my eyes to the many weaknesses of my own stroke. Since we don't have coaches here in Witbank I have to use all aids available to me. I am really focusing on the catch and high elbow stroke. There is a lot of water resistance doing it like this and I tire quickly because of a lot less 'slip'.

I had a little niggle in my right heel and I skipped two days of running and one days cycling. The rest helped and it feels 100%. I think it may be the new running shoes, but I will experiment this week just to be sure. I felt great with both the hills session and the long run. Very very positive!!

The cycling was good and I didn't jippo on the long ride!! Ha!! The time trial was nice, my legs were a bit dead and I did the first 5km with my front break dragging! My time for the 20k's was 29'46 and a full 5 seconds slower than last week.

Thanks to Warren for sticking it out with me on Tuesdays taking the loneliness out of the session. Good luck to Johan Stemmet with his Kona prep. I know his motivation is running low, but stick it out my friend! In 6 months it's all over and then that medal is yours!!

And lastly, Wessel, keep it going young lad...your future is a big one!

Be inspired and thanks for reading.


Monday, May 11, 2009


As the little Excel blocks on my training program gets ticked off, week by week, day by day, exercise by exercise....they seem like very little stepping stones on a 'oh so long' journey. I think motivation and the need to stay positive becomes my biggest enemy. I constantly find myself digging for any positive and related articles and blogs from other great athletes and those I look up to.
The winter isn’t helping my cause at all and Saturday was a great example of this. We got up early morning to go for our long ride on a very cold and overcast morning. About 18km's from home we were heading right into a thunder storm which made every one turn too. I thought that I would ride home and from there I would then ride out in the other direction from where the storm was coming, but as we got home the storm was just behind us and 50m from home it started pouring with rain. My next thought was to wait 1 hour and then go out again....but, as I closed the door behind me I also closed my motivation outside. Needles to say, I only did 36km on Sat. Not good enough to reach my targets. Miss any days training, but NEVER the long ride or run!
I have learned from this and will never again be so lazy. Exactly what I am teaching my son, I went and did the opposite. Not a good example and you know what hurt most? He, 11 years old, went for his long ride and off the bike run later that same day! A good example for dad!

I will stay positive and reading tweets from other triathletes like @tristemmet and @raouldejongh really keeps one going and staying motivated.

The training last week went really well. I am doing power work in the gym three times a week and I can feel my legs getting stronger. Keeping a very sober mind on where my current fitness level is, like I always do, I honestly feel that I am well ahead of where I wanted to be.

The cycling went well with a 20km time trial time of 19"41. Obviously this isn’t done with aero wheels, helmet or clothing, but with my normal training 'kit'. With me focussing on the running and only keeping the cycling miles ticking over, I was very happy with this - knowing by how much I still can improve. During the power session on Thursday I took it easy just to look after my knees. I focussed on a smooth peddle stroke and breathing deep into my stomach. All and all, apart from Saturday’s lazy spell, a good week's cycling.

With the running I am very 'over the moon'! TT's are there to measure fitness, performance levels and improvement. In the time trial on Wednesday I was running 3"40km's and keeping my heart rate at 80%. How is this possible? Is this because of my good base? Is this because of my new running shoes? (Oh, I did not do the tt on my new shoes!) On my long runs I want to keep my speed at about 5 min/ km, but at this stage I get down to about 4"45 just to keep my heart from not dropping too far below 70%. But, my motto is to start slow; first get strong; then push times. With this in mind I WILL have the discipline to not go too fast too early, but wait a few months longer.

Swimming pool = stuff up. 16C water. Need I say more? You just cannot swim in water like that at 5 in the morning. I can just sit and wait for better times. The sad part is that I just have to swim in that water to get fit. One morning Wessel was sitting next to the pool (his 31kg body would freeze in that water) and Johan Stemmet chirped that it would be child abuse to let him swim! Sounded very funny at that stage, being in the water myself. We all hope the water gets warmer soon.

This will be a great week.

Keep fit!

Monday, May 4, 2009


Happy times....base training is a thing of the past and from this week on it is full blast ahead. I Will be in a building phase until the end of October later this year. Because the building phase is so long and strenuous, I will build two weeks and rest one. From November to Feb 2010 will be very tough and long with March being my taper month.

Starting wit time trials and power work this week, I am very happy with where I am. I am running very easy and I actually have to purposely slow myself down on the LSD runs (long slow distance)! I have changed my running shoe brand from Asics to Zoot. It is a very light shoe at a much better price. The only thing I have to get used to is the fact that it is a 'bare foot' shoe - no socks! therefore I am currently only doing short runs in the shoe of up to a max of about 9k's. It really feels weird running sock less, but I will get into the feel of it soon.
I luckily don't have to run alone anymore since my 11 year old son is training with me! It sounds funny, but he is actually much faster than I am.....I am actually holding him back! He does the mid week training with me but my weekend long runs he only does between 50-70% of my distances. Boy, what a future he has!

Regarding the cycling, I am only ticking the km's over. This week I start with a 20k TT once a week, and a few power sessions once a week. Nothing serious, just to get the time trial muscles back in action.

The swimming is a pain in the butt. The pool at my gym hast dipped bellow 20C with the same old lame excuses thrown back at us. It is very cold, especially swimming at 5 in the morning. But, I will persevere and push through....happy times are always not too far ahead!! The distances are short, max 1,5k's per session. I am really focusing on swimming faster and getting my body to cope with the higher speed. I thing I have gotten into a rhythm of slow swimming and I will up the pace just a little while the distances are still short.

The gym work steadily picks up and I no longer feel as tired as two weeks ago. From this week Wessel will swim and gym with me, making it less lonely.

Have a beautiful week and keep Tweeting!!


The Jackal

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cold is in the air....

With winter looming around the corner, I am steadily getting back in the groove. Early mornings and late afternoons I can smell the winter approaching us like a lion stalking its pray. It is hard to explain, but if you have trained outside through winter before you would know exactly what I am talking about.
Last week was great sticking 100% to the program and also eating well.....obviously on Sunday I had my weekly 'feed the munchies' day.....nice!! I started by keeping a log of my measurements (chest, hips, etc.) two weeks ago and I have already lots almost 5cm. By only keeping track of progress on the bathroom scale is difficult because of the gym work - fat is lighter than muscle, therefore you loose fat, but gain muscle in the gym and then you don't see the progress in kg's!! Obviously I am not bulking up on muscle and therefore in about 6 weeks my weight will start to drop steadily until it all eventually evens out - hopefully around the 70 - 72 mark.
I felt good running last week, but I felt tired on the bicycle. My long run felt exceptionally good and I am well ahead on running for where I wanted to be right now.
The swimming is also going great and I am easily swimming 20 min per km without a wetsuit, which is great for me this time of the year. I am aiming to get down to about 15min30sec by April next year.

Gym work will increase again this week which in turn will tire me out on the bike again. I think in around 8 weeks from now I wont feel the effects of the gym on my training any more.

Looking forward to a lovely week and remember to cast you vote!


The Trijackal

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Its nice to be back in the training groove again. It is my second serious week in preparing for IMSA 2010. It is not nice training alone during winter time and that is why I am trying to get as many of my friends to train with me. During the week I am cycling with my good friend Warren and weekends I ride with Club 100. It makes the distance a lot shorter cycling with buddies!

Early morning swims and gym work I do alone, but at least Johan Stemmet (another friend of mine and also a good IMSA participant) is training the same time making it a bit easier.

For the run I have to battle it out on my own. Running pace differs a lot from cycling and it's hard to find a training partner with similar abilities. Also the roads are very busy so running behind one another is also boring!

I am slowly increasing the weights in gym to build power through winter and to get my left and right sides to equal strength. This will ensure ultimate performance and eliminate 'over fatigue' of the stronger side of the body. I am also joining a vets cycling team to keep me motivated whilst climbing the winter 'mountain'!

Swimming is not my favourite, but I will grind it out. If I can get my swim down to 60 minutes over the 3.8km swim - well, I'll be ecstatic!

Diet wise I am giving sugars and bad fats a kick in the butt! Bags of fruit and veggies, white meat aplenty and lots of water! If I can get around 70 - 72 kg next April I will fly like a bullet! Ha felt good saying that!

Thanks for reading and I will post bits of my training program from early next month.

Have a great time!

The Trijackal

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Congrats to all our mates at IMSA 2009

It was a day of records! Both the men and women swimming records were shattered as well as both course records! Our friend Johan Stemmet had a dream to qualify for Kona 2009 in the men's 34 - 39 age group. I just want to congratulate him for making it and I wish him all the best for his preparation leading up to the race.

Now it is full steam ahead for IMSA 2010 and we can only hold thumbs for good weather a third year in a row!!

Till later,

Thursday, March 12, 2009

2009 Cape Ar'gust'!

Beautiful was the weather....Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday..... Did I miss to mention Sunday"? All I can say is WIND WIND and more WIND!
Worst wind ever on Argus day. Only the pros managed to break 3 hours, that is about 140 riders out of 25,000 finishers! The news paper reports claimed that wind speeds of up to 130km/h were measured at some places!
At the start we stood amazed as the wind just pushed riders onto the tar as if they were plastic shopping bags. I could not believe what I saw happening around me!
But, it was fun. Great fun. I have never laughed so much during a race in my life. I rode with my friend, Warren, who did his maiden Cycle Tour. We did not go out to race hard, so for the first time ever I had time to enjoy the surroundings and 'taste' the Argus like a good wine. It was 4 hours of madness. 4 Hours of concentration NOT to be blown into the sea!! Every time the wind lifted my bike off the ground I just giggled and put more weight onto the front wheel.....what a marvelous day.

At the end of the day as we went to the car to leave, Warren's wife was blown right off her bike only suffering some minor bruises. The wind blew me onto the pavement and as I held my Cervelo in my right hand it was literally horizontal in the air one meter from the ground, flapping madly like a beach towel being shaken clean!

We enjoyed some beers afterwards and relived some of the crazy moments. The next morning I went for a jog and it was quiet, warm and windless.

Good old Cape Town, lovely.

This week I pick up the swimming and gym sessions. I am looking forward to this.

Talk again.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Loooong day on the road....

Yebo yes! Whole day in Secunda at Sasol. Really tired. Driving home ducking and diving the potholes makes you want to chill in front of the tv rather than putting on thos running shoes! But, drag your lazy butt to the bedroom. Get dressed. Open the door...all without thinking and just GO! 2 minutes later, you can not believe that you wanted to sit it out, weird hey?

Today I have a 9km run whith a 4km time trial. Looking forward to see what form I'm in.

Till tomorrow

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Running in the rain....again!

Yesterday I had a short run of 8km which included 4 x 600m hill repeats. Close to my house is a 600m incline which has received various names names from athletes too explicit to be mentioned on a family blog! It has an average gradient of about 7.5%.
I did them slow starting of with a 3:20 and worked it up to end with a 2:50. I am still very unfit, but taking in account that my target race is more that 400days from now, I think that I am ahead of schedule regarding my strength.
More feedback tomorrow and hopefully it wont rain during my cycling session later today.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Follow every step

Are we crazy? Are we mad? Probably yes. But, as you look back after 10 days of the race (yes, only after 10 days otherwise you will think it is madness too!) you start planning for the next mountain to must be must be has to be CRAZY!!!!

I will share with you every stroke I swim, every revolution of the wheel, every touch of rubber on the tar....

Let me hear from you...the road is long and I need your support.