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!