Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Just a quick training update. It’s been ages since I’ve last had so much fun training. My life is a joy again! I am getting adequate sleep, I’m eating GOOD food, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family and I’m just LOOOOVING my training. It is all about balance and as soon as I start to neglect any one of the above aspects, then all the others slowly start to feel like an effort too. I am literally having the time of my life.

The cycling is going well and I am focussing on a bit of strength work doing a few hill sessions per month. I also try to do intervals weekly, but not taking my heart to high. Weekends I don’t miss the 4hour plus rides and I will keep it between 4 -5hours until June/July this year. This is enough time in the saddle for this time in my training and I will have a great base come winter.

With the swimming I am not even looking at a clock in the pool. I am going very slow on purpose focussing on my stroke. I will plod along at 40 – 60 laps a session until August/September after which I will start to focus a bit more on speed/intervals/etc. I love swimming in the lane on the side where the streams are the strongest. This gives me great a feel for the water, first fighting the stream (concentrating on an effective catch) and then coming back with long fluent strokes (almost like motor pacing on a bike). When I end off with a few laps in the middle lane I just can’t believe how great it feels.

My running speed is picking up weekly and I am very surprised by this. I am religiously keeping my heart at 70% on all my runs and my speed has dropped by 40seconds per km over the last 3,5 weeks! I am only doing hill/power runs and long/slow runs at the moment and I am easily clocking 4:40-4:45min per km. I would have been happy with 5min runs when I start with a bit of speed/Time trial work at around May this year. It looks as if I am going to be around 4:30min slow runs by that time and that would be just perfect! I am enjoying my running for the first time in a very very long time.

I missed training with the Weasel today and it wasn’t nice going out alone. I hope he recovers quickly so that we can burn some rubber together again!

Till next time, be strong!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


What a great kick off to the start of the athletics season! My daughter, Tianari, is a real treat to have around. She is always friendly and laughing - never ever is she down or quiet. She dreams of becoming an actress and to earn her way in Hollywood. It's not often that children from South Africa seriously want to pursue such a dream, but she is 100% convinced that this is the road for her to travel upon. My children dream big, very big and this is so inspirational to me. So often people finish school and then still wonder what the heck to do, but these little energy balls occupying my house is really set! Not to be convinced otherwise by anybody. If she would train with her brother she can become really good, but she wants nothing, nada, zipp from this idea...Holywood and thats it!

This is so great to me that she does not want to live my dreams. She is unique and thats the way it will stay. Never the less, she has to compete in the school sports and so she did yesterday. Winning the 70m hurdles and also coming first in the 1200m in a record breaking time of 4:55. Not bad for someone who NEVER EVER trains and just walks around singing all day long! I love her to bits and I wish her all the best for 2010!!

As for my son, he too has made his mind up. South Africa is very big on rugby and cricket and the pressure on children to compete in these disciplines is very high. Yet he doesn't care and wants to chase his dream of becoming the best in the world. Like a young Burry Stander his mind is made up and he trains accordingly.

The week and weekend before the athletics we trained very hard and we cycled over 4 hours on Saturday and on Sunday ran a brisk 15km hilly route. He was subsequently stung on his ITB by a wasp and on Sunday night the swelling was still bad. To add to all the drama the track was wet and slow with all the rain we have had (going for 300mm just in January!). My personal goal for him was around 4:05 since it was the first race in 2010 and also he has only recently started with speed work. In true Weasel style he kept to all the time checks, asked me his lap times on every lap and nailed a 3:58 in a new 1200m record time. I am really proud of him. We have got permission from the school that he doesn't have to compete in the friendly competitions as his schedule is really full.

Feb 6 - Athletics
Feb 7 - Provincial triathlon
Feb 11 - Inter Schools Athletics
Feb 18 - Inner Ring Athletics
Feb 20 - South African Cycling Championships
Feb 26 - Northern Region Athletics
March 6 - Provincial Athletics
March 18 - South African Athletics Championships for Primary Schools
March 21 - South African Triathlon Championships

So this is what the young man has to do during the next seven weeks start February. During this time he is still writing exams and I will try to make life as easy as possible for him.

These little bodies running around my house is an inspiration and I just cannot imagine a life without them.

Be strong, live hard.

Monday, January 18, 2010


For the first time in a while I am starting to feel stronger again. The concrete in the foundation is starting to set. Far from fit…oh so very far, but things are beginning to look up again. When starting from almost scratch again, like I have, then the first 6 weeks are hell. Your body starts complaining during the shortest of workouts and then the next day you are scampering and shouting around looking for the physio’s telephone number! And that’s not where it ends! Pulling my hippo resembling physique up the hills and then trying to stop it again down the other side is by no means an easy task! Thank goodness for bed time. The time where you can click off the power switch and just…yes, just sleeee…oh NO! What was that? The little voice in you head wakes up at bed time constantly yelling at you: ‘you’ll never get back in the shape you were’, ‘you have waisted your life’, blah blah blah!

The great thing is that six weeks are only six weeks! And they pass rapidly. Suddenly you start to notice a normal stomach figure appearing from under your shirt. That idiot voice packs up and goes where ever the hell it wants to. Energy and power returns to training rides and running sessions. Hills aren’t so steep any more. And then one day, the best of it all returns: you suddenly remember why you have loved this sport so much in the first place!

What makes triathlons so different is the total exhaustion that one experience during preparation and execution. From when the program starts to where the tapering ends. A kaleidoscope of feelings. The one day feeling that no one can touch you now and then just the next day to stand staring at a solid brick wall. Not knowing what the heck is going on. Dead legs, dead head and dead will. Almost like depression getting in behind the wheel and turning one around as soon as the thought of training enters the mind. But those who pull through are the ones who will certainly taste the fruits of success. The podium is reserved for these steel minded people.

Lucky for us there are family and friends to motivate and pull us through these rivers which are trying to pull us sideways. My goal is far. April 2011. But I am as focussed as never before. I will not let go of what is right. I live with an 11 year old boy who is so motivated and in love with his sport. This sheer joy that I see in him is what is driving me to get off my own but and to pull him through his tough times. He impresses me daily and I have no bigger wish than for him to have the right people noticing him at the right times. For him to one day stand on the podium he is working so hard for. He, you and I – at times we pull one another and at times we get pulled. It is great having great friends.

My diet is going just dandy! Man I am chuffed about it and I have lost over 5kg! My total kilojoules intake for last week was 50,920 with an average of 7,274 per day. Only healthy foods and I have not cheated once this year! As my weight drops I will slowly up this until it reaches around 10,000 per day. Obviously when I get down to the low 70’s I will eat exactly what I burn every day.

Until we chat again, keep the rubber side down and BE STRONG AND LIVE HARD!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


According to the brain of TriJackal, our habits are the determining ‘make or break’ of athletic success. I am more convinced of this than of any other multimillion dollar ‘success is guaranteed’ plan to be found ANYWHERE.

Why would I start this writing with such a bold statement? Easy! Because it is the truth. We get fit and we get unfit. We get thin and we get fat again. We live healthy lifestyles only to go unhealthy again. We don’t drink and then one day we go and get dumb drunk! Being human, I have been a part of this lifestyle and therefore I am at a point in my life where I have to use my homo sapien DNA advantage and start changing things!

In my personal opinion the biggest weak point we have as humans are eating. We always know the correct answer, but rarely make the right choices! Stop going on and an over drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, etc. Look around us and see how unhealthy people have eaten themselves. Overweight children are bound to turn to beer just to have that moment of ‘fitting in’ and feeling good. It was the overeating that makes them look really unattractive between friends and therefore the binging starts. My point? If those parents have had GOOD habits cemented into their lifestyles at home then our communities could have been so different!

We should not speak of diet. We should just be eating healthy naturally. We should not be mentioning that we will start training again, but it should just be part of our daily, healthy routine. We must not live for the day that we can shove a pizza down our throats. We always feel bad afterwards and then we walk around with this feeling of guilt. This ‘I am craving for a bag of fried chips’ is the signal for the rebirth of a bad habit.

If you need eg. 9000kj daily to maintain a healthy body weight, why would you swop 3000 of those healthy kilojoules for deep fried crap? Why swop a healthy orange and plum for a 1000kj chocolate bar filled with unhealthy preservatives? I think it is down to bad habits. Previously I had no clue as to how many calories I could eat per day to maintain or lose body weight. I usually just checked the fat content and if it was low I would indulge. And indulging is bad! When you stop training the bad habits continue! All this indulging would constantly keep me 3 or 4 kg’s above my ideal racing weight. But, when I read on Johan Stemmet’s ( blog that he is now doing calorie counting on the foods he eat, I decided for once to try it too. Man did this change my life! It is easy and almost all foods are labelled with kj, etc. info.

I am feeling good. I am putting healthy kj’s down my throat and not bad ones. I can eat 7500kj a day and be healthy OR I can shove 7500kj down my throat and be hospitalised within a month! Weird hey! Do not eat the burger just because you have calculated that you can fit it into your daily kj intake. You are harming your body. Especially us Ironman/endurance athletes. Our bodies are under stress and we are treating them like abusive owners. No to bad fats. No to bad sugars. No to bad habits. That is what we deserve.

I will appreciate your feedback on this as this was quite a revelation to me over the past two or so weeks.

In the mean time be strong and live hard!!


Saturday, January 2, 2010


Happy New Year filled with happiness, luck and health is my wish to all my friends and family. I hope that after this year at least one of us has invented something great, re found true love, embarked on an unthinkable expedition/adventure and also just stumbled upon a big pot of gold for no reason whatsoever!

The holiday was great and we left for Dikhololo on the 25th. The temperature was around 30C for the whole week and wouldn't have asked for more. The chalet we stayed in was a two bedroom unit with everything we needed already there, just took clothes food and one or two drinks…haha!

The children had their mountain bikes and they were gone as soon as we kicked them out of bed only to be seen again once they needed some food or ice cream. The camp is situated inside a wild reserve making it great for the kids with the bikes. One day an eland opened a dust bin and started eating away at the crap inside. We stood and watched it from about 5m away and it was awesome to stare at the largest buck ‘just like that’.

Every day we would spend next to the pool and just hunger ourselves out for supper time. We ate flatties (whole chicken), rump steaks, homemade hamburgers and potjiekos (pot food would be a direct translation).

One day we took my son, Wessel, for some motor pacing on his mountain bike in the reserve. I didn’t train at all giving, not only my body, but more importantly my mind a break from the ‘I have to go training’ thoughts – man and did I relax! The young man got a good 1h30 session in and that was his training for the week. He one day tried to go off-road without his helmet and gloves...boy what a mistake! The picture speaks a thousand words.

What I will remember most about the holiday was the rock jump. There is a 3 – 4 meter rock from which you can jump into a swimming pool. I and Wimpie committed ourselves to jump into it on every single day…and we did. My bum is blue and black from the everyday impact, but the thrill was great! I will soon ad a very funny clip of where he miss judges himself and nearly had a very bad mishap!

One day we drove into town to stock up on some fresh dairy, etc. We walked past a pet shop and immediately I saw my next best friend…a little 4 week old Pitbull Terrier. I have had 3 Great Danes before and I really missed the friendship of a bigger dog. There are many untrue myths regarding these dogs and if trained well they are a joy to have. They are very intelligent (won 14 of the 25 super dog competitions), love people and they love children, just what I want. The Danes were just too relaxed for me and I want a work dog that will fetch a stick in water, play with the kids till they pass out and go on long runs with me whenever I feel like it. I have him now and his name is Smit. He is on Twitter as @iamsmit and he already has 5 followers…woof woof!

That is the holiday in a nut shell and I hope that yours was great too. We have so much to look forward to during 2010. Schumacher returning to F1. Can Lance dethrone Contador? The soccer World Cup right here on our door step. Personal targets. The dreams and ambitions of our loved ones.

Whatever makes you tick and whatever you are looking forward to, may it be over and above your wildest thoughts and imaginations!

Be strong. Live hard.