Real Life

Real Life is now the daily routine and although I pretend I am training for Comrades, all I am doing is recovering from Ironman and getting strong for the Longest Day - THE BIG C. I have been busy catching up with family and friends who I have neglected. It won't happen again.

Below is my cousin (4th brother really) George and his new addition to the family, Giancarlo Raccanello. What a killer name - real old school Northern Italian stuff. I expect him to be a Springbok in a few years - no pressure.

Below is Coach Keeto. I was on tiptoes to make sure I look taller. I am stoked to see he is preparing for his return to sunny South Africa. About time. I was also stoked to hear that he recently sports-massaged Chrissie Wellington. How cool is that? And how do you top that in your client list? Peyton and Ben met for the first time -marriage potential. Both blonde kids - how did we manage that?

Jake was the only one willing to pose for a picture. Peyton and Ben wanted nothing to do with it.

That's a picture I took of Jake before he ordered his Chicky Treat kiddies meal at a KFC drive thru. It's an annual post-Ironman tradition.

That's a picture Jake took of me before I ordered my Chicken Zinger meal (ultra) at a KFC drive thru. It's an annual post-Ironman tradition.

And here are some questions I answered recently for a friend of mine, Rob H. I thought it may interest some of you, or at least tweak your minds as to whether what you are doing is helpful. Or not.
What was different in your training from last Iron Man to this one?
My attitude was different. I trained harder, longer and faster for this IM. I took no shortcuts and didn’t use the excuse of “I am tired, I’d like to sleep in more.” I did not miss training, except for family. I stuck to a nutritional plan. I was 2kg’s lighter this year than last year. I practised my food intake in every training session. I did not skimp on meals or have seconds. I have a weekly reminder which I send myself which goes as follows:
Be the best -- reach high, dream big, always seek personal growth, live honorably
Just do it -- work hard for the rest of your life
What is, is -- live in the present, constantly look forward to your goals, learn from challenges, accept everything
All of these things help.

Which one would you say went better? Training and race?

IMSA2009 training was at 70%. Race day was a perfectly executed plan – 100%. I was not able to train as much as I’d like (Ben was born in Feb). I was also very tired. So the race went perfectly well.
IMSA2010 training was 95%. Race day was a well executed day – I’d say 95%. I would not have changed anything except I will not take any water sachets in the future. I think that’s what caused my stomach upset. I do not think that the pace was too fast for me. It felt easy peasy.

Is it possible to train on the indoor trainer and then only do races as far as the bike training is concerned? (Family want me to ask that one) And how effective can that type of training be?

You can do all of your training on the turbo. Get lots of videos lined up. Some top guys do with great results. But the road helps to get used to cornering etc. One road ride per week will be fine. I would do more turbo sessions than road rides. Less washing, more cycling, more family time.

Any other advice?

Always focus on form and control in all 3 disciplines. Eat less. There is always room for improvement. Gym is also good for you. I will try increase that for next season. We must always be strong – especially at the end of sessions. Strong stomach muscles are very important for fast running.

Did you learn anything new this year?

I learnt that I was not pushing hard enough in the swim or bike. Remember – there are no tumble turns in the sea so you can push more. You need to blow up in training a few times and recover to realize this.
To go fast on the bike, you need to be in a big gear and grind. Try rip the cranks off.
To go faster, first you must slow down. Focus on form first, then strength,. Don’t chase the speed or pace – it will come to you.
Practise in training what you expect to do on race day. Lots of simulations, including mental training.

If you had about R14000 to spend on a bike, what would you go for? (New – Secondhand – Frame and build up?)

If I had R14k, I’d buy a second hand bike frame – carbon fibre. I'd get a fitting, flight deck, seat, as part of that deal.

Right here, right now,


  1. Very interested on the turbo comment. How about mtb? Have realised I need to do more riding, yet Greek drivers put me off the road... Any feelings on that? (Managed two hours on the turbo last week - think I might need a lobotomy to do much more...)

  2. Hey Cacciatore, love you work as always. How'd you explain the missing scrunchy when you moved onto the next lap? Socks, always run with 3 socks!

  3. Hi Alex, Rumour had it that Dave Scott used to look at a black piece of paper for his 5 hour turbo sessions to toughen up the mind. Scott said it was baloney, but you can understand why his competition didn't mess with him. I reckon you need some good dvd's, audiobooks, this website, and a bottle of courage! ;o)

    Also remember, an hour on the turbo is worth 1.5 times that on the road after you have taken into account traffic lights, crazy drivers, coasting, coffee shops, cars, etc.

  4. Duccio! I had heard of the one-sock run but a one-sock Ironman would have been a novelty. I was thinking about losing a sock, which would have done little to my already blistered feet. That would have been a classic picture! Next year I'm racing with a headband & wristband.