March 30, 2012

The Unofficial Fools Guide to Surviving Ironman South Africa 2012

I have seen the start of it already. Driving home two days ago I saw a guy in so much compression gear he may as well have been running in a gimp suit. Then just this morning I witnessed a lady riding down Mouille Point with a disc wheel, backwards TT helmet and 6 bottles of fluid on her bike.

With 3 weeks to go, this is the time in which you are most likely to cock it all up, so it being Friday, I thought to provide some fool proof (yes you fool!) ways to get through the next few weeks. Remember to exhale and that you will be fine on race day. It’s getting crazy out there!

Firstly, lets clear up what’s going to happen to you, in the next few weeks:

You are going to get full of energy if you taper correctly.

This may freak you out. Being tired has been your way of life for the last 12 weeks.

– Do NOT use the energy to pick fights with your spouse fool! They are still tired of your obsessive desire to wear lycra and talk in Ironspeak since Christmas.
– Do NOT give in to the urge to wear compression socks with shorts to work so that you can talk about them fool! Your colleagues are as tired of you as your wife / husband / ex is.
– Do NOT implement your “radical new nutrition strategy” which involved monk-like consumption of potatoes and self-acupuncture at 90min intervals, fool!
– Eat everything that moved. You are burning less, so eat less fool!


Race week is a stressful time, for all. Here is what you can expect to feel:

– Doubt
– Nausea
– Irritation
– Powerlessness
– Niggles that`ll drive you to chewing on the walls with fear.
– Visions of ripping other people’s heads off.
– The unexplained need to tear up at the thought of the finish line.

All that will be interspersed with moments of absolute awesomeness where you will feel effortless, in total nirvana and cry at puppies on toilet paper. Enjoy the awesome moments. At times you will be so powerful that merely looking at things will break them.

Avoid these questions at all times:

– How are you feeling?
– Are you ready?
– Does my seat height look too high?
– Should I eat a loaf of bread during the swim?

Places to avoid if you are feeling “The Doubt of an Ironman”

– The Boardwalk Complex. Hundreds of perfectly skinny athletes will be roaming this area roaring like lions in mating season, letting their ripped muscles intimidate you with every effortless pace.
– The Expo Hall. You will swipe that credit card until its a melted mess a the till. You will make the commitment to naming your unboard child “Speed Concept 3.43” and be convinced that running in 2 different brands of shoes, one on the left foot and the other on the right, will secure that PB.
– Port Elizabeth. Fool!

So it’s race morning and you can’t stop eating, visiting the toilet or losing stuff, people and forgetting your name.

Here is what you need to remember all day to be massively, uber-mega-fawesomely successful on the day:

– Pace and Nutrition. Focus on those 2 things and the day will be groovy.
– Smile and Wave. Have some fun. The crowds want to interact with you.
– This is the coolest training day in the world. Aid stations, volunteers, crowds and a personal finish area. Now remember to stay at training intensities, fool!

For the rest, they are a list of the 10 best-kept secrets that have been passed on from ewoks to middle earth to the renaissance period through the 80’s and were recently lost in a car which mysteriously caught fire. Witnesses say that they saw 2 raccoon, James Cunnama and Julius Malema in the area. The case is currently under intense investigation by none other than the CSI crew from Stellenbosch including Dan Hugo, Conrad Stoltz and a mysterious new crew member merely known as “Le Ruffler”.

So you`re on your own there.

Relax, calm down and remember to breathe out as well as in. The next few weeks are the best part of the ride. Don’t cock it up, fool!

Love you guys.

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