Sunday, September 6, 2009

Advice from a Pro

During the winter I had to use the gym in my work town to do my swim training as the pool at my hometown gym was not heated. It was at one of these swim sessions about two weeks ago that I met Caroline Koll, while sharing a lane. She is a Pro Triathlete and a member of Team TBB which is coached by Brett Sutton. She Finished 5th this year at Ironman South Africa and was 3rd at IM Korea in 2006.

Here is the link to here blog

One does not always have the opportunity to talk to a pro triathlete never mind asking for advice. The Pro's usually stick to their own circle of fellow Pro's during race weekend and because they race for a career they are so focused on race weekend that they don't need any distractions.

While talking to Caroline I noticed that she is a very friendly person and not shy to help with advice when asked.

On Friday we shared a lane again and I asked for some advice on issues I have for my upcoming IM. To sum the conversation up, it basically came down to this.

Stick to what's working for you and keep it simple, don't over complicate things. So true.

After Ironman South Africa, I wanted to change running shoes, why I don't know. I've been running with Asics for the past five years but I recently tried Zoot's and Newtons. The Zoots were a disaster but the Newtons weren't so bad but I started to develop lower leg muscle pain. I have now done almost 500 kilometers with the Newtons and it is time to get a new pair of shoes that will be my shoes that I will race with in Kona.

I have now decided to go back to Asics and use the shoe that's been working for me. Why I wanted to change shoes when I got faster, I don't know or was it just clever marketing from the shoe companies.

The second thing I changed back to, that's working for me is my nutrition on the bike. After IM this year I started using Infinite sport drinks, from the standard mix to my own personalized mix but I keep feeling bloated and nauseous after four hours on the bike. I also stopped using gels and any solid food.

On yesterday's Bike ride I went back to what I'm used too and what's working for me. Solid food(energy bar)on the hour, Powerade on 15min, a PowerBar gel at 30 minutes, then Powerade at 45 minutes and then back to a energy bar on the hour. And I repeat this every hour.

I used this for the past three years with no GI issues and on yesterdays bike it worked again, no bloated feeling or nausea. The only thing I did change and it is working is I changed the energy bar I used for a Mars bar (another Caroline tip) and it was good.
After doing my long bike ride every second weekend with either the 2XU pants or the Zoot pants, I've decided to use the 2XU pants for Kona. It was hard to decide between the two but the 2XU's just feel a bit more comfortable and it also have four hidden pockets for things I want to carry with.
I found these pair of Asics Noosa's in my cupboard yesterday. I bought them about three years ago but was so happy with the Asics Nimbus shoes that I hardly used them. I think they've done less than 100 kilometers. I was also much heavier three years ago and was scared to use them. I didn't want to use the Zoot's or Newtons today and didn't have time to buy my new Asics yesterday so I did my long run today with them and they are so comfortable.

Yesterday was my last power gym session and now it is two weeks of light weights fast repetitions and then I'm done with the weights for Kona. During my 20 week training program for Kona I have only missed the gym sessions when I had Bronchitis. Comparing my training schedule of IM South Africa with the current schedule I'm way ahead on the gym sessions.

I also did a Body Composite scan yesterday. Comparing it with the one I did 2 weeks before IMSA, I have 3% more body fat (something I need to look at urgently), but my muscle mass is up by 1.8kg and my bone mass is up 0.5 kilogram.

This weeks training was not 100% as I picked up a cold again and decided to miss training on Monday evening, Tuesday and Wednesday. I didn't want it to become serious but since Thursday I'm back into training although not feeling 100%. It's amazing, I missed two and a half days and gone are 5 training sessions, impossible to catch up.

Weeks totals:
Swim: 3km
Bike: 139km
Run: 33km
Gym: 2 sessions
Total: 10h35, 7168 kcal


  1. Sorry about the cold!

    Your bone mass went up, how does that work?

    Thanks for new post. Can't wait to see how you do in KONA, I hope I can catch it live!

  2. Hi Devin
    Thanks for the comment. They say it's the bone density that increase making your bones stronger. Not sure myself, will get clear definition and let you know.