Monday, March 22, 2010


Today reality struck and although I knew some weeks ago that due to work I won't get all my training done, I realized today that IMSA is not going to be what I wanted or planned.

Maybe it was the public holiday today with all the spare time that made me think about IMSA. When I started with my 20 week training program I had one goal and that was to qualify for Kona again.

Later on I added another four goals but the main goal was to qualify. I guess if you've been there and done it you know what's it all about and as I said on previous occasions one can't describe that feeling to someone, you have to experience it yourself.

Training went according to plan but lately it's gone pear shape. With all the work commitments and add to that the three Half Ironman's I did, the training hours just ain't there.

Last year for IMSA I did two HIM and for Kona I did nothing and could feel it on race day, the lack of race readiness. Doing three HIM's this year was too many. One is a must and two is the maximum but doing three I neglected my long training sessions on weekends. And then I had to recover on the Monday and even on some Tuesday's which meant those session also went out the door.

The only way to have a successful Ironman is to put in the hours, there is no shortcut. You can't go to or to a triathlon store and buy a sub 10hour or sub11 hour Ironman finishers package, you need to train.

I've compared my training log from the past two Ironman's with the current one and although I've clocked the same kilometers I've done way less hours of training, especially the long ones. With only five weeks left of which two are taper weeks I just ran out of time to have my preparation 100%

During yesterdays ride I could also feel that the legs aren't there during the long ride and that just confirmed the way I see IMSA this year. At least the running is better than last year but swimming and cycling is going to be a real challenge this year.

For now I am still going to keep on training and will still aim for that magical sub 10 hour finished which is very unlikely but qualifying for Kona is not going to happen.

This morning I went out with the cycling club on my 4 hour ride and I must say I feel so much safer riding in a bunch than on my own. Yes Kim do bring out my bottles when I'm at the halfway mark and drive behind me from there onwards but that first few hours are always scary.

It was very misty today and cold, well at last for me. Some guys were riding in short sleeve shirts but I had three layers on. I hate the cold and would much rather ride in 40c heat than in 20c.

Close to the end of the ride my PowerTap's head unit came loose as I was riding over some bumpy road and as I saw it flying across the road, I thought it was gone. It eventually ended up in the bush next to the road and I was really surprised that it was still working with only a minor scratch. At first I thought the bracket was broken but I could clipped it in again.

About 5km from home it jumped off again and I was really lucky as two cars drove past and missed it by centimeters. I picked it up and it was still working, that's when I decided to put it in my pocket and will use some cable ties to secure it to the handlebar before my next ride.

One thing I can say about the PowerTap unit is that it is very strong, Wow thought I was in for a few buck replacing it after today's ride.

Today's Training:

Bike: 3h52, 115.6km, 124bpm, 3043kcal,

Swim: 1h03. 3km.


  1. Don't give up hope yet.. Anything can happen on race day! Having all the Ironmen and years behind you always count too..

  2. Too early to give up and with your experience, you will do it...I will apply your theory about HIM's...I am planning to do 2 or 3 and 2 or 3 ITU ...and may be one marathon? Too much for just a beginner?

    I wait for your tip!

    "XTB" Xavi from Hong Kong!

  3. Hey Johan...Obviously I can't speak from experience with regards to an Ironman, but I do know that sometimes you have to ignore the numbers. You still have time, you don't know how the rest of the field is going to play out, and you have the benefit of another year of experience over last year. Plus, you want it. Bad. :) Try to focus on the future and your heart, not the past and the numbers. A little, at least :) You are your family are amazing!

  4. Xavi
    No I'm not giving up just know I haven't done the mileage.

    If I can give some advice, if you want to just finish an IM you can do 2 to 3 HIM and some olympic races but if you want to go for a position or time I think two is enough.

    The problem with doing to many is you sacrifice your long ride/run, which I do during the weekends and you need those long ones to make IM work for you. You also need to recover after them and then you miss some more training sessions.

    I will not do a marathon as part of my training for IM, going 32km maximum.

    If it's your first IM I will do 2 olympics and 1 HIM before IM. Space them out so you don't burn out and don't do any racing within six weeks of the IM.

    That's my advice based on my experience.

    Best of luck

  5. Nina
    Thanks, maybe I just need some motivation. All the work and missing sessions lately got to me.

    Thanks, will soldier on. You're right going to Kona is just so special need to use all the nenergy I have

    Well done again on an amazing marathon yesterday, you must be stoked.

    Regards to Dana

  6. Can't DISAGREE with you more! If you started your taper tomorrow and went and raced in 2 weeks you'd smash 10hrs. All these long sessions do is convince your MIND that you can go the distance (and that's not my opinion - it's, amongst others, Tim Noake's)There is certainly a point of diminishing returns. The physiological benefits of 4hr on the bike vs 5 hrs on the bike are minimal. Go and check out the work done by Tabata (the famed tabata intervals).

    If anything you just sound a bit gatvol. but have no fear you're not alone! Maybe you just need a change in environment. Pack the family up and bring them to the Kalahari for a RELAXED training week-end.

    The key to Kona is arrive in PE "lus" to race and not having done 3 instead of 2 HIM's or 3 instead of 5 6hr ride.

    C u on the QueenK

  7. Russel
    Thanks for putting thing in perspective and for the "uit kak" Yes I am probably just a bit gatvol with the work getting to me and frustrated by not getting all the sessions done.

    Will take you up on that offer if I have to do Ironman winter training again.


  8. One down 312 to go :)

    Keep on going. It`s not only a physical game!

  9. You still have the drive and determination! so don't give up hope. It will fall into place

  10. A
    Thanks, yes what a big field this year, 313 athletes in age group.

    Think Ironman racing is the new mid life substitute thing instead of buying motorbikes and boats.