No High Like a Runners High

Ready, Set, Go!


There is no feeling greater than completing your first Ironman event – just ask anyone who has run on to that red carpet! So if you also want to enjoy the feeling, now is your chance to join our 10 Modern Athlete DARE TO TRI novices and follow our 16-week training programme, starting on Monday 3 October. The Ironman race distances and training distances are very manageable, and with commitment, ANYONE can do it.

Download the training programme for October here.

World Endurance South Africa (WESA), the Spec-Savers Ironman 70.3 South Africa, Spec-Savers Ironman South Africa and affiliates do not endorse nor promote this training programme in any way. This programme is not an officially endorsed Spec-Savers Ironman 70.3 South Africa or Spec-Savers Ironman South Africa training programme and has been independently created by Modern Athlete. WESA assumes no risks or liability for any injuries, loss or harm caused by following this programme.

Our team members have been doing some base training and are now ready to start their programmes. Coach Derick Marcisz, who has 41 years’ experience as a runner, cyclist and triathlete, will design their individual programmes and at the same time provide a generic training programme that will be published monthly here in Modern Athlete, allowing you to also follow the programme. Modern Athlete will also be hosting four theoretical and practical triathlon workshops, brought to you by some of the most experienced people in the sport, where you will learn how to train more effectively, swim more efficiently and improve your biking skills.

The programme will be split into the following:
• 3 Oct to 31 Oct – Four-week introduction and adapting to tri training
• 1 Nov to 9 Jan – 10-week structured programme
• 10 Jan to 21 Jan – Two-week tapering programme to race day

Triathlon requires skill in three different sports, but one of the key principles to remember is that in training, work on improving your weakest sport, but never neglect your strengths. These are some basic principles you need to consider:
• Consistency – follow the programme as closely as you can, but if you miss sessions, do not try and make them up, just move on to the next workout. Try to do all three disciplines at least twice a week during the structured part of the programme.
• Rest and recovery – Rest when you are tired and make sure you recover from each session with proper nutrition. Always approach each training session on the basis of ‘train today so that you can train tomorrow.’
• Train smart and specifically – Aim to use your time effectively. Each session should have a specific purpose and should be relative.

We will start very simply, with one to two sessions per week of each sport and build up to two to three. This means around six to seven sessions a week – not easy to maintain, but achievable. Training for each sport will encompass the following:
• Running: The longest run will be 20-21km at peak training. Other runs will be shorter and around 10-12km. This will include some faster tempo work later in the programme.
• Biking: The longest bike ride will be 90-100km at peak training. Other shorter 30-50km rides will include some hill work as well as tempo riding.
• Swimming: One open water swim per week is essential, doing a 2km straight swim in a dam or in the sea. Other pool sessions will also be around 2km, concentrating on developing technique.

We recently asked our team members the following questions:
• What are you most looking forward to in the months ahead?
• What is your biggest fear?
• Who is your biggest supporter?

I am obviously looking forward to the red carpet and the words ‘Neil Potgieter, you are an Ironman!’ I am also looking forward to performing at a level over the next few months I thought would be impossible a year ago. Triathlons are addictive and I fear that the words ‘You are an Ironman’ will only stir up a beast that could only be silenced by a very specific race in The Friendly City… My biggest supporters are my wife, Delia, and unborn son, M?ller. They are at every race supporting and giving it their all.

I am looking forward to running onto the red carpet as well as the challenge of the training that will enable me to do so. Initially, I thought I would be the only one with a swimming handicap, but after realising everyone had the same fears, I am now looking forward to it. My mind, body and soul are ready! I don’t have fears; rather concerns, such as swimming in open water without something to hold on to when I get tired! I just worry that my excitement may lead me to overdo things, thus making me susceptible to injury. My biggest supporters are my family. They understand the challenges and have provided me with the commitment of being there all the way.

I cannot wait to be able to hit the open water without fearing the deep blue – the mere thought of open water takes my breath away. But the only way to conquer your fear is to dive in. I think that if I am unable to complete the training or the race, you would see a grown man crying. Failure is not an option! My family are my biggest supporters: My girlfriend Leana and my little Chloe. They don’t complain when Dad disappears for hours on end, and they don’t laugh when I dress funny in the early hours of the morning.

I am looking forward to taking on this challenge with my wife and sharing this journey with her, as well as seeing how my body and fitness change over time to ultimately reach that milestone. My biggest fear is that a previous knee injury is going to play up and cause potential problems later on. My biggest supporters are my wife and kids.

I am looking forward to my first ever competitive triathlon that I am going to participate in together with the DARE TO TRI team. My biggest fear is whether I will be able to run after cycling 90km! My wife, Gloria, who is also a keen runner, is my biggest supporter.

I am most looking forward to the workshops, the goodies from all our awesome partners, and ultimately that sense of accomplishment after crossing the finish line! My biggest fear is failure. Of course, I am a bit scared of my first fall off the bike and the open water swim, but that will all be made worthwhile if I achieve my goal. My biggest supporter is my mom. She motivates me and when I am tired, she trains with me and constantly reminds me that she believes in me and has no doubt that I will complete the 70.3! Thanks, Mom! Love you!

I am looking forward to the training and knowing that I’m working towards the biggest challenge I have ever done! It is going to be awesome, especially when I start seeing an improvement in my fitness levels. My biggest fear would be not finishing. My husband Johan and my children Kaylee and Ethan are my biggest supporters.

I am looking forward to getting fitter, stronger and more confident in all three disciplines. Overcoming my fears will be a victory for me. My biggest fear is drowning, so swimming is the biggest challenge. I believe the best way to overcome a fear is to face it head on, and that is exactly what I am going to do! My family and friends are my biggest supporters.

When I entered 70.3, I did so thinking I would be training for it alone. I am super excited to have a team to train with – I’ll be more motivated and the whole experience will be memorable. I fear open water, so I have some toughening up to do. My best friend and running partner, Amber, is my biggest supporter. Most people react to me entering 70.3 with comments like, “Are you mad?”, but Amber never exhibits any doubt in my ability and she motivates me to get out of my slippers and into my running shoes when I don’t feel like it!

I am really looking forward to finding out exactly how one trains for a triathlon. It’s fantastic that I’m going to have experts giving me professional advice. My biggest fear is that I get injured in my over-enthusiasm. I am so thrilled at this opportunity and would be devastated if I couldn’t give it my best as a result of injury or ill health. I’m also really scared of falling off my bike when I eventually get to use cleats. I think right now I am my biggest supporter, because only I know how deeply I would like to get through this experience.