Tuesday, 11 April 2006
Bluffers Guide To: How to fake being an Iron Man
Lieuwe Boonstra competing in this years XTERRA race in Grabouw.
Article by Jacques Marais
You’ve heard about the Energade Triathlon Series on radio and there’s one happening in your valley this weekend. Now, even though you’re first to admit you’re no super hero, it will make for a great story around the water cooler come Monday. Even better, it will certainly make a change from listening to Rodney, the accountant, regaling that foxy babe in sales with tales of his endurance chess exploits.
Ask the Pro:
If you’re going to speak to an expert, speak to the one at the top of his game. Red Bull triathlete Lieuwe Boonstra, currently one of SA’s leading multi-sport exponents, tries to keep a straight face: "With no training, forget about making it to the office on Monday. In fact, you’d be lucky to make it to the end of the event; rather set your sights on a mini-triathlon in 3 months’ time and start working that body. In the mean time, start acting the part and you’ll soon be swimming in foxy babes".
Go for the fashionable (read "yuppie") sporty look, but tweak it to be oh-so-triathlete. Top of your priority list (and this goes for both day and night) is to never to be seen without your trusty Oakley sunglasses (just move them to the top of your head when the sun sets). Don’t worry about the jibes about the moon in your eyes, as this is pure jealousy! Round the look off with a Nike Dry-FitTM long- or short sleeve top and a pair of Nike cargo pants. Shoes are so last year, so stay in step with Oakley’s Time Bomb slip-ons, the ultimate fashion statement in kick-back footwear.
Triathlon races consist of 3 legs and changing clothes after each of the disciplines will waste time and show you up as an amateur. Go for the Orca Tri-suit, a one-piece which will speed up your swim and enhance comfort (thanks to strategic padding) during the bike leg, while a chest zipper allows you to regulate temperature during the run. And that’s not all - this one piece will effectively hide the winter beer boep, while the silver design will draw lots of attention. On the run, a pair of Nike Air Streaks will give you the professional edge. Bike wise, any pro bike shop will sort you with a respectable machine, which will both fit your pocket and blast the course.
Talk the Walk:
Brick: a bike ride followed directly by a run - to simulate race conditions and get your legs in shape
Sighting: what you do when swimming and looking up to gauge your position in the water
Drafting: riders are allowed to slipstream behind each other during the cycle leg
Tri bars: specially fitted bars used on the bike to gain an aerodynamic advantage
Bonk: not what you think (that’s after the race), but rather a term describing the effect on your body when your blood sugar drops and you hit the wall. Best countered with a Red Bull.
Cool Moves: Attacking Stance
Races can literally be won in the transition area and, even if you don’t believe this, say it, because it will make you sound like a true pro! Also, smear oil or Vaseline on you wrists and ankles during the swim, as this will help the suit slide off easily. Cycling shoes must be clipped into the pedals for the bike start; cycle with your feet on top of the shoes and put them in whilst riding - very pro, super cool! Running shoes should have elastic in stead of normal laces, as this will ensure a lightning change. And remember, pros never wear socks.
Worst Possible Faux Pas:
Unshaved Legs And Those Old Top Sport Helmets!?
Where to hang out:
After a hard morning session, there’s nothing like a cup of steaming java at one of the coffee shops in Stellies (Stellenbosch). On Sunday nights, head to La Med in Camps Bay for a Vodka and Red Bull (of course, this is after a 4hr bike ride and a 10k run).
Who da man?:
The Iron Man himself must be Mark Allen, 6 times winner of the Hawai Ironman; with a 3.8k swim, 180k cycle and 42.2k run, this is arguably the toughest 1-day endurance event in the world!
In the Olympic Distance Races (1.5k Swim, 40k Bike, 10k Run), SA born and 4 times world champ Simon Lessing dominated the short stuff for the better half of a decade.