Big 5 Sport Challenge

Four days and counting...

2014-07-02 13:02
Knysna Big 5 Challenge

Knysna - As I type this, in four days I will be embarking on a sufferfest that, if I have to be honest, scares the living daylights out of me.

I am heading to Knysna to take part in the Knysna Big 5 Challenge, which starts on Saturday. The Knysna Oyster festival attracts more than 50 000 visitors to the town every year and it has grown into something massive.

With a bit of something for everyone it also attracts some of the fittest sports men and women from around the country to take part in the various sports events that take place throughout the festival.

I have always been pretty obsessive. When I used to smoke, I smoked between two and three packs a day. When I put on weight, I seriously put on weight (165kgs as my heaviest)! Over the last few years I have also become rather obsessive with my training and fitness regime. I went from an obese couch potato to running the Comrades Marathon in one year (That’s a whole long story which I’ve condensed into this 5 minute video). I’ve also completed a few Ironman triathlons and am doing another one at the end of this month.

What does the Knysna Big 5 Challenge consist of?

I’ve never really done much stuff back to back though. Until now that is. The Knysna Big 5 Challenge consists of an 80km mountain bike, followed by either a 100km road cycle, a one mile lagoon swim or a 22km paddle (I’m doing the cycle), then a 14km trail run, a full distance XTERRA duathlon and to top it all off, a marathon.

The timing is perfect as far as my training for Ironman Zurich is concerned. There are a couple of things that are worrying me though. The first one is the two mountain biking events. I am not too concerned from a fitness perspective, but more from a mountain bike skills perspective. I am properly rubbish on a mountain bike. I know I am going to see my butt without a mirror I just need o make sure I don’t break anything. With 4 days to go there is not much I can do about that now!

The second thing that has been bugging me is my nutrition plan for the event. I am  pretty sorted when it comes to one day events and what I need to do in the few days leading up to a race and on race day but this is a different  kettle of fish.

I have no idea about what I need to do over a prolonged period of five big races. So I called in some help. Pick n Pay have been kind enough to ‘loan’ me the skills of their dietician Leanne in the build up to and during the event. After our initial chat about what my requirements are going to be before and during the event. (In case you didn’t know Pick n Pay have a health hotline that you can call on 0800 11 22 88 or you can email them  if you are looking for some dietary advice)

It was also important for me to have the plan we came up with suitable for my whole family to eat (kids included). It needed to be simple and easy to prepare, as well as what I needed to sustain my energy levels as well as aid in my recovery. I’ve been eating off the plan Leanne sent me and so far I am feeling brilliant. I am looking forward to seeing how putting the right stuff in after each event will help my recovery for the next one.

So as we head towards the weekend, I am feeling good from a physical perspective (not so much from a mtb’ing confidence perspective) but I am sure it will all turn out fine in the end. Bring on the suffering.

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