Podcast #8: Phuket Trip & James Cunnama Interview

This is my special Phuket episode featuring an interview with James Cunnama as well as a bit of a wrap of my last few days touring the island.

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Also on iTunes.

James Cunnama at T***
James Cunnama training at T***

About James Cunnama

Born in one of the major centers for endurance sport in South Africa and the child of two parents who had completed multiple Comrades Marathons, James Cunnama very early on discovered the joys of long-distance running. He excelled in the junior categories at local races and was completing half-marathons at the tender age of 16. But it wasn’t until he moved away to Port Elizabeth for university that James discovered triathlon. Volunteering at the Spec-Savers Half-Ironman in 2004 and the full distance the year after gave him a taste for one of the toughest single-day endurance events in the world. Continue reading “Podcast #8: Phuket Trip & James Cunnama Interview”

Yakult 10-Miler Run: Last-Minute Action

Last weekend was a little bit of a debacle. I wasn’t initially signed up to do the Yakult 10-Miler Run. I had just landed from my Phuket trip on Wednesday evening and didn’t feel like traveling on Friday by land to Bolinao, Pangasinan for a triathlon on Saturday I’d signed up for long ago. So, I chose to stay home and get some much-needed training sessions in instead. Then I got word that the triathlon had become a duathlon due to the swim being too dangerous due to wind and water currents. Really, the Lord works in mysterious ways…

Anyway, while I was cycling around in Nuvali on Saturday, I got a text message from Kim Atienza cajoling me to flex my muscles with the organizers at the Yakult 10-Miler Run so I could get in. Since Mizuno is one of the sponsors, I got my request and turned up early on Sunday morning to race.

I did this race last year, but it was two months earlier on the calendar then. Conditions on the day were very different — it was hot and muggy this year, versus only a little last year. Just standing on the starting line, we were already drenched in sweat!

As my longest run since February (!!!) I knew this would have to be done in a conservative manner. No podium dreams for me, just a desire to finish feeling strong and not drained.

Continue reading “Yakult 10-Miler Run: Last-Minute Action”

MultiSport Magazine: The Body Issue

Thanks to MultiSport Magazine for immortalizing how I looked for a two-week period following some major racing and training. I was fit as a fiddle, and looked the part! This is their first-ever Body Issue, and I’m honored to have been asked to be a part of it. Read the accompanying article here.

MultiSport Magazine: The Body Issue
MultiSport Magazine: The Body Issue

While full-time fitness models maintain a ripped physique all year round by adhering to strict diet and exercise regimens, endurance athletes like myself need to come down off that peak, recover, and build back up again. Some years ago, before I started running, I was fixated on trying to look a certain way: small waistline, slim thighs, and for the most part I got what I wanted through funky diets and regular exercise. But I could never have run 10 kilometers back then, much less a marathon, or compete in triathlons. Continue reading “MultiSport Magazine: The Body Issue”

Heat Acclimation Camp: Days 7 to 9

The past week has been great for me at the heat acclimation camp. With new friends made, old friendships strengthened, and a new understanding of where triathlon fits into my life, I can say I’ve come out of this a healthier and happier person.

T*** Heat Acclimation Camp
I bought a new cycling kit, too!

As a bonus, I shed a kilogram of weight, which I find is surprisingly hard to do with the good food and ample portions at DiVine Restaurant.

Like at the previous camp, the fatigue had really built up over the week. By Friday I was just about ready for it to be over. Continue reading “Heat Acclimation Camp: Days 7 to 9”

Heat Acclimation Camp: Days 4 to 6

The key to a good training camp is to follow the plan that’s been set out for you regarding intensities and distances. There’s no use going hard for the first few days only to sputter and fade on the last stretch. While there are a maximum of 3 sessions in a day, there’s supposed to be plenty of down time which I presume should be used taking naps in our comfortable hotel rooms.

T*** Heat Acclimation Camp
I did not fly down here for a honeymoon, that’s for sure…

Continue reading “Heat Acclimation Camp: Days 4 to 6”

Heat Acclimation Camp: Days 1 to 3

It’s now Day 3 of a 9-day training camp I’m on here in Phuket, Thailand. I signed up for this camp in the belief that this would help me build up heading into Challenge Camsur on June 14. What I’ve learned in the last three days is that I’ve got a long way to go to be as fit as I was at Challenge Philippines earlier this year. Setbacks or not, I’m determined to make the best of my time here and thankfully the sports resort caters not just to high performance athletes, but also to age groupers like myself.

T*** Heat Acclimation Camp

Continue reading “Heat Acclimation Camp: Days 1 to 3”

Podcast #7: Bahrain Endurance 13 Team

Sorry for the lack of podcast episodes! It’s midway through 2015 and this is our first one — hopefully not the last. I’ve been sitting on this interview for almost a month now. I sat down with Chris “Macca” McCormack while I was in Phuket in April to talk about their launch of the Bahrain Endurance Team.

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Also on iTunes.

Granted it was right before dinner so we were interrupted and I didn’t get to ask him more questions. What he says in this interview reveals a lot of the inner workings of starting and managing a team, working with royalty, and the obstacles they had to hurdle to bring this to fruition. I hope you enjoy it!

Show Notes:

  • Who are the athletes in the Bahrain Endurance Team? (note: information may be outdated)
  • How did it all begin? Macca meeting Shaikh Nasser at Challenge Philippines and sharing a vision
  • What were the obstacles to launching the team?
  • What is the main vision of Bahrain Endurance Team?
  • Who is Shaikh Nasser and why would he fund a triathlon team?
  • How were these 13 athletes chosen? What went into the decision to approach them?
  • What is Macca’s role on the team?

Bahrain Endurance Team: Shaikh Nasser and Macca handshake
Shaikh Nasser shakes Macca’s hand (photo by Sascha Deforth) Continue reading “Podcast #7: Bahrain Endurance 13 Team”