Rid­ing Maf­fe­tone phi­los­o­phy

Multisport Mecca - - Ironman World Championship - Grant Ed­wards Grant.Ed­wards@news­re­gional­me­dia.com.au

AF­TER win­ning the Iron­man World Cham­pi­onship in 2012, sim­ple phi­los­o­phy would have seen Pete Ja­cobs con­tinue the same train­ing and race regime.

His body had other ideas. Af­ter claim­ing the ti­tle which has been owned by Jan Fro­deno for the past two years, Pete had posted four top 10 fin­ishes at the gru­elling Hawaii event by the age of 30.

Since climb­ing to the pin­na­cle it’s been a slip­pery slope with lim­ited suc­cess.

Over the past five years there have been glimpses of his true po­ten­tial, but he has bat­tled to get back to his best.

Re­turn­ing to Kona af­ter qual­i­fy­ing with an 18th place at Ari­zona last Novem­ber, the 35-year-old has adopted a high-fat low-carb diet which he says has made pro­found im­prove­ments to his well­be­ing.

“I was al­ways try­ing to do some­thing bet­ter, im­prove and learn. As much as I tried to im­prove and learn more (af­ter 2012) my body was break­ing down more than it had in the past,” he said.

“When I won I just turned 30. I had done over 30 Iron­man races and my body said it can’t han­dle the stresses I was putting on it any more.

“It took three or four years to fig­ure out where I could re­duce stress in other ways.”

Al­ways sus­cep­ti­ble to fa­tigue, even as a teenager, Pete says post 2012 the times where he felt flat went from be­ing one day or a week to a month.

He hasn’t raced since Ari­zona, but he’s qui­etly con­fi­dent he can re­turn to the world’s stage and be com­pet­i­tive.

Eat­ing a lot of steamed and boiled greens, along with meat, fish and lots “good fats” like olive oil, bone broths, macadamias, co­conut oil, co­conut cream smooth­ies and a lot of av­o­ca­dos, Pete avoids fast-food, pota­toes, rice or any grain or wheat prod­ucts.

Train­ing has also changed to a “touchy feely” ap­proach guided by Dr Phil Maf­fe­tone, who played a piv­otal role in the suc­cess of Iron­man doyen Mark Allen.

Bas­ing all his train­ing off heart rate, Pete no longer has a wattage me­ter on his bike. Us­ing the 180 for­mula, which is the max­i­mum aer­o­bic heart rate mi­nus your age, Pete aims to train at 145 beats per minute — reach­ing 150 at the most for short stints, but pri­mar­ily stay­ing well be­low.

The changes have min­imised stress and in­flam­ma­tion on his body and de­liv­ered the best prepa­ra­tion in five years.

“Any­thing is pos­si­ble this year,” he said. “By next year I will be able to get a lot more im­prove­ment. But this year I’m in good enough shape to give my­self a chance at it.”

Recog­nis­ing the naysay­ers, Pete has main­tained his fo­cus on find­ing a so­lu­tion which will see him once again suc­ceed.

“Peo­ple think if you haven’t had a good re­sult in a while you are washed up. In busi­ness peo­ple don’t get treated like that,” Pete said.

“Ev­ery set­back is a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. I have taken it as that.

“It’s not mo­ti­vat­ing to hear neg­a­tive thoughts about you. It doesn't help. You just have to learn how to ac­cept peo­ple will put their neg­a­tive opin­ions into

you with their ex­tremely lim­ited knowl­edge of you.

“I only pay at­ten­tion to peo­ple that i work with or that are close to me. I have some very smart peo­ple on my team.”

Changes to his prepa­ra­tion also mean new rac­ing tac­tics.

Pete said with­out us­ing any tech­nol­ogy he re­lies off in­stinct and gut feel­ings.

“If I stick to rac­ing how I have trained I know I will have a good race,” he said.


Pete Ja­cobs of Noosa Heads be­lieves he has found the for­mula which will see him again rise to Iron­man world cham­pion.

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