Riding Maffetone philosophy
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.