Been in full training mode for roughly 13 weeks now. I can tell you now it wasn’t very pleasant. Not being able to train properly for 2 months whilst overseas and then a 2 week break once I got back from World Champs is paying its toll on me. Yeah even still after 13 weeks hard training! They say the amount of time you have not been training, double that, and that’s how long it will take you just to get back to where you were in terms of fitness.

I was very fortunate that Wayne Goldsmith, a well respected Australian world wide, was in Durban and giving coaches and swimmers some inspirational talks. One of the few things that struck me most was we can never be too tired for anything. Knowing this I had a breakthrough 3 weeks back. Our coach basically threw every hard set he had in his books at us, every session every day! I personally named that week hell week. It was more a mind over matter thing that we had to overcome. The mind can be your biggest enemy if you have negative thoughts running through it. You can’t let those negative thoughts creep into your head or else it will all be over before you even start. My dad always told me your body will always go to where the mind is. It’s not only the mind that gets you the results you want but also sheer courage and determination. For inspiration to myself I have a poster on my bedroom wall about courage. It says “COURAGE, he who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” Every morning I wake up, I take a few moments and read it, day after day… and I must admit it gets me through those early wake ups when you have to drag your body out of bed and get set for training. If there has been one thing I have learnt and used over the past few years it came from a close friend that works as a sports phycologist, Kirsten Van Heerden. She once told me to always bring a positive out of a negative result and always reflect on that positive.

I felt that breakthrough during a standard triathlon last weekend. Had no rest what so ever from training and got onto the starting line early Sunday morning purely for training and to see where I’m at after my first training block. I didn’t have intentions of finishing because I have only begun running for the first time since World Champs in September, two weeks ago. The 1500m surf swim felt easy. I know my heart rate very well and it was probably sitting around 150-160bpm afterwards for a 17:44 minute swim (non wetsuit), myself and Jeff Norton put about 2/3minutes into the rest of the field. Jumped on my bike and headed on for a flat 40km cycle. After 20km I got into a relaxed rhythm and things only got interesting from there. One of the police cars patrolling the bike course tried to do a U-turn right in front of me leaving me with no option but to take a bit of a bump and jump the sidewalk! Fortunately I’m ok, just bruised on my left ankle. This threw my relaxed rhythm right out the window after I went off and threw a few nasty words at the two sitting in the car. For the next 10km lap I was fuelled with anger and adrenalin but knew I had to calm down and relax. Because of this the final 10km lap I begun to fatigue a little. Still came through in first position with a healthy lead and an exact 40km bike split of 59 minutes. My race ended there as I was still in the rehab phase of running.

Speaking of my running it is coming on well but slow. My dad and I found out about a new treatment method (magnet therapy) and seems to be working quite well. Let’s hold thumbs!

At the moment I am currently in a bit of a taper phase for our annual KZN swimming champs held at Kings Park Pool Arena and looking to set some senior national qualifying times. After speaking to my coach he said watch out for the new year.. its going to be hell! I say BRING IT ON COACH!! 🙂

Henri Schoeman General update, Local racing