This South African incarnation of Xterra is well-known for being a gruelling event that tests even experienced athletes. The swim takes place in the dam on the country club grounds and is often cold enough to warrant a wetsuit. Both the mountain bike and the trail run head off into the mountains that surround the area and take you to points where you can witness breathtaking natural sights. However, the routes are also highly technical and challenging.
Athletes can choose to do either the Full or the Lite version. The shorter race is made up of a 400m swim, a 12.5km cycle and 5km run. The Full triathlon is 1.5km in the dam, 25km on the bike and 10km on foot. These distances are recognised as forming part of the Xterra world tour, meaning competitors stand a chance to qualify for the final championship in Hawaii.
|Conrad Stoltz 2012 Xterra Champion Grabouw|
Make your triathlon training program more than just swim, bike, run
In order to prepare for a race of this calibre, it’s important train like a proper triathlete. That means doing more than just focusing on each discipline individually. If you want to be confident that you’re completely ready, it’s advisable to:
- Do more than one discipline in a day – This isn’t necessary for every single training session. However, it is important to get your body used to swimming and then cycling, or going from the bike into your running shoes and hitting the road. If you’re able to adapt quickly to the different disciplines, you’ll be more comfortable on race day.
- Practice changes – Quite a bit has to happen when you hit the change over station each time. After the swim, you’ll need to dry off and get out of your wetsuit if you’re wearing one. Then, once you’ve completed the cycle, you have to ensure that your bike is properly racked before setting off or you’ll be disqualified. If you’re going for a quick time, stumbling here can mean the difference between achieving your goal and playing catch up every time you get moving again.
- Test the supplements you plan to use – All athletes will tell you, there’s nothing worse than trying something new on race day and having it backfire. You could have a bad reaction to your energy supplement or an electrolyte replacement drink, which will spoil all of your hard work in a matter of moments. This is why you should always try out something new on one of your longer training sessions, just to make sure it’ll provide what you need during the race.
The Totalsports Xterra in Grabouw has been a firm favourite in the international triathlon calendar for several years now. It offers athletes a significant challenge that makes it very rewarding when you cross the finish line.
Lezandre Joubert started competing in multi-sport events in 2010. She’s always been an avid athlete and will be taking part once again in the Totalsports Grabouw Exterra this year.
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