For the next few weeks the plan is to feature individuals or clubs that have inspired me along my journey so far. I’ve chosen them because I admire their tenacity, their belief that if one works hard enough, there’s nothing that’s impossible. In turn I hope that YOU too will be inspired by at least one .. if not all of them. They are from different backgrounds, but their uniqueness unites them as they have one thing in common .. to never give up!
“…you get to cross the Red Carpet and get your medal…”
Daniel Smith @Daniel_Smith22
Daniel is a Web Developer from Bedfordview and a proud father of two gorgeous daughters. He is an endurance athlete and triathlete. He proclaims to be passionate about swimming, cycling and running. He believes one should treat others the way you would like to be treated. Show your love to the ones you care about, because life is short. Live your dream and open your heart to a full experience of life.
Be inspired ….
EKL is me 🙂
DS is the endurance athlete dad of two
EKL – Why did you decide to become a triathlete ?
DS – It has always been a dream…the ultimate test of the human body over three disciplines. My lack of swimming training as a child I thought it would be out of my league. Hence my reference in the Modern Athlete Magazine to the “attractive lady winking at me from across the room” 😉 Attending a Dare To TRI talk in May this year, I heard Kobus Vorster sharing his Ironman journey and he helped me make up my mind to give it a try.
EKL – How long have you been competing?
DS – I have been competing in cycling on and off since 2001. I have competed in many road running and trail running events in the past year, and competed in my first triathlon competition this year (2015) at the 5150 Bela Bela.
EKL – As a triathlete what is your ultimate goal?
DS – To finish a full Ironman (140.6) in under 13 hours. I would also love to be active in the sport for as long as physically possible. Hopefully well into my 70s 🙂
EKL – How do you prepare for a triathlon from a training and nutrition point of view?
DS – From a training point of view I follow coach Derick’s training program (our first Feature Friday profile) and try not to miss a session. As he says “consistency is key to your success”and he knows when and how to taper you for a race. From a nutrition point of view I try to stay away from “Processed foods” and prefer to eat “Real food” . In other words no sugar and no refined carbs like bread, pastries, pasta etc. I eat meat, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.
EKL – Of the three disciplines, swimming, cycling and running, which one do you enjoy the most?
DS – In training I think I enjoy cycling the most because you get to spend time with friends cycling through beautiful parts of the country, like The Cradle of Humankind. In a race I enjoy running the most because it’s the discipline that tests you the most on race day and you get to cross the Red Carpet and get your medal. – EKL it’s all about the medal after all!
EKL – Which triathlete inspires you and why?
DS – Various triathletes inspire me for different reasons, Internationally, Pro athlete Chris McCormack inspires me for his perseverance. He won the Kona World champs in 2007 and after many failed attempts against all odds again in 2010. I also love his open stance against doping.Locally, my coach Derick Marcisz inspires me. He does not only tell us what to do, but also sets a great example, by still being competitive and winning his age group in races.
EKL – I’ve heard that the transition zone in a triathlon can be as overwhelming as your first open water swim. How would you advice a novice to approach this crucial element of a triathlon?
DS – This is very important. Make a list of the items you need to place in transition and pack it in a bag before the time. You only get one chance to get this right so make sure you don’t forget anything. Also very important, is checking your bike one last time to make sure everything is functional. I made that mistake at Bela Bela and was riding the whole bike leg (unknowingly) with my rear brake block catching the rim on the one side due to a bent brake block holder.
EKL – Socks or no socks? Why?
DS – I wear socks. I wear my running socks for the bike and run leg of the race. Coming out of the water for the bike you don’t have time to dry your feet completely. Wet feet in cycling shoes for me means one thing…Blisters! Socks absorb the moisture you might have left from the swim or sweat on a hot day from the run.
EKL – As a sport do you believe that triathlon is growing in popularity in South Africa?
DS – I definitely think it is a growing sport, both in South Africa as well as internationally. Stats show that more people are entering triathlon now, more than ever before and looking at how quickly race entries are sold out, it isn’t a myth but reality!? I think the reason for the popularity is the cross training aspect of it. Most runners get injured because running is the only sport they do. With triathlon you get to give certain muscles a break while the others are working depending on the discipline being conquered at the time. I believe that swimming is great for recovery.