Raoul de Jongh interview

Crank recently caught up with top SA triathlete Raoul de Jongh. Raoul has recently enjoyed some great results and shares with us his plan for the year ahead, his love for triathlon and good wine and tips on how to handle a hangover….  not that he ever has to deal with them himself.

Crank:  Who are your sponsors?

Raoul: Fairbairn Private Bank – I am part of their multisport team. They are an amazing company with a great vision to develop young talent, by involving the old racing snakes like us as well.

Puma – Apparel/Footwear sponsor. I have been with Puma for 5 years now and help with their product development as well as being a groovy product ambassador for them, and DJ’ing for them at functions where its deemed necessary for people to rip up the dancefloor.

Morewood – an amazing local company who build the best mountain bikes in the world in my opinion. I can’t tell you enough about my Zula.

Raoul during 2009 Triple Challenge

Whaspgel – keeps me fueled and are the key to session to session recovery. AminoCarb also makes a great hangover cure I am told, but I never get hangovers, so it’s not something I can give professional opinion on. The Protein Gel from Whasp is the next revolution, I am sure of it.

Suunto – training in the correct zones and paces and watching my recovery stats is super important to me. Suunto is my supporter for being a crazy endurance guy who trains more than most people sleep in a week.

Jack Black Beer – the purest, cleanest lager on the market. Real Beer. It’s a vital recovery tool.

Rockets Compression – you do know about compression, right? Super important and a huge challenge if you are flying, etc is swelling. Compression gear is amazing. I sleep in mine after all hard sessions (that’s 204 times a week), and have even been known to use the calf compressors as arm warmers on the mountain bike. It works.

Sludge – Punctures suck. Get sludge.

Continental – Having recently moved to a Conti pairing, I can tell you that I now fall 50% less. Fact!

Luma Sports – The best technical gear on the planet. Custom, high end, comfortable. Enough said.

ROK This – My charity, and reason for getting up in the morning. Enquire for more info.

Orca – I swim in the sea, where there are sharks. My Orca gets me out the water as fast as possible. The new Alpha suit is so good even non swimmers are buying it to wear to Canal Walk.

SportX – Essential vitamins and minerals are a key part of the recovery process. Sport specific and a supporter of the entire Fairbairn Bank Multisport Team.

Biosport – My weekly massage is a chance to scream and pull the paint off the walls with my nails, but it makes a huge difference. Just kidding, about the screaming. Cowboys don’t scream.

Crank: How did you get into multi-sports?

Raoul: I started running at 18 months, biking roughly 3 months later and was in the pool at 3. Its called natural progression.

Raoul during 2010 WP champs

Crank: You have a big year ahead with lots of events coming up. Can you tell me a bit more about your plans?

Raoul: Sho, the idea is to race well, and race lots. Lighthouse to Lighthouse, Xterra, Sani, Epic, Ironman are next on the cards, with a little 2Oceans Half Marathon in there somewhere.
Every km raises a warm garment and a week’s worth of food for someone in need. Enough reason to get up.

Crank: Goals for 2010?

Raoul: To make it to Xterra world champs as well as Ironman world champs. Never been done by a South African.

Crank: What bicycles do you ride and which is your favourite?

Raoul: No favorites. I ride my own brand of road and time trial bikes, but I can’t talk about that right now. We are busy with some brand stuff, but soon you will see the results. The Zula on the mountain is just silly its so good. Silly.

Crank: I see that you have studied to become a coach, what’s the biggest thing you have learned about training that you were possibly neglecting before? Do you have any tips for guys who coach themselves?

Raoul: 10 000 hours. http://www.urban-ninja.co.za/?s=10+000+hours&searchsubmit=Search

Crank: Typically how many training sessions to you do a week? Are they split evenly between all 3 disciplines?

Raoul: Not evenly split at all, as I have a big MTB focus this year. I do about 14 hours of riding in 4 sessions, 3h30 of running in 3 sessions, 2h swimming in 2 sessions and 1 hour of gym in 1 session a week. Total 10 sessions per week.

Raoul finishing Ironman Kona
Raoul finishing Ironman Kona

Crank: Favourite training session?

Raoul: 5 hour ride, building to IM intensity. Sorts the men from the boys.

Crank: What is your strongest discipline in triathlon?

Raoul: Probably still the swim even though I work at it the least. It’s a 10 000 hours thing.

Crank: Have you ever thought about learning to paddle so that you can compete in the Total Sports Challenge?

Raoul: Of course. Someday when there is time, or rather, when I make time. My commitments just aren’t lined up (my own choices) right now.

Crank: What has been the highlight of your sporting career?

Raoul: Big question and I don’t know if there is one that stands out. Going to Kona was a 10 year dream come true. Winning Triple Challenge in November last year was a very emotional race for me. Swimming 100 x 100m in the pool a few times has to be a highlight in stupidity. But then again, riding with Team CSC for a week was very very special.

Crank: Your family is involved in winemaking, is this something you see yourself doing in the future?

Raoul: Absolutely. I am getting more and more involved all the time. Who wouldn’t want to make their own world class wine? The process isn’t romantic, but making something with your hands (our wines are hand crafted) is a very rewarding process. When its something people really enjoy, the experience can be highlighted even more.

Crank: What is your favourite red and white wine cultivar?

Raoul: I am a big fan of Shiraz and Semillon.

Crank: What was the last bottle of wine that you enjoyed?

Raoul: So many! I did have a bottle of Kleinhoekkloof Taigh 2006 last night which is set to go to market in a few weeks, and for a 100% Merlot it’s a massive wine. It sparks conversation of the highest order, if you know what I mean.

Crank: How often have you raced with wine in your camelback ?

Raoul: Camelbacks are for girls. Men carry a hipflask, even in their cycling jerseys.
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