2012 Ironman World Champion Pete Jacobs is a fascinating person to both interview and listen to. Pete was originally a landscape gardener before he became a professional athlete at the age of 21. He won in Kona when he was 30, by which point he had done an incredible 30 Ironman races, including finishing 2nd in 2011 and recording the 3rd fastest marathon in the race’s history with a 2h41m05 in 2010.
After 2012, he was very public about his on-going battle with fatigue, something he has dealt with since he was a teenager. He’s had loads of tests done and he has tried various different diets to reduce inflammation from foods and he is currently a strict carnivore – his diet is JUST meat.
*Why training LESS helped him to become World Champion
*If a meat only diet leaves him constipated
*His advice for staying mentally strong and focussed on good run technique during the run leg of a triathlon.
*His hopes to get back to the pointy end of racing.
You can make your own mind up about whether you agree with what he says or not, but the message to take from it is we are all different and the training and diet that works for one person, might not be right for you and comparing yourself to others is pretty pointless.
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INTERVIEW TIME LINE* (not the whole episode)
01:00 I wouldn’t change anything and I feel like I’m the start of the climb of a new mountain that nobody has climbed before.
02:00 explains how he started to struggle with fatigue when he was 15 years old and he couldn’t concentrate in class.
04:00 Talks about having a genetic predisposition to endurance sports and fat burning and how when he was 18 or 19 he found the longer the race, the more he enjoyed it, but as he progressed, the fatigue did become more of a problem.
08:30: How he embraced doing less training and used that as his strength in preparation for Kona in 2012. “It wasn’t just about training as much as the others. I need to train as much as I can train and embrace doing it less.”
09.50 – Did it require mental strength to do that?
10.00 – I would know before the race if I was going to feel lousy. The first few warm up strokes of the swim. People say you probably wrote yourself off mentally, just from how you felt in the warm up. But mostly I would be optimistic, I would be on the start line thinking this feels good. And the mindset was always I’m going to do well here and the body is going to warm into it.
14.00 how has he coped mentally. I would come out of the fatigue and I would feel good and then there was always hope when I would see another doctor and there was a constant “I’m going to figure this out”
15.30 The changes he has made to his diet and how he started to cut out fibre, and now is carnivore, which effectively means his diet is mainly red meat.
19.00 he reveals he strayed away from his diet when he was racing in China this season. He ate an ice cream!!!
22.30 I ask Pete is his meat only diet leaves him feeling constipated.
24.00 – how he thinks he would fuel an Ironman if he were to do one now.
29.00 – how he didn’t eat meat with feet for a year.
32.00 he wants to be back in Kona and see what his body can do
35.00 – can he get back to the 2012 level? “ I think I can be better”