Australian Pete Jacobs has the reputation to be one of the fastest swimmers in the sport of triathlon and his big smile can be seen a mile away. We wanted to know what he is up to these days.
ST: Pete, please tell us about your 2007 season. What was the high point and what was the low point of the year?
Pete: The high point was Quelle Challenge Roth. Leading that race until 90km on the bike (one complete lap) was special, and running the fastest split of the day. Finishing third knowing I’d given it everything was the greatest feeling of satisfaction, and gave me lasting confidence that I never thought could make the difference it has. The low point was in that race and other races since, when nutrition wasn't planned well, and I felt so tired and exhausted I could barely turn the pedals over and felt like giving up. But I am learning.
ST: What is on schedule for you for 2008?
Pete: Firstly IM NZ. I need to qualify for Hawaii. Then hopefully race Escape from Alcatraz, and maybe Wildflower or another US race. I'll go back to Quelle Challenge Roth, then hopefully Hawaii.
ST: Can you describe a typical mid season training week for you?
Pete: I train in 8 day cycles, with a rest day every third day. I rarely stick exactly to my training plan, I usually miss a few sessions each week.
Monday - – ride 2.5hrs + 4 x10min threshold. Swim 3km easy. Run 60mins@race pace
Tuesday ride 2.5hrs 4x12min strength- uphill. Swim 3km hard. Run 45mins easy
Wednesday - run 3 x 8km spaced evenly (each one getting faster)
Thursday – rest day
Friday - ride 2.5hrs- 4x12min strength- uphill. Swim 4km moderate Run 45min easy
Saturday - ride 2.5hrs - 4x10min threshold. Run 60mins@ 4min + 7x1km @ 3:25/km. Swim 3km easy
Sunday - Run 25km. Swim 4km hard.
Monday – Rest day
ST: Would you describe for us how you recover from an Ironman race?
Pete: Well typically I rest and do very little for 2 weeks. I just go for swims with my girlfriend Jaimie, then ease back into running, with her also. I do easy rides also, and slowly build back into it and listen to my body. But after Roth I went to Boulder, up in the hills at 8000 feet and kept doing a bit, and I didn’t recover well at all.
ST: Do you train with anyone on a regular basis?
Pete: No. About once or twice a week I do a session with a mate, and an easy swim or run with Jaimie. But I am heading up to Brisbane for 2 weeks with my coach, and I’ll train a lot more with people there.
ST: Do you consider yourself disciplined in terms of training and nutrition?
Pete: I’m disciplined in the way that if I don’t feel like training, I don’t. I just listen to my body. My race nutrition has been an area that I have neglected, and I will be very prepared for my next Ironman. I am also reading a lot at the moment about nutrition in general and changing my diet for the better.
ST: How do you typically spend the off-season?
Pete: There doesn’t really seem to be an off-season for me. The weeks after an Ironman are my break. I like to have a couple of days of windsurfing, tennis, and a few nights out with mates and Jaimie. When I'm resting after an Ironman and on my rest days midweek I spend time in the garden.
ST: What or who inspired you to race triathlons?
Pete: My mum was probably the first person I knew that did triathlons for a sport. I followed her to local races and did a few myself when I was in my early teens. But my main sport was Surf Lifesaving until I met a few Ironman fanatics at a local swim pool. They took me under their wing and for my first long bike ride when I was about 18 (I was on my mums bike). I went into a few races that season and found the longer races suited me, and I did my first IM AUS the following season in 2002. Now my idol is Chris McCormack, the most successful triathlete in the world. And I want to beat him.
ST: What is your favorite race and why?
Pete: The old course at IM AUS in Forster was one of my favourites. It was my first IM, I finished there 3 times and the crowd was great. Now my favourite is Quelle Challenge Roth. Obviously having a good race there influences my preferences, but even before the race start it was clear it is a well organized and friendly event. And I’m sure you all know about the great road surfaces, run course, and the crowds of spectators are unbelievable!
ST: What is going on for you in terms of sponsorships?
Pete: My main sponsors are actually friends I have met through triathlon. Paul Brandon of Brandon Building and Bruce Annabel of JR Pharmacy (accounting firm) both wanted to see and help me succeed, and truly are the foundation of my confidence and the glue that is holding me together with all the other factors that go into being a successful triathlete. Other sponsors contributing to my future are Quintana Roo, Xentis (wheels & bars), High 5 (nutrition), Rudy Project, Pedals Plus (bike shops).
ST: Do you follow any other sports?
Pete: No. I'm not a very interested spectator. I do watch friends competing in their chosen sports though.
ST: What sports did you take part when you grew up?
Pete: I learned to swim at age 3. I played soccer when I was 7 & 8. Then I competed in Surf Life Saving, which involves swimming, board paddling and ski paddling races out and back through the surf, until I was about 20. I won the cross country at school level every year, and competed at state level a couple of times, but nothing special, I never trained for running.
ST: What is your favorite and least favorite food?
Pete: Favorite food...umm, meat pies, and fruit with ice cream. I don’t like Brussels sprouts much, or oysters, or blue cheese.
ST: What about music, what do you listen to?
Pete: Competitor Radio. I've listened to all episodes and some twice. I like all types of music and have just added an itunes Nike sports imix. "pj treadmill".
ST: Where do you think you'll be in 5 years?
Pete: Still living on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Racing and winning the top races around the world from Olympic distance to Ironman. I will have won Hawaii, and broken 8 hours in Roth. I’ll only be 31, so thoughts of retirement plans and post competitive jobs are a long way off.
ST: Is there anything else we should know about you?
Pete: I'm not good with vague questions, or making decisions.