Posts Tagged ‘conrad stoltz caveman’

Caveman does DualX #1

Conrad Stoltz Caveman wins DualX#1 Hakahana run Specialized, Hoka, Suunto, ClifBar, Oakley, SuperSport Momentum Health OatWell DualX powered by PeptoPro Dual1 Hakahana 2015-6160

Momentum Health OatWell DualX powered by PeptoPro  held at Hakahana, Pretoria. Quality pix by Zoon Cronje. The rest- probably mine.

The other great thing about spending my first winter in South Africa (since 1991) is now I can do the interesting local races I’ve been missing out on. Been following the DualX  off road duathlon series from across the ocean via the interwebs and vicariously through Theo Blignaut. I’ve heard about the fantastic Advendurance organization, decent prize money, “real” run and bike courses… but mostly I heard of the “unbeatable Brand du Plessis.” I didn’t realize exactly how unbeatable until I learnt he hasn’t lost an off road duathlon in 6 years.

In a league of his own on the run,

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1 day to XTERRA. Eat, drink & be merry

Conrad Stoltz Caveman pre race dinner

Pre race Caveman dinner tonight. Fresh gnocchi with herbs, pan seared Eland steaks, blue cheese, beet root (aka legal EPO) and brusselsprouts with garlic chunks for that special “GOOD LUCK” breath and propulsion off the start line…

Eat big. Mostly carbs, fats and protein. Go slow on the fiber. (Leafy stuff like salad, fruit etc)

Hydrate with colourant and flavourant free drink containing Sodium, Magnesium and Potassium. If it hot, start drinking a good amount of the sodium drink 2 days before. The sodium and Mg also helps with cramps.

I try to stay clear of the beer the day before.

But chocolate is pretty much a part of my DNA…

Conrad Stoltz Caveman pre race dessert by Princess Hotstuff

Last Supper desert message from  Princess Hotstuff.

Relax, go to bed the usual time, and dont think about the race till tomorrow. I have a semi boring book (At Home by Bill Bryson and anything by Herman Charles Bosman) and architecture podcast (99% Invisible) handy to put me to sleep.


4 days till XTERRA. Tapering


Tapering refers to the practice of reducing exercise in the days just before an important competition”- Wiki.

At this stage, no training – or specific training session – will make you any faster on race day. The only reason I dont spend all week in the hammock is beacause 1) I need to learn the course and stay updated with changes, 2) you need to do at least, some light training to stay loose and flexible.

What tapering does: (I’m not a sport scientist, so this is the Caveman-ed down version)

– You get fresher. Duh. (3-4 days hard taper for “normal” races and 4-6 days for “big” races. Add 1 day for every 5 or so years over 35.)

– Tapering restores glycogen and hydration levels. No carbo loading or over-eating needed. Just eat and drink like normal- the lower training volume & intensity will take care of the rest.

– Resting heightens mental alertness. Good time to do taxes, catch up on creative writing or learn the guitar.

– Gives you time to do other stuff. Like day dreaming about winning…


5 days till XTERRA. Know the course.

A short POV with #Caveman on XTERRA Grabouw bike course. Thanks to Specialized Videographer JB Badenhorst for the edit.
Know the course.
The best way to have a fast(er) safe(er) race is to see the course. Once is nice, twice is great, and after 3 sightings you should have it mostly memorized and will really be able to rip.
Most people are’nt Pros who can pre ride any day of the week. (I usually travel to “away” races 5 or 6 days before to learn and practice the course) But try to ride the course at least once- preferably not the day before the race. It will take about 2h30 if you go medium pace. Running is different, you’re going slower, (and fall softer) so seeing the course is not crucial. Just follow the arrows on race day. (thats an inside joke)
If you havent seen the course before race day- I suggest going hard on the open pedaling sections, and being cautious through the single track. If your skills are OK, it helps to follow someone who already knows the course and copy their lines and read their body language. Hopefully its not Greg Minnaar!
This course is really well designed- the 1st half is almost entirely jeep track and forestry road- so its easy to overtake and make up for floating the swim course, and the 2nd half has most of the single track.
Dont be afraid to get off and walk- especially in the Rock Garden. But be vary aware of riders approaching from behind. Once you’re on foot, or just finished a crash, you’re at the bottom of the food chain and need to make way for those on wheels- or about to start a crash.
This is not the time and space for a Caveman Skills Clinic, but keeping your mind calm, body relaxed and looking well ahead up trail, will give you enough time and sense to react.
Brake early and hard then get off the brakes! Braking in corners, down steep drops, and in places of bad traction is the number 1 cause of catastrophe…
Watch the XTERRA South Africa video channel for a cool race briefing.
Weather plays a big role. What to wear, hydration plan, and importantly, the terrain changes…
    Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Grabouw weather
If you’re not from the Western Cape- we’ve had a real heat wave, I saw 42C (108F) on my Suunto of the course.
Thankfully today, (Wednesday) we had a slight drizzle in Grabouw- it cooled off nicely and packed down the sand a bit.  Looks like theres more showers predicted for Sunday. Perfect racing weather! Its going to make the MTB and run courses a good deal easier.  Regarding the previous post- I’m not going to need the wide 2.3  Specialized Ground Control tyres anymore…
Conrad Stoltz Caveman Specialized Single track Grabouw
Grabouw has some of the most amazing single track anywhere. Not all of it is rocky and/or hairy- this section has a certain Zen flow to it….
Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Grabouw run course
This 11.8km run course is spectacular. I didnt take pics of the whole course – but the pink Fynbos above is one of my highlights.

It really has something of everything. Scenic single track with loose rocks, pine forest, a  deep river crossing, a big climb and a huge climb, and some beach sections where you get to pick your own line.


Dont let the scenery fool you- this run is really tough! The bike course is like a WWE wrestling match- its a full body workout and you’ll probably start the run WORKED!  Once you have your running shoes on, you’re onto trail right away, with this run you have to think all the time- find good footing, pick smart lines, keep your balance, stay fast and relaxed and dont forget to pace yourself wisely and stay hydrated. Oh yes, remeber to enjoy it. Thats why we’re here, right?!


Conrad Stoltz Caveman Hoka One One Mafate 3 XTERRA Grabouw run course
The big daddy of trail shoes (3x volume of “normal shoe” sole)  just eating up the rocks. Hoka One One Mafate 3– my favourite trail shoe for training.
Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Grabouw run course beach
The stretch home- a long, sandy beach run where you can get adventurous and pick your own line. At your own peril- I was knee deep in wet quicksand on my 1st try!
Conrad Stoltz Caveman Hoka One One Mafate 3 Xterra Grabouw run course log jump
Finding traction on an old tree root.
Conrad Stoltz Caveman Hoka One One Mafate 3 Xterra Grabouw run course grass footing
More traction on a grass clump.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Hoka One One Mafate 3 Xterra Grabouw run course marsh


A marshy section near the finish. Tighten your laces properly- you dont want to loose a shoe.
Conrad Stoltz Caveman Hoka One One Mafate 3 footprint
#CavemanFootprint.  The Hokas has a big footprint. Floats on top of stuff- where humans and guinea fowls sink in…
Next blog: 4 Days to go: Tapering

6 days till XTERRA. Bike and equipment check.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Specialized oakley Suunto, Clif Bar XTERRA Worlds 2013

On race day you only want to pump your tyres, fill your bottles, and if you’ve been practicing- clipping your shoes in and lacing them up with elastics. (Seen here at XTERRA Worlds in Maui 2013) Pic Nils Nilsen.

Now that its too late to do much training, I’m going to help guide you- over the next 6 days- with different race preparation tips to help you prepare for XTERRA Grabouw.

Race day minus 6. Check bike and equipment: 

We’re doing this 6 days out, so there is still time to run out and buy stuff,(and try it out) and your bike shop dont want your “problem” on friday afternoon.

For some athletes some of the info my be XTERRA 101, but if you’re a newbie, some may be Greek. But everyone can learn. I’ll try my best to have this post apply to a broad spectrum of people.

If you’re new to the sport, or a roadie who’s borrowing a mountain bike, or an old hand, but your bike has been gathering cob webs in the garage, the following point will help.

1) Check your whole bike over so that it is 100% mechanically sound. If you’re not mechanically minded (its actually quite easy to get the basics) you should ask a friend or take it to a shop asap.

Suspension pressure. If you’re an experienced rider, you’ll know your pressure settings or have them written down somewhere. Double check fork and shock pressure and add presuure if you need to. If you’re a rookie, go to a good shop TODAY and have them help set up your suspension properly. Good suspension set up is THE most important part of setting up a dual suspension bike. This is where the magic of the Brain technology in the Specialized bikes really shine.

Tyre choice varies depending on the terrain, your skill level and your budget.

This Grabouw course is loose, sandy, rocky and has a few sections of dry loamy pine forest single track. A wider tyre run at lower pressure will help you float on top of the loose stuff, and will also give you better traction in corners and up hills.

I put fresh rubber on my bike before just about every race. Square knobs turn better. (Knobbies lose their edge with use) If you’re using “old” tyres, put the freshest one in front and look for cuts. (save dodgy tyres for training)

Tubeless is the only way. Put fresh sealant in wheels- it dries up quickly in dry climates. I like Stans sealant.

A tyre with bigger knobs (tread pattern) will also give you more traction, but the trade off is increased rolling resistance and added weight. This course has some hair on it, so dont come with skinny little bald “Europe tyres.”

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Specialized Ground Control 2.3 tyre

This is an Africa tyre. Front: Specialized Ground Control 2.3.  In the Control casing. (stronger than Sworks casing) Wide, grippy, big air volume. Running at 22 psi.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Specialized FastTrak 2.2 Control tyre

Rear. Specialized FastTrak 2.2 Control casing run at 25 psi. As you can see, this tyre has seen better days (edges of center knobs are roundish and indentations are faint) I’ll ride on it once more and replace it tomorrow.

Bolt check. Check all bolts for proper tightness. Remember to check cleats on shoes- it they’re not rusted tight already, tighten them till snug. New cleats need a 2nd tightning. Same with a new bike. Not all bolts are supposed to be tight, so dont just blindly tighten bolts…

Water bottle cages. If you can take 2 bottles- do so. Or carry a Camelback Its “only” 28km, but its a long, hard and possibly hot 28km. And then there’s the 11km run…

Spares. Tyre plug, Tube, CO2 or pump, Allan keys. Know how to use it. If you’ve been training, you’ll know…

What to wear in the swim?

Goggles. Duh. But do they fog up? Rinse them out with Baby Shampoo now and again 2 days before. Do they leak? Are tight enough? Maybe the wrong fit? – rush to the shop tomorrow. For this course tinted lenses are best- you’ll be swimming into the sun and there nothing to see under the Coke coloured water anyway.

The XTERRA “full” distance will almost definately be no wetsuits. Last saturday the water temp was 25.1C- and that was before the heat wave.  I cant see the Lite being wetsuit legal either.

Here is what to wear in order of speed. (and expense)

– Swim skin over your race kit. Take swim skin off after swim. (Swim skins are typically too hot and constricting to do the whole race in) I use the BlueSeventy product range and like the speedy Nero suit.

– Swim in Tri shorts or bikini/swim suit for ladies.  Put your top on in transition. Not recomended as dry top over wet shoulders results in wrestling match. But not everyone is in a hurry…

Board shorts the whole way. Give or take a T shirt or “wife beater” vest. Rapidly becoming the new cool- (often by older sporting hard men making a comeback) demonstared at XTERRA Buffelspoort by Specialized’s Peet le Roux and this coming weekend by my coach Ian Rodger- who is doing his 1st XTERRA Lite…

Ian Rodger speed suit & helmet Conrad Stoltz Caveman

“What?! I AM wearing my fast skin!”

Running shoes.

This run course is hectic. Long sections of loose rocks. Sections of sand. Single track. A river crossing- hip deep for most. Big climbs, a loooong downhill. Some shoe sucking mud and yes, wet quicksand, which had me sucked in above the knee! (thats almost a meter deep!)

Better to bring burly trail shoes with real traction and real cushioning. And tighten those laces properly or you’ll be finishing in 1 shoe!

Conrad Stoltz caveman Hoke One One Rapa Nui

I’m gooi-ing my Hoka One One “Rapa Nui” trail racers. “Yebo” for all of the above. #TimeToFly

Tomorrow we talk “the course”…








After working on your bike, you need at least an hours’ ride, to make sure all is good.




Story Time

Cavegirl on the way!!!

Cavegirl on the way!!!
Liezel and I are happy to announce our baby girl on the way! We are 23 weeks in, #PrincessHotstuff is fit and trim, and for me, time is not moving fast enough!  Due date 15-5-15. Suuuuper excited prix viagra en pharmacie! With these genes, she’ll be shooting hoops while wheelie-ing at the age of 3. […]
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Being the Caveman is hard work- have been busy…

Being the Caveman is hard work- have been busy…
As you all know, its easy to overindulge and pack on the pounds during the festive season, so Cross Training is a key ingredient to keeping the Caveman fit and flexable. Gotta keep on top of skills training too. Breakfast sure wasnt pretty. But its all part of the food chain… Like I said, being […]
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Caveman wins in mountain region of Scanno at XTERRA Italy

Caveman wins in mountain region of Scanno at XTERRA Italy
XTERRA Italy has the most amazing course! Parts through the old mountain town of Scanno. To the tune of "eye of the tiger" (thanks DJ Jack!) Caveman wins XTERRA Italy by 4 minutes. XTERRA Italy made is debut in the idyllic mountain town of Scanno, in the province of Abruzzo. In terms of the culture […]
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Caveman’s specialized equipment choices in quest for 7th World title

Caveman’s specialized equipment choices in quest for 7th World title
#aeroiseverything #soisfattyres #dittohorsepower ITU Cross Triathlon Worlds 2013 Long version Cross Tri Worlds Highlights. (Short version- 2.40) Racing through the dunes, stairs and sidewalks of Holland proved a fertile ground for innovative equipment choices.  From the video you can get a feel for the course- but the real test was the long sections of deep, […]
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a Caveman car for a Caveman situation…

a Caveman car for a Caveman situation…
Caveman’s Stellenbosch Kelfords Ford Fietsta Ambiente 1.4 [Open letter to friend and owner of Kelfords Ford and Mazda in Somerset West, South Africa] Dear Tristan, Thank you very much for the use of your wonderful little Ford Fiesta. We love the fuel economy, (5.9L per 100km) the nippy handling, the voice activated, hands free phone […]
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Cheers to a remarkable 2012

Cheers to a remarkable 2012
18 races, 1 World Title (ITU Cross Tri), my 10th XTERRA USA Series title, 10 victories, 16 podiums and many many special memories. My sporting highlight was winning my 2nd ITU Cross Triathlon World Title in Pelham Alabama, USA. a Personal highlight was sharing the entire year and all the remarkable experiences with my gorgeous […]
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