CAPE TOWN TRIATHLON GUIDE

by Nikola Tosic,
07/05

The only mistake you can make by training in Cape Town is not staying more than 3 months. As it turns out, even 5 months seems like just enough time to scratch the surface of what this city has to offer a triathlete, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started, and I’ll let you discover the rest for yourself.

When I got there firs I was very apprehensive about swimming - I had no idea what the swimming facilities
are like. As soon as I arrived I met a local triathlete who directed me to the Seapoint public swimming pool –(inexpensive, full of triathletes and swimmers and close to most places). It's an outdoor olympic pool on the
Atlantic coast filled with salt water. When the weather gets colder you can use Virgin  Active for swimming but water is a bit too hot and there's only a 25m pool.

Cape Town has national parks in the middle of the city so you have an unlimited choice of breath taking trails 15 mins from town center.
There are also stadiums with tracks which you can freely enter and use (I used Greenpoint one) or you can run at the Seapoint coastline which is a 3km flat road for runners and walkers only with 100m markers (also plenty of
water taps). Also, try to run in the woods around Kirstenbosch or in the trails in Silvermine.

Cape Town is a winter training spot of choice for T-Mobile team, Mario Cipollini or Lance Armstrong for a very good reason. It is an excellent place for hill base training. Roads are good and wide.
It would be too difficult to describe the scenery in this review but suffice it to say that in in a 3 hour ride you can go from mountain tops to beaches to beautiful forest and to wine country. There are many options for biking and it's
best that you discover it yourself when you get there. Have in mind that t he rides are very hilly and the summer afternoons usually feature 30-50km/h winds.

There are many bike shops and services, and you can buy most equipment although the service can be a bit slow. The usual excuse is: "It's Africa, take it easy”. First few weeks can be frustrating if you're coming from a faster place like Europe or North America, but eventually you get into the rhythm and appreciate it all; Cape Town teaches you to relax.

Suggested shops: Bowman's and Willy Englebrecht - Willy has some Ironman stuff and Bowman's is in the center of the town.

January and February are packed with tourists. March starts slowly to ease a bit and May was the most beautiful month for me. Temperatures were around 20 and very quiet. Heat is never too much to bare because there is
always wind and Atlantic has the chilling effect. If you are coming for the first time I suggest you stay around Greenpoint or Seapoint area. These are best locations for first-timer especially if you do not have a car.

There are so many things to tell about Cape Town, it is really a great place especially for winter training and racing. There are all kinds of races although the focus is mainly on mass races.

There is Specsavers Ironman in Port Elizabeth, XTerra, Two Oceans (a must!), Cape Epic MTB tour, Cape Argus is a 35000+ cyclists mass race (tourist thing but nice to do as an easy ride, just watch for group riding with inexperienced cyclists) etc etc.

You can buy MULTI (www.gomulti.co.za) or South African edition of Runner’s world for race calendars. Also check out
www.raceday.co.za.

Only mistake you can make with training in Cape Town is not staying more than 3 months :)

If you have any questions feel free email me at nikola@tosic.com or
skype
me at nikolatosic.