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ITU World Champs Rotterdam 2017 by Leon Naude

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I’ve been doing triathlons since 2012, pretty much figuring stuff out as I went along and downloading programs from the internet. After I finished Ironman 70.3 Durban in 2016 I realized I hit a ceiling that I would not be able to break through by doing what I’ve been doing the last 4 years i.e. doing the same thing and expecting a different result. I know we are normally coined as crazies, but I do believe that is the definition of crazy. So I signed up with MPG hoping to basically just improve on the previous season and bag some PB’s. At the time my PB’s were: IM (11:00), IM70.3 (5:03) and Olympic (2:21).


Standing at the start chute in Rotterdam about to start my first World Champs I could not believe how much I improved in 12 months. Not only did I smack my IM and IM70.3 PB’s by 40min and 15min respectively in 2017, I managed to qualify for ITU World Champs, something I never had my eye on when I started this crazy journey.


This was my first race where I travelled across the borders of South Africa which in itself is quite a stressful experience. Hoping that the awesome airport staff at OR Tambo, Dubai and Schipol Airport don’t man handle and damage your bike causes unnecessary anxiety which we don’t need. I used a Scicon AeroComfort Triathlon Bike Bag and I must be honest it is probably one of the best tri-purchases I’ve ever made. You literally just take the wheels off, no need to take the handlebars down, or pedals or seat. Everything stays in-tact and I just had to pop the wheels on when I arrived in Amsterdam and I was ready for a training ride to get the blood flowing and settle some travel fatigue.


On the Thursday before the race we had a “Parade of Nations” planned, but it was unfortunately cancelled due to poor weather conditions and instead we just attended the opening ceremony which was facilitate by who else but Paul Kaye. That was quite a special moment where we got to meet the rest of the SA team, or those that braved the weather.


This was my second race where we had 2 transitions areas, but the difference with this one was that T1 and T2 was separated by a massive dam, lol. Thus we checked our bikes into T1 on the Saturday and an early check-in to T2 on race morning to make sure all running gear was in place. From there we got a ferry across the water to get to T1 and do final bike checks.


The swim kicked off at Rijnhaven in about 16?C water, with air temperature starting at about 10?C, it was actually a bit warmer in the water than outside. We had 1 loop of 1500m with probably the longest run to T1 from the swim exit that I ever experienced. With a smooth transition out of the way it was time to get cracking on the discipline that I worked hardest on and improved the most on with MPG. With a very technical but flat course I think one would have actually been better served with a road bike however I finished the bike in 1h02, would have settled for that the day before when we did the course familiarisation in pouring rain. I’m always very relieved when I’m done with the bike. As soon as I’m on the run course I am in my element and I thought to myself that I came all this way and I’m just going to go hell for leather from the start. I managed to run my best 10km (36min) and ended with another PB of 2h12m overall which bagged me a 56th AG position. The 30-34 AG is a very competitive age group and it was awesome to have a fellow Saffa win the age group. Bryan Difford finished first in my AG with a 1h57m time.


 The next day it was time to head on home. Reflecting back over the last 12 months every single one of my expectations were smashed and I know the best is yet to come…


ITU World Champs Rotterdam - Team SA

Cape Town Marathon 2017 (42.2km)

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Last Saturday I ran the Cape Town City Marathon, which is definitely one of my favourite marathons on the SA Calendar, as it is a very fast course, but definitely one of the harder ones if you go in over- or undertrained.. This was my third standard marathon, so I don’t have much to compare it to..


Going into the race, I had three goals:


1. Try and go through 21.1km in under 1:20:00

2. Try and better my Marathon PB, which was 2:41:18 (achieved at last year’s Cape Town Marathon)

3. Try and run a negative split, which is when you run your second half of the race quicker than the first)


Those were my goals, but I wasn’t sure how the day would go, as they had changed the route, so I was just going to have to wing it..


The first half of the marathon was good.. The first 10km of the race was quite, going through that marker in 37 min and trying to find a good pack to run in..


A lot of guys had gone out to quickly so up until 21.1km, I was moving from group to group, which actually worked out quite nicely, as I managed to go through the half way mark in 1:18:07 (Goal 1 Achieved)..


I now knew that I had a shot of achieving my next two goals if I could hold my pace, get in enough calories and fluids, all of which I have managed to get waxed though working MPG…


The second half of the race was good.. at 35km, I knew that if I could go sub 2:40 if I could hit my next chunk in a decent pace (anything under 4:00/km)…


Coming into the finish shoot, I was overjoyed to know that I had achieved my goals, had tons of fun and was still able to smile while doing so..


I look forward to setting new goals, testing my ability and continue growing as an MPG athlete..


For those that are interested, have a look at my Strava file, which shows all the details of race day:


Oldschool runner with new training ways.

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As an ultra runner it has always been my belief that more is always better. I have touched on this in previous blogs that I have written. Well something amazing happened today, all the training that I have put in finally makes sense. In the past I sometimes struggled with my pace on the longer runs and I think it was due to my approach on how I ran during my training sessions during the week.

If you are using the MPG program you will know that it’s all about personalised target numbers and each individual’s rate of adaptation and recovery . Its no good over exerting yourself on one workout at the expense of those to follow.  

Strength work needs to be carefully integrated into your weekly routine ensuring the balance of recovery is correct and doesn't negatively effect your hard workouts. Yes..I think I reached a “Eureka” moment :).

If I am babbling it’s because everything has finally clicked into place. To fine tune my running I must stick to the program and focus on key workouts at the required target pace and include strength routines at the correct time.

Another important point is also not to forget training is a process and to enjoy every step of the journey. The good sessions always outweigh the really tough workouts that we may have battled on. We often forget why we started in the first place and it is always good to take a step back and remember how far we have come.

A huge thanks to an awesome community of like minded athletes and to the coaching team which I am proud to be affiliated with. Onwards and upwards, myprogramgenerator rocks!!

If you are new to MPG and you don’t understand something on your program besides the notes that are provided on your workout, you can always get in touch with your coach. We are here to help..

The New year is upon us

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Wow! Another year has begun and for a lot of people new resolutions and new aspirations. To us athletes it’s about being better than we were last year or the year before never ends and for some of us, well we enjoy the christmas period because it’s a time to unwind and relax for a week or two, not to mention indulging in all of the nice food and drink that the festive season has to offer.

Like most athletes I fear putting on weight and feeling like the the Michelin Man, which I have to admit was the case with me. But I’m getting back to normal and training is beginning to feel normal, normal as a “oompa lumpa” can be :). It’s only a minor setback, the body is the most amazing machine, treat it well and you will be amazed. Keep with the program and be consistent, the results will come quicker than you expect.

On another note remember that your partner,friends,family all put up with a lot, especially this time of year when you’re complaining about having eaten too much and made a total pig of yourself:) it’s not their fault. Instead of taking it out on them go for a run, pop into the gym, maybe even have an “argument ” with the road or the punching bag. Believe me you’ll feel a lot better and too tired to have any sort of other arguments.

If you are new to MPG a heartfelt welcome from us all and we hope that you achieve whatever goals you’re aiming for this year. We are totally behind you...Go Get It.


What do you do when things go pear shaped?

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I haven’t blogged in ages and that’s due to being exceptionally busy with a bit of part time work on a farm working long hours, having a chest infection from hell and losing a bit of my passion for running. The good thing about being part of an awesome team of athletes and coaches, is that we all go through tough patches, whether it be battling to get training done, getting sick ,injured or due to life challenges where priorities need to change due to circumstances.


As a passionate runner it has been hard to accept that my running has had to take a nosedive in recent weeks. However with you can use the time off feature or daily logging to ensure the program tracks periods

of limited training and takes them into consideration for your future workouts when you come back to your program. This functionality is awesome and will help me after the rough patch I have been having and I am sure if you are struggling this will help you as well.


As athletes we strive to be the best that we can be and without a support network it is a very difficult feat to attain. MPG have a fantastic support network and this fact alone makes them unique when comparing to other similar generic platforms.


Next week I will get back into my running and knowing that I have a workout program that will monitor and assess my progress to ensure I build up safely and optimally gives me great peace of mind. It is going to be hard getting up at crazy o’clock in the dark and cold of the morning but I know that the buzz we get from the training we do, sets us up for the day ahead.


If you want something bad enough in life you will find a way. Having the right support, structure and guidelines makes it possible.


The choices you make are yours and no one elses...Get out there and enjoy your training. Difficult when you’re doing it, but so rewarding when you’re done :)

Frustrations of injuries and illness

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I’m sure that we have all had some kind of injury or illness that has left us  frustrated and really bad tempered ? A lot is due to our mindset that says sitting on the sofa or lying in bed doesn’t get our training done, am I right? In this case I will answer my own rhetorical question and say a definite yes!!


So what do we do ? The logical answer is determine how bad you’re injured or illness is and go with it, this is often where we as athletes fall short instead of listening to all our bodies signals and if one of your limbs is positioned in precarious manner, possibly not a good time to head out training…?:):)


We are a really stubborn bunch who can’t always find that balance between overdoing things and getting everything just right. For many of us with kids, work and other responsibilities it’s not easy, unless you have an exceptional support structure or amazing time management skills.


To conclude the most important thing to remember when you have the flu or an injury is to assess and decide whether you can train or whether you’ll have to ease up or ease off completely. Be honest,  it's up to all of us to assess and decide what to do and how far to push ourselves...there is absolutely no point in pushing and then end up sidelined for 6 weeks when you could be back in 2 weeks fully recovered.


When in doubt or you have a niggle that won't go away, see a medical professional who can run the necessary tests and make the correct diagnosis. Many of us often play doctor when we shouldn’t. Always remember to chat to your coach for guidance when returning to training as you will need to ease back to training correctly.

(Visit for some great guidlines on assesing whether you should train or race )

To all of our partners,family and friends out there, thankyou for putting up with our early mornings and everything else that comes from being passionate and hooked on achieving our next PB. You all deserve medals:)

The happenings since the last blog was published.

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Life is certainly a challenge, and without running, things would probably be hard to deal with. I feel absolutely blessed for being able to run, and appreciate the learning experiences from being part of an awesome team of coaches at MPG Fitness – both the obviously positive things and the seeming negatives which from time to time seep into the positives, but which also serve as good lessons. I suppose as humans we are susceptible to negative thoughts and these can often cloud our judgement and make us forget all the good that we have achieved.

Since my last post I attempted my first ultra training run. The plan was to run 60km. All my training leading up to it felt good and I was fairly confident that I would complete with no real hassle; after all I had run two 50k distances last year no problem... Unfortunately I forgot to take into account  the injuries I have had since September last year - I was truly expecting miracles.

I set off at 4am Sunday morning 2 weeks back, feeling out of sorts and achy. As a runner these little niggles normally appear and disappear after a few kms. However after hitting the 25km mark the wheels seemed to come undone and I started walking to see if I could shake my legs out - they were starting to cramp badly. I managed to reach a filling station at 31kms and that’s where I finally realised it wasn’t going to happen.

The lesson learned on the run is that even though I was doing the program (myprogramgenerator) I wasn’t doing it properly. Now, thanks to JP my supportive coach, for the first time in my life I am doing what I am told and listening, because even though I didn’t complete my target of 60km I still completed half the distance and have also gained a few PBs . So onwards and upwards! In  a month or so I’ll re-attempt that 60km ????.

In conclusion: if you can stick to the program and do what it - and your coach - tells you, there’s no reason that you won’t be able to achieve the impossible.


Another month working out with Mpg generator

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These past few weeks have flown by, with me doing assignments, training ,climbing the great wall of China and being made a member of an awesome team. I have barely had time to think. (Yes - exaggerating just a bit...)

The great thing about being affiliated with like minded people is that most of the time, we get what we need to succeed, whether it be on the road or bike, or in the pool or  office. To succeed you need to see outside the box.

When I started with Team MPG and their awesome program I didn’t realise just how effective the program would be. Now? Well, I am hooked; anything that makes me a better, more efficient runner is definitely a “must do”. I love the fact that the support is second to none and that we are like one big family of fitness frea… I mean fitness fanatics????.

The passion and enthusiasm I have for running - and sport in general - is huge, and hopefully that will help with our big venture in Ireland and possibly Europe… Who knows ? The future is looking optimistic and it feels good. I definitely don’t know it all, but I love to share what I do know to help others in any way possible.

Tomorrow is assessment day and I am quietly optimistic and excited. Who is doing their assessment this week? I was chatting to JP the other day and he said something that stuck in this old school, ultra runner’s head  “If you don’t see good results or see no results at all, there’s always next month.” Well, it was not exactly what he said, but it was close enough. I am just going to enjoy my run and take it as it comes.

Team MPG rock’s !!

My program generator part 2 (It's late but done:) )

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For many years I thought “more”  - of everything - was essential to gain fitness and stamina.  But, having worked with Team MPG for awhile,  I’m now convinced that the science of “do less for more” is the way forwards.

Although one of the principles of the MPG program is “do less to gain more”, there’s nothing easy about it – and don’t get me wrong; I still love pushing myself hard. It keeps me in the right frame of mind.

In my case, though, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

I started a couple of months ago, with loads of healing injuries, and like the over-zealous athlete I was and still am, I just kept trying to run through them. Eventually, enough was enough and I decided to use the option on MPG to take a break. It was definitely the best thing I could have done. If you take a look at my running stats for when I started and then again recently you can see a vast improvement - a 26% improvement to be exact! - and that surely can’t be coincidence?!

I’m running easy this week because I’m heading to China as ambassador for the Great Wall Marathon, and if I get an opportunity to run even 5km on the wall I will literally jump at the chance -It would be the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in along time!

I really want to applaud team MPG on an excellent program for the average to elite athlete. The results are amazing and if you can keep up with the program, these improvements will progress further and further. I’ve found that the program works, even if you don’t follow it in a strict regime. (I did all of my workouts back to front for example, doing my long slow run first, my long slow cycle the next day and so on.) It’s great that you can adapt the workout to suit your particular situation.

In conclusion if you want to do less and see overall improvements, this program with the MPG team is for you. It still means working hard, but getting excellent results by a doing a little less.

Before I go to bed

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I thought I might write something before going to bed maybe a bedtime story of an injured runner who has finally come to his senses. I haven't done much running this last while because of nagging injuries. Which I could have avoided if I wasn't so damn pig headed..Just received an email to enter my training program and I chose to take another week off..yes believe it or not , I actually chose to take time out from training..

If touching the wall or running 10k is my fate so be it least I will get, to The Great Wall and  at this moment in time my focus is a bit blurred with everything else going on around me. Business and administration class/course ,kids going to school ,daughter getting her confirmation and the list goes on .. For an unemployed man I'm fairly frikken busy.. It probably seems to you, who are reading this that I am making excuses.. I am not at all, my passion for sport and specifically running hasn't changed, its my priorties that have.

I await my running shoes with patience and for my injuries to improve so that I can once again do what I am good at and really passionate about, R..u..n..l..o..n..g!! and maybe or more then likely run my long runs faster and with ease..well as easy as ultra running can be????

As always thanks to an Mpg team for being supportive and really helpful.


MPG is designed for runners, swimmers, cyclists and triathletes. MPG accurately determines where your fitness is at and then gives you the optimal training program that keeps adapting as you adapt.

It is scientifically accurate, affordable and it will guarantee that you improve your performance as fast and as safe as possible. It is without doubt the best value for money coaching solution available, anywhere in the World.

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