Jack v Sarcoma Ironman Blog – Week 20 (24/06/19 – 30/06/19)

Monday – 1:40 Run, Strength Session

Following up from last week’s post where I didn’t do the Sunday run, I shifted it on to today to start a massive week of work. The route took me west, out to near Strathfield, then back in a loop home.

Felt really good during this, despite my headphones running out of battery at the halfway mark. It wasn’t the end of the world, especially considering I can’t use them in the actual race, but it definitely dinted my momentum a bit. I found myself at around the 13km mark utterly convinced that my good performance on this run was going to mean success on December 1st. The loss of music pulled me back into line, but still finished the 21km run having gone at 4:55 pace which was great.

Tuesday – 1:00 Swim, 10km Run @ 5:20 Pace

Swim felt good today for some reason. I was heaps less bored than I was last week which was a pleasant surprise.

The run was slow and steady to help recover from yesterday’s big run. Despite the big one yesterday, I wasn’t really sore or in any pain which is awesome. If nothing else, I’m getting better at backing up from session to session.

Wednesday – 1:15 Indoor Cycle, 10km Run @ 4:50 Pace

Big session

The indoor cycle really took it out of me, but managed to complete a couple of long interval periods during (2 x 20mins @155bpm) which Hamish recommended.

Going into the run, my legs didn’t feel too back, but I just found it frustrating hauling my work bag around with all my gear which makes my shoulders and neck really tight. Dumped the bag at home and finished off the remaining 30mins at 4:45 pace. Had a yoghurt before starting this one which didn’t sit amazingly…

Thursday – 1:00 Swim, 1:15 Indoor Cycle

Had my pre-workout before doing the swim which made a massive difference. For those who haven’t had any before, it kind of just makes your body feel quite tingly and hot, which meant that during the swim I had a lot of energy and mainly just something to help tick my mind over. I did 2 x 1000m sets which went really well.

Having finished at work late before doing the swim, I decided to do my cycle on the indoor bike to save time. I polished off a banana immediately after my swim, before hopping on the bike which make a world of difference. Coming into the final 25 minutes, I felt extremely motivated and ready to push on which was a great sign that the banana was working its magic. I also don’t think I have ever sweated as much in my life as I did in this one session. It was truly heinous.

Friday – Nutritionist Follow-up, Strength Session,

Met with Rebecca again to revaluate the nutrition plan with Hamish’s new conditioning plan. The major takeaways from today’s meeting were:

  • On long cycles, from the 45min mark, I need to be consuming 45-60 grams of carbs every hour (incrementally over that time). In terms of food that this equates to, it’s like having 1.5-2 peanut butter sandwiches every hour.
  • Between sessions where I jump from a swim for example, straight into a bike or run, I need to ensure I’m getting something on board
  • During the swim, I should try to have a couple of bottles at the end of the pool. An energy drink and water, sipping on the energy drink every 10-15 minutes to keep me focussed and chugging along.

With the fundraiser planned for this evening, I only had time for the one session today. Despite the big indoor cycles the past two days, my legs were still feeling fine. The leg workouts are progressing each time and are one of my favourite sessions, despite taking an age to do.

The fundraiser went amazingly. Through the generosity of my friends, CRBF and family, we were able to raise over $600 through raffle tickets alone. This was an amazing achievement and will take the total Ironman fundraising total to approximately $7,400 now! Big thanks to everyone who came, in particular Georgia and Kirsten who helped assemble the incredible food platter, and my housemates for taking time out of their week to fully set the house up for the event.

Saturday – 3:40 Cycle

Easily my best cycle of the training so far.

Initially went out to Iron Cove and did 5-6 laps of the waterfront there until I got bored. At around the 1hr 15min mark I moved on and cycled out to Olympic Park to continue doing loops. Similar to the Iron Cove loop, the nice wide, open spaces reduce the stress levels tenfold.

Nutrition-wise is where I need to improve. I had two slices of peanut butter toast and I only brought one gel which I had at the 50 minute mark. Whilst this definitely helped, at around the 2hr 30min mark I was absolutely starving. I eat so much normally, but I genuinely cannot remember being this hungry in a long time. A stop at the Olympic Park Ice Rock Deli at 9:30am was certainly not out of the question…

Despite that, I still make good time and felt strong. I feel that sitting at 30km/h for the majority of the cycle, given it’s on flat with no cars or buses at traffic lights to kill me, is certainly a possibility. This would mean I’d only be cycling for 6 hours straight…

Sunday – 1:50 Run

Big run with heaps more elevation than last week (300m vs 180 last week). Today’s route took me East, out around to Rose Bay and back along Cleveland St. Despite the far greater elevation rise, I still ran at approximately the same pace (4:55min/km) which I was really happy with, despite going another 2km further. Similar to the above cycle though, I struck issues at about the 1hr 30min mark when I hadn’t had any water for the whole run and started feeling dizzy.

Thankfully I was able to stop at a Moore Park bubbler next to some horse crap to get my fluids topped up, but it was certainly a lesson that I need to plan where my drink stops will be moving forward.


21 weeks until game day!

Plan for this coming week is to really hit some big distances, before backing it down a little next week for a recovery week.


As always, if you have any suggestions or ideas to help raise awareness for sarcoma research and/or the work CRBF do, please shoot me a message on social media or via email (jack.racklyeft@gmail.com). Please share this, or any information from my donation page below to anyone and everyone you can. I have no doubt that slowly but surely, we will start to raise awareness and to make a truly positive change:


Jack v Sarcoma Ironman Blog – Week 19 (17/06/19 – 23/06/19)

Monday – Strength Session

Apologies in advance for the lack of pretty pictures…

Enjoying these gym sessions. Main exercises (squats, deadlifts, lunges) all feeling really good. The workout also has small bits of core mixed in which is definitely feeling stronger. They take a while to knock out but I can definitely feel improvement from session to session. Going to try and focus on getting some nutrition immediately after each session going forward. Today I grabbed one of Virgin Active’s café shake thingys which was pretty good. Maybe a little too sweet?

Tuesday – 1:00 Swim, 10km Run @ 5:20 Pace

Again, the swim was terribly boring. Really need to look into swimming with a posse going forward and eventually doing some open water stuff. I’m thinking the water might be super cold now though and I don’t have a wetsuit so will have to hold off on that I think.

For the run, I didn’t really go through any kind of warm up and felt a little niggle on the inside of my left knee. Stopped 1km in and went through my stretches in front of an old lady’s house which seemed to fix the problem. Felt like I could carry on at this pace for ages and was a great way to ease into another week.

Wednesday – 1:30 Indoor Cycle, 10km Run @ 4:50 Pace

I did these sessions back to back to try and replicate the game day situation. Hamish (conditioning coach) mentioned that doing a bike workout on the indoor trainer is roughly 20%-30% more difficult and I definitely felt that today. Legs felt like goo afterwards and my hip was randomly sore on one side. It was definitely better than my previous indoor cycles from a while back so good to see some progression. Note; I sweat too much.

Moved into the run once I got home and early doors realised if I’m going to do this again, I need to bring some kind of nutrients on the cycle and run. Felt tired and weak for probably the first half and the uphill components of the run definitely had me on the back foot. Despite that, actually ran some good time and with a pretty good heart rate (averaged 162 bpm). The aim for this run next week will be to up the pace to 4:40 – 4:45 mins/km. I’m confident I can get it there with a bit more careful planning with my nutrition before and throughout.

Thursday – 1:00 Swim, 1:30 Indoor Cycle

Absolutely freezing today, 0 chance I was doing an outdoor ride so hit the indoor trainer for another 1:30hr session.

I wrote the above comment on Thursday morning. Karma is confirmed and 100% real I’m sure because it turns out I’d forgotten my joggers, so following the swim, I dragged myself home and onto the regular bike for an 1:30hr session. After 20mins of warming up, it wasn’t the worst thing ever. Ideally I would’ve done the session indoors but that’s what I get for getting too cocky.

Friday – HIIT Session (Boxing), 1:00 Run, Strength Session

Have done a lot of these boxing sessions over the past few months and they’re always great fun. They are my only extremely high intensity workout each week.

The run was nasty cold, but it feels good getting out of work for the week and going through the run and weights session to end the working week.

Saturday – 3:00 Cycle

Decided to try out the Olympic Park loops which I really enjoyed. At no point did I feel like I was going to get hit, run over, knocked, and flattened by a car or truck so this immediately made it the most enjoyable ride yet. I suspect this will be my new go-to cycling route. If anyone’s up for a big cycle each Saturday morning going forward, please let me know! Will hopefully ramp up the duration to 3.5hrs next Saturday.

I definitely need to be better prepared for nutrition on the ride though. I didn’t bring any food or gels on this one and was ready to stop with about 30mins left

Sunday – REST

Following yesterday’s ride, we travelled down to our nation’s capital to watch the Brumbies in their Super Rugby quarter final. After a ripper performance, I had a few too many Ribenas and ended up too unwell to partake in a run today. I will have to knock this one over tomorrow. Fingers crossed I can get the distance up to about 20km. Keen to see how I’m tracking with these longer runs!


22 weeks until game day!

I’ve got a follow up nutritionist appointment on Friday to align what I’m eating more closely with my new conditioning plan. Excited to get that sorted and try some different meals


As always, if you have any suggestions or ideas to help raise awareness for sarcoma research and/or the work CRBF do, please shoot me a message on social media or via email (jack.racklyeft@gmail.com). Please share this, or any information from my donation page below to anyone and everyone you can. I have no doubt that slowly but surely, we will start to raise awareness and to make a truly positive change:


Jack v Sarcoma Ironman Blog – Week 18 (10/06/19 – 16/06/19)

Monday – Strength Session

The public holiday on Monday meant I could relax while going through the session. Quite enjoying these and I try to have a big stretch afterwards which helps with recovering from the weekend’s big runs/rides.

Tuesday – 1:00 Swim, 0:30 HR Run, Conditioning Meeting

Had a great skype session with Hamish Gorman regarding my conditioning program. The biggest takeaway from the session was that I needed to massively up my time on the bike. The rule of thumb of a minimum time I should be spending on the bike (and run) per week was the total time I’d be on the bike in the race. At this stage I’m estimating 6.5 hours, so really I should be cycling for at least 7 hours a week… I have not been doing that at all (closer to 4 hours).

Following the meeting, I did my usual swim (extremely boring but swimming well) and then completed a 30min run, trying to stay at 172 bpm. It had to do with staying at my threshold heart rate so that Hamish could better calculate my proper heart rate zones.

I’ve included my updated conditioning plan below:

  Morning Evening
Monday REST Strength Session
Tuesday REST Swim

10km Run (5:20 pace easy)

Wednesday 10km Run (4:55 pace) – increase pace each week x 4. RPE 7 1.5 – 2 hour cycle (try to incorporate 2 x 20mins @155bpm w/5min active recovery)
Thursday Swim 1.5 – 2 hour cycle (try to incorporate 3 x 10 min @160bpm w/5min active recovery)
Friday Swim 10km Run (5:10 – 5:20 pace easy)

Strength Session

Saturday 3-4 hour cycle REST
Sunday 1.5 – 2 hour (5:00 pace, extending time each week) REST

Wednesday – HIIT Session (Boxing), 2:15 Cycle       

Incorporating Hamish’s main suggestion from yesterday’s meeting, I planned on doing a big ride after work. The Garmin app has a useful ‘routes’ function where I can chuck in the distance I want to go (at this stage I’m predicting 20km/h travel speed) and it will upload a route onto my watch to follow. The function also avoids roads which aren’t great for cyclists (i.e. Parramatta Road, freeways, etc). Today’s ride took me out to just beyond Lidcome and was moderately dangerous…

Thursday – 1:00 Swim, 2:00 Cycle

Another boring, boring swim but once again, feeling “efficient”…

The routes app spat out a slightly different route out west this time which was great, but it seems my watch can only save/store X number of direction changes because at nearly exactly halfway, the route stopped coming up on my watch. After a small break and deleting a few routes from the watch, I was able to re-upload a new one to get me home. As my nutritionist suggested, once I’m getting up near that 2 hour mark and beyond, I need to have some fuel on-board to have at around the 45 minute mark to sustain me. Near the end of the rides these past two days I’ve really noticed a drop off in energy.

Friday – 1:00 Run, Strength Session

Jogged home from work and back across to the gym near Wynyard. The run felt great and was cranking out some great time with minimal HR increases.

Foolishly, I wore my “running” style shorts for the run, without remembering to bring any shorts for the weights session. My running shorts are notably tighter around my “weak trunk” so as to hold my phone more securely for the runs. The issue is that trying to use said shorts to improve my aforementioned trunk will undoubtedly result in my splitting my pants during a squat. As such, I had to forego my squats. Despite that, it was still a great session and the control exercises with the bands and exercise balls are going really well.

Saturday – 3:00 Cycle

My longest cycle of training yet and it was definitely my best yet. My average speed was higher on this ride than it was on the two previous this week. The route my Garmin decided to send me on was also a lot safer and hence, more enjoyable. I would define safer as the routes with the least traffic light stops in dense traffic, where me failing to properly clip into my cleats has somewhat higher consequences… Uphill stationary starts at lights, in heavy traffic are the worst for sure.

The cycle loop took my out to near Cabramatta, through the Olympic Park area where the wide open spaces mean I can really enjoy my cycle without having to worry about being flattened.

I only brought one energy gel and one water bottle which I will definitely have to increase going forward. Around the 2 hour mark, even with the energy gel I started to hit a bit of a wall. One more gel at around the 1.5hr mark will hopefully get me through going forward.

Sunday –1:30 Run

After a monster rainfall Saturday night and all morning, I pumped out a great run on Sunday afternoon. The goal with the Sunday runs going forward will be to try and stay at my expected race pace (around 5:10min/km) and week by week, increase the distance I’m going. This week I got out to nearly 17km, but at 5:00 pace which I was surprised at when reviewing afterwards. My HR also stayed at an average of 164 which I was stoked with.

Great signs for the running, especially this far out with so much room for improvement.


22 weeks until game day!

This week I’ll be looking to fully complete all of the new elements of Hamish’s conditioning program, with a bit more of a focus on getting the right nutrition on board before and during the trainings. Overall, feeling good, no niggles or anything and I’m getting some good results across the board in terms of swimming efficiency, cycle speeds and running pace so can’t complain!


As always, if you have any suggestions or ideas to help raise awareness for sarcoma research and/or the work CRBF do, please shoot me a message on social media or via email (jack.racklyeft@gmail.com). Please share this, or any information from my donation page below to anyone and everyone you can. I have no doubt that slowly but surely, we will start to raise awareness and to make a truly positive change:


Jack v Sarcoma Ironman Blog – Week 17 (03/06/19 – 09/06/19)

Monday – Strength Session, Nutritionist Meeting

In light of previous revelations regarding my “weak trunk”, the strength sessions two times a week will mainly focus on legs and controlling my core during various movements. I’m feeling more solid already.

I also met with nutritionist Rebecca Hay during my lunch break to discuss plans to sort out my diet. Whilst we will need to fine tune it once I’ve locked in a new plan with my conditioning coach (next week). The general improvement points revolved around more rapid consumption of proteins and carbs immediately after a session, as well as consuming a small breakfast before my morning workouts. She also gave me a few meal prep ideas to make for work lunches which will certainly replace the chicken and rice combo I’ve had going the past few weeks…

Tuesday – 1:00 Swim, 0:45 Run (Z2) with 4 x 2min Z4 sprints @ 1min

The plan was for the above session. However following a rubbish day at work I stopped early in the swim (15mins) with my mind all over the place and not focussed on the new technique movements I’d been working on. I genuinely stopped mid-lap and just had no motivation to keep pushing through which was extremely frustrating.

Smashed out a run/sprint back home through the rain which helped bury some of the frustrations. Ran some solid time for the nearly 5km run (4:10min/km) but still disappointed I couldn’t get through the swimming session.

Wednesday – 0:45 Bike into 0:30 Run (Z2), Strength Session

Massive session, took ages. Started with weights just because I saw a rare moment that the squat rack wasn’t occupied by some massive Bulgarian dude. Have found that chucking small plates under my heels during the squats has massively increased my range of motion which will no doubt be beneficial.

Rode hard in Z3 for the majority of the time with 4 intervals of 1min all out thrown in to test myself. Was definitely sweating more than normal today which was gross. Quickly rotated out of the indoor bike and on to the treadmill for a solid run at 3% gradient. Was also sitting in the Z3 lactate threshold throughout. Felt great afterwards and tried to incorporate the nutritionist’s advice by having a protein smoothie thing (YoPro, yes I’m open for sponsorship) immediately after while waiting on the bus. Vanilla is always the best flavour of anything…

Thursday – 1:00 Swim, 1:15 Bike (100rpm+) (Z2), Running Analysis Session

Completed a running analysis with Robert Mullard. Similar to the swim, great to get some personalised advice as to what I can improve upon. He gave me a few drills to work on and will touch base with my strength coach to try and incorporate some routines in there to help with my running. The main takeaways for my running technique included:

  • Moving my arms from my shoulders rather than by just rotating my torso side to side.
  • Running with more of a forward slant/tilt in my upper body, which will in turn get my foot plant much more below my centre of gravity and allow me to run on the balls of my feet more easily as well.

Really put in a good swim session to make up for my rubbish one on Tuesday. Felt great throughout and my watch’s efficiency measure (called SWOLF or something funny like that) has recorded notable improvements since the lesson a couple a weeks ago which is awesome. The lower the SWOLF, the more efficient the stroke (i.e. if you take less strokes per lap, but with a really fast time, you’ll have a lower SWOLF score thingy because your swimming action is more efficient).

Following the debacle of Sunday’s “dooring” by the mother of two in Willoughby, I slumped back to the safety of the Iron Bay loop. It was bloody freezing but the arm-warmers from Tyron’s collection were sufficient to get me through it.

Friday – 1:00 Run (Z2)

Ripped around Pyrmont and Wentworth Park for a couple of loops. The main objective was to work on the running technique tips from yesterday’s session. My pace on the run was significantly better for this run, with my heart rate still staying at a solid level (averaged 155bpm) throughout.

Writing this now on Saturday, I’ve also definitely noticed less soreness in my back after the run, which is often a slight issue just due to the nature of running on concrete. Happy with the changes I made thus far

Saturday – 2:00 Cycle (Z2)

Used the Garmin “routes” app for the first time to give me a route to cycle up near Palm Beach. I input the start/finish point, how far I want to go (50km) and which direction I want to travel (any) and it spits out a cycle-able route which I can then read off on my watch as I’m cycling.

This was a ripper ride and far better than my Willoughby experience last week. The drivers up and around this area also seemed less pissed off with me than those around Northbridge which made cycling on the main road more enjoyable. The hills up and around the back of Bilgola were nasty. I don’t really know what elevations and hills are considered relatively “difficult” in the cycling world but I’m pretty sure that this was as difficult (and probably more difficult) that the hills those Tour de France chumps do.

All in all, no major crashes and heavy sweating = good workout

Sunday –1:30 Run (Z2-Z3)

Went on a long run up and around the hills near Mackerel Beach. Tried to really push myself throughout whilst incorporating the techniques from the analysis. Found that I ran at a great tempo, with a dip in the pace during a big section of walking trail running, where I was running around rocks and plants. Looked a great area for a cycle if I could be bothered driving up the coast to get to the start point.

23 weeks until game day! This week I’ve got a conditioning meeting with endurance specialist Hamish Gorman to change up the workouts I’ve been doing for the next couple of months. Thus far I’ve mainly been focussing on longer, endurance-based sessions, trying to stay in that Z2 heart rate and essentially just improve my ability to use my legs for a long time. I suspect Hamish will look to introduce a lot more interval-based sessions to more effectively boost my fitness levels, whilst using the weekends to fit in these long, steadier heart rate sessions to ensure I’m still ticking that box. Hopefully I can share this new program on the blog next week for y’all to take a look at.


As always, if you have any suggestions or ideas to help raise awareness for sarcoma research and/or the work CRBF do, please shoot me a message on social media or via email (jack.racklyeft@gmail.com). Please share this, or any information from my donation page below to anyone and everyone you can. I have no doubt that slowly but surely, we will start to raise awareness and to make a truly positive change:


Jack v Sarcoma Ironman Blog – Week 16 (27/05/19 – 02/06/19)

Monday – REST

Tuesday – 1:00 Swim, 1:00 Run (Z2) with 4 x 2min Z4 sprints @ 1min

First swimming session after the lesson on Sunday. Just did 20 x 100m sets, focussing on:

  1. Breathing earlier in my stroke
  2. Not diving my hands too deep into the water with each stroke (i.e. allowing me to “catch” more water, higher on each stroke)

My technique got exponentially better as the session went on and I could really feel a big difference when everything was falling into place with the adjustments. The run was solid and ran some good times at a good HR.

Wednesday – 0:45 Bike into 0:30 Run (Z2)

Nothing interesting to report. Slowly picking up speed on the bike

Thursday – 1:00 Swim, 1:15 Bike (100rpm+) (Z2)

The swim was tonnes better than Tuesday’s. Felt like I was far more efficient throughout the whole session which is a great outcome. I’m finding that my muscles are taking some time to adjust to the more elevated catch, but they were certainly less fatigued then they were on Tuesday.

It was a cold evening but had a great cycle around Iron Cove. Work colleague Tyron has gifted me about 4-5 sets of his cycling gear and it makes a big difference, particularly in the cold where the arm warmers do wonders. Cheers mate!

Friday – 0:45 Run (Z2)

Had a football game this evening which meant I had to scrap one of the sessions. Chose the swimming session and used the run as a good warmup for the football game. Knocked the top off of my knee wound again. The constant dressing of it to avoid ruining every set of pants I wear to work moves into its third week…

Saturday – 1:30 Run (Z1 – Z2)

Completed an early morning 1hr run before a boxing class which went well, and the remaining 30 mins in the afternoon with my mate who’s training for the City2Surf, having never done any long distance running. Seems to be ticking along well.

Sunday –2:00 Cycle (Z2)

The plan was to ride from Annandale out to Belrose to meet up with Lexie, her brother and his wife + baby. I feel like people cycle this route a bit, but I hated it. So much traffic and so much that could potentially go wrong. Speaking of which, got clattered by a lady opening her back right passenger door as I cycled past going up towards Boundary Rd around Willoughby.

She opened without looking from her parked car and I slammed into the door and flew off to the right onto the active traffic lane. Thankfully, as I tumbled onto the road there were no cars behind me so I managed to not get run over today. Pretty traumatising experience to be honest and I suspect I’ll be sticking to the safety and security of the usual Iron Cove loop from now on… Finished the ride cautiously…

To round it all off, as I was arriving home a spoke on my rear tyre broke so I’ll have to look around for some new ones in the coming days.

25 weeks until game day! Next week I’ve got a nutritionist appointment lined up to help shred some poundage and improve what I’m eating before the long rides/runs. Social media competition coming in hot also!


As always, if you have any suggestions or ideas to help raise awareness for sarcoma research and/or the work CRBF do, please shoot me a message on social media or via email (jack.racklyeft@gmail.com). Please share this, or any information from my donation page below to anyone and everyone you can. I have no doubt that slowly but surely, we will start to raise awareness and to make a truly positive change:


Jack v Sarcoma Ironman Blog – Week 15 (20/05/19 – 26/05/19)

Monday – REST

Tuesday – 1:00 Swim, 1:00 Run (Z2) with 4 x 2min Z4 sprints @ 1min

The swim distance has ramped up to about 2.5km’s per session, and I’ve also introduced a third session per week. I think if I’m going to actually do alright in one of the components then it’ll be the swim. I’ve also added some intervals mid-run to start to build my anaerobic capacity and to try and better control my heartrate.

I didn’t eat enough during the day and mid-swim/throughout the run I wasn’t in a great state. Packed a Gatorade which saved me.

Wednesday – 0:45 Bike into 0:30 Run (Z2)

Completed the components of the bike over a few sessions. Going to the gym for boxing, to and from work. Finally managed to borrow an old pair of bib knicks and a jersey. It looks so bad. Also took a tumble as I emerged from the car park before the ride to the gym. Some tradies in traffic behind me loved it.

Thursday – 1:00 Swim, 1:15 Bike (100rpm+) (Z1)

The swim felt good. Have locked in a swim analysis session on Sunday which should really get my technique fully up to scratch. Cycling is going well, loving being outdoors rather than inside on the indoor trainer

Friday – 1:00 Swim, 1:00 Run (Z2)

Visited an exercise physiologist out at Olympic Park to get some ideas on how I was tracking with strength and conditioning. Key items to come out of the visit were:

  • Flexibility is not good
  • My right leg is significantly weaker than my left
  • ‘Trunk’ needs work

He’s sent through a strength and mobility program to incorporate into the training twice a week. Fingers crossed my right ass can improve over the coming months.

Saturday – 1:30 Run (Z1 – Z2)

Felt good despite playing some extremely bad golf in the morning.

Sunday – 1:00 Technique Swim, 2:00 Cycle (Z2)

Rode to and from the swim session with the coach (Adam). It was fantastic and I came away with lots of different things to work on in the coming month’s training (breathing earlier, catching the water higher than I am currently). I’ll certainly head back for a refresh in 4-5 weeks time.

Came off the bike again on the way back from the swimming lesson out at Auburn. It was bleeding everywhere but a lovely lady in a car next to where I fell offered me her Dettol wipes and large band-aids which she seemingly keeps in the car for these extraordinarily unique occasions.


This week was a really good one exercise-wise. Started slow and sluggish but finished strong. These consultations with the physiologist and swimming coach will make a huge difference in the long run too. Monday will represent 26 weeks til game day.

As always, if you have any suggestions or ideas to help raise awareness for sarcoma research and/or the work CRBF do, please shoot me a message on social media or via email (jack.racklyeft@gmail.com). Please share this, or any information from my donation page below to anyone and everyone you can. I have no doubt that slowly but surely, we will start to raise awareness and to make a truly positive change:


City2Surf 2019

With a month to go, the Cooper Rice-Brading Foundation City to Surf team will once more spill onto William St, making their way onto New South Head Road, on the 14 km road to ‘Cure Sarcoma’.  

Register before 24th July and receive a $10 discount! It’s a two step process:

1. Register for the City2Surf 2019

Register for City2Surf 2019 at https://city2surf.com.au/

  • Join the TEAM “Coops Sprint for Sarcoma” as you register
  • Do NOT select a charity partner as you register for the event

2. Create a Fund-Raiser Page to Raise Funds for Cooper Rice-Brading Foundation

Go to https://city2surf2019.everydayhero.com/au/get-started

  1. Enter Your Page Title
  2. From the list of Charities select “Cooper Rice-Brading Foundation” – VERY IMPORTANT!!!
  3. Enter the remainder of details for the page
  4. Create Your Page
  5. Once page created select button on right to “Join an existing team”
  6. Search for Coops Sprint for Sarcoma
  7. Select “Join this Team”

Share your page with all friends and family through social media and email, and ask them to help us continue Cooper’s legacy to raise money for sarcoma research!

Week 2

Monday – REST

Tuesday – 1:00 Swim, 1:00 Run (Z2)

These sessions seem to be going quite well. The swimming stroke is getting more efficient with each passing session and the runs are probably my favourite training efforts at this stage.

Wednesday – 0:45 Bike into 0:30 Run (Z2)
Today was my first time ever riding with cleats, and first outdoors training cycle of the campaign. I was warned about the difficulties of twisting out of the cleats to stop and balance myself and as such, completed about 15 minutes of practice in our downstairs garage area before venturing out into the real world. I felt like an 8 year old learning to ride again and hit the deck at about the same rate. I assume this is what all professionals do regularly.

As part of a CRBF challenge, I sent out the challenge for supporters to bump the fundraising total up from $6.2k to $6.5k in a couple of hours. In exchange for this, I’d shave my hair into a Mohawk and sport it during the whole of Anzac Day. $300 worth of donations later and I looked maybe as
unattractive as I ever have in my life (and that’s saying something). Thank you once again for all your tremendous support! Keep telling your friends and family about the amazing cause!

Thursday – 1:00 Swim, 1:15 Bike (100rpm+) (Z1)
The swim was boring but relaxing. Completed this cycle indoors after the trials and tribulations of the inaugural outdoors cycle yesterday, but also because the Manchester Derby was on and I had to watch. Time flew by with that on… 2 – 0 to Man City. I’m pretty sure Bernardo Silva is not of this
world but I will continue to investigate.

Friday – 1:00 Run (Z2)
This was my first run with a shaved head following the success of the donations over the past week. I realised that I really must wear a cap for every run whilst in this state for a couple of reasons:
a) Sunburn prevention
b) My head gets too cold
If those two concerns don’t convince you that I’m Ironman material, then nothing ever will…

Saturday – 3:00 Cycle (Z2)
Nothing too interesting to report. Handlebars got a little loose and started to droop forward/down near the end of the ride which made things interesting/extremely dangerous.

Sunday – 1:30 Run (Z1 – Z2)
This was my longest week of work, hours-wise so far. I’m feeling great and the ratio/breakdown of training days for each discipline and the Monday rest days in my training plan seem perfect at the moment. Definitely need to do more stretching though. The coming week has 12 hours of training in
store and Monday will represent 31 weeks til game day.

If you have any suggestions or ideas to help raise awareness for sarcoma research and/or the work CRBF do, please shoot me a message on social media or via email (jack.racklyeft@gmail.com).

Please share this, or any information from my donation page below to anyone and everyone you can. I have no doubt that slowly but surely, we will start to raise awareness and to make a truly positive change:


Week One

As a method of better engaging with all those interested in my Ironman and fundraising journey throughout the year, I’ll be looking to whip up a weekly recap of the week that has been. Depending on feedback I receive back from my loyal followers (i.e. just my mum, potentially my girlfriend…) I’ll add more, shorten, or change the content I’m putting out.

Monday – REST

So far so good

Tuesday – 1:00 Swim, 1:00 Run (Z2)

For future reference, whenever I’m mentioning Z’s (Z1, Z2, Z3 or Z4) it’s in reference to my heart rate for the activity, with Z1 being a light workout and Z4 being unsustainable for more than 5-10 minutes. Given my lack of cardio ability in these early stages, the general gist for my workouts is to build my base aerobic capacity, which means staying in this Z1-Z2 zone.

Wednesday – 0:45 Bike into 0:15 Run (Z2)

These kinds of sessions start to build my tolerance during the final transition of the Ironman. The general consensus I’m getting about Ironman’s is that this transition from the 6.5hr cycle into the marathon run is the most difficult part of the race so it will understandably make up a lot of my sessions over these 30 or so weeks

Thursday – 1:00 Bike (100rpm+) (Z1)

Currently the most boring sessions I’m doing, mainly because I’m stuck on the indoor bike at the moment watching tedious amounts of classic English Premier League matches (Newcastle vs Arsenal 2010/11 was a ripper game to be fair…)

I also met with Tania Rice-Brading (co-founder of CRBF) for the first time. It was incredible to get a sense of her story and the trials and tribulations that her and her family have had to go through as a result of sarcoma. I’ve never met anyone who has truly made me feel so welcome and comfortable so quickly and I can’t wait to learn more about the foundation and its plans going forward!

Friday – 1:00 Run (Z2)

Knowing I had to leave at 6am to drive to Albury (6hrs) for the Easter Weekend, this run started at 4:30am. This run sucked.

Saturday – 1:00 Run (Z2)

Suspecting a potential sesh that evening, I tried to achieve a significant calorie deficit to make myself feel better about what was about to come. Ultimately, I was unsuccessful

Sunday – Not Alive (Z0)

Hungover, no movement detected…


This week’s work was solid, despite the disruption from the Easter Long Weekend. Missing out on the key long cycle on Sunday was the only major disruption. Next week has 11 hours of training in store and Monday will represent 32 weeks til game day.

As I will continue to ask during the coming weeks, if you have any suggestions or ideas to help raise awareness for sarcoma research and/or the work CRBF do, please shoot me a message on social media or via email (jack.racklyeft@gmail.com). Please share this, or any information from my donation page below to anyone and everyone you can. I have no doubt that slowly but surely, we will start to raise awareness and to make a truly positive change.


The English Channel Swim launches…

Matthew & Chris Watson with friend Sam Gilbert

The Watson family are impressive by any standards.  Professor John Watson is an eminent Sydney Neurologist, Senior Vice Dean of the UNSW Medical Faculty, and a former Rhodes Scholar, who now is the Deputy National Secretary for the Rhodes Scholarships in Australia.  His wife Julieanne is not only a very busy mother of four, but she holds an array of impressive qualifications which sees her professional life working with the Australiana Fund, preserving and acquiring a permanent collection of Australian artworks, which furnishes the official residences occupied by the Governor General and Prime Minister of Australia. When they are not devoting time to their four sons, and their respective careers, they are helping others in a multitude of ways.  Their reputation for giving is well recognised amongst those who know them well.

Family is everything to John and Julieanne, and it is hardly surprising this power couple have produced four boys who are carbon copies of their parents.  Matt 29, Chris 26, Tim 22 and Peter 16, are each already making their mark on the world, and they too have been taught the value of hard work, giving back, and being the best version of yourself.

Our family has known the Watsons for over a decade, due to friendships formed between our sons at Sydney Grammar School.  Our eldest son Mitch, and Tim Watson have been the closest of friends for many years. When Cooper was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, the family were the first to offer anything and everything to make life easier for him, and for us.  Put simply, they are the friends you need to have when your world is crumbling around you.

In 2016, Chris Watson offered to tutor Coop for HSC, whilst in hospital.  He was in Year Eleven and the rigours of chemotherapy made study very difficult.  Chris was instrumental in devising ways Coop could continue study, without overtaxing him, and allowing him to keep up with HSC commitments.  Nothing was ever any trouble to Chris. The sad reality was, Coop was in a state of decline, and study eventually took a back seat to survival.

In November of 2018, I was overseas and received a most unexpected text message from Chris, who is studying a Masters in Genetic Research, advising me of his intention to swim the English Channel, with brother Matt and their lovely friend Sam Gilbert.   The three young men, who are all working in, or studying medicine and science, had under their own volition, opted to undertake this gruelling swim, and direct funds raised from the swim, to the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health where Matt and Chris have helped as volunteers and participated in fly-in fly-out clinics to remote communities, and to our very own CRBF.  Not surprisingly the rest of the Watson family also volunteer with the Poche Centre, with Tim . We were totally humbled by the gesture.

By means of background…

Matt Watson is 28 and currently working as a Resident at the Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth, and has a strong interest in Indigenous Health issues, having done fly-in fly-out clinics with the Poche centre.  Matt studied a Bachelor of Commerce, and then MB BS at USyd, and is marrying his wonderful fiancee Sofie next month.

Sam Gilbert, 27 is currently working for biomedical engineering company, developing products with the hope of helping spinal injury patients to regain more function than currently possible.  Sam studied a Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Biomedical) at USyd, and is also a wicked chef.

Chris Watson, 26 is currently doing an MPhil, doing research toward treating genetic diseases of the brain at the Children’s Hospital Westmead, and will complete his medical course, an MD at USyd in 2019.  Chris also studied a Bachelor of Science, with an Honours year and the University Medal in neuroscience.

On February 2nd this year, the English Channel Swim was officially launched at a superb event in the magnificent gardens of the Watson family home, complete with magnificent catering, and a superb jazz band with music provided by Will McInnes, Rob Christian, Sam Rochlin and Ben Daniel.  Over 100 guests gathered to lend their support to these outstanding young men, who are preparing for the gruelling swim in July.

The Channel is a swim of about 44 km that can vary wildly depending on tides and conditions. The boys expect to take around 13 hours non-stop, and are currently training 10-12 hours per week, on top of their gruelling work and study schedules.   Apart from the 16-degree water of the English Channel, other challenges include negotiating sewage, freight ships in one of the world’s busiest waterway, and stinging jellyfish.

We at CRBF sincerely thank Sam, Chris and Matt for their generosity of spirit, and their thoughtfulness, and we wish them a safe and healthy passage throughout their swim.


https://crowdfunding.sydney.edu.au/project/13264  –

The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Sydney was established and funded in 2008 by philanthropists Greg Poche AO, Kay Van Norton Poche and their friend Reg Richardson AM.

The Poche Indigenous Health Network was created in Australia to make the most of the efforts and resources of the individual Poche Centres for Indigenous Health and to focus on issues best dealt with at a national level.

The Cooper Rice-Brading Foundation link may be found be going to: