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Jonathan Cloete(Jono) @jonocloete

Jonathan Cloete(Jono) @jonocloete
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Jonathan or Jono as he is better known, is the Managing Director of Urban Fitness Outdoor South Africa (UFO SA) a proud husband, and father of two gorgeous daughters. 

He is an endurance athlete and recently completed his first 70.3 Ironman in Durban. When you first meet Jono, you immediately appreciate his passion for life and all things outdoors and fitness. His love for all things outdoors is what drove him to start UFO SA, allowing him to share his passion for exercising with his clients and friends. 

Be inspired ….

EKL is me 🙂

JC is the endurance athlete husband, dad of two and businessman

EKL – Why did you decide to become an athlete, you cycle, run and recently became a triathlete?

JC – I have always loved sports and been an active person but lost my way after school and got fat and out of shape. In 2005 I started working for USN and underwent a huge body and lifestyle change. This made me realize that I wanted to dedicate the rest of my life helping others change their bodies and lifestyles. Choosing a career path in the fitness industry, I found myself dabbling in a few sports and eventually found a love for mountain biking and road cycling. Yes, I have recently taken on triathlons and I’m loving it 🙂

EKL – How long have you been cycling and running?

JC – I started running in 2009 and cycling in 2011

EKL – What is your preference road or trail running?

JC – I’m an outdoor junky and I love the off-road sports, so .. I would definitely say Trail Running. To get the mileage in, road is preferable but for enjoyment definitely the trails.

EKL – How do you prepare for a race (running & cycling) from a training and nutrition point of view?

JC – I break my year up according to the events that I have coming up, then work towards them. It’s important for me to ensure that each week, and month has a purpose. Once everything is put together, all the preparation helps me to achieve my goals and ultimately the times I would like to meet.

Nutrition plays a huge role in cycling and running, especially from a weight perspective. The facts are, if you can get your weight down through the right training and keep your power up, you are going to get faster! 

EKL – Having completed your first major triathlon recently, how did you find preparing for it differed, to when you prepare for a running or cycling race?

JC – The experience was a real eye opener.  I have competed in off-road triathlons and Xterra series events for a while now, but the ultra triathlon is very different. In all honesty, I banked on my bike as that’s my strong discipline and didn’t train enough for the swim and run… I had a huge wakeup call …and lesson learnt! I have subsequently adopted a strict training routine and I’m putting in the time to make sure that the next race I’m better prepared from all angles. Three disciplines of that distance in one race is a whole different kettle of fish, and needs to be respected and trained for. 

EKL – As a sport do you believe that these disciplines – cycling, running and triathlons – are growing in popularity in South Africa?

JC – 110% !! The Ironman entries are testament to this, they are sold out in minutes. There was a time that the entries took months to sell out. It’s also a really great workout and people get hooked on how good it makes you feel!

EKL – Which runner, cyclist and triathlete (PRO or Amateur) inspire you?

JC – Lance Armstrong! Doping or no doping he is still an unbelievable athlete. I am extremely against any use of enhancers or steroids, but I still think that to meet what he achieved and make the impact he made in his sport, speaks volumes about Lance.  

EKL – Of the three disciplines, swimming, cycling and running in a triathlon, which do you enjoy the most?

JC – Definitely the bike! 😁

EKL – I have heard that the transition zone in a triathlon can be overwhelming as your first open water swim. How would you advise a novice to approach this crucial element of a triathlon?

JC – I would say don’t rush it. At the end of the day as a novice, your main focus isn’t necessarily about time but more about completing the race. My recommendation is that you rather take it easy. Remember to breath, stay focused and make sure you don’t forget anything your running shoes 🙂 The extra minute or two you spend making sure you get everything done, shouldn’t significantly affect your overall time too much. Rather, it will contribute to you having a memorable experience over the duration of the race. Prepare! A good transition is all about preparation. 


EKL – Socks or no socks? Why? 

JC – LOL! Socks! Once again, it’s 5 seconds extra in transition that is going to make sure that you have a comfortable rest of the race. Cycling shoes without socks are very uncomfortable as is running without socks. Both can cause blisters that can definitely destroy the overall race experience for you. 


About The Author


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