CAPE TOWN – Kyle Buckingham has competed in 30 Ironman competitions since 2009, 40 half Ironman competitions and has earned himself 3 Ironman victories and many podium finishes.The 37-year-old, who was born in Port Elizabeth, turned professional in 2014 after winning his age group at the Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii in 2013.In 2018, he won the Ironman African Championships in his home town of Port Elizabeth and he’s preparing for his biggest race of the year, the Ironman African Championships which will be held on 29 March.He logs an average of 18 hours riding, seven hours running, six hours of swimming, and up to three hours of weight training per week on his biggest weeks in the build-up to a big race.For this, he gives some of the credit to his nutrition sponsor Fry’s Group, as Buckingham introduces a lot more of a plant-based style food into his diet. He said that incorporating more of a plant-based diet into his daily routine had given his body better time to recover and feels so much more energy when training. Buckingham says that he needs all the recovery and energy he can get when preparing full time for an Ironman, as every day is pretty intense and taxing on the body.“Honestly, I have felt that it has changed me as an athlete and sometimes I feel that I’m still that 29-year-old athlete with so much energy every day,” he said.KYLE BUCKINGHAM’S WEEKLY TRAINING PROGRAMMEMONDAY:“Mondays are normally my ‘off’ days. I use these days to catch up on emails, admin and everyday life stuff. [My wife] Lauren and I sometimes go for a nice breakfast and then I like to use my rest day to get a massage, stretch and meditate in an Epsom salt bath. I will sometimes do a 1-hour core and strength work out too.”TUESDAY:A bike ride of between 3 to 4hours, including low cadence work up a climb of about 10m, which I will do 3 to 6 times depending on my fitness.A 4km to 5km lunchtime strength-oriented swim.A one hour evening run around the hills in our suburbs.WEDNESDAY:Start with a two-hour bike ride with some very high intensity short, sharp intervals – a VO2 Max workout – followed by an easy 30-minute run. In the afternoon a hard, threshold 4km to 5km swim (e.g. 15 X 150m main set).THURSDAY:A four-hour easy endurance bike ride around the hills where we live then a 4km to 5km technique swim. Later I’ll do a 14km speed run either on the treadmill or at the track. At the track, I will normally do a 6 x 1,000m as the main set.FRIDAY:An easy 90-minute spin on the bike then a hard 4km to 5km swim – Friday is 50’s where I will normally do 60 x 50 as my main set. A 10km easy run and a 1-hour core and strength workout.SATURDAY:A five hour to six-hour bike ride, focusing on the long Ironman race pace work of around two hours on the main set. This is followed by a run off the bike, with the first half done at half Ironman race pace and then the rest at an easy pace.SUNDAY FUNDAY:Normally a 30km to 35km run. Depending on how close it is to my next race, I will start specific Ironman pace work, for example, 5 weeks out I will start pushing intensity into the run.A 5km technique swim or a 2km flat-out race pace open water swim and then back into the pool to do a 2km cool down.“That’s it, nothing technical just consistency and hard work to get the results.“Nutrition is a fundamental part of my preparations to be the best athlete I can be. We generally eat a very healthy diet consisting of vegetable and fruit, and a good source of carbohydrates such as rice, quinoa and sweet potatoes, plus healthy good fats such as avocados, nuts and coconut oils, to mention a few,” said Buckingham.