Training Camps and Testimonials

  • IMSA TRAINING CAMP 6-8 March 2020


The Team Tissink training camp is always a highlight in our training program.  Under the guidance of our two coaches, Raynard and Natalie Tissink, they give us the opportunity to simply focus all our energy on training. This is the time to push your limits, refine your form and brush up on your racing skills whilst enjoying the company of other athletes with the same goal in mind.

The friendly and energetic volunteers handing out refreshments and cheering you on throughout the weekend, the expert advice from our coaches, together with the beautiful surroundings of Port Elizabeth, makes for an unforgettable weekend of SWIM, BIKE and RUN!  – Lizelle Truter – Port Elizabeth, South Africa

In 2018 having committed to IMSA, I participated in Raynard and Natalie Tissink’s IMSA Training Camp.
This turned out to be among the very finest and most memorable experiences of all my years traveling, training and racing.   From the introductory dinner with the tight knit Tissink squad and other out of town athletes to the final day of riding and running the beach front run course there really is no better way to immerse yourself in the spirit of Ironman while preparing yourself for race day.  Want to create memories and friends for life all while gaining a training edge?  Look no longer.   Raynard and Natalie treat you like family.  – Michael Wendorf. USA

Team Tissink Training Camps are a superbly organized addition to any Ironman training block, even more so if you are competing in IMSA in Port Elizabeth or preparing for any triathlon event.  Track and pool facilities are easily accessible, the ocean is warm, and Raynard and Natalie impart so much shared experience and wisdom between them.  Athletes of all abilities have a chance to swim bike and run together with back-up support from the Team Tissink Isuzu vehicle, and nutrition needs covered by generous sponsorship.  Evening talks at the welcome evening will inspire you to get the most from the camp.  Even when it rains, and it DOES sometimes on race day, the team energy and humor will get you through some sessions you barely believed you were capable of. As they say in Ironman….Anything Is Possible! – Kelly van der Toorn, Cape Town, South Africa

The thought of training with other athletes made me feel nervous, but the team and all the athletes were extremely welcoming and friendly from the start.

The training camp kicked off Friday morning, with a bike ride along the IMSA race course. We were encouraged to do hill repeats at our own pace and time while getting familiar with the route and gear choices on hills. The bike session left me with a better understanding and confidence for the bike course.

We had a delicious brunch to fuel up for the afternoon swim and brick run.

Coming from Namibia we do not have a lot of open water opportunities. Paul Wolf the race director, was there to tell us a bit more about rip currents and where exactly we were going to start and exit the water on race day. We did a 10km run after the swim covering part of the race course.

Saturday and Sunday was a packed day of training, but I never once felt that I could not commit to the next session. It was wonderful to feel I can do it all at my own pace, time and effort.

During the weekend Raynard and Natalie shared a lot of technical knowledge. I had three days of excellent training. I gained insightful knowledge of racing and the course. I made lots of new friends and came home feeling more relaxed and ready for the Wold Championships. I would highly recommend Team Tissink training camps. – Adele de la Rey, Windhoek, Namibia

As a long standing member of team Tissink (2013) I have been asked to write a testimonial on the Team Tissink training camps I have attended.

First of all let me start by saying that participating in a TT camp is really a great experience, for many reasons and I have done quite a few of them.  On each camp I really enjoy the vibe and the team spirit, no matter what level of athlete you are – from Age Group, to Pros,  to weekend warriors like myself;  and then to the complete beginners the camp, caters for everyone.

The camps are very well organized from the planning of water points, back up drivers, support crew etc.

The swims are probably the most daunting for newbies or the weaker swimmers. In saying that I have seen people that have gone from beginners to actually completing full distance 3.8km swims thanks to the coaching that Ray and Natalie provide, and their time taken in the water helping those people overcome their fears. They always join the athletes in the water during the ocean swims on camp, instructing and advising continuously throughout the swim.

The bike leg of the camp is probably where you spend the longest portion of the camp. It is here where time and logistics is of importance and they have such in depth knowledge of the local course and will really help you prepare for race day.  With advice on what to expect if the east wind blows or what to do in the case of the west wind this is all so important to know and you will gain so much on race day with this information.

On the run, Team Tissink will have each athlete doing different speeds and intervals from the fastest to slowest with everyone finishing at almost the same times.

Ray will be out there from start to finish moving between the groups while Natalie co-ordinates the logistics for the day.

Team Tissink always have crew to assist and will have people out on the course to help with mechanicals or if you having issues, so there is always someone looking out for you.

The part I recommend most about Team Tissink camps is the fact that you are all there to learn and improve. You really cannot ask for better, or for more knowledgeable people than the Tissink’s. They always make you feel welcome and somehow they also push your limits, with a smile on the face.  So for all those considering the camp I hope that you make the trip it’s always a good time with good people – Brandon Harcus – Port Elizabeth, South Africa

A bit about Team Tissink:

Team Tissink Coaching Academy is made up of Raynard and Natalie Tissink, who jointly have more than 50 years of coaching and racing experience.

Based in the Ironman city of Port Elizabeth, Raynard and Natalie help athletes achieve their goals of crossing the Ironman finish line and hearing the words ‘You are an Ironman’

Both Raynard and Natalie have raced around the World and know what it takes to perform at the highest level.

They have helped Elite athletes achieve world records and have helped absolute beginners cross the finish line smiling

Raynard Tissink is an 8 x Ironman Champion      

Raynard started competing in triathlons at the age of 16. He was successful from the start and immediately became hooked on this challenging multi-disciplined sport. He achieved success in all distances of the race, with numerous SA titles from Sprint Distance, Olympic, Half Ironman, and Ultra to Ironman distances.

His 1st Ironman was the Ironman South Africa event in Gordon’s Bay in 2000, where he finished 10th. From there he went on to Malaysia in 2001 and finished in 3rd place. Ironman South Africa in 2001, saw him finish 2nd behind multiple Ironman Champion – Lothar Leder. It was at this race that his immense passion and drive to excel in this challenging sport was fuelled.

In his 4th Ironman in Korea, he took his first Ironman win and went on to compete in 33 Ironman events.

He achieved 8 Ironman wins, 12 further podium finishes and 4 Top Ten finishes at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, with his highest placing 5th in 2010.

Natalie Tissink

Natalie has been at Raynard’s side since 1994. They were married in 1996 and have 2 children, Kade and Jordi.

Natalie has been involved in competitive sport since the age of 6 and achieved the following:

  • South African National Colours for swimming and national swimming Champion.
  • Springbok Colours – Lifesaving.
  • South African National colours for triathlon
  • 30 years of coaching experience, and opened 5 franchise swim schools in Jhb (Morningside, Benoni, Cresta, Midrand and Northgate Virgin Actives)
  • Qualified swimming teacher and coach
  • Qualified massage therapist
  • Qualified personal trainer

 If you are interested in joining, please contact Natalie for more info on costs and to book your place.

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