NOOSA triathlete Pete Jacobs has pushed his body to painful new limits as he attempts to achieve legend status at next month's Ironman World Championships in Kona.

After finishing third in yesterday's Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast (half-Ironman), the 2012 world champion said he had punished his body more than ever before in his decorated triathlon career.

The workload took its toll during yesterday's race but Jacobs believes it will pay off when he attempts to achieve the rare feat of winning multiple World Championships.

"The legs have been smashed," Jacobs (pictured) said.

"I have smashed them more than I have previously just because I'm training in a different way."

The intense preparation is aimed at conditioning Jacobs' body for the extreme fatigue he will feel in the final 10km of Hawaii's famously difficult world championship course.

"I'm trying to change that behaviour pattern in my legs where they are used to that pain; they are used to that shattered feeling and hopefully the last 10km of the run there in Hawaii does feel a bit more familiar and a bit more comfortable," Jacobs said.

The championship race comprises of a 3.8km open water swim, a 180.2km bike ride across the Hawaiian lava desert and a 42.2km run.

The fact yesterday's 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km run was treated mainly as practise for the world championships made Jacobs' third place in a strong field even more impressive.

But the best news coming out of the race was that Jacobs was no longer dealing with the back problem that plagued him as he failed to finish last year's world championship race.

"Under pressure of guys attacking, that's when the little faults will show up, but nothing showed up today," he said.

"I had worked really hard on the bike and I got off and I ran pretty hard at the start of the run and that's when it normally can seize my back up a little bit, but it was barely there and I felt really good."

He will spend the next fortnight continuing his torturous regimen then taper off ahead of the October 11 race. "I'm training in a different way and that's going well and I think it has built a lot of resilience in my legs," he said.

"Once I add that with some freshness I'll take a lot of confidence heading into Hawaii."

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