We are now approaching the final weeks before the Laguna Phuket Triathlon. These next 8 weeks are vital to help you prepare for the race ahead, but it’s also a perfect time to challenge yourself. Here are some top tips compiled by Thanyapura’s Head Triathlon Coach Sergio Borges.
Laguna Phuket Triathlon Tips
- Heat and Humidity
If you’re coming from overseas, I believe the first challenge you will face here is the heat and humidity. Temperatures can be as high as 40c and humidity close to 100 percent, so if you don’t like these conditions, be prepared for a tough day!
But wait, don’t freak out just yet! There’s a way to minimize the effects of the heat and humidity, and it can be easily done anywhere, all you need is a steam room or a sauna.
About three to four weeks out from the race, go to a steam room two to three times per week and just sit there for 10 to 15 min. By doing that, you’re making your body more efficient in dealing with heat and humidity so when you get to Phuket, you will feel a bit better.
- The Swim
The swim course at the Laguna Phuket Triathlon is incredible! Your first part of the swim is in the ocean followed by a roped course, then after a quick run you dive in the lagoon for the last 600m of the course. At the lagoon, you might feel like you’re swimming in the mud as you don’t have the buoyancy of the salt ocean water, so be prepared for slower pace!
My best advice is to swim more before the race. Most athletes overlook the swim training as they think it’s just a small part of the race, but the truth is that the swim is the foundation of the triathlon. The fitter you are swimming, the better you will feel on the bike, especially on the run!
- Proper Equipment – Have your bike ready to climb!
Next challenge you will encounter at the Laguna Phuket Triathlon is the hills! There are a few very steep hills (up to 22 percent grade) on the course and I often see athletes pushing their bikes up the hill due to improper gear on their bikes. If you are a strong cyclist and used to climb hills, I still recommend the use of a 39 (small chainring on the front) and a 28 (cassette on the back wheel). If you are a beginner or not used to climb hills much, you should be using what we call “Compact Cranks” that have smaller chain rings on the front (36 or even 34 teeth), making it easier to spin up the hills.
Also, make sure you practice your descending skills as some of the hills at the Laguna Phuket Triathlon course can be tricky! Always start braking BEFORE you start the turn and make sure, when descending, you shift your body weight to the back of the bike to achieve better control.
- Running in the Heat
As we talked about previously, the weather will be challenging so pay attention to hydration, especially during the cycling part is very important. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids on the bike (one to two bottles per hour), preferably of electrolyte drinks. When you get to the run, control your pace and do not start too fast, take your time at the aid stations to cool yourself off and get in enough fluids. I also advise athletes to consume calories during the bike and run as you need to replace the glycogen when exercising over 90 min. I recommend between 200-250Kcals/hour for women and 300-350Kcals/hour for men, through a sports drink, gels or bars.
It will be an amazing event at the Laguna Phuket Triathlon and the after party never disappoints us either! Good luck on your training and I will see you at the Laguna Phuket Triathlon.