Ironman Malaysia: New course review

    Posted On Nov 18 2015

      The 2015 edition of Ironman Langkawi, in Malaysia, was held on a new course from all the previous years of the most traditional ironman event in South East Asia. The previous course was held downtown, which had certain advantages and disadvantages, while the new course is a lot more scenic since it combines two of Langkawi most famous beaches and tourist destinations.

      Getting there & finding yourself around

      Getting to Langkawi is relatively easy especially from Kuala Lumpur airport with multiple daily flights, once you land in Langkawi the airport sits exactly right in between transition 1  and the finish line (10-15min drive each way), and literally a quick walk from transition 2 and where the ironman town is (expo, registration, briefing, etc), so regardless where you decide to stay, getting around is very easy as the organizers also offers free shuttle services.

      The swim start will make it more convenient on race morning and a great holiday resorts, while the finish area (Cenang beach) has more options of things to do (restaurants, bars, shops, malls).

      Air Conditioned Transtition 2 - and special needs on the run course

      Air Conditioned Transtition 2 – and special needs on the run course

      Race day weather

      Moving the race date from September to November had a positive impact on race day temperature as it’s early in the South East Asia “winter”, that said you should still be ready for the hottest race you’ve done.

      On the days leading to the event and the day after the race, there was some light rain and the temperature was very comfortable on the mid 20’s celcius, race day was warmer, ranging in between to high 20’s to low 30’s Celcius, so while hot, it was on average a few degrees cooler than the 2014 edition. The run times also reflects this, in 2014 only 3 athletes were able to break 3h12’ on the run, while in 2015 there were 7 athletes under that mark.

      Transition 1

      Transition 1

      Swim (2x 1.9k loops)

      See also:  Are heat training camps replacing altitude training?

      The swim course was held on The Dana, a luxury resort located at the tropical beach lagoon at Pantai Kok with clean protected waters greatly enhancing the athlete experience.

      Rolling start also made it a safe and enjoyable experience, but one downside of the new swim course is traffic that the faster swimmers will deal with on their second lap of all slower swimmers still on their opening lap.

      Swim Course

      Swim Course

      Bike ( 1.5 lap)

      The bike course was similar to the old 2014 course, athletes just would experience the hills at different points of the 180k course. The first 10km is a mix of false flats and gentle rolling hills before athletes reach the “Monkey Zone”, a 15km stretch of short hills, once out of the Monkey Zone, the course is mostly flat for the next 30km, until it hits its way out of town, that’s when the steeper and longer hills are, then it flattens out again until you start lap 2.

      Expect a variety of terrain, hills, flats and technical roads and scenery, rice fields, villages

      Expect a variety of terrain, hills, flats and technical roads and scenery, rice fields, villages

      To train for this bike course, you need to be fit all aspects of cycling, climbing, endurance and especially learning how to get back to your cruise speed after you reach the top of each hill, this is something most athletes don’t get right and doing it over 180km k’s in a course like Langkawi can save you a lot of time. It’s a very honest course but fun since you will have a large variety of views and terrain.

      _DSC5043

      The course is partially shaded and also open to (light) traffic, be patient and be safe. Road conditions are mostly decent.

      See also:  Hong Kong is Host to Newest Challenge Family Race

      Run (2.5 lap)

      The run course was the big improvement from the 2014 since it now has little to no traffic and is a lot more scenic than the previous years, running literally next to Langkawi’s most famous beach (Cenang) and the run alongside the airport runway also makes it a fun experience.

      _DSC5737

      The one downside reported from some of the athletes who did both 2014 and 2015 is that the new run course has less spectators being out of town and for the beginner and slower athletes it can get very dark late in the marathon.

      If you have supporters, the Meritus Pelangi Resort & Spa is a perfect hosting venue since the run course runs through the hotel and your supports can stay entertained or even go to town while you are out for the next laps.

      Another fun touch of this all flat course, is running through the air-conditioned transition area on each lap, a nice break from the sun where you will have access to your special needs bag.

      _DSC5801

      And to finish things off, the chute is by Cenang beach, making this a perfect destination race!

      Enjoy your training and see you in Langkawi 2016

      Related: 

      Ironman Malaysia: Best Photos

      Train with ironguides!

      Download our free e-Book “Triathlon Secrets” – Training methods of olympic medalist, ironman and world champions revealed

      Personalized Online Coaching:  Starting at USD190/month

      Monthly Training plans (for all levels, or focused on one discipline): Only USD39/months

      Event based training plans:

      Sprint Distance (USD45 for 8-week plan)

      Olympic Distance (USD65 for 12 week plan)

      Half Ironman (R$95 for 16-week plan)

      Ironman (USD145 for 20-week plan)

      X-Terra (USD65 for 12-week plan)

      Running Plans (10k, 21k and 42k – starting at USD40)

      More info at www.ironguides.net

      Follow us
      Facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagram
      Share this article
      Facebooktwittermail

      Comments

      comments


      follow us on facebook.com/asiatrilive