Tips for your best performance at the Challenge Phuket



By Vinnie Santana — ironguides.net coach, Thailand


[quote align=”center” color=”#ff0000″] The traditional Laguna Phuket Triathlon, is a well-known event among triathletes based in Asia. It provides a mix of a destination race on the beautiful island of Phuket combined with the challenges of a middle distance course with heat and hills, add to that a party atmosphere and you have a very unique race.

Back in 2010 the organizers have announced an Ironman 70.3 event on the following weekend of the traditional race. In 2013 the race became Challenge Phuket. This has added spice to the event as now beginners can step up and try the half ironman distance and performance athletes can get their PB’s. Regardless of your goal, the tips below will help your preparation for the event.[/quote]

Swim (1.9km)

Apart from being one hundred meters longer, the swim lay out is exactly the same as the Laguna Phuket Triathlon.

A beach-run start is always a fun way to begin a race. However, unless you are trying to place in your age group, take this run relatively easy: otherwise you will spike your heart rate and it will take a couple of hundred meters in the water to catch your breath.

The first half of the swim is held in the beautiful waters of Bangtao Beach. There are usually no currents and waves which makes the first part of the swim relatively easy.

Then you run another 100 meters across the beach to dive into the resort’s lagoon. This is a challenge since the ocean water has a higher density than the lagoon (or a swimming pool), so there is a sinking feeling for the first few hundred meters of the next swim section.

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You can simulate this change in training with the following swim set:

  • Choice warm-up
  • [3x100m hard with the pull buoy – 10sec rest
  • 3x100m hard without pull buoy – 10sec rest
  • 2x100m very easy recovery – 60sec rest]
  • X2-3 (do the set above two or three times, depending on your experience)

Swimming with a pull buoy helps you float better. It also changes your balance and technique in the water. When you take the pull buoy off and do another several hundred meters of repeats at race-pace effort, you will feel the difference in terms of how high you are in the water—exactly the same way you feel when you switch from the ocean to the lagoon in the Phuket swim!

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