How to Approach Your Training in Asia
by Ironman Life
Athletes living and training in this part of the world must adapt their training to meet the distinct demands of their location and lifestyle.
Training for multisport events is no walk in the park. Couple the challenge with long working hours, lots of schoolwork, intense weather conditions and bustling urban landscapes, it is no surprise that a lot of athletes in Asian countries find it difficult to devote hours to training. With the growing popularity of IRONMAN races in Asia, an increasing number of athletes are finding it difficult to stick to a training plan that works with their lives.
How, then, can athletes plan their training to meet the demands of their location and lifestyle? Don’t worry, we’ve got you!
Finding time to train
Initially, participation in triathlons in Asia was skewed to executive-level workers who were able to afford the equipment and had more flexible working hours. Now that triathlon is becoming an increasingly mainstream sport, the participant demographic has widened to include people from different walks of life.
The struggle to juggle training, work and leisure is real, especially in Asia, where much weight is implicitly placed on work. In order to yield results, it is therefore important to ensure some time is consistently allocated daily to workout, even if it is just 40-minutes.
It is common for Asian triathletes to take on their daily workout routine at the start of the day—and we recommend it, too! Get up at around 5:00 am for a 60 to 90-minute workout and finish before 7:00 am. The advantages of training first thing in the morning are multiple: Early morning hours are cooler, and you’ll find it easier to stick to your training plan by not saving workouts for the end of the day, when you can get busy or tired.
Of course, there will be days where it will be hard to schedule the time for training. Even if your scheduled 2-hour workout has to be reduced to 30 minutes, make it count. A quality high-intensity 30- minute session, or even converting that to a flexibility or a strength session will count towards your race campaign.
Dealing with unpredicatable conditions
Countries across Asia experience unique weather patterns. East Asian countries have a temperate climate and enjoy cooler days, while their neighours in Southeast Asia experience a lot of rainfall and heat. Triathletes in the region have to adapt their training plan according to the different weather conditions.
The summer months of March to May are the hottest across the region, where temperatures may reach as high as mid-40 degrees Celsius. Again, we recommend training before the sun goes up to avoid the heat. If your schedule does not permit, and you find yourself needing to train when it is scorching out there, load up on calorie-dense foods, such as quinoa and peanut butter, and avoid dehydration.
June to September are the wettest months in Southeast Asia. The unpredictable nature of the rainfall can derail your training plans. Avoid scheduling your outdoor workouts in the afternoon, as the weather patterns forecast the highest probabilty of rain during this time of the day. During the monsoon period, when it will rain intermittently throughout the day, a gym membership, a treadmill, or a bike trainer will be your best options.
Riding safe in chaotic city centers
Doing your swim and run workouts in Asian cities is not a problem, as there are numerous options: pools, parks, and running tracks. Biking outdoors though, can prove to be challenging. Aside from the traffic that many Asian cities are known for, most are not the ideal places for a bike workout. There are often few (or non-existant) bike lanes. Assuming there are bike lanes, they are often used by motorists or for parking. The bike culture in most Asian countries is not as strong as that of the European countries.
This is why we recommend bike trainers. This handy exercise equipment allows you to complete your bike workout within the safe confines of your home. You never have to worry about training intensity or boredom, as most trainers can be dialed up for harder workouts and the smart bike turbo trainers gives you access to virtual riding applications, simulating popular riding routes.
On weekends, you may consider driving to nearby provinces, where there will be less traffic, wider roads, and better air quality.
Consistency is still the key
In the end, it all boils down to consistency. Executing a triathlon training plan in Asia may seem daunting. The more creative you are in finding pockets of time around your various commitments, the more consistent you will be with improving your fitness. Each individual has different sets of challenges, and we recommend identifying these challenges before creating your training routine. Commit to your lifestyle changes, and we guarantee that you will become a pro at managing your time while accomplishing your triathlon goals!
Share this article