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Basic training tips for Phuket’s athletes



PHUKET: As we all know, Phuket is a world renowned holiday destination for thousands of people from around the globe. But did you also know it is one of the ultimate training and competition destinations in the eyes of international athletes?

The island has mountains, hill trails, sandy beaches, beautiful coastlines and hosts many local and international sporting events – so why not make the most of them? With the first quarter quickly behind us and a watery wake-up after the Thai New Year, people are asking me how to get in shape for local charity runs, triathlons, marathons and even iron man events. So here we go.

The distance run in a marathon is 26 miles and 385 yards. So why do people throw themselves into this type of race? Many want to tick the marathon box off their checklist, some just love running and others thrive on the challenge to get fit. It’s a funny fact that many first time runners choose to start with a marathon. So lets kick off with the basics.

1) Work backwards from the actual date of the race so you can predetermine how many weeks you have to build your strength and endurance. Most first time marathon runners (novices) will need at least 25-35 weeks to condition themselves for such an event. More experienced runners may only need 10-20 weeks prep time, depending on their current running fitness and ability.

2) Start slowly and build your endurance gently over time. Most coaches believe one long run session per week (usually performed on the day after a full rest or active rest day) plus 2-3 walk /run training days per week is required for beginners. I repeat; take it easy. If you need to mix jogging with walking, that is fine. In fact, fast walking itself is a great activity to include into your weekly routine.

3) Monitor your heart rate. When I trained with Mark Allen (Ex-World Ironman Champion) he recommended keeping your heart rate below 140 BPM (especially on hills) for the first 5-10 weeks of base training. I would follow this advice as it builds a great aerobic base and helps with lung capacity early in the game.

4) It is not just about the running. While running is the base of your training, avoid the very real trap inherent in any sport or athletic endeavour – to believe that more is better. Over training can lead to psychological and physiological challenges, as well as injuries, so plan your rest and recovery days to be as important as your training.

5) Cycle your training with periods of both high and low volume exercise, in order to build your endurance. This is called periodization and is used by most coaches around the world. Avoid constantly trying to increase your distance and to go further each time you head out the door.

6) Building endurance means starting slow, yet you do not want to train the systems in your body to operate in slow mode 100 per cent of the time. (If you always train slow you will always be slow) Speed work needs to be considered. Focus on perfecting your running technique first, and when you do speed work, warm up thoroughly and train correctly. Please note that speed work is tough on the body, and if you are doing more distance and speed work, both your intensity and your load has increased. I suggest finding a qualified and experienced trainer to help structure a specific program.

So there you go, the basics to get you started on your endurance training. I hope these tips will continue to enhance your training knowledge and improve your athletic lifestyle in the stunning surroundings of Phuket!

Follow Hayden on W: Facebook/RhodesToHealth.

Keep checking our online Phuket Sports pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter for the latest local, national and international sporting news.

— Hayden Rhodes


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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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