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Jurgen Zack gives training tips for the Phuket Triathlon



PHUKET: Coming to Phuket for the first time as an athlete 14 years ago had me quite excited.

I did not have to worry about cold weather. I could leave my shoe covers and my arm and leg warmers at home. I could work on my physical fitness and my tan.

Having been here for awhile, I now recognize the special challenges of riding a bike in Phuket. It’s not a walk – or a cycle – in the park at all.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

Choose your ride according to your fitness

If you are a beginner stay on a flat or rolling course. The hills in Phuket are pretty steep. It’s better to build a base first before you challenge the mountains.

Be aware of dangers

You are not alone on the road, so obey the traffic rules. Be aware of tuk-tuks, cars, motorbikes, trucks, buses and pedestrians around you.

Watch out for potholes, speed bumps and dogs.

Your bike should be in good technical condition

Make sure your brakes and shifters are working right. Lubricate your chain regularly.

Pump your tyres up to 6-8 bar = 110-120psi, the ideal pressure for the roads here.

Carry spare tubes and a pump on your rides. Learn how to change a tyre. Carrying a mini-tool kit might also be helpful.

Stay hydrated

Getting enough fluids is essential during your workouts, especially in this climate.

Water alone doesn’t do the trick. Having a drink with minerals and some calories makes you go longer and prevents cramps.

Use sun/UV protection

Getting sunburned suppresses your immune system and raises your body temperature. This negatively effects your performance.

Join a group ride

Thanyapura Sports and Leisure Club offers group sessions every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sundays. They leave at 7am. Training for all levels and work on riding skills, strength and endurance is offered.

With the right preparation, riding a bike in Phuket will be a wonderful experience. Enjoy the view and make new friends.

Jürgen Zack, Director of Triathlon Training at Thanyapura Sports and Leisure Club, will offer training tips and advice for Phuket Gazette readers who intend to participate in these most demanding of events.

— Jurgen Zack


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