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T minus five weeks for Royal Phuket Marina’s Tri Tim



PHUKET: Now in his 20th week of training for the Laguna Phuket Triathlon (which started off with just a walk around the block), Tim’s activity rate has built up slowly but surely to where he is now stronger, a lot fitter and 12kg lighter.

Although he continues to improve, it has not always been smooth sailing. The last four weeks have been particularly tough, where a combination of traveling, catching a cold which proved unshakable, and developing a sore knee has caused major interruption to my training and performance levels.

Darren has always provided training alternatives that have allowed my knee to recover while keeping up my endurance, and I have always been able to get in the odd gym session while on the road, but my biggest problem lately has been a head cold that I picked up and just couldn’t shake. I had never really had much of a problem with colds, only ever getting the odd one and always recovering pretty quickly. The difference this time was that my body simply wasn’t recovering, probably due to the fact I was doing the most exercise I had ever done my entire life!

So knowing that strenuous exercise suppresses the immune system and prolongs the recovery process, my activity rate had to drop dramatically, which affected every part of my training. When you’re counting down to a big endurance event, an interruption like this can be distressing for a newbie like me and I felt that every training session I missed was a step backwards.

So against Darren’s best judgment, I convinced him that I was recovering well (I was not) and he allowed me to do some workouts in the gym, the odd spin class and to get back on the bike and tackle the hills again.

At this point I really only felt about 70 per cent healthy and that’s about where my performance was at too. Two weeks before I had steamrolled the Nai Thon Hills during a 72km ride, but this time around those hills seemed a lot steeper and longer. I had to walk the last 150m of the final climb and the ride only lasted 40km in total.

I kind of wished at that point that I could retract my last article bragging that I had conquered the infamous hills of the Laguna Phuket Triathlon.

So what is the lesson I have learned here? First, listen to what your body is telling you and communicate this to your trainer. And secondly, sometimes the best training for you is to put your feet up on the couchand read a book or watch TV. Who would have thought!

This life changing journey has taught me many things over the last five months. One is that I am an extremely lucky person to have been given this opportunity and now it’s my turn to give back. I, along with the other competitors in the Laguna Phuket Triathlon, are being asked to raise money through online sponsorships to help raise an estimated 600,000 baht required to set up and run a 12-month Survival Swim program for Thai children in the Thalang district.

Did you know drowning is the highest cause of death for Thai children under the age of 15? In fact, an average of four children drown each day in Thailand. That’s why teaching children to be competent in water, with the ability to get to safety, is a major priority for coastal regions. The Laguna Phuket Survival Swim program aims to educate over 2,600 of Phuket’s children and ultimately save lives.

If you would like to support this worthy cause through my participation in the Laguna Phuket Triathlon, please donate via, or send an email to


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