TRIPLE the challenge


Tips from the top 

Doing a one mile sea swim or running a half marathon have become very popular challenges to take up, especially in Cayman where the outdoors beckon every day. However, if you want a real challenge, how about combining swimming, cycling and running?

Yes, the Cayman Islands Triathlon is upon us again, and whether you choose to take up the challenge as an individual or as a member of a team, the day has plenty to offer.

Set to take place on Sunday 4 November, the event, which is sponsored by Krys Global and A Step Ahead Physiotherapy, will offer two distances – an Olympic distance event featuring a 1500 metre swim, a 40 kilometre bike and a 10 kilometre run, or the more achievable sprint distance event which completes half the distance of the Olympic distance event.

The entry fee for the event is $50 for the sprint distance event, $75 for the Olympic distance, and $150 for teams, with the team competition only available in the Olympic distance event.

This year will see the race feature a new route due to the construction work on the Esterly Tibbetts bypass.

The start of the swim will still be Seven Mile Public Beach, following the same triangular course as in the past, with Olympic distance participants completing two loops versus the singe loop for the sprint distance participants.

The transition area will be in its familiar location in the parking area of Public Beach. However, instead of heading toward George Town, the bike route will see cyclists head out to West Bay along West Bay Road, turning down to the turnaround point at the Cayman Islands Turtle Farm before returning to Public Beach.

The Olympic distance athletes will complete the loop four times, with sprint distance athletes completing the loop twice.

From the transition area runners will head south down West Bay Road to the turnaround point at the southern end of the Westin. The Olympic distance competitors will complete four loops, with the sprint distance competitors completing two loops.

Detailed maps of the routes will be included in the athlete’s guide.

As defending champion and the top local finisher over the last couple of years, Marius Acker knows a thing or two about the Cayman Islands Triathlon. He should be right up there again contesting for the win, but many of the tips and tricks that help him to a win can help less experienced triathletes have a better race.

“Triathlon is all about what you do before the race, the training and the nutrition,” says Marius.

“Contrary to what most people will instinctively do, you need to train your weakest event the most, as this is where you can make the largest improvements.

“For most triathletes this will either be the bike or the run. Swimming twice a week should get you to the finish of the swim,” he says.

One of the most useful training tools is a workout called “a brick,” which involves doing a run immediately after a bike workout.

“Bricks will ensure a smooth transition from the bike to the run and will eliminate the jelly leg feeling when you start running due to fatigue, or at least you will know what to expect when you start running,” says Acker.

Taking part in the triathlon training series events organised by the triathlon association is a good test of whether you are on track with your training, and it will also allow you to be more relaxed on race day.

When it comes to pre-race nutrition, common sense plays a big role.

“Do not eat or drink anything the night before that can upset your stomach, like curry or any spicy foods. The night before the event you would want to go with a light meal. I normally do the carbo loading in the lunch meal before race day,” says Marius.

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