I arrived last Wednesday and it has been an epic start to my 2 weeks here at Thanyapura. The weather has been hot, the training has been tough and the food has been spicy. As many of you may know I also did pretty well at a race yesterday but I will get into that later. I want to give you all a rough idea of what a normal day at Thanyapura is like. So I will start with my first day here, last Thursday.
I woke up after an amazing nights sleep surprised at how comfortable my bed was. Feeling good and taking advantage of the time difference meant that I was waiting at the buffet when it opened at 6:30 for my morning feed and caffeine hit. The buffet is epic with almost everything you could imagine, including options for everyone. After a quick bite to eat I rolled down to the entrance to the Sports Centre where we were met by Sergio, the head coach here. In total there was a group of about 12 of us that would be going for our 55km ride (most of the Laguna Phuket Course). We set off at an easy pace with our support vehicle and coaches guiding and following the group. We made our way to the transition area for the LPT race and from there we made our way to the horrifically awesome Naithon Hills. These hills are brutal around 12-18% and they just keep going. Even worse, you think you are done and there is another one. This was the first time I really experienced the heat. I was sweating like a pig. When I got over the hills we re-grouped at a 7-11. It is so god to be able to stop and pay 30c for a ice cold coke. From there we completed the course with some decent speed work around the Thanyapura TT loop. Back to Thanyapura and a quick shift from cycling gear to the runners.There is a great loop right next to the main entrance which is almost exactly 4kms. I went out and tried to build to around 4min/km. In the heat it is hard to run fast but was happy to build up to finish with a 4:18 and 4:13.
That afternoon it was into the pool for a solid 3km swim set. This was a brutal swim and towards the end of it I noticed a lone figure next to the pool. A guy called Brett Sutton, if you don't know who he is, he has coached some of the biggest names in triathlon. In fact he was joined by one of those athletes, Daniela Ryf, the current IronMan and 70.3 World Champion. I was certainly trying to focus on my technique with those two there! Out of the pool and into Booster Bar for a protein smoothie. a good way to stay cool in the heat.
With the arrival of another friend we decided to head out for another run in the afternoon. The same 4km loop with some extra thrown in. As we completed the run and while waiting at the front gate another couple of handy athletes ran into the main gate. Michael Raelert and Ruedi Wild both looking the goods. Raelert went on to win yesterday and is probably going to win next weekend too.
After the huge day of training it was out into Thailand for a Thai feast. I think we ate everything in Thailand and paid almost as much as a single meal in Sydney! It was an epic way to start my time here. Since then it hasn't gotten any easier. There has been some absolutely brutal sessions with the coaching staff pushing my limits constantly. But there has also been sessions which are not hard but just as important. I have been attending the mind training sessions which teach you how to deal with negative thoughts you experience while racing. I have also started doing some yoga to improve my flexibility with classes specifically designed for triathletes. It really is triathlon heaven here! So that is a taste of my time here so far. Tomorrow we are starting with a 120km ride with former Tour de France rider Nick Gates leading the ride. Just to keep up appearances I will probably swim and run too.
There was also a little race that happened here yesterday called the Laguna Phuket Triathlon. This is one of the truly iconic races in the world with a long list of triathlon legends racing here over the 21 years of the race. I went pretty well. Managing to win my age group. I am actually really blown away by it. I genuinely never thought I would win my age group and to do it at a really iconic race is exceptional. I will admit to having a few too many beverages celebrating last night, but hey it is Thailand! I wont add a detailed race report to this post because I feel like it is already too long. But if you would like me to write one I am happy to. Just comment below if you do and I will bang something together.
So that's it for today. It is late and I have another big day of training tomorrow.
Train hard and remember to TRI!