The nation of Thailand has recently suffered one of the most devastating experiences any country could endure: the people’s beloved king—the man they called “father”—died on 14th October 2016 after a legendary reign that spanned wars, social upheaval and the country’s transition from third world nation to tourism mecca.

The late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s funeral procession brought the nation to its knees—but as a publication dedicated to fitness, the photo that resonated with us most is the image of a Thai cyclist who stopped in mid-ride to pray for his beloved king in front of Bangkok’s Grand Palace.

Photo Credit: Roberto Schmidi/AFP/Getty Images

A nation carries on

Despite declaring the traditional 30-days of mourning, the nation is determined to carry on in the spirit of their adored king, which is why the scheduled Powerman Thailand is going to take place on 22nd January 2017 in Nakhon Nayok despite this tragedy.

For athletes bound and determined to find ways to honour the king, running the best event possible will give those looking forward to this premier duathlon a chance to dedicate their performances to the late monarch. Athletes traveling to Thailand from outside its borders also get the chance to pay homage to the late ruler of their host country by striving for personals best as a sign of deep respect.

Photo Credit: 123RF

About the Powerman Thailand

Even athletes can appreciate the introduction of an exciting new addition to Thailand’s schedule of competitive events. Powerman Thailand rides the coattails of the multi-sport phenomenon sweeping across Asia, so for fans or those eager to try a duathlon, this run-bike-run event could prove irresistible.

Organisers anticipate 1,500 competitors in Nakhon Nayok, a scenic area located around 116 km northeast of Bangkok. The venue is far enough away from urban areas to eliminate traffic and other obstacles, but near enough to Bangkok to allow visitors to take advantage of the city’s cultural and entertainment experiences. The Powerman promises rigorous competition, opportunities to complete in a beautiful land and a great way to enjoy Thailand’s legendary hospitality.

Bicycle symbol lane on the road in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand. The bike lane was built to promote physical activity.

Should you compete?

There’s no better way to start off a new year than by testing your mettle. Whether you’re an accomplished biathlete or you have been looking for an excuse to try your hand at a race that pairs running with cycling, Thailand’s premier Powerman promises athletes the experience of a lifetime once they’ve chosen from the category menu that includes Individual and Team Relay Classics (10km – 60km – 10km) and Individual Short and Team Relays (5km – 30km – 5km). Registration is underway.

Visit here for more details so you can begin to make travel plans early enough to avail yourself of affordable transport and lodging rates.

Photo Credit: 123RF

About Nakhon Nayok

If you’re a veteran competitor whose running and cycling passion is enhanced by the beauty that surrounds you, falling in love with this region of Thailand won’t be hard. The Nakhon Nayok area and community is so gorgeous, it could distract you if you’re not laser-focused on your performance and goals while competing in the Powerman.

Best known for lush waterfalls amid verdant, unspoiled landscapes, this is an area dominated by the Khao Yai National Park, where flat terrain interspersed with picturesque peaks and a juncture of rivers that feed the aforementioned waterfalls are breathtaking.

This area dates back to the Dvaravati Kingdom of the 11th century, so you will see ruins, sacred Buddhist temples and botanical gardens, yet the roads on which you will run are some of the best in Asia. With close access to the city of Bangkok, adding a short runcation to your the Powerman makes the perfect way to usher in the year 2017.

Photo Credit: 123RF

How to prepare for the Powerman Thailand

Get yourself into proper shape for the Powerman by following these 5 tips so you’re ready for January:

  1. Train sensibly. Don’t begin your training program so aggressively, you wind up sore, irritated and ready to quit because you pushed too fast and too hard. Devote a small amount of time to strengthening your running and cycling skills daily, and then increase that time gradually to build stamina and confidence.
  2. Condition yourself to think ahead so no matter in which position you find yourself during the running or biking legs of the Powerman, you’re not literally or figuratively dwelling in the past. Everyone’s pace is unique. If you believe that your turn to lead the pack is possible, you can make it so.
  3. Practice transitions. It’s not enough to run like the wind and bike like a tornado if you don’t master transition techniques that take you from running to biking and back again. Ask a friend to time you as you switch back and forth. Want to train like a pro? Have him or her use a mobile to capture your transitions so you see where you need improvement. Limit transition tests to 40 minutes each and you’ll improve from week to week.
  4. Don’t cut corners. A secret to running an efficient duathlon is to wear two pair of athletic shoes. You may be surprised by the number of participants who believe one pair will do, but in fact, separate shoes that are placed at transition points with laces open is a tactic used by those who know how to win!
  5. Train in correct order: run, bike, run. This helps you accustom yourself to the connective rhythm of your event so your body responds properly each time you switch sports. Put your body through its paces exactly as you will during the duathlon so you don’t slow down just because you switched gears.

Ready to make your mark? Dig out your passport and you’re ready to fly. Will you make 2017 the year you sign up for an event that’s more than just a running competition?

Liam Cayton

Liam is a competitive triathlete who have competed in more than 50 races around the world. He is an expert in performance coaching and holds a master's degree in applied sport and exercise psychology. He began training for his first marathon after graduating from college. As an accredited triathlon coach, he wished to share his journey of pushing over the limits. Furthermore, he is a statistician specialised in the Sports statistics and analytics.

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