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You might have qualified for the IRONMAN in Hawaii or just come to visit and watch the race. We want to use this page to answers all your questions. On the bottom you will find a form, that you can use to ask more questions. We will publish the answers here anonymously.

Table of Contents

Race Preperation

How do I prepare for the heat?

Depending on where you are from, you want to get used to working out in the heat a few months before the race. You will see your performance decrease and your heart rate rise at first, but over time your body will get more accustomed to working hard in the heat. Of course, every athlete is built differently. The lower your number on the Fitzpatrick skin type scale the more careful you have to be exposing yourself to the sun and heat. Start your heat acclimatization with one to two easy workouts (per week) in the heat of the day and make sure you are hydrated well. Slowly increase the number the intensity and hours that you train in the heat, but make sure to not overdo. Your performance will suffer if you do all your training sessions in the heat. If you live in a region without a hot summer you can start to incorporate sauna sessions into your weekly schedule. We recommend starting with 2x10min at 90C and working your way up to 2x25min. This is ideally done in a wet sauna (not infrared). Learn how to cool down your body and experiment with different cooling strategies. Your body will use more energy to cool down your system and you want to be prepared for that.

Should I do key sessions on the trainer WITHOUT a fan on?

No. You want to make sure that your training is still moving you forward and that you make progress. Switching over to do all the big and hard sessions in an overheated state will only break you down. Make sure you start your heat adaption early enough and progress over time.

Should I take salt pills to avoid cramps?

This really depends on your sweat rate. There are sweat tests available that will measure how much sodium loss you have per hour. Even though these tests only show a specific point in time they can give you a good idea of how much sodium you should add per hour. The old school approach: work out in dark clothes in the heat and check how thick the salt crust is afterward. Or simply taste your sweat. And then start to experiment with salt pills until you find a ratio that works for you.

Travel & Accommodation

Where should I stay?

If you are here for the IRONMAN, we recommend looking for a hotel like King Kam at the pier or a vacation rental in town ( on Ali’i drive ). With the new 2-day format, hotels and vacation rentals will be a bit harder to come by. Staying a bit more south ( towards Captain Cook) is also still acceptable, but keep in mind that you will need to drive 20-30min to get to the pier. And it will be harder to ride your bike from your accommodation due to the traffic and geographic situation. An alternative could be the Waikoloa resort, which is located north and is about a 30min drive away from the pier. It is directly located at A Bay and is close to the highway and therefore race course. We do not recommend staying more south than Captain Cook or more north than Waikoloa if you are planning to race. The experience won’t be the same and you will sit in your car a lot if you decide to go that route. Stay on the west side of the island. If you find something in Kona that is off Ali’i Drive be aware that we live on a volcano and the elevation rises relatively quickly. Not everything will be reachable by bike and you need a car for most of the places that are further away from shore.

Good sites to check for vacation rentals are:

Things to do

What should I check out on the Big Island?

Our favorite things to see and do on the big island: 

  • Mauna Kea Sunrise or Sunset (you need 4×4 and no kids under the age of 5)
  • Rainbow Waterfall in Hilo
  • Kaloko Cloudforest Trails in Kona (free)
  • Free coffee farm tours in Kona (Greenwell)
  • Manta Nightdive
  • Volcano National park for sunrise or sunset (otherwise you won’t see the red clouds)
  • Waimea market (Saturday mornings)
  • Cruise tours to captain cook monument (usually incl. bbq)

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