It's possible that the conditions in Putrajaya, Malaysia will be similar for the Ironman 70.3 race in April 2015 as they were in 2014. I raced this last year (2014 race report) and won my age group. Based on that experience, here is my advice in case it's hot as hell again this year!
· If possible wear a trisuit with sleeves covering shoulders. The way to do this in a non-wetsuit swim is to roll the tri-suit down to your waist area under a speedsuit for the swim, then when you ditch the speedsuit in T1, roll it up again and onto your shoulders. Alternatively wear a two piece suit and put the top on in T1. Failing that, even arm sleeves with cooling properties that you can put on while you're rolling would be better than nothing for sun protection.
· Install extra bottle cages on the bike. I had two and it wasn’t enough. Last year the drinks stops were 15km apart, I was grabbing three bottles everytime - which is really hard - but they were only about one third full. I had run out way before every single station and I was dehydrated coming off of the bike.
· Leave an extra bottle of electrolyte enriched water, not just plain water, in the transition area for T2. You may well want to drink as soon as you get off of the bike. I did this last year and was very thankful for it.
· Put a tried and tested (i.e. won’t make you puke or give you the runs) electrolyte drink in your bike bottles and the one you leave in T2, not just plain water
· Bring salt tabs and be very disciplined when you take them on the bike, especially once you start picking up plain water from the aid stations.
· Wear a hat. A hat is better than visor because it protects the top of your head but also you can put ice/ cold sponge under the hat and run with it – you can’t with a visor.
· If you have them, wear running shoes with drains. Mine were full up with water (from sweat, tipping it over my head and melted ice) by about 8km and it wasn’t comfortable.
· Be prepared to slow down. Most people were 30-60 mins slower over all in Putrajaya last year than they expected to be, purely because of the heat. Lots didn’t finish because they pushed too hard on the bike. Many ended up with heat stroke and/ or sun stroke.
· The swim will probably be slower than expected too. Even though there are no waves it is freshwater with no wetsuits and the lack of buoyancy makes a difference and requires more effort.
· If you are coming from a cooler climate, arrive as long as possible before to acclimatise!
· Be disciplined about hydration in the week leading up to the race. Ideally, avoid alcohol, caffeine and any other diuretics for at least a few days before.
There’s nothing special about the course that you can’t see on the course map. The bike course is fairly fast when you’re on the road. The road surface is good and it’s not full of hairpins or anything like that. The only thing is that last year, for part of the course we were sent on a narrow motorbike path through tunnels and over bumps which was frustrating, slow, dangerous - I think that part was about 10km in total (2 laps x 5km).