Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon Coach & Training Plan

Hands down, Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon is our all-time favorite race! Put this one on your bucket list or better yet, make Hawaii travel plans annually!

The 1500-meter swim takes place in Anaeho'omalu Bay (Abay) at Waikoloa Beach. Abay is protected and usually calm in the morning. There are years where the wind picks up early and the swim is wavy, but chances are you’ll have a smooth swim. The water temperature fluctuates on the edge of wetsuit and non-wetsuit, so be prepared for either possibility. Most racers arrive in Waikoloa a couple days before the race. (Rent a place or stay in a hotel at Waikoloa Beach Resort.) We recommend a pre-race day swim in Abay at race start time to familiarize yourself with the conditions and sun angle (then wander over to Starbucks after for a morning coffee). There are a series of palm trees on the beach to use as sighting markers on the back half of the swim. Enjoy the coral, fish and turtles! This swim, and the IRONMAN Kona swim course, are worth the trip to Hawaii.

There’s nothing fancy about the bike course: south on the famous Queen K 12 miles to a turn around (in tunnel, closed until race day) and 12 miles (19KM) back. There is one climb to the scenic view on the way out and wind usually plays a role on the return trip. Count on some Waikoloa (Wai-ko-blow-ah) wind during the race and your stay.

The run has several important crux portions. The first mile trends downhill and flat leading into the Hilton hill, the first crux. It’s only a six mile run but it pays to be very conservative on this climb. Run tall, relaxed and below threshold on this hill. It’s only about 75 yards long, but if you lose your thermoregulation on this hill, you will suffer greatly back to the finish. From the top of the hill, it’s a sunny and flat out and back. Return back to the Hilton and run around the backside of it. If it was hot on the road, you’ll find the temperature on the backside of the hotel stifling. You will weave through hotel grounds, by pools and along paths until going off road for the last mile onto the Kings Trails. It pays to have done some off-road running for this section; it is very rocky, dirt, weaving through trees and along the shore. It’s gorgeous, but you may be paying too much attention to your feet to enjoy it! The race finishes with a 75 yard dash down the beach i.e., sand running, your final obstacle.

Soak in Abay afterward and enjoy the best post-race buffet along with local beer, drinks and a rock band. It’s a party!

Coaching advice: Since Lavaman races early Spring, you need to incorporate some threshold intervals in your late winter training both on the bike and run. In the pool, prepare for a non-wetsuit or wetsuit race along with some open water sighting practice. Consider working with us to implement proper heat and training protocols. For an Olympic triathlon, being strategic at this race will separate you from most of the field.

Contact Us and let’s talk Lavaman triathlon training.

Click here to download Zwift triathlon bike workouts.