Ironman Langkawi » The ultimate guide

ironman langkawi run

Are you ready for one of the toughest editions of the Ironman circuit? The Ironman Langkawi in Malaysia is also known as  one of the most beautiful too. The heat and the humidity are a constant on this race, bringing an extra challenge to this tough triathlon. The Ironman Langkawi 2015 will happen on November 14th, so you still have time to enroll. Here you find all the  information you need and some  tips about Langkawi, Malaysia.

Updated on 2016 August 3rd
We visited Langkawi back in March 2105, and we fall in love. Nature is absolutely stunning! On the forests and mangroves you can find all shades of green. Beaches with a calm sea and soft white sand. Not to mention the delicious variety of food. When I heard that they have an Ironman competition I was thrilled.  At that time, I had no idea about my future travel plans but I could hear a voice in my head: “I`ll be back”.

If you are planning to attend the Ironman Langkawi I suggest you to arriving about 1 week before to get acclimatized. Seriously the heat and humidity there are crazy, even Ironman champions like Patrik Nillson mentioned that the hardest thing in Langkawi Ironman is the heat. And spare some days to enjoy the island. I will give you some precious tips on what to do in Langkawi. You will see some pictures of my training in Langkawi, I was getting ready for the Paris Marathon.

ironman langkawi run forest

» Pre Race – Ironman Langkwi

First of all the registration must be done on the  Ironman`s official website.  The action starts on November 9th with the Athletes Check in, Ironman Expo and the opening of the info booth. On November 10th there is the swim training, transition tours, official dinner, and the race briefing. The Bike Check-in  happens on November 11th, also one more swim training and transition tours. Follow the updated schedule here

» The Race – Ironman Langkawi

The race starts on November 12th, at 7:10 am. At 5:45am the transition area (T1) opens.

ironman langkawi runners

  • Swim
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The swim will take place on the sheltered waters of Pantai Kok beach. Two laps with a 20m run between laps. Wetsuit is not permitted, expect a very warm sea on November, the water temperature will be around 30C!

  • Cycle

The 180km course will cross the whole island and you will be able to enjoy the nature. It consists of 2 loops, expect some steep hills and flat areas. Suggest to train some climbing! Also a lot of attention when passing the “Monkey Zone”, for your safety and the monkeys safety too.

  • Run

Again a 2 laps course. This one is mainly flat and with a pristine landscape. You will finish the race on a palm fringed beach. 🙂

ironman langkawi palm

One great feauture of this race is the air-conditioned T2. Yep! After hours on the bike you can cool down during the transition. I`m sure that my T1 will be way faster than my T2!  

I started training for the Langkawi Ironman 2015 on July/2015. We were in Bulgaria, in a small village in the mountains. My cycling training was done with a MTB, not easy to keep cadence in the hilly Bulgarian countryside. To run was great, empty roads, fresh air and some wild encounters [snakes, wolves…]. No swimming over there.

ironman langkawi bulgaria

While living in Bangkok I have a swimming pool in my condo, the streets for running training were quite ok. Although to cycle was hard. The traffic is chaotic, from 6am to 11pm the cars and motorcycles take the roads. One advantage is that I was getting used to the heat, the temperature is always over 28ºC, sometimes over 35ºC. I was getting used to run on warm & humid places, on 2014 I ran the Angkor Wat Half Marathon.

My coach, Lucas Helal, from Luquitri Assessoria Esportiva, gave me a big support on the training and motivation. Since we have a short period for the training and I have some travels before the competition we need focus and a well-done planning.

 

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How to get to Langkawi

Langkawi is easily reached via Kuala Lumpur or Singapore airports. Low-cost companies such as Air Asia, Fire Fly and Tiger Air serves Langkawi Airport. Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines also flies to Langkawi. To get the best fares check SkyscannerIf your flight requires a layover in Kuala Lumpur we suggest to stay at Sama-Sama Hotel, it’s located in the Terminal 1 of KL airport. Check rates here.


Where to stay in Langkawi

Since Langkawi hosts several international events such as Ironman Langkawi, Le Tour de Langkawi, LIMA and ISAF. There are plenty of options, and the hotels are used to handle special requests such as a place to storage your bike or help you to find a van to transport your luggage + sports equipment.

ironman langkawi berjaya

I usually don’t like to stay in the official hotel. Yes, can be handy for some events but usually is too busy and too noisy. For Langkawi Ironman 2015 my choice is Berjaya Langkawi Resort. It is located less than 10 minutes from the start area. On our first visit to Langkawi we stayed in Berjaya and loved. The Chalet in the jungle are gorgeous. Five stars quality in the middle of the rain forest. If you want to splurge go for the Water Chalet. Literally on the sea! 

Accommodation in Langkawi ranges from hostels, guesthouses to luxury resorts. Options for all tastes and pockets. Recommend you to check your accommodation on Agoda.com & Booking.com. Also don’t forget to have a look on Airbnb, some locals are renting their house or a room.


What to do in Langkawi

Langkawi is a tropical paradise. I strongly suggest you to spare some time to explore the island. There is a lot of things to do in Langkawi, Malaysia. Snorkeling and diving in transparent water full of life, boat tours in the mangroves, Skybridge, eagle watching, water sports, island hopping, explore the Night Market [try the Laksa soup!!!] and even some shopping since Langkawi is Duty Free. To make your life easier check our previous posts. One is for the lovebirds and the other one is for those looking for adventure

Update: Check how was my race in Langkawi!

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Ironman Langkawi - Pinterest


Have you done an Ironman? Have you thought about race the Ironman Langkawi?

Ps. I was invited by LADA to race the Ironman Langkawi. Doesn’t matter who pays the bill you always get my honest opinion.

66 Comments

  1. I am a marathoner and run them all year round and I have actually had the opportunity to run a marathon along side an ironman as motivation for the finishers and their run portion. I will say that these people are TOUGH, what they go through and how hard they work and their mental games are amazing….I couldnt even imagine doing this in the humidity and head though.

    1. Hi Kim,
      Yes, the mind plays a HUGE part durin an Ironman. On my first one my mantra was : I can, I will.
      When I was feeling pain or getting tired I keep repeating: I can, I will. Sound crazy, but it works 🙂
      ps. Any great Marathon race that you recommend?

  2. ok thats intense. I have a hard time walking for more than a few hours in this tropical heat I can’t even imagine an ironman. I have heard wonderful things about Langkawi I hope to make it there soon. Good luck with the race!

  3. I’m not one for an ironman or endurance sport of any kind but the scenery throughout this ironman looks amazing. What a way of distracting from the pain I’m sure you experience when competing.
    The Berjaya Langkawi Resort looks beautiful. What a retreat when your tired and sore at the end of the day. Stunning!
    Gabrielle | The Globe Wanderers recently posted…13 of the Best Shipwreck Dives that’ll have you Reaching for your FlippersMy Profile

  4. Great post! I cross by your web after I google looking for some tips and training for ‘first timer Iron Man’. I from Malaysia, I didn’t know that Langkawi Iron Man one of the toughest IM. Hopefully I can finish within the cut off time. Looking foward to meet you in person this coming IM at Langkawi.

  5. This was the perfect post to read right now! Not because I will be doing the Iron Man competition (which I am impressed that you are doing!), but because Natalie has tried to convince me to meet you guys there! I think this helps with the convincing! And, the Berjaya Langkawi Resort… wow! I think I might have to do our shoot there. Before or after the Iron Man of course. 🙂
    Tracie Howe recently posted…Travel photography : How to avoid the ugly in the real world – Part 2My Profile

  6. What a hero! It is so hard to maintain fitness levels on the road, but setting yourself a goal like Iron Man must keep pushing you. So much admiration for you, I can barely run in the morning heat in Vancouver never mind the humidity you must be facing. God bless air con! Good luck!
    Gemma recently posted…Gibsons: Not Just a Film SetMy Profile

  7. Ironman? No way – I’m a rock in the water even if I could train enough to do the running and the cycling. Totally impressed by the training and hard work that go into them! Just not for me.

    BUT – what a crazy gorgeous place to have a race! Gorgeous. Good luck!

  8. Tks Trisha!
    Yes, it`s not easy to train while traveling, although it`s not impossible!
    One trick that Nat and I do a lot: Sightseeing & run. Early in the morning we explore the new city while jogging 😉
    Cheers,
    Rob

  9. Hi Rob

    thanks for this very useful guide. I’m looking forward to race the next ironman Langkawi in november 2016. Maybe you’re racing it too?

    Regarding the Berjaya Langkawi Resort, do you know which chalet are privative ? I’m asking because some reviews on Tripadvisor mention chalet with thin walls being noisy wiht neighbors.
    thanks for your feedback.
    Damien

    1. Hi Damien,

      I’ll skip this year, no time for training 😉

      From what I remember some of the Rainforest Chalets are side by side. The Seaview Chalets are privative. (and the view is stunning!)

      Enjoy your race!
      ps. Appreciate if you could book via the links on the article, you don’t pay extra but our blog gets a small commission 😉

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