HOW TO RACE KONA
Racing Hawaii presents a unique set of challenges in terms of fuelling and hydration. Here are five kit picks
1 Wetsuits aren’t legal for the Kona swim due to the high water temperatures, but many athletes will use a swimskin for the hydrodynamic benefits. The Roka Viper X Short Sleeve (£291) is ubiquitous in Hawaii and includes Roka’s ‘Arms up’ tech and an Italian stretch-woven textile.
2 Hoka One One became the most popular shoe brand at Kona in 2017, and they’ve continued to make giant strides in 2018. The Bondi 6 (£120) is their most cushioned shoe, with an EVA foam midsole and 33mm stack height, yet with a slender 4mm heel-to-toe drop.
3 ISM saddles also regularly top the Kona gear counts, and the PN 3.0 (£159) is one of their latest two-pronged and noseless perches. It’s built on stainless steel rails and the idea is to push you onto your sit bones and away from soft tissue areas, especially when down on the aerobars.
4 Hyponatremia (low levels of sodium in the blood) and dehydration are genuine concerns when racing Ironman in hot conditions. Precision Hydration seek to prevent this with these easy-to-swallow Sweat Salt Electrolyte Capsules (£6.99) that aid fluid absorption.
5 Zipp are the major wheel brand for Ironman world champs racers. The 858 NSW Carbon Clinchers (£ 3,929) use the American brand’s Sawtooth and Hydrofoil technology to reduce both aerodynamic drag and handling in crosswinds.