Aquaman Vietnam runner-up on the way to 2023 season

By Kieu Mien   October 7, 2023 | 09:00 pm PT
Nguyen Thi Khanh Ly, the runner-up in the first season of Aquaman Vietnam last year, has accelerated her training with the expectation of winning the aquathlon this year.

Ly's forte is swimming long distances, like 5 or 10km, which requires more endurance than speed. At Aquaman, the swimming distance is only 2km, which means speed is more important, Ly said.

She thus has adjusted her training plan six weeks before the race.

Her prioritized exercises are arm strength, tempo training, and balanced heart rate when going ashore to running. Besides, Ly also gets used to competing in big waves. "Fortunately, Da Nang is in the season with strong waves. I can practice and be ready for all the competition conditions," said the 32-year-old athlete.

Khanh Lys forte is swimming. Photo courtesy of Aquaman Vietnam

Nguyen Thi Khanh Ly at Aquaman Vietnam 2022. Photo courtesy of Aquaman Vietnam

In the first season of Aquaman Vietnam, Ly swam 2km in 45 minutes 40 seconds and ran 21km in 2 hours 5 minutes. She was the fastest swimmer, 5 minutes ahead of the second person, but fell behind in the running part to finish second.

As DNSE Aquaman Vietnam season two will be held in Phan Thiet on October 29, Ly said she has been looking forward to conquering the tournament again.

Ly has spent a lot of time practicing swimming, which she considered her "trump card." She spent nine consecutive months correcting and improving her techniques, swimming an accumulated distance of more than 500km at the pool, besides swimming sessions in the ocean. "Swimming is a technique-oriented subject. There are only a few familiar movements, such as leaning on the water, pulling the water, pushing the water, and relaxing your hands in the air, but practicing correctly and optimally is a long process. This is my biggest passion. So I am always dedicated," Ly said.

She also joined several swimming competitions the past year, including the World Ocean Swimming Championship in Thailand in December.

Khanh Ly competed at Aquaman Vietnam 2022. Photo courtesy of Aquaman Vietnam

Nguyen Thi Khanh Ly competes at Aquaman Vietnam 2022. Photo courtesy of Aquaman Vietnam

Ly also prioritizes brick exercises to get used to the transition between disciplines. Ly will add a transition session to the lesson plan a week before race day. This exercise is done by moving from the sea to the transition area and trying to put on equipment for the run to optimize time. "There are few documents and lesson plans about aquathlon, so my training process is mainly to learn from last year's tournament. My goal at Aquaman Vietnam 2023 is to shorten the swimming time by 5 minutes," Ly said.

Running is not Ly's forte. Over the past year, she participated in many marathons, including 42km at VnExpress Marathon Imperial Hue 2023, to improve her running speed and endurance. She also ran many 10km races and set a personal record of 47 minutes. However, Ly believes this record is insignificant because she is only passionate about swimming.

Ly is doing more drills exercises (skip A, skip B, rolling kick) to warm up her muscles and increase her stride. These exercises help prepare muscle groups for high-intensity movement, avoiding injuries. She also expects to finish the running part 5 minutes earlier than last year.

According to the female athlete, season two of DNSE Aquaman Vietnam has greater appeal. The first bright spot is that the tournament comes to a new city - Phan Thiet - where Ly has never participated in any sport competition. The success and impression from season one also attracted more high-achieving athletes and long-time triathletes to participate in the tournament, increasing challenges.

The Aquaman Vietnam registration portal is now open. The 2023 edition has four categories: Aquakid for children 6 to 10 years old (200m swim and 1km run); Sprint Aqua (500m swim, 5km run); Half Aqua (1km swim, 10km run), and the longest distance - Aquaman (2km swim and 21km run), with two formats: individual competition and relay team.

The tournament will take place at the NovaWorld Phan Thiet complex, a large project invested with US$5 billion, which stands by a beach with clear blue water and a wide, open running track.

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