Tag: triathlete


By: Lynnette Koh

We all know the feeling of waking up in the morning after a day of intense training, lying in bed and feeling our muscle ache in our body. Muscle soreness is common post-workout due to the micro-tears that damage the muscle tissues after an intense session. The stress placed on your muscles will cause adaptation in your body and it is only once these muscle tissues are recovered will your body be stronger. Hence you might be training very hard but without adequate recovery, your body is unable to adapt and become stronger. Your recovery is as important as your training! So take it seriously!

Have you had days where it felt like your body have been ran over by a lorry, maybe you tried a new workout or had a very intense training the day before? Some days the soreness and aches are so bad that it affects whatever training you had planned for the next day. So how do you reduce these kind of days? Here are some methods which I rely on to help me recover daily.

Myofascial Release (myo = prefix meaning “muscle”, fascia = soft tissues surrounding our muscles)

If you’re feeling a little indulgent with some spare cash you collected from Chinese New Year, you can go pay for a sports massage. But honestly the cheapest and equally effective way is to release your muscles yourself (self-myofascial release) via foam rolling. Takes a bit more effort on your end but trust me it’ll do wonders in reducing muscle tightness, creating better ROM and also allowing better blood flow for removal of metabolic waste.

Nutrition

Your body requires plenty of fuel so do eat properly – lots of vegetables, and adequate amounts of protein, carbs and fats. I do love my fruits and veggies so I don’t think it’s necessary to take any multivitamins however I do take

  • Iron tablets (apparently I have low hemoglobin levels when I tried to donate blood recently)
  • Calcium (because of my previous spinal injury, and anyway I think it’s a good supplement for females to take to prevent osteoporosis in the future) and finally
  • Astavita Sports which contain natural astaxanthin which helps to reduce muscle fatigue and decrease recovery time

 

Hydration

Carry a bottle around with you so that you drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydrated muscles and also prevent yourself from buying sugary drinks.

 

Active Recovery

It may seem like such an irony to engage in any form of exercise on your rest day but the best way to recover is to engage in low-intensity exercise like an easy jog or swim rather than spending the whole day in bed, watching Netflix.

Sleep

We all sleep, but how much sleep are you giving yourself? Sure, you can survive on 6 hours of sleep but if you had 7-8 hours, you’re providing your body with adequate time to recover. So give your body the rest it deserves.

Lynnette Koh is a sport climber and an aspiring triathlete. Despite a bad fall which resulted in a spinal fracture, she never gave up her love for sports and got up even stronger than before. She believes that the “impossible can be possible” and enjoys challenging herself. Lynnette consumes Astavita Sports to help her improve recovery from muscle fatigue. You may follow her on Instagram: @lynnettekoh

By Pris Chew

You may have a regular exercise routine and a healthy diet, but somehow you are finding that the weight is still not going down.

Here are some simple habits that you can include into your daily routine to increase your rate of fat burn. If you are trying to lose that stubborn 1kg that’s left to get to your ideal weight, then the incorporation of the habits below, into your daily routine, may just be the solution that you might need.

1) Keep Moving Around

By simply moving around – doing movements such as tapping your feet, constantly changing your sitting position or standing and walking around every hour, or even stretching on a regular basis – you will be expending more energy than someone who simply sits still like a log, and therefore will be burning more calories at the same time.

2) Sleep More

By sleeping more, this helps to suppress those cravings for midnight snacks. From my personal experiences, I have found that when I get regular sleep, my body is less likely to crave for sugary snacks at odd hours. But when I am lacking sleep, my body wants that instant sugar boost, so it starts to hanker for sweet or sugary things at weird times of the day. Try to get about eight hours a night – that is the recommended amount of sleep for an adult.

3) Expose yourself to the cold

Try not to wear that sweater next time you are in a cold movie theatre or chilly environment if you want to burn more calories.

Personally I find this to be true from my own experiences. When I am in a cold environment, I tend to get more hungry as compared to when I am somewhere warm. This is a sign that my body is burning more calories when I am cold.

4) Laugh More

Have you ever wondered why you feel as though you need to catch your breath after a laughing fit? I have certainly felt this way – after a few minutes of laughing fit, the feeling that I get is similar to the feeling after completing high intensity exercises for about five minutes. This is a sign that laughing is burning calories. So why not simply do a lot of laughing during the day?

Grinning when you next use the bathroom scale

As you can see, these are quite easy tips to follow, and might just mean the difference between successfully losing that 1kg or 2kg of stubborn fat to reach your goal weight. For a healthy adult, including these fat burn habits into your daily routine, could be the difference between gradual weight gain versus weight maintenance.

So why not try some of these tips, and you will be grinning widely when you stand on the bathroom scale next time.

 

About the author:

Priscilla Chew is the winner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. Pris is Astavita’s sports ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her running lifestyle with the help of Astavita’s Sports. She hopes her passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. You may follow her on Instagram: prisgooner

By Pris Chew

With 9am-5pm office jobs which require us to simply click noise buttons and tap on keyboards, more and more people these days are becoming sedentary and sadly, this is fast becoming the norm, in today’s highly connected world where everything is easily accessible.
We are meant to move

But the human body is not meant to be sedentary. The body is meant to move. After all, human beings started out as cavemen, hunters and gatherers, fighting for their survival and relying on their instincts to stay alive.

Sadly though, the rapid development of technology has changed all that, and we, as humans, no longer need movement as a means to stay alive, because everything is now available to us so easily.

You can change that though, by changing your mindset and re-thinking about the reasons why you should move, that might help.

Exercise is a gift, not a chore

Do not think of exercise as a chore. Instead, think of it as a gift that you are able to do.

There are many people out there who would love to run or climb, but for instance, due to physical or mental disabilities or deformities, they are not able to.

Yet you have the ability to move your body every day and you have the power to control your body to do what you want it to do.

And by moving your body, it also exercises the mind, too, for example, when we run, we get a boost of endorphins and over time, regular movement, or exercise, translates into a boost of self-confidence, improvement of muscle tone or weight maintenance.

Choose something you enjoy 

When you are picking a type of exercise, make sure that it is one you enjoy. For instance, if you don’t like running, don’t force yourself to run because all of your friends are doing it. There are many other forms of movement out there, such as walking, yoga or dancing.

If the workout happens to be something that you like, you are more likely to stick to it, rather than dragging yourself to do it each time. If it’s the latter, you are more likely to give up on your exercise regime.

Too much of a good thing can turn bad

However too much of a good thing can become bad though. Even if you exercise daily, the moment that you know that something is not right, for example, aches and pains happening in places where they should not be, these are signals that are being sent to your body that something is wrong.

So when this happens, see a doctor or try to dial back on the intensity of your exercise routine, such as taking it easy even though your training schedule says that you are meant to be doing a hard workout session that day.

 

About the author:

Priscilla Chew is the winner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. Pris is Astavita’s sports ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her running lifestyle with the help of Astavita’s Sports. She hopes her passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. You may follow her on Instagram: prisgooner

By Pris Chew

Everyone can cycle. It is a life skill that we are all taught usually when we are children. But it takes effort to go from casual cycling to a race and even to take part in a triathlon. You need to change your mind set about cycling. Here are some quick tips for you to gear up for the bike leg of the triathlon.

Buy a bike

If you need the motivation to train for a triathlon, investing in an entry-level road bike would be a good place to start. A second-hand one would be good enough if you don’t feel the need to get a brand new one. As well, having a bike at home will give you the incentive to get out there and train, as compared to borrowing one.

A triathlon bike is not necessary unless you are keen to take part in triathlons  on a regular basis. These bikes are expensive and probably not advisable to invest in for those who are unsure if they want to commit to this sport for the long term.

Increase the frequency of your rides

If you have been cycling casually once a week all this while, you will need to increase the routine to two or three times a week; if you have a triathlon on the cards. This will give you the chance to do longer bike workouts and at the same time, increase the intensity of your bike rides.

Vary your efforts

As a casual cyclist, you will probably be used to easy riding along the park connectors or flat paths. When training for a triathlon, you will need to incorporate these easy rides too, into your training, but at the same time, you must include hard ones as well, and introduce some hill training into your bike rides, in order to build some strength in your legs.

Bike Handling Skills

As a triathlete, you will need to improve your bike handling skills too. Bike handling skills include being able to shift gears quickly, descend downhill and navigate corners. Try to join a triathlon club and watch how the more experienced riders do it so you can learn from them. You must also learn how to change a flat tyre, as this skill may come in useful one day.

There you have it! Four top most important factors to consider if you’re serious to go the whole nine yards into doing a full triathlon. Till the next post, keep training.

 

About the author:

Priscilla Chew is the winner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. Pris is Astavita’s sports ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her running lifestyle with the help of Astavita’s Sports. She hopes her passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. You may follow her on Instagram: prisgooner

How performance and recovery are of utmost importance for sustaining an active lifestyle

By: Lynnette Koh

Most student athletes understand the demand placed on having to focus on both academics and juggling training throughout the semester. We train before class, in between class, and after class. Wake up, eat, study, train, sleep, repeat.  Yup that’s the life of a student athlete. Honestly being in university is the best time for us to enjoy and excel as athletes before adulting gets to us.

Being a student athlete majoring in sport and exercise science, are two things that really come in hand in hand. Not only did I develop an understanding of the human responses to sport and exercise but I could AND should actually apply this knowledge to how my own performance and recovery can be monitored, analysed and enhanced so that every training that I put myself through is fully optimized. I was kind of like my own guinea pig, putting to practice what I learned on myself.

As we all know, completion of every training session leads to an increase in numerous physiological stressors such as muscle damage, oxidative stress and inflammation. If recovery is inadequate following exercise, it may prevent completion of subsequent training sessions required to drive adaptation and/or improve performance. Inadequate recovery may also increase risks of injury, illness and overtraining. Hence any strategy to reduce the negative effect of exercise-induced muscle damage and/or accelerate the recovery process is greatly welcome for any athlete.

Exercise performance and recovery are two very important factors for all athletes, recreational or elite. With the help of Astavita Sports, a supplement containing AstaReal® astaxanthin, I feel that this year I’ve been able to enhance performance through the benefit of delayed onset of fatigue, really helping me in my endurance sports. Furthermore, what I found even more beneficial was the effect it had on recovery for me. Having gotten into triathlons recently while still pursuing my passion for sport climbing meant that I was juggling four different sports (climbing, swimming, cycling and running.) Most days required a double session of training. One in the morning and one in the evening just to be able to train sufficiently for all four sports. This can sound really exhausting but I grew to love triathlons as much as climbing and I didn’t want to give up either sport, so that just meant I had to manage both of them well.

 

 

Lynnette Koh is a sport climber and an aspiring triathlete. Despite a bad fall which resulted in a spinal fracture, she never gave up her love for sports and got up even stronger than before. She believes that the “impossible can be possible” and enjoys challenging herself. Lynnette consumes Astavita Sports to help her improve recovery from muscle fatigue. You may follow her on Instagram: @lynnettekoh

By Pris Chew

If you are taking part in any Triathlon event, your training should be done and dusted two weeks before the race day. But if you haven’t trained as well as you should, there is nothing that you can really do at this late stage to change your fitness levels.

But what you can do, is to control some key factors to help you reach the finish line in as best a shape as you possibly can.

Here are some last-minute tips.

Equipment

Before the race, make sure all your equipment is in good working order. For example, make sure that your goggles are not leaking and that you can see clearly in them.

For your bike, make sure that the bike gears are working well and that the tyres are in good shape. Remember to pump your tyres the night before.
For the run leg, use a pair of tried and tested shoes that you know you can run well with; never try out those fancy new shoes that you bought recently at the race pack expo.

And once you have checked that your equipment is all good, remember to pack everything you need, the night before the race; you don’t want to be rummaging around your room in the dark, trying to locate things on race morning – this is a sure way to forget something that may be important for your race.

Diet

Drink plenty of fluids the day before the race. On the morning of the event, make sure you eat a light breakfast you are comfortable with and your body can digest easily. This can be cereals with soya milk, or toast if you are more used to that.

Avoid trying out any of those newfangled breakfast sets from those fancy cafes you have been eyeing for the past few months. Why not  wait till after the race to explore any new food instead.

Race Pace Strategy

Know your pace and do not start out too fast. Many triathletes, both novices and experienced ones, tend to go out too fast at the swim and the bike leg, leaving no energy left for the run leg. The longer the distance that you are taking on, the more you need to bear this in mind, otherwise, you’ll be left literally ‘running on empty’ by the run leg. A better strategy I recommend would be to start slower, with the aim of conserving some energy left to still finish the race strong.

Lastly, stay mindful and focused, listen to your body. Do not let the hype and adrenaline of the race get to you such that you start following the pace of the crowd at the expense of your own stamina. Well, that’s it, till the next post, keep training.

 

About the author:

Priscilla Chew is the winner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. Pris is Astavita’s sports ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her running lifestyle with the help of Astavita’s Sports. She hopes her passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. You may follow her on Instagram: prisgooner

 

By Pris Chew

When it comes to getting healthier and fitter and shedding those unwanted kilos, we all have good intentions at the beginning.

But despite our good intentions and our efforts to exercise, there may be some mistakes that we are making, that could be sabotaging our fitness targets. Whether you may be aware or not that you are making these mistakes, they will, no doubt, set you back in terms of achieving your fitness goals.

Here are some common ones, that could be sabotaging your fitness efforts.

Not Exercising Enough

While it is good to sign up for a gym membership or try to incorporate a regular fitness regime into their lives, it is not enough to work out once or twice a week.

Signing up for a gym membership is usually the first step, but after that, many people forget that they need to put in the time step into the gym to to exercise after that.

Instead, to maintain your fitness, you need to exercise at least half an hour, five days a week. Whether it is a gym class or a cardio workout, that is your pick.

Skipping Meals

Many people think that by skipping meals, they will lose weight because they are eating less. But instead, this has the opposite effect. This is because skipping meals means that you are depriving the body of nutrients and this in turn, leads you to feel hungry so you may indulge in binge-eating.

So instead of skipping meals, try and make better food choices and you will feel much better about yourself, for example, choose a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts, instead of that bag of potato chips for your mid-afternoon snack.

Lack of Sleep

A lack of sleep may lead to obesity and getting fat. This is because quite often, those who do not have enough rest will be too tired to exercise during the day. And when we lack the energy, our metabolism will slow, because our bodies are trying to conserve calories.

Sleep-deprived people will also tend to eat more each day, because they are awake for more hours and therefore have more chances to eat. As well, by lacking sleep too, this has an effect on hormones that stimulate appetite; as a result, by not sleeping enough, your hunger hormones will work overtime and you are therefore more likely to wind up binge-eating.

To summarise, nobody is perfect, and if you find that you are not losing weight or getting fit despite your efforts, then the above reasons could be some of the causes. Look into your fitness routine, and make some adjustments. You may feel fitter eventually.

 

About the author:

Priscilla Chew is the winner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. Pris is Astavita’s sports ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her running lifestyle with the help of Astavita’s Sports. She hopes her passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. You may follow her on Instagram: prisgooner

By Pris Chew

To train for a race, many triathletes focus hard on their swimming, biking and running. But many of them tend to neglect thinking about the transitions and usually do not worry about these till race day.

But the transitions too, are an important part of your entire triathlon experience and this can be the key difference between whether you get a personal best overall timing or not.

Pack your bags the night before

Do not wait till race morning to pack your stuff. Regardless of whether you are a newbie or an experienced triathlete, everyone forgets things. Even though you know what you need, something will surely slip your mind if you are packing at the last minute. The worst scenario, is realising that something important is still at home, when you get to the race site.

So make a checklist several days before the race and make sure that you pack everything the night before. Go through the checklist once again in the morning to ensure that you have not forgotten out on anything, and then you will be good to go.

Bring as little things as possible

Golden packing rule: Just keep to your essentials!

For example, there is no need to bring three clothing changes as well as that underwater GoPro camera that you can’t wait to show off to everyone. This may be exaggerating, but it makes the point: Just bring the bare minimum that will get you through the race in one piece.

Turn up early

It is important to get to the race early to get a good spot in the transition pen and stake your claim to your space. You will need somewhere to rack your bike and lay out your transition items below it.

The last thing you want to do, is to swagger in like a VIP less than 20 minutes before the start of your wave and start demanding that other people move their things and make space for you. This will not only irritate others, but will also leave you in a panicked state, if you can’t set up your things in time.

As well, if you find yourself having to toss your things in a messy pile on the ground simply because you were late in arriving to the race site, this will make the transitions harder, as you will waste precious time sorting everything out – don’t forget that the transition times count as part of your race time too.

Count the number of rows

You should count the number of rows between the swim exit and the bike entrance when you are making your way out of the transition pen for the first time. This will help you when you are coming out of the water in a disoriented state and are panicking to get onto the bike as quickly as possible.

There you have it, these tips will leave you in a good state.  A smooth, quick transition can make a big difference in a race that comes down to the wire. Hence, do bear in mind these tips.

 

About the author:

Priscilla Chew is the winner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. Pris is Astavita’s sports ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her running lifestyle with the help of Astavita’s Sports. She hopes her passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. You may follow her on Instagram: prisgooner

Photo credit: Pris Chew

By Pris Chew

I have taken part in several running races since I began running in 2012. As a running rookie, I made countless mistakes over and over again, and I am currently still learning from many of them. To avoid the same mistakes that I used to make, here are some of the most common race day mistakes that runners tend to make, and what you can do to rectify these.

Starting too fast

You are feeling anxious, eager and excited when you hear the emcees pumping up the crowd and are anticipating the starting horn.

When the horn blows, everyone shoots out of the blocks at the speed of a Kenyan elite runner. Later, you will see most of those runners walking, their energy completely spent.

Starting out too fast is one of the most common race day blunders that both novices and experienced runners alike, can make. Instead of allowing yourself to get caught up in the hype and atmosphere of the race, try and remind yourself of your race plan and strategy.

I always recommend starting slowly and conservatively and building your effort as you go. This is what I had been taught by my running coach, Ben Pulham from Coached too. Imagine how good it would feel when you are able to overtake all the “walkers” in the middle of the race and finish strong?

Getting Side Stitches

Many times, stitches happen during a race because of improper race fueling. For a race that is going to be longer than one hour, it is recommended that you consume a meal of approximately 300 to 350 calories about three to four hours beforehand. For evening races such as the Marina Run or the Sundown Marathon, eating a meal three hours before the race is not a problem. Appropriate meals could include oatmeal with milk or yoghurt with toast.

But if it is an early morning race, such as the Singapore Marathon, you may not want to wake up so early to eat. So instead consume a 200 to 250 calorie snack that is easily digestible, that is, relatively low in fat and fiber. This can include a banana or a peanut butter sandwich. Or else if you are not hungry, an isotonic drink about an hour beforehand will do.

Not taking time to adjust to your food before race day
You only need to fuel for races that will last more than an hour. But do note, however, that whatever fuel you would be taking on race day, you need to practise prior to the race on your long training runs – so that you do not end up taking something that does not agree with your body. The last thing you want is to end up with a bad stomachache and the need to go and relieve yourself in the portable toilet at every aid station.

There you have it, some common race day mistakes which I’m sharing from my own experience. Hope you benefited from them. Do feel free to share in the comments below if you have some more tips to share. Otherwise, see you at the next race.

 

About the author:

Priscilla Chew is the winner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. Pris is Astavita’s sports ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her running lifestyle with the help of Astavita’s Sports. She hopes her passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. You may follow her on Instagram: prisgooner

By Pris Chew

For those who are new to doing triathlons, the open water swim can create some fears. This is because most triathletes complete their swimming training in the comfort of a swimming pool which has lifeguards, walls at the side, lane ropes and a shallow bottom. But these are not there when swimming in open water.

Here are a few quick tips to overcome your fears and conquer the triathlon swim.

Practise in the open water

If you really want to learn to swim in open water, the best way to do so is to practise in the sea. This sounds cliched, but it is true. If you train in the sea, you will start to understand how different it is compared to swimming in a pool; for starters, there is no black line at the bottom of the sea and you won’t even be able to see the bottom. Getting used to these conditions is the best way to train for a triathlon swim.

Train your sighting

You will have to learn to do sighting too, that is, to look in front and see where you are going in the sea or the open water. This is because there is no thick black line at the bottom of the sea. Sometimes new triathletes tend to panic when they realise they can’t see more than a few feet in front of them, in the open water. That is why sighting is so important.

To stay on track and ensure that you know where you are swimming, look out for certain landmarks that you can easily see, such as a tree or a building. During the race, there will be buoys that mark out the race course that you can sight and follow, but you will have to find your own markers during training sessions.

Bring a friend

It is fine to go alone to train in a swimming pool, but swimming in open water is a completely different ball game. At the beginning, you cannot swim alone; you may need to have someone to accompany you, to ensure that you are safe. If anything happens to you, your companion can get help. The open water can be a dangerous beast. There have been plenty of drowning cases in the sea, and you don’t want to become the next statistic.

Having said that as the saying goes “Practice makes perfect”. As long as you keep at it, you’ll get better. Till the next post, train hard and rest well.

 

About the author:

Priscilla Chew is the winner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. Pris is Astavita’s sports ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her running lifestyle with the help of Astavita’s Sports. She hopes her passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. You may follow her on Instagram: prisgooner

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