Tag: triathlon


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

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

By Pris Chew

“It is not always the fittest person who comes out tops in an endurance sport such as a triathlon. Rather it is the person who is the best prepared.”

Having done some triathlons myself, here are 4 quick tips on how you can prepare yourself well and improve yourself at your next triathlon race, regardless of whether it is to set a personal best timing or to try and win in your age group.

Get sufficient rest

Training is one thing, but having enough rest time after your hard training goes a long way to helping you recover, and gear you up to be at your best on race day. Rest doesn’t just mean sleep though, it means letting your body and muscles relax and recover. You need to get about seven to eight hours of rest on average, but in addition to that, other measures to take to encourage recovery can be to go for a sports massage, or to have an ice bath to help your body get back to its best and for those sore muscles to recuperate after training. While I’m at this, some people may be interested in taking dietary supplements to help in muscle recovery, a good one to consider is Astavita Sports, which helps in muscle recovery.
Taper

As race day approaches, tapering for about two weeks before the race will help you improve your performance. Tapering does not simply mean to eat all you want and don’t exercise. Instead, tapering is all about maintaining the intensity and reducing the mileage of your training sessions. During your taper period, again rest is important, especially the night before race. This will help you feel more energetic. Most people won’t be able to get much sleep the night before the race, thanks to the pre-race nerves. Hence you having been more well rested are definitely at an advantage.

Nail your transitions

A key part of triathlons is the transitions. For example, if you can get out of your wetsuit and slip on your aero helmet quickly, then you can save a lot of time. A tip to getting through the transitions quickly is to lay out everything neatly at the transition area.

It might not seem like much time saved at first, but think of it this way – those precious seconds or minutes saved, can propel you into a new personal best timing. You can be racing your heart out, but if your transitions are slow, you’re leaving precious time ‘on the table’.

Pace yourself properly

Pacing yourself is very important when it comes to a triathlon. Gauge your efforts at the swim, bike and run legs. Never spend all your energy at the beginning of the race. If you do, you may be feeling sluggish when it comes to the run. Begin at a conservative pace and resist the urge to push – even though you might see everyone else going out fast, because they will simply crash and burn in the subsequent stages.

 

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: Bert Grobben

How many times have you heard people say: ”Calories don’t count when you are traveling”. It’s like you get an out-of-jail-for-free pass as soon as you check into your flight and leave home for whichever destination.  This is exactly what my mindset was in a past corporate life. The problem with this, was that I travelled so much back then, that my weight was going up literally each time I picked up my luggage from the baggage belt. The time I’d spend at home in between trips trying to get back to normal simply wasn’t long enough. Calories when traveling count as much as they do at home.

When travelling now, there are a few things I do differently. I’m writing this article while we’re on a sleeper bus in Vietnam, on our way to Sappa. Trips like this, 5 weeks before the opening race of the 2018 IM season, pose a particular challenge. Getting closer to race day, I’m ramping up training volume, but also cutting weight. Over the past 2 months there has been a focus on building strength, which allowed me to bulk a bit more, but now the diet switch to leaning out is starting. When I left home, I weighed in at a not so impressive 77.7kg, which is above my target, so let’s see where I’m at coming back home next week.

So, what will I do different this time to make sure I stay on track:

  • Leverage climate: Hanoi is a bit cooler this time of year, and Sappa, where we are heading now, is freezing. To stay warm, our bodies burn calories. This first thing I will do is dress comfortably but stay cool. Not cold, but chill enough to boost my bodies internal heater and burn some more calories. We’ll do the same at night; sleep with the windows open, and stay warm under a thick blanket, instead of turning on a heater.
  • Increase your effort level: we always stay active when we travel, visiting many local places. This time I will deliberately carry a bigger backpack, and fill it with the essentials for that day. So instead of buying small bottles of drinks on the go, we plan ahead and carry the full daily need with us in bigger size packs. Not only does this save you money and packaging waste, it also increases your calorie burn rate simply because you’re carrying a heavier load. It’ll get easier to carry across the day as you’re drinking and snacking.
    • I take it up another level by wearing my ankle weights each day. 2kg extra on each ankle is really making a difference when you are doing +21k steps per day. By the end of the day, this actually means you will have moves 41tons on weight, just a few centimeters off the ground. Many little steps add up!
  • Uber less. We tour a lot, and want to get lost in every city just to discover new places. Plan your day ahead, so you don’t take public transport or ride services too often. Instead, try to walk from one hotspot to the next. This will keep you active for longer, and boost your legs endurance. Also try to take the stairs, and avoid elevators and escalators when possible.
  • Eat according to your activity level: This is probably the most important one. When we are surrounded with so much mouth watering food options, it’s hard to stay true to a munching strategy. So here are a few things I will do:
    • Vietnam is coffee kingdom, so I will have my shots, predominantly black (no sugar). This will avoid carby calories, and keep my metabolism higher. I also love the egg coffee here, which adds in a protein kick.
  • Noodles for breakfast. I’ll have a (limited) dose of healthy carbs in the morning, when I get a chance to burn it off. We do need energy for do all the touring, so indulging at the start of the day is better than having the same at night. Do make sure to add enough protein and fat in your meals. This will help keeping you full longer, and avoid resorting to snacking in between meals.
  • Keep portion size down: Aim to try more dishes, rather than “all you can eat” on the one you love. It’s better to stop eating before you feel full, move on to the next place, and try something else. This will spread your calorie loading over more time, and even better, it gives you a chance to sample more local food delicacies.
  • Supplement: I always take my supplements with me. Changing countries and having a different diet, does put some stress on the body. To allow me to digest well, prevent me from falling sick, or have digestive challenges when eating as a local, I will make sure to hydrate well, take my mineral and vitamin supplements, and of course my daily dose of Astaxanthin.

These are some of the tricks I use. Please share yours as well. I’d love to learn from how you stay on track towards your goals.

 

About the author:

Bert Grobben is an Ironman finisher and the founder and CEO of a company, on top of being a full-time father. He leads by example to inspire others to reach their goals. Living by the motto “Anything is Possible”, he believes in putting his mind and take the choices to channel his actions and energy towards his passion and goals. Bert is taking Astavita Sports to aid him in his endurance and recovery. You may follow him on Instagram: bert_im

By Bert Grobben

Taking on a challenging task, trying to reach a tough goal or making it through a demanding time, quite often becomes easier when you break things up into smaller pieces. When you divide a long journey into smaller steps, then each such step is a little effort. And a lot of those little efforts will add up to a great accomplishment.

Besides breaking things up, rewarding yourself when you made progress is equally important. We all love to be rewarded. We always put in some extra effort knowing that after meeting an objective we get a some pampering. A little step, a tiny reward, a bigger achievement – a bigger reward. It doesn’t matter what that reward is, as long as it’s something that makes you happy.

I have discovered a different kind of reward. A Trication! If you have never heard of a Trication yet, then probably you haven’t combined a triathlon with a vacation. For me this is a match made in heaven. I like vacations (who doesn’t), especially the active and exploring kind. But I also like Ironman Triathlons, and these are organized in gorgeous locations around the world. Doing both separately, is too time demanding for a guy with a significant time crunch like me. Running several businesses takes its toll on my agenda. Not to mention the price tag of going for vacations, and travel again for races. My solution is very simple. I take mini vacations. I travel for a few days, a week, two weeks max, to a new destination and go there to race an Ironman, and have a few days off to disconnect. And I repeat this several times per year.

So my reward for training hard, and working harder, is to combine an Ironman race in a beautiful location, with a few extra days off to go explore the surroundings. Why is this a reward? I’ll give you a few reasons that are good enough for me:

  • I make the most of my pre-race carbo-loading days to explore food. Man, I’m a foodie!! I may be on a disciplined diet most of the year, but I have not always been. I love exploring anything that smells good, looks delicious and tickles my taste buds. Going new places always leads to new mouth watering discoveries, and since I’m “loading”, I shamelessly try things out. Post race recovery allows me to continue that extravaganza for a few more days, before sinking back into my disciplined diet.
  • Adventure! I love ending up in places where most visitors don’t go, or doing things slightly out of the ordinary. Going to the DMZ under military escort and step into North Korean while being in Korea for IM140.6 Gurye, is such surreal experience. Sometimes this adventure even happens during an Ironman race itself. Have you ever swam with sharks? No? Try going to Busselton, and swim the loop around the 2km Jetty. It’s a really awesome speed training, when the lifeguards instruct you to get out of the water because approaching Nemo may be hungry… Or having an encounter with an annoyed Kangaroo, who chases after you while you are biking.
  • Experience any travel destination differently. As a visitor you experience a local town in a certain way. As an athlete and racer, this experience is special. When you swim – bike – run, you see the sea, the villages, the people, nature,… differently. The energy of the place is different. Your perspective is different. The locals come put to cheer. You are in pain/euphoria, and push ahead towards the finish line. This sensation makes you remember a place and its people differently.

All this, and so many more things, are very rewarding to me. Having a chance to experience the world this way is a humbling experience. The quest for more exploration sustains my energy to keep working and training hard, and earn my Trication rewards.

 

 

About the author:

Bert Grobben is an Ironman finisher and the founder and CEO of a company, on top of being a full-time father. He leads by example to inspire others to reach their goals. Living by the motto “Anything is Possible”, he believes in putting his mind and take the choices to channel his actions and energy towards his passion and goals. Bert is taking Astavita Sports to aid him in his endurance and recovery. You may follow him on Instagram: bert_im

by Fai A Gaff

Precursor

I do realise that one can never truly fit this training schedule into your daily life as this would be the ideal schedule for a full time athlete, or someone close to that. What we should keep in mind though, it is good to know what we are competing against and the benchmark there is in terms of training.

What does this knowledge give me?

Well, first, it gives you a reason to know why the elites are that much faster than you are. It isn’t an excuse for you not doing well in the races but it is the honest truth. If you are not training as hard as they are, there is a high chance you would not be able to perform as well as they are. Don’t beat yourself over losing to them. Compete against someone who trains just like you, with your schedule, with your body composition, and with your commitments. Who would that be? The person staring back at you in the mirror, that’s who.

 

What do you need?

Let’s start with something that is truly simple. All you would need to do is to tick off what you do have or pop by a store and get what you do not.

Swim Attire: Swim Suit*, Goggles, Swim Cap (Recommended but not necessary)

Cycle Accessories: Bike that Fits you well (Road Bike Ideal), Cycling Shorts*, Cycling Shoes (Recommended but not Necessary)

Running Accessories: Running Shoes, Water Bottle, Running Tights*

If you have realized the asterisks on the three different attire, that is because you could go for a one stop solution of a tri-suit. One note of caution would be to have more than one of this suit as you would be using them for every single one of your trainings plus the race days too.

How long before the race should I start my fitness regime?

It all really depends on what you want to achieve; are you completing the race or competing? Are you using this as a first race to gauge how you’d do and set the benchmark for the future races or are you going to put in the time and effort to get the best possible result you could? Bear in mind, whichever you chose to do, there will be time and effort needed on your part to do this, even on days you feel like lazing and staying in bed. Let’s start it off with the assumption of wanting to do decently well in the race and that means you should look at starting about 12 weeks prior to the race day.

What are the trainings?

Before we look at a possible training schedule, let’s have a look at what we should do for each of the three events; swim, run, cycle.

Swim

  • Technique Swim: Focus on your stroke technique and breathing. Do laps of the pool
  • Endurance Swim
  • Continuous Swim: (Preferably) Swimming the circumference of the pool and never touching the wall

 

Run

  • Speed Work: Either Hill Runs or Sprint Training, Try to achieve a higher race pace with this
  • With 15 minutes of race pace warm up and cool down for each session
  1. Endurance Work
    1. Consistent yet fast paced running for a continuous period with easy warm up and cool down of 15 Minutes for each session
  2. Cycle
    1. Endurance Cycle
      1. Maintain A high pace for a continuous period
    2. Combination with Run
  3. Strength Training
    1. Legs Workouts
    2. Back Workouts
    3. Mobility Workouts

 

So from the above breakdown, we have 9 different types of workouts. This means that there are days you would expect yourself to be working more than twice a day. Remember, always schedule for a rest day but this day could also be an active rest day where you could have your Mobility Workout done then.

 

Possible Schedule to follow

  • Day 1
    • 30 Minutes Technique Swim
    • Legs Workout
  • Day 2
    • Run Speed Work – 15 Minutes warm up, 30 Minutes Workout, 15 minutes cool down
  • Day 3
    • Cycle and Run Combination – 45 Minutes cycle, followed by 30 minutes run
  • Day 4
    • 45 Minutes Endurance Swim
    • Back Workout
  • Day 5
    • Endurance Cycle of about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Day 6
    • Endurance Run of about 1 to 1.5 Hours.
  • Day 7
    • Active rest day
    • Mobility Workout

 

Strength workout and Diet

Needless to say, both your workouts and diet has to be personalized and suited to you. Hence, for this part of the training, you might do well in engaging a professional who could aid you in ensuring the right form, posture and regime for the workout, as well as the target weight and diet for your food intake. You might want to look at getting help from Trainers who are athletes themselves as no one would know what it is like other than an athlete. They would also understand how difficult it is for you to go through the trainings and would help in motivating you.

 

Famous Last Words

As you can see, it will not be easy to hit the top of your game and compete with the elites but it would be a rewarding journey if you do decide to take it up. For those of us having a different goal, stay tuned for the tapered down version of the training while we try to help you achieve the best version of yourself while still ensuring you wouldn’t be falling asleep on your desk!

By Fai A Gaffa

Background

So you might have read the ideal way of training up for a triathlon and you would probably have realized that it might just be reserved for those who are looking to challenge for the podium, plus have the time to do so. This time, we are looking at what we could do to get ourselves ready for the race while still keeping our day job.

 

Equipment

You would need all that you need for the race event, meaning everything for the swim, the run, and the cycle. You would need at least a pair of each to ensure they would survive all through to the race day and that you wouldn’t need to be using something new too close to the best day of your life.

Maybe something extra you could consider getting is supplements. As with everything else, this should be done with moderation but it is something to take seriously. This could be the factor that determines if you can get up in the morning to get your required run, or stay in bed because you are feeling too sore. You may not think much about missing a day training but each time you are training, you are actually learning something new, even if you do not realise it. So a training missed, is a missed learning opportunity that could prove to be valuable on race day. Which supplement then? Start with one that gets you a quicker recovery and ideally one which is natural too. One to suggest? Astaxanthin, of course. Which Astaxanthin? Naturally Astavita Sports, not only does it help with muscle soreness, you are also allowing your body to gain so much more.

 

Training Regime: Let’s get down and dirty to the painful yet rewarding part.  Let’s look at 4 simple questions first;

How long to start training for the race? 

As soon as you can. Ideally with a minimum of 3 months and the best would be a 6 months period. Do bear in mind that there may be times when you have to put training on hold because of work or other personal reason. Hence the 3 months period could be too short should anything come up.

How many times a week should I be training? 

This goes back to the question above. The more time you have, the more time you have to ease yourself into it. However, if you do not have the luxury of time or pre-planning, you might have to squeeze everything into a shorter period.  At the peak of your training, I would suggest a decent amount of rest while working out and having some time to spend with friends as well as family. I would suggest a 4 to 5 days training a week and having the other days as rest days. Again, this might only be possible when you give yourself a good 6 months to train for the race as it would allow you to ease yourself into the training regime and also spread the training objectives out over the course of the few months.

This is my first time doing such a race, do you think it is too much for someone who isn’t so fit?

No matter who you are, what you have done, and what you are planning to do, I believe you are capable of doing the race, as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort. Nonetheless, it may be annoying and difficult. Always remember, it will be difficult on the race day. You are not training so as to make it easy but you are training so as to allow yourself to know how difficult it will be and at that point, to challenge yourself to achieve greatness. Your only competition has to be that other voice in your head saying you’re not good enough or the one that’s telling you to stop. Once you have gotten better than those voices, you’ve won.

I am afraid to swim in the sea. Is there a way to get around the fear?

Just like learning how to ride a bike, or even learning how to walk, the only way to truly get used to swimming in the sea is to swim in the sea. First, you can take part in the open water swim clinics, such as the ones held by Trifactor Singapore. Next, you can gather a few friends and spend a morning just being in the water. The longer you spend time in the water, the more confident you get. It is as simple as that. Your fear wouldn’t go away over night, and neither should it. You need to work through it and when you do, you would realise how much stronger you are at the end of it. You might be still fearful of the open water but at least you know you are not crippled by the fear. You are able to work despite the fear.

 

Training Thoughts

As you have seen from the questions, or you might have deduced it before this, the race is very much a mental race as it is a physical one. The moment you feel you are ready for it, that is the exact moment you would be ready. That should be the objective of your trainings. The winning mentality isn’t one where you are on the starting line and know that it will not be difficult. It is to know that it will be difficult and that despite it all, you will be able to come out tops.

Suggested Training

Unlike full-timers, where I broke down the training schedule to what it is to achieve and also a possible schedule, here we shall keep it semi casual. Let’s maintain the same idea for all parts of the race; to be comfortable. What does this mean?

  • To comfortably finish the different parts of the race individually
  • To comfortably finish the entire race
  • To comfortably race at the pace you are looking at achieving

 

These are 3 simple steps to paint your trainings for the next few months. It works on the concept of learning how to walk before you start running – there isn’t any point in trying to race and get the best lap time for a 100m swim when you do not have the endurance to complete the entire distance of the swim.

Stage 1: Break down your training days to run days, cycling days, swimming days, and (if you can afford to) a strength workout day. Focus on increasing the distances to ensure you can complete the distance you are racing without stopping

Stage 2: Combine your training days. At this point, you might want to decrease your number of training days since each session might take you a tad bit longer. You could combine your swim with your cycle, your cycle with your run, and your run with your strength. Maintain your pace and again try to complete the full distances each time.

Stage 3: This is when you set your goal. If you wish to do better at your swim, try to go at a higher pace while still doing them as the sets of swim, cycle, and run. Make sure you are completing the distances well and then try to beat your time again.

 

At the End of the Day

There is nothing more to say then to take your time and to be patient. It will be a challenging journey. It is meant to be difficult, it will make you question why you are doing this. Yet, when you get it done, you would not have the same feeling any other way than racing. You would have gotten better than yourself. You would be able to say you were able to say no to that voice in your head telling you to stop. And most importantly, you would be able to say you did it.

 

“It’s very hard at the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually, you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit” – George Sheehan, Author of Going the Distance”

priscilla chew, prischew, running, marathonWinner of Best Health & Wellness Blog at the 2015 Singapore Blog Awards. I first picked up running a few years ago. My main aim then was to get fit, as I had not been exercising much. At that time, running seemed to be the easiest sport to pick up as all I needed to invest in was a good pair of running shoes.

A few months after I started running my friends convinced me to sign up for a 10km race. Since then I have not looked back but have continued to run as the more I run, the more I enjoy the sport. Running to me has become therapeutic and a good way to de-stress myself. Evening runs are a great way to unwind after a hard day of work.

To date, I have completed several 10km races, half and full marathons, as well as a couple of 50km trail ultras and a 101km road ultra-marathon. Long distance running, whether during training session or a race, helps me find that sense of solitude and freedom I sometimes seek, living in heavily urbanized Singapore. At the same time, I also love the challenges that endurance running brings, while striving to better my timings each time round. Besides running, I have also participated in cycling and triathlon races, to vary my fitness activities and give myself new challenges. Through these experiences, I discovered that cycling and swimming are great forms of cross training for runners.

As I fell more in love with running, I hope my passion for running and sports will inspire other people to exercise on a regular basis for fitness and health. In the middle of 2013, I started my own running, sports & fitness website www.prischew.com to share my race reviews, running tips and spread my love for running with others. Till today, my running, sports and fitness website continues to inspire readers to stay fit and healthy through running. If you are reading this, I hope you have been inspired too by the benefits of an active lifestyle.

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