Monday, May 25, 2009

Multi Sport Training Camp Report 1

From today I am starting to write a report or something regarding to this season Multi Sport Training Camp.
This camp as usually being held in Johor Bahru since last year. This two weeks camp organized for preparing a fitness and performance for JB City Eco Challenge this 31st May.

I was surprised when the first day of camp, the menu was kayaking at Johor Straits on Sunday. Started at 8:00am, I, Jiha, Dale, Azhar, Ali and his friend, a Japanese women, Hiroko and one guy from Singapore started to paddling about 3-4 km from Lido Beach to the turning point at the floating fisherman house ('kelong' in Malay) and back to Lido Beach. We escorted and instructed by the guys from Persatuan Kenu Negeri Johor. After finished kayaking session we continued with running from Lido Beach to Tasik Merdeka and back. It was around 8 km of run.

Next highlighted training session was night cycling. We were need to cycling around 2 hours for this session. The intensity was from moderate to a couple of sprinting. It was joyful and no pressure at all.

On Wednesday, once more night cycling session. The tempo training nearly sucked my glucose in my blood and burned my heart to pump at maximum aerobic threshold. It was good to do this routine in time trial position. After the session, we have a big dinner at 11 pm..then, zzz

On Friday afternoon, we instructed to do a cycling outing. Begun at 5:30 pm and last at 12 pm. We also freely can decide where to have a dinner that night or evening. When the night comes, we need to did a routine same as Tuesday night workout before. A couple of sprinting inserted in the training course to build a white fibre muscle in my legs! Finally need to cycle very slow back to the camp. Feel very tired and my muscle started to felt light sores..

Early Saturday morning, we need to mountain biking on the single track. It was a very tough course designed. Most of the route, we need to push and lift our MTB. Then cycle back slowly to the camp.

On Sunday morning, once again kayak session at Pantai Lido. This day we instructed to paddling effectively and did a few sets of 3km route. That was mean we paddled around 6-9km in the calm water of Straits of Johor. I and my buddy (my brother), Moose took an opportunity to snap a picture during paddling workout, it was fun!

Meanwhile in the class session, everybody attended a Periodization Principal, Base Training Concept, Nutrition and also an assignment was to plan a 12 weeks training program, tailored by ourselves for ourselves!

Base Training Part 2

Last time I post an article about Base Fitness. Here another post about Base Fitness. It is important to understand deeply about the concept and principal to apply in your daily training.

If you want a successful, injury-free season, then this is the most important part of your training. Especially for people fairly new to triathlon, it’s pointless launching into high-intensity training immediately, as your body isn’t strong enough to maintain good form when tired, prevent injury, and recover properly between hard sessions. Patience is key as, once you have spent a couple of seasons forming a solid foundation of aerobic endurance fitness, you’ll get the maximum benefit from the higher-intensity sessions in the build and peak phases. You may find that you don’t even do a build phase in your first year of triathlon.

Base fitness is the progressive building of low intensity aerobic training (NOT anaerobic!), such as building up to running 90 minutes at, say, 65-70% effort for your weekly long run, or working up to 3 relatively-easy hours on the Sunday club bike ride. The emphasis is not on speed or power – they’ll come later – but on technique and endurance. Technique is crucial as, if you get good technique during the longer base endurance sessions, it will remain in your ‘muscle memory’ throughout the year and help prevent injury and increase speed and efficiency. Technique for running could include strides and high-knees; bike technique includes one-legged pedalling, fast cadence work, and trying to even out the power in your pedal stroke, making it smooth. Swimming is an anomaly: it is more important to practice technique, get it right, and improve your efficiency than it is to get thousand of metres in the pool at this stage. A coach is crucial for swimming at this stage, even if you don’t use one for the rest of the year – look to joining a local triathlon club coached swim session.

Flexibility is key – ensure that your muscles/ligaments/tendons are flexible ready for the season ahead. Flexibility and increased range of movement will help prevent injury and, again, improve efficiency.

A weights programme can be included at this stage too – the weights programme tapers out towards the build phase (if you have one) or about 2 months from the first races. Weights has been shown to help prevent injury (by strengthening tendons/ligaments, supporting muscle structures, etc) and is most beneficial for cycling: as most of your racing – and hence training- time is spent on the bike, this is a good thing to do. Speak to a qualified gym instructor or coach and explain what you want to achieve – multiple-muscle exercises (exercises using lots of muscles like bench presses), lots of leg and chest work, and core strength exercises (for the back and stomach) as the core is the pivot around which all swim/bike/run movements are made. Typical programmes will include squats/leg presses, lat pulldowns, knee extensions,hamstring curls, bent arm pull-down, calf raises, seated row, dips and tricep extensions. Swiss ball exercises, pilates and yoga are all good for flexibility and core strength. Like your whole training year, don’t just go the maximum weight you can lift in your first session! Build gradually and think about technique as well as the weight and number of reps. As muscle mass starts to reduce for people over the age of 30, a weights programme is an excellent way of staying young (!); doesn’t stop your hair turning grey, though. Weights are also extremely beneficial for women and can help strengthen bones and prevent – or reduce – the effects of osteoperosis.

So what are the fitness changes that we can see from good base training? For example, the heart will become stronger. This manifests itself in the following way: imagine your base run endurance trainng includes a weekly long run of 60 minutes in length at, say 70% heart rate (within the basic endurance training heart rate zone). As your training progresses and your heart – and the rest of your body - becomes stronger, you’ll find that you’ll actually be running faster for the same heart rate. In simple terms, by maintaining that 70% heart rate, you can run faster for the same heart rate than you could at the start of your training.

Remember the cliché: you can’t build a good house without a solid foundation. Give yourself the opportunity to reach your potential and don’t worry if you don’t start winning races in your first year! Look on triathlon as a long-term project to alter your lifestyle and be a happier, fitter, more toned and well-adjusted person. And, no – I’m not paid by the BTA! The big changes don’t happen overnight; they take time but the results will be worth it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Racing for Two Consecutives Weekend

Starting next weekend, 31st May, I will racing 2 major races. There are JB City Eco Challenge on 31st May and Xterra Triathlon on 6th June in Kuantan.

As preparation, I'm now in two weeks training camp in Johor Bahru. Towards my effort to gaining back my fitness and also my speed.

After long 'merajuk' time after last year Malaysian Powerman in Nov 2008, I didn't resumes my training until last April. I only managed to did 3-4 hours of training perweek! It's horrible! Compared when I on my way to be at top shape, I can did 20 hours of training perweek.

In training camp, I attempted to did trail running and road running, mountain biking and also kayaking. It was remaining me back when I was 10 years old, I always follow my father running in palm plantation near our home. Mountain biking on trail when I was 13-15 years old, and kayaking when I was 17-21, until I was a kayak instructor in UTM.

So racing in JB City Eco-Challenge will be nice and good for me to jump start my desire to racing this season. Plus my first attempt to completed an augural off road triathlon in Southeast Asia in Xterra Triathlon in Kuantan. Hope I can be in good shape in this training camp for this two races. See you!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Base training

Last month I wrote a post about Periodization. As by blog’s readers know, the term of Periodization is the organizing of your season into specific phases, each with its own goals and its own workouts. So, the race season in Malaysia actually has begun since last April. Many athletes have started their training program. Now in May, they actually nearly completed their training phase that calls Base Training.

You can either try to race with an engine the size of a lawnmower, or you can build your engine up with a good base so that you are racing with a huge-turbo charged jet engine.

There are many factors that will influence your racing. Nutrition, tapering, speed work, rest, and mindset are some of them. But the biggest physical factor is the base you build in the beginning of the season. A good base period when you develop your body's ability to burn stored fat for fuel is what determines the size of the internal engine that the other things have to work with.

A well-designed base period enables you to take good nutrition, speed work, rest, and positive thoughts and transform them into your best race possible. The choice is yours. You can either try to race with an engine the size of a lawnmower or you can build your engine up with a good base so that you are racing with a huge-turbo charged jet engine.

The catch is that most people do not have the patience to build a base correctly. The reason is that for the first 12 weeks or so of your season, you will have to strap on a heart rate monitor and put your ego aside. What the heart rate monitor will signal to you is when you are working out at heart rates that are aerobic (fat burning).

These are in the lower training zones well below your maximum heart rate. The higher heart rates are anaerobic (carbohydrate burning) and shouldn't come until your base has been built. The reason is that the improvement you can get in performance from developing your aerobic fat burning system is huge compared to the improvement in performance you can get from doing the high-end anaerobic carbohydrate burning workouts. And our bodies cannot develop both systems very well at the same time. Which means that to build a base properly, an athlete has to have the patience to work the aerobic system exclusively for a huge block of time.

But before we go any further, let me give you a formula that you may have seen before. It is one that will help you determine what the upper limit of your aerobic training zone is.

Here it is:

1. Take 180
2. Subtract your age
3. Take this number and correct it by the following:

Number of Workout Weekly


subtract another 5 beats


subtract 2 or 3 beats


keep the number where it is


keep the number where it is

7 or more

add 5 beats to the number

The number you now have is the upper heart rate limit that you can work out at and still develop your aerobic system. This is the heart rate that will build the size of your engine. Now back to the catch!

In the beginning of the season just about everyone will have lost a lot of their aerobic base, especially if in the season before you did little aerobic and mostly anaerobic training. What this means in your workouts is that you have very little ability to burn fat as a source of fuel for exercise and your heart rate will jump up very high at a relatively slow pace in an attempt to kick your metabolism into carbohydrate burning. And to keep from going over your aerobic limit you will have to slow your pace down, often significantly.

This is where most athletes do not have the patience to stick with the aerobic training. You may have to slow down several minutes per mile from your normal everyday training pace just to keep your heart rate from going above the aerobic maximum. Your perceived effort can be very, very low while you are developing your aerobic engine.

And this is when one¹s patience is tested. Workouts will feel the opposite of the mentality that says training should be painful and muscles need to burn to get benefit. This may be true later during the speed phase of the season. But right now, this is absolutely not correct. You will be getting huge benefit that will show up months down the road.

When I started back each season, I had always lost a lot of my aerobic capacity. This meant that I had a small internal engine. During those first few months of training, I would literally have to walk up even the easy hills on my runs to keep my heart rate from going too high and kicking my body into carbohydrate metabolism.

But slowly, over those next 12 weeks, my body would develop the enzymes necessary to break down stored fat for energy and my pace would speed up. And by the time it came to do my interval training, I was able to run close to a 5:30 mile at my aerobic maximum heart rate of 150!

Here is your base building training prescription:

- For the next 10-12 weeks do exclusively aerobic workouts.- Give yourself 5-15 minutes to warm up, slowly elevating your heart rate as you go. Then during the bulk of the workout, try to keep your heart rate in a range that is at least 80% of your maximum aerobic heart rate but not higher than that number. So for example, if your maximum aerobic heart rate is 150, try to work out the main part of your training session in a range that is from 120-150. - Do every single workout in this range: Endurance days, moderate length days, hilly days, all of them the same. No cheating. No going over just a little in each workout. - Walk the hills. Put the chain in a smaller gear. Do whatever it takes to keep from going over your maximum number. Once your base has been built you will have plenty of opportunity to work in the more "painful" heart rates.

You now have the secret to building a good base, and more importantly training correctly in the early season to have your best race when it counts!

Night Social Ride to Improve the Fitness

Since last 2 weeks, I interested to cycling again with the social ride group in Johor Bahru. There were two groups which will have cycling session at night.

On Tuesday, there area group gathered at Larkin, Johor Bahru and started cycling at 9pm. They mostly came from beginner cyclists and 'no so fit rider'. Most of them used a mountain bike and do mountain biking on the weekend. The route, from Larkin-Dataran Bandaraya-Danga Bay and back to Larkin.

On Wednesday, a large number of cyclist from various groups, ages, genders, and fitness levels including from Persatuan Lumba Basikal Negeri Johor, Johor Triathlon Club and more gathered at Taman Impian Emas in Skudai. They start a session at 9pm do a 6.5 km loop in Taman Impian Emas. The loop is good for speedwork and time trial training. Normally after cycling, there were a guys will do a short run.

If you interested to join a group who are have a craziness to tackle an off-road at night, in Johor also have. Founded by En Azhar(014-2761610), they gathered at Taman Sri Pulai and paddling in the dark of night only with headlamp and tail light to the estate nearby. They told me it was a lot of suspense, need an extra adrenaline and fun if you was tailed by a dogs!

It is good indicator that cycling already have a large number of people who are interested, the riders, and perhaps elite athletes in Johor. Furthermore cycling is the safest way to maintain the fitness and is provide a lot of fun, friends and you can eat a lot of food!

Jom Kayuh 2009, JB-Malacca

Last 9-10 May 2009, I and my gf plus two of Kakithoners Lim and Ong has joined Program Jom Kayuh 2009, cycled from JB to Malacca. BUT for me I am not riding my bicycle but my motorcycle. I needed by Mahkota Bikers to be Road Marshall along that days. Nearly 2 months I was a part of organizing team did our task to make sure this program happened successfully. Plus my role during that day was big. Because I was the leader of the route: from JB to Malacca. No room for the error!

Program launched by DYAM Tunku Ismail Ibrahim Ibni Ibrahim Ismail, Raja Muda Johor, at Festive Street Mall, Danga Bay at 8:00 am on 9th May. Then the convoi pass the main check points in Rumah Alumni, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai; Pusat Rekreasi Sg. Rambah, Kukup, Pontian; Hentian Mahkota, Parit Simen, Batu Pahat; Pusat Rekreasi Air Panas, Gerisek, Muar; Taman Rekreasi Sg Kesang, Muar; finally finished at Malacca Go-Cart Circuit in Ayer Keroh.

It was not easy to be Route Leader (navigator), I worked closely with PDRM Traffic Pilots to make sure the route was clear from outsiders traffic users. Plus I also need to brief the Pilots particularly about the route and maps. It was my first time to give an order to police officers. That was heavy task for any person, but I manage to handle it without any complaint.

So, last weekend was good for Kakithoners to have an extra mileage for their ride and some exposure among Johor cycling community. Furthermore there were a lot of knowledge and experiences can gain during that program especially riding skill in a large peloton.

Finally I was feel pleased and valuable because I can did my task very well, the task that not everybody can handle it well.

Monday, May 4, 2009


After completing academic semester for session 2008-2009, it is time for having long semester is nearly 2 months without any academic matters. Below is the event that will be held within this 2 months.

May Event
2 May : SAS Eco-Challenge (Trail Run), Tasik Bera, Pahang
3 May : Road Marshall Course (Big Bike)
7-10 May : "Outdoor Recreation Level 1 Course", Johor
9 May : SAS Eco-Challenge (Trail Run), Pulau Tioman, Pahang
9-10 May : Escorting "Jom Kayuh!" Cycling Expedition, Johor Bahru-Melaka
16 May : Climbathon Gunung Tampin, Negeri Sembilan
17 May : New Balance Pacesetter 15km
18-29 May: Multi Sports Training Camp
21-24 May: Scuba Course, Pulau Pemanggil, Johor
30 May : Sundown Ultra Marathon, Singapore
31 May : JB City Eco-Challenge, Johor Bahru

June Event

7 June : Malakoff Run 26km
7 June : XTerra-Triathlon, Kuantan
15-28 June : Duathlon Intensive Training Camp
27 June: Climbathon Gunung Angsi, Negeri Sembilan
28 June: Standard Chartered KL Marathon
*will update more vent in June

So, myself only focusing on grueling 2 weekends that will consist JB City Eco-Challenge, Johor Bahru on 31 May, and the next weekend is X-Terra Triathlon in Kuantan on 7 June. This two event I was aroused to participate. Perhaps my fitness level will increasing day by day towards this events.

Furthermore, I was excited to do adventure based activities/races. Because in JB City Eco-Challenge they include kayaking and mountain biking in that races. Also X-Terra Triathlon is the first X-Terra event will be held in South East Asia. An off road riding and trail running that I will confirm test participants fitness and skills at an optimum effort and level.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Lengkap Sudah Semester Pertama

Selasa 28 April melengkapkan hari-hari semester pertama sebagai pelajar postgraduate di UPM. Setakat masa ini belum lagi merasai tekanan sebenar pelajar postgraduate. Mungkin akan merasainya secara berperingkat-peringkat. Namun tiada apa yang dapat memperlahankan dan memberhentikan momentum untuk mencapai kecemerlangan.

Mei dan Jun adalah masa cuti. Akan digunakan sebaiknya dengan aktiviti yang dapat memberi manfaat untuk diri dan masyarakat. Tumpuan utama semestinya latihan intensif untuk Malakoff University Duathlon Series 2009 pada Julai nanti. Keduanya tumpuan kepada aktiviti Mahkota Bikers (memandangkan menyandang jawatan pemangku Setiausaha) sepanjang dua bulan ini. Seterusnya tentunya terhadap aktiviti rekreasi luar di negeri Johor dan Kebangsaan.

Namun, dua bulan semester bercuti, bukanlah suatu jangka masa yang begitu lama apabila sibuk dengan aktiviti yang berfaedah.