Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reaching the Summit: Preparing for High Altitudes - Altitude Acclimatizing

Hiking sometimes can be fun and relaxing your mind from daily stress. But if you attempt to climbing or hiking the summit more than 2000 meters above sea level, an extra knowledge and training must be search and done. In making sure that every body didn't facing a problem on their way to reaching the summit.

Preparing for High Altitudes-Altitude Acclimatizing Hiking often involves climbing hills and mountains. For some people, this hobby might go as far as crossing over to full scale Mountaineering. As you increase the altitudes that you reach in your hiking adventures, you will want to take the higher altitudes into account and be aware of the possible risks.

In higher altitudes, the oxygen level of the air is lower, making your body work less efficiently. These are some important facts on Higher Altitude Hiking:

  • People can feel the effects of higher altitudes as low as 2000 meters above sea level.
  • People differ in their tolerance for high altitude conditions and how their bodies react to the changes in air pressure and oxygen level.
  • There is no relationship between your overall physical fitness level and your tolerance to high altitudes. Furthermore, an improved fitness level might cause you to push harder and over exert your body which is one of the main causes of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness).

Acclimatizing to High Altitudes

Acclimatizing to higher altitudes and the need to do so differs per person and you will learn what your body needs by experience. If you have no experience with high altitudes then take extra precautions. If you do not encounter any problems then you can try a shorter and/or more intense acclimatization process. Here are the basic rules on Acclimatizing to Higher Altitudes:

  • Start at lower altitudes and walk steadily and slowly to higher altitudes. The acclimatization proces takes at least a few days.
  • If you need to drive or fly directly to altitudes higher than 3000 meters, take at least a period of 24 hours of rest before you start your steady ascent and acclimatization.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reaching the Summit: Low-Altitude Training for High-Altitude Climbing

How to acclimatize and have ability to hiking at high altitude? The highest summit in UTM is Balai Cerapan, in Johor Bahru is Gunung Pulai, in Johor is Gunung Ledang and in G7 is Gunung Tahan. Plus the training must do regularly. Can we climb Tahan regularly? No time and budget!

So I wrote here to explain how we can acclimatize with high altitude condition and it can be done daily, as a preparation to conquer Kinabalu Summit soon.

Altitude and Performance
Recently, as climbing gyms have boomed, more and more climbers from low elevation areas, are seeking higher grounds and traveling to much higher elevations to climb. Mountains like Kinabalu (4101 meters) are at altitudes where the oxygen pressure is low enough to limit aerobic performance, which is necessary in climbing. Training methods and the problems associated with this type of altitude are of great importance for climbers in these areas because they have to train at such low elevations. Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for this type of excursion in order to maximize performance, limit the danger of high altitude disorders and sicknesses, and increase the enjoyment of the climb.

One's aerobic performance can best be measured in terms of his or her VO2 max--the maximum amount of oxygen that one's body can consume. The amount of oxygen consumed by your body is directly proportional to the amount of work or exercise your body is performing. For example, walking up a mountain at a certain speed requires a certain amount of oxygen. Increasing the speed of walking requires even more oxygen. When you are walking or running as fast and as hard as you can, you are likely consuming the maximum amount of oxygen that is possible for your body, i.e., your VO2 max. The higher a person's VO2 max, the harder or more intense they can work. Conversely, altitude lowers a person's VO2 max which then lowers work capacity.

The problem of oxygen consumption is compounded at altitude because of the reduced pressure of oxygen. Walking up main dome on a 30 degree slope at 3 mi/hr with a 40 pound pack is easier than walking up to the summit of Mount Rainier on a 30 degree slope at 3 mi/hr with a 40 pound pack. You are doing the same amount of work, but since your body's ability to deliver oxygen to the working muscles at altitude is lower than at sea level, you are working closer to your maximum capacity.


This is where training comes in. Everybody is born with the ability to reach a certain VO2 max. One person may be able to reach a certain VO2 max but another person, no matter how hard they train, will never be able to reach a comparable VO2 max. If you are genetically able to reach a certain VO2 max, and you don't train, your VO2 max is not as high as it can be. Proper training, directed at increasing your VO2 max, makes it is easier to climb and you can climb harder.

Let's look at training for this incredible trip that you have been saving for. The best type of training is highly aerobic activities like running and cycling. You need to start out slow and short if you have not trained before. Eventually work your way up to doing one of these exercises 3-5 days a week for 30min to an hour at 70-85% of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate can be estimated by subtracting your age from 220. For example, a 24 year old person will have a maximum heart rate of 196 beats per minute (220-age) and 70-85% of this is 137-167 beats per minute. While doing this aerobic type of exercise you can throw in one minute intervals of higher intensity in order to push your limits. Also, you can supplement this exercise with your regular weight and climbing workouts.

Another good training technique is to, at least one day a week, do an exercise that resembles what you will encounter while climbing. This can include hiking, or running stairs with your pack on. When training for a climb, my regular weekly work out consists of running 3 days, lifting weights 1 day, running stairs 1 day, sport climbing 1 day, and resting on the last one. Generally you should allow a minimum of three months in order to get the most out of your training, but even longer if possible. All of the normal dietary and hydration concerns are the same as with any training program.

Road to Powerman 2009: A Tapering Period

The race day on 8 Nov is nearly come closer. That is meaning everybody who are planning their training program properly, will start their tapering during this period or maybe next week (5-6 days) to the race day.

The final touches to any training program come during the taper. This is the period of the season leading up to a race day when an athlete allow their body to absorb all of the hard work did during the base building and speed phases. Doing the right kind of taper is an art unto itself.

A taper is tricky because of what is happening internally when our bodies try to recover. When athletes start to give themselves rest, the system in the body that responds to stress (which is the system that allows you to get up for big workouts) starts to shut down. It is like working on the engine of the car. Athlete cannot have the engine running at the same time that you are giving it an overhaul. You have to shut the engine off.

the training

The same is true for our bodies. Athletes have to shut the "engine" off for it to recover and charge up in the way that it needs to be ready for the big race. And when athletes do this, will probably feel like out of energy, sluggish, and getting out of shape. THIS IS NORMAL.

After having a grueling and brutal training program, this period is very important for us to reduce the intensity and duration of training. No more LSD, no more intervals, no more fartlek. Just stay active and sweaty but not too much pumping your heart and muscles.

A journey to race site is a main focus for our body. We need to drive 250 km (from KL), or 600km (from JB) and a far as Kota Bharu (700km) to reach Seri Manjung, in Perak. Our body needs to be fit to stay and sit properly in the vehicle. It is good if we can reach Seri Manjung early (maybe Friday) to have a recovery from travelling fatigue. On Saturday we can spin together to Kompleks Sukan Seri Manjung, to collect our race kit, timing chip and to hear a race briefing from the organizer.

the journey

Finally, may this eleven days, we are free from injuries, free from any incidents, free from heavy training load, as we together step by step, day by day follow a road to Powerman 2009. See you soon!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Life Without Computer

My laptop already trouble me a lot this time..

My data in hard disk corrupted last Friday..a disasters for when the time of final assignment, articles submitting and presentations in this two weeks..

And I started thinking that is it the fact or myth: "When the end of semester come, when the assignments need to submit, the computer will create a problem and cause us cannot meet the dateline.."

It horrible, when there are no place or no effort to did a backup data storage..

For me it is time to Sabar and Bertenang..hope there will a light at the end of the tunnel..

hope the light is not a light from a freight train at the end of tunnel coming towards me

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Developing the Need of an Arousal Factor

This title is not "need to develop arousal factor".

In sport psychology arousal means, physiological activation of the body and the interpretation of that activation that collectively prepare performers for competitive situations (Burton & Raedeke, 2008).

Developing term I use here to discuss about Developing New Talents or New Athlete in certain sport, here I mean duathlon, running and cycling.

From the last UTM Duathlon Challenge on 10 Oct 2009, in UTM Skudai, one of the main objective is to search a new talent. Secondary objective is to perform outstandingly in MUDS 2010 (Duathlon race series for University students).

UTM Duathlon Challenge 2009

What is the main method to search new talents?
Kakithon UTM and Unit Sukan UTM, have organized an inaugural UTM Duathlon Challenge. Only new faces for duathlon can enter this race, all familiar faces, I banned them from participating in the race and forced them to be an organizer (another new things that they can learn instead racing at all time).

Why to search new talents for MUDS 2010 race?
UTM already won consecutively overall Men's Best Duathlete of the Year since 2008 (Ong Wei Xiang) and 2009 (Muhammad Nazri). Plus, UTM won 2nd place for Best University Award in 2008 and grab this award as champion in 2009. UTM won 2nd overall Women's Best Duathlete of the Year in 2008 (Nazihah Abdul Ghani) and still on the podium at 3rd spot in 2009 (Nurhidayah Mohd Nasir).
So from above achievement in MUDS races, what do you expect and what the Boss being expected? Plus the guys in the team getting older day after day, and will be graduated!

To be like this, must do like this and this and this...

When to develop these new talents?

I said to Mr Ainul, one of the Unit Sukan UTM officer after UTM won MUDS 2009 awards, "we must start now within this year to develop our program or you don't expected too much from us (the team)."
So that's why UTM Duathlon Challenge has been organized.

How to develop these new talents?
After that we (the team) has a plenty of time to sharpen our talents, by providing them with a proper and suitable training regiment and send them to a races toward MUDS 2010. I already have a mechanism and the regime to train them and to suit them with the best effort that I and the regime can.

post training 'lecture'

Who are responsible to develop the need of an arousal factor among new talents?

Me, my regimes, the team (Kakithon), Unit Sukan UTM, are responsible to this task. We formed our strength to create a development program within our knowledge, expertise, experience and supporters. We start earlier to making sure that the new athlete will maturing day by day toward the race season next year especially MUDS 2010!

Now, we all aroused to race in year 2010!!!

My Life at This Time Period

Nearly one week didn't updating my blog post. Busy time was calling me from did this addicted routine. Here I'm just updating some of my life story within after Raya period.

I switched my training ground from Klang Valley (Putrajaya & Serdang) to Johor Bahru for high mileage cycling training designed for me. It was essential for me to regain my cycling endurance and to ride high mileage.
during the class

My master class was only on Monday and Tuesday. But for each class, I need to submit a series of assignment and articles writing, completed a series of test, presentations in a row and class discussion during each classes. I suit and fitted myself with an extra knowledge and 'weapon' to show in the class.

my ride

As conclusion, I travel JB to KL on Monday morning and attend a class in the afternoon. Then travel back from KL to JB on Wednesday morning after have a good night sleep, got recovered after 3pm to 9pm ultra endurance class. Suddenly I found that my mileage on my ride (motorbike) was higher than my ride on bicycle. I wondering if my cycling mileage can at par with my motor riding mileage..

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ergogenic Aids another series of 6 episode of Physiology in Sports and Exercise test. So after reading the articles in journal and books, here are something that I love to share to those are 'kemaruk' to be strong instantly..

the topic is ERGOGENIC AIDS, enjoy!

With better dope testing methods and hence the possibilities of detection and life ban from the sport, athletes and coaches are looking for legal ways to improve performance and/or hasten recovery. The various ways by which performance can be improved are known as Ergogenic Aids.

Ergogenic Aids may:

* directly influence the physiological capacity of a particular body system thereby improving performance
* remove psychological constraints which impact performance
* increase the speed of recovery from training and competition

Ergogenic aids fall into the following categories:

* Mechanical Aids
o Altitude Training
o Aqua (water) Training
o Heart Rate Monitors
o Computers - analyse VO2 max, technique, test results etc.
o Video recorders - analyse technique
o Tyre towing - develop strength
o Weights - develop strength
o Hypoxic Tents
o Nasal Strips
o Parachutes - develop strength
o Elastic cord (pulling)- develop speed
o Elastic cord (restraining) - develop strength
o Downhill running (3° to 5° slope) - develop speed
o Uphill running (5° to 10° slope) - develop strength
o Treadmills
o Weighted vests (5% to 8% of body weight) - develop strength
o Compression garments - limited research exists on the ergogenic qualities for sports-specific exercise, with available research showing mixed results for exercise involving repeated powerful efforts
o Sports clothing, footwear and equipment
o Timing equipment
o Vibration Training

hypoxic tent and still can 'training during sleep hours'..

* Pharmacological Aids
o Amphetamine
o Androstenedione
o Anabolic Steroid
o Beta Blocker
o Creatine Monohydrate
o Caffeine
o Choline
o Carnitine
o Chromium
o Clenbuterol
o Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
o Gamma hydroxybutyric acid - GHB
o Hydroxymethylbutyrate - HMB
o Magnesium
o Phosphatidylserine
o Protein Supplements
o Sodium Bicarbonate
o Vanadyl Sulphate

* Physiological Aids
o Acupuncture
o Blood Doping
o Creatine
o Colostrum
o Herbal Medicines
o Homeopathy
o Human growth hormone
o Physiotherapy
o Sports Massage
o Sauna
o Ultra-violet rays

* Nutritional Aids
o Bicarbonate of Soda
o Carbohydrate Loading
o Caffeine
o Creatine
o Sports Drinks

* Psychological Aids
o Centering
o Cheering
o Hypnosis
o Imagery
o Meditation
o Music
o Psychology
o Relaxation
o T'ai Chi

Banned Ergogenic Aids

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has drawn up a list of banned substances and doping methods that most sports governing bodies have accepted. The use of drugs to enhance performance is considered unfair and it puts the health of the athlete at risk.

The Drug Information Database provides easily accessible and accurate responses to queries about the status in sport of licensed pharmaceutical and over-the-counter medicinal products available in the UK. The status of the substances in this database reflects the current prohibited list of supplements which is available from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Finally, 'tepuk dada tanya selera'. Use your brain to manipulate your wallet and time to be great athlete near the future..

Monday, October 5, 2009

Road to Powerman 2009: News Coverage

Powerman Malaysia, 8th November 2009, Seri Manjung, Perak, Malaysia..
More than 700 participants will heating and burn Seri Manjung town.
So watch out!
It is awesome!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

An Email from Korean Reporter

Below was an email that I received from one of the my blog reader/hopper..

"Dear sir.

My name is Seo kyu won, a reporter who base in malaysia Kuala lumpur for korea broadcasting system(KBS)

I read your blog about sepak takraw ,

I have a plan to make a report about sepak takraw's younger player who want a be a champion in his dream.

can you introduce to me some youth team or teen player ?

I will make a people's documentary about dream chaser.

my tv staff(cameraman & PD) will come to malaysia around 5th to 14th.

is it any game on during my staff visit?

You can contact me at 012-320-6527(base in KL)

please help me.

best regards

seo kyu won


So what do you think??

Friday, October 2, 2009

Inaugural UTM Duathlon Challenge

Proudly to announce Universiti Teknologi Malaysia will organized UTM Duathlon Challenge for the first time ever in main campus in Skudai, Johor.

The race details as below:
Event : Duathlon
Distance: 2km (run) - 10km (bike) - 2km (run)
Date : 10 Oct 2009
Place : UTM Main Campus, Skudai, Johor
Race Start/Finish: Pusat Kesihatan, UTM Skudai, Johor
Time : 4:00 pm
Categories: Men's University
Women’s University
Closing Date : 9 Oct 2009
Race kit collection: 9 Oct 2009 at Kompleks Sukan UTM start at 3:00pm
Race briefing : 9 Oct 2009 at Kompleks Sukan UTM at 4:30pm

UTM Duathlon Challenge also provide a free duathlon clinic for the participants. The detail as below:
Event : Kakithon UTM Duathlon Clinic
Date : 9 Oct 2009
Place : Kompleks Sukan, UTM, Skudai
Time : 3:00-4:00 pm
Topic : What is Duathlon?
Running aspect in duathlon
Cycling aspect in duathlon
Basic nutrition
Basic training in duathlon

This inagural event organized to search a new talent(s) in duathlon race for becoming the UTM Duathlon Team for next year race especially in Malakoff University Duathlon Series. There were several scouts will come for searching the talent(s).

Any information please contact:
Mr Afiq 012-7578173
Mr Ong WX 016-4339095

Or visit