Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Countdown to Ironman Malaysia

Tomorrow I will travel to Langkawi for my A-race for this year. For the past 48.5 weeks I've put in a lot of training effort. No sugar coating on this and I can tell you it is tough. Having to juggle increased responsibilities at work and at the same time balancing time for family and training. Luckiy I am not racing for a living like the Pro. Being age-grouper certainly has it's perks.
I started writing this on September 17, 2014. A good 10 days before the race. So what you read may or may not appear "current". As you all may noticed too, my blog updates has been lesser mainly due to work commitment.
Tapering Plan
It failed miserably. I was supposed to taper Sunday Sept 14,2014 but the plan was cancelled due to last minute work planning. What I did was minimal and hardly enough to prepare my body for the much needed taper. The plan would had fell nicely because September 16 was a holiday and I will get to re-start some light Zone 1 or 2 training to keep the heart "hot" and body ready.
RnR - All part of the plan. Doof made it easier
But it all failed to materialise. Not helping with the lack of sleep over the Malaysia Day holiday due to work, I tried to log in an hour of spinning on September 17 night - only to find myself sleeping on the couch between 2100hours to 2300hours, and the bike was at the door waiting. Wifey were supportive enough and woke me up the next morning (today, September 18) to spin for an hour - which I managed what was likely my shortest spinning session...15minutes. Had a dizzy spell likely due to insufficient rest and call it off. Perhaps I will try again later at night. Somehow, today (Sep 18), I came to the conclusion not to fight the need to taper anymore. I will just do what I need to and what I could. If it meant a short spin of 30mins or a run of 15mins, so be it.
Or more session under the sun to acclimatise?
Race Plan
The main plan revolves around finishing the race in cut off time of 17hours. While I know many has higher expectation of me to finish faster, I would need to be pragmatic with my approach. Please remember that this race is my race and I am not benchmarking it against anyone. My timing for Ironman in Langkawi as follow (and link to the race reports)
Ironman Langkawi 2008 : 15:00:29
Ironman Langkawi 2009 : 16:13:43
Ironman Langkawi 2010 : 16:48:08
2010. 16:48
As you can all see, 15hours was my best timing. I came close to cut off in 2010. I am truly average. And nothing changes that fact.
I have a plan dream.
Add caption
Swim  - 1:40
The amount of swim training I've put in this time has exceeded the mileage I've done in my whole entire life swimming. No kidding. I would say for some one that has never gotten any training in swimming and only learnt it when I was drowning in a pool when I was 8 or 9 years old, I did really well. I've gotten so much tips from friends and I've put every single advice I gotten to good use. The results? I am able to swim front crawl comfortably. It is my weakest discipline which I've not placed much or enough training.
Aqua Sphere Vista Tinted for that morning sunshine swimming out
Bike - 6:30
7,600km. 4 tires changes. Endless hours and my bottom skin grew so thick it is a pad by itself. I can sit on the trainer for 6hours wearing just a running shorts with no padding. Either that of the seat given by fellow Ironman Kok Aik damn comfy.
The route in Langkawi will not be easy due to the heat and potential rain. The elevation gain is decent and it is most important to ensure a consistent spinning cadence than to "go for it", especially if this is your first time riding the course. While many are worried of the elevations and the course, I choose to stay positive as there is no merit in worrying. What you can do (and hopefully did) during the training is to learn to utilise the gears to flatten the road. A humble 6:30 to cover 180km - that is an average (a very do-able 27km/h).
Hoping it all pays off
Run - 6:00
I hate running. I still do. I've clocked good mileage as part of my base training and it sort of taper off mid-way during the training as I want to reduce the chances of injuries when all three sports combined in. Often resisting the urge to run longer - so I ended up making each run I do faster. The intensity training is important as I know I have the endurance and I aim to make sure I have what it takes to finish the race strongly. Jelly legs come into mind after a long ride and I believe I've prepared for the worse possible BRICK effect.
But will it be enough?
I set a very modest target of 6:00 for my run simply because I am not sure how I would hold up after the biking. My best PB for a marathon is a slow 5:15 and it is not in an Ironman race. a 6:00 42km for an Ironman is a good pace. 8mins/km and it is very do-able. Will I do better? I believe I would.

Adding Them (time) Up
1:40+0:15+6:30+0:15+6:00 = 14:40 total. If I do this, it will be my Personal Best timing. I know some are expecting me to do a 12hours - which honestly, I felt is way beyond me. I am prepared and I know I will finish strong. My 14:40 is a very very modest target I set for myself because there are more things that are important in races like these.
For example:
1. Camaraderie - nothing is more important to do this with friends. Some may do better, some maybe not. It is not how you win the game, it is how you play it that counts.

2. Staying injury free - because this is NOT the only A-race I will ever do. Look forward to be better and we can only be better.

3. Supporters - for these are the biggest contributor for me in this race. Without them, and specifically the family being there, this would not had been possible. Things WILL go wrong and it is important to remember WHY you are there in the first place and WHO help made it happen.

This is my fuelling plan for Ironman. If you are still grappling int he dark, this could be a good start.
My main fuel is Perpetuem Solids which I love the fact I get to chew on something and not just gulp it down. While it has mixed review from others from the food sticking to the teeth/gum (which I find it good because it then allow me or distract me to clean my teeth while cycling). I have the Gel as back up and likely to take them one every alternate hours to "top up".
The poison
1. Perpetuem x6 tubes - 1 tablets every 30-45mins.
2. Hammer Gel x 6 packs - 1 pack alternate hour
3. Anti Fatigue x 20caps  - 4 caps 1 hour before race, 1 cap per hour
4. Endurolyte x 25caps - 4 caps 1 hour before race, 1 cap per hour
5. HEED x 15serves - concentrated in Hammer bottle. Squirt into Torpedo bottle, mix with water every 15km. Drink a sip every 10-15mins
6. Oats for breakfast - 4 hours before race. LIkely waking up at 2am for this
7. Hammer bar for breakfast - 2hours before race
8. REM for restful sleep - target to sleep by 10pm
9. Race Day Boost - 2 tablets, 4 times a day, 4 days before race. 

Making it thick so I don't need to mix the powder, ever.
The key to food is 1/3 of the calorie burnt, in this case, approximately 200kcal/hour for me. I need to ensure I eat sufficiently. From my training ride, I know I get flat out by Km90 or 3hours into the long ride. I would absolutely need to fuel up and force eat!
I be flying Firefly and 2-days before the flight I received distress messages that Firefly WILL not fly out any bikes. My main concern were friends that are taking FY with me and they are mostly first timer that will be racing. We took FYT because of convinience - not because it is any cheaper. Sad to say, FY most likely has not predicted the volume of athletes flying out and they lost the opportunity to gain long term support with these able-paying customers. 
What do I do with you?
As luck has it. Edwin of Joo Ngan & Son near my home offered to take my bike after seeing my 10 sen face. It was definitely too late to pack, too late to even find a box, and too late to change any flights - not when you have a whole family travelling. 
This sports has taught me about being selfless - while the triathlon sports is very much all about "you", the other element which is camaraderie is utmost important. I gained so many new friends just sharing what I know. I do not claim to be the best - for I never dare to compare myself even with the man in the mirror. I am truly my worse enemy. I must admit I was that close to breaking down today (Sept 23). Work load and last minute heart attack situation like these are not good. 
And there are always the little doubt; that the training is not enough and that possibility that mechanical failure will happen, and ...the finishing line to cross.
Week 49.
49 weeks of Sweat. Tears. Commitment. 8393.11km. 351:56:04 hours. 

See you all after the last 226.2km in maximum of 17hours. I would like to add that to the "training log" by this Saturday Midnight. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lucky 11 for IRONMAN Malaysia Stalwart

Image from Ironman Malaysia

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia (September 22, 2014) - Feisty and admired, one Malaysian is back as the only person to compete in all 11 IRONMAN Malaysia events.

After a four year hiatus, many locals are excited to once again have the chance to take on one of the world’s toughest tests at IRONMAN Malaysia.

None more so than Yee Sze Mun, who, at 77, is the eldest on the start line and the only athlete to have taken part in all 11 IRONMAN Malaysia events. That's quite a feat, especially for a country that is still just finding its feet in the world of triathlon.

Yee is looking to keep a clean sheet on September 27. Nothing is more important than that.
"I’ve done it 10 times. Love the place. My blood and sweat is there. Langkawi is very special to me."
Training for IRONMAN takes its toll on the fittest, strongest and fastest. So how does this pint-sized, feisty Septuagenarian who was 72 when he posted his fastest IRONMAN time approach training?

"The aging process means it takes longer to recover. So this time I have done lots of shorter sessions. I am still smiling and don't feel so tired and am both anxious and very excited at what this new approach will do for me on race day."

When competing as the oldest athlete, chances are he will be alone in his category, which means that a Kona slot awaits for him should Yee make it across the line for his 11th finish.

"I have been to Kona six times. Getting that slot is my biggest worry. In my mind I want to go, but just thinking about the six months of suffering I need to endure to go there is a lot to get my head around right now. It could be a case of pay up and think later."

Every athlete has mind games to keep them going on race day and Yee is no different.

"It gives me a lot of satisfaction passing people. My mind still feels young and makes me feel good. I never care about the time but everyone I pass is a big plus!" 

Yee has seen the growth of IRONMAN in Malaysia from the first event with 150 people to this year’s sellout with 1,398 registered athletes.

"A lot of new people are coming into the sport and this is all good. For me, doing an IRONMAN in my home country means a great deal. Langkawi is my favourite hunting ground. I have had 10 finishes in 10 years and five podiums including two wins. There is a lot of sentimentality attached to this place, and it’s not just me. Many other local athletes who took part before feel the same. I will be here every year for as long as I can, it is like returning home."

From the eldest to the youngest, what tip does he give a newbie?

"To take in one leg at a time and don't worry about the rest. You are there to compete against yourself and Mother Nature. Don't worry about anyone else. Soak it up and enjoy it. Otherwise it will become a torture. This is most important. I am going for fun and anything else is a bonus." 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ironman Malaysia : T-5 Waxing Legs

Last performed in 2010 for the same reason and almost the exact same timeline. Can't justify why I am doing this but "why not". Apart from pushig my own limits, i must not forget to have fun along the way. 
Wax on. Tear off
They say waxing is painful and I have no doubt about it. The searing pain and the tearing of the cotton strips against bare skin is usually followed by screams and wimper - especially for men that has not waxed before, or waxed once a blue moon (me).
Bikini wax substance for rougher hair
The lesser than usual hair on my left leg vs my right was quite alien for me (again). I can feel slight tigling sensation due to the hot wax and obviously the exfoliation process.
The 2seconds per km advantage?
The session ended after 30mins and my legs were so smooth I felt I was back to be a pre-teen. Unbelievable feeling and airy. 
Enjoy the video. I have uploaded into my YouTube channel here.
It was done up to my tan line. So the hair above went off too.

Friday, September 19, 2014

32,500 Runners Rocking Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014

Marathon garners high response, surpassing target of 35,000 runners

Kuala Lumpur, 17 September 2014 – The Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014 has marked yet another milestone upon surpassing its target of 35,000 runners. With 35,200 runners achieved, all categories of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014 are officially closed for registration.

The Marathon is increasingly recognised as a premier flagship running event with its prize pot of USD 116,740 (RM377, 397). An international running event, Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014 is expected to draw 2,479 foreign nationalities from 83 countries.

Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events, which is the owner and organiser of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon said:

“The constant growth in participation is very encouraging and we wish to thank everyone for their strong support.”

He continued, “This year, we have an increase of over 800 Full Marathon runners and an increase of 1,400 Half Marathon runners. This proves that the calibre of runners is on the uptrend and more people are taking up the challenge of distance running.”

Standard Chartered Bank Managing Director and CEO, Osman Morad said the Marathon is an important platform for the bank to engage its stakeholders.
SCKLM2014 Sponsors and Partners
“Witnessing growth every year, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon truly epitomises a nation-building engagement. It reaches out to all walks of life to encourage running as a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

Participants’ breakdown for Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014

Breakdown of the participants per category are as follow:

  • Full Marathon –5,315 runners
  • Honda Half Marathon – 8,259 runners
  • MSIG 10KM –16,060 runners
  • 5KM Fun Run –5,055 runners
  • Kids Dash - 511 runners
Rainer with Datuk Bandar
You can still be a part of Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014!
While registration for all categories is closed, with exception of the Full Marathon, your support and participation does not end here. You can be part of the Marathon by:
ü  Supporting your friends and others in their Run for a Reason – Pick a charity that you would like to support and encourage our “Run for a Reason” runners who have pledged their support to raise funds for their charity recipient of choice; charity partners for this year are: Standard Chartered Foundation, The National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM), Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and Hospis Malaysia
ü  Being a volunteer – More than 3,000 people are required to help out on the big race day and you can be one of them to be part of this exciting event!
Being a supporter – Join us at Dataran Merdeka on 12th October to cheer and support your friends and families during their race!
The Standard Chartered KL Marathon is made possible by title sponsor Standard Chartered Bank in partnership with the Marathon owner and organiser Dirigo Events Sdn Bhd, co-organiser DBKL and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia.

For more information on the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, please visit or call +603 7886 1717. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Zack Attack Returns To Ironman

9 Days to race and you are suprised with inclusion such as this. For those new to the sports, Jurgen Zack is a name to reckon with in the sports and his target for Ironman Malaysia is "Sub-10". Looked like he may just book himself a spot for Ironman World Championship by bagging the 45-49 age group as winner.
photo from Ironman Asia Pacific Press Release
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia (September 18, 2014) Legendary IRONMAN Jurgen Zack is in pursuit of an age group Kona slot at IRONMAN Malaysia.

It’s been nine years since the legendary German star Jurgen Zack raced as a professional in an IRONMAN. These days Zack has dedicated his life to coaching in Phuket, Thailand and a little racing as an age group athlete. He also has been known to pick up the microphone and sing a song at the local open night in Phuket (but that's another story).

Zack, winner of eight IRONMAN races and three top-fives in Hawaii, signaled his interest in competing as an age grouper when entries opened for IRONMAN Malaysia at Langkawi. “These days I am just the coach, who occasionally gets the itch to compete.”

Zack, who turned 49 years young last month, is sure to have a large target on his back. It is one of the largest and most strongly contested age groups and Zack, like every other age grouper looking for Kona, has done the math and knows what he needs to do.

“Would you believe me if I said my weekly routine is 4km of swimming, 300km biking and 30km running per week? It doesn't get me super fit but I do believe a sub 10 should be fast enough and that's the goal.”
Zack’s last Kona outing was in 2005 when a torn calf muscle resulted in a DNF. Sounds like unfinished business and a new beginning?

“As an age grouper I would try to enjoy the race more than I did as a pro and I am also looking forward to meeting some of my old friends again and have a beer or two.”

Anyone who has heard the term Zack Attack knows that the bike is where the German inflicted most damage in his racing days. It’s a strategy many younger athletes still use to this day, hammering the bike and hanging on for the run.

Has anything changed or does the strategy stay the same at 49?

“Same game plan, a 4hr 10min bike and then walk or jog to get the slot,” he joked. “Seriously, the bike is still my strongest discipline, but I am far away from my old records.”

Zack says he enjoys racing now and again but his new pursuit as a coach means more to him.
“Being at the start line occasionally with the athletes I am coaching means a lot to me. My personal result is not that important anymore. Seeing my athletes doing well is more satisfying, at the moment.”

Whether it is Zack’s influence or not, a record 59 Thai triathletes have registered for IRONMAN Malaysia.
“Triathlon has got a good momentum in Thailand right now and I would say watch out for Jaray Jearanai. He is going to get his ticket to Kona in the 30-34 years.”

Triathlon in Asia is definitely one of the most exciting places right now to be. Expatriates have always represented but times are now changing.

“The real difference in recent years is seeing more Asians getting into the sport. There is some great talent developing in Thailand and Malaysia.”

Does he have any fighting words to the men’s 45-49 age group? "Guys, if you pass me on the run please be nice."

Find the story online at

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

IronMan Malaysia Full Start List

Game is ON! The full start list of Ironman Malaysia 2014 is HERE.

I am number 500 in the list!

Not surprising that the largest age group are the 40-44 years of age which truly affirm that this endurance sports may favour those of that age group. The favourite for this race, Cameron Brown is in his 40's too.

The start list also confirm that a total of 1269 participants has signed up and will race. 

Can't wait!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ironman Malaysia :Trek Speed Concept At Bargain

It is no secret that many Ironman competitors will sometimes sell off their bike after the one race (Ironman distance) for reason such as "I had enough" or "one time suffering is enough" or "I am too tired to bring this back home" or even "rewarding myself with a sweeter ride".

It is normal to really see a full spec bike dished out at a bargain. 

Now how about if i tell you that a few, potentially more Trek Speed Concept or TSC will be up for sale at almost 40% off after Ironman Langkawi? These bikes are full spec TT ready and only been used ONCE (aka the Ironman Malaysia).

And it look as awesome as this...

I am not kidding that the above TSC is for sale after Ironman Malaysia (yes, I am repeatig myself as I can't believe more so after looking at the "for sale" price)

Here are the specs provided by Trek Concept Store Malaysia

Bright Silver/Black

Alpha Red Aluminum, KVF (Kammtail Virtual Foil) tube design, SC Speed Box & Bento Box compatible

Bontrager Race Lite E2 Tri Speed Concept, carbon, SpeedTrap compatible

Bontrager SSR 

Bontrager R1, 700x23c

SRAM 500 TT, bar end control, 10 speed

Front derailleur

Rear derailleur

SRAM Apex, 50/34

SRAM PG-1050 11-28, 10 speed


Vision AeroMax Tri, chromoly rails
Bontrager Speed Concept Race X Lite, carbon, +/-10mm offset

Bontrager Race Bullhorn w/Race Lite clip-ons

Bontrager Race Lite, 7 degree, 31.8mm

Integrated, sealed bearings, 1" top, 1-1/8" bottom

Alloy dual-pivot front brake; chainstay-mounted rear brake w/Bontrager Race Lite aero levers

The Bargain
The above complete dished out bike will cost RM7,300.00 brand new. However for this event, Trek will be offering this at RM4,300.00.

Bike is first come first serve basis and you can negotiate with the Trek team on site for payment terms, handling charges (to send back to KL for you to pick it up later?) and good old Malaysian "boleh kurang lagi" bargain. (Can it be cheaper bargain).

I am told that Trek Concept Store will be opened in Kota Damansara in a few days time and perhaps that would be a good opportunity to go check out what they have to offer too. 

Stay tuned for more.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ironman Malaysia : Official Pro Start list

Photo credit - Delly Carr

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia (September 10, 2014) - IRONMAN Malaysia is back and bigger than ever! A field of 32 professional athletes will be among the 1374 strong field of athletes this September 27.

The event, a 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run, marks the return of IRONMAN to the island after a three- year hiatus.

Headlining the professional field and the ambassador of the event is New Zealander, Cameron Brown. Brown is the holder of ten IRONMAN New Zealand titles. The 42-year-old added his 12th IRONMAN title by taking out the win at IRONMAN Cairns earlier this year, in the process becoming the oldest IRONMAN champion in history. Brown lines up as the number one ranked athlete in the field and also the eldest professional with a bunch of younger legs in the form of Frederik Croneborg (SWE) and Luke Bell (AUS) looking to take the battle to the Kiwi in Langkawi where the temperature is predicted to be fiercely hot and humid.
In the Ladies field Germany’s Diana Riesler wears number one. On hot form and full of confidence after defending her IRONMAN Japan title last month, Taiwan’s Li Shiao Yu is looking forward to the challenge. Australia’s Rebecca Preston is returning to IRONMAN racing after a six year hiatus. Preston a former three time IRONMAN champion, is looking forward to a return to racing in Langkawi.

The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the  IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most  challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 190 events across five unique brands: 
IRONMAN®, IRONMAN 70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IronKids®. For more information, visit

About Malaysia Major Events 
Malaysia Major Events is a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) under Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Created under the Governemnt’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), Malaysia Major Events facilitates significant events that help contribute to Malaysia’s economic growth. It focuses on identifying and supporting major event 
bids for sports, arts, lifestyle and entertainment events. It also assists home-grown and home-hosted events as well as other cluster events that strengthen Malaysia’s global appeal as an international avenue for major events. As a conduit between public and private sector, it’s a one-stop centre which facilitates and liaises with diverse event stakeholders to ensure seamless processes and successful events. 

For more information, please visit and follow us on and Twitter  (@MyCEB)

Tuesday, September 09, 2014


Kuala Lumpur’s most iconic long distance running event 
has a new route for the second time in six years

Kuala Lumpur, 8 September 2014 – For the second time in six years, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014 will have a new route to test runners’ endurance and skills on more elevated roads.

Scheduled to be held on Oct 12, participants will start and finish as usual at Dataran Merdeka. However, the new route will take them along the Duta-Ulu Klang Highway and the Ampang Elevated Highway instead of the previous years when they ran mainly on city roads.

With the anticipated increase in the number of participants this year, the new route will be an added impetus to participate in the event, apart from helping it to stay ahead of the growing number of marathon events in Malaysia.

Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events, event owner and organiser of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, said there were several considerations when designing the new route.

“Our first consideration is always the safety of our runners. When designing the routes, we looked into various ways of leading runners onto roads that presented the least traffic hazards.”

“We also look into providing our runners with the best experience and therefore aimed at maintaining as much of the scenic landmarks such as the Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers, KTMB Station Kuala Lumpur, the National Monument and the Kuala Lumpur High Court to name a few.”

“Running on elevated highways means that runners get to enjoy the rare experience of a bird’s eye view of the city skyline plus traffic is more manageable and we are optimistic that the runners will enjoy the experience,” he said.

He also said special attention was paid to the Jalan Raja Laut and Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman turns, so collisions and congestion between Full Marathon and Half Marathon runners returning and 10km, 5km runners heading to their start points could be avoided this year.

Being the sixth edition and one of the longest-running marathons in the country, the new route is also believed to help further increase the number of participants.

“We have grown from 33,800 last year to 35,200 as of Sept 1, 2014 and we are confident the new route with the highways, will be able to take on that number during the event.

“As the event organiser, our efforts have always been channelled towards making the race better and for our runners to constantly experience something new. I believe we have achieved this once again with the new route,” Biemans said.

Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia’s Managing Director and CEO, Osman Morad, said the new route will be challenging, but he believed the Standard Chartered KL Marathon runners are Committed, Confident, Courageous, and they are up to the challenge.

“I hope this will be an exciting run, one that will stretch the participants in achieving their goals. I wish them a fun and safe experience!”

Numerous precautionary measures have been taken to ensure the runners’ safety on Race Day. These include:
  • Engagement of 400 traffic police and DBKL enforcement officers to ensure a traffic-free running route and pre-race road closures
  • Public conveniences such as 350 toilets, surau facilities and 28 water stations on the route as well as Dataran Merdeka
  • 450 medical personnel both on the route as well as Dataran Merdeka
  • 350 race officials both on the route as well as the start and finish areas
  • Public transportation services from as early as 3am
For more information on the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014’s new route, please visit or call +603 7886 1717.
42km Route
21km Route