Monday, December 24, 2007

Afternoon run - 8K

Got back quickly today after teaching a diploma class. I missed my morning run today, so I decided to run in the afternoon. I wanted my son to join me for the run too. He rode his mountain bike, and we decided to take a route that took us to the back of Punggol estate, that provided a scenic run amongst, trails, rivers and a beautiful view of the sea. He had it coming because the trail ride was hard. The sand, hampering his ride cos the soft ground, laden with puddles that were filled with monsoon rain that have been pelting Singapore for the last 3 weeks. The short down hills and riding through the puddles was enough to distract my son from the distance he had to cover.

We covered 8 K, over 46 minutes. I had to stop a few times to help him with the bike and we now have strategy to get him to keep pace with me. I call it cruising as I push from his back when he slowed down.

In the 46 mins I stayed in Zone 4 averaing 28 minutes in this zone. Avr Hr was 157. Peak R was 180. It felt moderately hard. As I slowly get fit, I will include, interval runs in January. We finished our training session today right where we started. It was a hard ride for my son. Cycling seems to excite him more then running and I need him to enjoy these rides. A good drink is enough to get you past the pain of exhaustion so I bought 2 ice cappachinos for both of us and we had that drink at the play ground.
Compared to my girl, Musiab is far more emotional and kind. He has a kindness in him that I sometime admire in awe. Today he even shared his drink when I have finished mine. He let me drink his share and this gentle disposition is a trait I have yet to see in my 4 year old girl. He is more like his mother.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

40 K morning ride

Today morning I took my new bike out for a 40 k ride to check it out. This bike that was build by the good folks from TEF bikes who are based just opposite Thomson Rd Hospital. Good decent folks to say the least. It is here Jerome and Jasni the bike engineers work and they will fix your bike and advice you without any hinge of looking you down. Decent cyclist and great guys.
I bought a pair of shoes at a shop at Bukit Timah road. The owner of the shop would probably have served the expat folks more then the locals here. I was asked what bike I wrote when I was browsing their things. The thick upper lip is not exclusive to the Brits cos it looks like some shop owners have assimilated this metamorphosis. Don't think I will go back to the shop, unless I need to change the shoes I bought there.

Well the bike that I am riding now is a great piece of machine. It is flat like a cervelo and and It carries a aggressive 77 degrees seat angle. I also got ultegra 10 speed gear set from TEF. The 10th gear is great for the uphills. Today's ride nearly ended in a crash as I was getting used to the bike. When I looked back at my blind spot before making the turn, the bike veered to the left, going over the metal cages and nearly hitting the kerb. I kept my hands on my handle bars and just hoped I did not lose control of the bike. The bike stayed its course and the crash was averted.

Toady's 40 K ride ended in 1 hr 20 mins and this is the start of my training season. My buddy was not out with me in the morning, hence I rode alone. Here's is a picture of me riding. Took this photo whilst I was riding, hence the look of worry and trying to keep the bike steady.
I need to do some adjustments on my bike. They are;
1. Need to move the seat back a bit
2. Cut of the horns on the handle bar
3. Lastly cut off 3 cm off the aero bar as well.
4. Take off 2 spacers off the fork.

My own assessment on riding a time trial bike, .. it feels nice. My neck nor my back ached after the ride. So the bike has been fitted just right.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

6 K morning run on Friday

Well, starting to run again in the wee hours of the morning now. Work up at 6.00 and left home at 7.00 am to do a quick run before marking papers for the subject I am teaching to Diploma students. Well, it felt great to push out in the morning as I laced my shoes and ran out in Punggol. The HRM numbers were at 160-165 and it felt like I was pushing it a bit. The pace of fast but it felt controlled.

From my block to the MRT station and back to the play ground. I sprained my ankle 2 weeks ago and I was nursing its bruise. That did not act up at all.

The run felt smooth and it felt great to get past this little set back. Did a 50K bike that week as well. This was the first time I was testing out my bike. The handle bars felt a little bit away and it will require a bit of adjustment to streamline my new time trial bike to my size.

I have since purchased a pair of serfas, 3 laced cyclign shoes as well. Will take it for a spin on Sunday and see how it feels then. The bike requires a bit of adjustment.

The aero needs to be cut about 2 com from the end. Likewise the bull horns needs a bit of twigging too. This would mean I would have to ensure the armrrest remains flat so I can reach the break levers instinctively when I ride. The bike is quite light weighing under 10Kg.

Al that leaves for me to do now is to train systematically for 3 races next year.

I have decide on the 3 races that I will take part locally;
1. SAFRA Biathlon
2. City Duathlon
3. Osim Triathlon

One ironman race just before the fasting month.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New Season to Start Training again

It has been 2 months since I last made an update eon my blog. having completed the half ironman, I reeled back in defeat as I nursed my ITB injury for 2 months. 1 month after my race a casual 6K run was infused with a limb as I realised I have not fully recovered from my injury. I rested 1 more month and since the start of December I have started to run again. December will a month for runs and recovery swims. I managed 3 decent runs as of last week. Today's run wld have been the most invigorating as I left home at 7.00 in the morning heading towards the Punggol Beach. The run started slowly, as I gained momentum after 10 minutes. The rustic country side feel in Punggol gets you out of the concrete jungle that you practically see everywhere in Singapore. There were very few cars on the roads and all I had to focus on was the acute pain on my knees and just gently roll with the hills at Punggol road. Either side of road, masked and shaded with beautiful green trees that will shelter you even if you run at midday.

Here and on this route, I say hello to my nemesis, Singapore Outward Bound, with whom we Teamwork Bound compete neck to neck in providing services to corporate clients. This is where David meets Goliath, like in the streets of Gaza, where kids stand up to soldiers. This is where Teamwork Bound, stands neck to neck with established, well funded learning providers and we are able to make a difference with clients coming to us commissioning us to cutomise their training programs.

My knees were not acting up, but importantly, my stamina has not dipped either. My heart-rate zone were between 150 and 175 and I felt cool and comfortable with the pace. My brother competitors do watch out, cos I have never felt like this before in my other sessions over the years when I started training again after 2 months of inactivity. Hence the 9 months of training I endured this year has shaped my heart my lungs and core muscles in the legs and upper body. The run was not slow, it was moderate, right to the jetty. Touched the metal barricades turned back on the same route I cam on. The uphills started to challenge me a bit and I realised how simple artifacts can just keep you going. I have started consciously wear Lance Armstrong wrist band now. I has been with me for the good 4 years now. I lost this band couple of times only to find it back again somewhere in my house. As I suffered on the uphill, glancing on the band, the words summed up my resolve not to stop and just run. Live Strong. Commit and clear clarity on your purposeful conduct and goals on where you want to be. A simple band became a conscience checker as i know, 40 million people around the world who wear this same band look to it for encouragement. I did not stop on this run, not on this route, where I fight my daily battles in trying to make Teamwork Boound a preferred provider for experiential learning programs. I made my way back to the housing estate running past Edgefield primary school and back to the my block near the basketball court. The time now was 8.10 am and I have finished my day's work out and it felt great. It felt even more better to now that the year 2008 will be a year, where I will compete even more aggressively on the Tri circuit in Singapore.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Finishing the Ironman 70.3

After 7 months of training, I dreaded this day, when I realized that the D day had arrived. However, August the month when I will hang everything else to dry, became convoluted with 2 critical project work that came our way. TeamworkBound was contracted to take on a 3 day leadership and experiential learning program for senior officer with the Ministry of Homeaffairs. Health Service Authority also contracted us to run their service and the train the trainer program. Hence, the month of August became incessantly a busy month for me and I neglected my training regime. I was not able to get to the pool as many times as I wished. Worst of all I did not even manage an open water swim. This race was important for many reasons, one of which is doing a Tri race with Francis Chow, a dear friend I knew as a 17 year old when we ran for school in Junior College. He was doing this ironman race for his late father and his mom. This was the first time his mom and sister were there to support him as well.
A truly inspirational guy who has never failed to awe me. He has finished a full ironman race, and one of the rare friends I have whom I have kept in touch for over 20 years. Likewise my training mate from secondary school whom I beat as 15 year old out ran me on this race, Young Seoung. This race was an exceptional event to say the least.

On the 2nd of September, I made the decision to follow through with the race I had painstakingly worked for and dreamed about.

Just before my wave of swimmers started, one chap was waving frantically asking for help. To our horror we saw his head dipping into the water only to emerge again. We shouted at the race officials to go and help him as we watched in horror wondering if we were going to witness death right before our eyes. The safety boat got to him on time and he was saved. My wave got the signal to start and there I went with a prayer to be safe as I started the 2 K swim. Even before I reached the first buoy, I realized what a big difference swimming in the sea meant. I panicked a bit as the strokes and breathing did not coordinate with the big waves that was hitting me each time I pulled up to breathe, using my breast strokes. Though I have been training in the pool using front crawl, the sea was not the place to experiment a new swimming stroke. I started to drink in water and I lost my breath too. I contemplated turning back, stopped swimming and treaded water for a while, until I summoned enough courage to carry on. It became a real struggle for me and it took me quite a while to get use to the strokes and the sea. As we swam east, the sun was rising and the only line of sight were swimmers heads and legs kicking wildly in front of you. I swam on and I realized that time was not on my side and I had just 1 hr 15 mins to complete the 2 K swim before I could potentially get kicked out of this race. I got kicked in the face a couple of times and finally I got used to the sea and the torture of just swimming and focusing on just one part of this race. That is to finish the swim. I did finish this part of the race and I did it in good time, a time of 52 minutes as I raced to my bike to start the cycling leg that will last a distance of 90 km.

I got to my bike and I sat on the floor to wear my biking shoes (T2 - sidi) that were 4 years old and only recently came apart on its soles 2 months ago. I was wearing a pair of shoes that were not the best or the latest. The bike that I was mounting on was 15 years old, a bike frame that I bought with my first bonus, GIANT CADEX. As I was riding out I realised I was ahead of many new and gallant bikes whose owners have not finished their swim yet. I got myself into my aero position and I started to kick on the pedals as we rode out away from East Coast to the city. There were many other cyclist who were in my pack, some had completed the swim , whilst others were doing the relay portion of biking. The relay bikers were strong, as their legs were fresh and I was keeping up with them. There were bumps along East coast until we reached the city. For once, the 2 lengthy hills, did not break my tempo or speed, I raced up the hills on Sheares bridge in sheer excitement and cruised down fast at 45km and hour .
It got exciting when I realized that my 15 year old work horse was competing neck to neck with the Cervelos, Feltheads and Softrides and I was giving them a ride of their lives. I knew I had made it past the swim leg and I focused to just finish the bike ride. We did 4 laps around the city and I had one of best rides ever in any competition. The legs felt great and I was flying. It was great to find my family on lap 3 when I saw my wife, Musaib and Zahra waiting for me. I turned back to wave at them as I passed them. On lap 4, I looked for them and I was not able to catch them in sight and instead, a lady cheered me on realizing I was hoping for a cheer from a kind soul or two. I finished 90 km of bike ride in 3:00 hrs, averaging 30km/hr and it felt great.

That left with just one more leg to go and yes I had just one functional leg at that time when I transitioned to run. Landing on my right leg, sent a sharp pain veering up my knees as I struggled to understand what had gone wrong in a race that was going so right for me up to now.
I have suffered with ITB, illiotibial band before and its ugly face reared itself on the run. ITB strikes even harder, when you depend on the legs for all 3 events. The swim using breast stroke makes things worst for the ITB. Likewise, the adrenaline rush I had for the bike ride, just took all the wind out of my legs as I have strained them pretty hard right up to the run stage. The 20 km run in the streets of Singapore was a limb and run as I literally struggle to finish the race. It was the sharp pain that repeated itself on every step I took. I saw guys passed me and I knew that I was inflaming my ITB even more as I ran.
One chap tap me on my shoulder and he said what I was doing was gutsy as he passed me. There were others on that day who were suffering the same pain. Some even stopped. I knew I was not able to run, but nothing is going to stop me from finishing this race and I will finish it with the pain on my right knee. My training partner passed me and he told me to hang on. I pushed to the finish and I finished with 1 hrs more to spare from the cut of time of 8 hr 15 mins. I finished my race in 7: 16 : 16, a time that I am very proud of and I can proudly say that I finished one of the hardest race of my life. I finished my race in the rain that was pelting me and I saw my wife, my son and my girl who were soaked in the rain as they cheered me on. I stepped on the finishing line with my TEAMWORKBOUND banner, for a day that started in trepidation, lasted in pain and finished in sheer jubilation, I know I have earned the title of being an IRONMAN, with my training mates, Francis Chow and Yeoung Seong.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Anti Climax - OSIM Triathlon

Just before the thunder clouds came in

The OD distance for the OSIM triathlon was an anti climax to say the least. The day started out fine with clear blue skies in the morning. As the pros took off at 8.00 am everyone else, specifically the mere mortals and your average joe and jane waited for our start at 11.00 am. That was when the weather turned. The rain clouds rushed in as a result of the south west monsoon and it started to rain. The calm sea clamped its teeth as she showed how easily she can turn choppy. For the athletes it became a cold wait by the beach as officials scrambled to stop the race. Those who were on the swim leg were picked up like flies using the safety boats and the cycling race was stopped. For the rest of us, we huddled around 2 makeshift shelters that we could find. The picture above will show how heavy the rain was going to get just before we started.

Organisers in view of our safety cancelled the swimming leg of the race and we had to settle for a 400 m run to our bikes and follow through with a bike and run. I saw our sportsman politician Teo Ser luck behind me as we ran for our bikes. All due respects to my MP and former school mate in NYJC and NTU, as I respectfully gave way to him. By the way he is a good guy who runs and bikes well too.

The bike ride was a scary one, as we had to manage quite a number of turns on a road that was already wet. The snooty riders who were riding the Cervelos were fast. So was I , averaging between 32km /hr to 35 km/hr for the 20 K ride. My hats off to the newbies who were riding borrowed bikes and mountain bikes for this race. Had more respect for them then the cervelos that passed me.
The transitioning section from Bike to run took place in rain soaked muddy field. It was wet, wet and muddy. We had to carry our bikes to our station to get our shoes. I always get blisters when I run using a wet pair of shoes and this time I tried to wear my socks that just w
ould not go in to my foot. I tossed it away and quickly started on the 5 K run. Saw my kids and wife who were there to cheer me at the hawker centre.

The run was easy as I passed my family and pushed to finish the duathlon now. A race day became another training day that was laced with funfair and crowd. The final leg of my run was cool as I tapped my girl as I passed her. My son was cheering me on and boy did that feel good. Close to the finishing line, I out ran two dudes who passed me. It felt great to hear the DJ announce my name as I ran to the finish line for the run. A quick flex of my right hand showed a timing of 1: 1o mins for the 20 K ride and 5 K run. My time for the ride was 37 mins. It was a wet muddy and but uneventful day for me and the rest of the triathletes who took part in this race.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Early morning Run

Well just wanted to describe the early morning run today that started at 5.30 am in the morning. Ever since my stomach flu, I have realized not taking the antibiotics makes you vulnerable enough to get sick again. That happened on Friday after my swim training session. My body has not fully recovered from flu and I still training to get fit for the TRi race. On sat, I had slight fever and running nose. I rested from Sunday to Monday and early Tuesady morning I did my run. A slow steady pace that took me around Punggol to the ghost house near the mass rapid station followed by the run up the bridge and back to my block again. It was invigourating to say the least. Just the smell of the morning air, the wet road and sound of the heart rate monitor beeping each time it passed the 160 zone. That was great, a good 40 minutes run in my zone of 162.

I missed a training session yesterday, so I will follow up with a second training session that will include a bike ride. I need to do errands today and I guess I will be biking to get them done today.

The swim session involved the following drills, 5 laps warm up using the front crawl, with 5 X 2 laps at 2: 45, followed through with 5 laps warm down at 7: 45, my condfidence in using front crawl and I may use this stroke for the OSIM tri race. At this speed, I reckon I may complete the 1.5 km distance in 45 minutes which is far cry from the 35 minutes I was able to do with breast stroke.

Lets see how things go. In ten days, I will leave for India and training under 40 degrees heat will prove to be interesting.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Bike ride, bug and split shoes

Last week may not be the best of days for me for training. Unfortunately, the long bike ride I initiated on thursday did not end up the way I envisaged. On our ride from Punggol to Woodlands I dropped my bottle and as I stopped riding and dismounted to pick it up, my shoes literally ripped into two. To keep riding I had to find a stray string on the sidewalk that helped to keep the shoe in place as I pedaled on. Heres a picture taken on a Nokia phone camera.

Well, when thngs happen when you least expect it, it is best to just to accept it with a smile and move on. I rode on, until Upper Bukit Timah rode and this time my rear tire when flat when I hit a small pot hole. Well I was screwed this time round and there ended my bike ride after 40K. I hailed a taxi and got back home in style on a mercedes cab, who had a full karaoke set. This dude is simply amazing, he even belted out a popular hindi tune for me. Simply amazing.
I was quite dehydrated and ended up puking everything I ate for lunch and dinner. Getting to the clinic itself was toturous walk. I thought I could just collapse on the side walking to the clinic at Punggol plaza. It took 2 days for me to recover. Thus a lot of my time was spent on running and fixing my bike.Well, I have reglued my cycling shoe, and I
will take the bike for a spin today on my way to the mosque for my friday prayers and include a swim session in the afternoon. This week has been good, as I was able to include 4 sets of running sessions, with one session at night that kept me in the zone of 163 for 55 minutes. My kids and Afroz are still in India and I look foward to joining then in a weeks time. Here's a picture of my team, the picture I took before they boarded the flight for Thiruchi. Man I miss my two little ones. My little girl never fails to admire me when I gear up to rde. She would look at me in the corner of her eye and will say, "you look cool"everytime I step out with my bike. A pretty lass, who may just take on to what I do, when she grows up.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Got the Flu Bug

This week it has been a horrendous trial battling the flu virus that I caught on Sunday. On Sunday I ran 12K at Punggol, whilst simulating the actual heat I would face on race day. I started the run at 11.00 am in the hot sunny day, battling the heat as I paced myself slowly. Had my music playing from my phone as I ran easy. The heat really messed my pace as the heart rate monitor showed a high beat of 162, whilst the pace was slow. That was the same feeling I had when I did my first triathlon at East coast. I was running slowly in the heat whilst my hear rate was beating very fast, in the range of 182 then. After 45 minutes of running in the sun the weather turned and it started to rain. Hence it became a 45 minutes run on the hot sun with another 20 minutes of run with the clouds above me pelting me with rain. I guess, the dramatic change in weather may have weakened me enough to get sick the next day. I had to battle flu as I prepared to send my children and my wife to India.

On Tuesday after sending my family off at the airport, I had to do EFI safety supervision job at Diary farm adventure centre. It was raining lightly and I had no choice but to complete this job that I agreed to do last week. Hence I spent the next 4 hours concentrating on making sure the kids were wearing the hareness properly and supervising the belayers who were tasked to belay the kids. Even if you are sick, the mind is capable of switching gears to stay focus to get the work done at hand. I remembered the same experience I had for the 2nd batch of participants, who attended my leadership program. They did not know I had fever that night. Even then I followed through with a 5 Km run and swim that was intended for them the next day.

It all goes to sure one is capable of more then what you think you can do. I have lost 2 days of training and I look forward to running on Wednesday. It has been lonely and tough not having my family around. Then again my work is heating up and this week onwards it is going to requite me to stay very focus to complete the 3 projects I have for May. That is life isn't it, staying focus in the context of what you do. As a father, husband or athlete, there is a real need at times to dig in deep within your soul to ask your self why you do things that you do. At times you do get distracted and the price you have to pay can get phenomenal if you are not able to check yourself. When biking on the road, there were countless times when cars get very closed and it takes sheer concentration to keep my focus intact my not getting hit by a car or a bus. Likewise, it takes the same sense of focus when you start a training regime. There I am running and it makes no sense to just follow a routine for the sake of doing an activity. The ironman race is important to me it is about seeking a accomplishment I can be proud of. It is tough as I am not as young as used to be and this race is important for me.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Started to swim

Well, it has been a while since I last swam in a pool and this friday I swam 18 laps at the public pool. I have decided to leave behind the strokes that I can swim best and learn how to use the front crawl effectively. For a 50 m lap pool it tool 30 strokes counting just one hand to get me from one end to the other. I used muscles I never new existed and the whole body ached when I got home.

The previous nite my and my training partner cycled about 36 km just after 6.00 pm returning back to our home just before 8. It was a good ride and I can't help but realise that YC is in a better fitness then me. I had to shake him off couple of time on the uphills only to have him back on my tail cruising on in style and I pant hard like a fish gulping for air on land. Well that is how the story goes, you reap what you sow and till I started to work just as hard or harder, I will lose a few minutes behind him.

I rested on Sat and sunday is a day for a long run just before lunch to get use to the heat.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Suffered with no speed

Well the title says it all and that was what happened today. Last nite, they showed a very good Tamil movie that I missed so as sleep early to ride the next day. At 2.30 am in the morning my dad insisted that I carried my son to the bed room. He had apparently fall asleep in the hall whilst watching the movie. My dad wakes up quite a bit at nite and he rarely gets a full nite sleep on any given day. He has diabetes and he also goes to the toilet at least 3 times in any given nite. Well, that broke my sleep and I woke up late at 7.20 am with my training buddy waiting outside my house to start out ride.

A quick brush down and I was out with him after 3 straight days of hard work outs. I took a candy bar that I confiscated from my children many days ago. That was suppose to be breakfast whilst we started our ride. Well, that candy bar has since gone bad and I had throw it away as I grabbed Young Sheong' s candy bar when he saw me throwing mine away. I needed more then just that bar for breakfast. We covered a 52 K ride that starting off fast and tapering out like an engine without any fuel towards the end. I was just not able to crank the pedals. We made it to Changi Village and back and an intended hard ride became a ride to just finish.

My body is still aching and I guess to sustain this training regime, I need to alternate between hard and easy days. This month the focus will also be on learning how to do the front crawl right and fixing my strokes so that I can manage a 35 mins swim for 1.5 Km using front crawl.

Any guy in Singapore who is reading my post, you are most welcome to contact me cos i am looking for a coach to help me correct my strokes.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

fast Run

Today it was a day to run fast and furious. I did a quick 6K run from home to the junction of Punggol Church and back. The heart rate monitor was beeping away as I went past the threshold of 165. I averaged 33 mins for that run and an average heart beat of 162. That was good enough for me.

In the evening just before dinner I asked my wife Afroz to accompany me for a walk. Well there are not many days when I had to resolve issues over little arguments with Afroz and tonite was one of those nite. I needed to make peace with Afroz. She is by far the most patient person I know and as a wife I could not have asked for anything more. Precious and it pains me a lot to see her sad when I hurt her feelings. Like I said to her, the children and my wife are more precious to me then anything else. As we made peace, during that walk I dropped her wallet and we traced back our route twice and yet were not able to find it. When we got back home my frantic mom informed us that a teenage chinese boy apparently found our wallet and returned it at our house. Moreover she added on that he appeared to be a young teenager with streaks of red hair and looked like a gangster, but behaved like gentlemen in returning that wallet that had money and other cards in there.

This was a lesson for me when at times when we are so use to stereotyping people because of the way they appear or as result of their ethnicity. I was humbled that good honest people are out there in our midst and some may not fit the mould of looking decent, here I stereotype again but in fact a nasty looking dude may just be another honest person. The outer appearance has no dept or any magnitude in deciding what a person is like. Very thankful to this boy who returned my wifes wallet with everything intact.

I need to rest and sleep tonite cos my training buddy Youn Sheong wants to ride hard on Sunday.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Evening Bike Ride

To those of you who wander thru life thinking, how can I find time to exercise, here's a snapshot on what is possible. Thursday was a packed day for me and I had to handle and coach my son who is preparing for his examination in school. After teaching him. the time was 1815 hrs. I had the choice to just hang around or watch TV, I made the conscious choice to ride my bike. After my Asar Prayers, I saddled up, got my gear together and cycled out of my house.

It was indeed a good decision, a bike ride just before dinner. I took the route that plyed to Hougang from Punggol to Old tampines road and made a loop around Bedok Reservoir before returning back. It was a 32K ride and I was riding well above 30 km/hr maxing 36km/hr on some part of the route. This was a first and it was a good feeling to see the speed in the 30s range as oppose to the 20s.

The bike positioning is getting just right as I am able to use my quads and hamstrings well on this ride. I got back home at 1940 hrs with just enough time to do my magrib prayers before settling down to read a book with the biggest bully in Punggol, Fatmah Zahra.

I would like to encourage anyone reading my blog to get off the PC and go out and work out. Ultimately all it means is an hour of your time to exercise and it will get you very focused in the things you want to do. I slept at midnight and woke up at 6.00 am and I feel good. Today it will be work again and collecting the hardcover of my thesis from the print shop. I can't wait to convocate for Master's degree in July. For once sports is tying up all loose end in my life. We have a busy month for May with quite fair bit of work and I look forward to June, when I will be cycling and training in India. I will post an update on two weeks of training in India on this blog.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Interval Training Runs

Here is a short cut that will get your endurance up and running. Interval runs, that will get your head detached from your body when you run fast. What do I mean my this, interval training is hard and the last time I tried this I was 15 years old. I was in my school's cross country team. Interval training runs requires you to run laps from 400-600m fast with a short rest period before running again. I did this 1 week ago with my son. Yesterday nite, I did it again with 1 lap more to add from 4 I managed last week. A short warm up run was initiated just before the hard 5 laps of 600 m. Each lap will only be described as a torturous bliss, as I literally "flew" from the start go. It felt like you were flying as you raise your knees high and land on your heels only to take off again. The hands raised high swaying from side to side as you breathe in hard with each stride. All you hear as you run is your hard breathing, the soft thud of your stride and the heart rate monitor telling you have gone past your max threshold in your training zone. The stride gets harder as you near the finishing line only to push hard as you detach your head so that you don't feel the pain of exhaustion.

It was great because I managed 5 fast laps finishing between 2 min 8 secs and 2 mins 11 secs for all 5 laps. For once I felt like a champion as I ran fast on each one of these laps. Perhaps as the body get fitter, I will increase the number of laps to 8. For now all I can say is that I am starting to do what I feared for many years,... doing interval training sessions.

Thinking back, I remembered managing 8 laps of 400 m with 8 laps of 200m in one training session as a 15 year old. We trained right up to the stage of seeing stars in our heads. This session was not one of those days but it was still hard for a 38 year old trying to gain his fitness. For one short moment I felt like a school boy. A bearded 15 year old kicking butts like I use to when I was younger. The days when I won cross country races and competeted really aggressively in school.

Interval training session is by far the most focused session you can ever do with your good mate called pain. It amazes how the whole world disappears and all that remains, is the track, the dark shadows of your strides and the sound of heavy breathing. Life momentarily stops for a while as you leave everything behind as you fly in pain. It was torturous to the lungs and legs to say the least but it felt good to do such a session once very week.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Sunday Run

Well on Sunday I did my run on my own. This time it was the Jungle route and incidently, I met my Platoon Sergeant, whom I have seen occassionaly walking his dog. We spoke for a short while and to my surprise I was his last batch of soldiers that he trained at Tekong, I was doing my National service then.

The run was a mix between easy and hard and I just did the best I could during the run taking on the hils along Punggol road. My running gait has changed a bit, as a result of wearing cushioning shoes. I purchased a pair of Asics - gel Cumulus to fit my style of running and the high arch I have. Here's a picture of this shoe. I have put my legs through a lot of pain with the other shoes I have worn. By far this pair of shoes is the most comfortable with cushioning and support for my high arch. For once I am starting to enjoy my long runs without having to feel the ache on my knees. The gel has a springy feel, that gives you a light bounce as you retract you feet upwards. The last time I wore a pair of Asics shoes was 18 years ago when I was a recruit in the army. That pair of shoes rode me to become a Best Physical Trainee in my company, winning the best cadet in Field training in Officer cadet school, winning 1 cross country race in OCS, completing my first biathlon and my very first marathon. That was a momentous year for me. That year I lost one race coming in second to another police trainee, Koo Chin Poh, in a neck to neck finish. Chin Poh, went on to become a phenomenal runner in Singapore. He holds the records for the marathon and 10K races.

On Monday, I decided to run again even though my schedule was to swim. I managed to complete a fast 5K run in the morning before settling to get some work done in the office. I managed to fit in a 1 hour sales presentation for a potential new client and meet my current client at Woodlands.

During the 5k run I averaged 155 bits a minute and it felt nice. This is my normal route around Punggol. That night I had to tutor my son for his exams that is looming around the corner this week.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

First Month Training

It has been hard for me to get back to a regular intensive work outs ever since I left the corporate world to start up my own biz. It got harder when projects came about in sudden surges and I had to grapple with lecturing at Temasek Poly. However, Teamwork Bound as a company is making in roads and I can now start training seriously for the 70.3M ironman race in Singapore.

I started off by charting a training program that included swim, bike and run drills over a period of 4 weeks. For the month of April I was able to stick to this training plan quite consistently and this month would by far have been the most consistent month where I have trained hard over one month.

The first week, included bike rides during week days. On one of these rides, I nearly crashed twice on 25 K ride that included running an errand. I nearly hit a Mercedes along upper Serangoon road when he stopped suddenly and the back wheel danced a skid swerving left and right whilst I tried to maintain balance by not losing control of the bike. However on that same day as I rode towards Bendermeer, the lack of traffic just got me excited again as I crank the pedals really hard to pick up speed. One one of these surge, my cleats attached to the pedals came off when I extended my legs really hard on the down stroke. That was enough to scare me as the front wheels hit a small pot hole and the 1 second of time felt like eternity as I once again tried to gain control of the bike. As I looked back, a lorry was trailing me and falling off here would certainly mean I would have been rode over by that lorry. This was scary and providence held my hands and once again I did not crash. I stopped, took stock of the situation and the Adrenalin rush to remind myself, focus also involves situational awareness so as not to make a silly mistake by crashing the bike on a busy road. It also meant, I have 2 kids who will be waiting for me when they get back from school and real focus, will require to look after myself when I ride on the busy roads of Singapore.

Since then I have been training hard. The runs are now timed at about 25-60 mins and I able to maintain my heart rate zone between 160 - 165. On slow runs, I maintain 155. I have also started interval training at Punggol with my son Musaib. He rides the bike, whilst I chase him on a 600 m loop that take me 2 mins 06 secs to complete.

The session at home on the rollers, is able to get my heart rate pumping real hard as I am to average 205 bits per min when I do a 10 K ride on the rollers. The body is shaping up , as I am started to loose weight and the mind is getting sharper.

I have also registered to take part in the Ironman rce in Singapore in September.