Friday, January 26, 2007


Extracted from IM Langkawi official website:-

"Once they are out of the water, the athletes run up a short distance from jetty to T1, grab their bikes, and get started on the three-loop bike course. The cyclist after Seaview Hotel will make a right turn at the traffic light and will take a left turn on LISRAM highway. The profile of this highway has an incline of 10 degrees for about 100 meters up and downhill. Once upon reaching the end of this highway cyclist have to take a left turn and will make a U-turn after the Langkawi Technical School where the First Bike Aid Station with drinks, foods, electrolyte are served. The Special Need will also be made availabel around this area.
The "loops" are actually out and back along this stretches that take the athletes from here to the other side after Datai junction at KM 13 they turn around and come back on this stretch, which they make 3 loops and on the final loop athletes will take Ayer Hangat road after the roundabout back to finish the bike course."
Hmmmmmmm....good news I guess. I will get to climb the "LISRAM Highway"(marked as Big Climb on the map) only once. And most importantly with fresh legs as it will only be about 3-4km into the bike leg. I remember this hill to look like a wall from far, especially so after 90km on the saddle back in IM2004. Datai Climb will again not be featured and that's good news too.
Looks like I will be doing the 3 loops away from Seaview Hotel. Have not ridden along Stretch A. Remember big part of Stretch B to be rolling hills.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Saturday, 20 January 2007.
Long Run 40km : 2 X (Bdr Bkt Puchong 2 ("BBP2") - Meranti - LimKokWing Cyberjaya - Meranti - BBP2)
How did I come to this ??? I was close to tears as I gulped down my cold Endurox Recovery Drink shortly after the run. I was in so much pain, both physically and emotionally. My body was aching all over and my heart sank to a new low by the thot of how a 40km run has broken me down so miserably. It was indeed a very long run for me but to suffer so much at this stage (with race day only a few weeks away) was unexpected and BITTER.
1 bite PBar
1 pack PGel
1 bite PBar
1 pack PGel
1 bite PBar
1 pack PGel
Started the day at around 7.15 a.m. The course was quite hilly & would get very hot in the late morning. But I have ran here many times over (up to 30km) and was looking forward to see if I could raise the bar to 40km. The 8km stretch along Meranti is a dual carriageway. It is the toll free alternative for the LDP (between BBP to Cyberjaya/ Putrajaya). Not many road users know about this route yet (opened early last year) and hence was pretty quiet most of the time. But its really hot by late morning and is void of shades and I had to run it 4 times that morning.
A check with my training log showed that I ran BBP2 - LimKokWing Cyberjaya - BBP2 in 2:08:07 comfortably just 2 weeks ago. Hence, I set out today to run at similar pace. A quick mental calculation on the run told me that I need to log around 32 minutes for each 5km to return a 2:08:00 (there abouts) per 20km lap.
Felt fresh and confident in the 1st 20km. My pace was comfortable and was on target in each 5km segment in the 1st lap. Felt strong when I got back home for the 1st time to replenish my bottle. Managed to hold my target pace for another 5km (i.e. up to 25km).
Then, my left calf started to twitch between 25km - 30km. Made a conscious effort to relax myself and as a result, logged a slower split of 34:26 compared to 31:02 much earlier in the 1st lap. Was still quite happy with my pacing up to this point. Then, thing started to fall apart in the last 10km. It was already about 10.40 a.m by then. Altho it was partly cloudy but it was quite hot by then, especially along the Meranti 8km stretch. Now both calves felt like they would cramp any time. My 5km split between 30km - 35km slowed down further to 37:13, compared to 32:58 in the 1st lap.
Then, I broke down completely in the last 5km. I was reduced to a very slow jog and found myself started walking at times. So it was jog-walk-jog-jog and then, CRAMP (finally) when I got to the last hill some 1.5km from home. My water bottle dried up and I must admit that I was an arrogant fool to run without any money that morning. At the bottom of the last hill, I saw a water tap outside a small shop on the opposite side of the road. I decided to cross the road and begged for tap water. As I stepped onto the divider in the middle of the road, my left calf cramped. There I was, frozen in pain in the middle of the road under the scorching hot sun. Luckily, there was a lamp post for me to lean on and I waited for almost a full minute for the cramp to subside. By then, the shopkeeper was staring at me with a cheeky smile and I could imagined him saying "Ironman-kah ini?" (was in my orange IM tri top).
Anyway, I was grateful to him for the tap water. Took a quick "shower", filled up my bottle, thanked the shopkeeper and ran off. Struggled up the last hill at snail pace and walked the last 200m.
By the time I got home, my body and heart were completely shattered. Skipped training the next day and limped for a few more days thereafter.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Some of the superstars we expect to see at Langkawi in a few weeks time:-

Nina Kraft

Sonja Tajsich - last year's champ

Lothar Leder

Byran Rhodes

More pictures from IM around the world:-

IM NZ 2006

Bell, Brown & Al-Sultan


Macca - chasing down Stadler

IM Arizona

Stadler - 2X & current world champ

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Thanks to the absence of many stronger triathletes in my age group, I finally had my chance to stand on the podium. Nothing to shout about - just a third placing in my age group at Chin Woo Biathlon - but it meant very much to me.


With Wei, the winner of age group 30 - 40
Others on the podium that day

Barry, Cecil (big bully) & Mun Yong


Sam & Iwata
Some of the photos from that day

Swim Start

Jepun @ Transition




Kok Kee


AhWei & illegal runner

Big Ben


Ah Wei, who lapped me on the run

Seow Wah

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Time flies, it was recovery week again.
The last time I had my recovery week back in late November 2006, I was tempted to go out and train harder than I was suppose to. This time around (six weeks of later), I was telling myself "to hell with training" and rested completely for 6 consecutive days.
Back to training (quite reluctantly) on Sunday with a solo bike ride at Putrajaya. Despite the good rest, I felt unfit right from the start of the ride. My HR shot up to 155bpm on the very first hill and remained high thru'out the ride whenever I pushed a little harder. Cut the ride short and retired after 105km.
Training is now down to last 3 weeks (b4 taper) and still on schedule. Longest swim - 1x3000, longest ride 192km, longest run 35km & longest bike/ run brick 134km/ 14km. Hope to build up to 1x4000, 200km on the bike, 42km run and a 150km/20km bike/run brick in the next 3 weeks.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Good to slip on my trainers again after a 10-day break from running. The cut on my toe has finally healed nicely under the special care of Teresa, who changed the bandage for me every night.
Ran 20km on Saturday, 6 January 2007 (Bdr Bkt Puchong ("BBP") - Meranti - LimKokWing Cyberjaya - Meranti - BBP) and another 35km next day (10 x Round About At Precinct 1 Putrajaya).
Focused on pacing (even splits) and maintaining a Heart Rate of below 144bpm on both runs and logged 2:08:07 and 3:42:59 for the 20km and 35km respectively. The 20km run was a breeze due to fresh legs (from the long break from running) but the 10 laps at Precinct 1 (the next day) felt like forever.

Might not have completed the 10 lapper if not for the cool & cloudy condition that whole morning at Putrajaya.

Friday, January 05, 2007


I wld really be kidding myself if I tried to repeat the 30km splits logged in the 90km TT 3 days ago. Felt tired and heavy at start of ride. Could not fully recover from Sunday's long ride despite a full day of complete rest on Monday. Again, started the TT after 8km warm up. Aimed to at least average 30km/h and perhaps to raise the bar to 120km TT. Again, the weather was kind and remained cloudy for most part of the ride.
1st 30km 59:18 (Ave Speed 30.35km/h; Ave HR 135)
2nd 30km 59:00 (Ave Speed 30.51km/h; Ave HR 138)
3rd 30km 58:10 (Ave Speed 30.95km/h; Ave HR 142)
Last 10km 19:07 (Ave Speed 31.39km/h; Ave HR 149)
Overall Time 3:15:35
Overall Ave Speed 30.68km/h
Very pleased to dip below the 1 hour mark at 30km. Maintained effort in 2nd 30km and pushed harder in next 30km. Was happy just to sustain effort and averaged slightly over 30km/h. Decided to cut short the TT after 90km and to settle for 100km TT instead. Pushed harder in last 10km and logged a higher average speed with an elevated average HR.
Rode another 23km easy and logged a total 131km by the time I got home. By then I had dried up all 3 water bottles and sucked up 2 packets of PowerGel.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


The last ride of the year. Return to Seremban solo (via Ulu Langat, Semenyih, Broga, Lenggeng & Setul). The last time I did this was back in Jan 2004. Started the ride at my mum's in Pandan Perdana. Had not done so for ages (since I moved to BBP). Felt tired and heavy in 1st half of the ride due to yesterday's 90km TT. Getting to Lenggeng seemed like forever. But the sun was quite kind to me - its remained cloudy for most part of the ride.
The road after Lenggeng unwound into a climb. The kampung houses and sound of traffic were replaced by jungles (on both sides of the road) and sound of insects & birds. Suddenly, I felt like I was teleported to the climb up Genting Sempah (from the Orang Asli Hospital). But the climb was much shorter here - only about 3 km. The jungles opened up briefly at the summit and there was a beautiful scenary of mountains and valleys that seemed to stretch to the horizon. From the summit, there was another 3km descent to Setul (near Mantin).
I was some 14km from Seremban at Setul. There was another 3km climb after Setul and after that a long 8km downhill all the way to Seremban Town. As I rolled downhill, I thot of the climb back up later on the return leg. The easy downhill was like accumulating a debt to be repaid later. Was determined not to turn back until I reached Chung Hwa High School (for sentimental reasons - that was where I u-turned on the last visit back in 2004 and the school has the same name as my younger son). By then, my cycle-computer read 96km. Felt puzzled b'cos I remember clearly that it was 104km when I got there back in 2004. Made a mental note to check my training log when I get home later.
Did not linger too long in Seremban and had a quick sugar cane drink shortly after the u-turn. Must be the recent long hours on the bike, the vendor (middled aged auntie) spoke to me in Malay. She looked surprised and embarassed when I replied her in Cantonese. Later, she asked if I am in the Le Tour De Langkawi and told me (with a proud smile on her face) that she rides a bike too - every morning to the market. She also asked how much my bike cost. I lied to her that Trek cost me 2-3 thousand ringgit only. Did not fill up the bottles there - still had plenty due to cloudy & cool conditions.
The 8km climb back to Setul did not feel too bad after all. It was not as steep as I thot earlier. Got back to Setul in a breeze and took a short break to pee b4 the climb heading back to Lenggeng. Felt stronger and lighter on the return leg, especially after Lenggeng. Perhaps I was back in familiar territory. Refilled my bottles at Broga and again at 18th Mile Langat much later.
Then came the highlight of the day. The climb up Bkt Ampang from 14th Mile to the Look-Out Point. Have started and finished all my recent rides from 14th Mile and hence skipped Bkt Ampang Climb. Today, I got to test myself and to see whether I would be up to the task. Surprisingly, I felt quite strong despite the 180km I have logged at the base of the climb. I managed in 14:46. My Personal Best was 12:55 set in 2005 with much fresher legs. The last time I climbed this hill was in August 2006 and I clocked 15:17 but that was after a mere 70km.
Got back to mum's at around 4.00 p.m. Another surprise - I endured the whole 190km with some sandwiches for breakfast and one (1) PowerBar during the ride. Later, I check my log book and found out that it was indeed 104km at Chung Hwa High School back in 2004. But I started that ride via Leisure Mall, Pheonix Plaza & Suntex Garden, which explains why it was only 96km at the u-turn today.


Was looking forward to this session and to see if I could improve on the last 90km time trial I did on 10/12/06. Again, started the TT after 8km warm-up. Due to fresh legs, felt strong from the start. Was surprised with the 1st 30km split & worried that I might not be able to sustain effort in remaining 60km. The weather was favourable to me and stayed cool thru'out the rest of the ride. Did not push any harder in the next 60km and was very pleased with all negative splits and overall time.
1st 30km 57:16 (Ave Speed 31.43km/h; Ave HR 140)
2nd 30km 56:37 (Ave Speed 31.79km/h; Ave HR 144)
Last 30km 56:17 (Ave Speed 31.98km/h; Ave HR 148)
Overall Time 2:50:10
Overall Ave Speed 31:73km/h
The cloudy conditions helped as well. Had plenty of water left in the bottles at end of ride.


My idea of a New Year Bash:-
Friday (29/12) - Swim 1x2500m
Saturday (30/12) - Bike 90km Time Trial
Sunday (31/12) - Bike 192km Long Ride
Monday (1/1) - Sleep, Eat, Sleep, Eat & Sleep Again
Tuesday (2/1) - Bike 100km Time Trial
Scraped a chunk of flesh out of my (pinky) toe a few days ago and could not run during the long weekend. It happened when I turned and kicked-off the wall at the pool.