Category Archives: Triathlon

Where to Run

We can run anywhere, but different places have different feel, has its own advantages and disadvantages.

  • Running Tracks
    • PROS. Soft padding, measurable distance without the need of a gps device.
    • CONS. limited views,you run in circles, often in one direction. My concern is that it may lead to slight imbalance between your legs and feet. May have to pay entry fee.
    • MY VIEW. I personally use it for Interval training or when I just want to do a quick sprint of 2.4km.
  • Treadmills –
    • PROS. Comfortable, being indoors you can be protected from the weather. certain treadmills even have elevation settings, and monitoring devices, such as heart rate monitors, calories burnt, distance, speed and time. Certain people claim they are faster and run further on treadmills than outdoors.
    • CONS. Very limited view, there is no twist and turns. does not simulate air resistance. The equipment can be as costly as USD$299 as seen on this amazon. or as much as USD$999 as seen on another.
    • MY VIEW. Not a fan, I like to run with a view. Also, I remember when I was running on treadmill, my running form tend to go heel striking. A different feel to when I am trying chirunning, when I need to lean forward to fall forward. So to me it doesn’t feel natural. And finally, I’m a cheapskate. Why would I buy a machine for me to do at home what I can do on the road for practically free.
  • Roads
    • PROS. provides almost unlimited space for running. It is a very good environment to simulate actual race day, as most runs are done on the road.
    • CONS. watch out for motorist. (I will cover about safe running later)
    • MY VIEW. The most ideal route. Some runs use the same route every year, so training can be done using those same routes.
  • Hill Running
    • PROS. Provides with a workout that helps build strength and speed.
    • CONS. some hills may be tricky. need to be careful during the run. Not an ideal reflection of actual race day, unless they are also hill runs.
    • MY VIEW. Something that can be done once or twice a month. I actually joined a hill run, did terribly, but my run 1 week later was quite fast. Also an urban alternative is the fire escape.
  • Recreation Parks
    • PROS. A relatively very safe place to run. Since it is a public place, a lot of people are there to keep you company.
    • CONS. sometimes limited distance (can be overcome by doing laps). Irregular shape also makes it difficult to track performance (unless using GPS)
    • MY VIEW. If you want to have a relaxed run. it is probably the best place to go. But not suitable if you are either doing Intervals or even long distance run. 
  • City Area or in parking lots.
    • PROS. long after working hours this place is almost deserted. A good time and place to do short runs around the block.
    • CONS. during working hours quite packed, a lot of people a lot of cars.
  • Beaches
    • PROS. It is a good training area for injured legs and feet. or for those who are just begining. The soft sand absorbs impact on landing that it is easy on the joints. alternatively, some runners may go barefoot, or run in the water for resistance training runs.
    • CONS. certain beaches maybe significantly affected by tides and wave as determined by the lunar cycle. causing a nice beach area into a watery area.
    • My View. I like beach running especially since I used to live next to one. the cool breeze, the soft land. I actually used it to begin my barefoot running. Just watch out for the broken shells, dead carcasses of fish, jelly fish, and other creatures.

I personally started running around a mosque compound that was more or less 1 km in length. In which I graduated to running onto the roads. But when I picked up barefoot running, I started at the beach, to the running track, and on to the road. 

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Upcoming Runs in Brunei for the last half of 2014

Looking at my last few month’s performance. I told myself I need to get my game back. One of the few ways I know in order for me to keep at it is by registering AND paying for events in the next few months, that will motivate me to train for those events. So I searched and I found a few events.

I have already registered for these events.

  • Larian Hari Keputeraan (31 August 2014) – I registered for 21km
  • Serawak Triathlon (14 October 2014) – I registered for Olympic Standard Triathlon

I have yet to register for the following events

  • UBD Green Run (14 Sept 2014) – http://www.ubdgreenrun.com/
  • Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Obstacle Race Challenge(28 Sept 2014) – I am guessing this is replacing their RBAF triathlon this year. check facebook page.
  • Panaga Triathlon (12 October 2014)  – this was postponed from early this year, I haven’t found any updated official information on this.
  • The great race (19 October 2014) – Looks like an obstacle Run. Check www.thegreatrace.com.bn
  • BSB Marathon Run (2 Nov 2014) – Just found out about this today. check http://www.baamarathon.com/

I have to set my schedules, so I can partake in this events.

Abundance, Health, and World Peace.

Using endomondo to track your sports performance

Using Endomondo

GPS tracking has never been so easy. Previously I have only heard elite people use GPS watches. Now that smartphone have in build gps and networks, mobile apps that can track an athlete’s ability gets a lot easier.

I have tried adidas mycoach and nike+ running. Partly I don’t like to use something propriety. And they have (at the time I tried them) focused on mostly running. I like endomondo because I like how endomondo interface.

The main dashboard shows one main measurement, and two smaller measurements directly underneath it. The measurements can changed to a different metric from

  • Current speed or pace
  • Average speed or space
  • Distance
  • Time

There is also a choice of the sport that you will be doing, including:

  • Run
  • Cycling (transport)
  • Cycling (sport)
  • Swimming (manual)
  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Martial Arts
  • Yoga
  • And many more

For runs and hike, there is an option to look for a route.

To start the monitoring, press the play/pause button, to pause/stop it, press it again. At the end of the run press the stop button.  At the end of it, the app will request you post to your facebook or twitter account. This will automatically upload your post with the maps

During the run, endomondo may be giving you a feedback on the your total distance, total time, with your average pace. This can be changed in the settings

At the end of your run (or other exercise) you can get feed back on your activity. I personally like to see the graph of my lap pace, I can see when I was too slow or was very fast. Additionally, there is also a feedback on how much water you may need to drink after that activity. I am guessing this is based on your weight which you input into your profile, the activity type, intensity and duration.

In the long run, I like to to see the statistics of my performance, I can see daily, monthly, and annual statistics. I love it that I know quantitatively that I have been able to run faster, further and frequent than I have done before.

I had used endomondo to track my performance in my cycling as well as my running. I really took it seriously when I learned the 70.3 ironman I joined had a cut off time, So I calculated the slowest speed that I needed, and used endomondo to track when I achieved that line, and improved on it.

(note: I wrote the article before I found and saw the video. Its funny to see that the video summarized the features quite well)

Completed the Putrajaya 70.3 Ironman!!!


I completed the Putrajaya 70.3 Ironman.  that means I did 1.9km swim followed by a 90km cycle, followed by a 21km run. mind the fact that the pros finished under 4 hours, and I finished it under 8 hours. I did it, I completed it, and under my expected time of 8 hours. I did it in the blistering heat. my cycle ended after lunch time, and ran through till 3pm. I had to slow jog in the end, confident that with a slow jog or fast walk of 9-10min per km, I would finish the whole thing under the cut-off times.

ironman putrajaya results

 

The swim is the easiest part for me, using total immersion, I glided through the whole swim course, the fresh water was more comfortable then open sea water, and the water were calm, no harsh waves that would cause me sea sickness. only a matter of slight current and sighting the turning points. I may have went off course a bit, but that’s expected in open water swimming. did it in 51 minutes. my pool time usually 45 minutes.

after the swim, ran to the bike, spent almost 5 minutes to set up for the bike. wore my helmet, wore my socks and shoes, put on some sunscreen (wear sunscreen!) wore my arm band for the run, ate 1 banana, and packed 2 in my back pocket, and off I went. I forgot to turn on my endomondo for a few minutes. The bike was hilly thats for sure, but I found myself comparing it to the mentiri highway, but longer. I am glad that I built up my engine for the hills. Previous 80km ride, my average was 20kmph, but training on mentiri highway i got up to 24kmph, and some point at muara-tutong highway got 27kmph. for the ironman my average was just under 25kmph. so I ended earlier then I had anticipated.

I was glad there was 3 water points in the route, so we could have water, isotonic and coke… coke!!! i decided not to take the coke until the last lap due to fear of dehydration by caffeine. on the second round, as expected based on my training my water reserves of 3 bottles ran out. so on the 1st water point of the first lap, I decided to refill one bottle. I should have refilled all, considering I stopped at the next points refilling that same bottle. Could have save time by refilling all my bottles at that point, so I wouldn’t need to stop at each point.

Riding along I felt sorry for those whose bike punctured, or fell off due to sharp and narrow curves. to be fair the race managers did warn about that part, in the first round there were people around signing to us to slow down. I felt so motivated looking at other people cycling, and felt even inspired when I saw signboards meant for other people felt it applied to me. “pain is your friend”, “this is your hill”, “try to today and relax tomorrow”. the spectators were no different in cheering us on. cheering for their friends and family members and any other stranger that was competing. 🙂

ironman putrajaya run

 

When my ride ended, i was happy to see that my riding time wasn’t 4 hours, but it was just above 3hr and 30minutes. I felt that I could relax mentally and not stress about the run, because now I have 4 hours to run half marathon, in my worst time it was 3.5 hours. Hoping for the best, I slipped my mobile phone on arm band, but disappointed to find my phone unresponsive (to the moisture collected on the bike bag). so I spent a few kilometres holding on to it waiting for it to dry before turning on endomondo for the run. Going on the first lap, saw a few people whose pace was quite face, and a few others that ran and walked, and then those who walk. I’ll admit a lot of people were running faster then I was. But I told myself that I don’t need to push myself, just play it safe and jog slow. With the day heating up, I realized I forgot to pack my cap, which i usually wore in my training. as of writing the skin of my forehead is flaking off. I did not put any sunscreen on my head, for fear the sweat would run off into my eyes. There was a aid point for almost every 2km, and for each aid point there was a toilet, medic tent, water tent, isotonic tent, food (watermelon, banana, sweets), and water… again. The medic tent had those muscle sprays (I have never needed them, just a few stretches usually clear them off for me), and sunscreen. I asked the medic to give me on my palms and I covered myself again. (I had experience terrible sun burn/blister before in my training).

ironman putrajaya cycle

At the end of the 1st lap, I noticed some runners had wet sponges embedded within their clothes. What a wonderful Idea I thought, then I realized on the last aid point that they actually provided it. On the 2nd lap, the first water point was out of cups, so I drank from the bottle, the next point was out of water, so I didn’t use any to cool myself down, on the subsequent one there was also no water, but i saw other runner taking water from the drink containers and pouring on themselves as well as putting some of the ice down their shirts. I thought good idea, so I did it as well. REMINDER on this one, do not do this for a one piece suit. my ice ended collecting around my ass, which felt cooling, but after half an hour later felt my leg muscles close to my ass cramping up. bad idea. good thing after almost an hour it dissipated, but i had to be careful. the last few km of that second lap was miraculously (THANK GOD!) cloudy, so I could run slightly faster. I had noticed during the heat that even with a slow run my heart rate went upto 145, when usually it would be 120 around that pace. I maintained under 150bpm to be safe. that last round I actually caught with a guy walking and asked me about the time, and I assured him that with the pace and time, we would make it. he later caught up to me and we had a chat till the finish line. It was interesting to note that while chatting my pace went faster, coinciding with the cooling of the weather. both probably contributed. Reminder next time to find a running partner to talk to earlier in the run.

At the finishing line, I saw my wife waiting at the sidelines and took a picture of me. I crossed the finish line and the organizers place a medal around my neck, gave me an ironman towel. and one guy gently took away my timing chip from my left leg. At the finishers’ area, they provided drinks, fruits, ice cream (ICE CREAM!!!) and massage (people had to seat in line for that one). I drank a whole bottle of isotonic, took 2 ice cream, and went to talk to my wife for a while. then I went stretching and cool down while looking at the other finishers crossing the line. I admit it was quite inspiring and emotional to see the finishers greeted by strangers and by their loved one.

Thank you to the organizers, to the other participants/competitors, the volunteers, to the cheerers and supporters, especially to one that I realize I might have been rude to by saying “please don’t push me, I just want to relax”, after she cheered me on. Thank you for the experience. Every single person that I was around on my 70.3 ironman journey was a contribution to my inspiration to keep on moving. Love you all. 🙂

Review of my 2013

The following is a point form of my successes in 2013. After listing them out, I managed to categorize them to spiritual, Physical, Intellectual

  • Spiritual
    • Finished reading conversations with God volume 1, 2 and 3 – Despite understanding that it is based on the author’s perception of god, it god me to realize everyone has their own perception, we can only see through our perception, and thus we interpret god as we see, through our limited perception. Pondering on the truth of our knowledge of God.
    • Explored Pantheism – the notion that god is everything, and the universe is defined as everything in existence, therefore god is the universe. ended up realizing that god is greater/bigger then the universe, because according to science, the universe may decay, or freeze.
    • Deeper understanding and appreciation of god and the universe, noting that we probably can and will only see at best 1% of the universe. the universe has expanded in a way that light coming from other stars will never reach us. 
    • Watched The movie of Life of Pi – choosing a story of a universe with a God or one that has none.
    • re-examining the things that were taught in religious school or by our tradition or culture.
    • Understood that the meaning of Allah is literally “The God” from the phrase “la ilaha illa allah”. which means “there is no other god than The God
    • Installed iQuran on my iPad, occassionally reading through translation(s).
  • Physical
    • Completed the 5.4km Open swim from Labuan to Pulau Papan and back. without getting sea sick!!!… much… thanks apple xin for the distraction during the swim.
    • Picked up cycling again and went for and completed Individual Triathlon (inspired due to 2012 MnY mastermind)
      • ABDB Triathlon, thanks to fadilah for reminding me.
      • Panaga Triathlon, 
      • Serawak Triathlon in Miri, (due to weather, swim leg replaced by run instead)
    • Ran barefoot for most of the runs that I did (except for SME run)
      • National Day Run in Temburong.
      • SCB Run – helped train my sister for the 5km run.
      • Pusat Ehsan’s The Run
      • Business School Charity Run (to be honest I crashed it, I didn’t manage to register and get the shirt)
      • Signed up for His Majesty’s run, but did not run due to scheduling, I went to AYPVC cambodia
      • Did not run BIBD run due to scheduling. had leadership camp at the same time.
  • Self Development – Intellectually, Mentally, Financially, and Creatively
    • Moved house.
      • closer to work place, feel more independent, more customization due to wife’s feng shui interest.
    • Bought a Guitar, finally bought a replacement for my broken guitar by my nephew a year ago. Gonna learn to play contemperorary songs with the guitar again 🙂
    • Attended the Millionaire Mind Intensive Seminar,
      • got reinspired to get passive business income and attain financial freedom.
      • Understood who I was in respect to money and vice versa  (I’m a saver)
      • learned the 6 jars money management (I’m going to enjoy the play jar)
    • Helped create mastermind from the graduates of the seminar.
  • Career and Professional Development
    • Toastmasters
      • Got my Advance Communicator Bronze
      • Appointed as Vice President of Education
    • LiveWIRE
      • Organized SME run for the LiveWIRE Brunei SME Promotion.
        • from the marketing, registration,shirts, refreshments, and volunteer management.
      • Organized LiveWIRE Brunei Business Awards
        • from judging process to prize presentation ceremony.
        • some problems, some were overcome, others will be handled for next time.
    • Being involved with ASEAN Young Professional Volunteer Corps (AYPVC.
      • Delegate to Cambodia in the agriculture,
        • Made/met new friends from ASEAN community
        • Learnt about agricultural practices, 
        • helped locals solve their own issues,
        • inspired to see and help the rest of the world.
      • Committee for AYPVC Seminar in Brunei.
        • helped organize and welcomed most delegates at the airport.
        • Became tour guide for delegates.
        • Made new friends
        • learnt about Volunteer Organization Management.
        • more ice breaking games.
      • involved in the national youth day parade/line up representing AYPVC.
  • Others
    • Won an iPad – from a scratch card at shopping.com.bn, I am now an iOS convert… nah! more like iOS/android hybrid :p actually lost a waterproof camera in cambodia, but the universe replaced it with an iPad.
    • Supported my sister in attending landmark, she admits that it has helped here with coping with life issues a lot better 🙂 yay… she doesn’t need much consulting and consoling anymore 😀

Typing this up kinda reminds me of making a CV. 2013 just gave a worth one page of CV. I should add picture to this post, or links to facebook or other resources, but i’m not gonna bother. simplicity is key. next up is my aims for the year 2014, that one i’m gonna add pictures.