ironman training & casual activewear style guide featuring Fendy
Posted on October 27 2017
Triathletes often spend their time training & working, how do you balance work and spending time with family?
Time management is crucial when it comes to juggling this part of our lives. On a typical weekday, I wake up around 5 am to help my wife prepare the kids for school and get myself ready for a couple of hours of training. After work I would spend an hour at the gym. By night I focus on the family with dinner or looking into the kid's school work. The only time for casual socializing is when I combine training with like-minded amateur athletes.
The thing about kids is that they tend to follow their parents' behaviour. If we are active, chances are they will likely pick up fitness as well. All we have to do was to encourage them, despite it being a lot easier for them to just sit down and watch My Little Pony on Youtube.
How do you keep your wife happy with needing so much time to train?
I take the initiative to plan annual family trips without any interruption of training or races. This is to focus on spending quality time with the family. Some people would think, "Oh but there's an Ironman race happening at that place but we are about to go for the family trip, I could just bring all the sports equipment and join this race at the same time – jolly me". I'm telling you, it's a bad idea!
Have you always been active in competitions and general fitness?
I only got pretty active right after my wife and I had our first kid. I remember back then, both of us were quite on the heavy side of the scale, so that's what motivated us!
How did you get into Ironman/triathlons?
It started from running my first 5km local race which later on led me all the way to completing a full marathon. I then stumbled upon Ironman and got absolutely fascinated by the idea of swim, bike & run. It's more than just running as there are two extra disciplines of swim and bike included. I have always wanted to improve my own swimming skills, so the opportunity came at a time that couldn’t be any better.
What was your first race event like?
My first race was supposed to be Ironman Western Australia. The preparation began quite early - around 12 months before the race. As time went by, my fitness improved and I was in good shape by the third quarter of the journey. We were pulling 250km of cycling and 80km of running in a week. The same time I was training for Australia, Ironman Langkawi 2014 was scheduled roughly 3 months before Western Australia. Without hesitation, I decided to make a change of plans to enter Ironman Langkawi as my very first Ironman instead - and it was great! I got to experience the race in two extreme conditions, one which was super humid (Langkawi) and the other one with much colder weather (Busselton, Western Australia).
How many Ironmans have you done?
I have completed 4 full Ironman distance races: Langkawi, Western Australia, Roth Germany & Korea. This coming November, we will be hitting Langkawi again - I can't wait to be at the starting line!
What are your thoughts on the upcoming Ironman Langkawi?
The best thing about local races is that it's like a big gathering of Malaysian triathletes. The community is not as huge as running, hence, we recognize each other almost instantly. So when there's an event like Langkawi, everybody will come by, catch up with each other and always take plenty of fun pictures. It's pretty amazing.
What does your training schedule look like on a weekly basis?
Training is literally every day. Even on a rest day, the intensity is significantly lowered down, but it still has to be done. On a typical day, 2 to 3 hours in the morning of either swim/bike or run and an hour in the evening at the gym. As for the weekends, it would be minimum of 6 hours outdoor training to get the mileage in.
What are your favourite quotes or fitness philosophy?
The corny 'Pain Is Temporary Pride Is Forever'. I find it quite meaningful. This quote motivates me constantly, especially during the final segment of my race where it is down to purely a mental battle for me.
What do you think about when you are training?
Mostly about work. In the office, I'm constantly solving complicated technical issues (I'm a programmer). So the ideas on solving these problems efficiently normally come through in an instant mid-training. My mind just keeps processing solutions for the challenges as my blood rushes into my brain. This happens throughout every long training as I keep puffing and huffing away.
Do you have any special tips for people starting out to train for an Ironman or triathlon?
Training for an Ironman is all about endurance. The best way to train for this type of race is to start off slow & steady. Consistently train while gradually increasing your mileage & pace. It's no surprise that majority of people find swimming their weakest, myself included, hence I advise to get a good coach. To motivate yourself further, surround yourself with a community that will support you. You'll be surprised how a good support system can aid in your mentality. These are the people you will train and hang out with.
I like to sleep on the cooling marble floor mostly at night. The hard floor somehow feels it's like giving me a back massage when waking up in the morning, horribly aching but oddly satisfying.