With so many things going on at the moment, I just gotta make sure that my mind stays focus on my academics Will have to bear this attention span for at least another 2 weeks before I break free temporarily from studying. Just need to get some motivation back to keep my mind rolling and not ‘halting’ randomly. I do not have problem missing races because I have my priorities right. It just pisses me off when I bump into wrong people who expects me to take part in all the races present on the annual race calendar. I know of people or friends who register and plan early to go for a race. Come 1 week prior to race day they become very busy piling up their mileage and call that training.
No Training No Race
To me, its simple,no training no race. But like some athletes (leisure athletes?) if there is not enough prep for a major race, either they skip it, do relay or have fun reaching the finish line. Some of us or even myself sometimes go for a race for the fun and sake of doing it. Some have more noble intention; they go to support their friends..! My knee is temporarily out, an excuse to pull out from the upcoming Powerman. Though I would really really love to race, the most that I can do is go there to support my friends taking part. It doesn’t mean I am a sponsored athlete ( well, at least for this year), I HAVE to take part in all triathlon, duathlon and marathons ! If like that every weekend I’ll be racing.In my current state I can’t continue to take part in races, especially my favourite ones if I can’t train unconditionally. So Trailblazer, Ironman or Singapore marathon hafta be put aside for the time being. There are races every year, so what’s there to lose ! Plus, I’m still, ehem , young. I don’t see the point rushing and forcing myself to do races which I’m not prepared for.
You know when you have 2 race events back to back, and IF you were ever on a training program, you know the training program for the 2 events may ”clash” in terms of the type and intensity of the workout IF you don’t plan your training/races well. They keywords here are : planning, and not being too ‘greedy & unrealistically enthusiastic’ in selecting what races to go for that season. And more importantly which training phase are you at, at that point of time. Say you are in your taper phase for Ironman training, you don’t need to pound any more miles ! You should be enjoying the reduction of training hours. In the earlier part of the Ironman training are the prep weeks (20th to 17th week counting down to race day). But some, especially age-group athletes do just that !
For the Ironman prep phase(this comes before the base 1 phase) , you spend at most 10 hours a week to train. Not 15 , and not 18 ! There is no point pushing the mileage and training hours too early. When there is no training plan used and appreciated, people will start pounding the mileage too early, or too late.. Training plans are planned and used by athletes because they work.
You don’t have to make your own program, you can just look it up on the net. Read the sciences of training if you would. Some of you reading this may not be in the same boat as me,particularly when it comes to whether or not we believe in using any training programs . My first Ironman was a big deal. Its an honour to be able to register, train and do the necessary preparations for it. Come 28th Feb, I just gotta press PLAY and of course, ENJOY. I have to admit, I did not use any specific program for the 2 ODs which I did before my 1st 1/2 Ironman distance and my 1st Ironman. Langkawi was when I seriously started using a program and tried my best to stick to it. Nobody had to tell me that I have to use a program. I just knew that if I screw up the training part, the bigger the chance that I’m not going to race well, and that I will suffer and may even bonk. I got my IM program from http://www.beginnertriathlete.com. A 20 weeks training program designed for 1st time Ironman. 🙂 but still can be used even if you’ve completed one.
It is very interesting to see how people who don’t use training programs train. There are so many training programs which you can find and find from the net,magazines etc.. be it for a 10k road race, a sprint du, Powerman, OD , half marathon , just name it ! I wouldn’t dare to do Ironman without any training guidance. And I couldn’t depend on other triathlete friends all the time to train because they have various training schedules and styles! Especially when it comes to cycling training. Some pound the mileage too early, or sometimes too late. It doesn’t say in the training program you gotta ride a total of 200km per week.. Or you gotta do back to back long rides.. or you gotta brick too early in the training phase.. or you HAVE to do a full marathon before doing Ironman. I never did a stand alone full marathon (thats 42.195km), and from my reading it is NOT NECESSARY that I HAVE to do a full marathon before attempting Ironman. That is so false and outdated myth. There was once i was talking to a friend and when I told her that I am preparing for IM, she said ‘Ko gila ke? Pernah buat full marathon tak’? meaning: ‘Are you crazy? Have you ever done a full marathon before’. And I said ‘No’. She replied, ‘Ýou have to do a full marathon first, to get the feel of ‘endurance’. And I said look , its NOT necessary to have done a marathon before attempting to do Ironman. That conversation sorta pissed me off coz 1st; ‘gila?’ what kind of motivation is that. Other people can, and did..so why are you saying that I’m crazy? Is it because you yourself haven’t done any triathlons and now you’re getting back at me..? but anyways..
The other myth(s) about training for triathlons, especially the longer distance ones (1/2 , full Ironman), is that, oo you gotta really pound the mileage and total work out hours per week.. no rest, etc…thing is, if you start thinking anxiously like that without any references to credible sources, than you’re gonna treat preparing for a race like you’re preparing for dinner, ‘sesedap rasa’ indeed you will train sesedap rasa. Sesedap rasa as in ‘as you like it’. I hope I am not starting to sound annoyingly bitchy about training appropriately using training programs here.. You may say, hey look, my training works for me, so what else? Even if you’re not the serious type of athlete, like me, duh!..haha.. you do need a program..and why is that ?
If we’re gonna be ignorant, stay ignorant and never willing to appreciate the effort put in by coaches, sportsman, sport physiologists in their quest of coming up with the best training programs, than too bad. We’re missing the edge. Seriously missing it. I just can’t imagine doing my first Ironman without any specific training program. I may be joining random group for swimming, another group for cycling, whose distance are all jumbled up throughout the training phase..and believe in the weekend long runs is enough to prep me.. humm.. just lucky enough I had that realization that a specific training program is necessary and utmost important. Why so important ? From what I’ve learned and experienced :
- to train specifically for the race
- to not under-train and not over-train; tell me what rules are there to tell you when you’re overdoing it? you can’t really tell. therefore, if you have a guide (your training program, then you know, since you have the experience of using one!)
- to peak at the right time for your training. You don’t want to peak too early or too late as you can exhaust yourself
- to decrease the chances of injuring yourself as a result of training without any program a.k.a overdoing it
- to learn the proper way of training
- to grasp certain training concepts which you might have not known before
- to know what kind of nutrition plan to use (some people underestimate its importance..some people overestimate it too !)
- to gear yourself well so that you can finish a well-done race
- to get you psyched up and motivated to train, and to race !! (totally worked for me)
Other importance I plucked out from the net :
- just too many lah . please proceed to the www for more info ! From lay man explanation to scientific benefits of training properly, precisely !
Whatever it is, I wish all of us can become more optimistic and have an ‘edgier’ outlook when it comes to training. Its not geeky or nerdy that you’re looking up for training programs and reading articles to know what latest training programs are there. Plus, it is a complete waste of time to go, especially for big races but not train properly. You spend a lot of $$$$$$$ for your gadgets, nutrition, attires and what not and a lot of TIME training + sweat lost for wrong reasons (when’you’re pounding the mileage at the wrong time) just to BONK the race and SUFFER. Baik duduk rumah tengok Astro. (better just sit at home wand watch TV). Why some dedicated coach put so much effort in posting online FREE programs? Because they want the public to know how to train properly.. why some people PAY to get good coaches or programs? Because they want to race a good race. And if there are any target or goal to improve from previous races, the better. You can totally reap the benefits from using a training program.
Another interesting observation here, even though I am still considered as a newbie to tri-races and Ironman, some of us focus so much on talking, spending and talking. Talk about the latest gadget, since some of us can afford it..and then spend some money to buy this and that gadget. Fine, no problem, our own right to buy But unfortunately, not everybody fully utilize what they have. It doesn’t matter if you have the lightest helmet, the most expensive bike in town or the latest tri-suit. I can use a bike 3 times heavier than that lightest most expensive bike (I’m talking about my Yellow Submarine Giant lah..)..but still can play catch with a Cervelo (yeah Dennis, I’m talking about you !! LOL !)..
If you bother about performance..you’ll probably think (I’m assuming), that it is not in the end the bike. (Denis is a guy and he’s much taller than me). Come Powerman 2008, I was overtaking a couple of the top end bikes with my heavy cranky Giant. Then I passed Denis (that time I didnt know him).. A couple of minutes later, he overtook me again.. hahaah..and then my turn to overtake him again..all the way till the end of the bike leg. Moral of the story; train well.
Its not all about the Money, money , money..
Just click on 75% on your view option to get the whole picture here..its the training, the effort, the discipline , the edge.. its not the $$$..or the amount of time spent talking and bragging how poor your mileage is..unless you do something about it of course.. so if you were gonna chuck Faris al Sultan my brother (ehem) on my bike, .. and you put me on his super bike (smaller size la), obviously I can never catch him.. you put me on an Orbea, and you put Mariana Mohammad on my old HEAVY KHS, i don’t think i can keep up with her..She’s fast because she trains. She won’t be strong if she doesnt train properly. And that she’s strong and trains properly and races on a Cervelo, walla, i can just eat her dust !!! Take away the Cervelo, and ask her to race a 10k, still, you still see dust flying.. It’s the TRAINING. And not to forget the experience and knowledge which she have gained over the years pent training ‘properly’. The sesedap rasa concept, thus, don’t work for her because she’s a performing athlete. Being an age-grouper still don’t excuse us from training properly. Think about it……
Other fellow triathlete/runner friends who inspire me :
- IM Kevin Siah ; cause he’s like so cool, smart and fast !!!! those glasses are cheeky as well..hahahah..
- IM Rahman (Navy) (he qualified for Kona but couldnt go because of $$, and no, he doesn’t have a fancy bike, yes he’s young, so are you !!! hahah!)
- IM Dr Fiona Lim (consistent performance and ever strong determination)
- Lian Bee Hoon (runner)(the old but young (races in senior veteran category; a.k.a she’s 45 years olf ++), friendly and STRONG; Mizuno 10k 2008 time : 45:43). when I grow old I want to run like Lian Bee Hoon
- Shahrudin (runner)
- Emma Bishop (you can’t find the word rest in her neurons or any parts of her memory. 1 tough and cool chick ! 🙂 I pray silently to God before I sleep at night for that level of will and determination Ms Bishop has !
- Simon Cross (what can I say.. he’s fast.. pheeww…I’m already sweating while choking dust on MEX highway while Simon and Sam zoomed by.. (coughs…)
- Ultraman Omar Yip ! (krazy , kool and brings sexy back)
Definition of smart training in this post : knowing your strength and weaknesses and focus on improving on the weaknesses while using a training program to improve your overall performance and training skills.
Definition of strength in this post: physically stronger, able and capable. having the physical endurance and mental strength.
Definition of will+determination in this post: if you’re gonna keep triathlon ‘dry’, you can skip this part. Its not just about simply following the training program like how you would follow a baking recipe. You gotta put your soul into you training program for will and determination is not skin-deep. Its heartfelt. Ironman for example, is very PERSONAL to me.
Definition of ‘fanciest/latest gadgets/gears‘ : Self-defined !
How I categorize training :
a)smart training + strength (athletic capabilities)+will+determination+ PLANNING+ all the latest fanciest gadgets and gears : VERY GOOD.
b)strength + will + determination + latest fanciest gadget and gears + all sponsor can give apparels + nutrition – smart training : NOT GOOD
c)smart training + will +determination + not so fancy gears + nutrition + some strength : MAY WORK and possible of a PB/ great time in 1ST IM. 🙂 (hint..)
d)no proper training + fancy gears + some strength + will to meet cut off : NEED TO WORK ON TRAINING PLAN. plan to fail, fail to plan. but if you don’t bother, I am surprised you read this article to this line already! hahaha !
Remember, every little thing you have gives you some sort of edge. If you’re a fast swimmer, you have an advantage. You have a good bike, you have an advantage. But if you really work on your bike and go race with your good bike, than you have the edge. Say you’re a good runner AND you trained well for the race, you got the edge baby ! Like the All American Rejects said on radio ‘a little bit of this and and a little bit of that goes a long way..’ 🙂 I think he’s right. Start small, dream big. Don’t start big and dream small 😛 again, tri-falsampah of the day !
Anyways, all I am doing here is to share with all of you my 2 cents. Enter my site and read my ramblings with your own risk. Again, this is a personal website and I don’t offer unprofessional or professional advice to anyone here. There are plenty of reliable and credible websites you can look up, there are plenty of books or even magazine (and even online magazines) which you can access. Be creative in searching what’s best for you. Mere talking does not help. And so does mere visualizations of what is possible or impossible to be done. You don’t just do it. You do it after you plan well what you wanna do. 🙂 Follow that mere visualization with plan and action. So do it right and all the best in future races. God Bless.
Wah, feel really honoured to be mentioned! You’re an inspiration too, Julie, a true ambassador of the sport!
I won’t be wearing these cheeky glasses for races anymore, once I’ve started getting contact lenses suitable for my eyes.
I’m guilty of having spent quite a lot of money on my new bike, but it makes me happy, I supposed 🙂 But I’m still quite old school with my training too. Just doing the same miles, same route, with the aim of doing them faster.
hey, very inspirational, interesting, informative, N indispensable piece of info. wei, jom IM lg yek nanti2.. enjoyed your spaget =)
spaget ! comel !
kev: my pleasure 🙂 & im humbled by ur compliment. thanks ! 😛 *sheepish a bit now..* alamak, no more cheeky glasses? how leh… but issokay…still cheeky. hahahahaha ! Guilty for the better equals Innocently correct. So, all d best in ur future races.
fong : i baca ur comment sambil tergelak kambing sendirian..hehehehe…. *giggles..*. bila JOM tuh ? if 2011 im all set dear friend !!!!
Julie, very interesting read. It really made me think now. 🙂 … So far, I’m racing purely for the fun of it …. just finding ways to stay ‘crazy’ over the weekends …. hehehe
p/s – Pls keep on writing as you are one simply amazing human being. Cheerio!
thanks for the respond. i go for races because its a passion to be active and involved in organized sporting events. but in order for me to enjoy the race is by training properly for it, and enjoy the training. thats the most basic way i look at it. so its kinda a feedback system lah if you get what i mean. 😛
so there.. 😛 even for IM i had fun because i trained well for it. training is always fun especially when you have like-minded people training with ya 🙂
yup, I guess for the long distance races like that, u just have to be serious abt the training part. Probably that’s the reason why i’m shying away from triathlons nowadays 😦
p/s – so very true. Training and racing with like-minded people makes is doubly fun.
err..sexy? hardly la…
I think as for training, you have to be a bit flexible, and not force yourself through injuries. I’ve had my fair share of injuries because I pushed too hard.
And sometimes you need not train for quality. For eg, the most I ran for training for KL marathon was 21km. Actually I was lazy to hammer 30. But I focused on getting fast. The result is a sub 4.
hahhaa… sexy as in with the speed Omar! haha 🙂 yeah, there has to be give and take..if u wake on a lazy day, lazy day ittis.. 😛 and for some people, the more relaxed the training, or most rest (like how i was a week b4 PD), they can actually perform well for the race. 🙂 i took away nearly 7 minutes away from my PD 10k time this year . :)all d best for Powerman Omar Yip!
keep the comments coming people. i really appreciate it ! 😛 thanks ! motivates me to keep this blog going.