Saturday, 24 January 2015

Save your life with Lifeline ID

As an amateur triathlete who tries to fit in my training schedule around work and life commitments, quite often I'll be cycling or running during the wee hours of the morning. I've never given much thought of carrying a proper ID with me when I'm out training. I do bring along my driver's licence, mobile phone and some spare cash. But it never dawned upon me that if anything happens to me, no one would know who to contact as there was no emergency contact.

Many thanks to the support of Lifeline ID, myself... and my loved ones, feel much more at ease when I'm out on the road. Lifeline ID is a Malaysian based company, delivering to Malaysia as well as Singapore. There are four models altogether and each model comes in a variety of colours. I'm currently using the Lifeline Pro blue.


The Lifeline Pro is fully adjustable to the size of your wrist. The packaging comes with instructions, which are really straightforward.


The silicone strap itself has segments and this is where you cut according to your desired length. One tip is to cut off at a longer length first and re-fit it around your wrist before cutting off at the next segment. Otherwise, once it is cut too short, it cannot be undone! The metal band, where your personalized information is printed on, is slide-able around the strap to suit your preference.


To be honest, I was a bit apprehensive as to how comfortable the strap would feel. As I tend to sweat a lot when I train, the last thing I wanted was to have the annoying feeling of something sticking to my wrist. Well, I have had the Lifeline Pro with me for more than 3 weeks now. I've used it for swimming, cycling and running. I wear it all the time, even to the office. It is really comfortable and sometimes I don't even notice it is there. My preference is to have it slightly bigger than my wrist but not too big until it bounces up and down when I'm training.


People tend to think that unfortunate events would not happen to them. Just last week, as I was cycling to meet to my training mates before 5am, I was almost hit by a car at the roundabout. I was already in the roundabout going to make my exit, when a car entered the roundabout just before me. The driver did not see me and I was forced to ride parallel with the car instead of making the exit. My left shoe did make contact with the right door of the car, albeit a gentle thud. Had I been a couple of seconds quicker, the car would have hit me for sure.

Fortunately, there was no serious accident. And there was no need for someone to look up my details on my Lifeline ID. But the message is clear. No one can predict accidents from happening. But if it does, Lifeline ID could just save your life.

The Lifeline Pro retails for MYR60. For further information and prices of other models, visit www.lifeline-id.com

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Flock to meet Crowie!

It's not everyday that you would get a chance to meet a 5 time world champion. Craig 'Crowie' Alexander - 3x Ironman World Champion and 2x Ironman 70.3 World Champion has once again been appointed the event ambassador for Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya.  Crowie did the swim leg of the relay teams last year and let's keep our fingers crossed that he would be toeing the start line for the individual race this year. This would give our local triathletes the opportunity to be racing on the same course as one of the best triathletes of all time.

Some call him the people's champion, Crowie is a true gentleman and down to earth, always willing to accommodate his fans. So for those of you still sitting on the fence on signing up, here's another incentive!

Interview session at last year's Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya. Picture taken from Ironman.com
For Immediate Release

MELBOURNE/PUTRAJAYA (January 20, 2015) IRONMAN® legend Australia’s Craig Alexander has signed on as the event ambassador for IRONMAN 70.3® Putrajaya for the second year running. The event is supported by Malaysia Major Events (MME) a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia (MoTAC). Alexander is looking forward to the 2015 edition of the race, after enjoying the time he spent in Malaysia last year.

“I really loved my time in Putrajaya, it was a great event. I was amazed for a first year event the sort of response it got was fantastic,” he said. “The area has a burgeoning triathlon community that was in need of a race and now they have a good one.”

After a career that’s required him to spend half his year racing in North America, Alexander is excited by the growth of IRONMAN® events in the Asia Pacific region, and what that means for his travel schedule.

“There are so many races in the Asia Pacific region now you can pretty much race an entire season and base yourself at home,” he said. “My son Austin starts school in a few weeks so our plan this year is to spend 70 to 80 per cent of our time based at home,”

More than 1400 competitors are expected to be on the start line for IRONMAN 70.3® Putrajaya, on April 5. The IRONMAN 70.3® Putrajaya is an event not to be missed and athletes are urged to take advantage of the special entry fee before a price increase after January 31st.

Athletes can participate as individual competitors or join as a team to compete alongside some of the world’s fittest endurance athletes.

Starting from the iconic Millennium Monument, the one lap swim course is situated in the man made, sheltered canals of Putrajaya Lake. The iconic Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque, or commonly known as the Iron Mosque, is the perfect backdrop for swimmers to complete the out and back course.

Out onto the bike and cyclists leave transition and head south past some of the City’s most stunning architecture. The cyclists will complete 2 loops of the 45km route along the winding road networks with smooth road surfaces that result in a very fast bike segment times.

The two lap run course around the Core Island, encapsulates the best of Putrajaya including its natural landscapes and modern architecture.

More information can be obtained from www.ironmanputrajaya.com

About IRONMAN
The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 190 events across five unique brands: IRONMAN®, IRONMAN 70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IRONKIDS®. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

About Malaysia Major Events
Malaysia Major Events (MME) is a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia (MoTAC). MME was established under the Government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) to identify, promote, facilitate as well as support viable international events to be staged in Malaysia. With its main objective to enhance Malaysia’s economic growth and profile, MME is also tasked to identify and support major event bids for sports, arts, lifestyles and entertainment events and provide assistance to home-grown and homehosted events in order to further strengthen Malaysia’s global appeal as the venue of choice for major events in the region. MME also acts as a conduit between the public and private sectors in ensuring seamless processes are achieved through synergistic relationships with diverse event stakeholders in staging successful events in Malaysia.

For more information, please visit www.mymajorevents.com.my and follow us on www.facebook.com/MalaysiaMajorEvents, twitter @MyMajorEvents and Instagram @mymajorevents.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Putrajaya 70.3 discounted entry ending soon!

As my lead up to Ironman Australia, Port Macquarie in May, I have signed up for Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya. The race date is during the Easter weekend, which suited me perfectly as I do not need to take that many annual leave days for the travel. 

For those of you wishing to progress to the half iron distance, this is the perfect race course to make your debut. The swim takes place in calm waters of the Putrajaya Lake. Fast and flat bike course on wide, open roads with smooth surfaces. A couple of short inclines but these are great to sit up and give your posture a break from crouching down on the aerobars. Finishing the race with a shaded run course through Putrajaya wetlands. 

The discounted entry is ending at the end of this month, so do hurry!
Being the federal administrative capital of Malaysia, Putrajaya boasts some majestic landscaping and architecture. Picture taken from Ironman.com
Event Name: IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya
Date: Sunday, 5 April 2015
Time: 7AM
Venue: Millennium Monument Putrajaya Lake, Precinct 2, Putrajaya
Course:  Swim - 1.9KM / Bike - 90KM / Run - 21.1KM

Prize Money: Top 5 winners for Pro Athlete Category. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies for Age Group Categories and teams.
IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Qualifying Race: 30 qualifying slots to the 2015 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria

General Entries: Individual and Team
Minimum Age:  All athletes must be 18 years of age or older on race day

Individual Fees: USD265 (Regular Entry before 31 January 2015), USD295 (Late Entry after 31 January 2015)
Team Entry Fees:   USD320 (Regular Entry before 31 January 2015), USD360 (Late Entry after 31 January 2015)
* Entry Fees are subject to 6% Malaysia GST + 6% Active Administration Fee

To register, please click here.

For more information, visit www.ironmanputrajaya.com

Check out the 2014 IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya Highlights Clip:


Sunday, 11 January 2015

Best foot forward

Gosh... can you believe it, we're already 11 days into 2015, time sure flies!

I've been back in Brisbane for about a week and a half and getting back into the routine. At the office, most people are back to work too. On the training front, I had a slow start for the first weekend of the year. Cut short my long run by almost half, legs somehow didn't feel that great. And the next day, we went to the market first so when I started my long ride it was almost 9am - it was hot and traffic was pretty heavy, felt totally toast by the end of the 100+km ride that I decided to skip my brick run.

But this week, the Red Dog tri club sessions are back after a two week break. It's amazing how different it is to train with a group. I felt a lot more motivated. The first swim session felt a bit odd, as I was out of the water for about a week and a half. But the next couple of sessions in the pool were great, in fact I felt refreshed and something I decided (or rather got coerced by Coach Trent) to try out was to do tumble turns. This used to be second nature during my teenage swimming days but somehow once I started triathlon, I got a bit lazy. I'm slowly getting the hang of it again, it does make my turns faster but I tire out faster too. Just have to keep on doing it so that it will feel effortless.

Getting a bit better with riding in a group too. But I still get really nervous when I'm descending on a bend in fast speeds and tend to make sudden brakes. We did a nice ride to Cleveland on Saturday in a controlled pace. About 90kms including my ride from home and I did another 30km at UQ campus just to add time on the saddle. Had an embarrassing sideward tumble at the lights with my shoes clipped in. Luckily, I was no longer cycling with the group then. There were two kids in front on bikes and they didn't move although the lights were green. I had to slam the brakes and couldn't unclip in time, what a rookie error! Small graze on the knee and the bike was okay, that's most important! Did a 6km run after, my first brick run in a long, long while. Struggled a bit but it can only get better from here.

The first track session of the year went well too. We did 1km repeats in various effort levels - 70%, 80% and 90%. These sets are important to teach the body to pace itself well. My 90% was 3:41, which was not too shabby, if I say so myself. On Sunday, I ran 20km after not having ran that distance for a while. It was pretty tough mentally and there were a few instances when I wanted to call it quits, especially when I was running laps around the neighbourhood block. But I'm glad I pulled through and can move forward from here. My first race for the year, Hell of the West triathlon is in 3 weeks' time and I'd like to make a good impression for my first race here, first race under the Red Dog banner.


Looking back on my Dailymile training report for 2014, I have to say, I'm pretty proud with some decent miles put in. It's just a pity I wasn't able to cap off the year with a strong Ironman finish. Anyway, we move on. I don't think I'll be able to put in that many miles in 2015. In Canada, although we had some long months of winter, we were pretty lucky to have long days in summer. I was able to ride for over 3 hours after work, something I would not be able to do here. Even though the sun rises early here, I'll only be able to ride at most, for 2 hours before work. But as we all know, it isn't always about the miles. Some of the sessions here are at higher intensity and I'm hoping this will translate to some strong racing for this season.

For the first full week of 2015, I'm pretty happy with a decent 14 hour training week. Putting my best foot forward and looking forward to some great training and racing to come! Watch this space!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Holiday!

Some pictures from my one week holiday in Malaysia...

Christmas lunch with the entire family followed by Secret Santa

The latest addition to our family... my cousin's son on Boxing Day

Fun ride with our new team jersey. Photo credit - Gary Fong

Family fun run at Bukit Damansara. From lil' sis' instagram.

I'm about 12 hours from boarding my flight back to Brisbane, touching down just a few hours before ushering in the new year. It has been a fun week. It has been a great year. Looking forward to more excitement in 2015. Happy new year everyone!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Turning the page...

We're about 10 days until the year 2014 ends... how time flies!

I can't help it but the first thing I reflect on was how my triathlon year went. For the first time in 6 years, I went through the year without completing an Ironman. Not that I planned for it to happen that way, but I have put that behind me now. I do have many positives to look back on. I did get personal bests in the half iron and Olympic distances this year. Marginal improvements, but improvements nonetheless.

My small time coaching business took off with a storm this year. Never would I have thought that I would coach 9 athletes into achieving their Ironman dreams. I think I pretty much have my hands full, with another 3 more new sign-ups before the year ends for next year's goals. Knowing that I had somewhat contributed to each individuals growth put things into perspective, that this sport is more than just myself now.

This year also brought on a couple supporters to help me through this journey as a non professional but competitive athlete. My heartfelt appreciation to Compressport Malaysia and Hee Hong Cycle, official distributor of Boardman bikes in Malaysia, and many thanks to everyone involved in the linking arrangements. Again, reinforcing the fact that triathlon is more than just training hard and racing harder. I am truly humbled and will give my best as an ambassador to my supporters and to the sport as a whole.

The Boardman Air 9.8 at Moreton Bay this morning
Our two year adventure in Canada came to an end in 2014 and on to a new one in Brisbane. Although there are many similarities, as we have after all, returned to Australia. There are many things that are quite different to Perth - our home for over 10 years before moving to Canada. Not good or bad, just different and needed some getting used to. But I am looking forward to making this place home for least the foreseeable future.

My new job is offering me some growth in my career. Which is great, but it comes with challenges. But that's okay, it's been a while since I've been taken out of my comfort zone at work. It builds character and will make me a stronger person. Perhaps this would transfer itself onto the race course, making me a better athlete as well.

I'll be on board a flight home to Malaysia in about 3 days time. I know, it seemed that I have been making a lot of trips home lately. But it's the holiday period and the office would be shutting down anyway. Li-Ann is already home and we both look forward to sharing some laughter with our family and friends during this silly season.

Last but definitely not least, wishing all my blog readers a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year! Thank you all for following my thoughts and writings. May 2015 bring you many great opportunities and offerings!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

27 days later...


So it has been almost 4 weeks since I've arrived in Brisbane. I'm loving it so far! I'm getting used to the sunlight coming through my window blinds at about 4.30am. Most of the days, I'm in bed by 9pm so I'm still getting plenty of sleep. It's nice and sunny on most days with a humidity of around 75%. Not quite as humid as Malaysia but enough to have you sweating buckets after a 30 minute workout. Not a bad place to be to be preparing for races in the tropics.

I've had 3 weeks of work + training routine now. Actually, now I really welcome the early morning sessions. Gives me ample time to get to work on time. My office is located about 20kms south from where I currently stay. The journey is pretty smooth as I go against main traffic during peak hours. At work, I'm still getting my head around things and I'm learning something new each day. Slowly but surely.

One thing that isn't going slow are the club training sessions. The distance covered in the swim sessions are shorter than what I normally swim but with plenty of speedwork. Also, swimming with others does give extra motivation, forcing me to work harder. Something I've not done for the past couple of years and I think I've gotten complacent with my swimming, resulting in slower swim times lately.

Where I'm at every Tuesday 5.30am. And there's an earlier session at 4.30am! But I'd like the extra sleep!
The Tuesday track sessions are great and so are the Thursday tempo run sessions. Both involved running in laps, something which I found mentally challenging at first but now I welcome it as a good check of my progress each lap. We did a 5km time trial at the track this week. My Garmin measured each 400m lap to be slightly longer, by about 20m or so. So I knew I had to work a bit harder to meet my target for the official results.

Just met my minimum target of sub 20 minutes. Not great but good enough for now.
We did a cycling time trial too for 20km around the Murrarie bike tracks. No, not the velodrome type - much to my relief! But on concrete road, made specially for bikes, how cool is that! It was about 1.4km long, so we had to go through it 14 times. I'm not that great at corners, so that slowed me down a bit. Speaking of corners, I got told off a few times today when riding with the faster group (I've been joining the slower group the last 2 Saturdays). I get really edgy each time we come to a roundabout at high speed and tend to cross over my pace line. Something I need to learn and there is no short cut, just keep on practising.

It's been raining these few days, and today too in the late morning. I was at the back of the ride group when I had a flat. I yelled out but the group didn't hear. No matter, I took my time to fix it but I pinched the spare tube and used up all my CO2 canisters. The culprit was a sharp twig which I later pulled out. Luckily, a cyclist passing by gave me his spare tube and canister. I can't be any more grateful, otherwise it would have been an expensive ride home in the taxi! The rain came in the remaining 20kms home and I took a few shelter stops when it got too heavy and managed to get home safely with the help of Google maps!

Li-Ann arrives tomorrow and I can't wait to see her! It's been about 5 weeks since we've been apart. I better do a bit of tidying up before she arrives...