Sunday, October 17, 2010

Extreme Beginner Triathlon Swimming

I'm been trying for a very long time to get started with triathlons but have not been able to find the motivation to keep up with a regular training program. In the past I've started a few training regimes but almost always slipped away from the programs after a few months.

The main reason for this being that my swimming skills are really very poor and i find it very hard to drag myself to a pool and put in a good workout. I am very much a 'land' person and feel very awkward in the water, so I eventually end up giving up on my swimming training sessions and put in a long run instead.

But after all the previous failed attempts of trying to swim well enough to compete in a triathlon I have decided to try again. I love running, and also really like cycling and I have to keep pushing myself in the swim department cause I really do have a passion for triathlons and I know when you have a strong passion for something, anything is possible.

As I don't have the time these days to join a swim class, I spent some time and did some research and drafted this swimming program which I have started following already.

My Program Name:
Extreme Beginner Triathlon Swimming

Sessions Per Week:
2 - 3 (The more the better as the key if to get 'comfortable and relaxed' in the water). Each session should be a minimum of half hour.

End Goal:
To be able to freestyle swim 250m (10 Laps in 25m pool) after which I can take part in an Enticer Distance triathlon which is a 250m Swim followed by a 10km Cycle ride and 2.5km Run.

Note: I am able to comfortably swim in breast stroke style so I use that for warm up and warm down, but as I get better with freestyle I will warm up/down in relaxed freestyle instead which is the ideal situation.

Warm Up (60 second rest between laps)
- 25m X 2 laps - Breast Stroke
- 25m X 2 laps - Kicking Drill (
For now I just do the "basic stomach facing" down kicking drill and put my head under water instead of keeping it above water.

Skill Refresher: (60 second rest between laps)
For now do only one of these skill drills per session, dont try to do each one at each session as it will be too much to focus on. But as I get comfortable I will try to do each one during each session.

- 25 X 2 - Front Back Body Balance (

- 25 X 2 - Side Body Balance (

- 25 X 2 - Six Beat Switch (

- 25 X 2 - Catch Up Drill (

Main set: (60 second rest between laps)
This is the main freestyle swim practice and I will aim to increase the laps by one after each week of training. e.g. If i do 2 laps (50m) in the first week then the next week I will do 3 laps (75m) and so on.

- 25 X 2 Freestyle Swim

Warm Down: (60 second rest between laps)
- 25 X 2 Breast Stroke Swim

Other things i will try:
1) I'm going to purchase some flippers as well and use them on my Skill Refresher sets so I can focus on technique.
2) Once i get better, i will cut down the time I rest between laps.
3) I really believe that the best way to improve in swimming (for me anyway) is put just put in as many hours as I can in the pool, and that's what I'm going to focus on.

So the road (water :P) to my first Triathlon is going to be a long and hard one, but I'm certain the journey is going to be worth the destination.. the finish line of my first Triathlon.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chevron Perth Marathon

On Sunday 29 August I ran the Chevron Perth Marathon. It was the most gruesome run I have done till date and I somehow managed to finish the 42km distance in 6h 07m.

Before the Race:
Leading up to the race, I had not run as much as I had planned. Unlike my first marathon last year I took this run a little less serious. I only did a half marathon and two long 30km runs around 5 weeks before this race, but even so I was very confident three weeks before the race.

I was eating well and I felt very injury free, I knew my mental strength was stronger than last year so I was really ready to push my body and try to get a good time. But that’s when it went all wrong, at the beginning of August I did the Sydney City to Surf for a bit of fun and towards the end of the run I rolled my right ankle pretty bad. I took it easy two weeks after that and kept doing my best to try and recover in time for the run.

I flew to Perth 5 days before the Perth Marathon not feeling very confident that I could complete the 42km distance in the physical condition I was in. I did a few short distance runs with both my ankles strapped up (for some reason after my right ankle got better my left ankle started to show signs of pain, I think it was because I was unknowingly putting a lot more weight on it as I tried to compensate for my weak right ankle) .

After the short runs I decided that I was going to do the 42km, my entire family was in Perth and I didn’t know if I would get this opportunity again to share an experience such as this with them. I also knew that I will dig deep and mentally push myself during the run and be ready for whatever surprises came up.

During and After the Race:
The run started really well and I did the initial 21km in a very good time, the race route was much hillier than I expected even though I studied the elevation map well and drove through most of the track the day before. After the half way mark, my injured ankle started to give me a lot of pain and eventually my whole running rhythm was messed up and I could not even move my legs after around 25km. But as my family was around to support me at certain points in the track and my brother got onto the track to walk and run with me for around 7km, I somehow dragged myself to the fishing line in 6h 07m. So it was the most painful run, but an experience I will never forget.

After the race, it was the greatest feeling ever to be able to pick up my finishers medal and t-shirt and spend the rest of the day with my family. I was not feeling very good that same day and could barely walk around, the next day was worse but I put on my new ‘skins’ and took the flight back to Sydney that evening.

I arrived back home and midnight and went into work the next day. I was emotionally and physically drained but surprisingly now (3 days after) I feel almost completely back to normal. I’m really thankful for this experience and I have learned a lot from this as well.

I’m still working out what my next fitness event will be so stay tuned :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

14km Sydney City2Surf

I completed my first Sydney City2Surf yesterday with a time of 1h 23m (83m). It was an amazing experience with 80,000 runners taking part in the “largest fun run in the world”. There were so many people at the start line and I had to line up for more than 40 mins with the Blue group to get going, after which the roads were jam packed with runners for at least the first 3 kms.

At around the 6km mark, we hit the start of “Heartbreak Hill”, prior to the run I heard many stories about how gruesome this hill was so I was ready for it. It was almost a constant 2km uphill climb which just kept going on and on, it’s a real mental test and I was impressed at the amount of people who kept running. I really enjoyed the climb myself :) (what can i say, I like pain)

Towards the end of the run at around the 12km mark, i realised that I had way too much energy left and wanted to start sprinting to the finish to try and improve my time, but clearly many other runners had the same idea and there was absolutely no room left on the road to dash through the crowds. I then jumped on the sidewalks and started running hard, this proved to be a costly mistake as I rolled my ankle pretty bad with around a 1km to go. I was able to finish the run without any major pain but today my ankle is all stiff and swollen.

With 3 weeks to go until Perth Marathon, my focus now is to get my ankle back to shape and put in at least one more week of heavy running.

more unflattering race finish photos :)

I finished 19,432 out of 80,000 runners

> My Garmin Connect GPS Details

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

21km Sri Chinmoy Dolls Point Half Marathon

This was my first race for 2010 and it was good to be back, I did this more as a training run than a serious race but did end up running the 21km in a time of 2h 15m which is usually faster than my training runs so I was happy.

I was also happy that I managed to do the whole run without consuming any Gatorade, I have been trying to cut down my dependency on the sports drinks for longer runs so I can train my body to push longer distances in hot climates (I don’t recommend this by the way, it’s just a method I am trying to be able to feel more comfortable in long distances in hot climates like Perth and South east Asia, where it’s very hard to run marathon distances without getting dehydrated)

Not a very flattering picture, but no one really looks good after running for more than two hours.

And I was second from last! These runners were fast.

Looking forward to my next run!

Monday, February 22, 2010

10,000 Sit-ups in 30 Days

As mentioned in my last post, I’m still not going to be able to do anything physical for around 2-3 more weeks, but I really want to set a new goal and aim for it during my recovery stage. I’ve been busting my brain trying to work out a realistic goal that I can attempt without making my injury worse and I think I’ve got it. It’s not a crazy goal but I believe it’s going to be challenging for me and it should help me get back some core strength to start running and getting back into full training again.

I'm going to attempt to do 10,000 sit-ups in 30 days. This works out to around 333 sit-ups a day and based on the extra weight around my tummy these days, it should be a big challenge :)

I’ll try to break up by my sit-up routine to include various styles of sit-ups but I’ll be aiming to follow this style as much as possible.

My Progress:

Start: 22 February 2010

Week 1: 1 March 2010
Number of sit-ups completed - 645

Week 2: 8 March 2010
Number of sit-ups completed - 1185 -
After 2 weeks i'm way behind, Its not as easy as i thought but i'm going to keep pushing it :)

Week 3: 15 March 2010
Number of sit-ups completed -

End: 22 March 2010
Total number of sit-ups completed -

I'm Injured Again

Over the last two and a half months I have been forced to stop running and doing anything physical, due to a really bad infection in my right foot that started after I didn’t treat some running blisters I got after my last marathon. Even though I’ve taking really good care of my foot over the last couple of months, I unfortunately got struck down with some other internal allergy my body formed due to the type of antibiotics the doctors had put me on.

But it seems I’m finally on the home stretch now to being back to my usual healthy self. But I’ve still been asked to avoid wearing shoes and keep off my feet until my right foot heals completely.

So for the last two and a half months I’ve not been able to do any fitness related activity, and this has been a huge blow to my motivation and I’ve also put on a lot of extra weight. I’m actually 5 kg more than my usual weight of 78kg!
But my priority is to get better first and then get myself back on track with fitness and set myself some new fitness goals.