Friday, September 04, 2009

Weekly Training Programme for Peter Chan

We recently had the pleasure of meeting Peter Chan who politely asked me for my advice on a weekly training programme for IM MY 2010. Peter is 40+ and only took up running about a year ago. He already has a few Marathons under his belt, the Sundown Double Marathon, Kenyir Tri and even beat me at Desaru! Er hello, who should be asking who. Plus he has now done that 200km+ ride. Peter's advantage is that he is slim. If you are a slim Marathoner, you can do anything. Lets not get confident though.
  • The more you train the better
  • Do an obscene workout every two weeks
  • Do six 200km rides before IMMY
  • Do six 30 km (since you can run) or 20km runs before IMMY
  • Do two 3km swims in the pool. Swimming is the least important. As long as you can beat the cut-off, you will make the finish. Swimming in the sea is much easier.
  • Taper the last two weeks.
  • DONE. You have got it made.

The good ones (i.e. TTH and TriTwins) train twice a day and TTH especially doesn't even have a day off. I presume you can only manage six or seven workouts a week.


This is the least important. The idea is to finish it with the least energy. Using a lot of energy is not the end of the world. Devour a swimming book then hit the pool. Try "Total Immersion" (KLCC use to sell it). It advocates relaxed swimming.

Try to swim twice or more a week if you are close to a pool. The body quickly forgets the feel of the water. Thus twice a week is minimum. Don't worry if you can't do 3.8km in the pool. 3km is good going.

Having a long streamlined body is paramount. Roll your body, reach out as far as possible, high elbows and let your thumb graze your thigh at the end of your stroke. Unfortunately we are not fishes and don't know whether our body is streamlined. Someone has to go in the water and observe you. Join a swim group to go faster or just use a watch.


You seem new to cycling. You don't pedal when going downhill, you drop gears too quickly when approaching a hill and you don't use aero bars.

As explained in my e-mail to you, a bike trainer would be a very good buy (TBB you have a customer).

Have you got your cycling position properly done? Get it done by Nick Flyger, He is with MSN. Don't need to buy an expensive bike lah. Training is what counts.

Depending on body flexibility, not everyone can do the aero position for long periods. You might be able to do it as you don't have a tummy. The trick is to have your elbows at 90 degrees and the knees very close to the elbow (look at photos of TTH, not too long though). Just by going aero, the bicycle will go faster especially downhill.

Cycling training is a no brainer. The more kms, the better. If the position is correct (including the shoe cleats) and you don't fall, it is injury free and very pleasurable.

Langkawi is a very hot place. Ideally one should also train in the sun. But after being in the air con the whole week, I am very adverse to the sun. So I will go to Genting Sempah, Bentong and Fraser. You can do more kms and more hours in the saddle.

Heavy vs. easy gears is a personal preference.


Running is the most important event. It will determine whether you will have a good time or a slow time. Even though running is your forte, you still have to keep it up, otherwise you will loose your running muscles.


If you wan't seriously good times, you have to do bricks often just like "the good ones". Go for a run after your long bike. Otherwise do the long ride on Saturday and the long run on Sunday.


I havn't given you a "weekly programme" ha ha. I suppose its one hour each day (Monday to Friday), an obscene long ride on Saturday (if a non working day) and a long run (20km minimum) on Sunday. You got life made.

Next posting, I will talk about the actual event at Langkawi.


peter chan said...

hi sofian, thanks very much for all the advice. really appreciate the time and effort. very helpful suggestions for me to work on. this tri newbie has a lot to learn. look forward to receiving more tri wisdom from a tri legend. thanks again.

sofiantriathlete said...

no problem Peter. I am honoured to be asked actually. Happy training and hopefully we will all experience one of the best moment of our lives as we cross the finish banner.

peter chan said...

yes, finishing the first im race will be something to cherish for a lifetime. a year ago i would have said it is totally impossible for me to do an im. my first tri race at kenyir in march i swam breaststroke all the way (and in my second race at pd as well!!). i had to get off my bike to drink ... i marvelled at a guy who opened a powergel, ate it and drank while riding, so cool :). i spent 5 minutes in one transition -could have had a haircut in that time. ah ... the joys of a newbie. beginner mind, happy mind.

sofiantriathlete said...

Don't imitate others. Develop your cycling skills at your own paces, less u might fall down.

Emma said...

Great Advice Sofian...Peter this guy knows his stuff :)
I am stoked to hear you are going to bite the bullet and do IMMY 2010!!
Sofian is bang on with the swim...I couldn't even swim before my first attempt in 2007 and was recovering from shoulder problems. I still remember all the others laughing at me from the pontoon when I was swimming in circles on practice day!! Still not much better but at least I can go straight-ish now :) Anyway that experience was at the time the best of my life...
If I can help in anyway Peter please just yell :)

peter chan said...

emma, sure will let you know if i need the help, thanks. tbb has been a great help already. sofian says, 'try total immersion'. well, i saw the video (3 times!!!) at tbb and have been doing the drills the past month. getting the hang of it, slowly ... sofian says 'do six 200k rides'. thanks to the tbb pd ride last weekend, the first one is done. and what a fun ride that was ... mercedes benz support car all the way to pd, like tdf lah ;). and reading the tth blog is always informative and inspiring (feel the pain, feel tha pain, you must feel the pain :(

sofiantriathlete said...

See Peter, now TTH has adopted you. How come u have seen the video. I only have a book. Ha ha

Emma said...

Hey Sofian, we have the video at TBB...your VIP viewing seat in fornt of the big screen is always ready and waiting should you drop by :)

plee said...

Nicely written Sofian! Nice reminder and guide for me too!
Peter and I both did our maiden tris at Kenyir this year. And he is always placed beside me in transitns becoz our names start with P....
Peter do look me up on facebook (Paul Lee or so we can compare newbie notes! TI techniques are pretty cool becoz its abt efficient energy conservation in the swim. I could barely do 50metres when I started swimming in December 08.
MMY2010 here we come!

peter chan said...

hey paul, i meant to get your contact during the tbb pd ride. but forgot ... was working hard to stay with the group :).
you have improved by leaps and bounds from kenyir to pd to desaru. that is great, keep it up!!! enjoy your training up to immy 2010. i shall be in touch to discuss 'ironman 101', in particular 'im 101 for over 45s'. we should have started 25 years ago like sofian :)
they say it helps to visualise the desired outcome. i visualise this at immy 2010 .... you finish the race in good time, unwind with a hot bath, enjoy a sumptuous dinner, take in a movie and then stroll back to the finish line to cheer me on, round about 11.15pm. that will do me just fine :)