Tuesday, July 27, 2010


PD Triathlon 2010 was my best result since 2002, also at PD. Ever since I broke my arm and got the heel pain (in 2002), I regularly finished last or second last in my category. Who cares I thought, I'm doing what I love most.

PDIT 2010 was different though, my name was actually on the winners' Board instead of propping up the results' table. So I want to share with all and sundry my training secrets, it sort of worked for me, it might work for you too.

The Diet. After so so many years of trying, I have finally managed to loose some weight. I got many compliments on this, thank you. The secret is, I am eating Granola Bars that my wife makes. I eat about four pieces a day for snacks and lunch. There are no preservatives and the ingredients (granola, banana, raisins, almonds etc) are all super healthy . The recipe was provided by Emma. My wife sells them (details on the right bar, at the top. Your support has made my wife very happy, thank you). Everyone thats tried them, loves them.

I treat myself to rice during the weekend. No more oily food. I'm lucky here, as my wife makes all my food, now without any oil or just use olive oil.

Swim. I only swim two hours a week in my odd shaped apartment pool which is hardly 10m long. I also have a broken arm. But I got out the water second.

The secret is to have a good start when the horn goes and ....... wait for it ..... swim the Total Immersion way. Please have an open mind.

Swimming is a technical sport just like say tennis. That means you spend your training working on your technique and not on your fitness.

70% of how well you will do is due to your body position. The remaining 30% is due to your fitness and arm movement, Yes believe me.

What is the correct body position?
  1. A balanced body. Everyone has a problem with legs and bums that drop. So swim downhill, which actually means push your chest down a bit. The legs automatically comes up without any effort. Keep the head down too.
  2. A long body. Froude has scientifically proven that a longer body will always swim faster. Thus always try to keep one hand out in front as long as possible. Stretch the arm out fully. Hold the stretch and glide. The fewer strokes the better. Gliding is unfortunately quite hard to master.
  3. Swim on your side. Please tell me how fishes swim, and does it require them much effort. So, we should roll from the hip all the time. Don't turn the head to breath, but roll the hip. Otherwise the body won't be balanced. Really.

BIKE. I can't remember the last time I cycled on the road. All my cycling is done on the trainer six mornings a week. I'm up by 4 a.m. Its great for reducing weight and for my running believe it or not.

RUN. I had high hopes for my run, but at PD it didn't happen. The pain in the thighs were still there. So this is something I have to work on.

Get a good start. Cowboy (in red) came out first. I was second.

The Sarong brought a cheer to many many faces, which is what its all about. Even Jens Wilkens has now bought one, ha ha. Thus I might do this again. I still have to work on my run though.

Paul Lee graciously provided an escort (in memory)

Gosh, my name is on the winners' Board

Juliana Ali goofing

1,200 participants and hardly anything went wrong. Incredible Mr Chan, just incredible. Even getting the accommodation was only a one minute phone call to Mr Chan. The benefit of being on good terms for more than twenty years.


I am basically going to do what I have been doing the last 3 months. I am going to assume it doesn't matter whether the distance is OD or IM. I think doing a little bit everyday is the way to go rather than doing say 200km on Sunday.

CYCLING: Its going to be all on the trainer. Starting at 4.25 a.m. to 6.25 a.m. every Monday to Saturday. Its lovely to cycle at that time of the morning. I close all the windows to sweat more. Very easy spinning. Its important to check that the bicycle is actually road worthy just before the race. ha ha. Total about 12 hours per week.

SWIM: One hour on saturday and another hour on Sunday after breakfast in my apartment pool. Its quite a mental effort to not give up before the hour is up, but so far so good. Its form that counts, not splits. Total 2 hours per week.

RUN: Will be the 20 km from Bukit Aman every sunday morning. Might do 28 km instead. Total 2 hours per week. Doesn't seem much.

Weekly total will be about 16 hours. It will do I think.


K3vski said...

Well done and congrats, sir. See you in Perth!

Cheong said...

I am proud of you for laying off the McD. Yes, maintaining a balance natural meal is important as you have shown.

Keep it up and all the best for many more top 10s. Who knows...a podium in your age group soon. ;)

tryathlete said...

Congrats on your top 10 finish! And thanks for revealing your secrets. Time to go buy a trainer...

sofiantriathlete said...

Thank you for coming to PD Kevin. See you at Perth. How you copy and paste that body on you photo..just kidding.

Appreciate your comment CHEONG. You know how much I have struggled with my diet.

Thank you for your numerous congratulatory messages that day ARIFF. Take care

TSB said...

well done sir.
all your secrets can be emulated but the food. that takes utmost discipline :p

but you'll never know ;)

sofiantriathlete said...

Thank you TSB. Food very sensitive topic in Malaysia. Paul Lee could do it you know.

plee said...

Well said! Now I gotta train harder to keep up and not let my mentor down.
The interesting thing about weight loss is that your Power-to-Weight ratio improves by leaps and bounds. Thats what happened to the post cancer Lance Armtrong!


sofiantriathlete said...

Correct. Very well said and well done Paul

Kam said...

Well done sir! I admire how slim you are now. How much your mrs selling that granola bar?

sofiantriathlete said...

ha ha, thats the question I want to hear Kam. RM4 per piece. We will deliver at Bukit Aman. Call my wife (Tip), 016-6733454 to order. Freshly made.
Its at the top of my blog actually.

You take care OP.

Simon said...

Awesome stuff Sofian. You've always been a huge inspiration to me, you're and icon and a legend in Malaysian triathlon and now you're getting fast again - I'll say it again INSPIRATIONAL!

sofiantriathlete said...

Gosh Simon,
I come in 9th and make a meal of it. Whilst you are the Champion and not even a word. Ha ha

You must be in Germany now. All the best this weekend.

Thank you Simon, your friendship, wisdom, blog and everything are very much valued and appreciated.


Dancing Ciken said...

WOW! well done...

i must find a pool now

sofiantriathlete said...

I have been reading your blog. Surprised you have already done a number of long rides.

Every Sunday morning I will be at Bukit Aman. Try to come lah with CK.

For swimming, I think I spent more time reading that book than actually swimming. Have a good time. Sofian

Perfectionist said...

I'm very impress with your PDIT results. Well done. But I really have no clue how you can stay on the trainer for more than 30 minutes? I can only visualize a hamster running on a roller :P

Any tips how to kill boredom on the trainer?

Can't wait to rub shoulder with you at IMWA.


sofiantriathlete said...


I watch the TV.

Lately, Astro has been showing TD France, Athletics etc.

Also I have recorded about 10 Ironmans on my AstroMax. Eg I have IMWA 2OO7, 2008 & 2009. I have watched them 100 times.

Movie cannot, noisy and cannot concentrate.


Dancing Ciken said...

hi morning, i tried to swim on my side. its very hard to roll and keep the balance. but i think with more training, i should master this technique soon

thanks for the tips, kalau ada share ler lagi :D