Category Archives: Motivation

#AdeleWFOTM – Kartini

This month we have ultra marathonerKartini!


I got to know Kartini personally through the Puma Running Club. It has been great watching her running journey! I truly admire her determination, discipline and passion for running!

Read on to find out more about this girl and how she gives back to the running community!

My 1st Ultra at Pink50 2015 – 60km in 8:06


  1. What’s your fav sport/event?

    Running because I don’t know how to cycle or swim (Phobia from a childhood incident)!

  2. How long have you been running?

    Exactly 5 years this month!

  3. How did you start?

    Actually, I hated running. It all started back in 2012 when I managed to register for 10KM We Run KL (I was on my comp and iPad for over 2 hrs to secure a slot!).

  4. Do you join any groups/community? If yes, which group?

    I am a MURA member (Malaysian Ultra Running Assosiation) and I do join a few other running clubs for their weekly training sessions (eg. SARC, KyserunKrew, Puma Night Running Club, Run89Crew)

    Malaysian participants at The 16th International Jeju Ultramarathon Race 2017

  5. Your profession:

    Administrative and accounts manager.

  6. How do you juggle work and running?

    Well, there is a saying that when you do what you love and love what you do, you will find a way to make it work. Work is my priority but I’ll try to follow my schedule, and rest when my body needs to.  After my injury, I learned how to listen to my body!

    My very 1st solo #runcation trip at Laguna Phuket International Marathon 2015 – 4:32

  7. Do you have a training schedule? What is it like?

    Yes I do. It looks something like this:

    Weekdays (afterwork): Easy/Tempo/Speedwork/Cross training

    Weekend: LSD/Hill training/Running Events

    Rest: 2-3 days a week

  8. Who do you usually train with?

    I usually train with my running buddies (running crew) and sometimes just myself.

  9. Have you ever had injuries? How did you cope?

    Yes, I suffered a major one last year. It was a week before SCKLM 2016. This event was meant to be my sub 4 mission and I was working really hard for it. At first, I couldn’t accept it. I kept running, hoping it will get better. I was wrong. Things got worse and I was more frustrated. I decided to take a break from running until I recovered.

    Bali Marathon 2015 – 4:16

    Making a comeback is a whole different story. It is tough but I will never give up!

  10. Which was the most memorable event and why!

    To be honest, I love all of them (even the ones where I got injured, DNS or DNF…hahaha).  Every event has its own story regardless of the distance. But Borneo International Marathon would always be my fav event since 2014 (I skipped this year due to my injury). This event was where I completed my first full marathon (in 2014) and my parents were there to witness. Last year, I also managed to smash my full marathon PB (Personal Best), securing 3rd place in the Women’s Open category.

    My fav moment at Borneo International Marathon 2016 with my loyal supporters #myfamily – 4:06

  11. You have done quite a few ultramathons. Tell us, what do you think about when you are running an ultra?

    The rewards (FOOD!) after I cross the finish line (the BIGGEST motivation) and the lil voice in my head – “What did I get myself into? Is this going to be the last one? I will never register for an ultra marathon ever again! #insaf”.

    Of course, that’s a lie (haha!). I’ve already signed up for 2 ultra marathons – one in 2 weeks and the other in December 2017.

  12. Favourite distance: 42.195km (26 full marathons since May 2014 and 9 ultra marathons).

  13. My take on volunteering as a crew member and pacer for running events, and giving back to the running community:
    Being selected to be an official pacer is another dream come true. It’s fun but it’s not as easy as you think. As much as I want to see some improvement in my running journey, helping fellow runners to achieve their goal by pacing them and sharing some experience or tips about running is another satisfaction. A fellow pacer said this in his blog – “Nothing more rewarding than a handshake or a thank you from the runners after crossing the finishing line, knowing that you played a role in bringing them home, whether it is the entire course or partially.”#givingbacktorunningcommunity – Official Pacer
     
    Volunteering or being part of the crew for running events is fun too… in a different way. HAHA! I remember when I was assigned to be at one of the water stations 2km before the finish line. We came in early in the morning to set up the station, cheer for the runners and leaving the race village only after the job was done. It is tiring but the experience was priceless. I encourage you guys to give it a try! GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!
     

Kartini is not only someone who RUNS but she also gives back to the running community! Definitely a fine example for us all. This is a COMMUNITY. We are STRONGER TOGETHER.

Let’s continue to support each other in our own special way! Thank you, Kartini, for sharing!

All the best in your running journey! KEEP IT UP GIRL!

#AdeleWFOTM – Allison Yee

This month’s feature goes to Allison Yee!

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If you’re into TRI, you’d definitely know this girl! We have not actually met in person but we’re connected via social media (THANK YOU SOCIAL MEDIA!).

She’s the definition of someone who works really hard and has earned all her podium finishes! Read on to find out a lil more about her!


 

1. What’s your main sport?

My main sport is running but I started cycling and swimming too. Now, I am into triathlons.

2. How did you get into it?

I was influenced by my triathlete friends and my boyfriend who is also a triathlete! I remember going into a bike shop alone in my hometown, Kuantan, bought a roadbike for myself and joined the local cycling group. I took it as part of my training to become a triathlete.

3. Do you join any groups (running grp, tri grp, cycling grp etc)? If yes, which group?

Yup! M3X for Triathlon; P2K and Team NATO for cycling.

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4. Your profession:

Student. Currently studying in UPM.

5. How do you juggle work/studies and your sport?

Tough question! It was hard at first. I was tired all the time. But as time went by, my body started to adapt. Definitely requires discipline and consistency.

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6. Do you have a training schedule? What is it like?

Yes, I do! It is very important when you’re still a student. I will have my run or swim in the morning before class, or after depending on my schedule. Tuesday night I will have my spinning class and Thursday night will be my night ride with Team NATO at Putrajaya. Weekends are usually for longer training sessions, either a long ride or doing all 3 with relatively shorter mileage.

7. Who do you usually train with?

Usually with my boyfriend when I am in my hometown, or with my good friends – Irene, Barry and Yoshi. I also train with local cycling teams like Team NATO and P2K and sometimes, I join tri clubs too!

8. Which was the most memorable race event and why!

National Triathlon Championship in Putrajaya and the SEA games selection.

It was my first Elite race! Very nerve wrecking and intense as I raced with the top athletes in Malaysia.

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9. What keeps you going?

The joy in doing swim, bike and run. Also, the people I train and race with.

10. Favourite event:

Port Dickson International Triathlon.

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11. Your inspiration:

I do not have an exact inspiration but what I believe is to bring out the best of myself in this sport, and be humble in what you do and achieve. Share more and you’ll learn more too!

12. Any advice for ppl who want to do what you are doing?

Ya! If you’re already an active person, great! Don’t shy away from this sport because of the commitment required in training. For the ladies, don’t be afraid to have a sun-kissed skin! Those tan lines from your swimsuit, tri-suit, cycling jersey and bib, running shorts etc are what you should be proud of!

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For beginners, just take every step slowly and don’t forget to recover well after every tough training session. Sometimes, doing too much too soon will give you unwanted injuries! Plus, it will get in the way of your training sessions.


Very wise words from Allison! Don’t be afraid to give TRI a try! And don’t forget to start SLOW! 😉

Thanks so much for your time, Allison! All the best and continue to give your best in all that you do!

xoxo

#AdeleWFOTM – Colleen Augustin

This month, we have OCR Queen – Colleen Augustin!

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I first met this lil power nugget face to face at the start line of the Compressport Combo Challenge 2016 trail race at Mardi Maeps (you can read about it here). I knew who she was but until that time, we had not officially met. We exchanged a few words and I instantly got that bubbly-hyper vibe from her. She’s a BALL OF ENERGY!

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Back then, she ran a few road races and some trail runs here and there. Now, this 19 year old is taking over the OCR scene with her latest 2nd place win at the Spartan Super 2017 in Malaysia!

She’s super supportive of others, REAL and a true inspiration!


Recent achievements at the APAC Championship Series:

1st Leg – Hong Kong (3rd)

2nd Leg – Taiwan (5th)

3rd Leg – Korea (3rd)

4th Leg – Malaysia (2nd)

Finals – Perth


1. How did you get into OCR?

I got into OCR because of my mother and brother. They went over to Brisbane, Australia for a Spartan race back in 2014. During that time, I was playing basketball with my team. I was curious what it was since I’ve seen my mom do Reebok One Challenge before. So, I asked my dad since he was ex-military, and he explained it to me. When my mom and brother came back, I saw the photos and they told me what they did. It intrigued me even more.

When the next OCR event came about in Malaysia, I went! It was the Viper Challenge (21km). It was my first ever obstacle race, it was gruelling but I finished it and immediately got hooked.

2. How long have you been doing it?

I believe it would be about 2.5 years since I started OCR. I started in late 2015 in November, I was 16 then.

3. Are you part of any OCR community/group?

I would like to think that I’m part of many OCR Communities. Hahaha…18951482_1955591918009788_4196383762455839875_n

I like to mingle with other Spartans from around the world and from everywhere. But there are a few names that come to mind like OCR Junkies (KL), Lion City Spartans (Singapore), Warrior (Penang), and a Philippines group that I can’t quite remember the name. I am not single-ing them out, these are just names I remember that I’m quite actively close with. They have been very warm and friendly every time I visit.

4. Your profession (school/uni/work):

I currently work with OBC Malaysia as a bootcamp instructor. I would probably start my first year of university next year (due to my parent’s wishes hahahaha *coughs*).

Right now, I focus on training.

5. How do you juggle work/study and OCR?

I have a very supportive community at work and at home. I also learn how to manage my time more wisely and get my priorities right.

6. Do you have a training schedule? What is it like?

I do, but it changes at times. Roughly, I train from Monday to Friday about 2-3 times a day with 1-2 rest days a week. On weekends, I usually put in a hike/run/bootcamp session to just stay alive (with exception where I will just jog or swim).19958968_10211183888207710_4264200008165936802_n

7. Who do you usually train with?

Who is very hard to say, as I train in classes/sessions. Outside of that, I train alone by myself or with my trainer. It sounds sad for some, but I prefer training alone so that I can focus on myself and my weaknesses.

8. What keeps you motivated?

That is a tough one. The love of the sport, and constantly wanting to improve and challenge myself.

9. Which was the most memorable race event and why?

My most memorable race event was the recent Spartan Super 2017 in Malaysia, which happens to be the 4th leg of the APAC Championship Series before the finals in Perth.

I was crying tears of joy when I finished the race despite coming in 2nd place. Why? It was the people. When I was finishing the last cluster of obstacles and burpees, I just kept pushing myself remembering what my brother and my parents said to me during the race. That kept me pushing hard! I also heard the people at the race. Spartans going into their starting pens, shouting: “Go Colleen!” “Malaysia Boleh!”! These were people that I’ve never met before. I was so touched I started crying when I crossed the finish line.

When I started this APAC Championships Series, I knew I had my family, coaches, OBCFamily and MonarchyFamily supporting me at every step. Little did I know that I had made an impact on other Spartans in Malaysia as well.

In the moment, as I crossed the finish line, I saw Quek and Mike. They were giving me such big smiles! I felt so proud that I made them smile like that. It was because of them that I had this blessed opportunity to do this – improve myself and make a difference/appear in the OCR scene on a larger scale. My competitor, Angelique, gave me a hug when she saw me which I returned to her and Jade Ross.

Even while being interviewed, I started crying tears of joy again!

10. Any advice for someone who is wanting to get into OCR?

As I tell anyone, just do it!

Start small if you are scared, go for a shorter distance 5-6km long. You never know how hooked you would become until you cross that finish line. I highly encourage it. Go with a friend if you’re worried.

Sometimes in life, you have to get out of your comfort zone and JUST DO IT!

11. Your inspiration: My family, coaches, competitors and teammates!

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I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did. And maybe, a lil spark of inspiration to start your first OCR?

Thanks so much for your time, Colleen! Keep it up and make Malaysia proud! All the best! <3

Follow her OCR journey on her FB page

xoxo

Hit a Plateau? Here’s WHY!

Do these sound familiar?

-Working out but not seeing any changes?

-Not getting anything out of your fitness regime?

-Not losing/gaining weight?

-Bored?

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If they do, you’ve probably hit a fitness plateau.

First off, YOU are NOT alone! We all struggle to find that ultimate BALANCE – eating well + training right to reap the max benefits.

I’ve hit a few plateaus throughout my fitness journey. But I also remember the times where I’ve seen significant changes. Those happened when there were drastic changes in my nutrition and workouts.

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Stress and shock will force your body to change. Remember the changes you saw when you first started working out? You probably saw HUGE changes in the first 3 months. That’s because you went from sedentary to active, the kind of shock that your body was not accustomed to. And then something amazing (or not) happened, ADAPTATION. Your body adapted to the stress (and your new lifestyle) and the only way to continue to see change is to WORK HARDER (new stress)!

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Aside from doing the “physical work”, your body is like a MACHINE that needs the RIGHT FUEL. There is SO much information out there about workouts and foods to eat.

BUT in order for any of those information to make sense to your body, you need to know YOU.


 Let’s talk metabolism

Metabolism is basically ALL of the chemical processes that goes on in your body to keep you alive.

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Anabolism – making stuff (cells, tissue, muscle etc)

Catabolism – breaking stuff (for energy)

Putting it into VERY simple terms, these two processes ultimately affect your fitness, physique and weight.

Understanding YOUR OWN body will help you beat plateaus. We need to tune into our own body ques.IMG_0897

The tricky bit is that we all have VERY DIFFERENT metabolic rates. Our health state (disease, illness, stress), sex, age, height and genes affect our metabolism. Environmental factors play a significant role too. Major ones would be nutrition and physical activity.

By making better lifestyle choices and changing a few bits here and there, you CAN workout and eat smart to achieve your ultimate GOALS.


Here are a few things to look out for:

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Estimated Energy Requirement (EER)

The BMR is an estimate of the energy that you need in a day to maintain bodily functions (breathing, heart beat, body temp etc) while at rest. It is usually based on gender, age, weight and height.

With the BMR, you can now calculate your EER which adds in the activity element.

You can do all of that here.

Macro Breakdown

KNOW the macros in your food. They play a role in metabolism!

Macronutrients are the carbs, protein and fat in food. The Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) is 45-65% Carb, 20-35% Fat and 15-25% Protein of your total daily energy intake. However, you can alter these values based on your personal preference (low carb, high protein etc), performance goals etc.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProtein + Healthy Fat + Carbs

Work out what you eat in a day. It can be a lil tedious but it is worthwhile if you’ve hit a plateau. You can always take the stress out of nutrition and get a dietitian to work it ALL out for you, including EXACTLY what you should eat. 😉

Body Composition

It is good to get a sense of your body composition – percentage of body fat and muscle mass. Most fitness centres or the doctors would provide this service.

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Muscle weighs more than fat. You could be within the normal weight range for height but you could be carrying excess fat. Similarly, you may be on the heavier side of the weight spectrum but have more lean muscle mass.

This could be the reason you’re not seeing changes on the scale (if you’ve been working out and eating well). Try not to rely on the scale. Go by how you feel, look and how your clothes fit!

Change Your Routine

Following a strict routine may very well be the cause of your plateau. Mix it up and throw in new elements (new workouts, new foods etc). This will give your body a nice surprise and kick start your metabolism!

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Record Keeping

Sometimes, life can get to us and we can be UNAWARE of what we are doing or eating.

I AM ALL ABOUT RECORD KEEPING. I keep an e-record of my workouts, nutrition, emotions, work, finance and sleep. I find that it keeps me accountable of my actions, how I spend my time/money and helps with awareness and reflection.

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It can be overwhelming and I don’t expect you to go from zero to hero! Start with something small, like workouts and nutrition for 1 week. You can make it as brief or as detailed as you please.

Who knows, you might SURPRISE (or not) yourself at the end of the first week. And you probably would be able to spot what you need to change.

I have a food journal template. Drop me an email or leave a comment if you want one!


Perspective

Plateaus are not ALL bad.

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Lil reminder to REST!

Let’s look at it as a time to rest, reflect, change, and continue to challenge and push ourselves towards our goals!

IMG_5353Stay strong, I am here for you!

All the best!

What Your Fitness Regime Should Look Like

Hello!

We’re well into the THIRD month of the year. Where did time go?!

How is everyone doing?

I hope this post has helped you shape your fitness/physical/health/nutrition goals for 2017! What are they? DO SHARE!


Before we dive head in, we need to know the BASICS! Whatever your goals (running PBs, strength gains, yoga, cross fit, OCRs etc), we cannot run away from the fundamentals of fitness.

A well balanced fitness routine should have these components:

CARDIO

*my favourite component*

Your HEART is a vital organ. It beats to keep you alive. There are a million reasons why we need to preserve its function and strengthen it.

Even if you are not training for a run or a marathon, you cannot neglect this component. A strong heart pumps a greater volume of blood with each beat – more efficient (this means that your heart does not have to work as hard). For example, a strong heart may take 1 beat to pump X volume of blood whereas a weaker heart may take 4 beats to pump the same volume (this is not exactly how it works. I’m just SUPER simplying it. But you get the point)!

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Photo: Nathaniel Kelly

I know I’m getting stronger when my Garmin FR 235 reports a lower heart rate (compared to prev) at the same pace. 🙂

Why is that important?

EVERYTHING you do involves your heart. You are more able to walk, clean the house, run for the bus (that’s me), climb stairs (without huffing and puffing) etc with ease. It makes daily activities seem less of a chore. PLUS, it keeps many chronic/heart diseases at bay.

*For your heart to become stronger, you need to add a little stress. Only then, will it adapt.*

What to do: 30-60 minutes of running, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, boxing etc as long as you’re moving throughout! You can even throw in a few sprints to keep things interesting. Cleaning the house counts too (haha! :P). This should be done on most days (if not all) of the week!

Strength Training

Just like our heart, our muscles and joints need to be stressed too. With the right amount of stress, we are able to build/maintain lean muscle mass and strengthen our tendons, ligaments and bones. Again, these will help you with your day to day activities that involve lifting/carrying/pushing/pulling heavy objects.

IMG_3066Strenght training is important for everyone. Muscles help to increase the body’s metabolism (hello MORE FOOD. #jokes) as they need a lot of “food” for growth and maintanence. For older adults, you’ll tend to accumulate more fat and lose muscle mass more easily. You need a good amount of lean muscle mass to maintain metabolism and with stronger muscles and bones, you can prevent falls and broken bones!

What to do: You can start off with body weight exercises (decline push ups, squats, lunges etc) before adding weights. As you become stronger, you will need to add external loads to continue to GROW!

Stability and Mobility

This is the core of movement. We need to be able to MOVE within our full range of movement and maintain stability when we need to. If you lack this component, throwing in cardio and strength training will cause MORE problems such as lower back pain and unwanted injuries.

From the bottom up, our joints are arranged such that it is alternating between stable and mobile:

Foot – Stable

Ankle – Mobile

Knee – Stable

Hips – Mobile

Lumbar (Lower Back) – Stable

Thorax – Mobile

Scapula – Stable

Neck – Mobile

The lack of stability and mobility in any of the joints will affect your ability to move about comfortably. Even getting out of bed would be a chore!

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What to do: STRETCH every other day! Tight muscles hinder mobility! You can do it either when you wake up, post workout, while watching tv or just before bed! A little goes a long way. If you are pressed for time, hit the neck, chest, hips, hamstrings, glutes, calves and lower back. You can also do some balancing workouts to improve stability across your joints.

I always stretch for about 1 hour after my workouts while I’m reading articles/on social media. For me, it is a great way to CHILL! And then I plank for 2 mins front, left and right side!


With this in mind, I hope that you will be able to choose a program (or programs) that will cover all of the above.

With a well rounded fitness routine, you are more likely to maximise results while staying injury free! Go for the ones that YOU ENJOY and COMMIT to them. Everyone starts off as an amateur, not being “fit” or “good” enough (exactly WHY you shld get started, NOW!) is not an excuse!

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Believe in yourself. Have a little confidence. 🙂

HAVE FUN!