Tag Archives: workout

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#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

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#AdeleWFOTW – Loh Voon Ying

#AdeleWFOTWWomen Feature Of The Week!

Anybody remember that hashtag? Yeah, I totally killed it. But I intend to bring it back! YAY!

I think I should change it to #AdeleWFOTMWomen Feature Of The Month!


So anyway, this month we have Loh Voon Ying! I actually engaged her a LOOOOONGGGG time ago, the first few on my list!

But, I totally messed it up and that was why I didn’t manage to publish it. But it is NEVER too late to feature this special girl.

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Voon Ying is a very humble, low key runner. But she’s no stranger in the running community.

When I first started running competitively, her name kept popping up everywhere. Everyone was just talking about her! To be honest, I was afraid of her because we hadn’t met before. We didn’t manage to cross paths until a few months later. I

was star struck when I finally got to meet her. She’s soft spoken, kind and super down to earth!

Read on to find out more about her:

1. How long have you been running?

12 years since 2005.

2. How did you get into running?

I started running to stay fit.

I decided to lace up my shoes and step out of the door during my teenage years, the time when a girl starts to care about her physical appearance. Girls are usually always worried about being fat even if they’re actually skinny.

It was hard at first. But fortunately, I had my brother and uncles (all of them experienced in running) as my coaches when I was new, so it became easier over time. I walked/ran, kept the distance short, took it slow and didn’t overdo it in the early days. I learnt a lot of running tips and got a lot of fitness guide from them. They play an important role in my running journey.

Running started as a way for me to stay fit, but now I run because I want to, it’s turned to a habit. Sometimes, I just enjoy feeling alone, feeling the wind, and feeling the heart beating, the panting and sweating! That’s what’s so incredible about running.

3. Do you join any running groups? If yes, which running group?

I joined Cari Runners in 2012, and officially Pacemakers on the 1st of August 2014 after being invited by Captain Ronnie. He has been a very helpful figure in my running journey.

19238672_1614652988546132_1367626231_oPAR 13 – I missed this race last year due to injury. Special thanks to Teck Wai for arranging everything!

4. Your profession:

Photoshop editor and admin staff.

5. How do you juggle work and running?

I’ll try to get on the road 3 days a week. If I plan to jog but unfortunately have to work overtime, I will surf Facebook less the night before and set early morning alarms the next day to get up and run.

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

I don’t have a running schedule. Usually plans that I’ve made for running don’t work out, either because of external factors or my weak determination (lol). So instead, I’ve just let it be flexible and try to run whenever I can with at least one tempo run per week.

7. Who do you usually train/run with?

Train with my bro but mostly solo.

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

Memorable race would be Larian Gegar Half Marathon 2015 where I injured myself. ☹

Lesson: Always pay full attention during a race, even if the race venue is very familiar to you. Never be careless!

And Twincity Marathon 2014 too, my very 1st sub 4 marathon. The thrill of crossing the finish line. You will learn that you are tougher than you ever give yourself credit for. I found out that I could go further than I once thought.

19389572_1614654168546014_1026890805_nMy Healthy Run – Finally managed to run 5 min/km (post injury)!

9.Favourite distance:

Half Marathon!

10. Who is your inspiration?

My brother Loh Voon Leong! He made me the runner I am today. You are the beginning of my running journey. 一切由你开始。19340080_1614624911882273_1221442525_oThe Loh siblings winning at the Raub Village Run – 13th May 2017!

11. Fav running quote:

“Everyone is an athlete. But some of us are training, and some of us are not.” -Dr. George Sheehan


Thanks Voon Ying!

I LOVE that last quote! Well said!

Running is for EVERYONE!

If you’ve been thinking of running, here’s the cue to get started!

My top tip is to GET A GROUP! FIND a bunch of CRAZY runners and ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

xxxx

tired-runner

Do Calories Matter? – Part 3

Hello Part 3 (Part 1 and Part 2)!

We’ve explored calories, energy in food, the calorie focused theory and how we gain weight!

Now, let’s take a look at what happens if we just ate less!


Undereating

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The conventional approach to lose weight would be to decrease food intake, increase physical activity or BOTH! Because……

Calories in < Calories out = WEIGHT LOSS

It seems to make sense.

We’ve all done it at some point in our lives. And I can tell you that it definitely works!

……tired-runner

Until your body catches up and starts going against you. You can’t outsmart your body!

Your body will undergo a period of trying to adapt to the decreased food intake and/or increased physical activity. It wants to defend your body’s set weight [1]. This leads to biochemical changes that can throw off your metabolism (i.e. slowing it down!).

You become very efficient at using your fuel and stores – being able to survive with less energy. It means that overall, you burn less. Keep in mind that your basal metabolic rate takes up a huge chunk of your daily expenditure (60-75%!). You do not want to mess this up.

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The pitfalls of undereating

If this continues, you might:

-Hit a plateau

-Feel tired and fatigued

-Experience mood/behavioural changes

Hunger

-Strong cravings

Lose muscle

-Store more fat

Gain weight

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…… basically a ticking time bomb towards failure and losing control. And all of this is happening because your body is trying to look out for you!

This potentially explains why some people, despite a calorie deficit, fail to lose weight!

There’s evidence that fatness can increase despite being in an energy deficit state [1].


We’ve seen how the calorie focused view fails to explain weight gain and weight loss.

So, now what?

What CAN we do?

Stay tuned for Part 4!

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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.

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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!

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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!