Tri talk: Getting back on the wagon

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Usually I blog about my Christian walk…this post will be a bit different.

I like to jot a few thoughts about my health, tri, training and fitness level.

It wasn’t until earlier this month, Jan 2012, when I stared myself in the mirror and noticed how much out of shape I had become (aka 2nd trimester anyone?)

It coincided with the fact that my fitness level is very low.  As in having trouble swimming than 80m or jogging more than 5 km non stop.

In Sept 2009 after the World Transplant Games, I decided to take a year off tri.  Though I jog, bike and swim on and off, there were also many days when I do nothing.  This plus the fact that I stop being as ‘strict’ on my diet….

So with all this in mind, I decided to get back on the wagon in Singapore.  It was harder than I thought.  It felt harder than the years when I am training and during the off season to kick start the engine.  During those off seasons, it wouldn’t take more than 2-3 weeks before I felt my body is ready to go.  Some of the signs were:

i) Increase endurance –
ii) Increase appetite (when you train lots, you burn lots and therefore, you eat lots).

Right now, I still don’t have the same feel.

There’s also a few factors that come into play….

Motivation – I am no longer heavily training and therefore my goals are no longer just go as fast as possible for a tri.  I feel it is much harder to get up and ‘train’ when I have no goal in a race or going 100% to train.  Good thing my girlfriend trains so it is easy for us to do something together.

Before it was simple, there’s a race coming up.  Gotta train train train. Put in as many hours as I can.  Now, oh I am tired right now….should swim but let’s take a nap. :O

Body changes – Someone once said that you will feel old when you hit 30, 40, and 50 etc…Maybe this is part of my body changing (not including the body is still adapting to being in Singapore).  I believe there’s a part of it that my body is changing due to a new environment (feeling bloated, tiredness from the heat and humidity).

One more thing I want to jot down is the fact that I am not very sore after a workout despite the fact that I will be running out of breathe.  For a swim, I will feel fatigue after 1-1.2 k.  But my arms or shoulder are not sore.  The type of soreness you get from training.  This goes the same for jogging.

So I am suspecting that it is my lungs that’s holding me back than my arms (or legs).

Though Singapore is a hotter and more humid place, I am surprise at how much energy it takes for me to train. When I was training back in 05,06 and 07, heat and humidity wasn’t an issue.  There were times when I was training in 30+ weather.  Yet, right now, the weather saps my energy level.

Some say that it will take a month for the body to adapt to the weather. I am here for three months and so far, it feels about the same.

Is my goal to reach to my fitness level as I was before?  Probably not.  I might do a race for fun (if it is affordable).  But more importantly, it is to keep my blood pressure down and other health reasons.

My goal, if I have a goal, is to be able to swim 2k, bike 100 km and run 10-15 km comfortably (not altogether).  Though, altogether is not bad…(hey all we need is to add 6 more k and that’s a Half Ironman distance!)

When I was training, there’s a gear (pace) where it feels like I can go forever.  This gear is not very fast (probably 2 min/100 m swim, 25kph bike, 6+ min/k run).  But it was very comfortable.  I can cruise in that gear forever. Even when I am tired. It would be good to get back to that gear.

One big lesson I realize is how hard it is to get in ‘shape’ (of course, shape is relative as my fast is someone’s slow) for someone who is inactive.  When I was training before, I would go hours at a time and wonder how come people can’t do what I do.  Now that I am out of shape and getting back on the wagon.  Or realizing how hard it is to get back on the wagon, it is definitely not as easy as I thought.

Side note:  Today I did a 55-60 k ride with my girlfriend and the Joyriders.   It was fun.  I never ride in a big group before. I also hadn’t ride this long for a long time.  There’s nothing like going down the straight as you feel your lungs burning a bit and you keep telling your legs, ‘keep MOVING, don’t stop.  Spin spin spin…

I am falling in love with riding again.. 

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By Cliff

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