Friday, 24 May 2013

Double Race, Double Reports Part 1

Double Race Report! Double weekend of fun!

2013 Bank of China Festival of Sport Sprint Triathlon and Revolution Asia Compressport Splash'n'Dash Aquathon Race 1

Evidently exhausted giving it all I could on the run.
Entering T2 After my worst ever bike split on this course. 
 First triathlon of the season, new bike, new tactics and a new approach. What could go wrong? Evidently everything to do with the bike!

It was a gloomy morning on the 12th of May 2013. The Olympic distance (HKTriathlon Association has an age restriction; OD is only open to anyone >20 years old) had all setoff since 06000-0630. Sprint + fun distances would start between 0730 and 0830. 

I arrived relatively early about an hour and a half early to get a nice long warm up and setup my transition on the maiden race of my 2012 Felt AR2. I made sure I was well hydrated knowing that once the sun came out it would be very hot with high humidity. Knowing that the bike was a full on hill course I had prepared an electrolyte/sugar mix for consumption to reduce chances of me crapping in the last few K's of the bike and the run. 


Water was icy cold! I had an excellent swim (avg. 1:36/100m) considering that I haven't been training my swim as intensively as my run and bike. Came out the water pleasantly surprised with my time and to find out that I was ahead of one of my coaches! 
T1 was a bit of a mess for me trying to get my race belt clipped on but I made it through. 


Garmin Connect
Here's where I failed....or what could have went wrong did go wrong.

  1. Flying mount onto my bike: no problems
  2. Cycling up the 300m 10% grade slope right at the beginning of the course: no problem
  3. Take a sip of electrolytes after the slope: no problem. 
Then......I dropped my bottle after that sip -.-. Great job Brian. I decided not to stop and instead power on...which threw my nutrition plan out of whack since this course was 75% slopes (approx 6-8% grade). 
Finished first lap....looked at the time and I wasn't doing that well. I was 2mins behind my initial goal time and my legs weren't feeling fresh. I felt that familiar twitch that would signify a cramp if I didn't do something. 

I passed where I dropped my bottle on the first lap....and found nothing. A truck had rolled over it. :/ Great. 
Luckily I borrowed a bottle of water from the athlete drafting behind me so at least I had hydration. Managed to hold a higher speed in the second lap.


Both calves cramped up immediately coming off the bike. Not a good sign! Spent 30s stretching it out and limped on. Held a max. pace of 4:30 and focused on catching 1 person after another; grinding 1 meter after another.

Hardest Sprint I've actually done in ages. Mainly my fault for dropping the bottle.....and need to improve on hill courses.

Total time: 1:18:33

Stay tuned for Part 2: Race Report on Revolution Asia Compressport Splash'n'Dash Aquathon Race 1

Thursday, 4 April 2013

2013 Duathlon Series Race 3 (Championship) Race Report

2013 Duathlon Series Race 3 (Championship)

I admit I was under trained for this race. I had a AYP camping trip the week before and assessments/coursework to finish off the week before this race. My training hours had dropped from approx 8 hrs/week to less than half of that, and to top this all off the racecourse was a full on hills course.


There was a bit of morning chill and fog, but I was glad that it wasn't raining like last year. Nothing much to say other than it was close to ideal race conditions. I ended up just wearing my usual team outfit (same as in the last race) but without arm warmers. 

The Race

My course was the short course of the two events today. (2K run, 20K bike, 2K run)
Start time was at 0705. 

Leg 1 (Run 3.2K):

Race Plan: Stay with the front pack and get an improved run time.
Reality?....Well lets just say things didn't go according to plan.I lost the first pack roughly 500m into the race as they were going roughly 2:30-3:00/km (which is a hell lot faster than I could sustain or willing to sustain to keep some gas for the bike leg). 1km downhill, 1km back up. I rushed into T1 and that was smooth sailing through even though the first 10m or so from the mounting line is uphill.

Garmin Connect

Leg 2 (Bike 20K): 

Again, a two lap course but this time the course is roughly 75% hills. But I blew up on this race. Two reasons: First lap was too fast and I didn't control my speed/feeling and inadequate training in my opinion...which I mentioned above. Since I setup my watch to auto-lap every 2km I can see that there is a significant difference in speed for the first lap and second lap.

Garmin Connect

Leg 3 (Run 3.2K):

I gave it everything I got and ended up......with a slower time than last year. Disappointing...but lessons learnt. If you want improvement, you've got to give it everything. Don't slack. You will ONLY get what you give 

Garmin Connect

Stats and times

Times not including transition splits

My official chip time was the same one I got on my watch: 1:06:21.



On the run nearly at T1. 
Heading into T1. Checking time and getting the split off my Garmin. 
Headed out of T1 down the first hill.
In aero out of T1. 
Turning point B after first lap. 

Friday, 8 February 2013

2013 Duathlon Series Race 2 Report

2013 Duathlon Series Race 2

Second race of the season.....I admit I was feeling a bit nervous today as my training during the past week didn't feel like what I could normally do. On Friday night I finalized my race plan and goal times for this race.....and if all goes according to plan I should be able to meet my goals. I looked at the results from last year and I my run times were lacking by at least 1-2 mins on each leg. I should be able to shave off at least 2 minutes in total off the run legs and 30 seconds for the bike leg. 


This didn't feel like winter. It felt more like early autumn. It was slightly humid, temperatures hovered between 17-20*C, and the thing that would effect me the most was the wind. Since the bike leg is a lap course that would consist of 7 laps, race day weather had headwinds in both directions instead of the one direction only. 

The Race

My course was the long course of all the events today. (3.2K run, 20K bike, 3.2K run)
Start time was at 0830. 

Leg 1 (Run 3.2K):

My original race plan was to maintain a steady 4:00/km to get roughly the same time as my first race. However...things fell apart. I ignored my race plan to keep up with the faster runners and burned myself too much which would ultimately make my final run suffer.

Garmin Connect
Someone knocked over the bike racks, transition was a mess. I was lucky that my bike only fell down to one side and not like my friend whose bike got tangled in with other bikes. I was also lucky that my bike didn't get damaged since it landed on the drive train side. 

Leg 2 (Bike 20K): 

I TT'ed myself for the first lap and a half before a chase pack caught up with me. We rotated pretty quickly and I pretty much stayed in aero most of the time till we reached the middle portion of each map close to the turning points. Headwinds were ferocious and other racers with TT bikes literally sliced through the wind compared to people that used road bikes....I luckily have started using aero bars again and didn't suffer as much of an aero penalty compared to other people. I managed to shave off 2 minutes compared to my last race which is excellent!

Garmin Connect
My right calve cramped up coming out of transition. I quickened my pace and shortened my stride to get my heart rate down to 180bpm for a quick recovery for this last run. 

Leg 3 (Run 3.2K):

This was an extremely hard run as the first K consisted of me controlling my pace to stop my calves from cramping further. It gradually got easier afterwards as my muscles adjusted back for the run. This time my run time was just about on par with last time as my pacing during my Leg 1 run definitely effected this run. Pacing difference was approx 5s/km.  

Garmin Connect

Stats and times

Times not including transition splits

My official chip time was the same one I got on my watch: 1:06:21.



Friday, 1 February 2013

Pre-Race Update 01/02/2013

Hi readers!

First post in quite a while....
Some updates in what I've been up to as I've been a little busy with school and stuff lately.

First: I've got another duathlon coming up this Sunday. Hoping to get another PR for the course at 1:05. I was pretty close last time at 1:07. Race plan is to attempt a faster first run (4:15/K pace then give it all I've got on the final run leg).

Secondly: I think I'm training nicely in time for my first A race early next month. Though I'm slightly worried by a small disruption to my training schedule as I have a qualifying AYP expedition in the week before my A race. Conditions will be tough on my A race as it's a full on hilly course.

Anyway, thanks for reading! Stay tuned for a race report soon!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Sports Day 2013

Sports Day 2013

Well. Today was the big of the big sporting events that my school does annually. All athletics events from 100m to 1500m and the traditional field events excluding pole vaulting. Lets just say....short distance (Anything below 3-5K are not my forte). Lactic builds up too fast and I quickly jump into my anaerobic zone/lactic threshold zone. I originally didn't qualify for any events but my PE teacher said that I had potential so he wanted me in both 1500m and 400m.

Garmin Connect files below:
Not too shabby; I set my 310XT to autolap every 500m and you can defiantly see that my time slows after the first 500m. I could feel the lactic burning throughout my body and struggled to gain any speed. Oh well. I'm just not built for short distance...or trained enough for short distance bursting distances. 

Not too shabby again.....I hit my predicted time as I wanted to save some energy for the 4x400m relay later on in the afternoon. Way easier than the 1500m since the distance was halved. 

I was the first runner. Each lap was for each of the other runners in my team. I gotta say; my 400m wasn't as bad as I thought! 57s is close to the fastest...or actually the fastest time that I ever set for that distance!
Great work team! We started around 5th (when I ran) and ended up 3rd when we finished!

Overall; great day. I could still do better...but I'm going to focus on long distance events. 

Sunday, 13 January 2013

2013 Duathlon Series Race 1 Report

2013 Duathlon Series Race 1

What to say? First race of the season and I was hyped all day the day before. I was feeling fast since I started my new training program after Christmas and I wanted a quality race to see if the training was helping. 

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of me before the race and the setup, but I'll upload any photos that people have taken of me as soon as they've been uploaded by them. 


Conditions were ideal. Not too cold, some wind and moderate sun coverage during the race. Temperatures hovered at about 13*C when the sun wasn't out but rose back to 15/16*C when the sun was out and about.

The Race

My course was the long course of all the events today. (3.2K run, 20K bike, 3.2K run)
Start time was at 0800 but got pushed back to 0815. 

Leg 1 (Run 3.2K):

My category (Male Junior; 16-19 years old) started off with the Junior Elites (HK National Team), Male AG 19-24, Male AG 25-29. It was an intense start as all the elites could maintain a sub 3:30/km pace and it was really hard for me to control my speed (which I did eventually) to slow down and keep to my own race plan. I kept a 4:05/km pace according to my 310XT....but my original plan was to go for a 4:30 pace. Oops. 

Leg 2 (Bike 20K): 

As all the triathlon/duathlon races in Hong Kong are draft legal it was crucial that I exited transition quickly to catch up with the main pack. I exited T1 and quickly moved up to my big chain ring and settled quickly into my TT position to try and catch the first pack. 3 other people ended up drafting me and we rotated till we got lapped in the 3rd lap by the lead pack. We joined up at this point and held a steady pace of over 36km/h against headwind and 38-40km/h when we had tailwinds. Alas, the person who was in my AG that had cut in front of me at one point slowed and couldn't maintain the pace and kept me from the pack. I put out a burst of speed after the turning point in the 5th lap (and hit a peak of 50km/h) and desperately tried to catch up with the main pack. I didn't want to burn everything and since he was drafting me, I let him lead hoping that he would accelerate to mid 30's to catch up the final 50ish~ meters. I was wrong. He cruised in the 31-2's. Bastard. Ruined my bike leg. I decided to try a breakaway on my own but the winds started whipping up at this point. Some adults with TT bikes joined up behind my breakaway and we shared the effort in the remaining 2 laps. 
My time for this bike leg was ok; could have been better..but most important of all I gained more valuable experience for future races. 

Leg 3 (Run 3.2K):

Got off the bike with my legs feeling like jelly. I increased my cadence and lowered the length of my strides to quickly get my muscles adjusted for the 3K run ahead. My calves threatened to cramp up but they held. I relaxed my pace slightly during the first half of the first lap before speeding up. I pushed for as much speed as I dared without cramping....with the finish line in sigh I sprinted the last 25 meters~ and it felt great pushing the stop button on my Garmin and seeing the my final time of 1:07:35, well within my goal time that I set before (1:10:00). 

Link to Garmin Connect

Update 15/01/2013 **Stats and times**

Official Finish Time: 01:07:35 (hh:mm:ss)
Not including transition times~

9th out of 16 in my AG (Male Junior; 16-19)
Amendment: 10th in my AG. One of the guys got labelled as DNS because he lost his chip during the first run. They used the manual records to get his final time. As a result I've been bumped won by 1 place. 


I'll admit, I'm a little disappointed by my bike leg because I got blocked. I should have sprinted away to the back of the pack as soon as I saw the guy in front of me start to falter.  But, now that I've experienced that I dare say I shall not make that mistake again. Looking forward to my next race which is on the 3rd of February...back to training!

Final time
Yes! I know my bike is the other way around and that there's a sports drink in my 2nd holder...I only put it there after the race and I wasn't arsed to move my chain to the big chain ring for this quick picture!

PS: Pictures will be uploaded to this blog when they're available! Unfortunately there were no pictures of me this race caught by the photographers...which is a first for me! Nonetheless there were 2 photos; 1 for pre and post race.

                Post Race                                             Pre-race chatting and preparations

Monday, 7 January 2013

New Training Toys and ...Pictures

Got my late Christmas presents today! 
I bought a used Garmin 310XT off "Armytriguy3" (great guy), it came exactly as described and was a pretty good deal since the 310XT is close to 3 years old now. I as a student can't afford the 910XT as I simply can't justify the price on it. I also bought a GSC10 (Garmin bike speed+cadence sensor) and the quick release kit for the 310XT. Very pleased so far and can't wait to start using my new watch!

Pictures from the TTT I attended yesterday finally got uploaded this afternoon; below are a few of my favorites out of the 100 or so pictures~

After the TTT...I'm on the left back in my eye catchy yellow Rudy Project thermal fleece. 

I'm at the back holding up the white bike on the right. 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

First TTT experience

My first TTT (Team Time Trial for those that don't know cycling terminology) experience left me with several goals and targets for my cycling that I don't think I would've noticed in an ordinary duathlon/triathlon race.

I need to:

  • Work on power and muscular endurance (big chain up hill and low cadence riding)
  • Don't rely on high cadence 
  • When pulling the team don't overshoot my limit, learn to conserve energy 
It was a hard 42K combined with a frosty and windy conditions (cold for us living in Hong Kong!)...well I was supposed to do 42K but I couldn't hold up after 4.5-5ish laps (approx 20-21K) then I had to do early u-turns right before the turning points to catch up with the team. I think I could have kept up if we kept our speed slightly lower and more consistent (34-36km/h) in the first 3-4 laps as we planned the day before, but for some reason the team leader changed the plan on the fly and starting us lap 1 at 38km/h and keeping that speed in headwinds and increasing it to 40-42km/h when we had tailwinds. 

My legs are still aching as I'm writing this post....but I'll recover and I'll come back stronger than before!
1st Duathlon of the winter season is scheduled for next week and predictions from the weather observatory predicts anywhere between 10-12*C so I should expect between 8-10*C because the New Territories are colder than the urban side of Hong Kong island where I live. 

Some pictures:

Coach/team leader's Scott Foil 40. Testing out Zipp 808's on the rear.
My alu roadie with borrowed aero wheels from my coach. 

Profile Design T2+ Aero bars (shorties), Rear Zipp 404 Tubulars (Alu brake track), Shimano RS80 C50 front

The sun came out after we finished....this is an aftershot back at my coaches place. And no I didn't carry 2 water bottles during the TTT, I put in my spare on my way back cause I drank up my entire bottle during the TT. 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

Happy New Year Everyone!

I'm not going to write much since I'm feeling lazy, but I promise I'll get around to writing one or two posts this week.


  • BBQ at a friend's house. (It was cold! Roughly 6*C which is cold for someone from Hong Kong)
  • Just chilling at home and planning out workouts for the month. 

Making my bike "aero" (student budget)

  • Clip on aero bars (ITU shorties) I'm using Profile Design T2+ DL bars
  • Seat post flipped
  • Changed my cycling position
  • Going to borrow aero wheels from my friend :)

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas-sy stuff

聖誕快樂! Merry Christmas! メリークリスマス!

Merry Christmas everyone!
I decided to take a 2 day break from training on Chirstmas eve and Christmas Day. Dinner was home made and we invited a couple of close family friends to come over to celebrate. We also went out to the cinema for a late night show of "Les Miserables" which was interesting but not my cup of tea. I fell asleep about halfway through......To be honest its not a really a movie for anyone below 18. The actual story is interesting but the way it was filmed/acted out in (musical-ish) just didn't work for me. My parents and the other adults however enjoyed it.

Festive dinner :-)

Well that was Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Day I chilled out for the whole morning then the whole family went for a gym workout session. I took this as a great opportunity to do my graded run test on the treadmill with ok-ish results. 

Not bad I guess.....this sets the baseline for my first 6-8week block of training.

Garmin Connect for those who want to take a look
I need to recalibrate my footpod so distance/speed data for running will be missing for awhile.....until I recalibrate or when my 310XT arrives!

Christmas day dinner is off at my cousin's house with the extended family on my father's side with lots of socialising and chilling. Back to training tomorrow....My club has arranged a Boxing Day special ride. Going to tune up/clean my bike (cleaning the BB and turning up shifting and brakes) as well tomorrow and maybe buy a set of clip-on aero bars to get more aero.

Enjoy your Christmas everyone!
Have fun, eat well, train well and stay safe!

Pre-X'mas Training and Tri Club Dinner

For the first time in the winter of 2012-2013 we finally got "proper cold weather" (temperatures between 10-12*C and slightly colder while we were riding from wind chill). Proper cold weather as in less than 15*C. Of course this isn't as cold in places like the US, Canada or the UK but for us athletes in Hong Kong its plenty cold for us. 

We did some hilly sets today which were plenty hard. We had a steady head wind on the 2nd half of each lap which burned our speed down pretty fast (downhill/relatively flat). In total we were supposed to do 3 laps but by the 2nd lap I was burned out and could barely generate the power that I needed to move. I suspect that last night at dinner since I didn't eat alot I didn't intake the nutrition that I needed for a speedy recovery. I was meant to do a 4-5K run as well afterwards but I couldn't move at all. I was at the limits of my body and it hurt alot.

Total Distance: 55km
Garmin Connect link

Tri-Club Pre-X'mas BBQ/Dinner
BBQ and lots of fun with some club members and the coaches and their kids!

Edited image of below (Snapseed on Android)

Rest day tomorrow on Christmas Eve! Or I might decide to go for a short 4K recovery run tomorrow afternoon...I also think I'll be baking something perhaps.  

Saturday, 22 December 2012

A different brick, spinning and how-not-to-show-up-to-a-brick-session

Weekend Brick (Saturday Session)
Woke up nice and early with the moderately cool weather making me smile. Not too cold, not too hot. Perfect for bricks! Instead of doing our normal routine which consists of cycling, doing drills then for the running part of the brick we instead paired up with partners of similar ability+height and did some interval style cycling and running.

We did 1 km bike, 1 km run on and off each with flying mounts and dismounts in between the runs and bike for additional practice. Of course we did this in trainers instead of cycling shoes. Total overall distance: 20K.
Here's my GarminConnect link for this session.

Assistant Coaching and Spinning
Every Saturday my club has 3 brick sessions with the earliest session for fastest/most technical proficient  members and so forth for the afternoon and evening. I do my main training in the morning session and do light spinning of gradually lowering intensities for the remaining 2 sessions of the day. I get some "service hours" required for school as well as gathering some mileage as an endurance base building for the future.


  1. Don't "forget" your running shoes when you know its a brick session.
  2. Be careful even on cycling trails cause you're not the only one around.
One of my friends "forgot" his shoes...and since he lived 5 minutes away he got sent back to get his shoes. Well this is where things rolled downhill. On his way rushing back since he was late, another cyclist suddenly came out of an intersection in front of him forcing him to grab his brakes, crash into the ground, got minor road rash and the impact blew his front tire. OK, no biggie. We swap his front wheel to another wheel for temporarily just for this session. After riding for around 1.5k, his dropout on his rear derailleur fractured and twisted the RD causing a shifting failure. That interrupted my group because we where ahead by quite some distance and we had to double back to make sure his group was ok. Luckily the dropout was replaceable and the one and only distributor/retailer in Hong Kong for Argon18 frames had some in stock.
Unfortunately his RD was too bent to be fixed (at the cogs). The LBS in which we had quite a good relationship with the club and us gave him a nice 80% discount for a crash replacement even though he didn't buy his bike from them. Lucky him! 

Expect another workout related post tomorrow! Apparently we're going to go for an extra high intensity brick workout tomorrow morning! 

Some pictures from today
Afternoon session: Supervising the kids on their flying mounts and dismounts. 

Evening session: Briefing them on their main set of the day.

Evening session: Supervising at the mid-point of the bike leg for the kids. A rather failed panorama with artifacts of the mountains.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Cupcakes, End of Term and Lactic Threshold

End of Term 1 
Just ended term 1 of school today! Holiday break will last for 2 weeks before starting up on the 6th of January 6th 2013. Plenty of time for me to put in extra training sessions before school work load increases once again.

Swimming LT Graded Test
After a 2 day recovery from my stomach bug that I picked up from KFC (Urg. I hope this teaches me to stay off junk food), I finally did another graded test for swimming to get a baseline for a rough lactic threshold for swimming. 

Well what does this mean? The area between data point 3 and 7 is supposed to be where my aerobic and lactic capacity is.....and I'll know if I've improved on that at all through retesting after 4-8weeks of training. Next is a 1000m time trial which I'll schedule sometime next week; perhaps after boxing day. 

To celebrate last day of term 1 and the year of 2012 I decided to make some cupcakes for some friends and teacher at school. Well let me give you a very big hint on what not to do always....which I do follow at times but not this time as my friends wanted something different this time; never ever use a new recipe when you want to make something perfect. 

I decided to make red velvet cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese icing and boy would I never use that recipe again. For me, it was a recipe for disaster. Here it is for those interested
I know, it's rated very high....but it turned out badly for could be the brand of food colour that I used since I followed the exact amount listed in the recipe. But for now I'll be sticking to the recipes that I've modified and used successfully. The icing itself isn't bad though, so I'll file that away for future use. 

At least it looks good.....