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 me.....it 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.....

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


Got sent home sick today with some sort of stomach bug. My brother has got it as well.....I suspect it was from the food last night as both of us had the same things.

Nothing much to say other than I'm going to take more rest....and hopefully its just a one day thing and I'll be able to get back training tomorrow.

Good night everyone!

Monday, 17 December 2012

LT Testing and New Books

Got some new books yesterday! Or well second hand books that are in "like new" condition. Very satisfied  Got them off Amazon then forwarded from my US address to Hong Kong.

Left to right: Breakthrough Swimming, Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance and The Triathlete's Training Bible 2nd Edition

All those books have been suggested by many fellow athletes over at SlowTwitch. A more comprehensive list can be found here.

Quite an interesting read in fact. I only flipped through the swimming and bike maintenance book briefly and have been focusing on the TTB (Triathlete's Training Bible) more. I certainly have learnt more about planning and lactic threshold and tapering. 

I had a PE lesson today where I attempted to do a Graded Test for lactic threshold for swimming but that failed rather miserably as I didn't get enough data. I'll be attempting another graded test tomorrow lunchtime and a following 1000m TT on Thursday to get my pacing and everything in time for the start of my annual training plan which is due to start next Monday. 

Absolutely miserable 

Schedule for tomorrow:
  1. Swimming graded test with more data to calculate a rough lactic threshold for swimming
  2. Interval training tomorrow after-school or a running graded test to calculate a rough lactic threshold for running. 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Expedition 2nd Day Report

Day 2:
Target: 14.9K by 13:00 hours

Lovely. Day started off chilly but heated up quite dramatically. It doesn't even feel like winter! Our route today involved approx 6k of walking along a relatively flat trail with some uphill and down hills before we tackle this big mother-of-god-high mountain/hill....(more like 400m of elevation to climb but this is stretch out over several K's with downhill and not just a solid uphill).

Anyway; before we tackled that mother-hella-mountain we crossed this lovely reservoir.
 Again another obligatory panorama (HDR shot using friend's iPhone 5)
And another of our team; 49 Shades of Grey
Truly stunning! You wouldn't think that a place like Hong Kong has a hidden side like this.

And off we go for another 5K before we hit the hills.
I was loudly told off for taking pictures while everyone looked tortured climbing up.....this was only the first "mini summit" of many more to come. 
Oh hey there! Up to the top of there we go!
Yup, up there we go!
From the top

A little further ahead again

Rest of the team catching up!

Ok; here's a rather failed piece of photography. For those who are slightly geeky and techy you probably know that Android 4.2 has a feature called 'Photosphere' which lets you take a 360* panorama using tech from Google Streetview. I attempted to do one but my team ended up in my way so it looks rather silly; but here it goes anyway!
Up and up we continue. With the sun beating down on us and a non-existent breeze in our minds we pushed onward.
Every step felt endless and we finally reached the last steep hill we had to ascend.
Stairs to the stars? Awesome clouds.
Time was ticking though and with us behind our ETA by nearly 30 minutes we couldn't afford to waste another second and had to continue our push.
Oh hey there. What a lovely view of where we came from the distance.... :S

We finally arrive at the pier/bus stop at 1340 hours.

And our school's AYP coordinator/supervisor doesn't look that amused at having to wait for us as we ended up as the last group.....actually I can't tell if he is amused or not as he laughed at us for being the only group to take the weird route vs the other groups.

And this ends the practice expedition.
Until next time!

PS: Sitting on seats on the MTR is too mainstream so we sat on the floor. (MTR is our metro/underground in Hong Kong). In our defense we were dead tired and there were no seats!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Back From 2 Day Expedition (and Day 1 Report)

Hiya guys!

I was off on a 2 day practice expedition for AYP Silver. (Award for Young People) Basically its a hiking camp thing where we plan our own routes as a group etc etc. This expedition was mandatory for direct entrants (as I didn't do bronze). This was 1 day shorter compared to the first practice expedition that I did last month but its intensity was definitely harder as last time there were thunderstorms and foul weather thus relegating all of us to pretty much the same route. Too bad I don't have my 310XT with me yet; if I did I would record our travels!

AYP Team Name: 49 Shades of Grey
Team members: 8 (3 girls, 5 boys)

Day 1 Summary:
We set off from school at 0930 and changed buses at TungChung to go over to the starting point. We officially started hiking at around 1115 hrs.
Target ETA: By 1600 hrs arrive at the camp site approx 11.26K away.

Starting off the trail was well maintained with some uphill and down hill. After approx. 3K's we took a break. Wow what a view!

Shot using my friend's iPhone 5
Anyway.....off to the next checkpoint! Down that slope we went....and it was waaayyyyyyyyy longer than it actually looks in that panorama. We had a quick lunch at checkpoint 2 with our self-prepared lunches.
Off we went to the next checkpoints; all downhill again! My legs were shaking like hell! Even completing a triathlon felt way easier!

We somehow managed to go on a "scenic detour" on our way to checkpoint 5 at the beach.....I blame my good friend Aaron for babbling on about universities. We had to survive the embarrassment of walking back to the 4th checkpoint and endure the laughing by the teacher of which I promptly silenced with "these aren't the droids you're looking for" since he was a major Star Wars fan. Brownie points for Team Brian!
And here the team collapses exhausted....5 more K's till our campsite.
Obligatory panorama of the beach 

After more prodding for an extra long 15 minute break we teamed up with our friends in another group called "Lao Ban"/老闆 (Chinese for "boss") 
Obligatory group photo of the combined teams
We finally arrived....at 1555hrs!
Oh boy were we happy. We got to chill for close to 2 hours before I had to go off cooking dinner for my team (yes my secret hobby is cooking)
Anyway; some random photos of us all chilling and my friend playing "Chubby Bunny" :D
Check out my post about Day 2!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

First Post....Again!

First post again!
I used to have a WordPress blog but I like using Blogger more.

Anyway, as a little bit of an update of what I'm up to so far:

  • Training has toned down over the past 2 weeks. I've just been too busy and need a nice break to get back into action.
  • Going to be reviewing and setting some new goals next weekend after my 1st school term ends for 2 weeks of x'mas holiday.
Race Planning: 
  • So far my races that I will enter next year will be all the HKTriathlon Association's Duathlon and Aquation series (except for race 1 of AQ since I hate swimming in pool races). 
  • I'll be entering all the tri's that I can for 2013. Going to go for the longest distances but its likely all going to be Sprint as for stupid reasons (safety blahblah) we can't enter Olympic or longer distances. If I can I definitely will!
  • I will be entering some running races between Jan-March and will be focusing for mid-distance. (6-12K)