Tag Archives: Singapore sports

Getting back in

All has been on the quiet front here and it’s probably a good time to kick start things again.

Being able to ride my bike has been absolutely brilliant. Another is going back to rekindle an old flame with my first love, rowing. I haven’t got around to getting back in a boat, but the erg has definitely sparked something. They say looking back isn’t particular helpful in moving forward. I do however believe in never forgetting your roots and to always have the people who have stood by you, close to your heart.

I’m excited to pilot Row Revolution‘s technique workshop class, where I will be sharing with you the little experience I have gained throughout the years with all my amazing rowing team mates and coaches, and hopefully help you to row better on the ergo.

Capture

Row Revolution, Singapore first and only indoor rowing studio is a great platform to experience and give indoor rowing a go. With 12 Concept 2 rowing ergs, it is also an excellent venue for crossfitters to get in a solid rowing workout with your squad.

Their class timetable is available here. The technique workshop will kick off on 8 May, 2019, at 7pm.

I will also be taking the regular workout classes pretty soon! Ping me if you want to find out more!

 

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Filed under Events, Randoms, training updates

New beginnings?

The recent election of the new Singapore Cycling executive committee, to some, has been much anticipated and very much welcomed. It comes at what would seem like an appropriate timing, after our some-what successful SEA Games campaign, depending on what benchmark you’ve set as successful. Looking at a slightly bigger picture, a new ex-co one year out from Olympic qualification is far from ideal. That’s like changing your cleats from Shimano to Speedplay 5mins before you roll up to the start of a 100 laps points race: recipe for disaster. Well that’s only if we are in contention for Olympic slots, which at the moment I don’t think any are, so maybe that’s not a cause for concern. Or maybe not?

The freshness and new energy that comes with a new committee is always something to embrace. They called upon the cycling community for their first dialogue and feedback session. Good turnout, as expected, as many I’m sure were hoping to air their concerns. While their openess and honesty were definitely appreciated, the session didn’t seem to address some fundamentals.

Policies and benchmarks isn’t exactly rocket science. At the start it seemed like the objective of the session was to explain the selection policies and criterias for team selection they have put in place, but of course it was bound to get side-track because a benchmark is just a number and I think everyone is clear what the benchmark is. So someone bravely fired the first slavo on issues relating to competition and that’s when the session become more engaging.

Then came a critical point when it was brought to their attention that the criterias they have put in place is far beyond the current standard we are at at the moment. When world-level times are set for qualification to the Asian Championships, it’s telling us that ACC is the benchmark of races and will be legitimate for Asian Games qualification and beyond. Makes sense. I might be new to cycling but I know my way around high performance sport. I went through the same thought process when I was rowing. The concepts are the same. So what bugged me the most was that they didn’t address at all HOW they plan to get someone to do a 10.3 flying 200, or 1:04 kilo or 4:34 IP. Coincidentally, when I started out trying the sprints, 10.2 was the target I set for myself, because that was what I felt was a time that would indicate you can be competitive in the sprint and keirins. Back then it was still a question mark to whether that would make the cut, because there wasn’t any benchmark. At least now there’s something to work towards to.

I brought to their attention how many of us have been investing heaps of their own resources racing and training abroad but not knowing if we’re on the right track. They didn’t quite get it. Maybe I should have been more direct. While there’s now a legitimate target to work towards to, the system remains the same: we’re all still left to our own devices, to find the results which we need. The domestic racing scene is literally non-existent, which means there’s no way to breed a champion locally. You find/plan your own pathway. Someone suggested they come up with a racing calendar. Well that’s definitely a start, but I can copy and paste that from the UCI website. And if you’re reaching out to the riders’ network for invites to domestic races, it’s a sign you’ve been sitting too much in the office.

If we don’t have a track, a high performance framework would require a little more understanding on what is happening on the ground, what the scene is like elsewhere, where the available resources are. Should we invest in putting a group of riders somewhere where there’s a track? Indoors or outdoors? For how long each time? How often? Short stints  or longer stints? Should we try to link up with other countries? Will be there a conflict of interest?
Let’s not forget the roadies. While the dynamics of road racing is as complex as the benchmark itself, how do we go about becoming an international competitive national road team? Get riders a stint into conti teams? Or a high level domestic racing team? Europe? America? Asia? Oceania? Is it worth setting up the national team to go conti?

At the end of the day, if the mandate isn’t passed down on what the pathway should be or you’re not involved at all in the process (fyi, simply setting the benchmark is not being involved in the PROCESS) , people are going come up and invest in their own 4-year or 8-year plan on how to get a 1:03 kilo or top-5 at an Asian level stage race. When you only put your foot in when  selection time comes, you might be faced with riders having either contractual or non-contractual obligations to the team of people who are directly involved in getting them there because with those benchmarks, it’s likely they would have gone through some serious high level racing. And lets face it, if I can do a 10.3 flying 200, it’s unlikely I’ll be hard up for a new chain or tyre which comes with obligations you want the rider to be bound to because you want to instill some form of team element at the very last minute. Some might be a little more understanding. Just like how some grown ups can more accepting of a parent who left for whatever reason during those childhood years but later hopes to reconnect. A team needs to be nurtured.

So it’s still early days. Baby steps, but taking steps. There might be something in the pipeline. Who knows. We can only work with what we know.

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Enjoy the ride

So I’ve finally gotten around to pening some thoughts down. I’m at a stage where it’s challenging trying not to make honest sound negative. Well I CBF now.

I’ve always enjoyed sharing the journey and experiences. As much as I haven’t written much about it, I actually still do. Even if you DNF or come in dead last, you still take away lessons. In the society we live in, there’s usually nothing worth mentioning/sharing if you don’t win or podium. Everyone wants to read/cheer about winning stories. People either aren’t sure how to react to poor performances or feels it’s a waste of time.

I may not be a champion bike racer, but I’ve made it my goal to be a constant learner of things. However, if you don’t have a pro contract, haven’t worn yellow, green, polka or rainbow, it’s highly unlikely anyone will take you seriously. We whine about this city state being pancake flat with no real hills to train on. When I suggested to someone to think about adjusting his brakes on to hit the numbers he’s after, I got the eyebrow “that sounds ridiculous” raise. When I told him that was what a rider said in an interview about the year he won the rainbow bands, he looked away with a straight face.

I came into cycling with heaps of energy, negative and positive. The negatives have remained negative, the positives have now become negative. It’s pretty clear that the problem I’ve had with racing on the bike is all between the ears. The community involved in competitive sport is small and exclusive. I have yet to see the light, but I’m thankful to have a few who share the same philosophy to share the journey with. For now I’m just getting on the bike and enjoying the ride.

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Filed under Racing, Randoms, training updates

Solitude of Strength

It’s almost a month since I last raced in Shuzenji and things are looking good in the training department. I got in a motorpacing session last week where the main aim is to ramp up my top end speed. Ideally I would want to do it as part of my regular schedule, but in the not so ideal world we live in, at the moment, I can probably only afford ($) to do them twice a month.

Other than that, I’ve pretty much settled in at Solitude of Strength, a new-age, avant garde, strength training facility. Somehow, SWF didn’t quite feel like home. The people are great but I didn’t quite fit into the vibe. When National Weightlifter, Lewis told me he was going to open his own gym, I had a good feeling about it. I wasn’t in town for the opening, but as soon as I got back, I dropped by for a visit.

One of our very few national athletes who is now giving back to Singapore sports, wants to encourage more athletes, regardless of what sport you do, to see strength training/weightlifting as a fundamental component to all sports. With that in mind, Lewis allows all under-18 national athletes to train at SoS for free, senior athletes at half the price. He recently did an interview for Fitness Sutra. Read it here

http://www.fitnesssutra.com/2014/02/05/lewis-chua/

If you’re looking for a place to start an exercise/fitness regime, get fitter/stronger, train for that next sporting event, drop by to have a look.
http://solitudeofstrength.com/wp/contact-us/

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