Monday, August 22, 2011

Why do a Triathlon. No, Really. Why?

What’s your motivation?

Photo credit: John Howe at
Are you a triathlon ‘virgin’, never having done a swim-bike-run of any distance (but want to)?

Or a seasoned triathlete with a few Ironmans under your belt?

Why do you want to do a triathlon?

If you have done one or more, why do you continue doing triathlons?

(Also, is there anyone out there who has stopped at just one? Is it possible?)

And a Triathlon is What? A History Lesson-ette
The first ever ‘modern’ triathlon was held California in 1974 by two dudes who put both their ‘strange race event’ proposals together to come up with the Mission Bay Triathlon:

·         Held after work on Friday evening. Convenient!
·         Fees: $1. (Yes folks, thats ONE DOLLAR)
·         RUN 6 miles (9.7 km), BIKE 5 miles (8 km) and SWIM 500 yards (460 m).

I think it was genius putting the swim leg last. After running and cycling nearly 20 km, it would have been very refreshing for the participants to plunge into the sea and splash around in deep open water with Jaws. 

Risks Triathletes Take 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Total Immersion Basics: Bambi does the Superman and more!

Summary of Post
Basics of the Total Immersion Freestyle Balancing Workshop, where I got grounded in the core concepts of effortless, fishlike swimming with the Superman Glide, Superman Flutter, Skating and Overswitch (How it all started HERE). I describe how to do all these, aided by (as promised) a hot and willing model!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Total Immersion Works! HUGE Stroke Count Drop!

Hey everyone! Just a quick update: So as you know I did the Total Immersion Freestyle Course recently (juicy details HERE and HERE). Yesterday, for the first time since the course, I ventured into my apartment pool and ... Guess what? My stroke count for 50 m has dropped from 62 strokes to 48 strokes, while maintaining the same times as before (some laps even lower!)!!!

Needless to say I am thrilled at this warp-speed inter-galactical hyper-space jump in my swimming efficiency. And it's just going to get better! (more on this below, and also in future updates)

The negative wet-blanket party poopers out there will say 'well Grace, that means you are burning less calories covering the same distance'. To these naysayers, I say naught. It's an insignificant detail. Appearances are WAY more important, i.e., how amazing I look nowadays whenever I grace the water with my presence. In future, I may even look like TI Coach Takeuchi when he swims. No splash, relaxed shoulders, neck, whole body relaxed, graceful yet powerful gliding through the water.

I started out with the snorkel, so I could focus on my form. It took a couple of laps to get used to snorkel breathing again. Did the Superman glide, Skate, Zen Switch and etc, which I plan to describe in detail (with pics of hot and willing models!!) in my next few posts (stay tuned!). I went slow and really enjoyed just feeling the water and how my body moves in it. I think this is one of the best things I gained from the TI Course - Mindful Swimming. Makes me really want to swim more.

For the last 20 minutes I ditched the snorkel and tried to incorporate breathing into the swim. It went okay, but I need a lot of work. I could sometimes do four strokes per breath, but that was kinda stretching it. I also am having difficulty coordinating my two-stroke kick to the arm entering the water. Supposed to be left arm in, right leg kick.

Despite all that, my stroke count is now 48, down from 62!

The next free Total Immersion talk (90 minutes) is at Bukit Jalil, 7.30- 9 pm on 19 September 2011 (Monday). The course will probably be the following three days that week, so keep your schedules free if you decide to sign up for the course after the talk! Sign up for the FREE talk HERE. (Update 25 July 2012: No more free seminars - instead now it's take-the-plunge and sign up for the course. You can call Advanced Aquatics (03-78735608 or 012-6017946), or send an email to ask about signing up for the program. Say Grace sent you, and receive $25 off your TI Level 1 course :)

A click on any ad below this post will put a few cents in my pocket, from the advertisers. Thanks for supporting my blog!

xo Gracie

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Before Total Immersion: Video Analysis Workshop of Some Lady Trying to Swim

Hi everyone! As promised, here are the highly anticipated - and extremely embarassing (thank heavens it's not me!) - video and selected photos of the Total Immersion Video Analysis Workshop held on Day 1 of the inaugural TI Freestyle Course in Kuala Lumpur last week.

First things first
The subject in the photos and video IS NOT ME! For your information, I am an awesome swimmer, and in fact I am so amazing that I can swim 750 m and even 1.5 km (See evidence HERE and HERE). It's obvious the lady swimmi... no, make that *trying* to swim in the vids here is moving a lot but going nowhere. No way she will last even 25 m. Now that this important fact has been established, let's start tearing into her stroke style :D

Underwater screenshots of video of some lady trying to swim.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Desaru Triathlon 2011: Hotels, Resorts, Where to Stay?

Obviously the best place to stay would be the Lotus Desaru Beach Resort because it is the official hotel / venue for the Desaru Pengerang Long Distance Triathlon 24 - 25 September 2011. That saves travelling time and avoids the hassle of finding parking on race day, when there are more important things to think about, e.g., 'how to swim in a washing machine?' and 'did I update my will?'
IMPORTANT: when booking at Lotus, make sure you ask for the special rates /package for triathletes / the triathlon. These are: 
3 Bedroom Apartment Suite (max 6 pax) : RM650.00 nett per night
2 Bedroom Apartment Suite (max 4 pax) : RM430.00 nett per night
1 Bedroom Apartment Suite (max 2 pax) : RM250.00 nett per night

Rates include daily buffet breakfast and welcome drink, PLUS free Water Park Entrance so it's a great deal for triathletes and supporters. (For Lotus address, reservation number, T&C, click HERE.)
If you don't ask for the special rates, you'll be quoted an expensive rate of RM430 (full board) or RM394 (breakfast only) for a 1 bedroom apt. Although the RM430 comes with all meals, I'd rather drive 30 minutes to Sg Rengit to chow down on seafood!
Other good options 10 minutes from the race venue transition are:
  • Pulai Desaru Beach Resort (also '4 star', and quieter). It's $198++ (government servant rate yay!) or $330++ (standard rate) for 1 room if you call in (07-822 2222). Online rate is $240++ per night at Agoda (limited time only - thanks for the tip Cyn!)
  • Desaru Penawar Inn, a brand spanking new budget hotel just 2 km from Lotus. (Call En Shamsudin at 019-7190102. If you can't reach him, try the head office 07-8221964). Weekend rates start at $98++ (single), $108++ (twin sharing or queen), $158++ (queen + single). Includes breakfast. Non-smoking. This hotel is managed by Koperasi Pelaburan Kejora and you would be banking into Bank Islam account number 01135010000404. Thanks Tajudin M. for the info. It's GOLD! 
If you're desperate (and brave), you could try Desaru Damai Beach Resort, a 1 star budget dig, that has received shockingly bad reviews on Tripadvisor (read reviews here).
NOTE: Desaru Golden Beach Hotel, a previous race venue, is CLOSED for renovations until 2014 (I just spoke with them)
I booked Pulai Desaru at the government rate for 23-25 September and was told that I can cancel a week before with no penalty. Then I decided to cancel Pulai and have booked with Penawar Inn so I can splurge more on seafood!  I may wait till Sept 5 to register for the triathlon (that's the last day to sign up or max 900 participants). For more info and to register for the Desaru Tri, visit Triathlon Malaysia

Check back once in a while as I will be updating this post with new hotels!
See you at Desaru!

A click on any ad below this post will put a few cents in my pocket, from the advertisers. Thanks for supporting my blog!

xo Gracie

Total Immersion Has Come to Malaysia!

Summary of Post
My experience with the Total Immersion (TI) Freestyle Mastery Level 1 three day course at the National Aquatic Center, Bukit Jalil. Day-by-day brief of what we did, and how my swimming has been totally transformed. Links to the detailed daily stuff, including video analysis of my swimming. Tips on how to improve your own swim and links to free TI resources. And... a $25 discount when you sign up for TI Level 1 in Malaysia! (Just say Grace sent you). TI is for swimmers at any level. The only requirement is that you can swim 25 m freestyle (i.e., forward crawl / front crawl). It is especially helpful for triathletes because it improves stroke efficiency by at least 20 %, thus conserving energy for the bike and run legs.

Dead Man’s Float Cannot Die One
I learnt to survive water and even enjoy it at an early age. My dad brought us kids to the public pool every week and early taught us the “dead man’s float” and drown-proofing (but I’m still afraid of drowning!). I always thought of swimming as tiring and thought if I increased my fitness through swimming lots of laps, I would tire less easily. I learnt to relax more in the water and recently completed Sprint and Olympic distance swims without feeling too tired at the end (read race reports for PD Triathlon Sprint Distance and Olympic Distance, and about an EPIC swim). However, my mindset was that swimming is a ‘good workout’ for my arms, legs and whole body – I need to reach and pull with my arms, kick to propel myself forward, etc. TI has totally changed the way I approach swimming.

What is Total Immersion?