Monday, November 14, 2011

He's hands down a true champion - The Straits Times

Here's an article featuring Adrian, AC's director, in Wheelathon360. Wheelathon360 is Singapore’s first-ever Wheelchair and Handcycling sports community race event open to both the able-bodied and the physically challenged!

He's hands down a true champion
By Jennani Durai
12 Nov 2011, The Straits Times

Paralysed handcyclist, who survived 7 bullet wounds, aims to inspire disabled by pitting skills against the able-bodied

SIX years ago, in a small American town, Mr Foo Fung Liang was shot seven times by an assailant armed with a .22 semi-automatic pistol.

Emergency room doctors had not expected him to survive, but he did - although the 40-year-old remains paralysed from his abdomen down, and still has four bullets lodged in his spine and chest.

More than just pulling through, Mr Foo has gone on to don Singapore colours in a sport not many have heard of - handcycling.

The athlete heads the Handcycling Association of Singapore, coaches young disabled athletes in the sport, and considers it his mission to spread the word among them that they can do it.

True to his word, he will race Mr Bobby Bostic today - and Mr Bostic is an able-bodied cyclist who will power his much-lighter race bicycle the usual way.

A handcycle weighs 13.5kg, twice as heavy as a normal bike.

Mr Foo, who represented Singapore at the Asian Para Games last year, is one of six disabled athletes who will go head-to- head against able-bodied marathoners, triathletes and cyclists on the track around the F1 Pit Building.

This is part of Wheelathon360, Singapore's first wheelchair and handcycling sports community event, held to spread the message that disabled athletes can compete alongside able-bodied ones.

'Being disabled should not disqualify you from being in sport, and I've shown that for the last four years,' he said.

The event will raise funds for equipment for disabled athletes and for programmes to introduce handicapped children to sport. It is organised by sports events company HiVelocity, whose director Adrian Mok is among the endurance athletes racing against disabled athletes.

Mr Mok said the event hopes to promote integration between disabled and able-bodied athletes and change people's mindsets about what disabled athletes are capable of. Referring to the head-to-head races, Mr Mok said: 'I really think the winning margins will not be very big.'

Mr Foo added: 'We hope to show them that, given the right resources, they can compete with able-bodied people.'

The 2004 shooting which left him paralysed took place in the town of Ferriday in the American state of Louisiana. Then hired as a designer for a restaurant, he and two others were closing the place for the day when the robber turned up and opened fire.

The case has stayed unsolved. Louisiana's police have had no luck tracking down the suspect that Mr Foo picked from a line-up. With him back here now, the investigations have not been taken any further.

During his period of recovery, the former competitive tennis player sank into depression when he knew he would never walk again, but handcycling rekindled the spark for life in him.

Seated in a handcycle and powering himself along, he said it was the first time he did not feel disabled. 'I found it liberating,' he said. He trained for two months and took part in the Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore triathlon in 2007 as a member of a relay team. He was supposed to cover his 90km leg of the race in his handcycle in five hours.

'I took around 5-1/2. They disqualified me,' he said, laughing.

Undeterred, he returned the next year and finished the race; he has since completed it thrice.

He acknowledges the mental barrier can loom large at first, but he overcame it in the belief that sport is even more important for disabled people than for the able-bodied. 'Through sport, not only can we gain confidence and self-esteem, but the health benefits are also more relevant to disabled people, as our immune systems are not as strong. So it's more important to stay active,' he said.

Spreading this message to disabled people is close to his heart. He said: 'I want other disabled people to know they can do a lot more than they think they can, and that sport can help them do it.'

This is a man to whom the Louisiana surgeon, surveying his horrific injuries, had said: 'You're really not supposed to still be here.'

Mr Foo said: 'I've been told repeatedly that it's a miracle I'm alive, that there is a reason my time is not up yet. So maybe this is my calling.'

Friday, November 11, 2011

Marathon Run Clinic + Open Sea Swim by ACE

Well, check it out! ACEndurance, the triathlon training school by Athlete's Circle, is conducting a run clinic for runners and another open sea swim for triathletes! 

Contact ACE Coach Ling Er at OR 63726389 for more details and to sign up! Limited seats only.

Full details below:

Marathon Run Clinic

Topic covered
  • Race day pacing: Setting and holding the pace
  • Nutrition tips: Eating right.. Pre, during and post race
  • Tapering: How it works 
  • Race day Warm-up: What it does for you

Date:         19th Nov 2011
Time:         7.00am to 10.30am
Location:   Bukit Merah swimming pool studio
Attire:        Running top/bottom/shoes
                 (with extra change of clothes)
Fees:         $15 (for public)
                  $8 (for ACEndurance athletes)

7.00 - 7.30am: Quick tips on running techniques
7.30 - 9.00am: Run intervals for marathon pacing
9.30 - 10.30am: Run clinic
10.30 - 11.00am: interaction with ACEndurance Coaches

Adrian Mok 
Top endurance athlete 
Represented Singapore in Ford World Ironman Championships (Kona)

Melvin Wong
Top long-distance runner 
Singapore's 2011 National Vertical Marathon Men’s Open Winner

Open Sea Swim Course

Topics covered
  • Race day preparation
  • Open water swim drills
  • Do’s and Do Not’s
  • Race day swim start stimulation
Date:         26th Nov 2011
Time:         7.00am to 9.00am
Location:   Tanjong beach. Sentosa
Attire:        Swim attire
Fees:         $10 (for public)
                 $5 (for ACEndurance athletes)

Choo Ling Er 
Top female triathlete 
Represented Singapore in Ford World Ironman Championships(Kona)

Lim Jiajie 
Top open water swimmer
NUS Aquathlon Team athlete
Highly experienced triathlete

Hope to see you guys there! ;)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

AC Review for ON running shoes

What’s it?

A product from Switzerland, the most striking difference between the On running shoes and other running shoes is the circular pods at the base of the shoes, called CloudTec™. These 13 specially-positioned CloudTec™ elements absorb up to 25% of the impact your body experiences during a run, think of it as active suspension in your shoes.
While it takes away impact from vertical landing action, the jagged edges within the CloudTec™ lock in upon impact and enhance traction for forward displacement. With a flexible midsole, the shoe fit into a category of natural running essentially suitable for all running gait.

On running shoes comes in 2 models: Cloudsurfer (290g – US 9) and Cloudrunner(330g) for high mileage and impact runners. Runners above 85kg are recommended to use the Cloudrunner.

What’s hot?

Starting your first run in the On running shoes, you will get a nice “bouncy” feeling from the unique CloudTec™ elements at the base of the shoes.


The 13 Clouds react to your running stride and foot strike independently, activating your postural
muscles (muscles meant to support and correct your running style naturally) meaning that the shoes are great for runners of any running gait: even for overpronators and heel strikers.Nice and smooth; Running felt easier!

What’s not?

 You might experience some soreness at your ankles and calf areas for the initial few runs in the On running shoes. This can be explained by the dormant postural muscles which are activated by the CloudTec™ elements, but your muscle should very quickly strengthen and adapt to this.

Runner who land on the tail end of the heel area will feel an empty spot due to the rear position of the Cloudtec. It's not exactly suitable for broad feet due to its narrower toe-box and its sizing not standard as other shoes. Oh sadly, you can’t use for trails too.

Recommended for
  •  Any runners looking for a light-weight trainers to for their easy and long run.
  • Beginners and Intermediate runner will appreciate the cushioning and consider using it for marathon race day.
  • Fast/Serious runners looking for supplementary shoe for recovery runs or just walking around!
Word from our expert(s)…

Adrian (Veteran triathlete & AC Director): 
“Running my long runs with different shoes, I find myself gravitate to ON. The cushioning is just unlike any others out there. I also find the shoe fantastic for bike to run. I felt lesser impact and was able to push up the run pace very quickly in a triathlon run. I have also scored my PB in the run segment of an Ironman race!”

AC’s Ratings?
Ride: 8.5/10
Fit: 7 /10
Cushioning: 9.5/10


You can get them at:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Who's your bunny?

Lucky Leong's Bike Time Trail
730am, Sat July 2, East Coast Park, Singapore.

40 km ALL OUT was the order of the day from ironguides Coach Shem Leong. A staggered start with riders aiming to hold their goal race pace, had everyone pushing hard, chasing down their"bunny" up the road. Some were caught, some got away!

We had a lot of fun : ) and a seriously good training session.

Team Absolut rock up- Respect!

Good Morning Ladies!

Enjoy your training- Andy & Carl.

ironguides crew, Graham, Stephen, Paul- Don't Mess!

40km done and dusted.

Even the bike are knackered.

Our winner- Jon Hew- Team Salsa

37km/hr- 2nd Place, The Maverick accepts his prize.

These guys look confused- bike lust or rack envy?

How many times do I have to tell you, "It's NOT about the bike!"

 It's all in the (ironguide) legs!

Thank you everyone- pls come again!

Thank you everyone that came along and helped out with logistics. Hope the rest of you can join us next time. To be looped in on future training sessions, email me,

Open-water swim/ run coming up next. Can't wait- Keep you all posted!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mondays with Shemi

Nice running on Monday!

We did:

6 x 20 sec fast strides
6 x 400 as 300m easy - mod, 100 Hard
6 x 400 - holding best possible splits on 3.00 or 3.30.

Well done!

* keep a high stride rate with a shorter, smaller step on the fast strides- it's a neurological drill designed to increase leg speed
* keep the "easy portion" easier so that the fast 100's can be run at a high speed (90%max)
* Remember your splits for the 400m intervals and we'll be working to bring these down.
* This weekend, when you head out for your long easy run, count how many times your right elbow drives back in 30seconds. Your stride rate is this number multiplied by 2.
* If it's below 90, aim for 90 and above and if its about 90, aim for 94.

These sessions are not designed to "slay" you every Monday evening. Intsead, use this as part of your weekly running schedule to throw some speedwork into the mix and to keep your running programme consistant and sustainable. 

1st time free trial.
Purchase lots of 4 or 8 sessions online here.
Till next week- Enjoy your training!

Friday, June 17, 2011


Thinking about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.

 Shem Leong

This article is written for the obsessive competitive streak in all triathletes and runners- that little voice that tells us that, surely, we can go a little bit faster next time.

 Every athlete putting in dedicated training to a well thought out plan will eventually approach their physical limits for that season of their athletic career. Getting this far along is very commendable, but having invested so much time into their pursuit of peak physical potential, many athletes begin to dream big about breaking through to their next level. It could be a sub 5 hr half ironman, 4’30 marathon, 2’30 Olympic Distance Triathlon- deep down, everyone has THAT time that they would love to beat. 

In looking for that last 8- 10%, many make the mistake of hammering away at harder and higher training loads.  This would probably work if you have the luxury of ample training and recovery time, coupled with sound guidance from a good coach. For the majority of us, time-crunched athletes, the extra time required is simply not available and the “cherry on the cake” towards a truly satisfying race performance may feel so close yet so far away. 

Think back to the last race that you raced a PB’d. You’ll need to run that race again- and then some! Where could you have pulled back precious minutes and seconds? Chances are that you could have made significant gains from handling the “low – energy” patches of the race better. The moment when you decided to ease up 3/4s the way through the run and it became a whole lot less painful, or when we couldn’t find it in our legs to keep up with the bunch that you had been riding with. Regardless of how fit you are, there comes a point in every race when we have to decide whether to bite down, suffer more or whether to ease up and “cruise for a bit”.

Between 2 identically trained and fit athletes or 2 versions of yourself, the one that is able to stay focused and push through the body’s signals of suffering is the one that will cross the line 1st. That sounds obvious because it is. Yet I often get this question from my athletes, “How do I tap into the mental edge.”

“Focus” is the uninterrupted connection between the athlete and their task; that trance like state of deep concentration, when you are aware only of the things relating to your performance; that sense of effortless control and a total absence of self consciousness, when the boundaries of self and task have melted away into one seamless activity. Some athletes refer to this as “flow” or being “in the zone”. 

“Focus” should be practiced by tuning into your body and body movements while training and competing. This will result in an awareness of key feelings when things are going well. Think back to the last time that you were able to push hard, perform well and really enjoyed yourself. You may have experienced this for a few seconds or a few repetitions or if you have been practicing, for the whole training session. Yes- Focus can and definitely should be practiced whenever we are out there.

Practice controlling irrelevant and distracting thoughts (dissociative thinking) during training and competition. Replace them with task oriented and positive thoughts. Consider your form, breathing pattern, stride rate, hydration/ nutritional state, race strategy and redefine your perceived effort to perform more effortlessly. This is known as associative thinking and the tougher the going, the more it’s required to stay competitive.

Here are a few tips to help you stay focused:

·         Relax. For the 10 - 15 mins before training, as you’re making your way to the track/ pool/ setting up your bike on the trainer, clear your mind of the daily distractions , You only have this slot in the day to get it done so make it count and put aside those first/ last few items your to do list. Meditate, on the coming task. How did you perform it last week? How could it have been improved? Remind yourself of what it feels like to swim/ bike/ run with good form. How your arms feel in the water catching a good pull, how you ride better turning perfect circles, what it’s like to run “tall” and “light”. Don’t simply rush through the warm up (or worse still, skip it) and charge headlong into the set thinking, “I’m going to smash myself/ this set.” Ask yourself what it the purpose of this set. Is the focus on strength building / Leg turn over/ spending time in threshold or just getting some volume distance in. Taking a step out of the “training tunnel” and studying the big picture for a while will help you align your training efforts with the intended purpose of the task at hand. 

·         Have a mantra. Repeating choice words will direct your mind away from negative/ distractive thoughts towards a positive experience. An effective mantra addresses what you want to feel and not the adversity you want to overcome. Use short, positive and instructive words to transcend the suffering that you’re feeling. Choose one word from each column to create your own verse. Have a few favourites to get you through different sections of you race. I would love to hear what mantras you use ! : )


·         Performance checklist. It is important that you are able to access how you’re doing in that moment, while on the go. Practice going through this list to make little adjustments to improve efficiency. While running- starting from the top down:

o   Is my face relaxed? Try it. You will automatically feel a lot more relaxed.  

o   Is my head bobbing around? Fix your eyes on the next point you are running too and hold a stedy gaze. 

o   Are my shoulders relaxed? Drop your shoulders to save energy and release tension.

o   Are my arms swinging smoothly back and forwards? Try to minimise side to side rotation form the shoulders. 

o   Breathing- Is it regular? Can I exhale a little deeper while still keeping a lid on it? Am I gasping for breath? Is it getting ragged? Am I breathing deep from my diaphragm?

o   Form- Am I running tall and relaxed? Is my trunk engaged, pelvis stable, glutes firing nicely?

o   Stride Rate- If you don’t have a foot-pod device, take a count. Is it up there at 90 strides per minute?

o   Foot strike- Am I striking under the hip? Are my strikes light and powerful, so that I am spending minimal time in contact with the ground?

o   Pacing- How far am into my race?  How do I feel? How should I pace myself of the rest of the run? Does my perceived effort match my race strategy? How much futher before I can confidently "let the hammer drop" and I can push ALL OUT for the finish.

o   Nutrition and hydration- How long ago did I last take in some fluids? Do I need electrolytes or gel? How does the stomach feel?

What about swimming or biking? Maybe you could share with me what thoughts keep you focused while out there on the road and in the pool?
When the all the physical training is done, it’s the psychological factors that most affect our performance. Think about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.

Enjoy your training and racing!


15 June 2011