Category: Blog

Kikay Reviews: ROKA F1 SPCTRM Goggles

In open-water swimming, sighting is very important to stay on a straight course. Unfortunately sometimes the buoys merge into the horizon due to lighting conditions — especially if the buoys are yellow, which is what happened during last year’s Subic 5150. Thankfully these days organizers have learned their lessons and buoys are now red or orange. My other problem is sun shining directly into my eyes, which is usually what happens with the late starts given to the women’s wave.

My order of ROKA goggles arrived while I was away in Phuket, so I had to wait until I got back home to try them out. ROKA’s new SPCTRM performance optics offer a range of goggle tints for every condition. I chose three to start with.

ROKA F1 SPCTRM goggles
ROKA’s SPCTRM optics has goggle tints for every occasion


One Week to ASTC Asian Triathlon Cup Subic

Yesterday, I attended the press conference for the ASTC Asian Triathlon Cup Subic Bay (nΓ©e Subic Bay International Triathlon) as a media partner for the event. This is one local race with so much history behind it and I’m happy that at 22 years running, it’s one of the oldest triathlons in the region!

SuBIT 2014

So it is with some disappointment that I realized there is no way I should race the Olympic distance I signed up for this year. And I was on a nice long streak too: I’ve been competing in this race since 2011. However, after a month-long bout with illness and low immune system, I haven’t been able to train, especially on the swim. I really do not want to resort to backstroke. Also, my doctors have warned me that should I attempt to compete I could be digging myself a deeper hole of illness to climb out of. Yikes!

But here’s what you can look forward to in this year’s Asian Triathlon Cup Subic Bay. The new swim venue, bike, and run courses will allow participants to obtain new personal records. Yes, folks, it is flat and fast (but still certainly hot, the trademark of every SuBIT).


Last year’s swim course at the container terminal is no longer available for use, as the shipping companies have complained about the necessary road closures. It’s a shame because that was a really nice clean swim. However, the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) have found a new swim venue at Malawaan, along Argonaut Highway.

It’s a fishing area with rocky banks and deep water, so it’s going to be a pontoon start (much like last year). Sprint participants will go around the course once, while Olympic participants will need to climb back onto the pontoon and jump off to go around the course twice. It’s very ITU-style…


Due to the new swim venue, there’s a new Transition 1 just along Argonaut. Participants will ride going past the airport and Sands of Triboa all the way to Hanjin Pier, then turn around. They will then ride going toward the commercial center. Sprint participants will proceed one loop and return to Malawaan for Transition 2.

Olympic participants will take a U-turn to do the course twice before heading to the Transition 2 at Harbor Point Mall.

If you’re familiar with Subic you know this is relatively flat with lots of potential to push big gears and go fast. However, Argonaut Highway can be blustery and offer headwinds and crosswinds.


For Sprint participants the run is along Argonaut Highway toward Puregold and will finish on Argonaut Highway.

For Olympic it’s also an all-new run route still going around the boardwalk area, but this time they’ve created a 5-kilometer loop, so Olympic participants will do the loop twice before running into the finishline at Harbor Point Mall.

Just describing this course is making me salivate — and then I have to remind myself I’m not doing the race. I want to cry!

Although I’m not racing, I will be there to spectate, take photos, and cheer as loudly as I can. Best mechanical luck to all participants. See you next week at the ASTC Asian Triathlon Cup Subic Bay!

Get Your Training Plan for Challenge Camsur

I’m getting back to proper training this week (finally!) after being unwell. While it’s probably too late to be fit for the Asian Triathlon Cup which is in two weeks, it’s the perfect time to start an eight-week training plan for Challenge Camsur.

I got my training plan for only $39 from MaccaX. Unlike most training plans which are generic unless you get a coach to customize them, the eight-week MaccaX Challenge Camsur plan is custom-designed for the specific challenges of the Camsur course — it’s hot, flat, and fast!

I’ll let Macca explain further in this video he posted two weeks ago:

The plan was designed by Justin Granger, Belinda Granger’s husband and coach, with input from Belinda and Macca. It assumes you have some level of fitness, but the sessions are simple and doable.

What I like about this is I don’t even have to think about what I need to do. I just look at my plan (which is exportable to Training Peaks), do the session, and check it off my daily to-do list. And I know if I do these sessions I can be fit enough to race my fastest half in eight weeks!

This is what you get when you sign up:

get your Challenge Camsur training plan now!

  • race-specific training plan written by Justin Granger with input from Belinda Granger and Macca
  • 1 month free membership on MaccaX (with access to Macca and his team of experts and coaches)
  • exclusive member content
  • 30+ of Macca’s favorite training sessions in HD video
  • local ambassador support (that’s me!)
  • race strategy meeting with Belinda Granger

If you’re racing Challenge Camsur, this plan is a must-have! Sign up here.

By the way, if you sign up for this training plan and still haven’t signed up for the race, you will also get a nice discount on the race entry fee. Just let me know if you’ve bought the race plan so I can give you the discount code.

See you on the starting line!

Six Common Workout Myths

Having worked in a gym for the bulk of my professional life, I’ve picked up on a lot of so-called workout advice by merely strolling around the gym and eavesdropping. I’ve heard a lot of stuff, some of them useful and some less so. For instance, I once heard a bodybuilder claim he’s in a bulking phase to explain the spare tire around his waistline. β€œIt will turn into muscle,” he said to his training buddy.

But is that really true? There are six workout myths I have kept coming across. Time to debunk them; the truth will set you free to aim for long-term fitness rather than looking for a quick fix.

Workout Myths vs. Facts


What I’m Doing When I’m Not Training

I’ve been in certain situations before where a health issue has prevented me from training, whether it’s injury or illness. In this recent case it was illness; after an ill-advised attempt at doing an aquathlon, I recovered from a cold only to get struck down by another respiratory infection, so for the past three weeks I haven’t done anything! With the ASTC Asian Triathlon Cup coming up at month’s end, this could be worrying, but I count myself blessed that I’m actually not racing for a living.

It takes tremendous talent, guts, and determination to be a full-time professional triathlete, and out of all the sports professionals in the world triathletes are among the most underrated and underpaid considering the long hours of hard work they put in. I have seen such people at work, and let me tell you they are in a different league to us age groupers.

What I’m happy about is that now for a living I get to support these athletes with my own unique skillset — that of wordcraft and helping execute media strategy. (more…)