I’ve been coaching for Ironman 70.three triathlons for 2 years now and all of the coaching is completed in Singapore the place I stay (have lived all my life truly), with the exceptions of some week-long coaching camps in Phuket beforehand. I’ve additionally gone for holidays in Australia, Finland and most lately Switzerland, the place I’ve taken my bike alongside and did some coaching too.
Having simply returned from Switzerland, one factor I’ve to say is – Singapore is actually flat. I used to be in Zug for almost two weeks and there have been hills in all places. Small hills, huge hills.. all of the sudden Mount Faber or South Buona Vista appears small as compared. Not only for biking, however even for operating; I used to be operating on gravel and in addition going up and down slopes.
It’s summertime in Europe now, the place the times are lengthy. Solar is up at 5+am and solely units by 10pm, which suggests there’s a number of time to coach. Climate is gorgeous too – blue skies, heat solar however cool breeze! Oh how I miss the climate there!!
So, this impressed me to put in writing about what coaching for triathlons in Singapore is like… when you’re curious.
PROS of coaching in Singapore:
1) Singapore is a protected metropolis
Singapore is comparatively protected, as we now have low crime charges. You’ll be able to cycle within the wee hours of the morning or late at night time, and the roads are well-lit. And for those who stick with the primary roads, you’ll almost certainly get a cab or two driving previous, some individuals zipping round on these e-scooters with loud music and brilliant lights.. so you’ll not be utterly alone the complete time. I’ve a good friend, mom of 1, who typically trains from 10pm to 3am as a result of that’s when her child is asleep. However please watch out okay?
2) Roads are clear and comparatively clean
The roads listed here are of excellent situation – some nations I’ve been to, have very tough roads or lots of potholes and may get very harmful. Though I’ve so as to add, in some areas like Tuas, or the place there are lots of heavy automobiles, you may get some particles (together with damaged glass!!) or greater than the occasional pothole.
three) You possibly can practice anytime of the yr
We’re virtually summertime all yr spherical – it’s both bloody scorching scorching or pouring cats and canine. However this implies you possibly can practice all 12 months right here. We don’t have a winter time the place it’s snowy and too chilly to go outdoors, and it’s a must to painfully practice indoors all winter or journey out to hotter climates.
four) Entry to world-class amenities
I’ve been to some nations the place the general public pool just isn’t the best-maintained, or is just 25 metres, or has no correct pool. In Singapore, you need to use the OCBC Aquatic Centre, which has two swimming pools – the competitors pool (the identical one used for SEA Video games and worldwide swim meets) or the coaching pool. It’s solely S$2 per entry (for Singaporeans) and you need to use all of your swim ‘toys’.
5) Assistance is throughout (although at a excessive value typically)
Being in a small metropolis like Singapore, entry to a motorcycle store or a operating store is just not that troublesome. There’s all the time one not too distant from you. In case you want one thing, it won’t be troublesome to seek out somebody that will help you; and also you may need a couple of locations to select from. The draw back although, is that it’ll not be low cost la (oops this ought to be underneath Cons haha).
6) Public coaching amenities usually are not too costly to make use of
In addition to the OCBC Aquatic Centre, we have now numerous public swimming pools round and entry is lower than S$2 approx. (for Singaporeans). Nevertheless, you can’t use your swim “toys” right here and also you may need to cope with non-competitive swimmers who don’t keep in “lanes” once they swim.
CONS of coaching in Singapore:
1)Restricted biking and operating routes
As a result of Singapore is so small (we’re an island of solely 719.9km²), there’s solely a lot land for us to cycle round. A round-island cycle will probably be between 120-150km, however it is going to embrace A LOT of stoplights (annoying!). The extra well-liked locations to experience are: Tanah Merah Coastal Street (which has Singapore’s solely devoted biking lane of 10km all sides of the street), Seletar Airport space (minimal stoplights), Mandai (good ups and downs), Kranji/Neo Tiew/Lim Chu Kang, NTU (for some slopes), Mount Faber (our largest “hill”) and South Buona Vista (for some slopes). However that’s about it – these roads usually are not lengthy like nation roads in different elements of the world AND there are stoplights, stoplights, stoplights.
Similar for operating – there are solely so many locations for us to run at. I often run at East Coast Park (10.5km a method and flat) by way of Gardens by the Bay South to Marina Barrage after which to Marina Bay Sands. For path operating, we solely have MacRitchie, Bukit Timah hill and Dairy Farm.
As we have now restricted biking and operating routes for coaching, you possibly can think about how the races listed here are principally across the similar areas. Most run races will begin at F1 Pit Constructing or Padang or MBS and we’ll possible run by means of Nicoll Freeway, ECP, Marina Bay areas. For multisport races, something that has a swim element will both be at ECP or Sentosa. Duathlons could also be at Nicoll Freeway or Changi. That’s it!
2) Restricted open water swim locations
We’ve no lovely lakes right here and we will’t swim within the rivers (Singapore River or Kallang River). I primarily go to Tanjong Seashore at Sentosa to swim. It’s a lagoon so the currents aren’t loopy, however the water is gross and murky and you may’t see something beneath. You can too swim at ECP however I don’t prefer it there as a result of it’s all the time so uneven and I really feel like I’m gonna drown LOL.
three) Monotony of coaching may get to you
Sure, as each Factors 1 and a couple of above have narrated, the limitation of coaching routes inevitably result in monotony and tedium. Each week, out and in, you run the identical route, cycle the identical route. For me I simply attempt not to consider it and simply give attention to the coaching, however on dangerous days you actually really feel rattling sian.
four) No devoted biking lane
In Phuket, Gold Coast, Hokkaido, Turku and Zug, there have been devoted biking lanes in all places the place I used to be. Okay typically it’s an prolonged street shoulder, however principally there are biking lanes and the automobiles there know the way to give method to cyclists. I all the time get honked at very angrily or impatiently once I cycle right here, or get automobiles driving previous me VERY CLOSELY. Coming too shut can shock us and trigger us to fall over you realize! These locations even have good nation roads and again roads that typically appear to go on eternally!
5) Drivers must be higher educated
I dare say we don’t have a cyclist-friendly tradition right here – drivers simply aren’t all that pleasant in the direction of cyclists. I get that it’s a chicken-egg story and typically the cyclists are those who make errors. However it doesn’t assist that every time I cycle on the roads, there’ll certainly be drivers who drive too close to me (even when there are three different empty lanes), honk at me and startle me, or assume that cyclists are sluggish they usually velocity up (when they’re turning out of a lane and we’re coming by for instance) and almost hit us. As a result of there are not any devoted biking lanes on the roads, I feel that’s what makes drivers really feel that we cyclists don’t “deserve” the roads. And it’s not that we don’t need to maintain to the aspect as a lot as attainable, however typically there are a whole lot of particles!
6) Having to get up early (as a result of visitors is a bitch)
The most effective occasions to cycle on weekdays is earlier than 6.30am, in any other case visitors can be a bitch. Meaning having to get up at 4am or earlier, URGH! You can even cycle at night time, after 10pm when there’s much less visitors. On weekends although, visitors is just not as loopy so you can begin later and do round-island rides, however then there’s the climate (see subsequent level).
7) Scorching and humid all yr spherical
Whereas being within the tropics imply you’ll be able to practice right here all yr spherical, it additionally signifies that you must face unforgiving climate all yr spherical. And in addition means it’s a must to get up earlier and begin earlier and finish coaching earlier in the event you don’t need to be within the solar an excessive amount of. Our common humidity degree is 84.2%! It may get extremely popular at sure occasions of the yr and you’ll really feel like shit, however should you’re racing in different elements of Southeast Asia then it’s positive as a result of you may be acclimatised to the warmth.
That’s what coaching in Singapore, to me, is like. Do you practice for triathlons in Singapore too? Should you do and have one thing to share, or if I missed something out, let me know!
Very briefly, I’ll additionally sum up my experiences coaching in these different locations:
I used to be in Phuket to coach with Z-Teaching 3 times final yr they usually practice across the Boat Avenue / Laguna Phuket space. Swimming is completed in a public pool on the Cherngtalay Municipality Sport Centre, which is an easy complicated that homes a 25-metre pool that’s SUPER COLD and leaves a robust aftertaste of chlorine which could make your tooth harm. Entry payment is S$four for foreigners.
Open water swimming right here is gorgeous within the sea, nevertheless it will depend on climate. If it rains lots, the seas can get tough and one time I used to be there, we went to a wake boarding park to swim.
For biking, there are a variety of good locations to journey out to, within the forested areas (which has some slopes) or down the freeway to the Residence and Life Bakery (about 60km from Boat Avenue). And for operating it’s often simply across the Laguna Phuket space, the place Layan Seashore is.
Gold Coast, AUSTRALIA
I went for every week Down Beneath in August 2016 to nurse a damaged coronary heart (I used to be tremendous emo momo then lor). I used to be staying alongside the coast, so operating alongside there was rattling shiok. The climate was additionally superb – blue sunny skies with cooling breeze. I wanted a windbreaker for driving although. Armed with maps from my pal, I adopted the biking lanes on the primary street after which ended up on some nation roads so it was very nice.
One yr later, in August 2017, I used to be in Turku, Finland for every week. Turku is a really quiet place with only a few Asians, so I did get various “pleasant stares”. From the place I used to be staying, I simply adopted the biking lane out and you can maintain going and going, ending up in one other city. I might run the identical route there too. For swimming, I went to the Impivaara swimming facility at Uimahallinpolku and it was so huge! There have been many kinds of swimming pools, together with an Olympic-sized pool with correct lane allocation. You need to use all of your swim “toys” as properly. I can’t recall how a lot entry was although! Climate at the moment was very cooling and I wanted a windbreaker for operating and biking.
I went for a biking journey within the north of Hokkaido final September and it was so good to cycle there! You need to go there and check out their many biking routes, on prime of having fun with the meals. I didn’t get to cycle as a lot as I needed to; I’ve to return in the future!
Most just lately I used to be in Zug for 1.5 weeks and this time of the yr is gorgeous. I cycled across the huge lake, I rode until I discovered myself in Zurich or Lucerne, and there have been hills in all places! I additionally ran across the lake, the place you get gravel to run on, in addition to huge meadows the place you go up and down for a bit. For swimming, I went to Schwimmbad Lättich, which is a large swimming facility with many swimming pools indoor and outside. Entry payment is S$12!! Whew. The 50-metre pool has no lane allocation however individuals simply someway discover a method to not swim into one another. Oh and sure you should use your swim “toys”. Truly the lake is an exquisite place to swim in, however I used to be afraid it might be too chilly so I didn’t attempt 🙁 In hindsight I ought to have!