Race Report: Powerman Asia Duathlon Championships – Malaysia

Powerman duathlon have been a ‘must’ do annual race for most of us. That is because there are not many duathlon races around compared to triathlon races. Duathlon race which consist of Run-Bike-Run, a good first step for those who potentially interested to move up to do triathlon sport.

This year is my 5th year participating in Powerman duathlon but it was also one of worst event I have ever done in terms of performance wise (for my current fitness level). However, I am glad to still managed to achieve a Personal Best (PB) timing.

For those who knows me, I am a late bloomer in the sport field and I do put a lot of effort, dedication and time, to get to where I am today. I may not be at the competitive level compared to those who’ve got talent in this field of sport, but I will always try to improved my timing for each new races that I take on.


Race Report:

Run 1 (00:57:41)
Dark clouds were already covering Putrajaya area before the race. It only started to shower about 20 mins after we flagged off. I realised I didn’t bring my cap along. There are also other items which I realised that I have left out because I did not do a checklist prior before the race this around. Bad move.

I started the run a bit too fast compared to my training pace. The course was relatively flat, so I went ahead to push. Furthermore the weather was cooler since it showered. I ran a very good sub 60 mins for the first 10k. So I thought I was doing better as planned.

Photo courtesy of Nik Fahusnaza.

T1 (00:03:15)
First transition went very smooth with no hiccups, except the crowd at the bike out area.

Bike (02:08:39)
After exiting the transition, I slowly push through myself out from the crowd on the far most right lane. Powerman is an event where there are many amateurs cyclist who may not be familiar with the riding ethics. I don’t blame them as I was once like them.

I started on the bike slowly and progressively hammered through the hill. At close to 10km into the bike, I started to feel my right calf muscle cramping. Thought to myself – “Oh shit, this is not good.”. I Ignored the sign and let my ego push further on the bike. Then slowed down after realising if my calf muscle get locked I would probably fall of the bike and break myself instead.

I took a stop at 12km. Tried stretching out my right calf that got cramped. That got me very upset because I know I have prepared well for this race. Was so closed to calling a quit but giving up do not exist in my dictionary. As frustrated as I was, I knew I was losing time. The marshal that was stationed helped me to massaged my calf muscle out. After 3 mins, I felt I was okay to go and got back right in.

I later switched to using my quads muscle to ride instead. Giving my calf a break to avoid it from getting cramp again. The strategy works. However, I was really pushing myself too much. I could recall my memory muscle of my front squats movement when I was firing my quads up most of the hills. Having to lost 3 mins from the stop, so I tried to play catch up and in hope I could finished within 2 hours for 60km, but it was slightly over.

I got off the bike into transition 2 – feeling okay. But I knew I have trash my left quad on the hill.

Photo courtesy of AKU, Wong.

T2 (00:07:05)
I don’t recall taking 7 mins at the transition but I do remember seeing the timing map being placed quite far from the run out exist point.

Run 2 (01:07:13)
My legs literally felt like brick after I got off the bike. Probably that’s how they get the term – brick off the bike. Then 500 meters into the run, my left quad started to show signs of cramping. I had to stopped to massage it. I have never felt so much pain during a race before. The cramp was worst than Ironman Langkawi to be honest. A friend who ran passed me and suggested that I take some ice to release the cramp. It did help and I press on to finish the remaining of the run. There were some point where I wanted to walk, however walking would re-trigger the quad to cramp again. It was a good problem to be honest. So I just had to shuffle to the finishing line.

My take away from this race:

  1. Never forget to bring a cap or visor (be it rain or shine, it will save my face/cheek from getting sun burn too).
  2. Never forget my race checklist, more especially nutrition checklist. The one thing that I forgotten to pack was the salt pill. I know it helped me during the last 2 Powerman races.
  3. Always train with the socks that I will be wearing on race day. So I wore Compressport sock during this race and had the same blister on the same areas during Ironman Langkawi race. I thought the problem was the shoes, however the culprit was the dots on the Compressport socks. (This is based on my experience, it may vary for other people who had worn them.)
  4. Never to apply sunscreen on areas above the eyes. The sweat and rain was dripping above my eyes. I believe my eyes was feeling the burn from some of the sunscreen that got wash down from my forehead.
  5. To at least do a Run-Bike-Run session during training, prior before the duathlon race.

Powerman 2016 – 04:39:00

Powerman – 04:24:41 (Personal Best)

Time Cat Pos Gen Pos Run 1 T1 Bike T2 Run 2
2017 (PB) 4:24:41 15 69 0:57:41 0:03:15 2:08:39 0:07:05 1:07:13
2016 4:39:00 13 71 1:03:33 2:13:07 1:14:12
Improvement 0:14:19     0:05:52      0:04:28   0:06:59

Shaving off 14 mins is definitely a great improvement. However I would still definitely try to do better again next year.


Credit & Acknowledgement:
Rudy Project Wing 57 helmet by Rudy Project Malaysia Brunei
Duathlon training program by Coach Felipe Loureiro of Breakaway Training
Strength & conditioning training program by Coach Jonathan Wong of PushMore Fitness & Performance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *