Race – Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2011


At the World Kidney Run 2011

This is a big one. The Standard Chartered KL International Marathon is Malaysia’s premier running event. The 2011 event has already attracted over 10000 entries, well on the way to the 25000 entries targetted for the event. This years sponsors includes Standard Chartered as the title sponsor partnering with 100 Plus, New Balance and Double Tree Hilton.

Your truly has entered at last. I had hesitated to enter earlier during the early bird phase as I was unsure which event to race in. The categories offered in the KL Marathon the Marathon 42.2km, the Half Marathon 21.1km, 10km and fun run 5km. I had initially wanted to enter the fun run 5km category so that I can use it as part of the training for the sprint triathlon I want to enter in July which features a 5km run.

Last year’s KL Marathon at the starting line

After a long and agonising period of reflection I decided to enter the 10km run. I don’t really have much fear of long distances now especially as I’ve decided that pace is not important for me this year. I want to be able to maintain a certain pace for long distances and duration.

The cut off time for the 10km is 2 hours which I should be able to achieve in my current form. 90 minutes would be great, 75 minutes would be superb. I’m going to decide nearer the time what my personal medal awards would be.

This is the 5th race I have entered this year and will be the longest distance. It will also be about 5 weeks before the triathlon I aim to enter. I think that should give me enough time to recover.

Anyone interested in joining can go here to enter the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2011


Daily Log 30 March 2011 – Run and swim


In the pool..

Today is a normal day of workouts for me. I did a run and finished the evening off with a swim. The only thing of note today was that both run and swim was shorter than my usual workout regime. Work is catching up with me and I need to plan my day carefully so that I don’t neglect anything.

I initially wanted to run in the morning but caught up in thinking about work. I must plan better next time.

I wanted to use the interval training program in my POLAR RS 800. It’s the first time I used it and it didn’t workout very well. I need to familiarise myself with the program before I use it next time. I ran the usual warm up for 15 minutes expecting the POLAR to indicate an increase in the effort as is the usual case in interval trainings. When it hit 15 minutes it changed mode but didn’t indicate what heart rate I should run at. I ran for the next 10 minutes expecting the POLAR alarm to go off but it didn’t. Frustrated I switched to free run workout and determine the effort myself. I need to study the program before I use it again. An interesting thing I noted was that my pace is definitely getting better. In the past I used to have to run at an effort of about 83% to run a 3 minute lap. Today, I ran a 3 minute lap at only a 78% effort which I was able to sustain for a few laps. This is definitely the kind of thing I was looking for in my weeks and months of training.
From a workout perspective, these are my POLAR data:

Daily Log 29 March 2011 – Run, bike and swim


At The World Kidney 7km run

Yesterday I wrote about a photography session with good buddy, Johan Sopiee. Johan is an excellent photographer who is fast gaining a reputation for himself in Malaysia. Being a photographer myself (many moons ago) I appreciate Johan’s complete dedication to getting the shot done. It’s normal to see him lying on the floor to get the perfect angle. We hooked up this morning to see if we can get some shots of me in action. I am truly appreciative of his show of support for my journey. If anyone’s looking for a photographer, I am recommending Johan.

So this morning’s workout consisted of running and biking.

Read moreDaily Log 29 March 2011 – Run, bike and swim

Daily Log 28 March 2011 – Swim


Do I need a swim cap??

OK. I know that mondays are supposed to be my rest day of the week. Studies have shown that on average the body needs 36 hours to recover form a major workout. Yesterday I biked and ran till about 11:30 AM so I figured that going for a swim in the evening would just about give me time to recover from the workout.


So I when swimming tonight which is what I look forward to every day now. I think I am getting better and my stamina in the pool is certainly improving.

The 7km NTV7 Feel Good Run 2011 – 3 July 2011


At The World Kidney 5km run

I’ve registered for my 4th race this season, the 7km NTV7 Feel Good Run 2011 to be held on 3 July 2011. Most of the run in KL starts of at Dataran Merdeka (such as the FT Day 2011 5km run and World Kidney Run 2011). This event is different as it starts at Seri Pentas, Bandar Utama.

All proceed from this events will go to various charities including the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, Yayasan Jantung Malaysia, The National Autism Society of Malaysia and the Malaysian Aids Foundation.

Registration is open (obviously) and will close on 3rd June 2011 or upon reaching 5000 participants. You can register online at the NTV7 Feel Good Run site or manually at:

Read moreThe 7km NTV7 Feel Good Run 2011 – 3 July 2011

>Weekly Log 21 – 27 March 2011


Before and after   

This is how this week went.

Monday Rest
Tuesday Run
Wednesday Run and Swim
Thursday Bike and Swim
Friday Bike and Swim
Saturday Run and Swim
Sunday Bike and Run

I sometimes get into fits of panic whenever I come across issues in my workouts.

When I’m not running well, I panic.

When I’m not swimming well, I panic.

When I’m not cycling well, I panic.

When I panic I go into a flurry of activity trying to resolve the issues. Panicking is a reaction to when things are not in our control. I have to keep a cool head and not allow the panic to have negative impact to my emotions and confidence as well as my thinking of how to resolve things.

Last week it was swimming. I was getting worried about the awful state of my swimming. Luckily I kept a cool enough head to chunk things down and work on the issues instead of just stumbling in the dark. Leonardo Da Vinci once said that ‘He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast’. Chunking things down is an art and a science. I did my research and found out that there are a lot of small little details to pay attention to in swimming and now cycling.

This week’s reason for panicking is cycling. I decided to take my bike out for a spin on sunday. I am experiencing stress whenever I take my bike out on the road and you can read about it in the Daily Log for that workout. I don’t seem to be able to generate any pace on the bike at all. I know that my training philosophy this year is not pace but endurance, endurance being the ability to sustain a certain pace for an extended period of time. I think I’m getting an incredibly slow pace for my bicycle. At this rate it’ll take me at least an hour to finish the 20km cycling stage of a sprint triathlon. I’d like to be able to complete in at least half that time.

Cycling, like swimming, is an extremely technical discipline (running too for that matter- in fact they all are). Saddle height, legs position, angles, arm resting position- all of these play a role in the bike. At the moment I seem to be using too much brute strength and not being smart about it. I’ve been looking around for cycling coaches but can’t seem to find any so I have to rely on the internet and youtube. POSE Method has some good videos and there’s lots of resources out there. My main priority at the moment is to get my bike fit correctly. There are a few places in KL that does it and I think I’ll be paying them a visit soon. The only thing that is bothering me is that they seem to be doing it conventionally and not the POSE way which I favour. Maybe I’ll write to them to get some help.

Swimming has also been a priority for me and I’ve been doing a lot of swimming this week. I have a of of issues on swimming and I’ve spent a lot of time doing drills in the pool every night this week. I think it’s paying off but I have to wait for comments and feedback from my swimming coach.

This week I have a new training partner, the POLAR RS 800, and I put my old (ish- it’s only 6 months old) POLAR FT 60 to rest.

This week is also significant because I achieved my biggest target to date which is to lose 20kg and I am officially below 100kg for the first time in years. It’s a great validation of all the work I’ve done over the last 6 months. I feel great (and look great too). I can start wearing smaller clothes (I’ve gone from a XXX Large to a Large size t-shirt) and have started to wear stuff that’s been in the closet for years.

This week is all about swimming and biking technique again. I want to be able to swim 750m straight and bike for an hour. Those are my 4 weeks target.

Let’s see what happens.

About Reza Ali

Reza Ali Reactivated tells of the journey of Reza Ali as he embarks on transforming himself from a 120kg (35kg overweight) 46 inch waist unhealthy and unfit person to someone who can compete in a triathlon. Don’t be afraid to dream. Take action. Correct your mistakes. Learn from failures. Bit by bit, you will get closer to your dream.

If I Can Do It, So Can You…..

Come and support Reza by joining the Reza Ali Reactivated Fan Page on Facebook

Daily Log 27 March 2011 – Bike and run


At the World Kidney Run

In my dailies last night I wrote about venturing out into the world with my bike. I’ve been working out at home with the cycle trainer and realise that if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it. I have issues with going out into the road. To be honest, I have a low tolerance for other drivers on the road. If you think about it, driving is probably the greatest frequent leap of faith that we do every day. We go out with the assumption that other drivers out there are not reckless. Maybe a majority of them are but there are those who are less careful. You could say I have a phobia on that one (one of many I might add). This phobia is probably one of many phobias I have to overcome if I am to compete in a triathlon. The other phobia is open water and the, dare I say it, bottomless floor that comes with open water swimming.


This morning I was rudely awaken by my alarm clock which had the audacity to actually think I was serious about waking up at 5:45 AM. I bought an alarm clock with an exceptionally large snooze button and press it a few times. But as it always does, my mind wouldn’t let me go to sleep so I grudgingly got up to get ready. I won’t have so much of a problem getting up normally except that this morning I was going out into world. I got up and got dressed and started to take my bike out onto the road. I couldn’t help thinking of JFK’s favourite quote which he kept at his desk at The Oval Office, ‘The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small’. That’s exactly how I felt- small.

Read moreDaily Log 27 March 2011 – Bike and run

Another major milestone. I am officially under 100kg


The clothes I wore for both set of photos are the same

Stop. Drop everything. Listen up. Read all about it.

When I started my journey towards triathletism (is there such a word?), I weight in at 120kg (264 lb) and my waist measured at 116 cm (46 inches). I couldn’t run. I struggled to get up the stairs.

I decided to get fit and started to swim, bike and run. The journey has been a long one. There were lots of firsts like:

– my first 5km
my first 10km
– my first personal half-marathon
my first running event – the FT Day 2011 5 km run
– my first bicycle
my first proper swimming lesson
my first full body checkup

Read moreAnother major milestone. I am officially under 100kg

Daily Log 26 March 2011 – Swim and bike


Reza Ali ReActivated

I’m pushing on with my swimming drills today and I’m determined to get over some of the issues I’ve been having with swimming (see here for a post on my current swimming issues).  I’ve been swimming every night for the last 4 days now focussing on drills and techniques that I found on the internet and I think it seems to be paying off.

Not surprising for a saturday evening, the pool was packed this evening with parents and kids so I struggled to find a quiet spot for me to do my drills.


When I did find an opening I started with my usual stuff:

Read moreDaily Log 26 March 2011 – Swim and bike

Bike setup


Me and my cycling helmet

My cycling is really awkward. My knees will start to bow out after awhile and I am not able to keep it in a smooth motion. Today I decided to look at my bike setup and see if there are any changes I need to make. I am a really big fan of Dr Nicholas Romanov and the POSE Method and have used the POSE Method of running to improve my running technique.

Not many people know but Dr Romanov has developed POSE Method on other disciplines as well including swimming and cycling.

There’s not a lot of resources you can find on the internet regarding POSE Method on swimming and cycling and I haven’t heard of any clinics on either. There’s a book which I intend to order though.

Back to cycling. There’s a really useful video on the POSE Method Youtube Channel regarding setting up the bike which I’ve embedded below. The logic of it stills escapes me but what I do know is that much like POSE running, POSE cycling uses gravity to help us cycle. How? I’m not really sure.

Read moreBike setup