Friday, September 17, 2010

SwimSafer PartII

Dear Parents,

SwimSafer Certificates are all ready for issuance. Your personal coaches should have informed you of this. 2Bubbles Certificates are laminated prior to issuing. Please ensure that your child's name is correct during registration.

Please note that for Stages1-3 the certificates will come with a badge but not metal pin. Only Bronze-Gold will the Certificates come with both a badge and a pin.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Tranistion from the old NASSA to the all new SWIMSAFER syllabus is in its final stages. Officiated by the minister on 3 July 2010 at the Geylang East Swimming Complex, the new SWIMSAFER proves to favour stroke efficient swimmers than eudurance swimmers. Although the better for swimmers who excel in both efficiency and endurance. SWIMSAFER endurance distances are dramatically reduced, competitve backstroke injected into the syllabus and a hint of Fun provided into the whole to encourage participation for the little ones.

One of the most significant change to this survival test is the making of floating aid with the pyjamas. NASSA tests are a big amusement when viewed by foreigners with the participants jumping into the water wearing PYJAMAS! SWIMSAFER has retained the use of clothing but excluded the making of a float. Instead, the introduction of the PFD (Personal Floatation Device) made its way into local swimming scene. PFDs are generally lifejackets found on airplanes and cruise ships.

Whichever the wave rows, swimming instructors who are willing to accept change will continue to survive.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


This is my current favorite watch by Timex. Presenting the latest Timex IRONMAN Triathlon T5K254HC  watch with TAP Technology. Ok I admit, when I first read about it, I thought it was a touch screen watch, and I thought "COOL", I could scroll through all the functions just by touching the screen.....sure...I even brought my buddy to the shop and told him it was touch screen! Yikes....The poor guy kept pressing the watch's face to no avail!!! LOL....

Let it be known people! that this watch is Tap Screen not Touch Screen. So, only in Chrono and Timer modes does the Tap Screen come into PLAY! Instead of the usual way to Start the Timer/Chrono by pressing the button at the edge, Tap Screen allows us to activate, deactivate and/or split, just by duh....Tapping the Screen. Ok this may initially put a few of you off. You maybe thinking :"Wah Lao..what's the dif then? I can just press the buttons enough already what! Need this fancy Tap meh?". I had this same thought too! Timex claims that with TAP, we will be able to access info without breaking stride as in the runs. Seriously, I'm no PRO runner so if pressing buttons breaks strides and takes an extra few secs, let it be! BUT chotomateh! I purchased this piece of watch solely because of the TAP Techno! Not for running but for swimming! 

Yes, I need it to count laps underwater. Pressing any waterproof watch underwater is asking for trouble. Doing so will allow water to seep into the watch resulting in foggy screens. With TAP Tech, I'll not jeopardise the device anymore. Its no pure lap counter which is available where the device is worn on the finger where the thumb can activate lap splits. This takes a little few secs on the turns to tap the screen (1-2secs). The TAP comes with 3 settings, light, medium and hard. On the first trial swim, the watch was set to light TAP. I encountered several instances where I had to tap twice in order to clock the split, so I'm not going to set it to medium or even hard.

This watch has an over sized screen which is a bonus. It comes in 2 colours, Orange Black and Black Grey. Its 100M Water Resistant and has a capacity of 150 Laps. The alarms are audible. The rubber strap is pretty comfy and it has a secure strap lock. Overall, I give this watch a 8/10 rating based on technology, aesthetics and functional design.

What would make me give it a 10/10 is if Timex were to incorporated GPS and Heart Rate monitoring options.

To the Guys at TIMEX, thanks for the TAP Tech!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Fastest Stroke in the World

Call it what you like, Freestyle or Front Crawl, this is the fastest, most efficient swim stroke in the world to date! The actual stroke is called Front Crawl while freestyle actually means you can use any style you like in say a 100M Freestyle event. But since everyone wants to win, they'll most likely use the Front Crawl.

Today I'd like to recap about my 30Laps at the Katong pool. Its a base training session so I'm not pushing up the tempo, this gives me a chance to concentrate on stroke technique. I chose to concentrate on 2 things.

My secondary Concern was my New Timex IRONMAN watch. I usually lose count of my laps and gettin a lap counter seems a little apprehensive so when the New Ironman Timex came with Tap Screen Technology, I jumped on it. You see, pressing any buttons of any waterproof watch, underwater, will allow tiny water molecules to enter the watch. This is why you see fogging of your watch face sometimes. With Tap Screen, all I need to do is tap! takes some getting use to. I'll discuss abt this sleek device some other time.

Now to the business at hand. I decided to improve on my flutter kicks. With my feet at Plantar Flex position, I had to remind myself to keep the ankles Floppy but not too floppy as I want to stay in plantar flex position. The kick has to be generated from the thighs and not the knees. All these to be performed while ensuring the depth of the kick does not extend above 30cm. I had to picture in my mind the gracefulness of the fish-like motion as I zip through the water with enforced ease.

Timing of each kick had to be planned. The rhythm I chose was when my hand enters the catch phase, my kicks increases in frequency, I feel that this lengthens my glide. Executing the entire kick phase pattern like a metronome for the whole 30 laps made the whole swim session feel pretty effortless...well ok I stayed within my target heart rate zone so...this is really good for me.

I urge all to try this and let me know your observations!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Seriously! I hated running. It made me feel tired, weak and frail. In secondary school, even some girls overtook me in the PE 2.4Km sessions. It was really demoralizing. So why did i decide to start? Well, it wasn't an overnight thingy, nor was it over a few months. It took me years before I fell into it .... seriously;)
I started trying to go for runs with friends and many times ended up bonking (as in failing to catch up). Didn't feel good, NO SIR! You see, the thing with running with friends is that more than always, they are more season a runner than yourself but not to the point where they are able to "coach" you. Thus, you end up running at other people's pace and not your own!
Base training should be the starting goal of any runner. Start slow at your own pace. A pace where only you reside. Feeling and knowing for sure that at this sustained pace, you'll make your goal distance without hitting the wall at the end of it. Base training duration and distance should be slowly increased. Once you are THERE.... then you may start training for speed.
Do read up and try interval/fartlek patterns dished out by the Pros in the magazines. Look, Listen and Feel... Look at how others train, Listen to more experienced runners and feel the workout. Its not necessary to take every advice given.... you are the best gauge so you have to feel the workouts on your own. Know what works for you and what makes you feel strong after repeated training in a particular pattern.
The human body can be trained to perform almost any task and it gets better and better at that task if its trained repeatedly. Its like if you kick a coconut tree everyday...say a 100 kicks....after years of such training, that kick of yours will be well known for sure. The key is consistency! While others are playing, you are running, while others are eating supper, you are running, while others are clubbing, you are running, while others grow fat and old, you are lookin mighty FINE..., while others are stressing over just Passing their IPPT, you are collecting your $400.00.
Its your life.... with mine, i chose to run.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sea Swim Cancelled Till Further Notice

Sea Swim Mornings will be temporarily stopped due to the recent oil spill. You guys are reminded not to turn up for training, unless you like swimming in gunk and dead marine life! Geez...the sea is really soooo big but... Shit HAPPENS...

Not only our weekly morning activity is affected....Biz along East Coast is also badly affected...I hear Chek Jewa is also affected! Really thought our marine life finally got a chance again till now! Who's to BLAME? HUH???
Check out this parrot that we rescued from the oil spill....Simply cannot remove all the oil stains even after 2 washes!

Oh well, you are all encouraged to continue keeping fit by training in the pool and mahjong table ;]

Till the next time we meet.... STAY FOCUSED!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


WHY WARM UP? I get this question all the time. Some people, especially non-athletes, are troubled by the idea of exercising just before a strenuous event. They figure a warm-up just burns energy that would be better used during the event. What they don't understand is that there's a big difference between what's going on inside your body while at rest and what needs to be going on in order to be ready to compete.

During your warm-up, you are increasing your body's demand for oxygen, so your blood vessels dilate to deliver blood more quickly to working tissues. All that work increases core temperature, and your body responds by amping up sweat production. There's a lag time in there, too, when you are producing lots of heat before you are producing a lot of sweat. Getting through that lag time is important because you want your body's cooling system working at full capacity before the starting gun goes off. Interestingly, one of the long term adaptations to endurance training is a quicker sweat response. an athlete's body knows whats coming and opens the floodgates to keep core temperature from skyrocketing.

Your energy systems also need time to transition from being at rest to competing. The mechanisms for producing and processing lactate are particularly important to activate. You always do this on a small scale, but to be ready to compete, you need to kick lactate production into high gear so u=you increase the speed at which you process it.

And last, a good warm-up prepares you mentally. try to set aside day to day worries and focus on your event. Your warm-up time is not social hour; bring your headphones and turn up the volume.

Written by Chris Carmichael is Lance Armstrong's personal coach.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fuel UP!!

I guess the lesson that I've taken 10 years to learn and occasionally re-learn is fueling up before any workout.

The only reason I do sports, from swimming, biking, running, biathlons, Tri, ironman, is only because I love to test and push my physical limit. Its not abt the medals, placings, certificates, coz at the end of it all, no one really remembers. Sorry for the side tracking....

Anyways...if i dun fuel up before any workout, especially cardio, my immune system goes down the pits... and I'll fall sick with flu....that's one of the reasons pro cyclists use a lot of antibiotics during training and racing.

SO SO SO... if you are wondering why you always fall ill even though you are working out sooooo very often....well check if you are properly fueled up, at least, before training or racing. It's all about timing your nutrition intake.

Let's think about this in a logical way: We now know that the body takes its fuel first from the blood stream and not the fat storage or muscles. For performance, therefore we want our blood to be charged up with fuel just before the event and during also. So if you go into the event without food, the little bit of blood glucose will be rapidly depleted and thus forcing the body to look for other source of energy. This takes a little longer time than via the blood. This is where a properly fueled athlete has the advantage over the lazy one. Once he/she sees you having difficulty, he/she can launch a devastating attack, leaving you struggling to keep up. Your body slowly starts taking energy from fats and if the event is a very long one, the body may take from the muscles (which is NOT good).

I mentioned timing our intake also. We always wonder why I take Vitamin C every night just before sleeping but I still fall sick! May I suggest trying to take before your body goes low in immunity like just before your "healthy" excercise? When we exert and very often atheletes over exert, the danger begins. Therefore, if you take vitamin C only after the exercise, you'll be vunerable from the time of excercise till the time you reach home. AND THEN you take the Vitamin C?! Not Logical right?

Of Coz..the best is pre and post race nutrition. Eat lots of complex carbs and multi-vit before training and lots of protein after... the carbs and Vitamins will provide sufficient energy, boost and even immunity protection for the workout at hand and the protein will help with muscle tissue repair there after.

Yeah dun we all get lazy at times to take in something before a training session.....bad habits will make us die hard.... I just did an entire cardio week only to ignore fueling up on the last day...BAM! I had high fever for 2 days...spent $200+ at East Shore Hospital (yes thats how I spent Labour Day 2010) and only started back up 2 weeks later. Loook at the down time...not worth it lah! Heng my wife can claim for me....who is the pro now? Lol...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Coach Out of Town

Attension all Joe's Swim Students. Coach Joe will be going to Hong Kong with his mummy for a short holiday trip. What a good boy he is!

All his classes will temporary stop from 17th May till 23rd May 2010.

There will be no replacement coach at the moment. Sorry about that! As Coach Eugene's schedule is packed and Coach Wee Siang's Wifey just gave birth!!

So if you need anything from Hong Kong, dun hesitate to let Joe make your wishes come true! lol....

Till then Sayonara Joe San!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Open Water East Coast

Another week at the beach for morning open water ATTTACK!... ok la...we seldom if not never early....yawn...who want to attack? Water is not as cool as before u know? warming cookin our asses....but still cooler than the air...

Easy open water swim with our safety boards in "buddy" system is the right way to go else you may miss morning kopi and delicious sumptious kaya Gu you at the coffeeshop.

800m is all we did. No Bi or tri races comin up for any of us,,,s0.....just get ourselves salted up a little;)
Are we getting lazy...*hiaz.... NOT

Next Week's Run session... Mt Faber. *Yikes* who the hell came up wif this anyway!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2Bubbles Coaches will be using a new device to help all swim students with problems with their freestyle flutter kick. The new device will help prevent excessive kicking depth. Stay tuned....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bike Racing Again...after what? 15years?

Can't believe I actually took the offer to take over another cyclist in the recent Team Time Trial on Sat 25th Apr 10. The race was organized by Cyclone. Haven't touch my trusty steed for more than a poor Ordu...Anywayz...gotta dust off and get my ass on it for the team and mostly for the fun of it. Man...I'm no runner thats for sure, but I can ride my bike for sure!

Thanks Su and Tony for picking me up early in the morning after my Zhang Breakfast. Been a long time since I woke up at 6am....Jeez.. We train so hard to take part in races only to hate waking up on the actual day!

Met up with the team, had some short discussion with the boys...2 rounds of light warm up in the rain! Oh man...and off to the start point. Honestly, I've never felt this calm in an event....maybe I kept tellin myself:"Aiya, I'm just fillin in for someone only mah...", but I do know I'll do my best to keep the team together. we go...

Quick check on the speedo.....Waa LAo eh....38km/h..effortless...must be tail wind...enjoy while we can....coz when we U-turn its Tao Hong aka head WIND! Shit.

Last rider cracked...leaving the minimum 3 riders.... WE MUST STICK TOGETHER! and....we did. But boy did we suffer in the tao hong...wind was really mean...F#%$#. Almost made me puke trying to pull the guys....heng everyone took turns to feel pukie...

Its was over....Strangely the feel was unlike all my previous years of racing bikes.....This time I felt OK? Ha....shared burden of a team makes hellalot of diff. Mave, Merv and friendships to be forge...great guys..ORBEA Team....wicked cool bikes: