We kick off our first Q&A session by having Veron Uhen, our very own home ground Champion. Veron is a triathlon coach herself. She is a 41-year-old triathlete who hails from Penang. She has been racing in local and international events and coming out of the gates strong. Veron has defended ‘the fastest Malaysian female’ title in IM70.3 Malaysia, 3 times in a row now. Her palpable energy, determination, discipline and drive is destined to bring her with the goals of joining the elites of the professional triathlon world.
This interview is written not mainly to trick you into becoming an Ironman, but to prove and encourage you to believe that anything is possible if you put your heart and mind into it. Outplay yourself and be better everyday to achieve your goals.
It was kind of Veron to spare some time with us for this interview.
How did your triathlon journey begin?
VU: Started off with duathlons for the fun of it, with my good old mountain bike! Eventually gained some courage with open water swimming, so I tried sprint and olympic distance triathlons. After my first poor attempt with middle distance triathlon in 2014, I began to take the sport seriously and allocated resources behind improving/up-skilling myself.
What is your biggest accomplishment in your triathlon career so far?
VU: Qualifying for the 70.3 World Championship in South Africa this Sep’18 after finishing 2nd in Bintan, and validating that by winning my AG in Langkawi.
What is a typical preparation leading up to a race?
VU: Nothing but consistent hard work i.e. a structured training towards a focused goal. Besides clocking the required mileage for all 3 disciplines, it’s important to eat well, sleep well to ensure recovery.
What is your constant motivation to keep you on track in your training? Who are you inspired by?
VU: I’ve always been a competitive athlete since young, hence staying motivated is never a problem. Believe it or not, my coachees are my biggest inspiration – seeing them grow in the sport and hitting the target milestones. My family’s continuous support in my athlete career has been instrumental as well.
How do you balance your time training with work as a Coach and personal trainer?
VU: Striking a balance is tough, especially when your job is also your passion. I must admit there are days where I feel burned out, but with prioritisation and proper planning – it is possible. I typically plan my week ahead, with all training sessions (clients’ and own) mapped out. Once in a while, I will make short trips to break away from the norm and keep the mind sane!
Should triathletes make time for strength training and why?
VU: Yes. Strength training as it’s called, builds muscles necessary to get your body through the 3 demanding disciplines. It also increases bone density, which is important to prevent injuries.
Name your 5 favourite must-haves during training.
VU: 1) Guardian Angel pendant J, 2) Sunnies 3) Sunscreen 4) Dates 5) Coke
I know you are a foodie. What is your reward as a post-race meal?
VU: I love anything carbohydrates! My ultimate favourite – banana leaf rice with curries, veggies and protein!
Lastly, what are your advice or tips to aspiring triathletes or Ironman to-be?
VU: Earn your rights to race – start with a short distance for experience, train smart via a structured programme before signing up for bigger / longer races. Maintenance is key to keep injuries at bay – so be sure invest some resources behind a good chiropractor!