Get tri-fit with 3WO Victor Er

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22 Nov 2019 | PEOPLE

Get tri-fit with 3WO Victor Er

In the first of PIONEER’s sports and fitness series, triathlon enthusiast 3rd Warrant Officer (3WO) Victor Er shares tips on how you can get started in this multisport activity.

//Story Koh Eng Beng

//Photos Kenneth Lin & Courtesy of 3WO Er

//Videographer Wayne Wong

Since 2012, he's completed two full-Ironman distance and three half-Ironman distance triathlons. Just how challenging are these races?

For those not in the know, a triathlon is a continuous race that combines swimming, cycling and running. There are a few triathlon formats around the world:

  • Sprint distance: 750m (swim), 20km (bike), 5km (run)
  • Olympic distance: 1500m (swim), 40km (bike), 10km (run)
  • Half-Ironman distance: 1.9km (swim), 90km (bike), 21km (run)
  • Full-Ironman distance: 3.8km (swim), 180km (bike), 42km (run)
A jubilant 3WO Er crossing the finishing line at half-Ironman race in Thailand in 2016.

For full Ironman distance, participants have to complete the entire race within 16 or 17 hours.

"When I started out, I thought the distance was ridiculous! But I wanted to give myself a challenge," said 3WO Er, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team commander from 36th battalion, Singapore Combat Engineers.

Watch as he shares his triathlon journey and tips for beginners:

Here's more triathlon training advice from 3WO Er!

Start with an entry-level road bike

"You can join a triathlon race with a hybrid or mountain bike – there are no rules stating that you can't, but you will tire out quickly. If I were starting out, I would prefer an entry-level road bike because it's faster."

To make use of his commuting time, 3WO Er cycles to camp in the morning.

Plan a training program

"Have a goal in mind - which race distance do you want to take part in? Then draft a training program and work towards your goal. Some people just train blindly without a plan. For example, today, they run, but the next day, they have no time to swim, then on the third day, they run again. So the training become lopsided and unbalanced."

3WO Er usually swims at his camp or condominium swimming pool.

Do high-intensity training on busy days

"On weekdays, I have more intense but shorter interval training, whether it's for swimming, cycling or running. Each session lasts about an hour. On weekends, I will train for longer distances."