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January « 2010 « Mathieu O'Halloran's Blog


Archive for January, 2010

For my new teamates!

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Hey I though writing a blog about training and living in South East Asia from my point of view would be great long distance peer support to my new teammates or anybody who’s interested!

In the past 29 months, I have spent 25 of those, here in SE Asia and here are my top 10 lessons, does, don’ts I have personally experienced and witnessed!

#1 Strait off the plane, take it easy for a few days, I have seen many experience athletes  land and start training right away, only to get sick or overly tired a few days onto it. Let your body adjust to the time and climate change.

#2 Local foods can be a delightful and memorable experience! If you’re eating out consistently, best is to pick one or two restaurants that you deemed to be sanitary, best is reference from the locals!

#3 Clothing, make sure that you have a spot where you can hang you sweaty clothing after a session before you put them in the laundry bag! Don’t skimp on laundry duties because dirty clothes don’t just smell, they are healthier!

#4 Dry your shoes quickly on double runs days or even back to back days because it will take extra drying timein the humid climate! Clean the shoes consistently, as they will accumulate bacteria and will break down quicker is you don’t “maintain” them! I have learned this one the hard way…

#5 Take care of the little pains, like blisters/cuts/scrapes/sunburns/sore throat as if they are left untreated, the little foreign bacteria might cause some big problems and infections down the road! Especially if you will be bare footing flip floops or sandals around town!

#6 Bike maintenance is very important is the humid climate. Keeping all the screws/bolts clean, lubed up and tight will decrease the chances of any malfunction. Especially with the internal caballing, cable and its housing might last only a few weeks if left unmaintained.  Very important with the Cervelo!

#7 Aircon, one thing you will experience, will be going from hot humid outdoor weather to instant cold and dry climate inside the buildings, at the hotel, restaurant, bank, ect. Best is to keep the aircon that you can control at mild temperature and then for the others, having a clean, dry pair of clothing handy might avoid any drastic change in your body temperature many times in a short period of time!

#8 The sun is stronger here than in Europe and North American, we are much closer to the equator line of which is a more direct sun. Wearing long sleeves is a much more sensible idea then sunscreen for the bike and run. 

#9 Massages here are super duper cheap, which will give you a range of the very good to the very bad. Best, is to ask around, DON’T get the cheapest and stay loyal to a good massage therapist! If you’re getting your first massage from a therapist, make sure it’s not around a big session just so you get an idea of what you’re getting at first. Constant, simple and clear communication is always important when in a country where English is the second language.

#10 Spicy foods, not my favorite. I have eaten lots of it, but I have had many bad aftermath experiences. Burning diarrhea and heart burn that last for a few days. The spicy foodIt will fill you up quicker since your mouth will be creating more enzymes and saliva, without getting a fair amount of calories that is require in a TBB training camp. My Thai favorites are the sweet and sour chicken, chicken fried rice, the cashew salad and noodles, the papaya salad/chicken fried noodles are all delicious and non spicy! But to be sure, not spicy in Thai is “MY PET!” 

Anyway, if some of you have any questions, do feel free to ask J

Birthday weekend!

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

  Hey this weekend was my b-day and it was loaded with events!

It started with my 24th b-day, then with a 8am Saturday 2 hour schedule ride that started at TBB Subic ride with coach Melvin who was prepping for his return to competition after 2 years.

10h30 and I was already eating my b-day cake with my Joyette, after a nap I went for a swim, meet with some local friends, eat pizza, get race kit for race tomorrow!

This was an Olympic distance, 1st of the series of local Pino race series where I was able to get a “guest racer” slot for free, getting thins for free, en enormous aspect of being a developing professional triathlete!

Wake up

Bananas, coffee, hardboiled eggs with salt

Ride to race start in the darkest

6h30ish Race time start

Swim no wetsuit cool water


Get flat @ 15km on rear wheel on a road that I have ridden over a 1000 times

Fix flat in about 6 minutes?

Ride in 2nd place for a while

Feel the strain of the race and sudden stop for puncture


Slip on my pair of AVIA Bolts 2

From first strides I know this will be good run

Run fast with the goal of lapping people over a 3.3km run course

Win race by 9 mins

Greeted by Joyette

Run a victory lap, literally

Ride back home

Figure out that I only mustered 65 PSI on fixing my clincher wheel

Have a victory meal!

Ride to the pool for another swim

Homemade lasagna

Hot shower




Sitting is unhealthy!

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

 Sitting is unhealthy, no not sitting on a bike, but on a chair.


While sitting, our spine is curved, organs are compressed, knees and hips get stiff. It can easily lead to a very common and painful back problem, lumbar compression.




Lots of people know this, but still because of life’s demands and circumstance, billions spend a copious amount of time sitting each day, whether at work, at school, in front of the computer or desk, in the car or on the bus.


I am convinced that chairs and sitting cause such in-efficiency in today’s society, making people lazy, slow and complacent.


One episode of Seinfeld comes to mind, it was when George Kostanza was out shopping with his finance Suzan, and he spotted the security guard who stood beside the entrance all day, and it made George so angry, that he fought for this man so he could get a chair to sit in.





Well, at the end of the episode, the final scene shows that store getting robbed, and where was the security guard? Sitting and sleeping in the chair George got for him.


Personally, I avoid sitting as much as possible, I sometimes watch TV and do computer work upside down, for better blood flow and if I am not on the move, I lay flat on my back or stomach. When I fly, I always get the aisle seat, ideally in the emergency escape row for the extra leg room. But it’s because I get up and walk around often!!!


 Maybe someday there will be an alternative put  together, where people can do their work in a better position than sitting. Maybe Homer Simpson was on to something, in that one episode when he got the new job in the new city and he recommended that his employees all get “working hammocks”  and hi boss added a new floor to his house that day, well yeah that’s a little farfetched idea, but at least he was thinking ;)



New year.

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010


Myself and my Joyette celebrated the new year @ the Lighthouse, which might be the most prestigious hotel in Subic Bay and front row seats to the fire works display!

But like a wise man, I now only judge, when its all done up with.

I dont have much to show for my 2009, but I did get to sincerly prove my character and improved character on a few occasions. Which is something that cannot be bought, borrowed or pretended.

I will acknowledge, learn and leave my few faillures behind, and carry on with me the few things I am proud of 2009: Finishing Ironman China, guiding a handlefull of athletes to personal bests, my long term relationship with Joyette and my runner up @ the Laguna Phuket.

My new years resolution is simple, yet verychallenging and  its to be more professional in all aspects of my life.

So onwards with professionalism!