Tendonitis 3 weeks before and food poisoning the night before a big race is usually enough to put someone off. But not for Arjun, completing every triathlete in Southeast Asia’s comeback race with a strong 4th in category and 11th overall.
With strong performance improvements year-on-year since 2018, the year he got introduced to PURPOSE, Arjun’s been wearing PURPOSE ever since. How much of those improvements are attributed to his tenacity and vision to be a better athlete and PURPOSE? We’ll never know. What we know is, that we are extremely glad to come along on his journey.
PURPOSE: How are you feeling after the race?
Arjun: The race itself was a great experience, all the athletes were very enthusiastic to be back to racing after 2+ years. It was also me getting back to a 70.3 race after 2.5 years so I definitely was elated to be at the start line and post-race the rush was high of completing another Ironman 70.3 but equally painful!!
PURPOSE: How was the result? How did you do?
Arjun: I timed up 4 hrs 41 mins for Ironman Vietnam 70.3, finishing 4th in the 35-39 AG and 11th Individual overall – definitely a result to be content. I think I left out at least 5 more mins on the course and a 4:35 was possible for the day.
PURPOSE: Did you expect the outcome?
Arjun: My first priority was to soak in the race experience and then later worry about a result – but going in the expectation was to be at least TOP 10 in my age group – something I have been able to maintain for the past 5 of my Ironman 70.3 races.
Time-wise I hit my targets, but definitely could have hit 4hr 35 mins – nevertheless, I was content with my overall standings in such a massive event.
I have been training through the past 2 years and occasionally have had doubts and rounds of zero motivation.
PURPOSE: How was your preparation? How long? Any setback?
Arjun: I have been training through the past 2 years and occasionally have had doubts and rounds of zero motivation. Smaller races in Singapore have kept the spirit up and I registered for Danang 70.3 only in March being positive about travel opening up. I had a solid 6-week build prior to the race with my coach at Koa Sports which made a huge impact.
Setbacks, well 3 weeks before the race, tendonitis flared up in my medial tibia coz of which I had to cut down my run volumes drastically and in fact 10 days before the race I stopped all running- my hope was that the leg would be good enough to run at least a 1:45 Half Marathon on race day. Well, it was not easy 36 hours prior to the race I ended up with food poisoning and nausea. I was very weak and even during bike check-in, I had a massive headache and nausea. The night before the race I spoke to my family and decided that I would probably not race the next day.
Morning of race day I was up and still feeling weak with no proper nutrition past 24 hours, I had to have some medicines and decided to just go and do the swim and bike if I could but def leave the run as the leg was still sore and I just did not feel I could stomach anything. Swim went well and onto the bike, I had to throw up at the 35 Km mark – after that somehow I was able to keep in race nutrition to march on – this was not at all easy for the first 2.5 hours of the race
PURPOSE: What can or will you improve on?
Arjun: 1.9K Swim went well with a 30 mins split, 90K bike I ended up at 2hr 23 mins – this is where the first half I was not well nevertheless goal is to nail this down further. Run is where I will improve further – given the heat and my sore leg tendonitis I still managed a 1hr 41 mins Half Marathon ( but I have trained for a 1:37’ish run off the bike)- on the day I could not push and challenge the overall Top 10 as the pace was just not there – this is something I will work on post my rehab to really push for a 1 hr 35 mins Half Marathon.
PURPOSE: It was a long 2-year hiatus from any race. How did you stay mentally ready?
Arjun: More social training and a few short local races were key – of course, Youtube had some amazing content from PRO triathletes to keep us engaged.
PURPOSE: What’s the next race? Is any major international competition on the horizon?
Arjun: I have a full distance triathlon signed up for which I have moved now to focus on my leg rehab – hope to be back in action for Ironman 70.3 Desaru in July’22 before adding in some races for the end of the year.
The most important was my tri suit, a customized third-gen design suit from PURPOSE – have been using multiple models since 2018 and only fair to say the brand has been with me on my journey to top results.
PURPOSE: What was your race day arsenal? Shoutouts to your sponsors?
Arjun: The most important was my tri suit, a customized third-gen design suit from PURPOSE – have been using multiple models since 2018 and only fair to say the brand has been with me on my journey to top results.
Race wheels from BLADEX – fast and sleek. Nutrition-wise I was sorted out well with SecretTraining SG whose recently launched products in Singapore, gels and carb powders have been great for racing. Lastly shoutout to my Integrated Riding and the folks at UFIT endurance.
PURPOSE: How did the PURPOSE racing kit perform? Impressions, opinions?
Arjun: Top comfort and performance for race day across swim, bike and run and even rain and heat – impressive. The suit handles well to dry up post the swim and the rain, once the sun came up in the rain it was cool and handled well without any chafing keeping it cool. Storage is good enough for the race distance and easy to access as well on the bike or run. Super colours and design sense keep it photogenic on the course
PURPOSE: What’s next for you as an athlete?
Arjun: Rehab of my leg in progress – focus on recovery to get back to running and biking as soon as possible.