Dato’ Razlan Razali is better known as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Unbeknownst to many, Dato’ Razlan (DRR) not only ventured into Triathlon but has completed his first IRONMAN at the 2015 IRONMAN Malaysia Langkawi, where he finished the 3.8km swim, 180 cycle and 42km with a formidable time of 14:47:54.
Earlier this year, Dato’ Razlan participated in the half-distance IRONMAN, the TIME IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya in April and finished the 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21km run in 07:12:29.
Read on to find out, just how does he perfect the art of training for 3 sports at a time, and being good at it!
TA: What’s the secret recipe for a highly busy and successful person like yourself dividing time between work, family and triathlon?
DRR: A lot of trials and errors. I must be realistic on the time available for training per week and when I can actually train, whether it is early morning before the sun comes up or after work. It’s a fine balance between work, family and training.
As much as possible, I try to train with my kids too and bring them to the competition as well and the beauty about IRONMAN and triathlon is that it takes you to awesome countries and destinations like Bintan, Indonesia and Danang, Vietnam. The biggest trick is the negotiations with the wife and that is a lifetime of trial and error.
TA: How did you dabble into triathlon, and is there a love-hate relationship with IRONMAN?
DRR:It’s just one of those lifetime challenges and at the moment I am hooked on the love-hate going on. I love the training sessions, the pain, and the hard work, the ability to push oneself to the maximum and thereafter to be calm and collected.
However, I hate it when things go wrong during the race, equipment failure, not enough nutrients, the weather and the constant question, “Why am I doing this?”
But it all balances out when you cross that finish line, no matter at what time, but when you hear your name and that “You are an IRONMAN” with your loved ones waiting for you, it makes it all worthwhile and you just want to do it again.
TA: How do you work in the long-distance training in all 3 disciplines?
DRR: I engaged IRONMAN coach, Steve Lumley from day one, since March 2015. I train 9 to 13 hours weekly – mostly in the mornings or after work, I will either do some gym work or run at the Circuit before I go home. I also have a cycling coach in Sayuti Zahit who is an ex-national cyclist and he has helped strengthen my bike discipline. For running, I run with few people like my friends Chris Dalton, Arif and Raja Zafrol. For swimming, sometimes I swim alone and sometimes, I join the Master Group at RSGC.
I like to train with strong people as it will make you push and work harder.
TA: What’s your must-have gear/gadget/apparel/nutrition when you race?
DRR: I am a sucker for the best stuff and I read various triathlon and cycling magazines for reviews and ratings and purchase the eqipment. For attire, I love the design of HUUB tri-suit, I now have 3 of the same model in different colours as they are extremely comfortable and light.
For bikes, my weapon of choice from day one is the Cervelo P5. One of the best, or in fact, the best tri-bike that you can get. There’s no excuses unless you are not properly trained or do not have the legs to go fast. So it’s all about you and not the bike as it is the best in the market.
For helmet, I use the Rudy Aero, and I use the Garmin 920XT to record my statistics and use First Endurance nutrients for my needs.
TA: How has triathlon changed you mentally and physically?
DRR: It definitely made me lose excess weight. Prior to triathlon, I was 88kg and now I am lean at 75kg plus. I feel light on my feet and I’m a lot fitter compared to my younger days.
In general, I feel healthy and a healthy body equates to a healthy mind. You can do a lot more and be more positive to other things that matters in life, family and work.
It strengthens your mind and mentality as well. It directly correlates to family and working life as well. You tend to be more calm and collected.
To train and compete for unending hours, you tend to develop a strong mind-set to be focused, more alert and able to calm yourself quicker given a difficult situation.
TA: What’s your next IRONMAN race, and what are your goals?
DRR: I am back with a vengeance for Ironman Malaysia! I wanted to do sub 13 hours in my first year but did not manage that and hence this year, my goal is sub 13 hours.
Also, my biggest achievement is getting my cycling coach, Sayuti into triathlon and this year, he raced the Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya and we will be racing together at the Ironman Malaysia in November.
Indeed, Dato’ Razlan balances his responsibilities as CEO of the SIC and training for IRONMAN races extremely well, and lives up to the IRONMAN motto of Anything is Possible®.