Not too long in 2016 did Chia Shio Yuan popularly known as Yen Chia, dabbled in running to improve her body strength. By 2017, she completed her first duathlon Powerman Malaysia Sprint Category and Olympic distance triathlon at Port Dickson. In 2018, she upgraded to her first IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi triathlon finish and ticked the checkbox for the full IRONMAN Malaysia distance in 2019!

If not for the current race cancellation conditions, it seems that nothing would stop this sterling 31-year old Kuala Lumpur native in the retail industry. Yen got into triathlon to challenge herself and gain experience in different sports, and then she got hooked.

ToughASIA caught up with this adventure loving lady on her training routine, achievements and thoughts for the future.

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ToughASIA: Where are your favourite running and cycling location?

Yen Chia: My favourite running locations are Desa Park City and Taman Tasik Permaisuri in Kuala Lumpur. For cycling, I love the hills of the cycling haven in Hulu Langat, Selangor (Batu 18- Perez – Kongkoi route). Cycling to the Morib beach and fishing villages from Kota Kemuning (Rimbayu – Morib – Tanjong Sepat route) is another top favourite.

ToughASIA: How often do you run and what distance?

Yen Chia: I will try to arrange time to run at least 5 days per week which includes speed, endurance and recovery training. For speed training, total is about 7-8km (depending on how many sets of intervals) and long run would be around 10-15km in distance.

ToughASIA: What is your usual routine and warm-up before running?

Yen Chia: Before I start my run, I will do some stretching and running drills such as high knee, jumping jack, butt kick etc. Those movements can help to activate legs muscle and avoid injury.

For nutrition wise, I will take protein or recovery drinks (chocolate milk, soya or orange juice) after a hardcore (speed or interval training) session. Yet, nutrition also depends on personal body conditions; different people might have a different nutrition plan.

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ToughASIA: Did the lockdown imposed during this MCO interfere with your plans in running or triathlon?

Yen Chia: It was quite depressing when my training plan got messed up. However, we should put our safety as first priority at the moment. I tried to modify my running plan which only focuses on endurance training – long distance run or tempo run – to ensure my fitness level is well maintained.

ToughASIA: What is your proudest moment in running?

Yen Chia: The proudest achievement in running was my first 30km Saucony race as I felt I completed the race with injury-free and broke my personal best timing.

ToughASIA: What is your proudest achievement in triathlon?

Yen Chia: The proudest achievement in triathlon was my first IRONMAN Malaysia 2019 when I felt that all my hardwork paid off.

Always trust your training, and that can lead you to the finish line. The training journey was tough and exhausting but the experience that I gained is forever and unforgettable.

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ToughASIA: What keeps you going into 2021 and beyond as a runner and triathlete?

Yen Chia: Always set an achievement for yourself and try to break the record.

ToughASIA: What advice or tips do you have for other runners who want to transition to triathlon?

Yen Chia: Anything is possible. Don’t be afraid that you can’t do it. Put more effort on your training and it will always bring you results.

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