Freelance accountant Miyoki Khoo from Ipoh, Perak used to be someone who did not enjoy sticky, sweaty, outdoor activities. However, she believes that anything is possible when you are willing to take a step forward and try until you find what you are truly passionate about.
From starting out in fun runs, the 38-year old then moved towards long-distance triathlons. Coupled with the crazy training for triathlon, she gradually fell in love with the 3 disciplines – swim, bike and run.
From having the mindset of “I don’t think I can do it” to “I admire my perseverance”, Miyoki gradually fell in love with this journey.
ToughASIA: Why and when did you start running?
Miyoki: My first running event was the Viper Challenge in 2015. I had joined with my friends just for the fun of it. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it and since then, I joined even more fun runs, starting from 5km and onto 10km.
As I became more active in running, I then signed myself up for more serious running events, and slowly progressed to half marathon and even full marathon events. I have definitely come a long way.
ToughASIA: What inspired you to take up triathlon?
Miyoki: When I had started running, I also decided to try my hands at cycling. Around that time, I started paying more attention to different events, and noticed a very interesting sport called triathlon. It was something new to me and sounded really fun, so I signed up for my first triathlon event in 2016 which was held at Port Dickson. I did not expect to fall in love with triathlon since then.
ToughASIA: What keeps you motivated to train now, even when there are no races?
Miyoki: I have been asked by many people how I stay motivated and keep up with my training. Actually, training has become a part of my life. Nowadays, I rotate between running, cycling, strength workouts at least 5 days a week.
I feel that my day is incomplete without slotting in some training or workouts. Furthermore, consistent training even for a short duration each day keeps my body active.
ToughASIA: Where are your favourite running and cycling locations?
Miyoki: I usually run in Bukit Jalil or Desa Park City, sometimes in Kampung Pandan for track training all within Kuala Lumpur.
For cycling, I will start from Bukit Jalil to Klang and back. For uphill training, I prefer the hilly terrains in Hulu Langat starting from Batu 18 to Perez and a small town called Titi Kongkoi in Selangor. Above all else, my favourite route is a coastal beach ride starting from Rimbayu towards Morib and Tanjung Sepat also in Selangor.
ToughASIA: What is the most memorable race for running or triathlon you have competed in?
Miyoki: The most unforgettable event has got to be IRONMAN Malaysia 2019 in Langkawi. I put my heart and soul into the training, literally went through all the blood, sweat and tears prior to the event.
It was also my longest event to date. I felt most proud of myself when I crossed the finishing line at IRONMAN Malaysia 2019. I felt that all the hours that I had put in were worth it and truly nothing is impossible when we put in the hard work.
ToughASIA: What is the most difficult part about triathlon and how do you overcome it?
Miyoki: To me, I am not particularly strong in any of these sports – swimming, cycling and running. Each sport is not easy for me but I always try my best to learn and overcome any challenges.
ToughASIA: Are you looking forward to any race in particular?
Miyoki: I have actually already signed up for IRONMAN events overseas which unfortunately have to be postponed due to the pandemic. I hope the COVID-19 situation will improve by next year so there will be more events for us to participate in.
I think it’s important to do what you love, what you are passionate about.
You do not need to be great at the beginning. You become great after you have started. We were born to be real, not to be perfect. People tend to be willing to guide you without you asking when you are determined and persistent.