Just when you think you're tough enough

Tough Takes Triathlon

Karen Siah publishes, ‘How I became an Ironman’ book to inspire triathletes and endurance athletes

Karen Siah How I became an Ironman book
Karen Siah inspires budding and current triathletes in her first book ‘How I became an Ironman’, available at MPH Bookstores.

As tide brings change, women are moving to the forefront of fitness and especially in triathlon. Hailing the toughest challenge known as ‘IRONMAN’ in triathlon, Karen Siah, a renowned name in Malaysia’s running and fitness scene, completed her first Ironman at Langkawi, Malaysia in 2015.

It’s no easy feat as Karen completed the Ironman – swim 3.8km, cycle 180km against Langkawi’s infamous winds and searing tropical heat and run 42km to complete impressively in 13hrs 43mins. Recently, Karen published a book: ‘How I became an Ironman’, available in MPH bookstores around Malaysia.

TA: What’s your inspiration behind writing this book?

Karen: MPH approached me to write this to inspire ‘weekend warriors’ – people who are just starting out in triathlon, or people who are married to triathletes and have no clue what goes on in a triathlon. People often wonder why we are so crazy about combining these three sports – swim, bike, run, and why we sacrifice our time and effort.

I completed this book in less than 4 months, and it’s printed by MPH, who will continue to print it if there’s demand. Even though I am used to writing, I realised it’s not easy to write a book, and it’s not easy to maintain the same enthusiasm throughout the chapters. The foreword was written by my brother, Kevin Siah who has completed 8 Ironmans and who was the driving inspiration behind my first Ironman.

Karen Siah's book - 'How I became an Ironman', retails at RM29.90 in MPH bookstores around Malaysia.
Karen Siah’s book – ‘How I became an Ironman’, retails at RM29.90 in MPH bookstores around Malaysia.

TA: What’s the story behind these pages?

Karen: It’s about my training journey, how I thought about pursuing the Ironman idea, why I wanted do it, and how I completed it.

It’s reflects how I trained, and not necessarily how others train as I’m generally someone who trains as and when I like. I didn’t have a strict regime and just generally like working out.

It might work as a rough guide to someone who wants to embark on the Ironman journey, on how much you need to train, if you prefer a training regime, or just be self-disciplined to work something out for yourself.

Karen Siah Ironman book

TA: When would you do another Ironman?

Karen: I hope to do one in 2017, as I took a break this year to prepare for my wedding. When I looked at my friends, I realised I missed cycling and I yearn to join them again.

TA: Which was your favourite part?

Karen: I wrote the last chapter first on the Race Day itself, and the memory was still fresh in my mind then. I was writing about everything about the race, my roller coaster of emotions, and when I re-watch the video of my finishing, I still tear up and get so emotional.

TA: Who should buy this book?

Karen: I feel that triathletes and endurance athletes should buy this book for their significant others and loved ones, to share the journey with them. I’ve put a few books at Apple Physio in PJ and the general public have been buying it to inspire their family members, who runs or likes cycling.

Even though you’re not a triathlete, this book will inspire you to achieve more than before, and perhaps you can pass on a dose of aspiration to those around you.

‘How I became an Ironman’, retails at RM29.90 in MPH bookstores around Malaysia.¬†ISBN: 9789674153762