Just when you think you're tough enough


Words of Wisdom From Powerman Malaysia Legend Shahrom Abdullah

If you have been following Powerman Malaysia since it started way back in 2002 in Putrajaya, then on to Lumut, and back to Putrajaya, there is only one Malaysian name that is synonymous with being on the podium arguably the most number of times. It is none other than Shahrom Abdullah, the 40-year old legend from Kelantan.

Fresh Events Asia, the organiser of Powerman Malaysia 2020, decided to engage with Team SA Bike to hear about the legend’s stories.

Shahrom started his sporting life early, competing at the national level from the age of 19, and went on to represent Malaysia at the SEA Games. Niggling back injuries forced the young Shahrom to switch to duathlon, which was a relatively unknown sport back then. In 2002, he made his debut at the now-defunct Malakoff Malaysia Duathlon series where he placed second.

Subsequently, Shahrom was consistently ranked the top Malaysian duathlete in the Powerman Malaysia races since 2003. The icing on the cake was when Shahrom became the first Malaysian to qualify for the Powerman World Championships in Zofingen, Switzerland and reached a career-high ranking of 14th in the championships.

Competing and Coaching

These days, with age catching up and a family in tow, Shahrom set up SA Bike – a bicycle shop, and imparts his sporting knowledge and experience by coaching his Team SA Bike. For this year’s Powerman Malaysia, he has 46 members already signed up, with a few more to follow suit. The Powerman Malaysia event may seem a daunting prospect to newcomers however, Shahrom provides golden guidance. 

“It is doable if you train with a group, follow a structured training program, and be disciplined. I have a different training program for my members depending on their goals and objectives for the race,” advises Shahrom. 

“On weekdays, they follow the training schedule provided and on Sundays, we do our group rides and run-bike-run simulation at Putrajaya in preparation for Powerman,” he continued. 

Often participants feel intimidated and many believe they may not have completed sufficient training due to their busy work schedules. Shahrom advises that “once a week is sufficient to get the legs ready for the off-the-bike run. Structured training for bike and run which includes strength, power and endurance are very important and brick training – also known as bike, then run simulation – should be incorporated into all training plans”.

Tips For Racing In Putrajaya

If you happen to work, live or even drive around the area, it may be good for you to drop by Putrajaya to have a feel of the course route and transition area.

Especially if you are attempting Powerman Malaysia for the first time, Shahrom advises to “recce the route prior to race day, if possible. Pace well during the race to ensure you still have the legs to run on the second run leg. Nutrition – in the form of energy gels and bars – and hydration are important and should be used during training, too.”

“If possible, practise your transition as most newbies will get disoriented in the transition area during race day. I will conduct transition practice for my students to simulate race day,” said Shahrom.

The day prior to race day, Shahrom stresses the importance of “ensuring all your gear is packed early and checked into the transition area. Check all bike and run in-and-out signage during the bike check-in. Simulate run-in and bike into the transition to familiarise yourself with your bike position and rack number”. And on race day he encourages you to, “stay calm, focused and don’t give up!”.

With this sound advice, Team SA Bike member Wanie has set her aspirations; “I am joining Powerman Individual Classic because I want to improve on my time, especially on the bike leg. My husband is my biggest supporter and motivation. I would like to do my best and hope my husband will also get his Personal Best time (PB) in the biggest Powerman event in Asia.”. Another member, Ken Tan echoed, “I am joining Powerman 2020 because I want to aim for a PB”.

Watch for Shahrom Abdullah and his Team SA Bike at this year’s Powerman Malaysia. If you have not yet signed up, a very limited number of registrations are still available at powerman.my.