31 May Reflect & Refocus – Road to PTO Asian Open
Step into the world of Indonesian triathlete Asihta Aulia Azzahra, a rising star in the realm of endurance sports. With determination and passion, she recently secured an impressive 1st place in the Indonesian Champion Women category, 2nd place in the women’s 16-29 year old, and 3rd place among women overall in the Sprint distance at the Batam Triathlon.
As we delve into Aulia’s journey, we explore her reflections on the race and her unwavering dedication as she gears up for the highly anticipated PTO Asian Open in August.
Can you provide us with your overall impressions of the recently concluded Batam Triathlon?
Batam Triathlon is my first Triathlon race in the Batam archipelago. Very excited to be able to compete in the event. I chose to compete in the Sprint Distance category and felt great. The race started with a calm Sunday morning, but as we were about to commence, rain began to fall, and we needed additional time to be able to dispatch the athletes.
During the swimming portion, we had to brave the rain and swim in the sea. Moving to transition 1, officials directed us to our bicycles, and we had to ride through the rain and face some steep hills, which tested our cycling skills.
It’s time for the second transition, where we changed our shoes quickly, and luckily, the rain started to ease up a bit. The challenge didn’t end with the cycling, as we had to run on a challenging course with ups and downs on a golf course. Along the running route, I caught a glimpse of a beautiful rainbow amidst the scenic surroundings. At the water stations, we not only had access to water but also received Strive Gel. Overall, my experience of the Batam Triathlon was amazing!! The athletes faced challenges not only from the race routes but also from the weather conditions, and of course the exotic beauty of Batam.
What were the most memorable and noteworthy moments for you during the event?
The most memorable moment occurred when I experienced a sense of “warmth” during the race, despite the rain. It emanated from the support of my family, friends, fellow participants, and all the officials involved in the Batam Triathlon. This unforgettable moment touched not only me but also all the participants and their families.
Did you encounter any challenges throughout the Batam Triathlon, and if so, how did you overcome them?
Yes, I encountered a challenge while swimming, where I struggled to see ahead and was uncertain of the position of the life buoy due to the rain and wind. To overcome this, I maintained a positive attitude, focused on keeping my swimming stroke straight, and stayed close to the ropes and other athletes to stay on track.
During the cycling portion of the race, I faced hilly roads, but they were still beautiful and comforting with shady trees on either side. I encountered several supportive and cheering small children along the way, which made me feel excited. As for the running leg, the road was very smooth with a few uphill and downhill sections that required athlete readiness. I also encountered puddles on the running route, which I actually enjoyed. It reminded me of the freedom I experienced running in the rain as a child. I truly relished the experience, and that’s how I overcome every obstacle – by embracing and enjoying it. No matter what the obstacle, there is always a positive aspect to appreciate until we conquer it. Even in the rain, there is always beauty, like a beautiful rainbow. I feel immensely proud and amazed by all the participants of the Batam Triathlon. Well done, everyone! XX
How did the vibrant atmosphere and unwavering support from spectators and fellow athletes contribute to your overall experience in the Batam Triathlon?
Until now, I still can remember that feeling, the atmosphere at the Batam Triathlon.
The rain poured down heavily, and with each drop, the cheers from our supporters and spectators grew louder. They were always there, patiently waiting for us at the venue. We met them at the transition points, on the sidelines during the cycling leg, and even in the resort area.
On the running route, I exchanged greetings with fellow athletes at intersections and acknowledged the photographers capturing our moments. The encouragement and assistance from the race officials and friends at the water stations meant a lot to me.
A mixture of relief and emotion swept over me the seconds leading up to the finish line. The arrival of my friends, their warm hugs, and the incredible experience during the race from my fellow athletes touched me deeply.
My mum was there as well. I wanted to say, thank you so much mum for your best support, thank you so much for all my friends and sister from Singapore and Indonesia, thank you so much for my coach and my favorite motivational figure from Australia, who always stood by my side. And also thank you so much to all the sponsors, my family, and everyone involved in making this event possible. Thank you all so much!!!
Which aspects of your performance in the Batam Triathlon left you feeling the most satisfied and accomplished?
I wanted to test myself. After participating in the Long Distance Triathlon category one week prior to the Batam Triathlon, I wanted to test my abilities in the Sprint Distance category.
I feel most satisfied when I’m on my bike. Riding my bike made me feel incredibly fit and strong. The day before the race, while trying out the route, my friends left me behind on the bike. I was concerned about my bike’s performance during the race.
However, to my surprise, it turned out that my body felt very ready and could smoothly conquer any inclines on the bike. I gave my best, and I am very grateful that I got three trophies in one race at once, three trophies for the 2023 Sprint Distance, 1st place in the Indonesian Champion Women category, 2nd place in the women’s 16-29 year old, and 3rd place among women overall. It was an amazing way to end the month of May with great achievements, and most importantly with beautiful memories.
Could you provide us with an insight into your training regimen leading up to the PTO Asian Open in August?
I feel very grateful to have been given the opportunity and the fitness to be able to prepare myself for the prestigious PTO Asian Open event which will take place on the 19/20 August in Singapore. Preparation for a distance of 2km swim, 80km bike, 18km run which really requires our endurance. In June, I’m focusing on a few race runs as well as trail runs. This month, I’ve started training with distance and trying out inclines in running, while my bike training and swimming programs focus on endurance. Endurance here is meant by swimming with a total training distance of 5km to 6km for 4 sessions for one week. Cycling, with the Bike Trainer program, for 1.5 hours to 2 hours and doing long rides for 3 hours on weekends.
And running for this month, I took part in supervised training on Garmin Connect with a total of 1 hour to 1.5 hours of training per session plus 2 hours of long runs (stable heart rate) on weekends. So weekends are my wonderful time for long rides on Saturdays or long runs on Sundays. In July, I started to enter the Triathlon race month, there were three events that month. And this month, my training will be tested on the race field, and I will be able to find out my best time record to prepare for the PTO Asian Open in the following month. At the beginning of August, is the peak of the training before entering the tapering period. Maintain the performance that has been built in the previous months until peak training, maintain all tools and weapons or bicycle preparation properly and give your best at the PTO Asian Open later. Happy training, Triathlete friends, all of you are amazing 🙂 See you at PTO Asian Open 2023!