Meet Jen Macapagal, who is active in the dragon boat and triathlon scenes. What is her workout schedule like and how does she train for competition? What is her fitness routine when not training for competition? Let’s find out more!
Sport: Dragon Boating & Multi-sport (Triathlon)
Name: Jen Macapagal
IG handle: @jnmcpgl
1. When did you discover that this was your passion and that you were going to pursue it as far as you could?
I was introduced to the sport of dragon boat in 2009 and triathlon in 2013. When I was younger, I was not involved in any sport so I took the opportunity to learn these activities when I was given a chance here in Singapore. My involvement in these sport has been instrumental in my journey to start my non-profit sport-based organisation, Race2Share.
2. What inspires you?
What inspires me is the infinite wonders and possibilities that fitness and sport brings in to our lives.
3. Have you participated in any major competition or events?
Yes, I have participated in major dragon boat competitions in Singapore and international (Philippines, Hong Kong & Malaysia). I have also completed a number of triathlon races such as 70.3 Ironman in Cebu & Davao, Philippines, Da Nang, Vietnam, and one 140.6 Full Ironman race in Langkawi, Malaysia.
4. In your opinion, what was your best performance?
I would say my best performance would be my participation in the Full Ironman race in Langkawi in 2019. I prepared for this competition for almost a year which has brought me various learning not only in terms of training but life in general.
5. What is your training like when training for a competition?
When I train for a competition, I make sure I have got a plan - from having a coach to guide my training and nutrition. Time management is crucial during training period as I need to make sure I allocate enough time for everything, this includes my training, work, family and extra-curricular work.
6. Do you maintain a special diet? If so, what do you eat? Are there cheat days?
I follow pescatarian diet since the start of 2019 which means I only take seafood. I make sure I do not eat more than what I need on most days, but there are definitely cheat days to indulge myself.
7. When not training for a competition, what’s your training like? Do you cross-train? What does a typical week look like?
I keep myself active by consistently moving – it could be an easy walk or run and I make sure I incorporate some strength training so I do not lose my fitness. My typical week would include easy cardio 2-3x a week and strength training 2-3x. I usually go for easy ride on Saturday or Sunday and I run dragon boat sessions for Race2Share most Sundays.
8. Do you see yourself as an inspirational role model for aspiring athletes?
I hope so!
9. Where are your favourite training spots?
I had a great time training at Thanyapura Resort in Phuket, Thailand. The resort provides you a great trainingcation! It has everything you need from great accommodation and daily schedule of training sessions.
10. Have you always been fit and fab? Was there a time when you were not?
When I moved to Singapore in 2018, I had a stressful phase adjusting to the new environment and workload. I was leading a sedentary lifestyle and I was also resorting to smoking and drinking as my avenue to cope with the stressors. I was at my heaviest at 69kg then and had really low self-confidence and esteem in general. I became active and started the sport of paddling. However I kept these vices and eventually got into regular late night parties. I also had a phase in my life where I skipped eating lunch and only had coffee and a smoke to keep me full. I was losing unwanted weight however it wasn’t sustainable nor healthy then.
11. If there are readers who would like to get started in your sport, what advice do you have?
Take it easy and take your time. In my fitness and sport journey, the only person who we should compete against is ourselves. Progress is progress no matter how long the journey is. We learn as we experience both winning and losing. Practicing humility and gratitude also play an important role when you start getting involved in any sport, embracing the fact that there will always be an opportunity for us to learn is a way to get better and progress.
12. What other activities are you passionate about?
I love photography and poetry, reading and writing! I also love traveling and connecting with trailblazers in the community.
Jen, your passion for sports invigorates us. Thank you so much for taking time to share your thoughts and fitness journey with us. May you continue to scale to greater heights in all your endeavours!