Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Cowbells Baby!

Monday, May 4th, 2009

I would like to thank all of you who so generously supported my first ever charity ride, the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure in Napa Valley. Special thanks goes out to my wife who helped me send the word out, took care of the logistics and planning.

After watching Pacquiao’s amazing fight with Hatton last night we arrived at Napa around 10pm. This morning as forecasted, the roads were pretty wet and there were some light rainshowers. I registered on time by 8:45am and kicked off the ride around 9:00am.

While it was slightly drizzling for the first 5 to 8 miles of the 25 mile route (this was my first time to ever ride under the rain), the weather actually turned out to be pretty good. I suspect that there would probably be more participants if it was not for the weather but I still experienced the camaraderie among fellow riders nonetheless. Temperature was much better than when I rode the same route two weeks ago under a heatwave. Today was actually enjoyable.

As I approached the finish line, I was quite overwhelmed by emotions as I heard a familiar clanging sound I first heard from the Tour of California earlier this year. But this time, it was those red Tour de Cure cowbells from friends and families cheering us on. That did it for me and that is why I sped away from the finish line crowd. Hahaha!

Needless to say, it was the perfect ending to a wonderful ride. We then went out to celebrate at a grill nearby.

Thank you very much!


Off to the Start Line
Off to the start line!

My Podium Girls! (I bring my own)
My Podium Girls

The Crew


YouTube Preview Image

Support Kyo in Tour de Cure!

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
Napa Valley in Spring, view from the Tour de Cure route

Napa Valley in Spring, view from the Tour de Cure route


This May 3rd, I will be participating in my first ever cycling event in the ADA’s Tour de Cure in Napa Valley, California.

Please support me and the ADA by making a secure online donation on this page. Your contributions will help set the pace in the fight against diabetes.

Thank you very much!


Workaholic Runner

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

I’d like to welcome my friend and high school classmate Alexis to the wonderful world of weblogging. Check out his page at


The 5 Heart Zones

Monday, June 30th, 2008

After about 4 months of using my Polar F6 heart rate monitor, i have learned that working out at different heart rate ranges affect the body differently and that working yourself out at maximum exertion is not necessarily beneficial to your body. In fact, there is an optimal target depending on your personal goal. I also learned that working out on the upper zones is not cumulative (i.e., that you DO NOT gain the benefits of the other zones below it).

In the book Heart Zones Cycling by Sally Edwards and Sally Reed, they describe two methods for determining these heart zones: either by figuring out the maximum heart rate (HRmax) or aerobic treshhold (aka VT1). These are practically identical except for Zone 5 where the treshhold based range is further subdivided into 3 subareas (5a, 5b and 5c). For simplicity, I wil just outline the one based on maximum heart rate here which divides the heart zones from 1 to 5.

Zone 1 (50% to 60% of HRmax)

  • calories burned come from 10% carb, 85% fat, 5% protein
  • less than 4 calories per minute
  • VO2: 28 to 39
  • first point of aerobic benefits
  • calories come primarily from fat
  • used for maintaining a healthy heart
  • improve metabolism
  • mood improvement
  • improved self-esteem
  • works well for a gentle recovery ride
  • reduces blood cholesterol
  • lowers blood pressure
  • stabilized body weight

Zone 2 (60% to 70% of HRmax)

  • calories burned come from 15% carb, 80% fat, 5% protein
  • less than 7 calories per minute
  • VO2: 40 to 58
  • used for building skeletal muscle mass
  • decreases body fat
  • improved aerobic function
  • increase mitochondria
  • more efficient fat metabolism
  • ideal for warm ups and cool downs

Zone 3 (70% to 80% of HRmax)

  • calories burned come from 55% carb, 40% fat, 5% protein
  • less than 10 calories per minute
  • VO2: 49 to 70
  • oxygen consumption
  • VO2max increases
  • endorphins, a stress reducer, are released (resulting in cyclist’s high)
  • key fitness zone
  • builds resistance to fatigue
  • increased endurance
  • builds cardiovascular efficiency
  • improved appetite control

Zone 4 (80 to 90% of HRmax)

  • calories burned come from 70% carb, 25% fat, 5% protein
  • less than 15 calories per minute
  • VO2: 71 to 83
  • improved fitness and endurance
  • aka high intensity training
  • stressful for a beginner
  • not an easy training zone to stay in
  • high physical stresses

Zone 5 (90% to 100% of HRmax)

  • calories burned come from 90% carb, 5%fat, 5% protein
  • less than 20 calories per minute
  • VO2: 84 to 100
  • also known as red-lining
  • zone above lactate treshhold or first ventilatory treshhold
  • athletes suffer pain
  • high intensity
  • not sustainable
  • heart can not contract at or near its maximum for long
  • taxing oxygen capacity
  • stay too long and reach complete exhaustion

So what do these numbers mean? I guess the bottomline here is that how hard you need to work out depends on your primary goal. Is it to loose weight? Is it to increase your athletic performance (like ride faster when cycling) or extend your endurance (increased distance when biking)? One can also deduce from this that there is such a thing as a “sweet zone” when working out. If you overdo it (aka overtrain), you risk working so hard that it will take longer for your body to recover or you could be in pain (and with very little gain at that). This could be among the reasons why people who try gym memberships eventually give up after a few months when they think feel they’ve been working very hard at the gym and yet don’t get the results they expect.

By the way, in case you’re wondering how to figure out your maximum heart rate, a quick and easy formula for HRmax is: 210 – [your age] (this is in beats per minute). I also found a formula for calculating HRmax on wikipedia but the quickie version works similarly to what my Polar F6 calculates.

Related links:


Bay to Breakers 2008

Monday, May 19th, 2008

“Why don’t you be different, just like everybody else?”

Bay to Breakers is a 7.6 mile footrace celebrated every third Sunday in May. Participants wear the most outrageous costumes (and sometimes, lack thereof). Nudity is prohibited but not enforced. It was started in 1912 to lift the city’s spirits after the 1906 earthquake. It’s essentially a huge party with some 65,000 participants, with people of all shapes and sizes (ahem).

Race starts off at the Embarcadero and ends inside the Golden Gate Park. Lot’s of traditions on this annual event. Those discs flying at the starting line are actually tortillas. There is another small group wearing huge salmon costumes running ‘upstream’ is called “Breakers to Bay”.

Bay to Breakers 2008 from Kyo Suayan on Vimeo.

I’ve always been wanting to go but only managed to for the first time this year. Also If you watch closely, you will see one team wearing the infamous orange CPDRC Inmate costume on one of the street corners. It’s also the first time I’ve heard of the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated” played with an accordion!

Bay to Breakers, 2008

Had a memorable time. Even bumped into a San Francsico icon, the real Frank Chu on our way back to the car. He just crossed the finish line as we were leaving apparently.