Blog Posts

  • The Only Way to Go: UP! / Hill Training with BigBigPlace

    0 comments / Posted on by Sandra Phoon


    Hi BBP Fans, let’s see if you can relate to this when running on hills!

    1. Suited up for my run. Got my shoes. 👟Let’s go!
    2. I’m tired … 
    3. I didn’t realize this route had an incline hmmm. Is that a hill? 🗻
    4. It looks so high up. ⬆️
    5. It looks like a long way up. ↸
    6. I can do it! 💪
    7. Why do my legs feel so heavy? 🏃🏻‍♀️
    8. Crap, got to slow down. 
    9. Wow, look at my heart rate skyrocketing!
    10. Am I halfway up? ⛰
    11. Maybe I should walk this stretch. 🚶🏻‍♂️
    12. My lungs are bursting out of my chest! 💥
    13. No! I got this! 500 more meters and it's downhill from there. ↓
    14. No, I’ve to come back up this hill to get back. 
    15. Why am I doing this …
    16. No, FOCUS! 100 more meters 🏔
    17. I think I’m on level ground! 🧘🏻‍♀️
    18. Doneeeee! 🏆🍹

    Sound familiar? Like the voice in your head?

    Don’t fret! It is completely normal! In fact, running on the road with some inclines in between is necessary!

    Here is why you need to be incorporating hill training in your workout:

    Builds endurance

    You’ll feel your heart rate racing up a hill. You’ll feel yourself gasping for air. You’ll feel your muscles screaming for oxygen to fire them up. When you incorporate this in your training, you are ultimately improving your lactate threshold which will allow you to run longer and faster before tiring out. This happens because your body grows stronger and learns to produce less lactic acid.

    Increases speed

    Like sprinting, running uphill also uses the same muscles! And when you run uphill, your muscles have to learn to fire up more quickly and forcefully on each step. This, in turn, improves leg turnover rate! Hill sprints are the best way to quickly see improvements in your speed.

    Increases strength and power

    Your muscles work hard battling against tarmac and gravity. By running uphill, you will be naturally forcing your muscles to relax and contract more powerfully to give you that push for your next step. Running hills is comparable to doing strength-specific workouts such as squats or lunges! It is actually even better because it coordinates all the muscles you use when running while supporting your full body weight.

    Preventing injuries

    Because running hills boosts strength and power, you will reduce the risk of injury and impact to your lower leg, ankle and knee joints! It also helps because when you work these muscles on the hill, primarily your quadriceps, they absorb the impact from the pounding on the ground to protect your knees. Put it this way, when your muscles are well built and conditioned, they act as shock absorbers. The muscles take the impact off the joints, helping you prevent injuries!

    But do be careful on the run down. Do not overextend your step and always keep your steps light and controlled.

    Burns more calories

    It is a TOTAL body workout. You will be working your leg muscles as well as your upper body! When running uphill, you will be forced to drive your arms harder and pump your shoulders to create that momentum. Of course, more calories will be burnt!

    Toughens the mind

    Besides being physically strenuous, running uphill is just as much of a mental challenge! You train yourself to push on even when your lungs feel like they are about to fall off. You train yourself to continue even when your quadriceps are screaming. You train yourself to not give up until you’ve reached the top.

    You can also mix up your training with hills to have more variety in your training. This helps fight boredom on the long road.

    Race better!

    I mean, it is almost impossible to run a race that is on completely flat ground. Train on some hills and you’ll see yourself conquering the hills in your next race!

    We’ll cover different types of hill training in our next article! Watch this space!

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  • Get to know the New Suunto 5

    0 comments / Posted on by Ashley Chong

    Coming soon to BigBigPlace Malaysia in August 2019



    Suunto 5 offers long battery life in a compact GPS watch, packed with multiple sport features making it easy for you to track all your workouts and follow your progress. The watch also tracks your 24/7 activity including stress and sleep, so you can make sure that you are recovered and ready for your next sports activity. This durable companion has been built and tested in the harshest of Nordic conditions.

    TLDR Version: It's the successor to the popular Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR. Function wise, it's a Suunto 9 with shorter battery life, with Suunto 3's adaptive training function. Win!

    Frequently Asked Questions on Suunto 5


    1. When will it be available at BigBigPlace?
      The Suunto 5 will be available end of July or early August 2019.
    2. What is the difference between Suunto 9, and Suunto Spartan Sports/Trainer?
      Suunto 5 is the successor to the Suunto Spartan Trainer. Suunto 5 has most of the function of Suunto 9 with the adaptive training function from Suunto 3.
    3. What are the colours available?
      During the launch, Suunto 5 will be available in White, All Black, Burgandy/Copper, Graphite Copper.
    4. What is the battery life?
      With the Intelligent Battery function, the Suunto 5 can last up to 40 hours on GPS.
    5. How much will it be?
      The price will be rumoured to be around ~ RM1,499
    6. How to buy?
      BigBigPlace will start the Suunto 5 pre-order when the Suunto 5 reaches Malaysia. Like our Facebook page to get the latest info. We will have exciting freebies for the pre-order.
    7. Can we trust BigBigPlace?
      BigBigPlace is a premium partner and an authorised dealer of Suunto in Malaysia. Rest assured, we have nearly hundreds of testimonials from our customers who bought from us, especially Suunto users.


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  • Getting back on track! (After Raya)

    0 comments / Posted on by Sandra Phoon

    With the end of the holy month of Ramadhan comes the rich food, the quality time with family and friends, and of course, for some of you running enthusiasts out there, the hardcore training resumes! Yes, we’re talking about you!  

    As excited as you are to get back to training, we’d like to give out a couple of pointers before you dive head first into a hard speed session or a 30 km long run this weekend!

    1. Keep it FLEXIBLE 

    The holidays sometimes mean that you will have travel and family obligations that will affect your running time. So our first tip is to incorporate alternative training strategies so you still get a workout done. Instead of a run, maybe you could do a body workout in the comforts of your home or even a gym session if the facility is available. Switch it up with a swim also if there is a pool available! You can even play a different sport like badminton to get your body moving. This way, you can even involve your family members! 


    1. Start with where your current fitness level is at!

    You want to ensure a smooth transition from a period of low-intensity workout to ramping up your training sessions. A smooth transition will help you prevent injury and overexertion!  

    Depending on how seasoned you are as a runner, start with a short run. For beginners, try an easy 3 – 5 km run at low intensity. For the pseudo pro athletes, an easy 10 km run is possible but always listen to your body and know when to back off if it gets too hard. This first run should be at an easy chit chat pace with your heart rate hovering around the lower levels of Zone 2.

    1. Rebuild your endurance

    What you want to do is to slowly rebuild the mileage. Do not rush into it! Do not try to pick up where you left that last long run. It will put too much demand on your muscles and can easily lead to injury. A general rule is to increase your mileage by only 10 % per week!

    1. Plan your runs in advance

    The holidays will be filled with friends and family around. We understand that it may be difficult to find time to sneak away for a long run or a workout at the track. What you should do is to look at your schedule and plan your week in advance.  

    You can plan for short runs early in the mornings before you head over to a relative’s place! Again, short runs are good because remember you are restarting your routine. You can even plan a run with a fellow runner friend you will be visiting back in your hometown or even explore a new running route in the area you are at. You’ll not only get a workout done but you’ll have some fun along the way! 

    1. Listen to your body

    Lastly, remember to always listen to your body. While there are many running guides and workout plans out there, you do not need to follow them 100%. It is always important to listen to your body. If you feel a slight niggle, back off the mileage or the intensity. Only YOU know your body best.  

    Good luck, runner! Stay safe on the road whether you are driving, cycling or running! We at BigBigPlace would like to wish all our Muslim readers a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri Maaf Zahir dan Batin!



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  • Exercising during Ramadan in Malaysia - Part 2

    0 comments / Posted on by Ashley Chong

    Welcome back to the second part of the BigBigPlace x TheKeiShow blog on ‘How to train during Puasa’. We are now midway into Ramadan, and this gives us only a few more days to focus more on the spiritual side and train under fasted conditions.

    Training during Ramadan is a huge challenge for athletes and people should come up with a clear set of goals. This is the time to take a step back and refocus on things that you might not be able to do during normal days.

    Set a clear cut goal!

    Here are a few examples of clear-cut goals that you should set in mind:

    “I want to maintain my muscle mass”

    “I want to maintain at least 50% of my normal mileage”

    “I want to lose more weight”

    “I want to train my cadence to 180 rpm”

    “I want to improve my aerobic capacity”


    Plus, remember that you still need to focus on your daily job too. It’s not worth to sacrifice your daily routine, just to be able to work out at night. Make sure you hydrate yourself well and have enough sleep so that your body can adapt to your training.

    Set a time frame

    Once you have set your goals, it is easier for you to train within a time frame. Say you want to train for 30 or 60 minutes, you can create a training plan that fits and focusing on the essential parts.

    For example, if you want to improve your running form focus on drills that you can do in 30 minutes such as ankling, butt kicks, bounding etc. Being mindful is essential during these practices.



    Here’s an example that you can model during Ramadhan

    Working out in the morning

    4.30 AM Wake up

    4.50 AM Workout for 30 minutes

    5.20 AM Eat sahur and drink enough water

    5.40 AM Subuh, stop eating

    Working out before Breaking Fast

    6.50 PM Workout for 30 minutes (Low intensity cardio)

    7.20 PM Breakfast with light meal (Fruits, dates, BCAA and hydrate)

    7.25 PM Prayers

    7.30 PM Eat heavier meals

    Working out at night

    7.20 PM Breakfast with light meal (Fruits, dates, BCAA and hydrate)

    7.25 PM Prayers

    8.30PM Starts training heavily

    10.00PM Eat heavier meals

    (This option might be a bit more anti-social if you plan not to do tarawih prayers in Masjid)

    Overall, remember that the month of Ramadan is a month of blessing, where you should focus more on your spirituality, rather than the worldly. Train sufficiently, and you will be given more blessing in other forms.

    Wishing everyone the best for the last few days of Ramadan.

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  • Ask Your Heart How Hard You Are Training

    0 comments / Posted on by Sandra Phoon

    Did you know that a healthy heart will immediately drop its rate once you stop exercising? An unhealthy heart or an unconditioned body will cause your heart rate to remain high even after exercise has stopped! Did you also know that to burn fat, you should be exercising at a relatively low intensity? It is not all the time that you need to be huffing and puffing your lungs out during a workout. Sounds good? Read on! 

    Heart rate training is training based on how fast the heart muscles pump out blood to the rest of the body. Training with the knowledge of your heart zones will allow you to be conscious of the effort you are putting in. You will be able to adjust the intensity of your workout based on your goals and know when to push harder or back off on your effort.


    Know Your Maximum Heart Rate


    To know how hard we are training, we first need to know our heart rate zones. While there are various ways to know your average heart rate, we like to go with this equation:

    207 – (0.7 X your age)


    However, do note that there are many factors that can affect accuracy!

    Once you’ve established your maximum heart rate, all you need to do is multiply it with a percentage. Use these percentages as a general guideline:

    Zone 1: 55 – 65%
    Zone 2: 65 – 75%
    Zone 3: 75 – 85%
    Zone 4: 85 – 95%


    The Purpose of the Exercise

    If fat loss is the goal, the optimal fat burning zone is relatively low because you want your body to be using fat as a fuel source instead of carbohydrates. By monitoring your heart rate, you will be able to know when you are over pushing and hence, scale down to a lower intensity but increase your workout period to at least 35 minutes. (So even though you are not bursting your lungs out, you need to be doing a longer workout hah!)

    To improve athletic performance, you can opt for high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This type of training would get your heart rate up and then allow it to come back down before going at it again. This type of training helps boost endurance as well as increase the efficiency of how your heart uses oxygen during exercise. At the high-intensity bouts, you will be working your heart at Zone 4 (or the higher end of Zone 3) for short periods with recovery being typically as long as the high-intensity bouts.

    The Benefits

    It is safer!

    Hitting zones near your maximum heart rate can be DANGEROUS especially if you are just starting out, if you are over 50 or if you have health complications such as heart disease and high blood pressure! By monitoring your heart rate, you will be able to know what zones you are at and know when to stop.

    Avoid overtraining

    Ensuring you are exercising according to your training plan at the appropriate intensities will avoid the issue of overtraining which can lead to demotivation and injuries. 

    Avoid plateau

    Instead of overtraining, some of us might get “too comfortable”. This is because our body has gotten used to the regime and the effort. Monitoring your heart rate will allow you to know when it is time to switch things up in your training!

    Maximizes the workout 

    Heart rate monitoring will help you ensure that you are exerting the appropriate amount of effort to accomplish the objective of the workout whether it is for fat loss or a HIIT workout.

    Choosing Your Heart Rate Monitor 

    Watches with heart rate monitors can get pricey. Hence, when you are about to purchase one, keep these in mind!

    What monitor type are you comfortable with?

    Most monitors use sensors located on the chest strap or on the wrist. You should note that chest strap monitors are slightly more accurate compared to wrist-based heart rate monitoring. However, wrist-based heart rate monitoring may be more convenient.

    What features do you need?

    Check whether the heart rate monitor that you are purchasing has the features that you need. For example, average pace, distance, cadence, calorie burn or stride length. Some watches even send you heart rate alerts!


    Our Pick!


    We’ve picked a couple of our favorite gears to help you train better with your heart. Check them out!

    Standalone option: Polar H10

    When it comes to accuracy and connectivity, Polar H10 heart rate sensor is the go-to choice. You can use it with your handphone and also other fitness equipment such as watches, gym treadmills, or cycling computers that supports ANT+ or Bluetooth.


    Watch: Suunto 9 

    The Suunto 9 comes equipped with the latest generation PerformTek 1.2 sensor from Valencell, which is one of the best optical heart rate sensors out there.


    Great Bundle Option: Vantage V + Polar H10 

    If you are looking for a killer combo, get the Polar Vantage V with the Polar H10 at a really amazing price. With this combination, you can unlock the Training Load Pro feature that is calculated from your Heart Rate to help you rest and perform better during training.


    So the next time you are exercising and want to know if you want to know if you are in the right zones, check your watch!

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