With 3 days left to the Race Day, whether you’re signed up for Spartan Sprint or Beast, the question is, “Are You Spartan Ready?”
We connected with Colleen Augustin, Malaysia’s 2015 Women’s Elite Spartan Sprint Champion who is on her way to her #RoadToTrifecta. This girl is amazing to say the least. She has been creating waves in the OCR scene, running, she even does Muay Thai, ballet and counting! We speak to her on how her fitness journey began and what keeps her going. Colleen even shares her tips for the Spartan Race!
1. Let’s begin by introducing who Colleen Augustin is. Tell us a bit more about yourself.
Hi! I’m Colleen R. Augustin. I’m 18 years old. I just graduated from American High School in June 2016. Yay! I have a brother who is 17 years old. He is the best brother I could ever ask for. My hobbies are listening to music whenever and wherever, and reading books, generally fiction. My favorite hobbies are sleeping (yes, I enjoy my comatose state very much!), and working out three times a week at boot camp and at least five times at Monarchy MMA gym in Brazilian Jujitsu and Muay Thai.
2. You’re a young female fitness enthusiast - you’re a Cross-Trainer, Trail Runner, you do Muay Thai and ballet(!), are a self-professed OCR Addict (major win!) and one of the youngest recruits at the Original Boot Camp Malaysia! Share with us - was the ‘being-fit-is-fun’ something you grew up with or how did your enthusiasm for fitness all begin?
I grow up with the mentality of ‘being-fit-is-fun’. My parents would take my brother and I for hiking on the weekends, just for fun. They even encouraged us by joining us in certain sports. I used to play basketball because of my father’s influence while my mum cultivated my interest in hiking and enjoying nature. My enthusiasm for fitness began when I saw my mother and brother transforming into the persons they are today.
3. How has embarking on this fitness lifestyle changed you as a person? Who is/are your motivation in keeping fit?
It has transformed me into a fitter, stronger and better person. In addition, it also improves my mental strength which helps me to push my limits to levels that I didn’t think I could do.
My motivation comes from many different people. My primary motivator is my family. They have supported me through thick and thin, through every drop of sweat and every injury that I have experienced. My mother especially would drive me to do things that I thought I couldn’t do, seeing her do all these obstacle challenges and trail running makes me want to be like her, strong (mentally and physically).
Secondly, it would be my #OBCFamily. Since I have started bootcamp with them, they have always been very supportive. Despite me being one of the younger ones, besides my brother and a couple others, they continue to encourage and motivate me to ensure that I realise my potential and abilities. They constantly push me during the trainings, even when I am exhausted, their spirit drives me to keep going to push me to the next level. They are also at hand to guide me throughout the workouts, ensuring that my form is correct. They would also give me tips on how to improve certain movements that I am weak at, they would answer any questions I ask them, as I seek to gain more knowledge, even questions pertaining to health and nutrition.
Thirdly, it would be the coaches in my gym. I train Muay Thai and Brazilian Jujitsu in Monarchy MMA Gym. They push me to better my technique and to become stronger. They would also give me tips on how to improve on certain movements and techniques I am weak at. They would readily answer any questions I ask them, as I seek to improve myself.
4. As a seasoned OCR participant, how did you get started with OCRs, describe your journey thus far. We’re especially keen to know how your Spartan journey has been.
I started with OCRs because of my mother. I saw my brother and her going for Viper Challenge, and IT LOOKED SO FUN! So that was when my love for OCR began. The obstacles are challenging so is the run, but the adrenaline rush and just pushing myself to the max is just an AMAZING experience. I love to join OCRs, because it tests my abilities and the experience is just thrilling! I also get to meet amazing people from different walks of life coming together, just because we have the same love for OCR.
My Spartan journey has been nothing short of amazing. It’s very competitive and challenging in a different way. I have yet to get my Trifecta medal, but I am looking forward to get it soon in my Spartan Beast, Malaysia. Spartan pushes me in a different way, as I will aim for NO BURPEES! penalty every time I stand at the starting line. Of course, it still happens. This pushes me to train harder to become stronger.
I have also just recently finished Tough Mudder Bali 2016. I did it with my #OBCFamily, so I had lots of muddy fun. We helped each other through each obstacle, and I learned a lot from my teammates.
The most unforgettable experience I have? That would be getting 1st Place in Spartan Sprint 2015 Malaysia and I am proud to be selected as a Malaysian Representative to World Spartan Championship 2016 but I could not participate due to financial constraints.
5. With the Spartan Race Malaysia kicking off in less than a week, tell us what are must-dos for anyone preparing for the Race?
I would think that the must-dos for anyone preparing for the Race is that you should prepare your equipment and other necessities a day or two before the actual race (you can always create a check list). Secondly, know where the race is going to be held. If you are unsure, check out the place prior to the race. Thirdly, ALWAYS be there early before your start time, one hour would be the best.
As the event is getting closer, you should focus on your normal training and nutrition only. No new skill and challenge are to be acquired at this stage to avoid risk of injury. One day before the race, you should train light or rest completely to ensure you can perform at your best level on the day of your race. Fourthly, watch out for the food you eat, do NOT eat anything out of the ordinary, or anything that will upset your stomach. Eat food that you know for sure will not cause you any trouble. Fifth, hydration is IMPORTANT. Lastly, getting enough sleep is VERY important. Ensure you have adequate sleep so that you have enough rest before the race.
I generally prepare physically by continuing my training but I am more careful with the regular training I do. I would be more aware of my body and its movements. I would ensure that I sleep enough so that I have the physical and mental ability to perform at my top game. Mentally, I would constantly remind myself that I will do my best, and give my 100% effort, no matter what happens. Nutrition-wise, I would refrain from eating spicy food, as it has a risk of causing a tummy ache (even if you eat it every day). I would generally eat protein (chicken or fish), vegetables and carbs (potato or pasta). Just before my race, I would wake up early to eat some whole meal bread with a spread of peanut butter or apple with peanut butter. Simple foods are the best. I would avoid dairy or cream pre-race as well, to ensure I have low risk of tummy upsets.
6. You do #100burpeesforfun, that’s crazy awesome! How did this all start? Some of us feel like a champion when we complete just 10 burpees, tell us how can we up our game?
Ah… The #100burpeesforfun. This all started when one of my boot camp instructors, Mr. Eugene Soo started doing it and posting it on his social media page. My brother and I decided to ask why he was doing that, and he tagged us to do the challenge. It really was a great push, I have to admit. It is a mental game, 100 burpees do sound like a lot, but break it down into 10 sets of 10, or 20 sets of 5, and step-by-step you’ll get it done. If you want to get stronger with burpees, start from the basics, break it down into manageable sets and reps. Every time you work out, add some burpees at the end of your workout just to get your body used to the movement as it is a total body workout.
Check out Colleen’s Instagram to watch her in action!
7. You recently completed a 22 push-ups a day challenge for 22 days to raise awareness for current service personnel and combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a real issue often talked about in countries who deploy their troops on ground. Share with us how you became part of raising awareness for this cause.
I became part of raising awareness for this cause because a friend of mine who used to be part of the military police, tagged me to join the challenge. I read it and decided I would help to raise awareness as well, as my father served in our Malaysian Military. I do it imagining what would happen if my father was one of these servicemen who served our country and suffered from this. I believe they deserve the support from the country, as they spend their lives protecting the country.
8. In closing, do you have any advice for the OCR female participants out there?
Ladies, I really do mean it when I say I believe in girl power. My mother is a representation of it as well. You can do ANYTHING. JUST DO IT! If you are thinking if you should or should not go for an OCR Challenge, don’t think, just go for it! The minute you finish that challenge, you will feel like you are on top of the world!
Our sincere thanks for sharing your journey with us, Colleen. PurelyB wishes you all the very best for your Spartan Beast Race this Sunday! Cheers to your #RoadToTrifecta!