Jiong How Lua - Morph Performance

Meet Our Athletes: Jiong How (Singapore)

I started to learn that athlete development is a long term project, not something to be rushed just for the sake of getting into race shape quickly…training according to zones is strategic and saves me plenty of training time to get good results, compared to doing junk miles.” Jiong How (Morph Performance Coached Athlete, Singapore)

Introduce yourself. 

I am Jiong How, 23, a NUS Geography Undergrad. I spend a bit too much time studying, dreaming and procrastinating, and tend to get very obsessed about my pursuits.

How long have you been training with Morph Performance? 

1 year 4 months. (Since 2016)

What are your race or athletics goals?

ITRA 600 (International Trail Running Association), sub 3:20 marathon at some point. MDS Sahara is a long time dream too.

I wish to do an IRONMAN at some point but that can wait for now.

What were your training challenges and pain points before training with Morph?

I had a lack of an understanding on how to build a strong base without getting injured over heavy volume. Used to suffer from ITBS and some other overuse injuries.

My structure of training was really poor and I lacked discipline, motivation and belief that I could do it.

It still currently suffers from my obsessive work ethic and poor time management, but things have certainly gotten much better.

Jiong How Lua - Morph Performance

Jiong How coming in 9th @ Ultra Trail Nan 50

Best athletic/race or fitness achievements to date. 

HMDS 2017 Finish (Half Marathon des sables Fuerteventura)

Ultra Trail Nan 50 (9th)

How did training with Morph change your approach and mindset to training?  

I started to learn that athlete development is a long term project, not something to be rushed just for the sake of getting into race shape quickly.

It is a matter of sustainability, less about trying to finish and cope with each and every workout assigned given that we all have a whole range of life stresses to deal with.

To think long term is to embrace the difficulty of training, and knowing and believing that it will all work out in the end, even if sometimes things do not go to plan.

Following the plan and training according to zones is strategic and saves me plenty of training time to get good results, compared to doing junk miles.

What’s next for you in training or racing? 

Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon and Ultra Trail Australia 100.

swim smooth morph performance

Swim Smooth: Swim Squad and Video Analysis

Swim Smooth Swim Squad and Video Analysis

We have partnered with Swim Smooth to help our triathletes and athletes improve their swimming technique and swim specific fitness.

Swim Smooth is the worlds leading authority in Adult Swimming, we believe in an individualised approach to coaching.

 Swim Smooth’s home is in Perth, where our head coach Paul Newsom has been leading over 400 squad members since 2004. Coaching swimmers across the world with video analysis that is a game changer in achieving your next level in swimming.

Not only is the program known for its specific Swim Type*  system that allows our certified coaches to figure out the right technique and training for you. The International Triathlon Union (ITU) believes in our methods and has partnered with us to introduce in their program the new mind set of freestyle learning and triathlon training. That’s pretty cool!

Check out their website to learn why this program is the best change for your swim training and our philosophy on the controversial aspects of swim coaching.

Register Now




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How to Calculate an Elevation Gain for a Treadmill

How to Calculate an Elevation Gain for a Treadmill

Whenever we travel for work or when the weather goes against our training schedule, the trusty treadmill can be a real life saver to get the workout done.  Here’s how you can get the elevation training in using a treadmill!

Things You’ll Need: Smart Phone Calculator App

Step 1

Note the percent grade, or incline, setting of your treadmill. For example, 6 percent.

Step 2

Divide the percent grade by 100. For example, 6 / 100 = 0.06.

Step 3

Calculate the horizontal distance you have run on the treadmill. For example, you have run 2.5 kilometers. 2500m x cos [arctan (0.06)] = 2500m x cos [ 3.43º ] = 2500m x 0.998 = 2495m.

Step 4

Multiply your answer by 0.06. For example, 2495m x 0.06 = 149.7m. You have completed an elevation gain of approximately 150 meters (rounded up).

Using Arctangent

Elevation Gain Calculator Threadmill

Work Out Slope Distance

Divide your target elevation gain by the percent grade and divide by the cosine of the arctangent of the slope ratio. For example, 150m / 0.06 = 2500m / 0.998 = 2505m.

Work Out Percent Grade

Divide your target elevation gain by the horizontal distance. For example, 150m / (2500m x 0.998)= 0.06 x 100 = 6.


Morph Performance Athlete - Terence Swee

Meet Our Athletes: Terence Swee (Singapore)

If you want to maximise your ROI on your limited training time, then you need Morph. Life is too exciting and short to be wasted on junk miles. Only run what you absolutely need to…” Terence Swee (Morph Performance Coached Athlete, Singapore)

Introduce yourself. 

Terence Swee, 46 from Singapore My company invented automatic video editing, and recently, automatic creation of photobooks using AI, so I travel the world licensing our technologies to phone, camera and drone makers. And recently, the customer base has expanded to include photobook and theme-park related companies. So I typically visit all the major markets (Europe, USA, Japan, Korea, China) a few times a year. I spend about 600 hours a year on my ass in a projectile and 180 nights in a hotel or airport.

How long have you been training with Morph Performance? 

Since 2015.

What are your race or athletics goals?

I mostly want to live a full life in spite of my brutal work regime. So I set myself general goals and just for a challenge, some race-specific ones. My general goal is a concept of “any given Sunday”…which basically means I want to be in a condition where I can still be able to have all the wonton mee, foie, cheese and beers I crave and be able to attempt on a whim, without any specific training or preparation, a half Ironman or a sub-5hr marathon.

Why? I believe that the world is a dangerous place…and if I am ever caught in a tsunami or earthquake or stuck on a mountain or volcano, and am not injured, I wanna be a useful survivor, and be able to carry someone and trek/run/limp to the nearest airfield to be evacuated.

In 2018, I was lucky enough to get ballot entry to both the Berlin and Chicago Marathons. So since I am going to travel across two oceans to run, I set myself a specific challenge to clock a sub-4hr marathon. Now that I have achieved that, I’d like to race a sub-13hr Ironman next year and improve my triathlon marathon time to be sub-4:30.

What were your training challenges and pain points before training with Morph?

Without a structured training program, without knowing my lactate threshold and heart rate zones, I was simply running in the dark. Cramps will plague me at the most unpredictable moments, and I would never know why. I used to sign up for races, and start doing some mileage 3 weeks before the race, and predictably, suffer for it.

With Morph’s online training program and lab testing, I now know exactly when my fuel system switches from fat burning to glycogen fueling. I know how I feel at which heart rates and how long I will last. I know exactly how much sweat and salt I lose per hour in any given condition, and have never had to worry about cramps again.

Like everyone else, I used to clock many junk miles, following standard training plans available online, or merely joining friends for weekend rides when I can wake up, and how much distance I cover is really up to which gang I am riding with that week! I did my first Ironman when I was a post-grad student. 15 years and 15 pounds later, given my heavy workload and time on the road, I thought doing another Ironman was out of the question.

But in 2015, I got lab tested, started on the Morph program, and prepared for an Ironman in just 4 months, where I got 1.5hrs faster and it hardly affected my lifestyle! And I reckon I only managed to hit 40% of the prescribed training sessions due to my work travels.

Best athletic/race or fitness achievements to date. 

I did a few seconds under 4hrs for the Berlin Marathon 2018, and a 4:04 just three weeks later in a wet and cold Chicago Marathon in a severely fatigued state. (I did both races as part of a 1 month round the world business trip!)

How did training with Morph change your approach and mindset to training?  

Morph Performance’s focus on effective and efficient training, lab testing, and customized training programs based on data appeals to the engineer in me. Now I actually look forward to training because I know I only need to do so much, to achieve my goals! My travel lifestyle has changed slightly to accomodate the training goals…so much so that I now search for hotels for my trips using elevation maps!

When a business trip stretches over a weekend, I find myself planning on which city I should spend that weekend in, so that I can hit my weekend long run and elevation goals! The weekday trainings were very manageable, typically only 45 mins, 2 to 3 times during the weekdays.

I am now very acquainted with the fire escape stairwells of hotels in Tokyo, the hills in the Presidio, Hampstead Heath, Central Park and Sacre Couer…I now start each race very confident, knowing exactly how I will feel at each mile, how fast I can go, when to take a gel, and what time I will get back from the race for the real breakfast!

What’s next for you in training or racing? 

I usually don’t plan ahead for my races…it really depends on which city I will be in…(and that’s typically only planned 2 weeks ahead). At this point, I know I have a Tokyo Marathon slot in early March 2019…and I hope to do a full Ironman next year, probably in Europe in summer… as for training, I want to get to a state where I consistently complete a sub-4hr marathon comfortably.

Morph Performance Strength Training Class

Strength Training Classes Starting 5th Dec 2018

WhatsApp Image 2018-11-07 at 9.17.56 AMStrength Training Classes for Runners and Triathletes (Singapore)

Starting 5 Dec 2018

Every Wed, 7-8pm

Meeting Point: Along Singapore River behind the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.
(Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore 169663) | MAP

Subsequent classes are SGD$30 per person.

Click here to register!

We have partnered with International Fitness Consultants (IFC) to provide strength classes specifically for runners, triathletes and endurance athletes. This class is designed to accelerate strength and minimise injuries, and most importantly, to activate muscles that have weakened over time. The class will be in a group setting of 6 – 10 pax, and conducted along the Singapore River behind the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.

For further enquiries, please call Greg @ IFC +65 9452 2772

Morph Weekly Run

Morph Performance Weekly Fartlek and Hill Attack Sessions

Morph Weekly Run

Morph Performance Weekly Fartlek and Hill Attack Group Runs 

To support to our Morph community in their training (and to have some fun while at it!), we have organised two weekly runs which are open to all Morphletes and their friends. Looking forward to having more Morphletes join us each week!

Tuesdays Speed Play

630am @ Botanical Gardens, Nassim Gate
35-55min hilly fartlek session.
Park at Nassim Gate Carpark B or C.
Meeting point: Info/Visitor Area. Near lockers, toilet and water cooler. | MAP
5 min warmup on the flat carpark loop while waiting for late comers.



Thursdays Hill Attack

Thursdays 7PM @ Fort Canning
7PM for 35-55min hill attack session.
Meeting point @ Open carpark beside, Fort Canning MRT. | MAP
5 min warmup on the flat foothill loop while waiting for late comers.



If you are not a Morph Performance athlete and will like to join us, please contact us.


3D/2N TRI-Factor Engage Bintan Triathlon Camp 2017

3D/2N TRI-Factor Engage Bintan Triathlon Camp 2017

 7 Jul (Fri) – 9 Jul (Sun) 2017
Location: Bintan Lagoon Resort, Bintan Island, Indonesia
Athlete Price: SGD$998 – Twin/ Double Occupancy (Per Pax)
(SGD$100 & SGD$50 discount for First 10 Signups & Next 10 Signups respectively)
Non-Athlete Price: SGD$485
Single Room Top Up: SGD$132
To Register: Click here
Closing Date: 4 Jun 2017

Morph Performance is proud to announce our annual Bintan Triathlon Training Camp is back and will be held at the beautiful five-star Bintan Lagoon Resort. In partnership with Tri-Factor Series and Jacqtours, our camp offers a first-class experience coupled with the highest level of training/ racing information, endurance coaching, sports science testing and athlete support for triathletes.

Our training camp is uniquely designed to empower you to eat right, train smart and get strong – all these are key aspects to improve performance. The camp structure will focus on providing a balance between education, skills, training and testing for all experience levels

Most importantly, what makes Morph Performance really special are our partners and members. You will get to learn from talented practitioners and connect with some of the most interesting people at our camp.

This year, we have roped in Astavita, 2XU and Oakley as sponsors to ensure your training and recovery needs are met.

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Your Camp Support Crew:

Jon Fong Founder of Morph Performance. Jon oversees testing, education and coaching.

Jacq Tan – Founder of Jacqtours. Jacq oversees logistics and athlete/ concierge services.

Orange Room – Organizers of the Tri-Factor Series. Orange Room oversees logistics and camp administration.

Camp Agenda:

Our highly structured schedule will incorporate a variety of sessions throughout each day, but will also cater some time for you to “rest & relax” at the resort. We will provide a detailed agenda in June/ July, but here are the main highlights of the camp:

Education – Eat Right, Train Smart, Get Strong • Race Day – What To Expect

Skills – Open Water • Stroke Correction • Bike Handling & Climbing • Running Drills • Transitions

Training – Swim • Bike • Run • Strength & Stability • Stretch Cords • Yoga

TestingLactate Threshold

Support – Our support crew will ensure everything runs smoothly and you are well looked after.


What’s Included:

• Ferry to Bintan Lagoon Resort for you and your bike
Express customs clearance
Welcome to camp introduction on 7 Jul (Fri)
• 2017 Tri-Factor camp tee
• 2017 Tri-Factor camp goodie bag
• All your meals are covered from 7 Jul (Fri) – 9 Jul (Sun)
• Support vehicle (pumps, wheels and spares included) for all rides
• Daily fuel (fruit, water, isotonic drinks, bars, gels, etc) provided for all sessions
• Lactate Threshold test is valued at SGD$250
• Team challenge and camp awards on 9 Jul (Sun)
• Ferry back to Tanah Merah Terminal for you and your bike

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If you are keen to learn from the experts and seek an awesome training experience, register now to book your spot.

Note: Closing date for camp registration is 4 Jun 2017 (subject to room availability).


Don’t Go Breaking My Heart….

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart….



Each and every runner hits that wall, that moment when you struggle to move any faster. Despite all the hard sessions you put in, you just can’t seem to progress to the next level. Let’s say for instance you’ve been losing weight, you’re getting stronger and your 6:30km split has turned into a 5:30km split. But then as you venture out on your weekend run, a runner passes you at a speed you can’t fathom, and he doesn’t even look like he’s trying. You pick up your pace, and dig deep, but no matter how hard you push, the speed just isn’t plausible, at least not for long. You head home confused and a little defeated.


What was that guy doing differently that helped him run at such lightning fast pace? And more importantly, how can you get to that level?

The training theory required is known as athlete development. By understanding your body’s aerobic and anaerobic thresholds, your heart rate training zones, and how making use of these information to improve your running performance. All important factors that impact the ability to develop a strong and consistent running paces, capable of taking you to that next level and keeping you there long term. So let’s break this down.

Heart rate zones are critical to understanding your body, and how it will react at different paces. There are 5 zones, 1-5 and they typically start at around 120bpm and max out at 185-190bpm. What’s important to know is your breakdown of zones, and at what point you cross over the lactate threshold that quickly sends you into a crash.


“There are 5 zones, 1-5 and they start at around 120bpm and max out at 185-190bpm”

As an example, my 4:30km pace might see my heart rate sit at around 140bpm, which has me comfortably running in zone 2, which is great for building endurance and burning fat. Your 4:30km pace however, may tell a very different story. Let’s say for the sake of my example, at that speed your heart rate has now climbed to 165bpm (beats per minute), and pushes you into Zone 4, borderline Zone 5. This means you’re quickly exceeding your lactate threshold and are only minutes from hitting the wall, thus ending your run abruptly and with little benefit.

Have you ever felt this? Mid race when you try push a pace you know isn’t comfortable, and despite that little voice in your head telling you to slow down, you just can’t?

This is known as hitting the wall, and it sucks. This is the point when your lactic acid build up has reached a point where it can no longer be cleared quick enough, and your muscles begin to work inefficiently. Soon enough, your legs start to feel heavy and fatigue shows it’s nasty face.


So what can you do learn about your heart rate zones?

Going to a sports science lab and getting tested gives you the platform to gain accurate understanding of not only your heart rate zones, but also your lactate threshold, which are critical to long-term development, and to assist in becoming a race ready athlete. The biggest eye opening moment will come when you realize you’ve been training much harder than required, and likely to the detriment of your development. It’s an easy mistake to make, to think running hard and fast will develop you into a stronger and faster runner, but the reality is quite the opposite.


So what’s next?

Get yourself checked out to gain an understanding of what’s possible. See what’s waiting for you should you decide to take that next step, go after a sub three hour marathon, or chase down that sub 4:00min split. The potential within you is limitless, it’s just up to you, and how much you want it.


This guest post was written by SydneyTrailRunner.


Dwayne Dixon – @SydneyTrailRunner
Ultra Marathon and Marathon
Morph Performance – Social Ambassador
Sydney, Australia



Train Smarter, Race Faster with Lactate Threshold Testing

Train Smarter, Race Faster with Lactate Threshold Testing



Regardless if you are a newbie, competitive age grouper or elite athlete, the amount of time and effort put into training for your upcoming endurance event is pretty sizeable. It’s probably more than you can afford each week, but you still get out there and put in the mileage. Something worth considering is the effectiveness of those miles and if it’s really giving you the biggest benefit.

Good news is with lactate threshold testing, the accurate data significantly improves the quality of your training and racing. To keep things nice and simple, the following article highlights how it all works.

What is lactate and lactate threshold?

Lactate is a fuel source produced when your body breaks down glucose for energy. When training at an easy aerobic intensity, lactate is converted back into energy and it’s concentration in your blood is kept constant. This process is called lactate clearance and this ability differs for everyone.

When pushing a higher intensity, the energy required goes up and more lactate gets produced to cope with the demand. Since your body effectively clears lactate at a fixed rate, the blood lactate concentration will keep rising till it eventually goes out of control. This tipping point is referred to as the lactate threshold.

To better explain this process, try pouring water down a funnel at a steady rate. Then gradually increasing the amount being poured. The funnel can only handle a fixed volume of water passing through and will overflow once maxed out.

Why is lactate threshold important?

Lactate threshold is a performance marker that determines your output (i.e. speed or power) at the point when you stop clearing lactate. Pushing past this point not only depletes your limited glycogen stores aggressively, it also significantly reduces your muscle functionality. A classic example is going too hard at the start and blowing up in the back half of a race.

By knowing your heart rate and output at threshold, you can work out your clearance zone and it’s corresponding heart rate range. Training within this specific zone programs your body to be more efficient and improves your threshold output over time. This results in you fatiguing less on hilly courses and being able to sustain a quicker pace for longer periods of time.

Without accurate threshold data you often end up training too hard and missing out on building a bigger aerobic base. This limits your potential to improve, minimises your performance gains and runs a higher risk of overtraining.

Lactate threshold testing

Lactate threshold testing is suited for athletes of all levels and is the most accurate method of determining training intensity zones. Follow up testing tracks improvements and current data is used to develop effective race pacing strategies. This test runs for about 30 minutes (depends on the number of stages) and the workload increases with each stage till lactate threshold is achieved. Heart rate is tracked and blood lactate is measured from finger samples at the end of each stage. It’s a sub-maximal test and only requires a harder effort in the final stages.


The above graph shows the test result of a fit age-group athlete. Lactate threshold was achieved when the reading crossed 4 mmol/L (in blue) at which the measured speed was 14.11 km/h and heart rate was 174 b/min (in green).

Despite clocking a good threshold speed during the treadmill test, the early stages at lower intensities were all above 2 mmol/L (in purple). Since lactate concentrations were high and more energy was required to produce the sustainable speeds (in red), the athlete needs to spend time training in the clearance zone to effectively bring these readings down by the next test.


This next graph above shows the result of an elite endurance athlete. Notice how well lactate is cleared even at high speeds. Achieving this result is possible if you train specifically and spend time in your optimal heart rate zones.


This final graph above shows the result of a sprint distance athlete. With an evidently poor ability to clear lactate, sustaining race pace for a long period of time is not possible in an endurance event. To significantly improve lactate threshold, retraining is necessary to first establish an acceptable base level of clearance.

What to do after getting tested

Completing your first lactate threshold test will give you a pretty good idea of where your ability stands as an endurance athlete. The result serves as a baseline measurement to compare with future tests to track your improvements and trend your progress. It’s important to evaluate the test data, detail a development strategy and apply these learnings to your training plan.

Getting tested right before a big race is also useful to measure your level of fatigue. If you are not recovering well, changes can be made to your tapering process to get you racing optimally. Use the test results to put together an effective pacing strategy to perform at your best on race day.

Be wary of reports that bombard you with lots of numbers, technical jargon and don’t offer much useful information. If you have never done testing before, it helps to ask beforehand about the test results and their application with training and racing. The response you get should be pretty telling if it’s going to be good value on your investment.

With exception to lactate clearance, fat burning is another glaring weakness seen in most endurance athletes. Regular testing provides you and your coach with concrete evidence of improvement, in both short and long-term development. If you are serious about achieving peak performance, give it a try and start training smarter and racing faster.

Jon Fong is a High Performance Coach and Master Sports Scientist for Morph Performance.