High performance profile: Ling Er – IMMalaysia AG Champion

Ling Er is coming off a win at the F25-29 Age Group in Ironman Langkawi. AsiaTRI cought up with this high performance athlete that has now qualified twice to the Ironman World Championships and will be representing Singapore at the 2015 edition.

Ling Er on her way to win the F25-29 at Ironman Malaysia 2014
Ling Er on her way to win the F25-29 at Ironman Malaysia 2014

Name: Choo Ling Er
Nationality: Singaporean
Base: Singapore
Occupation: Full Time Triathlete/ Part Time Coach / Volunteer at Smile Asia
Family Status: Single (Attached)
Sponsors: SMILE ASIA/ Specialized Bicycles Asia Pacific/ 2XU/ Newton Running / Rocktape/ Barfly/ KeyPower International


  1. Can you tell us about your background in the sport?

I started triathlon late into my teens. I was representing Singapore at a National level for Badminton but soon lost interest in it once I started studying in Polytechnic. That was where I picked up running.

As with any teen trying to fast track themselves into any sport, I pick up a sport related injury where I tore my planta flex on my foot. It was months off the running shoe. I self-tough myself how to swim from countless youtube videos and magazine write ups. One thing lead to another, I soon bought myself a bike to compete in my first multi-sports race! The rest they say, is history! J

  1. Can you describe a typical training week?

My training week depends on the races I am targeting.

The last race which I did, Ironman Langkawi typically requires me to train anything from 15hrs upwards to 25hours depending on the area where I am working on.

Across the months, I will built up my mileage across the discipline and so will the intensity level differs. It basically looks like a curve on a chart and should be at its highest point a few weeks out before a race of such distance. It will gradually drop in terms of mileage duration but increase in intensity. It is critical in having a coach that you trust and can relate to, they are one of your most important key to success apart from the commitment the athlete’s actually puts in. A great coach will also be able to monitor your progress and keep you injury free for the whole season

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3. What is your favorite race in Asia and why?

It’s hard for me to put one race before the other as the beauty of this sports is that there is always something for you to take home and that makes the whole journey from the training to the actual race itself so fruitful.

If I really need to, I would say for 70.3 distances, it has to be Auckland.

The weather was cooling. I has a near perfect race and executed my run plan perfectly. It was also the race where I set a PB of 4 hrs51mins. It was just one of those race where you had a race cap on and you picture yourself racing like one of the pro women’s and going for ‘attacks’ and ‘responding’ to how the race is animated. I learnt so much from the race and most of all, I had so much fun!

For the Ironman distances, Ironman Langkawi which had just concluded over the weekend was one the best and favorite race I had so far. The race condition was humid and warm which suited me perfectly.

Bike course was undulating and that played in well to my strength on the bike and I was able to regain my lead after the swim from then on. I was racing with a few other experienced and strong competitors and that made the race even more interesting as I could not put the foot off the pedals until the very last lap of the run.

The race allowed me to learn so much more about my body and when you have a race plan that was executed perfectly, makes it all so much better.

  1. What are your best results so far and what are the next goals for you?

Winning Langkawi Ironman for my age group was by far the best result in my opinion. I had some top 3 finishes prior and I was hungry to claim first spot. It also allowed me to claim a slot to the Kona World Championships, making me the first Singaporean female to ever qualify for it twice!

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My next goal will be to continuously improve myself as a student of the sports and eventually, be competitive and win my age group in the Kona Ironman World Championships.

  1. Which is your favorite training session on each discipline and why?


3 x 1000m sets. It allows me to clear my head after a long day of coaching or to relax from my 1st work out session in the morning. Swimming generally feels therapeutic to me and I always enjoy being in it for a prolonged period. It also helps to keep me relax for the drill set that follows! Something that I don’t look forward to so much! :p


I love doing any long rides as long as the company is good! It’s stress free and is one of the very few workout that you are able to speak to one another without having your heart coming out of your nose! My long rides when training for Ironman distance is typically anything from 4 hours to 7 hours on the saddle.


I love doing interval session not for the pain it brings but solely for the reason that I am able to have a very artistic drawing of the distance covered when I upload my files on training peaks! Don’t judge me for it! It is what I psych myself with to complete the workout and still have something to look forward to after that!

Thank you AsiaTri for taking this opportunity to speak to me! It’s and honor and privilege to speak to you and I hope my insights might give aspiring athlete’s to keep your mojo high for training and also to have more women to understand better and take up triathlon in the future!

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