Whether you’re planning to pick up a new recreational fitness routine or participate in the November ASICS Relay, two-time SEA Games gold medallist marathoner Soh Rui Yong shares his top training tips.
1. A good friend can motivate you
“When I am slacking, Agus Prayogo is training. Even on the worst days, my body warms up into the run and a few minutes in, I’m glad I got out of bed,” says Rui Yong. It’s easy to put things off and say you’ll start tomorrow. If the competitive spirit isn’t enough to get you out the door, try partnering up with a workout buddy the way that Victoria’s Secret Angels Jasmine Tookes and Josephine Skriver have.
2. Alternate between one minute of running and one minute of walking for 20 minutes
It’s an easy way for beginners to get in the groove. Well, after slipping into sneakers. “Gradually progress to two minutes of running and one minute of walking, then three minutes of running and one minute of walking,” he shares. Time-wise, kick off with 20 minutes without stopping and increase it to 30 minutes, then 40 minutes.
3. Run three to four times a week
You’ve gained momentum and fallen into a nice routine, we get it. But your body needs to recuperate so be careful not to strain yourself. Anything less is too little and anything more risks injury.
4. Increase mileage by 10 to 15 per cent each week
Planning to join a marathon? Start working at it at least two months in advance, says Rui Yong. “Use speed to supplement mileage, but not substitute it.” Ease into the routine with something manageable then gradually grow to go the distance.
5. Increase speed by doing 4 to 8 light strides in 100m after easy runs
When it comes to training for a marathon, mileage is definitely more significant than speed, but that doesn’t mean speed doesn’t matter either. At the end of a base run, incorporate speed workouts like 4 to 8 x 100m strides (short bursts of quick running) at least once a week. "When ready, do a 10 x 200m interval session. Increase it to 10 x 300m, and eventually 10 x 400m," advises Rui Yong. Its purpose? To maintain speed and efficiency that will help make a marathon pace feel slow.
6. If you’re feeling breathless, remind yourself to relax your breathing
"You have to relax and find your own natural breathing pattern. Once you do, it’s second nature. I don’t even realize how I breathe when I run," he says. Fancy getting your zen on with a meditation quickie before your work out? A tip from meditation teacher Holiday Phillips is to focus on one sound to calm your mind. We think it helps to focus on inhalation and exhalation for 5 minutes before pounding the pavement.
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