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Feb 16 / 2017

Smoking 20 cigarettes a day to running Ultras

From 20 Cigarettes A Day to 160 kilometer A Week

--To Give Anything Less Than Your Best is to Sacrifice the Gift

Alex Koh, one of the top trail runners in Singapore, shared with us the passion and experiences of his inspiring running career in his lead up to the MSIG Sai Kung50. In 2004, Alex received a disappointing physical checkup report which took its toll on his health at the age of 27. Alex used to be a heavy smoker smoking about 20 cigarettes a day. He started full-time working in 2002, late night working and irregular meals made him gain a lot of weight, up to 73kg. Looking at the medical report, Alex decided to quit smoking and started to do some recreational running plus serious gym workouts. When it comes to running, “I only started serious training in 2012, race in marathons and ultra-marathons,” Alex said.  Alex runs ultras with ease now but It’s not hard to imagine how much Alex suffered at the beginning. He was only able to run 3km on a treadmill. “Just learn to crawl before you walk. I decided to increase my mileage slowly, every beginner should be patient,” he said.

Alex won the overall fourth in 2016 MSIG Singapore 50 and he is looking forward to 2017 MSIG Sai Kung 50 this Saturday.

As an experienced runner, Alex has a special training plan for himself, running is his mean of transportation for work. Alex started running to office from home since 2014: “It was tough to wake up early for running at first and I felt tired in the rest of the day thereafter.” However, with determination, he slowly eased into the brand-new schedule, Alex gradually entered blissful running experiences. He could run to work and run back home for days straight. To increase the mileage and build up the aerobic base, Alex challenges long hikes on weekends.

With his training schedule, Alex managed to clock as much as 160km a week and never lose focus on the races that he always wanted to do. In order not to neglect his family, Alex also set a special timetable for his weekend. “I make it my ritual to wake up early like 4am and complete my run in 4 hours. I would make it back home at 10am so that I can have breakfast with my family.” Furthermore, Alex tried his best to not let his running affect his work so He always reaches office at half past seven in the morning and starts working an hour later. By finding the balance between family, work and running, Alex found his life is dramatically enriched and fulfilled.

Reviewing his running career over 10 years, Alex gives much thanks to those around him. “It is important to have the support and understanding from your family, company and seniors at work if you want to achieve your goal,” he continues, “All he asks and does is about trying and doing the best.

He would also like to share his favorite quote with us.

 

 “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

-       Steve Prefontaine

 

從每天20支煙到每週160公里

——沒有用盡全力,就是浪費天賦

 

Alex Koh是一個來自新加坡的精英越野賽跑手,他大方向我們分享了自己跑步生涯的許多趣事和經歷。2004年,當時27歲的Alex收到了一份體檢報告,才驚覺自己的健康狀況已敲響警鐘。在此之前,Alex是千萬煙民中的一員,平均每天要吸20根煙。他從2002年開始工作,長年累月的通宵達旦及不規律的飲食習慣讓他的體重一度飆升至73公斤。手握體檢報告的Alex下定決心要戒去煙癮,並通過休閒跑來改善自己的健康狀況。談到如何與跑步結緣,Alex回憶道:「真正把跑步這項運動當作愛好,應該是2012年。我從那時開始接觸馬拉松和極限馬拉松比賽。」俗話說,萬事開頭難,最初Alex只能在跑步機上完成三公里: 「循序漸進嘛,公里數都是一點點慢慢加上去的,不要心急。」

 

Alex曾在2016 「MSIG 新加坡 50」中順利贏得殿軍,他本週六將在由MSIG三井住友保險冠名贊助的「MSIG 西貢50」閃亮登場。

 

作為一名經驗十足的越野跑選手,Alex為自己制定了特別的訓練計劃,他將跑步作為上下班的交通方式。Alex從2014年開始跑步上班:「起初早起真的十分困難,而且跑步到公司后,我已經筋疲力盡,剩下的一整天都感覺無力工作。」然而隨著訓練的加緊,堅持不懈的Alex漸入佳境。早上跑步上班,晚上跑步回家,為了給自己建立有氧代謝基礎,Alex在週末閒時還會去爬山。

 

如今,Alex每週堅持高達160公里的跑步訓練,還十分關注和積極參加許多跑壇盛事。沉醉於跑步運動的Alex也會想辦法保證和家人的相處時間:「每個週末,我四時便早起去跑步,大約早上十點就回到家,然後我們一家人就可以一起吃個早餐了。」為了不影響工作,Alex早上7時30分便到達公司,8時30分便可以開始投入工作了。堅持家庭、工作和跑步三不誤,Alex覺得自己每天都過得十分充實。

 

回顧十數年的跑步經歷,Alex不忘感謝身邊人的支持:「當你決心要完成一個目標時,能否得到家人、公司及上司的理解是十分關鍵的要素。」他坦言自己所做的只是全力以赴,力求最好,最後更引用史提夫‧普里方丹的名言:

 

沒有用盡全力,就是浪費天賦。

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