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Jun 22 / 2017

Ivy Thong- F1 Runners’ Team looking forward to MSIG Singapore

Ivy Thong, a trail run enthusiast from F1 Runners’ Team looking forward to challenge 2017 MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50!

1.What got you into Trail Running? How long have you been doing it?

Well, I have always been one to continuously challenge myself with all different types of runs. I was initially quite hesitant about doing trail runs. My first trail run was a few years ago at Macritchie, with a very close friend of mine. After that first experience, both of us fell in love with trail running. We began to like trail running more than running on normal roads. The uneven terrain and changing landscapes make trail running both challenging and less monotonous. Due to time constraint, we could only do trail runs on weekends but that has not stopped our love for it. What’s most motivating about trail running is the fact that it has not only improved our stamina, but has improved our pace when we run on normal road.

 

2.How would you prepare for the race?

Before a race, our Coach Lexxus Tan will put Ms Audrey Hau aka “my Twin” and I through a series of very tough drill runs targeting at improving speed and endurance. By the way, Audrey is my running buddy. Ever since we got to know each other in 2015, we have been training together and motivating each other as we pitted ourselves against different challenges. We train almost every day: in the mornings before going to work and on week nights too. To prepare for a race, our Coach Lexxus puts together a structured program for the few weeks before the actual day race. The program includes a mix of drills and long runs. We stick to the program strictly and at the pace set for us. His tailor made programs and close supervision has enabled us to be race conditioned as we draw closer to race day and in tip top condition on race day itself.

 

3. How to balance the daily work and pre-race training?

The balancing was hard initially but over time it has become easy once it became routine. Audrey and myself wakes up at 4 am each morning and follows the weekly program that has been set for us. In a typical week, Monday and Thursday mornings are for trail runs at Macritchie, under the close supervision of Coach Lexxus. Rain or shine, the training goes on. I am particularly appreciative of Coach Lexxus’ dedication and support – knowing that I have a normal 9am – 6pm desk bound job, he sacrifices his sleep to be with us in the early hours of the day. Our training ends at about 7 am, after which I shower and head to work. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings are set aside for gym training at Fitness First gym where we work on our core muscles. Tuesday and Wednesday evenings are for speed and endurance training and Friday nights for aqua-fit training. We round up the week with swimming, biking and training runs on weekends.

It is very compact program that requires discipline and sacrifice. What keeps us going are the improvements and successes that the training has brought us. These achievements have encouraged me to work even harder.

 

4. What are your personal or team goals for the race?

I was a sprinter during my school days and have represented my school in 4x100m races. My goal then was to represent my country in short distance events one day. However, ever since I started long distance running, I could see improvements in my speed stamina and endurance. That prompted me to switch from short to long distance running.

When I first started, my timing for a 10km run was 1 hr. 20 mins. However, ever since I started training under Coach Lexxus, I have made remarkable improvements. I am now able to complete my 10 km runs in 53 mins and my 21km runs in 1 hr. 51 mins. These are my PBs for now. My next target is to complete the 21 km runs in under 1 hr. 50 mins.

 

5. What’s your ideal trail running course and distance for beginners? How to deal with the heat? Any other advice for them?

If you are starting out, I would recommend doing short runs at Macritchie. Once you are used to the terrain and pace, slowly increase the distance of each run. Do bring along a water bottle as you run as it is very important to keep hydrated at all times. Sun shades are also needed as there are areas that are not sheltered and it can be quite scorching hot on a hot day. A good pair of training trail shoes is very important as you will be encountering very tough and undulating terrains and it can get slippery on wet days.

 

6. How do you encourage your family, friends or other people to join trail running?

To motivate my friends or family and to cultivate their interest in trail running, I usually choose an easy route and run next to them. In case they are lost or when they want to stop halfway, I will always be there for them. When I run with them, my aim will not be to clock fast times but to allow them to enjoy the run, feel the beauty of nature and be amazed by the ever changing sceneries. That motivates them a lot and inspires them to make trail running a part of their healthy lifestyles.

 

跑有態度心有柔情

 

不知道你有沒有這麼一種感受,在回想以往的點滴時,突然發現有那麼一些瞬間,因為某一個選擇,而改變了之後的人生。有時候故事就是這麼奇妙地開始了,正如幾年前熱衷短跑的Ivy Thong並不知道,一場偶然的越野跑從此改變了她的運動生涯,從一個力爭為祖國爭光的短跑選手,變成在起伏山路中不斷突破自我的越野跑手。

 

還在學校讀書時,Ivy 就代表過學校參加400米接力賽,她一直希望自己能有朝一日在短跑界創出佳績,成為代表國家出賽的一員。命運總是在不經意間出現驚喜的,在Macritchie時無意間與朋友一齊參加的一場越野賽讓Ivy從此改變了夢想。起伏的地勢,不斷變換的風景,清新的空氣,奔跑時輕撫耳朵的微風,Ivy像是打開了新世界的大門,從此與越野跑結下了不解的情緣。

 

想必多年的短跑經驗讓Ivy開始越野生涯時有了一定的基礎,越野跑訓練大大地增加了她的耐力和在普通跑道上的速度。既然愛上了越野跑,那麼就要認真對待。從2015年開始,Ivy便與她的搭檔Audrey一起,在教練Lexxus Tan的教導下開始進行非常專業的訓練。無論春夏秋冬,無論畫風下雨,她們每四點起床,進行每週兩天的越野跑訓練和三天的健身鍛煉,就算是晚上下班後,教練也給她們安排了其他關於速度和耐力的訓練。在如此高強度的練習和教練耐心的教導下,Ivy的成績有了卓越的提升。「一開始跑10公里的賽程需要花費我1小時20分鐘的時間,自從跟著Lexxus教練培訓后,我取得了卓越的進步。如今我可以在53分鐘內完成10公里的賽程,並且在1小時51分鐘內跑完21公里。這些是我目前的最佳紀錄,我下一個目標突破21公里的個人最佳時間。」

 

不僅對待越野跑的態度認真,在家人和朋友,Ivy一直用一種細心且關懷的態度照顧著他們。被問及會怎樣鼓勵朋友和家人參加越野跑時,她是這麼說的:「我通常都會選擇一條簡單的路線,并一直陪伴在他們左右。和他們一起跑步時,我不再追求速度,而是與他們一起感受大自然的美麗。」 越野跑此時對她來說,不僅是一種運動,而是與家人朋友共度美好時光的方式。

 

MSIG新加坡動感亞洲50即將於下月15日開賽,即使已經有非常多的越野比賽經驗,Ivy也沒有懈怠。在每日上班之前和下班之後,她都與搭檔Audrey一起進行訓練。他們的教練專門為此次比賽制定了訓練計劃。「我們嚴格按照計劃進行訓練,有教練的方案和密切的監督,我相信我們能夠在比賽時能保持最佳狀態。」

 

運動的本質包含著熱愛和真摯。對待越野跑如此認真,對他人的細心與關懷的Ivy肯定會取得不錯的成績。故事還在繼續,在綠野中奔馳的Ivy依然不忘初心,對越野跑的愛也不會結束。而她今後越野生涯之後會如何,真讓人期待呢。

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