Training Notes: Singaporean National Long-Distance Runner Soh Rui Yong

, April 23, 2018

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Accurately measuring the width of the world of endurance requires a stopover in Singapore, where long-distance runner Soh Rui Yong finds his base. The athlete’s palmarès include gold medals in the 2015 and 2017 South East-Asian Games, while also holding Singapore’s Marathon and Half Marathon records, 2:24:55 (Chicago, 2016) and 67:21 (San Jose Rock N’ Roll, 2015) respectively. Studies at the University of Oregon explain for some of this resilience and a 14:55.91 personal best in the 5k.

Have a read through his training notes to get a feel for Soh’s training and approach.

Where do you usually train?

I work a full-time job back home in Singapore, so for time management purposes I do most of my training sessions near my home or workplace. Thankfully, my home is near Bedok Reservoir (4.3km dirt loop) and my office is near the Singapore River. Along the river, I’ve made my own 16km – 19km loop that goes along the river banks and tourist attractions, making it one of the most scenic runs in the country. I try to be creative and discover new routes to have fun during my runs!

How important is location for your training – access to terrain or facilities?
Because I spend 40-45 hours a week at the office, very. I minimise travel time as much as possible as it already takes me about 30 minutes to commute to work, and another 30 minutes to commute home by bus and train.

What does a typical week look like when you’re at your home base?
Monday – Easy 8km AM, Track workout PM (after work)
Tuesday – 16km
Wednesday – Easy 16km AM, Easy 8km PM
Thursday – Easy 8km AM, Track workout PM (after work)
Friday – 16km
Saturday – Long Run (25-35km)
Sunday – 16km

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What kind of training do you do when you’re short of time?
I organise my day so that I always get in what I planned to do with my training. But if short on time, I go out for an easy run and do some strides to maintain fitness and speed.

Do you mainly train alone or with other people or groups?
Alone. People join in every now and then.

How does your winter training differ from your summer training?
Summer all year round in Singapore! When I’m in Flagstaff, Arizona on training camps in the winter, I wear more clothes and do a more comprehensive warm up before faster sessions.

How has your training evolved in the course of your career?
More mileage and intensity built up over the years. A gradual process.

How important is nutrition for you?
Very. But I’m not obsessive. I try to get in lots of fruit, vegetables and protein, but I also do my best to enjoy what I do in life – eating included. I love Japanese soba noodles and Japanese curry.

What are your nutrition secrets, recipes or snacks that everyone should think about using?
No secrets, just consistently maintain a nutritious diet.

What other parts of your work are important for your career, but aren’t specifically to do with training? What is important “behind-the-scenes” work?
I guess this would mean maintaining a balance in all other aspects of my life, so that I can keep training consistently. If I neglect my office work or my relationship or my family to focus solely on training, I might have short-term gains but they won’t be sustainable because the life imbalance will always catch up to you, and disrupt training in turn. The most effective way to have consistent training in the long-term is to have a good life balance.

If you weren’t a professional athlete, what would you be doing?
Probably working a normal job, looking out the window and wondering what could have been. One life, live it!

Find Soh Rui Yong at the catchy domain, runsohfast.com to track his training, races and socials.