5 months ago we could not even complete a 4k run without
feeling light headed, out of breath with pain radiating
from every muscle in our body. We knew running would
not be easy for a newbie.
Before we got to know about the beginners' running group
led by Wan Yew Leong, the three of us, Ng Yen Kar, Koo
Chi Kien and I had tried running once individually on
our own but with varying degrees of success. Let's just
say it was a bumpy start.
Why we started running?
Yen Kar put on his shoes one day and ran in FRIM Kepong,
only to find himself completely out of breath and winded
after only 5 minutes. He had made up his mind earlier
in 2009 to pick up running after considering the other
options like swimming which he decided was too messy,
basketball and futsal which would require looking for
team mates and just too tedious.
While Koo wanted to look good in his tux on his wedding
day and it seemed logical to take up some kind of sport
for fitness and health reasons.
Whereas I picked up running because I was tired of
always feeling exhausted at the end of a working day.
I knew needed to exercise more regularly and running
seemed like an obvious choice because it does not require
any special skills or expensive equipment. All that
was needed was a decent pair of running shoes.
We had no running experience at all and didn't quite
know how to go about it.
We needed help!
We had all came to know about the beginners' running
group from Google-ling, family or friends. In September
2009, we all made arrangements to join Wan on Saturday
morning at the park. The session started with brief
introductions and then warm up. Wan explained to us
the importance of warming up before a run. Then we headed
towards the park with the regulars of the running group
for our first run together. Needless to say it was a
painful experience because we were so unfit and struggled
to complete 4k but we still had tons of fun. It was
comforting as well, as Wan explained how we should feel
and advice on how we should be breathing as we ran.
We watched in awe as the regular runners ran with such
ease. It really motivated us to come back again.
After the first run, we came back every Saturday to
run with the beginners' running group. We got to know
the regulars of the group and discovered that some were
seasoned runners, some with 30 over years running experience.
They were really cool about sharing their stories and
experiences with us. We improved gradually and soon
were able to complete 6k with relative ease.
Training for our first race
Soon, after we 'graduated' from the beginners' running
group. We were advised to take part in races in order
to improve so we decided to train together for the Mizuno
Wave Run 2009. Armed with a little more information
on running, every Saturday, we would meet in the park
to run the 10km double hill route. In the spirit of
the beginners' running group, we trained together and
shared running information with each other. Having friends
to train and run with really helps because we motivate
and push each other to do better. Knowing that your
running buddies are expecting you at the park ensures
that you don't miss training.
We ran the double hill route consistently for weeks
and when race day came, everyone had a good run and
personal goals were met.
Feeling motivated from our first race, we trained harder
for our second race, the Malakoff 12 km run. It was
tough but super fun.
We just ran our longest run last weekend, the 20km Hartamas
route. And we're training to do the 21km for the Putrajaya
(From left) Koo Chi Kien, Ng Yen Kar, Joline Tang and
Perhaps we had many different personal reasons for
running when we first started. Today, we run simply
because it's fun.
Thanks to Wan and Runners Malaysia, we learned a lot
about running and we are constantly motivated to keep
10th January 2010