Marathoner Mok has until July 11 to clock 2hr 19min to qualify for Rio
Mok has to lower personal best by seven and a half minutes by July 11 to qualify for Rio
He has to shave seven and a half minutes off his personal best of 2hr 26min 30sec from the Gold Coast Marathon in 2013, to qualify for the Rio Olympics from Aug 5 to 21.
Mok Ying Ren, the 2013 South-east Asia (SEA) Games marathon champion, has until July 11 to do that.
However, he will not be setting any markers to gauge whether he is on track to beat the qualifying mark of 2:19:00 before the deadline.
The 27-year-old, who has taken one year off from his residency in orthopaedic surgery with the National University Health System (NUHS) to train with the Boulder Track Club in Boulder, Colorado, until July, said that the preparations were more than just the final push for Olympic qualification.
"Training to qualify for the Olympics is not a one-year project. Mine started three years ago," he said.
However, he also acknowledged that it would not be easy, especially with his training having been disrupted by injuries.
A shin injury saw him missing the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
He then withdrew from last year's SEA Games due to a left gluteal muscle injury.
In October, he had a partial tear in his right retina after a freak accident, in which an elastic band used during training hit him in the eyes.
"My plan was disrupted by injuries, reducing my training by a year. I won't deny that it will be challenging but I will try my best," said Mok.
He also told The New Paper that his training under three-time Australian Olympian, Lee Troop, had needed some getting used to.
"It was tough settling into the training programme," the previously self-coached marathoner admitted.
"I was training too hard (when I was self-coached) and I didn't know if it was enough."
His current training involves two running sessions that add up to 90 minutes every day except Wednesdays and Sundays, when he goes for long runs of 150 minutes.
His training with potential Olympians, including Jonathan Grey and Sean Quigley, has debunked common perception of a "secret formula" to winning.
"There's really no formula to winning," he said.
"When you see the US runners run, you will see that it's all hard work."
Mok's training was rewarded last Sunday he set a new national record for the half-marathon, clocking 1:07:08 at the Arizona Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon.
It eclipsed the 1:07:21 mark set by compatriot and last year's SEA Games marathon champion Soh Rui Yong.
Soh had beaten Mok's previous record of 1:07:29 at the San Jose Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon, in September.
Mok said that the record also gave him a boost.
"I'm very happy to break it. For the last two years, there were ups and downs in my results," he said.
"It's the fastest that I've ever run."
But Mok is not slowing his pace towards Rio. He will be spending the Chinese New Year away from his family and fiancee, training as usual.
"There's really no time to travel back. There's only six months and all the time matters," he said.
However, the ultimate goal of competing at the Olympics will be a motivation for him.
"The Olympics are a high-level game dominated by the Kenyans," he said. "It'll be an honour to start with all these athletes."