6 ways to improve your running performance

SEA Games marathoner Soh Rui Yong shares his top training tips

Whether you are planning to pick up a fitness routine or participate in one of the many long-distance runs on offer, two-time SEA Games gold medallist marathoner Soh Rui Yong, 26, has his top training tips to share.

1. A good friend can motivate you

"When I am slacking, (Indonesian athlete) Agus Prayogo is training. Even on the worst days, my body warms up into the run. A few minutes in, I am glad I got out of bed," said Soh.

If the competitive spirit is not motivating enough, try partnering up with a workout buddy the way Victoria's Secret models Jasmine Tookes and Josephine Skriver have.

2. Alternate between a minute of running and a minute of walking

It is an easy way for beginners to get into the groove.

"Gradually progress to two minutes of running and one minute of walking, then three minutes of running and one minute of walking," Soh said.

Time-wise, kick off with 20 minutes without breaks and increase it to 30 minutes, then 40 minutes.

3. Run three to four times a week

Your body needs to recuperate. Anything less is too little and anything more risks injury.

Use speed to supplement mileage, but not substitute it. Soh Rui Yong

4. Increase mileage by 10 per cent to 15 per cent each week

Planning to join a marathon? Start working at it at least two months in advance, said Soh.

He added: "Use speed to supplement mileage, but not substitute it."

Ease into the routine with something manageable then gradually grow to go the distance.

5. Increase speed by doing light strides in 100m after easy runs

When it comes to training for a marathon, mileage is definitely more significant than speed, but that does not mean that speed does not matter either.

At the end of a base run, incorporate speed workouts such as four to eight times of 100m strides - short bursts of quick running - at least once a week.

"When ready, do a 10x200m interval session. Increase it to 10x300m, and eventually 10x400m," said Soh.

Its purpose? To maintain speed and efficiency that will help make a marathon pace feel slow.

6. Relax your breathing

"You have to relax and find your own natural breathing pattern. Once you do, it is second nature," Soh said.

A tip from meditation teacher Holiday Phillips is to focus on one sound to calm your mind, so it helps to zero in on inhalation and exhalation for five minutes before pounding the pavement.

This article first appeared on 
Her World Online 

Team Singapore