Ever wondered what gets runners going? Or how one even gets started in the beginning? We speak to 5 different women from different walks of life as they share with us their story behind picking up this habit. Don’t miss out on their tips to get yourself started too!
“I started running when I was in my teens around 15-16 years old. My dad was an avid runner and I would tag along whenever he goes out for his runs in the evening after work and on weekends. I used to run behind him and had a hard time chasing him and wondering how could this 50+ yr old man run faster than me! I fell in love with running since. It was also a time I bonded with my dad & he would teach me all the techniques in running.”
Lorna prefers the Half Marathon distances but after a hamstring injury, she has had to run shorter distances and has ventured into trail running as well. She has attempted three full marathons so far but doesn’t particularly enjoy too much distance because it requires more training and effort. Lorna is also into trail running. “Trail running is a totally different ball game altogether than road running and requires a lot more endurance and leg strength but I absolutely love it,” she says.
“I would encourage women to take up running for many reasons – It is free, you can run anywhere as no gym membership is required! It’s one of the best calorie-busting workout. Running, needless to say give you great, toned legs! A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. Regular running boosts your mood by releasing feel-good endorphins. It’s a natural stress reducer especially during that time of the month. Running like other high-impact sports also helps build bone density & strengthen the bones and muscles and it’s good for delaying the onset of early osteoporosis & arthritis. Research has also shown that regular running can help reduce breast cancer by up to 30%.”
Her mother has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and she’s been advising more women out there to be more active because of it. “It doesn’t guarantee you won’t be struck by any illness but at least you know you’re doing something to reduce the chances of you getting on.”
Lorna’s advice on getting the right gear for running:
“There’s so much variety of running gear lately there’s no problem in looking for one! It really depends on the budget but for beginners I recommend sweat-wicking (dri-fit) fabric for running tops (tanks, short/long sleeved, etc) & bottoms (tights, shorts, compression). They work very well in our hot & humid weather! For women it’s very important to find a good, supportive sports bra (or crop top) & I would recommend a good reliable brand for this one. Find a sports bra that is almost seamless near the armpits to prevent chafing and find one that has a fuller cup to prevent excessive bouncing for those who are more endowed.”
Lorna is a certified NASM Personal Trainer and an outdoor Bootcamp instructor at Xcelerate FitCamp and runs her own Women’s Only outdoor small group training weekday mornings. Currently pursuing her Flow Yoga Teacher Training, she hopes to start a yoga class for athletes especially runners once she gets certified.
Adele started running because of ‘health reasons’ as she would put it after two people commented on the way she looked. “Losing weight played the biggest role in this equation. I am quite the determined and focused sort. If I set my mind and heart to it, I usually get it done. And in this case, I did. I dedicated 30 minutes of running 4 times a week and watched what I ate. Of course back then, I didn’t know much about exercise and nutrition. I managed to lose weight, a LOT of it! Within 2.5 years, I lost 15kg. My lowest at 35kg! But what I didn’t know was that I was overdoing it without proper nutrition” she says.
After a year of break from running, she then when back to it and took running more seriously. “I saw the Puma Running Club event on Facebook and thought it would be good for me to make some running friends. I was always a lone ranger (still am!) and making new friends was something that I would not normally do. With a little more knowledge about training, the right mind set and focus, I managed to compete and I have never missed a podium position since.”
Through running, Adele was able to see how capable her body was. She also came out a person who started running because of hating the way she looked to making it part of her future career.
Adele’s 3 Push Factors:
- Pushing my limits, how I feel after and not wanting to lose the fitness gains (feeling stronger, health benefits etc.) as well as wanting achieve new personal bests.
- Running is the main way I get my heart rate up and I love the feeling after a good run. I may dread it at times, but I know that once I get out there, there are no regrets!
- I’ve spent a lot of time building endurance, strength and power. I wouldn’t want to start ALL over again because I was TOO LAZY! It is not impossible to bounce back but I can tell you that it is HARD. So, that motivates me to keep doing it!
Adele was the leader of the Puma Night Running Club until the end of 2015. Currently, she is with the Tom, Dick and Harry running club till she leaves for Australia in February 2016. She has done several trail-running (and loves it!) and one climbathon (mountain running). She’s done every distance including 3km, 5km, 10km, 12km, 15km, Half Marathon) up till the full marathon distance of 42.195km. You can follow Adele and her running at http://www.adeleruns.com.
Evelyn’s first run was a 10km in highschool and then a 5km in 2010 in Nike We Run KL 101010 to raise funds for animal charity with a bunch of friends. She then took a break until 2012 (when she turned 38) and once she started again, she did not stop. She has had 2 injuries ever since 2012 when she started running again because of the “too far, too fast” a syndrome that hits many runners when they start going further than we should, but those injuries did not stop her from continuing.
“I prefer long distances as I can’t sprint. So distances above 21km are my preferred choice. I have completed one ultra 70km Route 68 in May 2015. DNF (Did not finish my last ultra in September 2015) as my torn ankle ligament gave me problems again at my first CP but went on until I was pulled over at KM73 for missing the cut off time by 2 minutes. Now after 3 months rehab and physiotherapy, I am beginning my training from scratch and have a couple of full marathons and ultras set for this year and a major Big Red Run in 2017 (250km over 6 days running across Simpson desert in Australia).”
Evelyn manages her time by balancing it out. “I wake up early on weekdays so that I can pack in my training before I head out to work. Since I also blog, evening training sessions are quite tough since some reviews are in the evening. Weekends are my favourite to chill at home with my husband and kids, family and friends plus I get to pack in longer training hours since I technically work a 5 day week. I train 6 days a week with my long runs reserved for weekends so that it does not interfere with work.”
She has also seen discipline take form after running for years.” It takes a certain discipline to commit to a training schedule, eat well and rest well. There are days when work schedule is crazy but training must go on or when I still need to train even though I am travelling.”
Evelyn’s tips to picking out a good running shoe:
“Do not be distracted by designs. Go to a good shop and let them check your feet profile. Then they can advise you accordingly what is best for your foot form. Remember one needs different running shoes when one opts to run on the road and also trail running. I always go half size larger because the feet does expand after a long run plus bring along your running socks when doing a fitting.”
Evelyn Ang Loo works in the advertising industry and has also picked up a love for walking after an injury in 2015. She even completed a 12-hour walk in December 2015 where she walked a total of 56km. You can visit her blog at http://www.missyblurkit.com/ for more tips and her involvement in running.