Name: Soh Rui Yong
Date of Birth: 6 August 1991 (24yrs)
Personal Best(s): 2:26:01 (Men Marathon, 2014 California Marathon) 31:15.95 (Men 10000m, 2014 Portland Track Festival)
Career Highlight(s): –
Q) What are your hopes, dream and target this SEA Games?
I hope to train well and arrive at the start line in the shape of my life. As long as I show up well-prepared and give it my best effort, I can be proud of myself. The result will come.
Q) How’s your preparation for the SEA Games?
Running 6 days a week, twice a day, 160km week after week has put me in the shape of my life. I’m ready to give it a good go.
Q) What are some of the biggest challenges in your sports career so far leading to SEA Games and your athletics career?
Challenges include having to balance a university student’s workload with training and rest. That being said, that’s life, and we choose what we want to do with our 24 hours a day.
Q) How did you specialise in your particular event? Why this event, what’s the attraction?
I spent years running on the track, but only ventured to the marathon in December 2014. It was love at first sight. The challenge of the legendary 42.195km distance, coupled with the excitement brought to the event by mass participation, appeals greatly to my ambitious nature. I enjoy challenges.
Running the marathon also allows me to better connect with the community. 50,000 people participate in the Singapore Marathon every year, and many more in the various road races all around Singapore. It’s an honor to be a part of this amazing and healthy culture.
Q) Who is your coach, tell us more about him/her. Also a mention of your previous coaches.
My current coach is Ian Dobson. A Stanford University graduate and a 2008 USA Olympian (5000m), he has accomplished much both on and off the track. I actually got to know him as a friend before he became my coach, and I think that has really helped us work well together. He’s a guy I really look up to.
My previous coaches include Tom Heinonen, Steven Quek, Steven Lim, and Murugiah Rameshon. They have all played a part one way or another in shaping me to be the athlete I am today.
Steven Quek in particular played a very influential role in instilling the values of discipline and hard work in me. Those two values are what have allowed me to balance schoolwork and training at a high level. Working with Mr Quek for 5 and a half years set me up with a strong foundation, both mentally and physically.
Q) Do you take care of your nutrition and diet? Your opinion on supplements and food.
I eat a lot of pasta, meats, fruit and vegetables. Nutrition is definitely important to help me recover from runs, and a big reason why I have stayed injury free so far. I take Vitamin C and Vitamin D supplements to help support my immune system and bone health, but apart from that, I don’t use supplements and frankly don’t know much about them. I believe in getting nutrition from natural sources as far as possible.
Q) Aside from athletics, what else interest you? You could say the other part of your life beyond athletics.
The 4Ds: Dinner, drinks, dating, dancing.
Q) How do you fit in your training/competing with your family and studies/work?
Less procrastinating and more doing! Sounds easier than it is. I go to bed by 10pm and train first thing in the morning to get it out of the way so I have time for other things.
Q) Share with the readers, some aspects of your training regime.
I run twice a week Monday to Friday. The morning session is either a 80-90min run or a workout. The evening session is a recovery 40-50min run. Twice a week, I do strength and conditioning exercises for an hour before my run.
Q) What are your long term athletics goals?
The long term goal is to keep improving and being a better runner and person than I was the year before. If I stay on the right track, I believe I have a legitimate chance of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in the marathon. Even if I don’t, I’ll be happy as long as I’ve given it my best effort, and realized how far I can go given the talent I have been blessed with.
Q) What advice do you have for young aspiring athletes?
Keep training well and stay patient. You don’t become a better athlete tomorrow, next week, or even next month. It takes years of training before you will be ready to compete at a high level. As long as you keep your head down, get the miles in, and recover well, you will stay injury free and be on the right track.
And no racing during workouts.