Name: Su Mingyan Landdis
Date of Birth: 9 November 1989 (26yrs)
Personal Best(s): 44.62m (Men discus throw, 2015 IVP)
Career Highlight(s): 1st (New Record) IVP 2015
Q) What are your hopes, dream and target this SEA Games?
I hope to break the 45m barrier during the SEA Games, regardless of position.
Q) How’s your preparation for the SEA Games?
Preparations are going well as I start to focus more on my technique. I am also focusing more on plyometric work so that I can execute my throw at a higher speed but at the same time, not compromising any form.
Q) What are some of the biggest challenges in your sports career so far leading to SEA Games and your athletics career?
One of the biggest challenges is going through army. Army training was mainly cardio and activities such as field camps and route marches really deprive our nutrition and power component as an athlete. I became sluggish due to such army training and lost a significant amount of mass. Other barriers to my career were the doubt of my ability as my performance stagnated for years despite training hard and also rather serious injuries at certain instances.
Q) How did you specialise in your particular event? Why this event, what’s the attraction?
When my coach spotted me in high school, he made me try all three events. He said that I was too puny for shot put even though my height was adequate. For javelin, he commented that my shoulder joint was not flexible enough and I lack the explosive power in my arm. He decided that discus was most suitable for me as I had the height and some required flexibility.
Following my coach’s decision, I started discus training with him. Through hard work and discipline honed over the years of sports, I managed to pick up the essential techniques very quickly. This was also attributed to my coach’s ability. I fell in love with discus throwing because once familiarized, it feels like a spring being compressed and then releasing it at high speed. The flight of the discus also brings great pleasure. I guess this passion spurred me to greater heights.
Q) Who is your coach, tell us more about him/her. Also a mention of your previous coaches.
My coach is Coach Qu Zeng Chu. He was and still is the coach for ACJC’s throws team and is also in charge of the school’s gym. He was from Shanghai, China where he competed as a state discus and shot put thrower. He is an extremely kind, patient and loving, enduring hours in the hot sun despite his age so that his students can excel in throws. He will also occasionally buy me drinks and meals even though he already coaches me for free. He always try to turn up for my competitions to give me advices and moral support which I constantly need. He is the best coach I can ask for and I will forever be grateful for that.
My previous coaches were Mr Max Chua from Woodlands Primary School, Mr M.Rameshon, Singapore Marathon event record holder, Mr Tan Chong Kiat from Victoria School and Mr Lawrence Ang from ACS(I).
Q) Do you take care of your nutrition and diet? Your opinion on supplements and food.
Generally, I do not watch my diet. However, I tend to avoid extremely unhealthy food because I tend to feel sick eating too much of them. They are mainly very greasy, fried or heavily-flavoured ones. Having said that, being the sweet tooth I am, I indulge in supposedly sinful food like ice cream regularly.
I try to maximise my protein intake and not allow the stomach to go hungry. Hunger is definitely not ideal for an athlete. My philosophy is that if you already put so much effort training, why waste it by going hungry and allow your body and your muscles to go through catabolism. Moreover, I am a hard gainer so I ensure that I eat enough. Aside from protein, I also ensure that I consume sufficient carbohydrates for me to endure my hours of hard training.
As for supplements, I take protein, creatine and sometimes glucose for my training. I also take essential fish oils, multivitamins and HCL digestive tablets for general health and immunity. I believe that supplements are important not only to heighten performance but also for recovery, especially for athletes whose bodies are always undergoing tormenting training.
Q) Aside from athletics, what else interest you? You could say the other part of your life beyond athletics.
I love Electronic Dance Music and have been following the genre for years, including their respective DJs. I also love patronizing cafes and tasting good food because I believe money should be spent on experiences. I have a liking for animals, especially dogs. I enjoy gaming from time to time. Fashion is also one of my hobbies. Other interests include travelling and watching movies. Sometimes, I also play my old sport, badminton.
Q) How do you fit in your training/competing with your family and studies/work?
Discipline is the key to juggling studies and training. I usually have my days planned out in a calendar so as to compartmentalize my activities. I try not to hang around in school doing nothing and head for training immediately after. I also try to make use of pockets of time such as reading notes while I am travelling. I believe that all these seemingly minute activities subsequently add up to a great deal. We should make full use of them.
Sometimes, when school gets a little too hectic, I will tone down my training and ensure that I deal with the key components while I spend more time dealing with school work. It is also important to cut down procrastination, which is by just getting yourself started with activities you need to do. From that point onwards, things will start to flow naturally.
I give tuition on a constant basis, with lessons 5-10 times a week. Most of these lessons are cluttered during the weekends or weekday nights so that I can spend my afternoons training. Even though tuitions are considerably exhausting, I guess my passion for teaching prevails ultimately.
I also participate in events for an events company from time to time. Roles include any ad hoc activities.
Q) Share with the readers, some aspects of your training regime.
Discus training is all-encompassing, contrary to popular beliefs. My gym routine consists of Olympic lifts like the Clean & Jerk and Snatch. The big three exercises, namely benchpress, squats and deadlifts are also a large part of my routine. I also has varied weightlifting exercises which are specific for discus throwing. In the gym, the speed, repetitions and load are varied to target the different physical components of fitness. I try to hit the gym at least 3 times a week.
Apart from gym work, I also put a large focus on plyometric. I throw medicine balls of different masses in varied forms to work on explosiveness and strengthening of the core and other necessary muscle groups required for throwing. Additionally, I also perform different kinds of sprints and jumps. Similarly, I make sure that I incorporate these into my routine 3 times a week.
Needless to say, I practice the discus throw itself to improve my technique and transfer as much force from the gym to the throw itself. At ACJC, we also have a net specific for throwing and I usually throw heavier kettlebells based on the overloading principle. The net is also useful because it reduces time and effort required to pick up the discus. This will also aid technique improvement because we will not be distracted by the discus’ flight upon releasing it. I will usually throw 3 times a week and slightly more a month or so before a major competition.
Last but not least, stretching is an essential component of my training and I always make sure I do so before and after training so as to reduce injuries and increase flexibility which helps a lot with the range of motion of throwing.
Q) What are your long term athletics goals?
50m! If you consider looking good and being healthy as part of such goals then yeah.
Q) What advice do you have for young aspiring athletes?
Train hard but smart. We often have to juggle many different responsibilities as we grow up in Singapore. Time is of essence and we should take advantage of what we have. Also, don’t let others dictate your interest. Do what you like, excellence will follow suit.