A Running Ritual!

A Running Ritual!

Chen Zhilei

28 years old

Architectural Associate 

SAFRA Running Club Committee Member

Qn: Why do you like running? Tell us briefly how you got into the sport?

Zhilei: Actually, I was a school runner during my secondary school days. Although I stopped running for a while, I picked it back up in 2005. In fact, my first long distance race was actually the 2005 SAFRA Singapore Bay Run (SSBR). And, I have been participating in SSBR ever since.

I think I enjoy running because it makes me feel happy. Running gives me a sense of satisfaction and achievement which I couldn’t get from other sports.

Qn: What do you think is the most important thing when it comes to long distance running? Can you illustrate how you incorporate that into your training regime?

Zhilei: I will have to say consistency. You really have to train regularly. Ideally, you should train three to four times a week, including a long run on the weekends. If you do this consistently, then I think you will be conditioned for long distance runs.

As I am currently training three times a week with the SAFRA Running Club, I will usually do an additional one or two more runs on my own. In addition, a couple of us from the running club meet up every Wednesday for some extra track training. We will head down to a stadium and train on our own. It is just about going the extra mile with some friends.

Qn: Being a marathon veteran, how do you keep yourself motivated when in training and during the marathon itself? Is there any special running tip that you wish to share with our readers?

Zhilei: Usually, I keep myself motivated by running with people. Usually I keep myself motivated by running in a group. As such, the focused and determined runners in the SAFRA Running Club have definitely given me a lot of motivation. The trainings always keep me focused.

In addition, it really helps to select a few key races that you want to take part in. Therefore, you will make the effort to train up for your selected events. I believe that if you aim for reasonable goals, then you wouldn’t be afraid to endure some hardship in training. Therefore, it will allow you to have a better race.

Qn: Do you have a favourite running route? Can you share with our readers on the reason why you picked that particular place?

Zhilei: Actually, I like to run around the Mount Faber area. As it is a hilly terrain, it serves as a good speed work exercise. And once you run to the top, you are greeted by a scenic view of the surroundings. It is very relaxing to come and run after work.

On top of that, there are also quite a few running routes around the area. As Mount Faber is rather centralised, I have the option to run to nearby spots like Labrador Park and Kent Ridge. Plus, I can also choose to run towards the city or even to Sentosa. So, there is a variety of running routes.

Qn: I understand that you are a member of the SAFRA Running Club, how long have you been with them? And why did you choose to join this particular running club?

Zhilei: I joined the SAFRA Running Club in early 2011, so I have been a member for three and a half years.

It all started when I met the club chairman, Wen Long during my training at the track. Subsequently, he invited me to join the running club. I guess over time I kept coming back because I felt really motivated by the dedications of my fellow members.

Qn: How does being part of the club help you in your training?

Zhilei: I will have to say that it helps that the running club has a training programme. With a focus on long distance running, the club training programmes are usually planned to coincide with key local races like SSBR.

Hence, it makes it easier for me to train and attain my race goals. Not forgetting that, I also have company to train with!

Qn: As representatives of the SAFRA Running Club, can you tell me what does SSBR mean to you? Do you feel proud of SAFRA’s efforts to foster a local running culture?

Zhilei: As my first long distance run, SSBR has added significance for me. For me, it is the annual race that I will take part in.

As such, I believe that SSBR is one of the main races that people are interested to take part in. It is quite clear that the local running culture has shot up over the last few years.

Qn: So, why should people sign up for SSBR in your opinion? How does it stand out from the other marathons that are taking place?

Zhilei: From my experience, I feel that SSBR is an event which has improved over the years. The organisers have not overlooked the minor details. For example, they actually stagger the various flag off timings so as to avoid congestion.

Qn: Any final words to our readers?

Zhilei: If you want to improve your running time, don’t forget to join the SAFRA Running Club now!

Want to shred some time off your running timing?

Then, click here to learn more about the SAFRA Running Club! 

Are you ready for SSBR?

Don’t forget to come down this Sunday and join us for a fun filled day at the Padang!


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