Inspiration

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Why Run A Marathon?

by On Apr 16, 2020

Why should women run a marathon? Our avid female marathoners will tell you the reasons.

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving up is not an option

"She believe she could, so she did." - R.S. Grey

Although we do not know when can we be out on the road running freely, it's never too early to prepare ourselves for a marathon.

Previously we spoke to 8 amazing women marathoners from Singapore to find out why did they run a marathon. Today we move to Malaysia and invite 8 avid women runners to share their marathon stories.

As a woman runner, they showed us perseverance, courage and spirit to conquer the marathon.

Speaking with these inspiring women runners about their marathon journey has inspired us immensely.

You can also read the motivational stories of other women marathoners from Singapore, IndonesiaThailand and the Philippines on how marathon has made a huge impact in their lives too.

Without further ado, let's get started.

1. June Yap

Bio: 37 year-old, Sales and Marketing

Since school days, June is never into sports. However, she was the only active member in her club and society till university days.

After she started working, she enrolled in dance fitness classes and yoga sessions to start getting active again.

In her late 20s, June started jogging in a nearby park and gradually introduced running into her routine. 

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving Up Is Not An Option
Marathoner: June Yap

RS: Do you participate in any other sport or fitness activities?

June Yap: I used to participate in cycling activities, Duathlon races, short distance trail running and participated in obstacle course events. Right now, I am focusing solely on running and strength training workouts.

RS: Why did you run a marathon?

June Yap: I've tried exploring other sports, but running was the only sport that could give me the sense of achievement and after every run, it makes me and my body feel good and lightened.

RS: How do you train for your marathon race?

June Yap: Based on my own experiences, I will need at least 3 to 4 months of training, which comprise of long runs (carefully and gradually increasing the weekly mileage), speed workout and strength training. I would not say that I have found "the ultimate" training plan, as I'm still learning and exploring what works for me and what doesn't, especially when my goal post are shifting.  

RS: How do you overcome your lowest period in your running journey?

June Yap: I've personally encountered that moment in my running journey. To overcome that, I got a running coach and kept an open mind to accept and introduce changes and momentum into my running.   

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving Up Is Not An Option
Marathoner: June Yap

Running a marathon is a lifestyle affair that allows me to strive for the best.

RS: What traits do you think that a marathoner should have?

June Yap: Discipline and determination. To run a marathon, regardless the finishing time, one needs the discipline and consistently run or train regularly, and the determination to keep doing what you are doing.    

RS: What is your short term running goal?

June Yap: I hope to gradually improve my marathon time with no major injury. 

RS: What advice would you provide for someone who wish to start running a marathon?

June Yap: My advices is:

  • Keep your goals realistic when it comes to running your first marathon. 
  • Be fully aware of your main goal every now and then, and not be distracted by what you read, hear or see. 
  • Put in that training that is required to run a safe and strong marathon. Your body and legs will thank you for this.

RS: What does running a marathon means to you?

June Yap: Running a marathon is a lifestyle affair that allows me to strive for the best. It keeps me focused, learn and unlearn about myself, my body and my state of mind. I dare to say it is the love of my life.

You can follow June on Instagram: @yljune

2. Yee Pei Ni (Annie Yee)

Bio: 29 year-old, Nutritionist

All the way from Banting, Selangor, Annie graduated from UKM with a Bachelor of Food Science and Nutrition degree and just recently graduated with her MBA in USM.

Currently, Annie is working in a private hospital as a nutritionist. She is also sponsored by ASICS Malaysia, Garmin Malaysia and TG Ocean Health Supplement. Not only that, she is a member of Penang Forward Sport Club and trained under Coach Peyadesa, former Olympian. 

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving Up Is Not An Option
Marathoner: Annie Yee

RS: Do you participate in any other sport or fitness activities?

Annie Yee: I am a runner and I have been in the running circle since 2007 focusing on long distance races. I usually run 42km, 21km and 10km races.

RS: Why did you run a marathon?

Annie Yee: Running is my solely sport. It is the easiest sport.  You just need a pair of shoes and you can start anytime, anywhere. Also, you don't have to spend money on renting court, swimming pool or pay for gym membership. 

RS: How do you train for your marathon race?

Annie Yee: I find the combination of high intensity physical exercise and moderate mileage (80 to 100 per week) suits me well. We need a strong heart and strong legs, so combining physical exercise is the one to build a strong heart and having sufficient mileage to build strong legs as well.

RS: How do you overcome your lowest period in your running journey? 

Annie Yee: I will find out the reason for my bad days and if it's because of injury, I will seek for various treatments and do low impact exercises for recovery.

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving Up Is Not An Option
Marathoner: Annie Yee

Train hard on your upcoming marathon and earn the medal with pride!

RS: What traits do you think that a woman marathoner should have?

Annie Yee: You have to ignore what people think and be bold. Most of the Malaysian women are scared of the sunlight, being suntanned, running alone without any pacer or afraid to be the last one (I heard this most of the time). Why should you care about others opinion.

Nobody will talk about you being slow. Thus, be bold and don't care what people think about you, you are the utmost important. 

RS: What is your short term running goal? 

Annie Yee: My goal has never changed since I started running. I want to be the fastest version of myself and explore my potential. People used to call me an elephant and doubt that a chubby girl can run. I would also like to get on the podium.

RS: What advice would you provide for someone who wish to start running a marathon?

Annie Yee: Don't think too much. Who cares if you run slow? People care when you are not hardworking yet complaining about not improving. 

Train hard for your upcoming marathon. Don't just walk a marathon and claim that "I have finished my marathon". Train hard and earn the medal with pride!

RS: What does running a marathon means to you?

Annie Yee: Running a marathon does not impose anything, I guess? An elite only runs 3 to 4 marathons a year. Running is a routine for me. It's just like everyone needs to eat and sleep everyday, so does running. I need to run and sweat every day. 

You can follow Annie on Instagram: @annieyeepeini

3. Jessie Chuah

Bio: 40 year-old, Global Marketing Manager

Jessie first took up running back in the year of 2014 with a local running club in KL – TPRC.

She started with short runs and half marathons, and decided to do just one marathon to tick off her bucket list of running a marathon.

Shockingly, she found that she liked it and never looked back since. Running has become a way of life for Jessie as being active is very important to her.

The saying “Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.” really resonates with her.

She has run 8 marathons so far and will do 1 or 2 a year. The rest of the time she would run for fun and to maintain her fitness level.

As a food lover, she also finds it motivating that she can eat more after running.

Jessie would also do shorter races just for fun or as part of her half marathon or 10km race training.

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving Up Is Not An Option
Marathoner: Jessie Chuah

RS: Do you participate in any other sport or fitness activities?

Jessie: I used to partake in a lot of different things from trail runs, gym classes such as HIIT and RPM to rock climbing and scuba diving.

However, post taking up running more seriously, I find that I lack the time to do everything, hence, now I pretty much run most of the time and try to put in some strength training and yoga when I can (not often enough!)

RS: Why did you run a marathon?

Jessie: There are many reasons that this sport calls out to me. I am surprised I didn’t discover it much earlier! Running is a great way to meet and connect with minded people to learn, share and enjoy all aspects of the running lifestyle.

Running also has given me the opportunity to travel, run and eat – combining the three things that I absolutely love in one go!  I found running to be therapeutic, it helps me to calm myself and just be in the moment. 

On the flip side, running also calls to my natural need to have a goal, be it to hit a certain pace, a certain distance or even to train for a marathon. 

RS: How do you train for your marathon race?

Jessie: My training is super unorthodox.  I juggle with a demanding career, which takes up the bulk of my time and late hours, I guess not dissimilar to many runners.

Therefore, I make the best that I can of my time without any specific program at this moment. When prepping for a marathon, I try to follow my running club in Singapore (Singapore Shufflers) on their weekday runs as much as my schedule allows me to and putting in a long run during the weekend. On other days, I just run easy when I can. 

RS: How do you overcome your lowest period in your running journey?

Jessie: I have hit it so many times due to injuries. I take those times to self reflect and learn from it. I also take the opportunity to do other activities, things that I had neglected, due to running be it other workouts or more likely just to take a break from running and refresh myself mentally and physically.

I think it is important though to understand one’s motivation and mindset to running, as that is what will make you pick yourself up and try again and again.

For me, it's about having fun and enjoying the activity (I just find it very enjoyable) and it gives me the opportunity to meet people, to travel, and eat! I am still driven by my personal goals for running, so I try to pick myself up and try again.

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving Up Is Not An Option
Marathoner: Jessie Chuah

When I toe the line to run a marathon, I take it as a celebration of the training that I have done and the actual marathon is my reward!

RS: What traits do you think that a woman marathoner should have?

Jessie: I don’t think this applies to just woman marathoner, but to any marathoner. I believe we need to have the  drive and determination, the willingness to go that extra mile (literally), having the mental strength, but most importantly is the ability to still see running as fun and enjoyable.

RS: What is your short term running goal?

Jessie: First, stay injury free and be able to run consistently – I have been very injury-prone and this has really hindered my running and performance tremendously.

Second, work on strengthening my body by incorporating strength workouts.

Third, I would love to continue to push my performance and improve my times for my runs be it a marathon (currently my best time is at 3.04 hours) or shorter distances such as HM or 10km.

RS: What advice would you provide for someone who wish to start running a marathon?

Jessie: My advice is:

  • Join a running community or run with friends. It just makes training way more fun and they will enjoy the training and long runs that’s part of every marathon training!
  • Getting support from your friends helps. I have a great support system from family and friends and that is really the key.
  • Most importantly, is to remember the other aspect of training besides just running, for example, getting enough sleep and getting the right nutrition to build and recover. Runners often just focus on running more, running harder, but it is just as important if not more to ensure they recover and fuel right to enable them to continue to run stronger. Very often people get injured or stagnate in performance as they are just too tired from lack of rest or they lack the right nutrition to fuel their performance and recovery.

RS: What does running a marathon means to you?

Jessie: Running a marathon breaks down borders and enables me to connect and bond with like minded people. It allows for that a common passion point and training goals, as we may train for the same marathon or at least having a marathon in a similar period and it's just more fun training with friends!

When I toe the line to run a marathon, I take it as a celebration of the training that I have done and the actual marathon is my reward! This way it is more fun and the sense of achievement, self satisfaction and celebration of all the hard work I put in to train is ever more rewarding.

You can follow Jessie on Instagram: @jessiechuah_

4. Chia Shio Yuan

Bio: 29 year-old, Retail Supervisor

Yen is from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and is working in the retail industry. She always goes for running when she has the time. 

Running is not just about a hobby to her, it has become part of her life as well.

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving Up Is Not An Option
Marathoner: Shio Yuan

RS: Do you participate in any other sport or fitness activities?

Yen: Yes, I do. I go for cycle, swim and hiking. 

RS: Why did you run a marathon?

Yen: I realise that running a marathon can release my stress and that particular timing can actually help to find myself. I love the moment when I'm running, it is kind of relaxing and I feel a brand new me after I complete a run or marathon.

RS: How do you train for your marathon race?

Yen: When I participate a marathon, I will plan a running program for myself. The running program includes Farklet, interval training, tempo runs and LSD (long slow distance).

Meanwhile, LSD is a must training for me as it helps to train my endurance and let my body get used to the running pace, so that I could complete my marathon with a good condition.

RS: How do you overcome your lowest period in your running journey?

Yen: I believe every runner will face this issue during their running journey. Of course, I have been through the same as well. I will gather a group of my running squad to do easy training together, after the light training we will share our experience and motivate each other.

Otherwise, I will go for a run that without any target and listen to the music, follow my body condition to run. From there, I can re-adjust my mindset and restart again.

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving Up Is Not An Option
Marathoner: Shio Yuan

Running a marathon taught me to be tough no matter what, as long as we do not give up.

RS: What traits do you think that a woman marathoner should have?

Yen: For me, I believe every women's could be a marathoner. Yet, self-discipline and mental is very important. The result does not come along if we didn't pay effort on it, a marathoner has to be discipline and strong mentally to go through the training progress and growth from the progress.

RS: What is your short term running goal?

Yen: I will wish to do a target of sub 4.30 for my upcoming Twincity full marathon 2020.

RS: What advice would you provide for someone who wish to start running a marathon?

Yen: A well planned training is important, but then don't forget about recovery as well. After a hardcore training, we also have to take care of recover part. Foam rolling and stretching can help to reduce the possibility of injury.

RS: What does running a marathon means to you?

Yen: Life is just like running a marathon, it will go up and down. Running a marathon mean a lot to me, it taught me no matter how tough it is, as long as we are not giving up, it will bring us till the finish line.

You can follow Yen on Instagram: @yenchia_90g

5. Chai Yee Kuan

Bio: 28 year-old, Marketing field

Yee Kuan used to be a girl who hates exercise, especially running. She always wanted to keep fit through dieting, but in the end, it caused her to have gastric problems. She started to run because of the influence of her family.

Yee Kuan's sisters and brother-in-law had been very active in running for many years ago, so she slowly gets to run together with them and now she's the one who can't get rid of running.

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving Up Is Not An Option
Marathoner: Yee Kuan

RS: Do you participate in any other sport or fitness activities?

Yee Kuan: Other than running, I did get involved in doing compound training, cross training and occasionally cycling or swim. 

RS: Why did you run a marathon?

Yee Kuan: The best part of running a marathon is "me time". I can have a conversation between me and myself, self motivating, and to overcome the toughest time with own self. I remember that one sentence is about “The person who starts a marathon is not the same person who finishes a marathon.” 

You are sure to be a different person at the finish line, because you’ll forever know that you have the mental and physical strength to persevere, even during the times when you think you can’t succeed.

Another reason will be that, no matter how hectic my life, job or if I am moody, once I go out for a run, definitely it able to ease all the emotional moods away! 

RS: How do you train for your marathon race?

Yee Kuan: Everyone has a different type of training method, I wouldn’t say that my training method suitable to everyone. I work out 6 days out of 7 days per week, running for 4 days at this moment.

Normally, I will do high intensity training during my running days such as interval training, hill tempo and tempo runs during the weekend. Of course LSD played an important role in gaining endurance for marathon races.

While for the alternate days, I will do compound training (weight training) and together with cross training (swim/cycling).

Actually, compound training and cross training playing a very important role in our training menu too.

Running is not just about running only, the benefits of strength training (ST) for runners are maintaining a good running form to prevent injury and increase your running performance.

Specific strength training exercise will increase structural fitness, which is the ability of your bones, ligaments, tendons and different part of muscle to withstand the high impact of running. So strength training can make you run faster during the final sprint in a race and reduce the risk of injury. 

While cross training like to swim / cycling used to strengthen your non-running muscles and rests your running muscles, which is for recovery purpose. 

RS: How do you overcome your lowest period in your running journey?

Yee Kuan: I did hit the rock bottom throughout these 4 years in my running journey. This year, I get to realise that we must always train out of our own comfort zone.

Push yourself to the limit, challenge yourself. Stepping out of the comfort zone will help you to stimulate your body, avoid your body in “sleeping mode”, which already used to in your daily routine training menu. I always remind myself during training, puke and suffer now rather than on your race day! 

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving Up Is Not An Option
Marathoner: Yee Kuan

That heartbeat, cadence and every stride I step out, it’s reminds me that I’m doing the right and meaningful thing that I love in my life.

RS: What traits do you think that a woman marathoner should have?

Yee Kuan: Discipline, Girl’s Power and Attitude! Sometime is quite tough for a woman to maintain a good form due to our menstrual period.

That’s why we must stay disciplined, maintain a good diet, always motivate each other whenever we feel down.

It’s important to get a training mate (a girl) to understand and encourage each other! We must always remind own self to stay positive and listen to our body.  

RS: What is your short term running goal?

Yee Kuan: To break my personal best, run within 4 hours. #projectofbreaking4

RS: What advice would you provide for someone who wish to start running a marathon?

Yee Kuan: Start slow, be patient, build the relationship between you and running. Register a race to give you a motivation to start the training. Do not set a very unrealistic goal, instead you start by aiming to complete each training and slowly setting more challenging goals.

Enjoy the training and race, so your mental and physical state are able to accept running as your routine exercise. (This is for you to fall in love with running instead of hate or afraid of it) 

RS: What does running a marathon means to you?

Yee Kuan: Something that’s could let me feel my heartbeat. That heartbeat, that cadence, that every stride stepping out, it’s reminds me that I’m doing the right and meaningful thing that I love in my life.

Appreciate very moment that I’m running and my life goal is: “I still able to run even I’m at age 60 / 70”.

You can follow Yee Kuan on Instagram: @ykc26

6. Loh Chooi Fern

Bio: 27 year-old, Tax Consultant

Chooi Fern started running during her university days. Her first event was a 5000m walking race in the National University Games.

She has been active in sports as a race walker and occasionally joining road races during her university days. However, she had stopped running for a year in 2015 to recover from an injury.

Chooi Fern restarted her journey at the end of 2015 and the next year is a transitional period for her from a race walker to a marathoner.

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving up is not an option
Marathoner: Chooi Fern

RS: Do you participate in any other sport or fitness activities?

Chooi Fern: Yes. I do. I will join some fitness classes such as Zumba, Jumping roles and so on with my friends to stay active. 

RS: Why did you run a marathon?

Chooi Fern: I treat running as an endurance sport. Running seems like the a simple sport, but yet there's a lot for me to explore.

For this reason, I would like to explore more in running, especially in the distance of a marathon. 

RS: How do you train for your marathon race?

Chooi Fern: In my personal view, running a marathon requires a lot of discipline.

There are a lot of approaches in the running world, such as 8:2 theory, mileage base, and speed base and so on. I personally, prefer a mixed style of training. I don't want to stick to one method for a long period of time.

For me, I will try to use different methods, in order to find the balance in between. I believe the right ratio from various trainings will help an athlete to improve and there is no fixed training method.

The training method will adjust accordingly to the coming competition and level of the competition. For me, I will go on a project basis.

Normally, it will take 6 to 8 weeks to prepare a marathon, which consists of the foundation stage, building stage and speed stage. As for my off-season, I will work on my strength, conditioning and cross-training during this stage. 

RS: How do you overcome your lowest period in your running journey?

Chooi Fern: It happened back in 2018. During the period of time, my mood was down and I even de-motivate myself from running.

However, an open conversation is very important, as where I start to communicate my loss of direction with my trusted friends.

I gave myself a period of time to cool down and even use the time to relearn the basics and understand what I am lacking in.

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving up is not an option
Marathoner: Chooi Fern

The marathon is not a distance only for men. Women can be a top runner as there is a lot of improvement among women runners in the world.

RS: What traits do you think that a woman marathoner should have?

Chooi Fern: Female marathoner is different from others. As a woman, running a marathon is to motivate and inspire other girls to join us to achieve greater success.

As a female, we will be motivated if we have peers to run together and it will help others to achieve their life goals together. A female marathoner is always challenging with physical as compared with a male.

Female born to have weak muscles and hormone challenges every month. It makes a female runner encounter more difficulties in doing their sports activities.

However, it also becomes a reason for a female runner to learn to become stronger and create a character of inner strength to face a new challenge. 

RS: What is your short term running goal?

Chooi Fern: My short term goal is to achieve a sub 2 hours 55 min in a marathon. 

RS: What advice would you provide for someone who wish to start running a marathon?

Chooi Fern: Yes. Women should be encouraged in joining a run. No matter what is the distance is, women should start-up themselves with some exercise like running. Running is one of the best cardio exercises and also helps women to improve their social relationships.

Some of the women like my schoolmates are shy in interacting with the opposite sex. However, through the running community, it creates a good environment for them to meet new people and also help them to build their social relationships.

Second, running a marathon can stable and calm down our mind, especially when we are emotionally uncontrolled.

For women, it will be another way to help us to get away from negative thinking and make ourselves motivated. Lastly, the marathon is not a distance only for men.

Women can be a top runner as we can see there is a lot of improvement among women runners in the world. Running a marathon is a healthy activity that helps us to build a strong physical and mental. 

RS: What does running a marathon means to you?

Chooi Fern: I still new and fresh in the marathon scene with the experience I have currently.

I would like to continue to explore more in the marathon to understand how the marathon can bring success to our lives. 

You can follow Chooi Fern: @chooifernpenny

7. Han Yuet Mei, May

Bio: 44 year-old, General Manager

A mother of 2 teenagers, May is a career woman working as a General Manager for a retailing company, Royal Sporting House. 

A person that is energetic and passionate about retailing and sports, May is always on a high speed in accomplishing her job. Basically, Yuet Mei talk, eat, drink and walk fast, always applying speed into her work and daily lifestyle!

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving up is not an option
Marathoner: May

RS: Do you participate in any other sport or fitness activities?

Yuet Mei: I started to work out weekly 3 to 4 times in my husband's gym since 2001, building some muscles to look toned and great when I delivered my 1st daughter.

I enjoy doing work out in the gym as you can control the intensity of the workout. It is also a fun and safe place to exercise. Back then, there are not many gyms around in Malaysia, as it is not that popular.

RS: Why did you run a marathon?

Yuet Mei: I participated in my first run ever - All Women's Action Society Run on 18 Dec 2013.

It was a gym friend of mine, Michelle Chua that asks me to register for the 5km charity run.

After the run, I begin to sign up for more runs, 10km, HM. Until 2016, January, I did my first full marathon and it was a good start for me. 

I was blessed to finish the marathon in 4 hours 29 minutes and I signed up for 5 other more marathons in 2016. Although running a marathon is a tough sport, it's definitely a sport for me.

RS: How do you train for your marathon race?

Yuet Mei: As a marathoner, I think it is not just only run training. It is important to mix in some strength trainings, body weight trainings, core trainings, drills and stretching. 

For me, I do not run every day, I spend 6 days training, but 3 days with strength or weight, other 3 days are just purely running with one rest day of the week. When I start to be serious to run a marathon, I look for a coach. 

In 2016, during puasa month, I started to train with Coach Dino. He was the one who taught me the basic about running. I didn't get to run for a few months under his coaching. 

Every session with him, I will do drills, body weight training and correcting my style of running. That's when I became a better runner under his coaching. December 2016, I did my personal best marathon in Chiangmai - 4 hours 10 minutes, that's a big improvement for my first marathon after 11 months.

RS: How do you overcome your lowest period in your running journey? 

Yuet Mei: In 2017, I was injured after massive running in marathons in 2016. I suffered from Plantar Fasciitis and I stopped running for 3 months.

I focus on my healing and preparing for my Gold Coast Marathon 2017 with just weight training, Tabata workout, core and stretching. I obtained another PB 4 hour 01 minutes of the race.

Though, I was still not able to do sub 4, but I did not give up until 2018 September at the Berlin Marathon where I did my first sub 4, 3 hours 54 minutes.

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving up is not an option
Left: May

Running a marathon is not just to accomplish it, we need to run with a mindset of happy finishing and not suffering or cursing along the route. 

RS: What traits do you think that a marathoner should have?

Yuet Mei: These are the traits below:

  • Focus - setting goals and achieving them bit by bit. Even a seconds count.
  • Tenacity - runners are tenacious, they force themselves to push further through pain. Also, time will tell it will pay off with increase cardio fitness and overall strength.
  • Consistency - setting a training schedule, sticking to it closely and tracking the performance. Runners don't find time to run, they make time to run. Time management is very important in ensuring you make it to your schedule.
  • Confidence - always stay positive and confidence over what you have been training for and believing you will be able to reach your goals.

RS: What is your short term running goal?

Yuet Mei: My goal is to run the 6 world majors and qualified for BQ. I am not too far from my BQ timing and hoping that could accomplish in my next marathon that will be Tokyo Marathon 2020 in March which unfortunately have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RS: What advice would you provide for someone who wish to start running a marathon?

Yuet Mei: Don't need to rush into running a marathon. Give ample time for the improvement of timing for your 10km and 21km before running a full marathon. 

Running a marathon is not just to accomplish it, we need to run with a mindset of happy finishing and not suffering or cursing along the route. 

Every race, be it 10km, 21km, 42km, we tend to learn something from the race, get that learning points and put them into action for your next race, be it good or bad, definitely it able to lead you to a slew of improvements.

RS: What does running a marathon means to you? 

Yuet Mei: If you see what I advise the new marathon runners, is all about learning. "If you ever wanted to know about yourself, you can learn in 42km."

You can follow on Yuet Mei Instagram: @mayhan2204

8. Chong Lee Lian

Bio: 38 year-old, Engineer

Lee Lian is a fun and easy going person that loves the outdoors. She started running casually back in 2012 once a week, but got a little more serious when she signed up for her first marathon in 2016.

Since then, she has started to explore cycling, which led her to duathlons and triathlons. Her motto for the year is Just Do Epic Shit! 

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving up is not an option
Marathoner: Lee Lian

RS: Do you participate in any other sport or fitness activities?

Lee Lian: Other than running, I swim and cycle as well. 

RS: Why did you run a marathon?

Lee Lian: It all started with a free bib for King of the Road run and I got hooked. From there, I guess it was just the normal transition of completing 5km, 10km, 21km and the next upgrade is a marathon and let's just stop at that. No ultra for me yet! I'm still very unsure about doing an ultra.        

RS: How do you train for your marathon race?

Lee Lian: When I started training for my first marathon, I needed to build up my base and my endurance. It was just purely easy runs with mileage, mileage and more mileage. 

After that, I've slowly incorporated strength workouts, tempo runs, intervals, etc. Since transitioning to multi sports, all of that went out the window as I have to divide my time between work, swim, cycle, run and rest days.

That's something that isn't easy to juggle. If you are just talking about run training now, then I'll do a tempo run during the week and a medium-long distance run over the weekends.

Unless I have a marathon coming up, then I'll  try to up the ante on my runs. It really depends on my race calendar for the year.

RS: How do you overcome your lowest period in your running journey?

Lee Lian: In all journeys, there are bound to be ups and downs. I don't know if I have ever hit the rock bottom yet in my running journey, but I guess the lowest I felt was when I twisted my ankle and was out of action for 3 months.

Since then I haven't really gained back my performance pre-injury. What kept me going was the love for the sport and a good support system, be it family, friends, your physiotherapist or all of them! 

Malaysian Women Marathoners: Giving up is not an option
Marathoner: Lee Lian

Running gives me a sense of accomplishment, to see how well I do, to push physically and mentally.

RS: What traits do you think that a marathoner should have?

Lee Lian: There aren't any differences between a man and a woman marathoner. We are all the same, as long as you have the drive and passion for it, just go out and run! 

RS: What is your short term running goal?

Lee Lian: There are too many goals for me to be listed down, but the main goal is to be injury free! That's a runner's nightmare. 

RS: What advice would you provide for someone who wish to start running a marathon?

Lee Lian: Find running groups or clubs and join them in their sessions. You get to meet other fellow passionate runners and feed off each other's drive. Plus, it's great fun to run with a group. Always run safe!

RS: What does running a marathon means to you?

Lee Lian: It gives me a sense of accomplishment, to see how well (or bad) I do, to push physically and mentally. It's always a you versus you battle.

You can follow Lee Lian on Instagram: @leelianc

Empowering Women Through Running

Our women runners believe all women can finish a marathon race, if you believe in yourself, start first with the Flora Women Online Race Series 2020. Use their inspiring stories as your motivation complete the challenges from anywhere around the world and earn beautiful race mementos.

In these stressful and uncertain times, getting updated with accurate and useful information has never been so critical. No matter how unsettled the future feels, RunSociety will remain with you, delivering high quality news for free so we can all make critical decisions about our lives and health. Together we can overcome.

What we can do to help the situation is to keep our body and immune system in peak condition. If you are allowed or able to run outdoors, please do so cautiously but not panicky. Join our free online race to motivate you and pay tribute to our frontline heroes.

Samantha is an editor at RunSociety. A digital expert with a focus on the research and development of thought provoking and resourceful content, Samantha love Yoga and incorporate running in her weekly workout whenever she can.

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