Adele Wong: This Puma Running Club Pacer and Leader is Nothing Short of Unstoppable!
We knew Adele Wong prided herself on eating healthily, exercising and running—so we didn't expect to encounter a tray of awesome cupcakes when we glimpsed the first photo on her site! Scrolling down, we quickly vindicated Adele after seeing the delectable fruits, veggies and sushi she had put together to throw a healthy party. Adele's spunk, spirit and lively wit make her a person you'd want for a friend. When you read more about her, you'll understand why.
RS: Adele, why do you run and how did you become obsessed with the sport?
Adele: I'll be honest: I never liked running, but I did it to stay healthy. Slowly, I began to develop a passion for it. In some ways, running is like a drug for me: I can't get enough of the adrenaline release that hits once I'm in my zone. I break free and get lost in my own world. There's something about pushing my limits and discovering what my body is capable of doing that enthrals me and keeps me going!
RS: Besides running, do you engage in other sports?
Adele: Before I became an avid runner, I hiked and went rock climbing, but these days, I barely have time for anything beyond running. I swim for cross-training purposes and I do a bit of yoga on my rest days.
RS: Do you keep track of the number of running events in which you have taken part?
Adele: Sadly, I have completely lost count of them!
RS: Do you remember your most memorable running experience?
Adele: Yes—my first full Standard Chartered KL Marathon. The Standard is unforgettable for multiple reasons. Previously, I hadn't ever run a full marathon. I was required to run the Full Marathon under Team Dirigo. Before that race, running a full marathon hadn’t even crossed my mind! That alone was a challenge, coupled with the heavy training load that I was not accustomed to.
Thankfully, we trained together as a team and I had trained and conditioned hard beforehand and pushed myself to stay the course or I might not have finished. Once I hit my stride in the marathon, I was in awe of how well my body performed. Early on, I worried I might not meet my goal time—but I finished in third place!
RS: How often do you train?
Adele: As often as I can—four or five days a week.
RS: What sort of training programme do you follow?
Adele: I don't have a formal training programme unless I happen to be preparing for a specific event. I usually do some speed work, take as many long runs as I can squeeze into my schedule, and I do lots of easy runs in-between.
RS: Do you have a running coach or are you disciplined enough to self-coach?
Adele: I'm self-coached. And yes, I have that much confidence in my ability to motivate myself. The only time I had a running coach was during the Standard Chartered KL Marathon. Mark Williams was the official Team Dirigo coach and I was fortunate to train under him with the rest of my team colleagues.
RS: When you're not preparing for an event, with whom do you train?
Adele: I train alone most days unless I do a long run. Then, I may join any of the running groups in my area; Cari Runners or Wind Runners, for example. They do their long runs over weekends and I'll join them.
RS: Do you have a favourite training time and place?
Adele: Mostly, I train in my neighbourhood, but I also like to run at Desa Park City and Lake Gardens, and I'm definitely a night runner if given a choice. That said, I make it a point to get out in the morning because I get a huge mental boost when I start my day with a run!
RS: If the world ended today, where would you be and what would you be doing?
Adele: (Giggles) I would probably be running, but I've never thought about the end of the world!
RS: Currently, you work as a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor. What do you hope to achieve next?
Adele: I definitely want to get into nutrition—as you could probably tell when you saw my blog photos, I'm a big fan of healthy eating—and I want to learn more about sports performance methods, innovations and techniques.
RS: As a Malaysia Puma Running Club leader, could you tell us about your group?
Adele: The Puma Running Club started at the end of 2013. Our goal was simply to get more people running. We started with a handful of members, but that number has grown. These days, it's not unusual for 40 or more people to show up—rain or shine—to run every Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. at Desa Park City.
RS: What is the Puma Running Club's training schedule and what's your role as a club leader?
Adele: Our training programme includes tempo runs, intervals, hill sprints and easy runs. I work closely with Victor Chong, our co-leader, and nine other skilled pacers. We leaders make sure our training sessions and background work are tightly coordinated so we don't waste time. Our pacers come from all levels of skilled runners. What ties us together is our passion for running! We have grown together in our abilities, progress and love for the sport.
RS: Is there a reason you joined this particular running club?
Adele: That's a pretty funny question, but I owe you and your readers the truth! I was offered a free pair of Puma socks for joining! Back then, I didn't know a soul in the running community and just wanted to make new friends. Turns out, it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. The Puma Running Club community makes me feel loved, cared for and valuable. Now, I'm a club leader.
RS: Would you encourage all runners to join clubs?
Adele: I always encourage runners to join a club, but I know it can be intimidating—especially for new runners who worry that they're not fast enough to join a club, but my advice is always: Forget your fears and keep an open mind. We don't care about your speed—you can walk if you like! So my last question is always: "What are you waiting for?"
RS: You mentioned being a pacer for running events. Is this an important role? Why?
Adele: Pacers play a critical role for runners. We make sure they maintain a consistent pace and hit their target times. This is a job that comes with lots of pressure and responsibility because runners count on us to help them achieve their goals, so we do everything we can to motivate and care for them!
RS: Do you have pre-race and/or post-race eating or conditioning routines?
Adele: I usually have a slice of toast with peanut butter and banana pre-race, but if I'm pressed for time, I just have plain toast. After a race, I eat a few green apples, my post-race smoothie—oh, and I always do a few stretches.
RS: In your opinion, do you think runners can eat anything they want or do you recommend a healthy diet plan?
Adele: Everyone is different and I know that some runners feel they can get away with eating anything they want when they're on a heavy training schedule. Whether or not that compromises their performance is another story. For myself, I follow a relatively strict diet. I avoid refined sugar and high-fat foods because they make me feel bloated and lethargic, especially when I'm training. Otherwise, I'm an "everything in moderation" girl. I believe that eating the right foods at the right time enhances a training programme and that sticking to natural, whole foods is wise.
RS: Who inspires you most?
Adele: My mom! She is a superwoman and I'm proud to say that I get my drive and my determination from her. Perfectionism is in our blood, though I'm not sure if this is a gift or a curse!
RS: Do you have a favourite motivational quote?
Adele: Whenever I need a kick in the butt, I ask myself, "If not now, when?" That usually gets me moving!
RS: Your 2014 achievement list is impressive! Have you set 2015 goals?
Adele: My goal for 2015 is to do better than I did in 2014. I don't have specific events on my radar. Currently, I'm just going with the flow!
Adele Wong is a sassy, high-achieving young woman who learned to depend on running clubs for support, companionship, motivation and inspiration, but she joined Puma to get a pair of free socks! We'd love to know why you joined your running club! Was it for the friendship? Did you hear that running clubs are great ways to meet the opposite sex? We'd like to add your unique reason for joining a club to our list—and if you joined your club only for the socks, that's okay with us too!
Want to find out more about Adele updates on running races? Check out her blog at Adele Runs.