Interviews · Malaysia

Top 10 Running and Fitness Coaches In Malaysia

by On Oct 11, 2019

Are you sure you don't need a fitness coach? Well, think again and after taking a look about them, we are sure you will want their help to master your fitness plan.

Top 10 Running and Fitness Coaches In Malaysia

Finding a running or fitness coach that suits your fitness plan will be a plus in your fitness regime. You may think you do not need one in order to excel your master plan. But, these trainers that we are going to introduce you, they are going to make you consider about getting a running or fitness coach.

Now, let's take a look at the top 10 running and fitness coaches and see which coaches is the best fit for you!

Top Running Coaches in Malaysia

Coach: Michelle Chua Khit Yeng

Personality Type: Have a passion in heart to teach students to achieve his or her goals. Willing to share her experience with others and inspire them to step out of their comfort zone to go for running.
Specific sports: Specialising in road running
Year started coaching: Mid 2018
Coaching style/Philosophy: Coach Michelle will make you believe if you train hard, you will race easy!

My suggestions is to take it one step at a time. Start with the 10 km and listen to your body. Never increase your mileage and intensity too suddenly.

Top 10 Fitness Coaches In Malaysia

Back then, Michelle, 28 years-old amateur athlete is a professional accountant. She decided to pursue her passion for teaching full time in Mathematic. Michelle has run since 2010 with the intention of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and competitively since 2013. Currently she coaches under The Running Plan, and been coaching for over a year. Most of the time on the long runs, she is planning her meals and desserts for the day.

Let's see what our foodie, coach Michelle has to say about her coaching experience.

RS: Being a running coach is not a “piece of cake” job, what had you learned throughout these years?

Michelle: I learned that every runner is different and that is very important to build a relationship with your runner so that you know current fitness level and goals in order to be able to help them better.

RS: How will you build a strong partnership with your principal in order to ensure teacher learning is effectively facilitated and leads to increased student achievement?

Michelle: Again, I'd like to emphasise relationship building. It is important to establish a relationship to understand the goals. There can work out if it's given period of time as well as how much work needs to be done in order to achieve it.

RS: What is the biggest takeaway for being a running coach?

Michelle: My biggest takeaway would be learning that what worked for me when I started out may not work for everyone else. And discussions with our head coach usually leaves me with more knowledge on different ways to work with our runners for the best results.

RS: How do you motivate your clients/pupils to keep going if they did not succeed in their race or marathon?

Michelle: Firstly, I tell them they did a good job trying. Then, we look at what went wrong. We will check if it was a hill we did not train on, or if it was lack of sleep or maybe if it is because we did not follow our plan. Sometimes it might be the weather, or even food! After a good rest, we can start planning out what can do differently for the next plan. Setting a goal race also usually helps them refocus and keep motivated!

You can contact her: The Running Plan

Coach: Darren Looi

Personality type: Will power by heart, Coach Darren is willing to people who want to exercise by giving them motivation and teach them step by step to achieve their goals in their journey.
Specific sports: Road runs
Year started coaching: 2016
Coaching style/philosophy: Making sure your limits will not go to waste, Coach Darren will put all his heart to push your limits in yourself.

Do not jump from a distance to a massive ultra in the span of a few months. Your muscle-skeleton take years to build up. Always remember why did you run. For health or vanity?

Top 10 Fitness Coaches In Malaysia

Coach Darren on the right.

Darren Looi, a multiple sub-3 full marathoner finisher have been a running coach for the past 4 years. Once, an active in Jujitsu and Karate in decades ago, coach Darren is now coaching under The Running Plan as well as coaching in Key Power Running Club too.

By reading coach Darren's interview, he might teach you one or two techniques about karate and jujitsu.

RS: Being a running coach is not a “piece of cake” job, what had you learned throughout these years?

Darren: Communication is a key. A lot of runners have varying degrees of motivation and consistency. Being a running coach is to ensure that the runner knows what they are working/training for and have the motivation and being consistent. The first thought I have, called "Dao of Heart". It should not be vacillate.

RS: How will you build a strong partnership with your principal in order to ensure teacher learning is effectively facilitated and leads to increased student achievement?

Darren: I am blessed with a principal (Jeff and Mark) who have a wealth of experience. The constant communication, discussion relating to the progress and development of our runners is important. We do care about our students. This sincerity and passion over time, was felt by the runners which is why The Running Plan has going classes.

RS: What is the biggest takeaway for being a running coach?

Darren: To be able to witness positive changes in their life after running is satisfying. Running isn't difficult. But not to run fast, efficiently, safely is a different matter.

RS: How do you motivate your clients/pupils to keep going if they did not succeed in their race or marathon?

Darren: I will tell them not to give up. To reach a certain time, position in a race or marathon is just the end result. The runner would have already gained in every way (stronger heart, bigger lungs, leaner muscles, better metabolism, sharper mind) in this process of training towards that end result.

You can contact him: The Running Plan

Coach: Sam Seow Wai Siong

Personality type: Coach Sam is a considerate and supportive of their students, but you will never know he is a fan of horror movies.
Specific sports: Running
Year of coaching: 2016
Coach style/ Philosophy: "Keep learning & keep sharing", this is what coach Sam believe. When you continue to do both, you will grow faster and learn many new things as a coach and student.

With a proper running coach, they will help you to look into your ability, technique and capabilities. They will then advise you what’s best suited for you as part of your training plan.

Top 10 Fitness Coaches In Malaysia

CoFounder and head coach of Run Fast Academy, Sam Seow has been coaching since July 2016. A long time ago, coach Sam got hit by one major and led him to understand more about his injury. He did research on, how can he train and perform better without incurring any injury. This led him to share the knowledge to people and understand their body and takes measure, without getting injury by improving their fitness goals.

After reading the Q&A, coach Sam will let you know which horror movies will give you chills.

RS: What had you learned throughout these years as a running coach?

Sam: That is true especially when most people view running as something that is easy. However, most of them overlooked the fact that, it may sometimes lead to injury if it is done the wrong way. As a running coach, we need to constantly share our knowledge to our students. This means, we need to always read up and research on this. We are their teacher, mentor, a friend, an advisor, a motivator, a psychologist, a scientist, an engineer and architect of the training plan. Therefore, we ourselves as a coach also need to put our shoes as a student to keep learning and understand the needs of a student.

Also read:  Walk in Yang Tiong Hock's Shoes to Understand His Charitable Heart!

RS: How will you build a strong partnership with your principal in order to ensure teacher learning is effectively facilitated and leads to increased student achievement?

Sam: I have a great mentor and advisor that has been guiding me along this coaching journey. He is a 2-time Olympic Coach, author, world-renowned sports scientist with a career spanning over forty years, the Dr. Nicholas Romanov. He has done numerous researches on, the right running technique and it has been proven to be successful. Being under his guidance, I was able to learn a lot as well as to see running from a complete point of view. It has also helped to groom me to be a better coach and to share the same knowledge to the rest of the students.

RS: What is the biggest takeaway for being a running coach?

Sam: I would say it is very liberating to be able to share the power of knowledge. The river of knowledge has no depth and I strongly feel that the more I share, the more I gained as well. On top of that, I met two of my mentors throughout this coaching journey. Not only that I need to be an attentive coach, but I also need to be a successful entrepreneur. I have gained so much during this journey that I may not have obtained during my 18 years in IT industry. IT is definitely something beyond money can buy. I have also gained a good friendship.

RS: How do you motivate your clients/pupils to keep going if they did not succeed in their race or marathon?

Sam: I will always advise my students that race is a benchmark for them to measure and understand themselves. Many tend to be demotivated or gave up when they did not achieve the intended goal. Just like life, things may not go the way we wanted all the time, but we should still continue to strive hard and do not lose focus on the end goal. The key is commitment, determination and passion. Once you have these 3 elements set in your heart, you can almost achieve anything.

You can contact him: Run Fast Academy

Coach: Jeffrey Ross

Personality type: Patient and dedicated, making sure all runners achieve their running goals.
Specific Sports: Running
Year of coaching: 2004
Coach style/philosophy: Although coach Jeffrey is a friendly guy, he definitely pushes his runners hard and encourages them noisily!

I try to speak to everybody in person and see their running first, before committing to any programme or giving too much advice.

Top 10 Fitness Coaches In Malaysia

Jeffrey Ross from Scotland, UK, is the co-founder of The Running Plan in Malaysia. Since 2004, he has coached squash and then running after that. Nothing feels more rewarding to him than helping others to achieve their fitness goals. Coach Jeffrey was 3rd in The Gobi March in 2017, a 250 km Ultramarathon carrying 10kg on his back.

After reading coach Jeffrey's interview, he might tell you the secret of how he succeeds in The Gobi.

RS: What had you learned throughout these years as a coach?

Jeff: There is a lot of preparation work, and follow up work after each class or personal session. It is important to make time for everybody and to make people feel valued. The biggest thing I would stress is that is impossible to offer one solution for everybody, so a coach can only be successful if he/she personalises the approach for every individual or group.

RS: How will you build a strong partnership with your principal in order to ensure teacher learning is effectively facilitated and leads to increased student achievement?

Jeff: Finding out and understand each person's objectives and capabilities is very important. I try to speak to anybody in person and see their running first, before committing to any programme or giving too much advice.

RS: What is the biggest takeaway for being a running coach?

Jeff: Don't forget to have fun and to encourage a class atmosphere where everybody encourages each other's progress, regardless of their ability or fitness level. That is fundamental in our approach at The Running Plan.

RS: How do you motivate your clients/pupils to keep going if they did not succeed in their race or marathon?

Jeff: Many runners in Malaysia race too much and train too little! So, I suggest it is important to manage objectives and to pick target races or events. There are no shortcuts in running, so the outcome will always only be as good as the input (training). If something does not go according to plan, then we will analyse and discuss why, and see what can be done better next time.

You can contact him: The Running Plan

Coach: Edan Syah

Personality: Have a heart to make a difference in people's running journey. He shows his effort by helping others to succeed in their goals.
Specific sports: Running
Year started coaching: 2012
Coaching style: Coach Edan has a knowledge-based training “school” that has a syllabus of training programs for every participant. His plan, train and analyse the programs for all students.

Always find the reason why you want to run and learn from a good training system that will lead you to progress in your running journey. Remember that running is all about being better than yourself and not about beating anyone else!

Top 10 Running and Fitness Coaches In Malaysia

Ever since coach Edan's mother has passed away due to cancer, he has started running. Realising that life is short, he wanted to do something significant in his life. He ran to de-stress the pressures of life and little did he know that he has the ability to develop running potential when he ran his first Full Marathon (Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2011). He is also a head coach for 7 years in Smart Performance Management. He continues to improve his running techniques and believe that he can make a difference by coaching someone else in their running journey too. Also, he loves to be on top of the mountain and run to his heart's content.

Need a little push in your training plan? Read on what coach Edan has to say about that.

RS: What had you learned throughout these years as a running coach?

Edan: It is not easy to be a good coach because every runner is different from another. It takes years to build the experience to be an effective coach to bring out the positive results in everyone. After being a coach for seven years, I am happy to say that I have seen many runners achieving their running goals under our SMART Coaching system. Besides a good system, effective coaching comes from the heart, not just a job.

RS: How will you increased student achievement?

Edan: Our SMART Coaching system is a very comprehensive teaching module that has proven results since its inception. Our personalised interaction with the students and the training analyses are very clear and the students will know how to follow our system to achieve results. With commitment and trust in our Smart Coaching system, all students will see progress in their running capabilities.

Also read:  Meet Samantha Fanshawe, Zestful 4 Deserts Event President and Ultra Enthusiast!

RS: What is the biggest takeaway for being a running coach?

Edan: The satisfaction of seeing your students enjoying running as part of their lifestyle, stay injury-free and finishing strong in the events that they signed up for. I am happy to have impacted their life towards a healthier lifestyle change for the better.

RS: How do you motivate your clients/pupils to keep going if they did not succeed in their race or marathon?

Edan: There is a reason for every outcome in life. Knowing the truth and facing it will definitely bring about progress. We do have Smart Consultation sessions with specific individuals to address certain matters and to work on them. In ours SMART Coaching system, everyone will understand their own running capabilities and no one is a failure.

You can contact him: Smart Athletics Club

Coach: Azwan Bunjing

Personality type: You are likely enjoying his class because of his fun and enthusiastic personality will brings joy during training classes.
Specific sports: Running
Year started coaching: 2018
Coaching style: Based on Vdot developed by Jack Daniels. Coach Azwan find the right training pace is the most important part of a training program.

They can start with a basic training plans like running for 5 km. Once the runner is serious, they should get a personalised training plan. I advised not to straight jump to a 42 km marathon unless you have been training for two to three years.

Top 10 Running and Fitness Coaches In Malaysia

Coaching for 2 years, coach Azwan uses his running techniques and knowledge to help people around him. Coach Azwan got DNFed for the first race and that is why he motivates his students in their running training to keep trying no matter what. He brings joy in his classes too, so that the students can be energetic and motivated to keep going.

Can't focus in your training classes? We are sure coach Azwan will help you with that.

RS: What makes you want to be a running coach?

Azwan: To educate and help others to train effectively.

RS: Being a running coach is not a "piece of cake' job, what had you learned throughout these years?

Azwan: At the introduction of structured plan, everyone might improve their performance. But over the time, their performance will plateau and other things like injury might step in. That's when you have to start analyse what's the training strategy should be to overcome those things.

RS: How will you build a strong partnership with your principal in order to ensure teacher learning is effectively facilitated and leads to increased student achievement?

Azwan: Communication. You have to make sure you are an athlete by knowing what, why and how they are doing it. I think giving feedback is also important as to ensure the training is performed as planned and effective.

RS: What is the biggest takeaway for being a running coach?

Azwan: To progress in the long term, you need to be patient. Big fast result, will leave you fragile.

RS: How do you motivate your clients/pupils to keep going if they did not succeed in their race or marathon?

Azwan: Failure is just a delay of success. We'll look at what went wrong and try to fix it. We will keep trying again until he or she succeed in their running journey.

You can contact him: The Running Plan

Top Triathlon Coach in Malaysia

Coach: Roshan Babu Balakrishnan

Personality type: Cheerful and hardworking Coach Roshan want their students to work hard in their sports and have fun at the same time in their training.
Specific sports: Triathlon, underwater hockey and swimming coach
Year started coaching: 2005
Coaching style/Philosophy: Always create a plan based on the goal and work together to achieve it.

Mostly, I encourage runners to work on their body's ability at first. It is important that your body is able to adapt to the stress and ability. Your body will take time and gradually grow stronger. Soon, if your body is able to handle the stress, you will challenge yourself in your plan. I recommend to always create a plan based on a time frame you have before the race and work on it.

Top 10 Fitness Coaches In Malaysia

Representing Malaysia for underwater hockey in SEA GAMES this December, Coach Roshan always had a passion in swimming and triathlon, so he wanted to share the knowledge with people. He coaches triathlon, swimming and underwater hockey. Even though, Coach Roshan has been through deep depression when he got injured in the past and broke many bones. However, he worked his way to stand back up again. Right now, Coach Roshan is focusing on working with students with special needs and injuries.

Nothing will back him down. Let's hear him out on how he coaches his student throughout the training plan.

RS: What had you learned throughout these years as a triathlon coach?

Roshan: One of the biggest thing I learnt being a coach is, not everyone/athlete is alike. Each of them has to be understood first before we could customise a training plan for them. Most triathletes come with various injuries or disabilities and they set their goal to achieve their dreams. By understanding them better, a coach could customise the best plan to fit their abilities and time. Also, doing a triathlon is not all about training. I once learnt that doing a triathlon is 80% mental preparation and 20% training. The first biggest battle is the decision you even make to participate in one knowing all the sacrifice you have to make to achieve that goal.

RS: How will you build a strong partnership with your principal in order to ensure teacher learning is effectively facilitated and leads to increased student achievement?

Roshan: Understanding your student better. Always start with a short interview where can open up to you and tell you all about them. Take note of all the small things which you can compare before and after. When you show them the improvements, praise them as well. This will keep them motivated in the continued progression of improvement.

RS: What is the biggest takeaway for being a triathlon coach?

Roshan: The bond and relationship you make with the people you coach. We tend to become more of a family. We train together, race together and at times cry together.

RS: How do you motivate your clients/pupils to keep going if they did not succeed in their race or marathon?

Roshan: We break down each part of the race and discuss on what went wrong and why. From there, we focus on working on those problems/errors and try to perfect them in the next race, Always remind them of their goal on why they even started.

You can contact him: Roshan Babu Balakrishnan

Top Spartan Coaches in Malaysia

Coach: Raj Ahmed

Personality type: Energetic by motivation want to ensure your training class will be fun and challenging.
Specific Sports: Spartan
Year started coaching: 2011
Coaching style/philosophy: Exciting and high energy brings guidance, feedback and motivation to all training classes.

Consistency is key for beginners to train for their race and body. I recommend to run or train for three times in a week. They can go for low intensity to build up the habit and then focus on more specific training during those sessions and gradually build up to 4 - 5 sessions with a targeted plan based on your goal.

Top 10 Fitness Coaches In Malaysia

Flew all the way from UK, Coach Raj falls in love with running because of awesome weather in Malaysia. Coach Raj, a project manager and part time OCR coach. Coach Raj Ahmed wants to share his OCR experience with his coaching knowledge to get people ready for the Spartan Race as OCR is getting popular in Malaysia.

Also read:  Why “Dan the Man” Asmara Belongs on Our Ultra-Loyal Sundown Marathon 10th Anniversary Roster

Hating the hot weather in Malaysia? You might like the weather after going to his classes.

RS: What experience have you learned as a Spartan Coach?

Raj: You cannot coach everyone the same way. Different people respond differently and have different needs. Running and OCR ability is all relative.

RS: How will you build a strong partnership with your principal to increased student achievement?

Raj: Explanation is the key because I believe in getting people to understand why they are doing what I am asking them to do. So they will understand and trust the process in the training.

RS: What is the biggest takeaway for being a Spartan Coach?

Raj: Patience, not everyone improves at the same rate, patience and motivational encouragement are key.

RS: How do you motivate your clients/pupils to keep going if they did not succeed in their race or competition?

Raj: It's all about consistency. It is a journey to learn, adapt and be more prepared for the next race.

You can contact him: The Running Plan

Coach: Kenneth Yee Teck Lim

Personality type: Coach Ken is a cool guy, but he can be strict as he wants to see your positive changes in your life.
Specific sports: Spartan
Year started coaching: 2017
Coaching style/Philosophy: If you are with Coach Ken, he wants you to give it all even though you had a bad day. There is no time for fooling around and if you work hard, your results will tell.

For beginner who want to start Spartan, it is the best way to start running even though is a short one!

Top 10 Fitness Coaches In Malaysia

With a love and drive for supporting the OCR community, 22 years-old Spartan Coach had been coaching 3 years. Hopefully, one day he would be an obstacle specialist to help people to achieve their fitness goals. He loves rock climbing as well.

Coach Ken wants the best for students, even though he may be strict, but you may find it is worth it after all.

RS: What had you learned throughout these years as a Spartan coach?

Ken: Everyday is not sunshine and rainbows as a coach, it definitely takes lots of patience and empathy towards our students/clients. Instead of giving them targets and goals, we also need to understand what they want to achieve. But, always draw a line if they lose focus, we need to be there and guide them back on the right track.

RS: How will you build a strong partnership with your client?

Ken: When I coach my clients or students, I will always tell them to give their 100% even they are not training for a competition. Also, making sure to plan and analyse where we can improve it together. I always told my students, results will tell in the end if you push your limits.

RS: What is the biggest takeaway for being a Spartan coach?

Ken: The biggest takeaway is that I get to see my students or clients succeed in their training programs. Most importantly, they are becoming more happier and positive person. Also, they are willing to challenge throughout the journey.

RS: How do you motivate your clients/pupils to keep going if they did not succeed in their race or competition?

Ken: Not succeeding is a very normal journey to everyone. In order to become better, you have to stand back up no matter how many times you failed your training or competition. Is it learning, respect and enjoying the journey as well.

You can contact him: F45 Training Fitness Studio

Top Personal Fitness Trainer in Malaysia

Coach: Agnes

Personality type: Spreading positivity around her surroundings to make sure her students enjoy the whole training process.
Year started coaching: 2016
Coaching style/philosophy: "Small step" philosophy, this is what coach Agnes believe in. It is best to create positive habits in everyday life and fall in love with physical activity, make it a part of your life, of you.

Is it important to know your objective and make it realistic. We will plan out accordingly with your fitness level and remember do not rush into anything if you are not ready yet. Once you make a commitment, stick to it. At the end of the day, you will see yourself getting fitter and happier. And this will make it an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

Top 10 Fitness Coaches In Malaysia

A full time ex-lawyer, is now a freelance personal trainer has been in Malaysia for 4 years. The passion of fitness and active lifestyle made her want to be a personal trainer. Through these years, she shares her fitness experience and hope that people would get inspired to live a healthy lifestyle.

When you get into her classes, I am sure you will be taking your measurement in the next level.

RS: What had you learned throughout these years as a personal trainer?

Agnes: I believe that if you love what you are doing, you will never actually feel like you have a job. It become your passion and a kind of a mission to fulfil weight. Personal trainer's job can bring a lot of satisfaction, but of course there are ups and downs. Throughout the years I have learned to be patient, because I didn't have many clients at the start. Flexible also the one thing I had learned because scheduling my sessions during the day, but also during training I can change up the plan depends on the client's' body. The last thing is to be curious and willing to constantly learn new things, develop new skills to be able to better help my clients.

RS: What is the biggest takeaway for being a personal trainer?

Agnes: I think it's the people's stories and their needs. It can be a very inspiring job if you are open to learn and listen to people.

RS: How do you motivate your clients/pupils to keep going if they did not succeed in their race or competition?

Agnes: If my client did not succeed in the race or results was not as expected, we would talk about what went wrong. Normally, I will let my clients to let emotions release and settle. After that, we will analyse and draw conclusions from this experience. I will advice to get over it and start working towards the next goal.

You can contact her: Agnes N

Coaching is a rewarding job and like all our above coaches have shared, nothing will work unless you do. If you want to recommend any talented coaches in Malaysia, do comment down below and let us know!

Samantha is an editor at RunSociety. She love yoga and incorporate running in her weekly workout whenever she can.

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