During the weekend, top Singaporean runner Soh Rui Yong set a new national record in the 10,000m race – completing the run in 31 minutes and 15.95 seconds – at the Portland Track and Field Festival in the United States.
This broke P.C Suppiah’s 41-year-old record, set at the 1973 Asian Track and Field Championships, in the Philippines. So not surprisingly, this was definitely the highest point in Soh’s running career.
But despite his achievement, Soh, a 22-year-old Business Administration student at the University of Oregon, doesn’t consider himself a gifted runner. He said, “I’m not the most gifted athlete, so if I can work my way up, many others can as well.”
And Soh definitely sees not only himself, but the distance running scene in Singapore as improving too. He said, “Now that a 41-year old record is gone, I hope this shows that the current batch of distance runners can stop living in the shadows of our ancestors – and run faster too.”
Besides running fast, Soh is also an advocate of healthy eating. He is a great chef, whipping up mouth-watering dishes such as delicious omelettes, fried rice and spaghetti.
On what made him become interested in healthy foods, Soh explained that his coach had enlightened him on this. He said, “I met coach Steven Quek. He’s great at educating his athletes on the importance of rest and nutrition.” That had been during his junior college days.
And when he moved to the United States to further his studies, Soh realized that he had to cook in order to survive there. He said, “Eating out in the USA is expensive, so learning to cook was a matter of survival.” So he rose to the challenge, and can now cook yummy yet healthy dishes that do not compromise on taste.
In this article – written by Soh – he talks about cooking four of his favourite healthy dishes.
This is the fourth and final article on healthy foods and running.
This blog post is dedicated to four of my favourite dishes which help fuel my body for training and recovery. In high performance athletics, there are three main areas of focus – training, nutrition, and rest. Hopefully, this can be of use to my fellow runners, as far as the nutrition aspect of running goes. Remember, if Soh can cook, so can you!
This is an omelette for runners – with no bacon, no sausages, little oil and salt. Three to four eggs are used for an individual serving. What the dish lacks in sinful-indulgence, it makes up for in feel-good nutrition. I usually like to add bell peppers, mushrooms and cheese into the omelette for a good balance of colour, vitamins, antioxidants, and protein. A great post-workout brunch to rebuild those tired muscles!
As most runners will tell you, pasta is one of the best forms of carbohydrates. It’s also what I have for lunch almost every day. The low glycogen-index (GI) of pasta (thank you, Mr Steven Lim, for teaching me this in secondary school), allows energy consumed from pasta to be dispersed slowly and over a long period of time – exactly what a distance runner needs. Add tomato sauce, minced meat, carrots, lettuce and broccoli for colour, protein, vitamins and antioxidants.
Teriyaki fried rice
An Asian dish! Turn your hard, overnight rice into a tasty meal by frying it in a pan. Teriyaki sauce provides great flavour, and I usually add teriyaki-seasoned chicken to go with it. Easy to cook and great tasting. Don’t add too much sauce or the rice will become overly salty.
Steak and Veggies
Good ol’ steak and veggies. Steak is a good source of minerals, including iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. Despite a lot of the negative portrayal of red meat in the media, red meat does actually contain a lot of the stuff our body needs for growth and development – our ancestors grew up hunting down and eating red meat. Bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots and broccoli are my favourite sides, but really, steak goes with anything and the humble potato is a good carbohydrate to accompany the dish. Fantastic and satisfying dinner after a long day of training.
Stay tuned for another article on more comments by Soh on his record-breaking run.