This morning, top Singapore marathoner Mok Ying Ren won the gold medal at the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar, with a timing of 2hours 28minutes and 36seconds.
Aye Thuang of Myanmar was second with a time of 2hours 29minutes and 49seconds. Filipino Eric Panique came third in 2hours 30minutes and 29seconds.
Mok’s stunning feat is an achievement in itself, because the last time that Singapore had won a marathon gold was way back in 1983, when K. Jayamani won the gold in the women’s division.
Mok is definitely a Singaporean champion. And based on his current form and rate of improvement, he could just set another record in less than three years time – by representing Singapore in the Olympic marathon in Rio 2016. So do continue to look out for the name Mok Ying Ren.
But what exactly makes top marathoners like him continue to perform so well?
To Mok, pacing yourself appropriately throughout the race is very important, as he had mentioned in a running clinic earlier this year.
Runners really need to know their own pace and be able to maintain this throughout the entire distance and duration of the race. However it takes some time and training to get your pacing correct, so that is why doing long runs are so important in order to prepare for the race. If you start off running too fast at the beginning, you will almost certainly have nothing in the tank come the halfway mark and will definitely struggle after that.
Do not let the race pressure get to you
During the race, it is very important to not let the pressure get to you. In Mok’s case, the pressure to win the SEA Games gold medal was certainly immense. But instead of letting this pressure affect his race and stress him out, Mok probably tried to relax and run his own race. After all, he definitely does have experience at these high-level races.
Even though you may not have such high expectations, I’m sure that all runners have some form of expectation, for example, you want to run a sub-four hour marathon. And if you let this goal affect your race and pacing, it isn’t going to work. Just try and relax during the race – as Mok probably did – and you will find that you have not only enjoyed the race experience much better, but also achieved your race target.
Do not over-stride
Some runners may make this mistake, but as Mok had shared in a previous training clinic, over-striding (the number of steps that a runner takes per minute) can waste energy and may even result in serious injuries if the runner is not careful.
The average number of strides taken by most runners would be 88 strides per minute. So next time, count your strides to determine if you are wasting too much energy.
Preparing everything the night before
As he had advised runners before the StanChart Marathon two weeks ago, Mok also strongly suggests that you should prepare everything the night before – so that you won’t be in a panic trying to look for important things like your race bib or race singlet on the morning of the race itself.
This is exactly what Mok must have done – he laid all his important gear out nicely, before getting an early night’s sleep. And his great mental preparation also went some way to helping him get Singapore’s first marathon gold medal since 1983.
But whatever his secret tactics were on this warm Myanmar morning, congratulations once again to Singaporean success story Mok Ying Ren, for winning Singapore’s first SEA Games marathon gold – since 1983.
More Tips from Mok Ying Ren
- Mok Ying Ren’s Olympic Dream
- Last Minute Race Tips from Mok
- Running Recovery Tips from Mok
- Pacing Tips from Mok