With the pandemic still ongoing, the marathon race scene especially in this part of the world looks unlikely to recover in the coming months. Despite calls to treat COVID-19 as endemic in most countries, sports event organisers are still wary of having in-person events and have generally kept to virtual race formats.
Ryan Hoa Yhee Fei, a 40-year-old agency manager from AIA Berhad, is one of the runners preparing for the upcoming Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) Virtual Race as he trains on Penang Island’s renowned Straits Quay.
ToughASIA: When did you start running and what made you interested in the sport?
Ryan: The whole journey started as a challenge with my college mates back in December 2013 with a half-marathon race. We were overconfident that we could compete in the race but actually completed it with pain. However, that did not deter my motivation. Instead I have added it into my bucket list to train and have since become addicted to running until today.
ToughASIA: Do you run alone or in a group?
Ryan: I would run alone most of the time, but will bump into my friends as they train in the same neighbourhood. We would stop to chit chat and probably run together. It is easy to meet up as Penang is a small place after all.
I am not really attached to any running clubs. However, I am a member of the AM.i.3 triathlon club. We do not usually run together but we have a lot of group rides pre-MCO.
ToughASIA: What are your regular running gears and accessories?
Ryan: I wear a GARMIN Forerunner 935 and pair it with a heart rate monitor strapped to my chest for better accuracy. Most of my shoes are from ASICS, however it really depends on the type of runs. Usually, I will run with a singlet and a 5” running shorts and if I plan to have longer runs, I will put on an AFTERSHOKZ wireless headphone for some music.
ToughASIA: How do you manage your diet during the lockdown to stay fit?
Ryan: I do not have a specific diet due to the nature of my work, but I do cook simple dishes using fresh ingredients. Less oil, more vegetables and fruits make the ideal meal for me.
ToughASIA: What are the exercises you do to stay fit during the lockdown?
Ryan: I usually complete a one-hour run of about 12km, 4 to 5 times a week, and cycling within the neighbourhood once or twice a week. I also complement my training with some tabata and bodyweight training at home.
ToughASIA: What is your recommended home training routine for beginners?
Ryan: For beginners, they may start with 2 sets of 4-minute workouts, and they can design the following training based on their own capabilities.
- Squat jump – 20 seconds
- Push up – 20 seconds
- Burpees – 20 seconds
- Leg raise – 20 seconds
Note: Do rest 10 seconds after each exercise.
Based on individual capabilities, gradually increase the number of sets or replace some of the exercises with mountain climbers, tricep dips or high-knee sprint. Aim to finish 5 to 8 sets after 4 weeks of training.
ToughASIA: Have you registered for any virtual race this year?
Ryan: I made a promise to myself to complete at least a marathon every year, and I am looking forward to the KLSCM VR this November.
ToughASIA: What is your best achievement in sports?
Ryan: My best achievement was qualifying for the IRONMAN 70.3 New Zealand World Championship in 2019. However, the race has been postponed to 2022.
ToughASIA: What is your advice for those who would like to exercise outdoors during this pandemic?
Ryan: Follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) and always stay at a safe distance from others. Avoid group workouts and washing your hands regularly is also important. If possible, replace all your outdoor workouts with indoor training.
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ToughASIA: You have tried the JoyMix Pea Protein. Can you tell us a bit about your experience?
Ryan: I got to know about the JoyMix Pea Protein through a friend in July this year. I have actually stopped consuming protein for a year-and-a-half since all the races have been cancelled. But after trying the JoyMix Pea Protein, I can feel that my recovery is faster and I feel fresher. In fact, it took only three weeks for the results to show and I can conclude that it really works.
ToughASIA: How has the JoyMix Pea Protein helped to improve your performance?
Ryan: Recovery is important for us to get stronger and often, it is even more important than training hard. I would say that the JoyMix Pea Protein did a great job in muscle repair as well as reducing fatigue so that I am always ready to perform.
ToughASIA: What does the JoyMix Pea Protein taste like?
Ryan: I personally like it very much. Despite it being a pea protein, it tastes like soy milk, which is my favourite. Most importantly, it is not sweet and does not taste artificial. It performs exactly as mentioned on its label.
ToughASIA: Would you recommend the JoyMix Pea Protein to another person?
Ryan: Most definitely, and I am already doing it!
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