SINGAPORE: National marathoner Soh Rui Yong recently added another “hat” to the ones he already wears. With the launch of the RunSohFast Marathon Academy, he is now the founder and head coach, offering to train others based on his extensive experience.

“Run Soh Fast Marathon Academy is now official,” announced Soh, 32, over social media on Jan 3 (Wednesday). He gave a shoutout to all the coaches he’s trained with and learned from over the 13 career marathons he has run.

He also explained what sets his brand of training apart, writing, “With me, you get the attention, you get the experience of someone who has been through marathons for 10 years, competed at a high level, made mistakes, learnt from them, got injured, learnt from that, ran really good performances, learnt what works and what doesn’t.”

He wrote that runners who train for the marathon under him would also “avoid all the potential pitfalls that most novice athletes would face” before adding, “Let’s get to work.”

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Soh, who bagged his fourth win at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon last month, is the first Singaporean male marathoner to win back-to-back SEA Games in 2015 and 2017 and holds the national records for the 5,000m (track & road), 10,000m (track & road), half marathon, and marathon.

In last year’s SEA Games, he won a silver medal and set the national record,  the first 10,000m medal for the country in 40 years.

To promote the academy, letters of recommendation from fellow runners have been posted on its Facebook page, including one from Ms Cindy Ong, a working mother of two who qualified for the Boston Marathon.

In her letter, Ms Ong called Soh “a great friend and mentor” whom she credited for her successes because of the customized training programme he made for her.

FB screengrab/Run Soh Fast Marathon Academy

Another letter the academy posted was from a Mr Dan Bulbrook, whom Soh helped get into shape just five weeks before the Valencia Marathon. He wrote that Soh had changed his perspectives and that he couldn’t recommend “Coach Rui highly enough.”

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FB screengrab/Run Soh Fast Marathon Academy

Mr Shaun Goh, last year’s Standard Chartered Singapore Half Marathon National Champion, wrote that his win would not have been “possible without the strong guidance and support from Rui Yong.

His pursuit of excellence and the high standards that he sets for himself (and of others) is something that inspires me to continue pursuing this sport and pushing my boundaries.”

FB screengrab/Run Soh Fast Marathon Academy

Soh adopts a “Train Smart, Race Smart” running philosophy, which he explained this way:

“Lots of people think we slow down in our 30s, but that’s probably because most people who do marathons Train Dumb, Race Dumb and ruin their bodies by getting injured.

All my results this year were from less than 10 hours of running per week, and just 2 hard but carefully structured sessions that prioritise fun, progressive fitness growth. I’m 32 years old now but feel stronger and faster than I ever did in my 20s.” /TISG

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