ebooking system
October 14, 2017

Q. You have impressive running profile - set up five Hong Kong running records before and still the record holder of the Hong Kong men’s 3 km steeplechase run. When did you start running and why?

Actually as a child, I did not have much endurance for running. Since secondary school, I like playing football, so I’ve got used to running a lot. And during my junior high school times, I started running and my result was very good. That’s how I started my running career. 

I like challenging myself, setting a target and achieving it. I like playing games and gaining through the races. The saying “no pain, no gain” is my path of running life. When I train hard and results are very good, I do not stop, but I always aim for higher results. Also, I want to represent Hong Kong at international sport events and competitions. And my goal is to break Hong Kong record and set a new benchmark for running. 

Q. How do you train yourself?

I run every day - today 10 km, tomorrow 8 km, the day after tomorrow 12 km or 14 km. Running training is similar to nutrition. Nutrition includes carbohydrate, protein, fat and fiber. Running nutrition is endurance, speed, fitness, flexibility, tempo. We need to include three-to-four running methods to ensure the training is balanced and can bring good results. 

Part of the training is related to mental training and sports psychology, for example, a self-talk and keeping in mind the step-by-step approach. When my first step is successful, I will proceed to another step with higher target. That is my nature – I always take reasonably practical steps in training. Like many youngsters, when I was a secondary student, my focus is striving to win. When I grew up, my target changed to self-actualization. I want to do and achieve my personal best, represent Hong Kong and persist in running. 

I learned a lot of running skills, physically and mentally, from my coach. I enjoyed joining exchange running program every year. We went to different places, for example, Yunnan, Taiwan and the USA for training. 

Q. Often athletes would experience difficult times and have injuries. I know you had an injury before and now you are back to running. How did you deal with it?
In 2013, I was at the peak of my performance and I participated in one competition. I was leading, but suddenly I got a leg pain. Despite that the pain was very intense, I still wanted to continue the race. But once finished, I found that my injury was quite serious and I stopped running for next three years. That wasn’t an easy time. I love running, but I could not do it much. But I could cycle, which I did up to the mountain. Also my wife decided to change her career and become full time athlete. She joined the Hong Kong’s Olympic running team and participated in competitions. She always inspired and supported me. Fortunately, my condition got better and better, so I could return to the regular running. Last year, I joined Gold Coast Marathon in Australia and finished 10 km under 31 min 34 seconds. This is my best personal record. Now I have recovered completely and could aim for new targets. 

Q. What is your self-talk when you run and it is hard?
When I set a target,I aim to achieve it. My slogan is “Never give up”. Setting realistic target, having realistic expectations is very important for success. Once you train enough, you will get more experience - there is no miracle and I believe “the dots will be connected”. I used to assess my ability correctly, but when it is hard during the race, for example, I would adjust the pace. The main objective is to achieve the goal and never give up. 

Q. Would you think of Hong Kong people being in general sporty and health conscious? 
There is a lot of evidence showing that running is good for your health. 150 min of running per week can dramatically improve your overall cardiovascular health and significantly lower a chance of getting stroke, diabetes and other health problems. So many people in Hong Kong like to join full marathon. However, they do not do it in a healthy way. Why? Because lack of preparation. 

Q. In spite of having hectic work schedule, what would you recommend people to prepare for running a marathon? How to prepare correctly and do not damage health?

First of all, running shall be done step by step. First, you run 10 km, then half-marathon, then full marathon - increase your running capability gradually. In order to get ready for 10 km race, you need to run 30-40 km per week to get good result. If you run only once a week - still can finish, but probably result won’t be as good. But that is a baseline - at least once a week for 3-4 months before you do your 10 km. Half-marathon requires around 6 months of dedicated training, and full marathon between 6 to 9 months. For full marathon runners, nutrition is important, additional consumption of carbohydrates, protein, vitamin C is recommended. 

Q. How can we engage more people doing sports and running?

I think the initiation should go from person. I can’t force people to do running if they do not want to. Running is more fun when you do it together with your friends or find running mate. You can also join a running club to meet more like-minded passionate people about running and join the community to meet friends. Running is one of the ways to keep healthy, but people can also do other sports - like basketball, dragon boat, etc - with team spirit, it would be very fun to do.

Q. How did you become a trainer?

It started 12-13 years ago, when I was a student, my coach was very busy, so he asked me to help and train other students - that’s how I learned how to be a coach. Gradually I got position as an assistant coach, passed some exams and certifications and became full-time coach. Now, I can make living from being a coach and doing what I love. 5 years ago, I and my wife created a running club.

Q. How is it like to be a trainer? What is the most difficult part?

Relationship is the biggest issue. Some students had a bit improvement, but they are unhappy with their results. They have high expectations, they want to achieve more. But you can’t see the results from running training in very short period of the time. So I need to be a good counsellor and coach to motivate them to keep running. Sometimes conflicts emerge between students. So I need to handle conflicts to ensure they train themselves in a harmonious way. Sometimes I need to act like a father and take care of my students, especially girls - to remind them to get change after training, once they are on public transportation - wear jackets to prevent getting cold, remind them not to eat junk food and look after diet. 

Q. What is your personal motto and goal?

“Just do it” - what do you want to achieve - just go for it! Running helps to be positive, train your character and build good personality. I do not aim to get big business. I want to interact with locala, buildin-depth collaboration with young people and help them to improve and realize their potential in sport.

Q. What’s your experience as Hong Chi Care Ambassador? 

Back in my school times, I was playing football. Many of my classmates and friends were bad guys. Becoming a runner had dramatic positive effect on my life, as it helped me to develop good habits. Some of my former classmates went to jail, because of bad business. I found that running can change life. To give is better than to take. So I found this opportunity to support and help other people to improve their life via sport.

Q. What kind of help or support you are looking for?

I do other community projects, such as the one for Tuen Mun local schools - helping to train underprivileged students who come from relatively poor neighborhoods and especially for those who got filing a police report – who did bad business before. In our running club, we also support kids who got potential in running and give them scholarship for training. 

Tonight I hold a running class for low income children. They were nominated by school. Sometimes when they really have financial problems - I would find some sponsor for them. 

Another area where I look for more help is how to provide them adequate running tools. For example, for successful training, it is very important to know and keep track of running record, like time and heart rate, so you know how to improve. I am looking for ways to raise more funds to collect stop-watches for those school students who cannot afford it. One watch costs about HK$2,000. I am open for collaboration with JCIHK chapters if there is an interest.