Hi everyone, my name is Rui Yong. I’m a 2 times SEA Games gold medalist in a marathon. 2 times national champion at the
Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. As well as the self-declared
best ping pong player in the world. Recently, I went over to the
mountains in Flagstaff, Arizona. Where my goal was to train in the high altitude, And get super fit so that I could challenge
the Singapore national record of 2 hours, 24 minutes and 22 seconds. My goal is to become super fit, And take down the record so that I can become the fastest man in Singapore history. So a big shout-out to United Airlines
for flying us all the way here, and giving us access to the Polaris lounge, where we could chill away the long journey
from Singapore to San Francisco. It typically takes me a while to shake off the jet lag. But thanks to the Polaris lounge,
this time it was a breeze. All that being said, this is my journey to break
the Singapore Marathon national record. The first week of being in Flagstaff, I was having some issues with my Achilles tendons
after the Houston Half Marathon. Geh kiang (act smart) lah, go run too fast. So I had to book a physiotherapy
appointment with my girl, Carol. Post-race we’re going to do a flush. So we’re just going to go in and basically break up
lactic acid, break up all the different… fluids in his body. Loosen up his muscles. Work on the fascia, work on the tendons,
then just find out. First we have to get hands-on and see what he needs. And then, so post-recovery is really important.
So massage is great for post-recovery. What’s not so common knowledge is that,
the back actually gets very tight, when you are doing long-distance running.
Especially like racing on the road. Apparently Carol just told me that it’s
very very tight from the race and from the travels. So she’s gonna have to dig in and like,
loosen up my back. Look at this. Toe nail is coming out! Toe nail… Big blood blister. It’s alright. Gave my toe for that record. I’m still having issues after. So Rainier and I decided, “You know what let’s just take it chill.” Go for a karaoke night. And who else would usually be at a karaoke night, But tennis star, Venus Williams. Whom I literally ended up on a stage singing a duet with. Even though I’m currently nursing an injury, it is important to maintain my fitness because the marathon is really creeping up on me now. So I’m gonna do a fartlek. For those of you who are not familiar with fartlek,
it’s basically one minute hard and one minute easy. So for those of you who might be beginners, or if your friends sabo (sabotage) you and signed
you up for the Standard Chartered Marathon. This workout is for you. Forget about all the daunting distances. Forget about 42 km, 21 km, 30 km. Whatever it is that people are
telling you that you have to run. Just break it down into simple smaller parts,
that’s all you have to do. That was hard! Growing up in Singapore you don’t run so much on the grass. You run a lot on the road and on the track. So when you’re running on uneven
soft surfaced, it can be hard to adapt. So yeah, definitely not my element. Well, it’s harder up here because
there’s not as much pressure in the air. So there actually is plenty of oxygen molecules, but they’re not being forced into your body at the same rate that they are at sea level, so… That’s why the body produces extra red blood cells
up here when you’re at elevation. Because it’s trying to make up for that fact. But Rui Yong hasn’t been here very long,
so he doesn’t have those extra red blood cells yet. So he’s just struggling out here, but he’ll come around. Alright, thanks coach! Today I’m going to be attempting the hardest
long run off my entire cycle. A 42 km long run. That’s the marathon distance in of itself. So I don’t recommend trying this at home
unless you are of a certain fitness level. Because even for myself, I’m gonna be out there running hard for almost 3 hours. Very lucky today to have Rainier and Will in the car, providing some support and
encouragement along the way. Very lucky to have two buddies who’ll be running with me for most of the distance. And you know, hopefully my Achilles holds up. The road is actually kind of nice
I thought it would be a lot more sloshy. The sun is out. I think we got
really lucky with the weather. What? It looks fine! Oh my god, whose Jeep is that? Do you think we’ll be making it? No… Oh my god… I think someone’s in there. Dang… It’s a little bit warmer today,
so some of that snow is melting off. And it was raining all of yesterday and this morning, so there’s just a lot of water. It’s just wet everywhere. Wah so… during this 42 km damn shag (exhausting) lah. It was so cold outside, which was nice
because we weren’t sweating so much. But it was like bitter cold leh! There were floods everywhere when
we were running along the dirt roads. Someone’s car was getting washed away.
It felt very hardcore. It felt like the elements were all against you
but you’re still out there getting it done. At the end of the run, at 32 km,
I actually switched to the road. And I did a section where I did it very very fast. So it was called the ‘fast finish long run’
where I run 32 km at a decent pace, then switch to my racing shoes,
get on the road and run fast for the last part. And my Achilles. It’s a bit sore… the cold obviously didn’t help. I’m a little bit worried about it. But (at the) end of the day, I just gotta do
what I can on a day-to-day basis, and not get too caught up,
worrying about what is going to happen. Okay, so we’re in the gym.
11am on Thursday morning. These are my set of exercises for the day. Once or twice a week we come into the gym to… do exercises that complement the running
just to help us stay strong and injury free. Cause we’re going to be running… 160 km a week. The body takes a lot of beating so your weaknesses in the body needs to be strengthened. I mean, not as much as I do lower body, for sure. But… A little bit, like I said about once or twice a week. It’s just matter of, you know.
In Singapore is like working and running. So the priority is the aerobic fitness
and lower leg strength. The upper body can be a little bit neglected sometimes. When I’m on training camp I’ll have
a bit more time to train. I try to focus on the upper body a bit more because
it pulls your form together when you get tired. So if your upper body is not strong
when you’re tired, you end up like – all over the place. But if your core is strong even though you’re tired,
you can hold a nice running form. At kilometre 35, 39, 40 of the marathon. So yeah. As you can tell my upper body
strength is not very strong. This is for people who are not strong enough yet. You’ll need assistance so I’m just going to demonstrate. 99… 100! That was a fast 100. Yeah, that was 100 right there. I usually go to 200, but today… I’m feeling tired. So today is Chinese New Year. And there’s a freaking blizzard outside again! It’s so heavy, you can’t see more than
ten metres in front of you. But Rainier and I really needed to get
Chinese food into our bodies today. Is it because we’re Chinese? I don’t know. Time to go for dinner! Look at the snow! – Dude, we’re crazy lah. We’re going out to get what?
– Oh my god! Panda Express? No, it’s Chinese New Year bro. You have to eat Chinese food. I agree with that. I’m just saying that we’re the only crazy ones in town who are driving to the store today. Everyone else is staying at home. This is so cool. Xin nian kuai le (happy new year)! x2 I think with this weather,
we should sing ‘Merry Christmas’. Ohhhhhhh! Okay, okay. We are here at Panda Express. I just risked my life for Panda Express,
I’m really questioning my life choices right now. Snowball fight! It hit the camera! Nooooo 🙁 Okay, so a lot of people don’t know
but today is Chinese New Year. And we’re here at Panda Express to find – Shout-out to Singapore from Flagstaff. Xin nian kuai le (happy new year)! So today I’ll be doing my hardest workout
of the whole cycle a 16-mile tempo run. This is gonna be like the defining
workout of the whole training cycle. After this workout is two weeks of rest and recovery and not much else as I gear up for race day. I won’t be running race pace up here simply because we’re in the mountains and there’s not enough oxygen to be comfortably hitting race pace. But I need to run this whole workout
at the same effort that I’ll be racing at. Hopefully it goes well. My Achilles is still kind of bothering me, I’m getting a little bit worried about it. I’m hoping it doesn’t like snap or anything.
Fingers crossed! So good Rui Yong, very nice. Be smooth, be relaxed! Very nice! Wow! What a day, huh? Good job, buddy! Good job! You’re gonna crush it! x2 How did you feel out there? – The second half felt better.
– Yeah! x3 I think it just took you a while to warm up. – Yeah, it did.
– Cause it’s 15ºF (-9ºC). – I never got the top layer off.
– No, no, it was great! It was cold out there but once you – Oh man! You just come in so naturally, didn’t you think? – Yeah, the last –
– I didn’t feel like you were forcing it. The last six miles was really good. Yeah! Before that, a couple of miles, a little bit rough. It was great. x2 You’re gonna, man… You’re gonna run really –
You’re gonna smash that national record. Yeah, you really are. But you got to be so smart.
You got to stay healthy. You got to get your sleep. You’ve got to do all the little things right
between now and then. And of course you got to keep that Achilles off. So we’ve come to the end of our
5 week training camp in Flagstaff. It had his ups and downs. I started off very brightly by breaking the
Singapore Half Marathon record in Houston. Got injured from that race and
had to spend the next five weeks like, Rehabilitating and trying to build on my fitness
while not aggravating my injury. Which was a very very tricky process. All in all, I would say I got maybe
70 or 80 percent of the work that I had planned done. Ben and I are still confident though, that
I can go to race day and give my hundred percent. And hopefully that will be enough. Thank you very much United Airlines for flying me
all the way here and making this training camp possible. Thank you for being a part of this video. My next stop will be the Seoul marathon, Where I’m trying to break the Singapore national record and become the fastest man ever in Singapore history.