A Day In The Life Of Running Superstar Mok Ying Ren

By Chelza Chong

Does Ying Ren run daily? Does he do any other exercises? What is his diet like? 

To many of us who only know or read about Mok Ying Ren through newspaper articles and sports magazines, these thoughts are very common. Last Saturday, I was invited by Oakley Singapore to take part in the “Test with the Best” event. The event not only gave me the chance to learn more about fitness from Mr Superstar, Mok Ying Ren and Ben Pulham, it also allowed them to know more about the benefits of wearing Oakley’s Road Specific Lens as we got to wear Oakley’s latest OO® Red Iridium® Polarized shades whilst going for a 3km test run that was led by Mok Ying Ren and Ben Pulham. 


(Photo Credit: Oakley Singapore)

The biggest highlight for me was the chance to interview Mok Ying Ren where I not only got to learn more about a typical day in his life but also gained some valuable tips on running so here goes...


Q: I understand that apart from being a national athlete with many media events to attend to and training sessions to commit to, you are also currently a medical officer, how is a typical day for you like?

A: My typical day is a lot about time management. Right now, I am doing my national service at Nee Soon Camp. I work office hours and every once a week, I have to go for overnight duty at the medical centre. That is the only disruptive part for my schedule. My schedule is usually pretty alright. I do have time to train since the good thing about running is that you can run anytime and anywhere like, you can run from your house and end the run at your house. Moreover, everyone has been generally very supportive of what I am doing so it has been quite good for me so far.


Q: How is your weekly training regime like?

A: I run twice a day, usually once in the morning before I head off to work and once in the evening after I knock off from work. They usually last for about 45 minutes to an hour each for my morning runs and about an hour to an hour and a half each for my evening runs. On the other days, I meet up with my friends to do some track work. For me, Sundays are for long runs.


Q: How is your diet like? Do you have any diets that you stick to or any type of food that you avoid?

A: I try to eat healthy and avoid fried food. For breakfast, I usually just have cereals with yoghurt.


Q: It's public knowledge that you are gunning for the 2016 Olympics in Rio and have even named your journey Road to Rio, how have you been preparing for it?

A: I have been running a lot. Since I am serving my national service now, I have been only been training in Singapore. Once I am done with my national service in April, I will be training overseas like Japan and USA. I will be taking one and a half year of no pay leave. The weather in other countries is better so even though I will be running with the same effort that I did here, I will run faster in other countries. My muscles will be activated and will grow better. It allows me to run at my optimum.


Q: Hardships like injuries, must be common for a national athlete. How do you usually overcome them? What do you do to get over them? 

A:  Injuries on my foot are the worst. Just 6 months ago, due to an injury on my shin, I had to stop for quite a while. I usually spend my time cycling then though it can be quite monotonous. For me, it is really about determination. You have to persevere and get over those challenges. It is indeed hard to slow down your training yet, you can divert your energy somewhere else like cycling.


Q: What is running to you?

A: Running brings me joy. It also highlights active lifestyle and honestly, running is the best way to go about it for us. It is time efficient and being that, it suits busy Singaporeans.



Q: What are your future plans?

A: My plan is to see how far I can go for my running by taking no pay leave. Eventually, I hope to practice as a sports surgeon which is why I want to further study after that.


Q: Is there any stereotypes of running that you have heard that you would want to change and tell people that it is just a myth?

A: Many people think that they cannot run. Yet, we are all meant to run. It just depends on how long it has been since we have started running. If you have started it since young, of course, it will be easier for you. Eventually, you will find a pace that suits yourself. Everyone is born to run.


Q: What do you think of runners’ knee? Any advice on that?

A: There are many things that can lead to runner’s knee. This is especially so for females because of their different bone structure. It can be due to one’s weakness in quadriceps too. If you do visit a physiotherapist, they will help you to strengthen your quadriceps and find out the imbalances that are causing your knee to suffer from those problems. You can try doing lunges or squats to train your quadriceps.


Q: Knowing that you have started the Run to Walk project to encourage people to start running since young, how do you think it has progressed so far and what inspired you to organize that?

A: I think so far, it has been good. Coming from a medical point of view, I realized that many people fall sick because they did not exercise eough when they were younger. I hope with this program, many people will start walking and running so they do not get ill next time. Our target audience - people who don’t run . Now, we have about 40 to 50 people turning up every week. My friends and I do volunteer to help out whenever we are free.  


Q: How do you think Oakley can help us for our runs?

A: I have been with Oakley for 6 years. The main issue is that if you do not wear anything and you intend to run under the hot glaring sun, you are exerting stress on your eyes. Moreover, when you do wear something that makes you feel comfortable, you will run better too. It is important to wear shades for your runs, especially in Singapore since Singapore is much hotter than anywhere else. Overexposing your eyes to UV rays will cause cataracts to be developed in them. Oakley’s shades gives your eyes 100% protection from UV rays and that makes them helpful for us.


On behalf of the SportSanity SG Team, I would like to thank Mok Ying Ren for being such a fun sport and for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this interview with me. 


Want to know more about Mok Ying Ren and Oakley’s latest OO® Red Iridium® Polarized shades? Follow Mok Ying Ren on @mokyingren(Instagram) and Oakley on @OakleySg (Instagram).

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