LIV3LY: We'd love to know more about you! Tell us a little about yourself, such as your full name and occupation. What is your hobby or passion besides running?
Rebekah: Hi LIV3LY, my name is Rebekah Ong. I’m a Senior Executive working in the legal industry. Like most Singaporeans, I am guilty of a love for good food and would meet up with friends often to check out the newest cafes in Singapore and catch up over meals. My Instagram is usually filled with lots of good food photos in addition to running shots! With a love for food, running is thankfully a good complement to my lifestyle as it helps me keep fit and shave off any excess weight.
LIV3LY What inspired you to start running? Share with us your story!
Rebekah: You may be surprised to hear that I did not enjoy doing sports during my school days. This changed however once I started going to the gym near my workplace in my 20s. I was a Step Aerobics fanatic and attended Step gym classes 3 to 4 times a week. I even became a freelance Step instructor at one point in time! However, attending gym classes means having to commit to a specific time and location which dictated my lifestyle, and family time and meeting up with friends had to be worked around the gym class schedule. I therefore decided to try running given the more flexible schedule, and so the journey begins.
LIV3LY: How do you stay motivated to run consistently and put running as a priority in your life?
Rebekah: I started running way back in 2007 but didn’t do it as frequently. In 2015, a close friend of mine (who is also my running buddy) and I were lamenting about hitting 30s and having to take care of ourselves with a long road ahead of us. If we were not healthy, what would happen to us as we age? We certainly do not want to burden our family or others with our bad health. We came to the harsh realisation that how we take care of ourselves now will have a direct impact on our health in our older years. We do not want to end up sick and unhealthy and thus promise to live a healthy lifestyle together! We started to step up the frequency of our runs, set running goals and motivate each other along the way. That year we completed our first competitive run event together and it felt great. From then on, it’s no looking back! Every time when I was asked why I run, my answer is always the same: it’s for a healthier lifestyle and a healthier me. I also try to motivate everyone around me to keep active and start running.
LIV3LY: When the going gets tough while running, how did you spur yourself to finish the run?
Rebekah: I always listen to my body. When the going gets tough while running, I take short breaks. During the breaks, I try to keep it at brisk walking pace to catch my breath and at the same time take in the beauty of the surroundings. After each break, I would continue to push on at a comfortable pace and visualise myself completing the run. Good music, good company, good weather, good running environment, and promise of good food (yes!) at the end of the run also help spur me to finish a run.
LIV3LY: Share with us 3 practical tips that you found useful for yourself as a runner? For example, it could be your 2 cents on training, nutrition etc.
(i) Always plan your running sessions. Plan wisely – for example, setting aside the right time (early mornings and evenings work for me), planning the right route (think parks, reservoirs) and choosing the right music, shoes and attire etc.
(ii) Run with friends who have the same interest – it will be easier to complete a run in good company.
(iii) Last but not least, remember to always stretch after your running sessions – you don’t want to end up with tight muscles and walk like a duck for the rest of the week.
LIV3LY: Looking back on your journey as a runner, what is your best advice for someone who wants to embrace running?
Rebekah: It’s always tough in the beginning but continue to push on and slowly you will gain the momentum to continue running. Consider also joining running events – after you have signed up for an event, you know you’ll have to train for it!
LIV3LY: Thank you Rebekah for this interview! We hope fellow runners can use the tips you have provided as a guideline to improve themselves personally!