A full-time working professional, father of 2 and podium finisher of multiple races in Singapore, including the recent victory at this year’s OSIM Sundown Marathon 2015 (Full Marathon) and 2XU Compression Run 2015 (10km), Stuart Haynes has been a rising running star in the local race scene and one of the most outstanding members of JRL Academy’s F1 Runners.

JustRunLah! chats with Stuart as he shares with us his running history, achievements and tips in this casual interview.

JRL: First of all, congratulations on your first position at OSIM Sundown Marathon 2015 (full marathon) and 2XU Compression Run 2015 (10km). How will you introduce yourself to Singapore’s running community?

Stuart Haynes: Thanks! Hello, I’m Stu. Relative late-comer to running, but gently obsessed these days.

2 SNG2014
Singapore National Games 2014 Stadium Run

JRL: When did you first pick up running (what age) and what inspired you to do so? And run so fast?

Stuart: 4 or 5 years ago when I was about 34 or 35. I was a footballer when young, did nothing sporty through my university years (people are surprised I used to smoke 20 fags a day), and then was a bit of a gym-bunny – I had a good benchpress. As I got older every time I went back to football or a contact sport I got injured, so started running a bit. It only started properly after I moved to Singapore and realized I loved running and loved the weekend racing scene. Running as fast as you can is part of the pleasure – there is no luck in setting a PB – it is all you

JustRunLah!: What would you consider to be your biggest running achievement so far?

Stuart: Quite a few highlights. Winning my first race ever at Sundown marathon 2013, JP Morgan champion, meeting Allyson Felix after coming second at the Nike 10k. One that means a lot to me though is fastest non-African two years running at the SCM. No prizes for that, but it’s a gold label race, tough conditions and 15th position meant a lot to me. There’s an awesome photo of Lexus giving me hell at 21k last year

JustRunLah!: How has training with F1 Runners been for you?

Stuart: I genuinely love it. My working week makes it difficult to attend many sessions, but I try to make the Tuesday session as a priority. Lexus sets an ever changing schedule for speed training. Working with the other F1 runners makes the session more fun, and makes you work harder – it’s a mixed group with the same goal – train hard, go faster. Running with the younger members of the team is probably my favourite part – they sometimes relay race me, and Jack, Eugene and few others are getting quite fast!

Stuart training
Stuart at F1 Runners’ training

JustRunLah!: You ran a very impressive 2:41:34 for the full marathon and 35:18 for the 10km. What are your future goals?

Stuart: Thanks. I’d like to run a cool marathon, maybe Tokyo – aim for something like 2.35. Get my 10k pace down towards 33 minutes. My main ambition is to develop my running form and stay healthy, including no serious injuries

JustRunLah!: What advice would you give to someone taking part in a 10/21/42km race?

Stuart: Just Run Lah? I would need to know the individual to give any proper advice. Anyone reading this will know the generic advice. You need years to understand how to run well – every race and training session is a learning experience. Think about your form while running – is my stride good? Where are my arms – are they helping me? Is my head slightly forward or am I leaning back? When I get tired am I losing form? There is so much to think about for something you’d think is simple.

Before the race – think hydration, especially in Singapore. It takes about 90 minutes to process fluid from drinking it to peeing. I don’t drink anything 2 hours before a race as I hate needing the bathroom right before lining up. Then I drink some fluid – 300 to 500 ml 5 mins before the race, take a plastic bottle to the start line. The helps me with dehydration

Don’t be afraid. Anyone who thinks “I can’t run a marathon” is wrong – if you want to, you can. As I heard on a podcast recently – Oprah ran a marathon.

Asics City Relay Singapore 2015 (Mixed Team Champion)
Asics City Relay Singapore 2015 (Mixed Team Champion)

JustRunLah!: Do you have any pre-race rituals? What goes through your head every time you run?

Stuart: Nothing special. I remind myself why I am there, and the main reason is to enjoy myself. When I run I just think to do my best, and if I don’t I will be angry at myself afterwards.

JustRunLah!: What is your mantra for when the going gets tough in a race?

Stuart: Steve Way’s mantra (look him up if you don’t know him) – “don’t be shit”. Sorry for the swear.

JustRunLah!: As a dad with 2 young kids and a full time job, any advice to the running daddies out there?

Stuart: Never complain about your run – if you are out running and your family have waited at home, they don’t want to hear you were 10 seconds slower than your target. Also, your wife has first dibs on any prizes

JustRunLah!: Finish this sentence: Running is…

Stuart: …basically a series of small jumps!

The Great Relay Hong Kong January 2015 (Champion Team)