The process of transforming from a non-runner to runner is no easy task because it requires a lot of motivation, determination and self-discipline to change one’s lifestyle habits and perspectives about the sport. JustRunLah chats with Ezann Eng who has raced in multiple events this year in Singapore and Malaysia to share with us her running story and tips for runners.

JustRunLah!: How will you introduce yourself to Singapore running community?

Ezann Eng: I am just a simple and down-to-earth girl who is passionate about running.

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

Ezann: I picked up running in 2004. When I first started, it was just a hobby. I had friends who were involved in running as well and I knew it was a good form of exercise hence I began to run more. At first, it was awful and I took a lot of breaks and would get so frustrated over the fact that I could not run long distances. But I kept going and slowly build up my endurance. I still remembered the first time I really felt the “runner’s high” and it was as if I could run forever!

And so, I have been running for a while and been enjoying the sport, which led me to get serious about my training. Over the past few years, my love for running has been re-ignited as I have been competing in races and managed to attain my personal running goals from them. The sense of achievement and accomplishment inspired me to continue signing up for more races!

JRL: Would you say that one needs to have a certain mindset to take up running as a sport/exercise activity?

Ezann's first time as a pacer at the North East Compressport Run 2015
Ezann’s first time as a pacer at the North East Compressport Run 2015

Ezann: From my perspective, one ought to set a clear mindset for everything they do, be it in running or in life in order to achieve their goals. I believe that there is no secret in “how to make it happen.”; You simply have to believe in yourself, be committed, set goals, take action and stay persistent.

As for myself, running has taught me that the pursuit of a passion matters more than the passion itself. I do engage myself in things that I do, deeply and with heartfelt concentration—continuously improve and never give up. This allows me to experience a sense of fulfillment and success.

Skyhawk Nature Run 2015 (21km, 1st place at 1h 43m15s)
Skyhawk Nature Run 2015 (21km, 1st place at 1h 43m15s)

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

Ezann: My biggest running achievement would be my breakthrough performance during the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore in 2014, where I achieved my personal best timing of 03:37:23. All my time and effort I had been committing over the years paid off! I do honor my hardwork, enjoy my running journey, and cherish the results and there is always something enlightening and motivating about breaking PBs that makes me yearn for more.

JRL: You ran an impressive 1hr 10min 50s for the 15km! How long did it take you to train for that?

SHAPE Run 2015, 4th position 1h 10m 50s, 15km
Ezann at Shape Run 2015 (4th position, 15km)

Ezann: Have a running schedule. It is very important to have a routine that varies little from week to week and maintain it consistently. A runner’s body acclimatizes itself to the days, times, and durations that a running schedule enforces, and hence will be naturally prepared to run when the time comes.

JRL: What advice would you give to someone taking that 15km race? 

Ezann: One should determine its specific requirements of the race. I would think that their physical training should include these important components – training the runners’ endurance to complete the distance, the ability to overcome steep hills, the speed reach their peak best performance and the ability to run in all kinds of weather conditions.

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

Ezann: My pre-race rituals include a must–have cup of coffee and tuning into my favourite songs that get me into my “zone,” which regulates my heart rate to the right pace before I race…:)

Every time I run, I do take a moment and think about all the wonderful things running has brought me throughout my journey as a runner. Take a moment to celebrate because you do have a lot to feel good about yourself as a runner for coming so far.

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

Ezann: When the going gets tough in a race, I always remember how my friends and other fellow runners cheer me on along the route. They are the ones who keep me motivated and determined as I make it through the whole race.

JRL: What do you think makes a runner, especially someone who keeps at it, put feet to the ground day after day?

Ezann: I shall say what doesn’t kill them makes them tougher…:)

JRL: Finish this sentence: Running is…

Ezann: my therapy.