Raymond Ng & Michelle Looi
We are pleased to introduce our first husband and wife duo, Raymond and Michelle Ng – as our Beet It Sport Malaysia Ambassadors for January 2018!
Raymond and Michelle are trail runners and both were Ironman finishers!
1. How did you get involved in trail running / triathlons?
Raymond: I used to play racket sports such as badminton and squash. I was never into running as I was a slow runner. My journey as a triathlete and trail runner began when I had a near death experience 13 years ago. I had brain aneurysm. Actually, reflecting on what happened then, I look at it as being fortunate. Well, why do I say that? Many think I’m mad as the experience is not welcomed by anyone. I see it as a blessing in life’s journey.
Due to poor limb coordination, I could not get back into racket sports. Instead, I took up walking just for exercise and to break some sweat. Walking turned into running. My uncle was my inspiration when I saw him running without much effort. I made up my mind that I wanted to run like him. From then on, I never looked back. I ran 5km, 10km runs, half marathons and full marathons.
Eventually, running wasn’t enough and cycling came into play. Duathlon followed. Since I was young, I’ve always admired triathletes. Swim, cycle, run. Another uncle who is a triathlete, is another one of my role models. I trained hard and finally, my dream came through, and I participated in my first IRONMAN in 2009.
After years of road running, trail running seems very appealing – it’s not just a hike through the mountains but running! That’s when my love for trail running started. It provides an alternative location to run and I do not need to run early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Being in a tropical jungle means running under green shades most of the time. Perfect!
Michelle: It all started from hiking, which is my weekly activity when I was 25 years old. It transformed me from a couch potato to a runner and triathlete. After years of being close to nature, I was determined to move out of my comfort zone and was planning to race in an Ironman event before I reached 30.
2. Do you have an athlete role model who inspired you?
Raymond: My uncles, Javier Gomez – triathlete, Marco de Gasperi – trail, runner, skyrunner, Kilian Jornet – trail runner, sky runner, ultra runner.
Michelle: Kilian Jornet – a professional sky runner, trail runner, ski mountaineer and long-distance runner.
3. What advice would you give to someone considering taking up trail running / triathlon?
Raymond: Learn step by step. Take one thing at a time. Don’t start with the longest distance.
Michelle: You don’t have to be good to start, start and eventually be good at it.
4. Running, cycling and swimming – which do you prefer and why?
Raymond: Running, especially trail running. No two steps are the same. It is where I bond with nature.
Michelle: Running is where I experience a runner’s high. It gives me a sense of freedom.
5. What’s your best trail running / triathlete achievement so far?
Raymond: Trail running – TMBT 50km, Triathlete – IRONMAN
Michelle: I love running around Cameron Highland. I will definitely go back for Cameron Ultra Trail 2018.
6. What are your aspirations for 2018 and beyond?
Raymond: Explore more trails. Share my experience and guide newbies.
Michelle: Get a PR for half marathon.
7. Tell us something that most people don’t know about you.
Raymond: I say my prayers and hum songs during long distance races.
Michelle: I have a habit of washing all my apparels and shoes immediately after running or swimming.
8. What are your top three sport nutrition tips?
- Balanced diet.
- Take specific nutrition according to the body’s requirement.
- Choose food that can be digested easily.
- Eat less meat before the race.
- Have a daily intake of fruits.
9. What are your top three training tips?
- There are no such things as instant results.
- Be consistent in training.
- Remember to have sufficient rest.
- Train first thing in the morning.
- Be flexible to modify your training program whenever you feel you are losing form.
- Go as easy as possible on an easy run / recovery run.
10. How do you keep mentally focussed/strong during tough endurance events?
- Have sufficient rest before the race.
- Beet It Sports for muscle endurance.
- Taurus Energy Drink to sustain mental alertness.
- Break the race into smaller segment for easier achievable milestone.
11. Can you give us an insight into your race strategy – nutrition fuelling, hydration management?
Raymond: A week before the race, I fuel up on a balanced diet. It’s important to store enough body glycogen for energy. I also build up my nitrates daily with Beet It Sport. On the race day itself, I eat 2 hours before flag off.
I carry along Beet It Sport shot for an ultra distance and energy gel for half marathon onwards. I also take an energy drink before a marathon / ultra marathon. Water, water, water – it’s very important to hydrate sufficiently! In races, especially long distance of more than 10km trail or in an ultra distance, I bring a hydration bag.
Pre Race: Beet It Sport beet juice, soya bean and brown rice milk.
During Race: Energy gel, isotonic and water every hour of the race.
Post Race: Soya bean brown rice milk and fruits.
12. How did you hear about Beet It Sport?
Raymond: From the internet.
Michelle: As I’m a fan of drinking beet root juice as a pre-race nutrition, I was looking for bottled beet root juices which I can take along when I’m travelling overseas for long distance swimming races. I heard and read about Beet It Sport over the Internet.
13. Why do you use Beet It Sport and how has it helped you?
Raymond: It is scientifically proven and that’s something I can trust. My muscle endurance improved in long distance races.
Michelle: Beet It Sport is a natural supplement that improved my time to exhaustion especially on my long run, marathon swim and half marathon race.