A true track team

Word-of-mouth has dictated my workouts so far in Singapore. Last week I stumbled upon the aquathlon team at the pool. The next day I ran into one of them at the track, and she put me in touch with one of Singapore's best runners - a 5k/10k/half marathon guy named Rui Yong. We met up last night and trained with his crew.

Like any other team, there was a range of abilities in the group – but by far the most impressive aspect of their training was the immense emphasis on team. In years of running I have never seen a group train this way to support one another.

Rui Yong is representing Singapore in Hong Kong this weekend in the Diamond Mile, so I joined him for some speed work:

600, 400, 600 (60s rest)
10 minute recovery jog
4x400 (60s rest)
10 minute recovery jog
5x300 (55s rest)
10 minute recovery jog

All around 64s/400, a shock to the body for me, and the intense humidity made it a grind. But Rui Yong had an robust support team to prepare him for this weekend: an 800/mile guy (a former national champion, I'm told, now a couple years out of college) trains with him to rabbit the first half or so of every single interval. By the end, in the 300s, everyone else had finished their workout and joined us to help pace... some took the first 100m, others the middle 100m, and the rest the last 100m. The amusing thing was that the pacing wasn't all that helpful physically, since they would all start at random speeds, but mentally you could feel the entire team pulling for Rui Yong in the interval and gave a rush of energy to each lap.

The training group after our run last night. This photo does not do justice the gallons of water I sweated.

Here's a team where people aren't concerned with jockeying for position or pride. No one was self-centered on their own workout. They're there for the sport and to support one another. Really impressed by this bunch, and I hope to train with them more while I'm here.