8 Running Tips From A Seasoned Sub-3Hour Marathoner Mr Lee Keng Boo

I was listening attentively and asking few questions to sub-3hour marathoner Mr Lee Keng Boo

Inspirational Quote: Experience is the teacher of all things!
"Last time in 1990s where got power gels? 😁 For the whole 42km, we drank water and isotonic drinks only."  - Mr. Lee Keng Boo

Great thanks to Bukit Aman Runners's Captain Tai Kok Keong and its committee members for organising this awesome launch of SCKLM2018 full marathon training for BA runners at Padang Merbok on January 7,  2018. 


To read about the exciting and fun activities, please read: Bukit Aman Runners SCKLM2018 Training Launch.

For this article, I would like to write about the 8 running tips shared by Mr Lee Keng Boo during the question and answer (Q&A) session towards the end of the BA Runners' SCKLM2018 training launch program.

Mr Lee Keng Boo is a seasoned, respectable, young-looking runner in his mid 60s with a personal record of 2 hours 57 minutes in a full marathon recorded in KL Marathon in 1990s. 

2 hours 57 minutes? 

I can only dream of achieving such timing! haha! 😁

But I was very much eager and inspired to listen to the great elite runners like Mr Lee to share about his own running experience, running tips and advice as well as nutrition tips. So were the rest of Bukit Aman runners excitingly listening to what Mr Lee had to share with us.

Here is some recap (as much as I can remember) to share with you all so that you are motivated and inspired too!

8 running Tips from a Seasoned Sub3-Hour Marathoner Mr Lee Keng Boo

1.  "How to train for a sub 3-hour full marathon?"

" You need to be able to train yourself to run 10 km under 40 minutes (4 minutes per kilometre average pace). Once you can do that, train yourself to run 20 km under 80 minutes (4 minutes per kilometre average pace). You need to run at least 30 km one time prior to your full marathon, preferably also at 4 minutes per kilometre average pace. "  - Mr. Lee Keng Boo
(My jaw dropped! I could also hear some other runners' jaw dropping sound too! haha😄! I could never one day run at that speed for the whole 42km! Even running 5 km at 4 minutes per kilometre pace is a torture, making me pant like a dog for air! Salute to Mr Lee!)


2.  "How important are tempo run and interval speed training?"

"Tempo run and interval training are the most critical part of your training. Two times per week will be ideal. You need to also include hill training running up the stairs or slopes minimum one time per month. When running up the staircase, try to take two steps at a time. Do striding and lots of speed work. "  - Mr. Lee Keng Boo
(Wow! So many seasoned runners and sifus have been telling me to include tempo run and interval speed training into my weekly running. But due to inconvenience of going outdoors to a park or track on weekdays, I have been running on treadmill with a total of 12 km per week only. I then focused more on 20-30km LSD training on Sundays. But in 2018, this is going to change being inspired by Mr Lee and many fast elite runners. Tempo run and interval speed training are something new to me, but I'm happy to be on a new learning journey this year! How about you? Do you include tempo run and interval speed training into your training regime? Or you are just like me? haha! Well, let's do that together yeah!)

3.  "What's the weekly mileage do you recommend?"


"I recommend to run at least 70 km per week leading to your full marathon before tapering."  - Mr. Lee Keng Boo
(Wow! 70km per week? I know of some running up to 100km per week leading to their full marathons. In comparison, my mere 42 km weekly mileage is only slightly more than half of their weekly mileage. With less effort put in, no wonder my time can't improve much. No pain no gain! Need result? Need to put in effort!)

4.  "Do you eat anything before your daily training?"

"I usually train the morning without any food intake. But if you are used to taking something, you can drink milo, etc. It's quite individual."  - Mr. Lee Keng Boo
(What? No food intake? Empty stomach to train? I'm worried I might faint! lol! But hey - I will listen to sifus and Mr Lee to try out the training in the morning with empty stomach.)


5.  "What's your advice on carbo loading one week prior to the race?"

"If a race day is on Sunday, I recommend you to have zero carbohydrates on first three days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday). Then on Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading to race day, you whack as much carbo hydrates like rice and pasta as possible."  - Mr. Lee Keng Boo
(Zero carbohydrates on the first three days is something new to me!! Very interesting! And I believe Mr Lee is trying to let his body optimising on the carbohydrates on race day by starving his body of the carbohydrates on the first 3 days!)

6.  "What do you eat on the race day morning?"

"I drink milo only. You can take anything light. Make sure you don't take anything funny."  - Mr. Lee Keng Boo
(I guess that time no power bar, energy bar, etc. Simple life yet greatest result!)


7.  "What do you consume during the full marathon? Power gels?"

"Last time in 1990s where got power gels? 😁 For the whole 42km, we drank water and isotonic drinks only."  - Mr. Lee Keng Boo
(Wow! My jaw dropped again! I could also hear other runners expressing, "Wow! Wow! Wow!" with their jaws also dropping to the ground! 😀No power gel for 42km? Are you serious? I know of most elite runners taking in 5-7 power gels in a full marathon race. I really couldn't imagine how Mr Lee and all the other runners back then did it! It must be sheer hard work, training and mental toughness!)


8.  "How important is mental toughness?"

"After 30km it's all about mental toughness. Whoever has stronger mental toughness will finish strong."   - Mr. Lee Keng Boo 
(This I totally concurred with Mr Lee. Mental toughness makes or breaks a person! Another weak area of mine that needs lots of strengthening!)


In summary

I have learned so much from Mr Lee. So motivated and inspired! 

From his sharing, I could sense the effort and hard work that he put in to achieve 2 hours 57 seconds in a full marathon!

What the cliche said about "No Pain! No Gain!" is true!

But what makes me admire of him the most is his sheer determination and strong mental toughness

I still couldn't get over the fact that he achieved all those awesome timing without consumption of power gels!

"Last time in 1990s where got power gels? 😁 For the whole 42km, we drank water and isotonic drinks only."  - Mr. Lee Keng Boo

Salute to you Mr Lee and all the elite runners. Thank you very much for your selfless sharing!

By the way, I did write about another sub-3hour marathoner Darren Looi's sharing on running tips. Please read how another sub3-hour marathoner's running experience in achieving the illusive sub 3 hours at : 9 Running Tips Revealed by Sub-3Hour Marathoner Darren Looi.


Quote of the day.  Experience is the teacher of all things!

Photo credit.         Photos by Mr Chan WK. Thank you Mr Chan for all the marvellous photos.

Words.                  Vincent Khor
Date.                     January 11, 2018
Facebook.             www.facebook.com/vincentkhorblog
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