Thursday, February 26, 2015

Andreas Wenger - An Interview of 2hr 51min 28sec in Tokyo Marathon With 5months Training.

By Saranniya 26 Feb 2015 Report
Picture 1 – Andreas, on top of the world to find that he has done a phenomenal time.
From our running group, besides Andreas Wenger, who did exceptionally well, we also have Jennifer Quek (3hr 42min 19sec), Kenneth Lim (4hr 11min 20sec) and Desmond Soh (3hr 36min 30sec)  who have done well for the recently held Tokyo Marathon 2015.
Picture 2 – Jennifer Quek, has been improving her time from 3hr 48min (Berlin Marathon 2013) to 3hr 45min (Osaka Marathon 2014) to 3hr 42min 19sec (Tokyo Marathon 2015)
My intention today is to talk about Coach Rameshon’s coaching of Andreas, who is the fastest in our group to improve at a tremendous rate in such a short span of 5 months. 
In the past, Coach Rameshon has developed a number of runners who could do a sub – 3hr marathon. Marcel Sng will write on the past runners that Coach Rameshon has assisted to do a sub-3hr. In Tokyo Marathon 2015, Andreas did a time of 2hr 51min. In the past, Andreas has not done a sub-3hours in the marathon. He decided to train with Coach Rameshon, after some encourgement coming from Mr Lim Thow Wee to join the Flexifitness running programme.
As an Ultramarathon runner, Andreas was willing to do some sacrifices and do what is important to running a fast marathon. Andreas was swift enough to follow the training principles and concepts that was  given during training by Coach Rameshon and he finally, not only did a sub-3hrs, but also amazed many by doing the phenomenal 2hr 51min 38sec, which I believe is a big personal best time.
From a time of 31min 42sec in 8km, over a period of time, Andreas slashed the time to end in 28min 32sec. This was done in a span of 4 1/2 months.
I have put up an interview that I have given to Andreas so that runners are motivated to improve in running.
 An Interview With Andreas Wenger
 What was your target for this race?
The goal was to run below 3hr.
Are you happy with your timing?
In general I would have been happy with every time when I see the 2hr in front. So the time of 2hr 51m 39s was much better than I expected and I am super happy.
What was your previous personal best and when did you accomplish that?
My previous PB was about 3h 07min run at the Chicago Marathon in 2009.
How was the organisation of the race?
The general organisation was very good. All went smooth from the number collection until the end of the race. The only thing I was not happy about was the grouping in the starting blocks. I had to start in block D and so I had many slower runner in front of me. This made it a bit difficult for the first 1-2km. All the rest was great.
 Hydration Stations?
There are many hydration stations and the stations are also quite long. The runners don’t push to get to the drink station as they are long. So this is very well done.
 Distance markers? Were they accurate?
There was a distance marker every km. I appreciated it towards the end as I exactly knew the distance to the finish line. As the GPS is not 100% accurate I trusted the distance markers and so I believe they were accurate.
How was the race route? (Any part too hilly?)
The route was very good to achieve a good timing. It had only some small climbs (bridges) in between so most of the course was flat.
 What were the challenges you face during the race both mentally and physically?
I planned to run around 4:05min/km at the beginning as I expected to slow down in the second half. As it was cold and packed at the start it was not so easy to find the right rhythm. Than around 25km I slowed down a bit as my stomach didn’t feel so well. My colleague took the lead and pushed me so I could keep up the pace. After a few km I felt ok again. It was very helpful to have a friend there to push and support. I think it really helps if you can run a race together with a friend and push and support each other.
Then at the last 5km the legs start to hurt and I was afraid to get cramps. I only thought to run through without stopping and finish as soon as possible. At the end was more the motto – No Pain No Gain.
Despite all these difficulties what kept you going till the end?
At the end I thought about the time and training I invested and about all the people that supported me on that journey. So I also wanted to make them proud and I think that was a key driver at the end.
 What is your next target?
I want to find out if I can finish a 100mile race and the planned race would be Mt Fuji 100Mile run. I think Japan brings me luck.
For my marathon training I still want to improve my 8km,10km,… timings and maybe try a 21km race in Singapore. In general Singapore is too hot for a full marathon but for a half marathon it should be possible to achieve a good timing.
How did Flexifitness helped you on that journey?
I think without joining the group I could not have achieved such an improvement. I always look forward to the trainings on Tuesday not only because of the running but also to meet the people. It is great fun to run with older and younger runners and to push each other. I am really happy that I joined Flexifitness. Thank you for all the support.

Sub - 3hour runners that Coach Rameshon has trained (New Series) By Marcel Sng

By Marcel Sng

Coach Rameshon - The coach who developed more than 10 athletes to realise the dream of a sub-3hrs in marathon race. 

First let me tell my Story (By Marcel)

The are many reasons for me to post this blog spot. I feel special knowing Coach Rameshon from young. I have seen Coach Rameshon, when I was just 15 years of age,  and was recommended by my sister Marissa Sng. He has trained me individually, from the past. He has enabled me to do a quick 8min 22sec within a span of 3 months. I don't know how I did it but it was an amazing journey of fun and hard work during training. . 

While I was training with him, my school, Saint Andrews School athletes also took part in National Track and Field Championships. The school allowed me to train specifically with Coach Rameshon after knowing his credentials. While I was conditioning myself in running, Coach Rameshon told me to take up 2000m steeplechase. I was taken aback when I come to know about this and I asked for the reason to do it. He told me that I have speed that is about 11.5sec for 100m and a jumping ability which was good. I told him that it will be difficult for me to train as after National Cross-Country Championships, as I had only one and a half weeks left to train, on the steeple itself. 

Just before that he modified the training for me and I was enjoying every minute of it. Coach told me that I have courage as well the jumping ability in hurdling a steeple. I told him that I don't think that I can enter the finals of the 2000m race for Under 17 boys. However, after his persuasion, I decided to go for it. The most surprising thing happened was when I found out that none of my school athletes entered finals of the different races that had run in. As there was nothing to lose, as the school did not expect anything from me, I plucked up my courage and went for it. 

In the heats, Coach Rameshon gave me a different strategy.I was running slower from the start. Then, I was going at a moderate pace from 2 lap. From 3th lap, I was speeding up and ended 6th position towards the finish. I did not know whether I was in the finals but Coach told me that I was in the fastest heats. I was jubiliant to know that I was in. The Saint Andrews School athletes were feeling happy for me that I had entered and told me all the best. I consoled them not to feel sad on their being out of the finals. 

In the finals of the 2000m, Coach Rameshon told me to take lead earlier on first water jump and than to take it easy at the next stage of the race and allow runners to overtake me. I was going the first three rounds at a moderate pace. I realised that I was actually the last runner of the race at that point. It was really very depressing to see that but I stuck to my coach's advice, word for word. The race was not over. It was at this point that I remember Coach shift to a higher gear after running the 3 1/2 rounds. 

At the 3 1/2th lap, I was closing up some runners. It was at the last two laps where I found out that the other runners were tired out. I saw some jumping in the water of the water jump. I was not as tired as them. Easily, I could overtake the runners of the tail end. It was surprising for me to see some good runners being overtaken by me. I was 14th when I had last lap to go. Gradually, I was moving up in speed and sprinted at the last 300m and over took another two runners. Eventually, I ended 12th position. This was something that surprised me in my life and it was an achievement. All those athletes, I thought that cannot be beaten were overtaken by me, especially the independent and autonomous schools, such that I developed self belief in myself. I thank Coach for this. I believe that I could have come in top 3 if I had come at least a year back. 

After that, I studied for my GCE 'O' Levels and did my diploma in Law. Coach Rameshon suggested me to do NCAP Level 1 conducted by Singapore Sports Council. I completed and understood the principles of training better.  

As I have spoken about myself. I will now touch on Coach Rameshon's development of runners to do sub-hours in marathon race. The fact and figures are given below. Recently. Coach Rameshon went personally to USA to Spartanburg to support Ashley Liew to run in the New Orleans Marathon 2015. That was his third travel to USA to support Ashley Liew. Ashley surprised everyone by do a time of 2hr 32min 12sec and also came in second in the New Orleans Marathon 2015. Ashley Liew posted the fastest marathon time for the year 2015. He is now second to Soh Rui Yong for the upcoming SEA Games. Other than that none of the runners are ahead of him. 

I asked Coach on Ashley's potential. He told me that Ashley in the long run will be able to do a sub-2hr 20min. This is his belief over Ashley!

Just last weekend in Japan, our Flexifitness athletes delivered great results when they ran in Tokyo Marathon 2015 on 22nd of February. The following athletes did exceptionally well. They are Andreas Wenger (2hr 51min 38sec), Desmond Soh (3hr 36min 30sec), Jennifer Quek (3hr 42min 19sec) and Kenneth Lim (4hr 11min 20sec).

Having said that, I would like to say that there are altogether 11 athletes who has done sub-3hours in marathon. My only advice to runners is if you are finding to improve your running, a person that I would suggest for one to train under is Coach Rameshon. His training is very structured and the training done is to quickly evolve in running. People have spoken to me that I, in actual fact have a good running style of running. I shall list down the runners who have done sub-3hr for marathon below and am going to come out in parts to write a story on these below-mentioned athletes' achievement. I hope to be one of the sub-3hour runner in marathon one day. 

I shall write the 11 part series finding things on how these below-mentioned athletes achieved their goals in running. I believe that it will inspire one to go for it. You can see that with just 5 months training, as a 3hr 07min runner in marathon, Andreas Wenger, a Swiss national, living in Singapore, trained with Flexifitness and did 2hr 51min 38sec). All Andreas wanted to do was to do time of sub-3hour in life. It seems Andreas has the potential to do a sub-2hr 50min in a race soon, according to Coach Rameshon. 

Runners Under Coach Rameshon who have done  sub – 3hrs
1. 2hr 56min – Dr Ben Tan (3rd in Stanchart Marathon 2008)
2. 2hr 50min – Dr Benny Goh (for marathon). Sundown Ultramarathon 84km record holder, Dr Benny has 4 sub – 2hr 55min marathon timing from year 2009. 
3. 2hr 46min – N. Ganesan (former national record holder, 14min 57sec for 5000m)
4. 2hrs 37min – Ernest Wong (Hong Kong Marathon, 1998)
5. 2hr 35min – Balasubramaniam (Singapore International Marathon 1991)
6. 2hr 46min – Daniel Ling ( Stanchart champion, 2007)
7. 2hr 39min – Khoo Chin Poo (2003, Vietnam SEA Games)
8. 2hr 44min – Ernest Ng Soo Hong (Gold Coast Marathon, 1995)
9. 2hr 48min 49sec- Lim Thow Wee (Paris Marathon 2014)
10. 2hr 32min 12sec- Ashley Liew (New Orleans Marathon 2015, 25th January)
11. 2hr 51min 38sec - Andreas Wenger (Tokyo Marathon 2015, 22nd February)

Note : If you in search to improve in running as an elite runner, to do a sub-3hrs for men and sub-3hr 30min for women, or to train progressively and do a better marathon time, for example, 6 to 7 hours marathon to a sub-5hr marathon etc 

E-mail for Coaching Services or call Coach Rameshon personally. His hp number is 91004369.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Jennifer Quek - Journey from 4hr 18min to 3hr 42min 19sec (Tokyo Marathon 2015)

By Saranniya

Picrure 1 - Introducing Flexifitness Dragon Lady, Jennifer Quek

In the past, 3 months before Berlin Marathon 2013, Jennifer Quek has been improving in her marathon jtime, with her own training. Over a period of time, she found herself stagnating and not being able to cross the barrier of 4hr 18min and did not know what to do but was facing a series of disappointment. She needed assistance.

It was then that Jennifer Quek was introduced to Coach Rameshon by Dr. Benny Goh. Dr Benny Goh suggested to her to try for a more structured training program and recommended FlexiFitness. Thats why she gave it a shot. These were the information that we gather from her earlier interview answers given to me by Jennifer. We also call her 'The Dragon Lady' of Flexifitness', due to her fealess way of running. It inspires us to see her run along when we train with her at night.

She started with the group Jun 2013 and ran Berlin Marathon in September, that year itself, and did It was only 3 months of training completed. In last year's Osaka Marathon 2014, Jennifer did a 3hr 45min 47sec for the race. I was really amazed with her mental strength to follow the program in a consistent way. As an aspiring female athlete, I myself admire her courage and tenacity to train hard during our training and follow the program religiously.   

With a workload in her workplace, which makes her to work until 3am, she still comes for our training consistently and does not allow any form of slackening in attendance.

It would be good to compare her past timing with her present timing. One can see how she has been improving in her run timing -  5km to the marathon. 

Coach Rameshon says that it is just a matter of time for her to do the 3hr 30min time. In this Tokyo Marathon, the 3hr 30min target was prevented when Jennifer had a bad fall at the 21km mark. Fortunately, with her resilient way of running, she continued her way to a 3min plus personal best time. 

Picture 2 - Aftermath of the Tokyo Marathon 2015

Before joining  Flexifitness

When 1st joined, my PB for  
5km -          35min  
10km -        59min 05s  
Half Marathon –    1hr 59min55s  
Marathon -            4hr18min

After Joining Flexifitness

Now, my PB for
5km –                  25m:20s
10km –                50m:48s
Half Marathon –   1h:51m:31s
-           3h:42m:19sec (Tokyo Marathon, 22nd February 2015)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Jennifer Quek Does 3hr 42min 19sec - A Personal Best Time in Tokyo Marathon 2015 today.

Jennifer Quek - Woman with Iron Determination

By Saranniya 

Picture 1 - Jennifer Quek (left) did a 3hr 45min time in Osaka Marathon 2014

Except for Mr Kenneth Lai, who told us that he is recovering from an injury, the rest of our athletes wanted to go and do their personal best time at Tokyo Marathon 2015. Mr Kenneth just wanted to go for an easy run during the marathon  and he also wanted to support his fellow runners. 

Picture 2 - Jennifer, overcame her plight of falling down to a personal best time.

The rest of the runners - Andreas Wenger, Jennifer Quek, Mr Desmond Soh and Mr Kenneth Lim - all did personal best times there. Jennifer informed Coach Rameshon that she was aiming for 3hr 30min, but at the half way mark of the marathon race a tragedy took place where she fell to the floor and was having bruises on both knee area. With iron determination, she did not pull out of the race but continued on and did the best out of the worse situation. She ran with resilience and came with a personal best again.

She did a time of 3hr 42min and 19sec. If she did not fall at the half-marathon mark, she would have done a much faster time, this is my strong feeling. She has sent Coach Rameshon the both knees plastered with first - aid and the breakdown timing, and I shall share this all in my next blog post where I will put up her interview answers. 

Mr Desmond Soh, a pilot,has communicated with Coach Rameshon on his 3hr 36min new personal best time. After knowing all the timing, we were still wondering on what time did Mr Kenneth Lim do. I was told that he has done an unofficial time of around 4hr 11min 20sec, which is still a personal best time for him. After so long, finally he has done a personal best time. 

The most fortunate news came to us is when Andreas Wenger, a Swiss national who is right now training with us consistently, shared with us on his 2hr 51min 3 9sec new personal best time. Earlier on, all Andreas wanted to do was to do a sub-3hr and it was his dream in life to do it. It is miraculous to see him do in 5-6months of training with us. There was a fear, earlier on, that he may not do it. However, his recent tempo times and race times showed that he was ready to do wonders. His timing is in the undermentioned link.

 Picture 32 - A 17min 58sec 5km time in SAA Cross Country in Men Open Race.

Hence, I will like to say," Well done to all our Flexifitness group of runners!." My suggestion to athletes is to look out for their interview answers that I will be posting it out and I hope that you can read their  answers and be motivated in running.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Flexifitness Athlete Andreas Wenger does 2hr 51min 49sec in Tokyo Marathon 2015

 The results are posted below. 

By Saranniya 

Andreas Wenger did a 5km personal best time of 17min 58sec in SAA Cross Country, after a 15km easy run.

Our runner Andreas Wenger has not done a sub-3hr marathon  and was predicted to do a sub-3hrs in Tokyo Marathon by Coach Rameshon, recently. The only yard stick that Coach Rameshon took was from the 8km tempo. He felt that there was a significant speed improvement in his short tempo.

Andreas did 17min 58sec in SAA Cross Country 5km race, after doing a 15km easy run from home on 8th Feb, Sunday, two weeks back. 

He has posted his time in the watch and we are happy about this. Andreas is thanking all coaches and athletes for the support in his latest text message from Japan to us. I saw messages coming from our athletes complimenting on his huge personal best time.

I am now waiting for Jennifer's and Mr Kenneth's timing. I am also keeping my fingers crossed.

These are the top 10 results for the 2015 Tokyo Marathon which took place Sunday morning (February 22nd in Japan).

International Men Results

1) Endeshaw Negesse (Ethiopia) – 2:06:00
2) Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) – 2:06:33
3) Dickson Chumba (Kenya) – 2:06:34

4) Shumi Dechasa (Bahrain) – 2:07:20
5) Peter Some (Kenya) – 2:07:22
6) Markos Geneti (Ethiopia) – 2:07:25

7) Masato Imai (Japan) – 2:07:39
8) Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia) – 2:07:58
9) Hiroaki Sano (Japan) – 2:09:12
10) Benjamin NGandu (Kenya) – 2:09:18

 Women Open
1) Birhane Dibaba (Ethiopia) – 2:23:15
2) Helah Kiprop (Kenya) – 2:24:03
3) Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia) – 2:24:26

4) Sally Chepyego (Kenya) 2:26:43
5) Flomena Cheyech Daniel (Kenya) – 2:26:54
6) Yeshi Esayias (Ethiopia) – 2:30:15

7) Madoka Ogi (Japan) – 2:30:25
8) Albina Mayorova (Russia) – 2:34:21
9) Yukari Abe (Japan) – 2:34:43
10) Yumiko Kinoshita (Japan) 2:35:49

Andreas Wenger, Jennifer Quek, Kenneth Lim aiming to do Personal Time in Tokyo Marathon 2015

Flexifitness Runners aiming for personal best time in Tokyo Marathon 2015


I am excited now as Tokyo marathon race is still going on at this moment. There is no time tracker and I am waiting for our athletes, who have completed, to communicate with us, once the race is over. 

We have three runners running in the Tokyo Marathon from Flexifitness. There may be also another two other runners who may run but I believe that due to injury and work commitment they run but they will just do their best as they can. So, I will discuss on Andreas, Jennifer and Mr Kenneth Lim.

Firstly, we have Andreas Wenger, a Swiss runner, who has done a sub-29min for the 8km run, in our latest time trial. He has done a 28min 38sec for the tempo run. He was at first doing 31min plus on average, earlier on. Over a period of 5 months, he scaled downward in his time and has got faster.

In SAA cross country, Andreas did a time of 17min 58sec for 5km after a 15km easy run running from home. We believe that he has a very good chance of doing a sub-3hours for the Tokyo Marathon 2015.

Picture 1 - (left to right) Mr Lim Thow Wee, Mr Jensen Toh, Mr Lee Nguan, Coach Saravanan, Andreas Wenger and Dr Ansgar

As for Jennifer Quek, although she has fallen sick recently and, has just recovered, she has vowed that she will do all her best to go close to 3hr 30min as possible. Coach Rameshon feels that it is just a matter of time and she will definitely do it one day.

Picture 2 - Jennifer Quek, 3hr 45min personal best in Osaka 2014, recently.

As for Mr Kenneth Lim, he has been training seriously recently and has been clocking good times for his 8km and 10k tempo runs. Of the seasons before this season, the runs he did recently were all impressive to his standard. He is hoping to do a good sub-4hrs run.

The other two runners, Mr Desmond Soh and Mr Kenneth will, I believe, do their best and it is best that we do not put any form of pressure to their performance by giving the timing they are aiming here.

In an hour time or two, they will communicate with Coach Rameshon on the results. Let us keep our fingers crossed.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Dr Ansgar Cheng - Sets Personal Best in The Marina Run Half- Marathon 2015 - An Interview

Dr Ansgar - 10th position and did 1hr 32min 33sec (gun time), 12postion for nett time of 1hr 32min 25sec. 

By Saranniya

An Interview on Marina Run 2015
Picture 1 - Dr Ansgar Cheng

What is the name of the race that you ran yesterday?
Brooks Marina run is a new race to me even I ran two half marathon before; 2013 Standard Chartered and 2014 Straits Times.

Picture 2 - Wang Yan, Dr Ansgar and Lee Nguan

Have you taken part in this race in the past?
My time in the last run in end of September 2014 was about 1hour and 33min 30sec.

Picture 3 - Dr Ansgar's wife Moonlake ran in the 10km run

If yes, what was your time then?
This time I managed to complete the 21km in just under 1hr 33minutes. It was a 1/2 minute improvement but I felt absolutely great after the run.

Picture 4 - 10km and half-marathon finisher medals

Are you happy with this race?
I am happy with the event. It was a windy hot night to me and certain area was very dark. So I wish there were better distribution of water points, marshals and lighting.

The route was perfectly flat with only a few up and down steps. Interestingly, in the absolute last moment, may be less than 3 minutes before the start, it was announced that the route was changed. Instead of one long 21km run, it was changed into 2 laps of about 10.5km. As long as all runners are in the same route, it is fair. I am not familiar with the route anyways and I was relying on the km markers so that did not bother me at all at the start. However, with the development of the run, I realised that the last minute route change also messed up the distance markers.

I believe the organiser did their best. As we understand there are things that were beyond their control: eg route change due to a nearby Chinese New Year parade rehearsal. Interestingly, at the end all finishers found their own time on their watch was about 5 minutes slower than the display at the finish line. I can't comment on that because I am no good with technology. I actually pressed a wrong button about 11km and my watch stopped counting. That was my most familiar favorite watch for 10+ years!! Well, may be this is one of the runs that a good GPS watch would help a lot

Anyway, it was overall a good night out. Our fellow runners Mr. Tan Chin-Peng, Lim Lee-Nguan, Madam Wang had a lot of fun. Mr. Andrew Liew and Moonlake Lee did well in their 10km run too. Looking forward to more mileage together.

Picture 5 - Mr Chin Peng did 1hr 57min new personal best time in the half-marathon