Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Jensen Toh - 2hr 58min 30sec in Berlin Marathon (27/09/2015)

jensen Team flexifitness

 By Rameshon

Jensen Toh - Story of an athlete whose passion was to do a sub-3 hours marathon
Jensen Toh is talented in both running and triathlon. From an earlier personal best time of 5hr 37min for half-ironman, he has done a time of 4hr 59min in year 2013, August, in Cebu. In Stanchart Marathon 2013, he did the race in 3hr 22min, thereby missing his sub-3hour time which we wanted to do as a personal challenge.  However, many things did not go well, however he did not lose faith. He did his best by being consistent even though he had work commitment as well. Hence, he kept training in our group all the way since the day he joined us. 
2013 - Standard Chartered Marathon

At one of the meeting outside, we met again at Specialist Dental Talk, on one fine and eventful day. His wife, was there for the talk as well. She was discussing with me on Jensen's improvement. We had a good time discussing on Jensen's goals in running. I found out that the wife was hoping that Jensen achieves his goal, which is to do a sub-3 hours for the marathon time, which was eluding him all the time. 
With some obstacles that was disrupting the training, without losing heart Jensen kept training consistently with us. He did his steady state runs in a calculated way such that mistakes are not done unnecessarily. We have another 3 runners in our group who are more or less the same standard like him to push the pace. 


Team Flexifitness in SAA Cross Country Race 2015, with Andreas in the picture.

We knew that he was going to Berlin a few weeks back. Two days ago, many of our athletes were excited to know how he was commencing during the race. He ran a real steady state pace such that he ran the race of his life and did 2hr 58min 30sec. At 40km, his time was approximately 2hr 48min plus. Flexifitness is glad that we have developed yet another runner to a sub-3hours. We were in cloud nine to know this fantastic piece of news. Well done, Jensen! 
I realise that an interview, with answers from him, will be good for people out there to know about him and who would like to improve on their time in running and they can also learn some tips from him to do well in running. 
 An Interview With Jensen Toh 
Question 1 : What is your personal best times for the  distance before and after you joined Flexifitness? 
1500m - Present: 4min 30sec (PB)
           3000m- Present: 10min 51 (PB)
           5000m- Past: 21min (before FlexiFitness)
                              Present: 18min 46sec (PB, 2014)
          10km -Past: 42min (before FlexiFitness)
                          Present: 40min 20sec (PB, 2014)
       
           Half Marathon- Present: 1hr 33min (2014)
            Marathon - Past: 3hr 22min (2013)
                                      Present: 2hr 58min 30sec
 Question 2 : Can you share with us on the Stanchart Marathon race in 2013 on your dream and timing?
2013 was my first attempt on a full marathon with proper training. I did a couple of ironman races previously. I was hoping for a sub-3hr 15min. However, I managed a 3hr 22min.
Question 3 : Were you happy with the time at the time, in year 2013?
Yes and No. Yes, because it was my PB and no because I did not achieve my target.
Question 4 : What was your plan after that race?
Given that I was settling my wedding and honeymoon in 2014, I set myself a target to run a sub-3hrs and qualify for Boston in 2015. 
Question 5 : How did you feel when you are known as the handful few to do a sub - 3hrs for the marathon race?
Everyone in FlexiFitness was part of my success in this journey. I am always motivated to do well given the support from the team. My frequent chats with Flexifitness athlete Lim Thow Wee, who is an experience sub-3hrs marathoner certainly helped. Being able to run alongside other sub- 3hrs runners (Dr Benny Goh, Andreas Wenger, Evan Chee and Erich) also encouraged me to do well.
Question 6 : Can you share with us on the split of the race, during the race, giving us some details on your plan?
 As Berlin was my first overseas marathon, I did not really know what to expect. Coupled with my injury in April which affected my training build-up, I was unsure if sub 3 was attainable. Perhaps, a sub-3hr 05 min would be more realistic yet still qualify me for Boston. I targeted an even 45min split with every 10.5km. I told myself that if I could run a 2hr 15min for 32km and still felt good, I would be able to achieve sub 3hrs.
Question 7 : Did you believe that you can do it, the sub-3hours?
Not at the start of the race but at the 32km mark. When I was at the last 10km, I felt good and my legs were still going strong. I told myself that it was possible.
Question 8 : How was the organisation of the race?
The race support was fantastic. The drink stations were adequately set up on both sides of the running route and that prevented congestion at the stations. The route was generally flat and wide.
Question 9 : How did your family members feel when you achieved the sub-3 hrs for the Berlin Marathon 2015?
My wife was extremely happy and proud of me. She knows that my sacrifices have paid off. She has been very supportive of my training and I am glad that she could witness my achievement.
Question 10 : What is your next target?
I have signed up for Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. If my recovery and build up is ideal, I hope to do better than what I did in Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2013.
In 2016, I am aiming to run a marathon in USA and improve my time further before Boston 2017. I will discuss a realistic target with Coach and work towards it.
Question 11 : Are you keen to run in the track and cross country races, next year?
Yes. I believe that the training for such races is key to a good marathon time. I also hope to better my 5km and 10km timings through these races before my next marathon in 2016.
Lastly, I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone in FlexiFitness. Thanks for all the advice, pacing and encouragements. My success would not have been possible without an awesome team :)
www.runningcoachsg.com