Running is my antidote: Sharon Choo

Some may find running a lonely and boring sport, but this runner proves that running could be fun too if you find the right crowd

PHOTO: ADIDAS RUNNERS SINGAPORE


When asked to describe what running meant to her in one word, Sharon Choo used the word “bonds”.


Said Choo: “Running has helped me form stronger bonds, precious friendships and communities with like-minded runners."


“I love running with friends and catching up with them over long and scenic runs by Marina Bay. It is my antidote and a form of decompressing after a hard day at work on a weekday,” she shared.

PHOTO: THE HIGH PANTERS


Choo finds joy in running with communities and empowering fellow runners like herself. This is why she is part of not just one but three running groups.


In 2017 she joined the charity running group called The High Panters (THP) that was founded by a former colleague. She is currently the zone captain of THP which strives to build communities and raise social awareness together.

PHOTO: ADIDAS RUNNERS SINGAPORE


She then also joined adidas Runners Singapore in 2019 as a crew runner. adidas Runners is an international community comprising people from different backgrounds and walks of life. As a crew runner, Choo occasionally leads in warm ups, cool downs and serves as a pacer for different run groups.


“Our desire is to unite people and to become better. Better runners, better athletes and ultimately better humans.”

PHOTO: WHAT'S FOR BREAKFAST


Most recently, Choo is part of a new running group called “What’s For Breakfast” who are diligently training and preparing together for the Gold Coast Half Marathon in July.

“I am so thankful for my Gold Coast running peers.”


As the name suggests, our priority is "What's For Breakfast" after our runs. More importantly, we are committed to embarking on this journey together. We have been training together, supporting each other, sharing training hacks, hydration must-haves and running gear essentials.”

PHOTO: ADIDAS RUNNERS SINGAPORE


For Choo, training for the half marathon includes steadily increasing her weekly run mileage. Though it may sound like a simple task, every increase could be a new demand for your body to adapt to. She shares 5 ways that enable her to push herself to run longer distances.


1. Gradual increment by focusing less on the pace and timing but allowing your body to become more accustomed to the increased time on your feet.


2. Embrace the distance! Brace yourself that it’s a long-distance and that patience is required. It will all be worthwhile in the end.


3. Make post-run plans and enjoy a good meal with a friend or even a massage after your run.


4. Break up your runs into smaller milestones to make the distance feel more manageable.


5. Grab a running buddy who can challenge you or keep pace with you. This will naturally motivate you to keep going!

PHOTO: ADIDAS RUNNERS SINGAPORE


Choo works full time and has to train five times a week to get ready for the half marathon. On weekdays, runs after work have been grueling. To help herself cope, she is dedicated to staying focused during work, being more efficient and completing her work on time.


Over the weekends, waking up for runs at five in the morning has been a struggle and requires discipline like sleeping early the night before to get sufficient rest.

PHOTO: THE HIGH PANTERS


Choo consistently reminds herself that progress is never linear and that there will always be good and bad days.


“The word is tenacity. The ability to recover from a failed run and finding the courage to try again is truly a challenge and struggle I face.”


“With running, we can never be in full control of a situation, for example there may always be weather uncertainties, women's body issues, hormonal changes. Some of these issues are not commonly talked about, but they are real.”

PHOTO: ADIDAS RUNNERS SINGAPORE


What empowers her and gives her the confidence to continue running the course are setting personal goals, conquering them and knowing that she has full control of her body and mind.


That and of course her running buddies.


Sharon’s running groups are always open to welcoming new runners to join them. Simply register for the weekly runs on Facebook at adidas Runners Singapore or direct message @thehighpanterssg on Instagram to indicate your interest.


Get inspired by Sharon's running journey by heading over to her Instagram page, and stay tuned for more stories from our local fitness community here on SportPlus.sg!


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