Taizi (太子) was the title of the crown prince of imperial China and even though pronounced and spelled slightly differently, Tai Zhi’s grit and great looks make him The Crown Prince of Running in our eyes.
I was first introduced to the name Tai Zhi, as someone who ran his first marathon in a pretty impressive timing of 3 1/2 hours or so. Not too long after, I got to know that he will be one of the Pacers for the upcoming SCSM 2018, running in the 3:45 Group.
So if you are aiming for a sub-4 timing at SCSM 2018, look out for Tai Zhi. But before that, let’s get to know a bit more about his running journey, his most painful run and whether he is single or attached?
1. How did you start running and what sustained the interest?
Believe it or not, less than 2 years ago I hated running. I would moan and complain when I had to run during PE lessons in school. But when it was time to enlist, I started running to improve my 2.4km timing and fitness.
At one stage impulsively, I signed up for a race, and when I witnessed my improvement, I started signing up for more and more races. Having a race ahead of me is a huge motivation. I view it as an opportunity achieve a new Personal Best.
2. What is your typical running routine like?
I try to clock 4-5 runs a week. The runs I do depend on the distance of the race that I’m training for. For shorter races like 10km/21KM, I have 1-2 weekday “hard” sessions typically comprising intervals or tempo runs, while weekends are for LSDs. For my training for the upcoming SCSM as a pacer, I have cut down the number of hard sessions to a maximum of one a week and instead focus on increasing mileage and running at a consistent pace.
While most people would run to start their day, majority of my runs happen at night. To me, running is a great way to de-stress and let loose. Running alone also allows me to reflect on the day itself.
As a student, I find it more convenient to run at night as compared to running in the afternoon/evening as my schedule is often unpredictable.
As for my runs, I don’t do much to prepare for them and I try to keep things as fuss free as possible: Change into comfortable running attire, lace up, do some quick stretching while waiting for my GPS to lock on and I’m off!
After my runs, I’ll cool down and stretch (important), take a drink while waiting for my run to be uploaded to Strava, look through my numbers and finally shower.
3. Why did you volunteer to pace for SCSM?
This is my first pacing assignment. My first full Marathon was SCSM 2017. A friend of mine introduced me to RD’s pacer runs. I decided to join to train up for the race. I was surprised by how approachable and family-like everyone was, and it really made the training enjoyable and the long runs tolerable. The pacers were incredibly experienced, patient and willing to share their knowledge with other runners including myself.
I gained many insights that eventually shaped the way I train. RD pacers helped me achieve my goal while I was training for SCSM last year; this year I aim to give back and help others achieve their goals.
4. Describe one of your most memorable races?
My most memorable race was my most painful race!
I participated in AHM 2017 to represent my army unit in the 10km race. It was one of my first races, and I was a little overzealous when it came to training for it. I had the mindset of pushing myself 100% every run for maximum results, but obviously we all know what that would result into.
True enough, I came down with shin splints just 2 weeks into training. I stopped just enough for the pain to subside and continued with training at a lower intensity. When the race day came, I was rather confident of my training and was looking forward to a good timing. Unfortunately, the injury got to me and the entire race was a terribly painful experience, I finished nowhere near my target timing. However, through this race I learned the hard way- how not to train and the importance of having a sustainable and safe training programme.
I hope that I would be able to use this experience to warn others about over training and how it is not worth it at all in the long term!
5. Tell us something we dunno about you
I don’t eat mushrooms and I’m a rather picky eater in general.
6. You look like a scholar, were you an excellent student?
HAHAHAHAH, honestly what does it even mean to look scholar like? I try to do my best with my studies but most of the time I’m distracted by other things and I end up not studying so ermm YEAH.
7. Other than running, do you have any other hobbies (aside from studying)
I enjoy watching and playing basketball. It was my CCA for 6 years.
Photography, still at embryonic stages of learning it, Anyone wants to teach me?
Cycling, stopped a couple of months back after I sold my road bike, but I’ll be back.
8. The burning question from all your fans out there… are you attached?
Pretty sure I don’t have any fans out there but… yes:)
So, that’s our Crown Prince for you! See you at the races and have a great weekend!