Singaporean Track & Field athlete Loh Guo Pei swears by his New Balance shoes, and the new FuelCore Sonic is now his footwear of choice. He tells us more about them, and why he enjoys training with running clubs, in this exclusive interview.
What are you up to these days?
I represented Singapore in the 400m and the 4 X 400m Team Relay distances at the SEA games back in 2013, and have since established a niche for myself as an athletics coach and professional wedding photographer.
I am now focused on training the Cross-Country running teams from Jurong and Yuan Ching Secondary Schools as well as the Singapore Management University. I coach five days a week at various locations and work closely with the schools to expose the students to different training environments.
Besides my other professional commitments, I am also the main coach of the New Balance Running Club. One of the reasons I like helping out with the club is the sense of fulfilment that I get when we bring a community of like-minded individuals together, and along the way, reach out to those who may not have had the opportunity to train in a club previously.
How did you first get involved in the sport?
I was inspired by two of my good friends, Yvonne Lin and Chua Khai Leng, when I was in school. I wanted to be champions like them and that is why I picked up Track & Field as a sport.
Over the years, I became faster through consistent and disciplined training routines, setting many intermediate goals along the way. Credit also goes to my coach, G. Elangovan, who has constantly provided his guidance to push me to perform at my competitive best.
How often do you train, and what do you do at training?
I train at least three times a week. The intensities are timed to ensure that I am at my optimal fitness during competition periods. My training includes LSD (Long-Slow Distance) runs between 6km to 15km, a whole-body resistance training programme and interval or speed training.
How does the New Balance FuelCore Sonic shoe fit into your exercise and training?
The FuelCore Sonic provides optimal cushioning for comfort during my run and I experience great forefoot flexibility during toe-off. I use it for my HIIT training, 200m speed-play on track and also to clock moderate distances of less than 6km.
What do you like about the New Balance FuelCore Sonic?
Runners have very subjective tastes in shoes and finding something that agrees with our running style matters a lot to us. After using the FuelCore Sonic, I find that I am able to carry out a wide variety of training and fitness related activities comfortably because it provides a snug fit, giving confidence and security to my movements. Moreover, with the new BOA fastening system, I can secure the shoe quickly with just a turn of the knob. I can then run confidently without the worry of facing any lacing issues along the way.
What do you think about the support you get from running clubs?
I feel that individuals and new runners can use clubs as a motivating factor. The social experience spurs more people to come together for a fun and enjoyable run after a long day of school or work.
A running club should not be exclusive to only fast runners, nor should it be performance-driven. As long as a club is able to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle, then it’s a great place to find yourself at.
The New Balance Running Club holds regular sessions in various convenient locations around town, and I would recommend that everybody come and join us for a few training stints to get a feel of it. The only pre-requisite is that you’ll have to register online so that we can track attendance and ensure that we are not oversubscribed.
Don’t worry even if you are a beginner because at the NBRC, you can go at a pace that you are comfortable at, and it will always be fun!
To learn more about the New Balance Running Club and where we train, visit the online portal at http://newbalance.com.sg/nbrc.html. You can also sign up for individual sessions at the website.