When she enrolled into the Singapore Sports School in 2011, Izlyn was a complete beginner when it came to the fundamentals of track and field. She had taken it up as a co-curricular activity in primary school out of interest where training was relatively unstructured and dabbled in the “C” division inter-school track and field nationals where she typically missed out on progressing from the heats. A faithful decision to attend the admission trials – where she secured a spot – marked a life changing moment that would mould and shape her into the national athlete she is today over the next ten years.
The national 100m hurdle record holder, who currently studies and trains out of Singapore at the University of Georgia Southern has big plans - with her eyes set on a long-term training plan and progressive pathway that includes qualifying for the 2023 South-East Asian Games, Asian Indoor and World Indoor Games, and eventually the 2024 Olympic Games. Currently deep in the midst of a training block with her relay team preparing for the Commonwealth Games this month in Birmingham, we managed to catch our resident speedster during her break. Decked in her Decathlon training gear and brimming with excitement, our local ambassador shared with us that this will be her biggest outing in her sporting career to date as a national athlete.
Buzzing about the range and affordability of quality apparels available at Decathlon stores – she drew our attention to her favourite range - the KIPRUN collection. As an athlete on a rigorous program, she loves apparels that are light, comfortable and breathable to accompany her on workouts. Her go-to top is the Kiprun Care Breathe Running T-shirt which she uses across all her different workouts be it strength and conditioning in the gym or hitting the tracks or roads for a sprint / endurance run. She pairs this with the Kiprun Running Shorts Tights (2-in-1) which offers full range of movement and a pair of built-in tights that helps prevent abrasions from long hours in the sun. Come race day she opts for tighter fitting tops such as the Kiprun Skincare Breathe Tank for speed as they hug the body snugly and avoid unnecessary movement restrictions during hurdling.
Aside from the fabric construction of the KIPRUN collection, she pointed out that for someone who usually prefers monotone colours, it was nice that the collection offered brightly lit / fluorescent colour options that allows her to shake her wardrobe up from time to time. Her personal favourite product is the Kalenji Jogflow 500K which she uses regularly during her endurance sessions. Blown away by how soft and light the shoes felt on her feet and the foot support it provided – she drew comparison to walking on clouds.
Knee injuries due to hurdling have been one of Izyln’s biggest nemesis growing up and to her astonishment, many runners also deal with the same issue. The root problem she discovered, was that she was not using her glutes and hamstring to execute her runs. This meant that most of the loading impact goes through the knees, subsequently leading to injuries over time. To effectively activate the core muscles and get them firing right – Izlyn recommends drills such as the A skips and B skips which promotes the activation of the glutes, hamstrings, and widens the range of movement of the hips. An important conditioning phase to relieve significant load from the knees.
She also pointed out how important it is for runners to do a pre and post workout stretch routine. Many runners believe in warming up the body before working out which will definitely help prepare the body for the workout ahead, but neglect the same effort into stretching out after a workout, leading to compounding effects on the body in subsequent workouts. Personally, her own routine includes dynamic stretches before the workout just to give the muscles the ideal amount of elasticity it needs prior to hurdling. A comprehensive static stretching routine is than done after the workout or during recovery/rest days that includes foam rolling.
The budding athlete is only just getting started and we’re excited to see where her hardwork and positive attitude will take her as she represents our nation – onwards to greater things!