One of the best things about hosting the Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run by AIA Vitality is reading of and hearing the many inspiring stories of our runners who accomplished Personal Best records – or even crossing the finish line of a major race for the first time ever. So imagine our delight (and surprise) when we heard that Malaysian comedian, actor, producer and director Douglas Lim participated in the 12km men’s event – and that he chalked up a time in the Top 50!
We got in touch with Lim to ask him about his training, what he thinks about his 1:06:16 time, and how other regular Malaysian dudes can achieve what he did.
MEN’S HEALTH: We heard that you haven’t joined a race – like the Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run by AIA Viality – in a long time. So what inspired you to participate in this year’s #MHWHNightRun by #AIAVitalityMY?
DOUGLAS LIM: After a 20-year lapse, I started running again at the end of 2015. To trick my mind into doing the exercise, I imagined that I was training for a race. So after 16 months of imagining, I thought it was time to actually do a race.
MH: After scanning your Instagram feed, we notice that you’ve also been hitting the gym recently. What brought that about?
DL: I started going to the gym when my wife and I planned a trip to Machu Picchu. We were told that we needed to be fit – or we would really suffer. So we started training. After the trip, we just continued training, and I added running into the mix. Also, quite a few of my friends my age have either died from health issues or experienced health scares. So... understood lah.
MH: What was your training like leading up to the flag-off for your 12km race?
DL: I started running 3km at the end of 2015. Then, I slowly progressed to 10km over a year. My target pace was 6 minutes per km, so I always tried to hit that. A month before the race, I would run 12km once a week, just to ensure my muscles could tahan the distance. On other days, I would work on cardio and speed.
MH: What was your favourite part of all your training? And what was the worst part of it all?
DL: I’m not really a health junkie, so I don’t know if I have a favourite part of training. I train because I need to take care of my health. If there were an easier way, believe me, I’d take it.
MH: Other runners told us that the hill sections of the Night Run were quite challenging! So how did you overcome these challenges?
DL: I run around the nearby taman, and there are two routes: one flat and one hilly. I run both routes alternatively, so my legs were not too shocked by the inclines. Just breathe more and take smaller steps lor.
MH: What went through your mind as you crossed the finish line?
DL: At the finish line, my immediate thought was, “I could have gone faster”. My heart rate was decent and I felt I could have pushed earlier – maybe at the 10km point, instead of at the 11km point until the end. I was happy with my time but, as I said, I think I could have done it faster. When I was in Australia for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April, I would run at the Royal Botanic Gardens, and I managed to run at 5:20 per km. Of course, the weather there was cold and nice to run lah.
MH: What’s your best tip to our readers who, like you before this, haven’t done a big fitness event in a long while?
DL: I am certainly not in a position to give advice. But all I can say is, just start. If you enjoy taking part in big events, go ahead and let that be your motivation. If not, just walk or run a bit. It requires discipline and sacrifice. Starting is the hardest. So just start.