Once fat and insecure, Angela Lok shares how running regularly has changed her life.
Lean and lithe, Angela Lok looks every bit like the avid runner she is. The 39-year-old Head of Business Development (Women’s Network) of SPH Magazines runs five times a week – usually outdoors – and participates occasionally in races of varying distances.
Her biggest accomplishment to date is completing her first marathon in July this year – the Gold Coast Marathon – in an impressive four hours 25 minutes. “I enjoyed the entire experience. I never thought I’d be able to run non-stop for hours,” she says.
She loves the solitude of running (“I get to zone out and listen to my music.”) as well as the challenges that each race brings. She admits that the adrenaline high after every run is addictive too.
Self-assured and highly motivated, it’s hard to imagine that Angela used to lack self-esteem and was overweight.
“I grew up with an inferiority complex because I was made fun of by relatives and classmates for being a plump kid. I developed an eating disorder when I was a teenager. I’d repeatedly starve myself then binge in an attempt to lose weight,” she says. Standing at 1.64m, she estimates that was about 65kg at her heaviest. She now weighs 50kg.
The excess weight dropped off when she stopped dieting and started eating balanced meals during regular mealtimes. That stopped the teasing. However, it was only when she started running that she truly became confident in her own skin.
“It never have occurred to me that I could be fitter and stronger than I was in my younger days,” she says. “I’m much happier and more confident since I picked up running.”
Why did you start running?
Angela: “It started about five years ago when my colleagues and I decided to sign up for a race together. We initially planned to do a short 5km race but ended up doing the 10km category at the Great Eastern Women’s Run instead. At that time, I couldn’t even run 1km without stopping! My brother – a marathon runner – helped me train up for the race. That was my first official race and I got hooked on running ever since.”
Do you do road or trail running?
Angela: “I’ve always been a road runner but I like to train on different terrains as I believe that doing so helps elevate the stress on my joints. Also, hill training is my way of getting strength training done. I hate lifting weights and using machines at the gym.”
What are your favourite running routes?
Angela: “There’s a route that goes around Marina Bay, Clarke Quay and Fort Canning that I like. I can people-watch as I run.”
You’ve done your first marathon. What’s your next running goal?
Angela: “I hope to be able to do marathons in different cities. I’d also like to challenge myself one day to a trail race.”
What are the most important things someone should know before signing up for a marathon?
Angela: “A marathon is more of a mental than physical challenge. You have to be able to endure many hours of constant pounding on the pavement and the real race happens after you clock 30km as that’s when things get even tougher. You should train properly, preferably over 12 to 16 weeks. You can’t run a marathon overnight. I engaged a running coach for the Gold Coast Marathon.
How do you run efficiently?
Angela: “In an endurance race, I always start off slow, conserving my energy and getting into a rhythm first. To run without expanding too much energy, it’s important to have good cadence. I aim for 170 to 180 strides per minute.
How has running made you more confident?
Angela: “Running gives me a sense of achievement. I can see results as I progress in my running journey.”
What do you look for in running gear?
Angela: “For shoes and outfits, comfort is the most important factor. I also need shoes that provide good support as I tend to pronate slightly. I want to be able to focus on the actual run, rather than be irritated by discomfort if the gear doesn’t fit well.”
Shop The Look
Check out the Adidas gear that Angela is wearing.
Clockwise from left:
The Adidas Climacool Aeroknit Deep Armhole Tank Top ($49) is the ultimate training top. Its sweat-wicking premium-blend fabric and relaxed fit will keep you dry and comfortable.
The water-repellant Adidas Supernova Storm Jacket ($129) can be worn before or after a run, or in cooler weather. It has thoughtful features like zipped pockets and reflective details.
The Adidas Cmmttd Chill Bra ($89) will give your girls the support they need during high-impact workouts like running. Enjoy a personalised fit, thanks to the moulded padded cups, adjustable straps, and hook and eye closure.
The Adidas Supernova Long Tights ($89) are made of stretchy, breathable fabric with mesh inserts for increased ventilation. Ankle zips make them easy to put on and take off.
The Adidas UltraBOOST X All-Terrain ($339) is durable, water-repellant and suitable for all terrains, including wet and slippery surfaces. The adaptive arch support and cushioned midsoles offer comfort and stability. (Read more about these running shoes here.)
All products are available at shop.adidas.com.sg.
In collaboration with Adidas.