HKBU has nurtured over 140,000 graduates since its inception in 1956 and numerous alumni have in the past made notable achievements in diverse areas and professions. In this connection, we are pleased to introduce alumni from different professions and invite them to share their knowledge discovery with us.
Sharing by Alumna Crystal Vut on Tips for Marathon Practices
Alumna Crystal Vut Tsz-ying (Physical Education and Recreation Management) began her training as a gymnast since the age of four and she was a former representative of the Hong Kong Gymnastics Team. During her undergraduate years at HKBU, she joined the cross-country team of the University by chance, and her talent in running was then discovered. Subsequently, she shifted her focus to long-distance running. Within a decade of time, Crystal had not only ranked first in Women’s Marathon in Hong Kong in 2018 and 2019, she also won the Champion of Women’s Half Marathon Race of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2021.
Currently, Crystal continues her teaching duties in the daytime and marathon practices in her spare time. To her, she strives hard only to break her own record, while winning an award is just a bonus.
1. You have been engaged in the training of marathon for almost 10 years. Please share 1-2 tips on how you achieve outstanding results.
Persistence. There is no secret in sports. Performance shows your training and hard work. For distance running, the more and smarter you work, the more you can achieve. Every step matters. Even a short run for 30 minutes, when you keep on it every day, you can feel changes in your body as well as your tenacity in sports.
Passion. I love running because it helps me release stress from work. It’s the “ME time” when I feel myself alive. I like to feel my breathing, my heart beat, my every single step and I always stay focus on myself during my running drills. After having practised running for 10 years, I must say I still enjoy it. I can’t imagine my life without running.
2. If someone without regular exercises becomes interested in marathon, what advice would you provide to them regarding taking up proper training for marathon race? Any suitable venue(s) would you recommend to the beginners for training?
For beginners, start with very basic exercises first. It takes years to train for a marathon if they are beginners. Build up your running prowess step by step, there is no shortcut in sports. Both warming up and cooling down must be done before and after each running exercise. Wearing a GPS watch with a heart rate monitor can be a great help for exercises. The watch shows the training intensity and the mileage achieved. To start with, you can develop exercise behaviour with 15-minute walking and then 15-minute jogging, two to three times a week. After one to two months, the duration of jogging can be increased to 30 to 45 minutes, for two to three times a week, with some intensity in between. After three months, you can try some running programs like tempo run and intervals. Then try a 3km, 5km, 10km, 15km, 20km, half marathon, 30km, progressively.
For the venue, sports ground and waterfront parks are recommended. Be careful of uneven ground surface.
3. COVID-19 has exerted great strain on our lives. How does it affect your practices? What effort do you need to make to overcome the barrier imposed by the pandemic?
I kept my own training during the past pandemic years. During the time when face mask was a must even during exercising, I adopted a lower training intensity to keep up my physical condition. When we can’t use the sports ground, I did my training along the waterfront park. Hill repeats (sprinting up a steep hill) is also one of the options. I also kept my physical fitness and muscle strength by doing home workout like core exercises and bodyweight exercises. With those workout exercises, I could then get back to normal training easier when the sports facilities were open to the public again. We can’t change the situation, but we can change our attitude in dealing with it. Be always optimistic and stay healthy.