Runablaze: February 11, 2013

runablazeChan Yew Woo continues to be ranked as the best Malaysian road runner.  According to the 2012 Malaysian Athletics Rankings he is #1 in 5000m indoor (15:28.30), #2 in 10km (34:12 split), #1 in half marathon (1:11:49 split) and #1 in marathon (2:25:07).   Chan has been ranked #1 in the marathon for 5 consecutive years starting with his debut in 2007.

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UP & COMING Runner of the Year – Mason Frank
The most profilic runner as he ran a race or two every month of the year.  He brought enthusiasm to races and leadership as ISU Running Club President.  Mason ran many races indoors including 5,000 meters in 15:27.  On the roads 1 mile in 4:24, 5K in 15:04, 8K in 25:23 and marathon in 2:40:57.  Additionally he was a top finisher at XC races.

* What made 2012 a great running year for you?
My training really exploded in 2012 as I figured out the healthy mileage balance for my body.  I tend to operate best on 50-60 miles a week even when training for marathons.  My coach, Scott Gall (Runners Flat), was giving me great workouts that I was nailing twice a week.  And, the most important part was I was never injured!  Remaining injury free can lead to a lot of good races for me.  I also really figured out when my body needed rest.  I usually take one day off a week to let my body recover so I am ready to hit the next set of workouts.  Rest is something that I believe every athlete needs but not every athlete understands.

* How did you start running and what was your HS/College running career?
I started running when I was around 11-12 years old.  I remember my first long road race was the Drake on the Roads 8K (I believe).  I remember I walked several times but it is the first race that I ran that far in.
My high school running career was filled with many individual victories at Adel DeSoto Minburn.  I was in class 3A in Iowa and the competition was pretty good during that time.  I never really was able to compete with people as fast as I was until I got to the state meets.  My best finishes were 6th and 7th place individually at State Cross Country in 2005 and 2006.  Track was never a real strong suit of mine.
My college running career started out at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.  I had the unique opportunity to run for the D2 Mountain Lions.  Redshirted at first because of injuries, I came on strong during the fall season for the coach to unredshirt me and I was our teamís 3rd scorer at the Division 2 National Championships of XC in 2008.  Our team, unranked in the nation, finished 19th overall.  After a little over a semester out in Colorado, I made the decision to transfer back to Iowa State as I did not like being that far away from my family.
So, beginning in fall of 2009 I was a student at Iowa State University.  I did not join the team here (I’m not sure if I would have been fast enough at the time) but instead I joined the Iowa State Running Club, led by Runablazeís own David Sevcik.  Over that first year here at Iowa State, I kind of lost my running kick and got more into the college mindset.  In the midst gaining 30 pounds and literally stopping running altogether.  During that next summer I lost all that extra weight I had put on and started getting back into the running mindset again.
The fall of 2010 was plagued with injury after injury and therefore was nothing spectacular.  I was not even scoring top 7 for the Iowa State Running Club.  However, I kept at it and and beginning fall of 2011, I have been Iowa State Running Clubís number one runner, only losing three times to Chris Robertson in 5Ks.  Since the fall of 2011, I have been nailing workouts, setting PRs right and left, and have been feeling great about it.  Sure, there have been some down patches but I have always managed to fight through them.
Spring of 2012 brought on some new races as I tried my first half marathon (my teammates coaxed me into it), set a new PR in the mile by 16 seconds, and even ran my first marathon.  The marathon experience is something that I am not looking forward to again until I run Boston in April.  Fall of 2012 was a good time as my 5K times dropped a lot starting with a 15:22 coming off of no training/workouts to a 15:04 a few weeks later.  I am really looking forward to getting in some quality 5Ks this spring and hopefully going sub 15.

* How do you train during the winter?
If you’re asking if I go inside to do my daily runs, then answer is no!  I have run during negative wind chills, blizzards, and even sleet.  All I do is bundle up with several layers, put some tights on, maybe a windbreaker jacket, and head outside.  I usually have to cover my neck up if the temperatures reach single digits or below, but the fun is out there on the roads.  After the big snow this winter in Ames I was out the next day trudging through the drifts on the roads.  I get a lot of angry cars honking at me as I’m running on the roads, but maybe if people learn to shovel I wouldnít have to run on the roads!
As for workouts in the winter, I have the unique opportunity to still be a student at Iowa State and have access to the 300 meter Lied indoor track facility.  I go there to do my speed workouts and other workouts.  Running in the winter requires me to change a few things: I have to watch my footing so closely, slow down around corners, and really pay attention to traffic.

* What Iowa race is special to you?
My favorite Iowa race has to be Living History Farms.  I grew up only 20 minutes from there so I ran it several times in high school.  It was a great feeling to finish 3rd in 2011 and again in 2012.  It is more of a guts race and jumping through all the creeks is a lot of fun!

* What race distance do you enjoy the most?
My preferred race distance is probably the 8K cross country.  I love cross country and have had the most success at it.  After that, I love 5Ks!  I really am anxious to see what I can do for 5Ks this spring as I ran a 15:04 5K this last fall off of almost no training.

* If no one was listening, tell us your secret to running success?
Mileage between 40 and 60 per week, one day of no running per week, and really hitting both workouts!  If I’m not hitting workouts, I stay pretty stagnant.  The lower mileage and one day of rest per week goes quite well with my body.

Runablaze Iowa is sponsored by:

Iowa’s best running specialty stores:
Fitness Sports – Des Moines
Runners Flat – Cedar Falls

Iowa’s on-line registration leader: – Bettendorf

Iowa’s best races:
Red Flannel, Loop the Lake, Market to Market, Dam to Dam, Marathon to Marathon, Clive Running Festival, Sturgis Falls, Fifth Season, Midnight Madness, Park to Park, Capital Pursuit, IMT Des Moines Marathon and Living History Farms.  Other races TBA.

About Runablaze Iowa
Runablaze Iowa athletes are based throughout Iowa.  Formed in 2006, the
purpose of the team is to improve post-collegiate Iowa distance running.
Major Iowa running specialty stores, Iowa races and Iowa runners at those
races support Runablaze Iowa.

Cal Murdock – Team Manager

Robyn Friedman – Team President

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