Jen Macapagal

Monday, February 24, 2020

Q. Who are you and what you do for a living?

I am Jen Macapagal and I am a Programme Manager and Team Lead in a specialist financial training company in Singapore. 

Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your professional life?

I balance my professional life and exercise regime by working out a realistic time table where I can slot in my work outs during weekdays, usually before coming to work, during lunch or after office hours. During weekends, I make it a point to finish my training in the morning before lunch so I can spend time with my loved ones. 

Q. When and why did you start running?

I picked up running in 2010 as I wanted to get fit and lose weight after living a sedentary lifestyle when I moved to Singapore from Philippines in mid-2008. 

Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?

What motivates me to go out and train when I do not feel like doing it is the fact that I have already done a great start when I chose to drop the unhealthy vices and nurture my body in the past. When I look back at those days, it made me regret for a while that I did not take care of myself. When I go out to train, I know I am choosing what is best for my mind and body and my overall productivity. 

Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets?

What gives me confidence to run outside is the mindset and discipline I take with me when I start my workout. I have a goal and reason why I do what I do and this gives me the confidence to finish what I initially aimed for, not really thinking of what other people would see but only focusing on what I was there for. 

Q. What was your best running experience?

My best running experience was when I was able to hit a sub-6 marathon last year (2018). I told myself that if I were able to hit a PB, I would register for a full Ironman race in 2019 – which I did and which I successfully completed in Oct 2019. You see, I am not a fast runner and I am still in the midst of working towards a better version of myself, but every milestone I hit is a milestone worth celebrating. 

Q. What was your worst running experience?

My worst running experience was in 2012 when I ran a full marathon without proper training. I finished the run, but I was in so much pain that my body had to recuperate for more than a week. No training and winging it carelessly was a recipe for a complete disaster which I hope does not happen to anyone. 

Q. How do you push through the pain?

Running a long-distance event or multisport is indeed painful as you subject your body to a full workout over a long period of time. But this can be managed if one has invested and committed necessary training hours-- this does not only train the body but also the mind which is more important during these endurance events. Our mental toughness allows our bodies to push through and silence the pain. This ultimately helps our thought process to aim for finishing what we have started. 

Q. What advice can you give somebody who wants to start running?

For people who have just started running, my advice is to take it easy but consistently. Aim for a goal and work towards it by investing in three things; training plan, right gears and mindset. 

a. Proper training can mean getting a personal coach or following a training program that will help you to periodize training, improve your skills and technique and right recovery. This will also be useful when you aim higher in terms of your goals, whether nailing a longer distance event or hitting another PB. 

b. Using the right gears will not only make you feel good or motivate you while training but will also help you in reducing unnecessary injuries that you don’t know you are making! This can be your shoes, socks or in the event of multisport – having the right size of bike and goggles can be a big help! 

c. Right mindset – the most crucial of all. Ask yourself what prompted you to start. What are your goals. Having the right mindset allows you to shape your views and everything in between that leads you towards achieving your goal. With the right mindset, anything is possible! 

Q. Which Social media sites are you on and how can one follow you?

I would love to share my journey with everyone via @jnmcpgl. 


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