Kate is a 36 year old New Zealander and mother of two who has been living in Hong Kong for eight years.
Kate had entered a few short trail running races in the past and considered herself a casual runner.
In 2015, She decided to sign up for an ultramarathon and was seeking a gym in Central Hong Kong that would offer a personal training program to help her prepare for longer more competitive races.
After training at RAW for 6 months with the best personal trainers in Hong Kong, she made tremendous progress in her strength endurance, mobility, aerobic capacity and body composition. She lost 6kgs of fat mass which made a noticeable difference with her performance.
Kate did not suffer from any pain, cramping or extreme fatigue during the entire race. She was able to pass many advanced runners and finished one hour faster than her goal time.
I, Jeremy Meyer, am the owner and founder of the RAW personal training gym in Central Hong Kong. I have 23 years of experience working as a personal trainer and creating customised personal training programs. I was impressed with Kate’s level of dedication, commitment and drive. I wanted to ask her a few questions about her experience training at RAW with the best personal trainers in Hong Kong.
What made you reach out to RAW for help?
When I signed up and committed to the ultramarathon, I realised I only had 6 months to get ready for the race.
I am a researcher and I had read everything I could get my hands on regarding training for ultra distances and endurance racing. I understood on an intellectual level that strength training would enhance my performance over long distances. In Hong Kong, the terrain is quite technical. I didn’t know how to start a strength program on my own. I was a total newbie to weight training and I had scarcely even touched a barbell before. Frankly, I found the idea of going into a gym and picking up weights quite intimidating!
How did you think RAW could enhance your training for Endurance Racing?
When I first began training at RAW, I just wanted to get stronger for the upcoming endurance racing event. I was carrying a few minor injuries and realised being stronger would help alleviate these issues.
I wasn’t there specifically to change the way I looked (though this has been a nice side effect!). My goals were purely sports-related. However, I quickly found that there were other benefits to strength training.
What are 3 things training at RAW helped with for race preparation:
– I had poor mobility in the squat when I first started training, but in a few months, I saw big improvements in my form and range of motion. Along with stronger quads, I had better hip and ankle mobility, which is very beneficial when you are climbing a lot of steep trails and steps.
– It’s a no-brainer that an endurance racing athlete’s muscles must have the ability to keep them going over extremely long distances. By strength training, I was able to stress my muscles in a controlled manner and allow my body to make the necessary adaptations so that I wouldn’t have to suffer unnecessarily during the actual race.
Developing Mental Toughness
– Strength training as a total novice was a shock to the system. It was hard and it often hurt and I was frequently required to dig deep and push through when I thought I just couldn’t do anymore. It was good preparation for the hurt of running 50kms! During every training session at RAW, I reminded myself that a little suffering now could save me a lot of suffering on the course.
How did you feel during/post race?
I felt great going into the race. I had very few nerves because I knew I had done everything that I could to prepare for it. Compared to the people I trained with, I am not a fast runner. I felt like I was not in their league. However, I knew that the strength training I had done at RAW, specifically for this endurance racing event, would provide me with the stamina and endurance to keep up my target pace, especially when I began to tire in the second half. I felt particularly strong in the final two sections – which were also the most challenging.
My trainer was professional and friendly. The RAW no-nonsense training style worked well for me. Constant adjustments were made to my personal training program. I was always encouraged to squeeze out those final reps! RAW staff seem genuinely excited to see clients make progress such as achieving goals or setting personal bests in the gym.
After finishing the race, my goals and circumstances changed. Adaptations were made to my training plan in order to reflect this. Also, we all have ups and down when it comes to energy levels. I appreciated that my trainer was understanding and considerate, flexible and able to adapt my training quickly when I was sick or injured – even when I came in with a broken toe the month before my race!
I believe there is huge value in hiring a trainer who can help you set realistic goals and design a training program to meet your specific needs. Progress must always be measurable and I think the reason many people fail to achieve their goals in the gym is because variables are not tracked and there is no accountability. At RAW, progress is always tracked. Being able to notice strength gains and changes in body composition provided great motivation to show up and keep working hard.