“Don’t Do This At A Half Marathon” – And Other Running Tips With POWER 98 LOVE SONGS

Fitness buff and veteran radio DJ Mister Young shares his top rules for long-distance running.

By Ryan Wee        19 October 2022

Mister Young is a machine. He crushes 5 runs or obstacle course races per year. He’s trained in MMA, boxing, Muay Thai and yoga. Still, he has a soft spot for the long grind of running.

The Assistant Programme Director and radio DJ on POWER 98 LOVE SONGS started running longer distances to train his cardio for a Spartan Race, and ended up an addict.

So if there’s someone who knows his stuff about running, marathons and half marathons, it’s Mister Young!

Q: Why run? What’s most enjoyable about it for you?

Mister Young: It’s time I’ve set aside to better myself in so many ways. There’s the obvious physical aspect of course, but also on longer runs I get to catch up on my podcasts and learn new things to hopefully improve myself mentally. Sometimes I just put on music and spend time with myself in my own thoughts, free from the distractions of everyday life. It sometimes leads to mental and philosophical breakthroughs.

Mister Young and Jacqui (centre) from the Power Breakfast Show, Mike (right) from Power Cruising and Kim (left) at SSBR & AHM 2018.

Q: Do you have a go-to meal before or after a race?

Mister Young: I usually carb load 3 to 5 days before a race. Could be rice, pizza, pasta, etc. You’ll see me at Axsolute Bistro at SAFRA Toa Payoh!  After a race it’s all about rewarding myself with a good meal, so I’ll indulge at Sakunthala’s at SAFRA Mount Faber.

SAFRA members enjoy 25% off the total bill at Axsolute Bistro at SAFRA Toa Payoh, and a 10% discount at Sakunthala’s at SAFRA Mount Faber.

Q: What are 3 golden rules for a race that every runner should know?

Mister Young:

  1. Learn to pace yourself. Know your optimal pacing and have it ingrained in your muscles. This is especially important because at flag off when the music is pumping, everyone is anxious and in a good mood to start. The adrenaline is going to kick in and you’re going to want to get off to a great start. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint! The last thing you want to do is expend all your energy in the first half, and suffer through the second half of the race.
  2. Focus on maintaining your posture. Head up, look ahead, back straight, shoulders level. Once fatigue sets in, we tend to lose focus and start slouching, making it harder on ourselves. Think “tall & proud” when you feel yourself start slouching. Physically and mentally, this can spur you on.
  3. Have fun! Know that every run will feel different. Some days you might do better, some days not. As long as you keep your training consistent, you’ll be ready for the big race!

Q: We hear you’re running in the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon (SSBR & AHM). What’s special about this run for you?

Mister Young: One word. Camaraderie. 2018 really stood out for me when doing the SSBR & AHM as I did it together with the Power 98 crew. We all ran different distances, some of us hosted, some brought their kids to do the kids run, but when we all gathered at the finish line, it was a great bonding moment for the DJs.

Family shot! From left to right: Mike, Mister Young, Jacqui, Kim, and Jeremy Ratnam and his family.

Q: What advice would you give beginner runners out there, or those embarking on the full 21 kilometres of the half marathon in the SSBR & AHM?

Mister Young: Start slow, pace yourself. Don’t break your momentum by stopping or walking. Slow jog if you feel tired, but keep the momentum going. That 2nd, 3rd and 4th wind will come soon enough.

Q: Do you have a memorable running experience to share?

Mister Young: You know what they say, you never forget your first. Standard Charted Singapore Marathon 2018 was my first ever 42km full marathon. I also actually ran the 10K the day before as part of a video with my co-host Jacqui, so it ended up being a 52K weekend!

Thankfully nothing crazy has ever happened during training or races. I’ve been caught in the rain, struggled through sweltering Singapore heat, but funnily enough, the toughest part of what I’ve had to do is try to “present” to the camera right after running a 42K. The pressure is on when I’m trying to get what I want to say out, but all I want to do is lie down!

Q: Any parting words for would-be marathon runners?

Mister Young: From a personal perspective, always set a goal, and work towards it. There will be setbacks, there will be breakthroughs, but never give up, because you might not see improvement in a week, or a month… but in a year? 5 years? 10 years? You’ll realise how incredible your improvements are if you keep going consistently.

Start your mornings with fitness, comic and video game junkie Mister Young on The Power Breakfast Show, weekdays from 6am to 10am, as he and his co-host Jacqui get you up to speed on all you need to know from what went down last night.

Follow Mister Young on Instagram @power98misteryoung