FEMALE Talks To: Chrissy Kha Khrang About Running Your First Marathon

Thinking about running your first marathon? We got the tips you need from from triathlete and Under Armour ambassador, Chrissy Kha Khrang!

Photo: Under Armour

As a triathlete, Chrissy competes in triathlons: a gruelling multi-faceted event that includes running, cycling and swimming. She is also a multiple-time Ironman finisher and has been selected by the Myanmar Triathlon federation to represent the country at the SEA Games 2015 in Singapore, so you can bet she knows what she’s talking about when she talks about running.

Chrissy owns a fitness studio, Hiit2Fit in Kuala Lumpur, but  if you can’t make it there to catch Chrissy, we’ve got her tips for first-time marathon runners right here!

FEMALE: First of all, why run a marathon?
Chrissy: There is no greater sense of satisfaction I gain from running. Running makes me feel empowered and resilient. I also love to challenge my limits, both physically and mentally, and participating in marathons and endurance sports allows me to do just that.

F: What’s a good distance for new runners to start with?
C: For new runners, I would suggest to begin with 40 minutes or a 5-kilometre jog or run. Then slowly increase the intensity before increasing mileage.

Photo: Under Armour

F: What are your personal training tips to prepare for a marathon? How long should one spend on training before taking on a marathon?
C: Personally, speed intervals and long runs are a must in my training regime. I would also add a few strength and conditioning training sessions a week that would help push my fitness level up a notch. It would be ideal that one can start their training program two to three months prior to the marathon.

F: Are there any specific dietary changes or habits that can help you complete a marathon?
C: There is no specific diet plan that would work for everyone. But I would suggest to cut down on greasy food and go for healthier fat- and protein-rich meals to enhance muscle endurance. A clean diet helps in building a lighter and leaner body which is ideal for endurance athletes and definitely helps in achieving your personal best (PB).

F: Can you quickly break down the most important rule when it comes to proper running techniques?
C: My top five rules on proper running techniques:

1. Foot landing is crucial to prevent injuries
2. Foot strike (Note: which part of your foot hits the ground first after a stride; which variant is best for you can vary) is the key to running faster
3. A strong body core; it helps to create a good running form
4. Body posture is important and by using less hand movements, one can save energy during his/her runs
5. Regular breathing controls heart rate and prevents stitches.

Photo: Under Armour

F: How important is the right shoe when it comes to running?
C: An important rule when it comes to running is to always, always start with the right pair of shoes. It can be an ultra-disaster if you are not equipped with the right shoes to train. You are more prone to unwanted injuries such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles, shin splints, blisters and more, during your run. I would always pick a pair that gives enough cushioning, and is lightweight and responsive like the Under Armour HOVR Infinite for a half to full marathon and the Under Armour Sonic 2 for a casual light run to a half marathon.

Ready to run your first (or next) marathon? We’ve teamed up with Under Armour to get you all geared up with a top-to-toe set of cool running gear!

Here’s how to win:

  1. Follow us @femalemag and Under Armour @underarmourmy on Instagram.
  2. Comment on this post with what you would like to use the HOVR Connected Fitness shoes for.
  3. 2 lucky winners will win a top-to-toe Under Armour running collection worth over RM2,400, including a UA RUSH clothing set and a pair of HOVR Connected Fitness shoes.