HomeHealthHow Vriko Kwok Trained for Lululemon's Further Ultramarathon

How Vriko Kwok Trained for Lululemon’s Further Ultramarathon

Vriko Kwok knew the fourth day of her six day ultramarathon was going to be the toughest one. She had some floor to make up if she was going to attain her purpose of operating a complete of 300 kilometers (a little bit over 186 miles) over six consecutive days— round 50 kilometers (31 miles) on daily basis.

She wakened at 4 a.m. able to work, and did she ever. She ran continuous, apart from gear adjustments, for 9 and a half hours straight. However simply two loops away from her day’s purpose, she sat totally gassed in a relaxation tent, feeling she had nothing left to offer—not even tears.

What occurred subsequent encapsulated how she managed to satisfy—and even surpass—her 300-kilometer purpose and run 303.31 kilometers (188 miles) within the Lululemon Additional ultramarathon as a 32-year-old novice runner who had by no means logged even a mile earlier than committing to ultramarathon coaching simply 11 months earlier.

Specialists In This Article

  • Vriko Kwok, ultramarathoner, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor, and entrepreneur

Kwok is a Hong Kong-based former Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor and entrepreneur. In early 2023, Lululemon introduced her as a member of the 10-woman Additional ultramarathon, an initiative held March 6-12, 2024 in La Quinta, California, that will include a analysis element carried out in partnership with the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific (CSIP).

Every lady set a person purpose they’d try to satisfy over the course of the race. By documenting and finding out every lady’s coaching and efficiency, Lululemon and CSPI aimed to additional consciousness, understanding, and analysis in girls’s endurance athletics.

Different members of the workforce included ultramarathon world file holder Camille Herron, ultramarathoner and activist Mirna Valerio, and different public figures and athletes of many nationalities, backgrounds, and physique varieties. Whereas expertise on the workforce assorted—and it was a difficult endeavor for all concerned—Kwok was the lone distance operating newbie. Nonetheless, on the Additional launch in Could 2023, she introduced her 50K per day purpose to get to 300K whole, which quantities to operating an ultramarathon each single day.

“I bear in mind beginning Additional. The night time earlier than, I used to be speaking to my associate, and I used to be like, ‘Do you assume I might truly do that?’” Kwok says. “Even the day we had been beginning, I used to be nonetheless having doubts as a result of it was simply too large of a problem. However one quote I at all times return to is ‘In case your dream does not scare you, it is not large enough.’ And I positively like to select my greatest dream to crack.”

Over the subsequent 11 months, Kwok educated with Additional teammate Stefanie Flippin, a operating coach, physician, and ultramarathoner who holds the 2021 girls’s title for the quickest 100-mile run, to actually go from zero to 300 (kilometers). Beginning with walk-runs that had been below an hour lengthy and laddering as much as marathons, she ended up operating 2,700 kilometers (1,677 miles) over the course of her coaching, logging 30 hours every week of operating and different types of coaching.

These are the nuts and bolts of how Kwok did it. However there’s a much bigger story behind the numbers.

“One quote I at all times return to is ‘In case your dream does not scare you, it is not large enough.’ And I positively like to select my greatest dream to crack.” —Vriko Kwok

Whereas Kwok sat depleted in the remaining tent on the finish of day 4, she was noticed by Additional teammate Montana Farrah-Seaton, a member of Australia’s nationwide basketball workforce and skilled long-distance runner. Farrah-Seaton greeted her with an enormous hug, and feelings poured out of each girls as they affirmed how proud they had been of one another.

When Farrah-Seaton requested Kwok how she was feeling together with her arms cupped round Kwok’s head, Kwok replied “F*cking terrible.” Farrah-Seaton didn’t deny or decrease these feelings. As an alternative, she provided to return out on the course collectively.

The ladies began with a stroll, however as they approached the ultimate miles earlier than Kwok’s 100-mile purpose, extra Additional teammates joined the march towards the end line, placing apart their very own tempo and mileage objectives. Kwok and her teammates completed operating Kwok’s one centesimal mile collectively.

“It was the very best excessive of my expertise,” Kwok says. “Opposite to many individuals’s pondering, Additional is definitely not nearly one particular person. If there’s one factor Additional has proven the world, [it’s that] operating may be very a lot a workforce sport.”

After assembly that purpose, Kwok took her first actual remainder of the day.

“I truly took an excellent one-and-a-half hour break to only nap, to eat, to really feel properly rested once more,” Kwok says. “Then I went again out and did one other half marathon earlier than calling it at night time.”

By way of listening to and nourishing her physique, resting when crucial, staying targeted on her purpose, and, most of all, being surrounded by individuals who really cared about and understood her, the tip of day 4 encapsulated each what Additional was all about for Vriko Kwok, and the way she felt whereas ultramarathon coaching and operating the race itself. It’s an achievement she hopes others will study from to search out their very own end line.

“Our journey could also be about operating, however it’s so a lot greater than operating,” Kwok says. “I actually hope that our mixed story may help extra girls and extra people locally look into themselves and ask, ‘What’s their very own model of Additional?’”

How Kwok went from being a newbie to operating 303K over six consecutive days

1. She took a “wellness first” strategy

As a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor, Kwok was used to pushing by ache it doesn’t matter what.

“I’d drill 10 hours a day sparring with totally different companions and I dislocated my shoulder and broke a few my fingers,” Kwok says. “My coaching companions would inform me to only suck it up and take care of your ache and maintain going.”

To coach and in the end race in Additional, that strategy wasn’t going to chop it as a result of Kwok knew she needed to get to the beginning line harm free if she was going to do the race in any respect.

“I believed coming into operating could be an excellent more durable type of exercise, which it’s on some stage,” Kwok says. “However in a grander scheme, I truly realized a variety of issues about my physique and care for it and prioritize my self-care within the journey of operating as a result of as a way to carry out I simply need to really feel rather well, I’ve to eat rather well, I’ve to relaxation rather well. And the truth that I care for myself in that sense is the rationale why I might do Additional.”

Placing “wellness first” into follow meant staying in shut communication with coach Flippin. If Kwok was feeling depleted, Flippin would advise her to again off on her mileage objectives for the week and never transfer onto the subsequent purpose till she was feeling properly and really prepared.

Moreover, these 30 hours every week of coaching included yoga, stretching, and bodily remedy. In different phrases, coaching hours had been devoted to restoration, mobility, and adaptability simply as a lot as they had been to constructing power and endurance.

The wellness first strategy paid off.

“I went into [Further] with none harm, I got here out of it with none harm, I did not even have one single blister popping out of six days of operating,” Kwok says.

2. She power educated

These ultramarathon coaching hours additionally included loads of power coaching. Weight coaching for operating is an under-appreciated element of coaching. It ensures runners are in a position to interact their muscle mass—notably the glutes and hamstrings— which might too typically go un-engaged, so runners can take advantage of each stride.

Constructing muscle mass round joints additionally reduces the impression round these joints, which is essential for a high-impact train like operating to forestall harm. In that manner, power coaching was additionally part of the wellness first ethos.

“More often than not, I used to be utilizing my coaching hours to care for my physique,” Kwok says. “We do plenty of weight coaching to strengthen the decrease physique. I am a much bigger woman, and as I used to be coming in from Jiu-Jitsu, I had my very own harm coming into operating. So we very a lot targeted on weight coaching for the decrease physique to strengthen all of the muscle mass for operating.”

“I consider that no matter you might be doing, discover your individuals after which you can push additional.” —Vriko Kwok

3. She discovered a balanced purpose and didn’t “transfer the pole”

To keep away from burning out throughout coaching, Kwok didn’t change or improve her purpose as she discovered herself in a position to run longer distances. The 300K purpose was actually a large one. However in distinction to the massive objectives she set herself in prior years, she went into the Additional problem with the identical purpose she set on the outset.

“I at all times say to not ‘transfer your pole’ as a result of I bear in mind in my 20s I at all times moved my pole, which is, I wish to do that factor, and after I obtained there, I’d attempt to simply transfer the pole to make it much more difficult,” Kwok says. “Choose challenges that push the envelope with out overdoing it.”

4. She used the best gear

The Lululemon gear, together with the beyondfeel sneakers and forthcoming Help Code Bra, helped Kwok keep away from blisters and chafing. Whereas Additional athletes had customized race kits made for them—and that’s not one thing each athlete can do—not settling for one thing that doesn’t match or really feel proper was a precedence Kwok urges others to take to coronary heart.

A pair of orange sherbet colored running shoes against a light gray background.
Picture: Lululemon

beyondfeel Girls’s Operating Shoe — $158.00

You may run in the identical sneakers Vriko Kwok and the opposite barrier-breaking Additional athletes wore as they collectively ran 2,880+ miles over six consecutive days. The design of the impartial shoe is predicated on over 1 million girls’s foot scans to particularly serve feminine runners.

5. She harnessed insights about her physique

All through the Additional workforce’s ultramarathon coaching, CSPI examined biometrics like VO2 max (the utmost quantity of oxygen your physique makes use of whereas exercising) to achieve perception into girls’s endurance efficiency. That enabled Kwok to study in regards to the limits of her physique and the way she processed vitality.

These checks helped her determine totally different paces, from her max effort to her “perpetually tempo,” which means she knew simply push when she wanted some additional oomph and tempo herself when what she wanted was to only maintain movement. Kwok truly tapped into that perpetually tempo on the finish of day 4, when she ran that additional half marathon after her hour and a half relaxation.

“It enabled me and empowered me to know at what tempo I might maintain operating perpetually with out feeling drained,” Kwok says. “I used to be truly utilizing that tempo to run these 4 laps again to again. It is humorous, the thought I had after these 4 laps was, ‘Oh rattling, I am a runner now. I actually am a runner now. What’ve they achieved to me?’”

6. She discovered her individuals

With out hesitation, Kwok says working as a part of a workforce coaching for and operating the ultramarathon was what enabled her to get by it, and what she is most happy with. Whereas Kwok was coaching in Hong Kong, she would really feel lonely at occasions, however the thought that her principally U.S.-based teammates had been additionally on the market clocking mile after mile helped her go on.

“This expertise has taught me a lot, and out of all the things, I feel it was positively the love and help I share with my teammates and the way we have now that for each other,” Kwok says. “The concept of neighborhood, the thought of how you are able to do this as a workforce, that will be hopefully my concept or my message to share with the viewers as a result of I consider that no matter you might be doing, discover your individuals after which you can push additional.”



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