The making of an Ironwoman – Hsing Ling’s Drive to Strive

“Hsing Ling, Hsing Ling, Hsing Ling!” The crowd cheered as she completed the Ironman in 15 hours and 50 minutes.
“It was an unforgettable moment when they announced me as the Ironman,” Hsing Ling recalled.
A great journey starts with a single step forward. To her, this Ironman win is the epitome of her journey that began with determination, mental strength, and sacrifice—all in one step.



Hsing Ling, a product manager at GSK, studied Biotech in the University of California on full scholarship. It doesn’t just stop there as she did her MBA part time in Malaysia at the University of East London. Not only does she have a strong educational background, Hsing Ling also has a running background. She ran a lot during her time in the University of California in Davis, but after a few marathons, she developed a knee injury. Determined to recover and keep herself active, she picked up non-impact sports such as cycling and swimming.

“Davis is known as the cycling capital of California, and it was my mode of transportation to get around. So picking up cycling as a recovery sport suited me well.” Hsing Ling eventually moved on to competitive cycling in 2008, and as she recuperated, she ventured into triathlons.

Hsing Ling believes in going natural when it comes to her diet as it’s the body’s best way to perform. She doesn’t follow a strict diet and eats in moderation. “I don’t consume any sports supplements as I’d rather have a balanced diet; the food pyramid is a perfect example,” she said.

On a race day, it’s just aboutany regular pre-race meal. “I love my oats. With a little dose of sugar and milk, I am good to go. It’s enough to last me for the first half of the race. Then, I’ll have oat bars and, as I find it necessary, gels,” she added.

She even has her training schedule planned out. Three of her weekdays are allotted for training where she clocks in up to 5 hours. The weekend, on the other hand, is a whole new ball game. “On Saturday, I do double brick workout where I cycle 30km, run 5km and repeat. As for Sunday, I will go on a long ride as far as 100km. My workouts will differ according to a race, for if I am closer to a race, I will turn my weekends into a triple brick workout,” she said matter-of-factly. Yeap, you guessed it right, her weekend workout goes up to 10 hours!


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