S ONING L A MAY RU POR GA NN E’S ZIN ING E
A FEW MORE WEEKS BEFORE YOUR MARATHON! • Build up mileage • Gain speed • Use the hot weather to your advantage • What to eat 3 days before your race
HIT THE DIRT! A TRAIL SPECIAL
What to wear, what to expect and what to do
THE FUTURE IS IN THE PAST
Learn from the 1950s coaches
The 3 places to rough it out
TRAINING SOLO VS WITH A GROUP
• Running with epilepsy • Singapore’s James Middleditch
At Kona Ironman • Previews of the Tokyo Marathon, SGX Bull Charge, and many more
BARE YOUR SOLE VIVOBAREFOOT BREATHO TRAIL
CONTENTS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013
ON THE COVER VIVOBAREFOOT BREATHO TRAIL Photo courtesy of Vivobarefoot
RUNNING ESSENTIALS 14 HIT THE DIRT: A TRAIL SPECIAL Detour and venture into the wild with these essential gear and accessories to make sure you are well-prepared for off-road rigours. 26 RUNNERS’ MARKET A roundup on the latest shoes, apparel and accessories to make you look good and run well.
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT 30 THE TRAIL MIX From turnpike, puncheon to boardwalk, we demystify the different features the trail has to offer so you know how to deal with them. 2
38 34 READY FOR THE WILD If you are planning to run off the beaten track, here are some preparations you need to do to fully enjoy the experience. 38 MARATHON GUIDE In our continuing series, experts dish out their most important advice and tips to ensure a strong finish at your next full marathon. 46 LEARN FROM THE PAST Many aspects of the modern running industry can be partly attributed to the golden era of the 1950s and the luminaries of athletic coaching of the time. 48 ASK THE EXPERTS Our panel of specialists answers readers’ burning questions on health and running.
CONTENTS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013
MIND, BODY & SOLE 52 AGAINST ALL ODDS A health condition did not stop this runner to complete her very first – and longest race – 21km.
54 ROUGH IT OUT A different kind of fulfillment can be had when running on rugged, unpaved and challenging terrain.
73 ASIAN TRAILBLAZERS Trail running is now big in Asia and the region is definitely not short on races and places. Malaysia, Taiwan and Nepal are three that are worthy of a visit.
58 FIGHTING FIT For Ironman Cairns podium finisher, James Middleditch, life does get more exciting and rewarding at 40.
77 A preview of Run For Hope, SGX Bull Charge, 2014 Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon and Tokyo Marathon.
62 UNITED NATIONS Pounding the pavement and exploring different vistas every week is the aim of this group of runners from all over the globe.
ENERGISE 66 EAT, DRINK AND
A good nutrition and hydration plan is necessary for peak performance during and speedy recovery after your gruelling race.
WHAT’S UP & RUNNING 81 Check out the upcoming races in Singapore and beyond. Get set and sign up!
SCENE & HEARD 83 Read about the latest runs and events in and around town.
THE FINISH LINE 88 Winny Christine: A World Runner
JUST FOR OUR READERS 87 SUBSCRIPTION Sign up now for a two-year subscription and receive a VIVOBAREFOOT Breezy Lite running shoes worth S$159!
FROM THE EDITOR
he last quarter of the year is when the marathon frenzy reaches its peak in Singapore. Avid runners are spoilt for choice when it comes to races and events to test their mettle, achieve a personal best or simply to atone for past months’ (or years’) indulgences! Whatever is your reason for signing up for that half or full marathon, it’s for a good thing. However, what is not good is when you embark on a race without any preparations. Chances are, you will experience some pain or worse, get injured that will temporarily (or heaven forbid, permanently) take you off running. If you have been religiously training for that big day, good on you. Hopefully, all the sacrifice you put in waking up early and logging miles will pay off. More than achieving a personal record, it should be about finishing strong. Sounds easier than it really is but whoever said marathons are a walk in the park has not tried it. I remember my agony during my first full marathon, my legs were numb and my body totally spent at the 35thkm mark; finishing strong was the farthest thing from my mind let alone achieving a personal best. I just wanted so desperately to finish. On hindsight, it was an overly ambitious and foolhardy attempt to have entered the race without a sensible training programme. I learned since then to turn to experts who are runners themselves (and very accomplished at that) before I committed myself to yet another long-distance race. I may still be a work in progress when it comes to shaving minutes (lots of them) off my time but it’s comforting to know that I’m on the right track.
That’s me after completing quite literally a no-sweat 3km run at San Francisco’s famed Golden Gate Bridge. If Singapore had the same cool, windy weather all year round, do you think more people would take to running? Your guess is as good as mine!
In this issue, we turn to these pros for advice on making that marathon happen without any mishaps! They share their wealth of experience training elite runners so that you and I will cross that finish line like champions. Happy running!
Marie Monozca Editor
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OAKLEY SPECIAL Glare reduction and tuned light transmission with Iridium® lens coating
Enhance depth perception and color contrast between hues encountered in trail environments
OAKLEY PERFORMANCE LENS TINT VR28® BLACK IRIDIUM®
When you’re moving quickly in and out of tree shade, navigating difficult terrain and trying to focus on where the open path meets the rest of nature, every moment brings a new challenge.
Help athletes spot potentially hazardous details on a trail – dry dirt and sand, slick wet patches, sticky/tacky hero dirt, loose rocks, outcroppings and roots
TO MASTER THE TRAIL, YOU HAVE TO STUDY THE TERRAIN. ENHANCED DEPTH PERCEPTION OAKLEY VR28® BLACK IRIDIUM® LENSES HELP MOUNTAIN BIKERS AND TRAIL RUNNERS FIND THE BEST LINE TO THE BIGGER TRAIL EXPERIENCE. BY PROVIDING ENHANCED DEPTH PERCEPTION IN LOW TO MEDIUM LIGHT AND IMPROVED VISUAL CONTRAST BETWEEN SHADES OF GREEN, BROWN AND RED, THE LENSES ALLOW THE EYES TO BETTER READ THE TERRAIN AND TRAIL ENVIRONMENT.
Authentic, unretouched images. Actual result may vary.
MEET THE EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS Bevan Colless Bevan is a sports physiotherapist, elite triathlete, cyclist and runner. He is also a certified running injury specialist providing running assessments and treating endurance sports and knee injuries.
Dr Martin John With over a decade of experience in Osteopathy and Physiotherapy, Dr John specialises in joint care, pain management, physical therapy as well as pre- and post-operative rehabilitation.
Shem Leong An Ironguides Triathlon and Running coach in Singapore, Shem designs individualised training plans to help amateur athletes achieve their goals.
David Ng An IA AF (level 1) certified and ICF affiliated coach with an interest in sustainable authentic performance solutions, David has been an avid runner for over 30 years.
PUBLISHERS Jacqueline Wong, firstname.lastname@example.org Jasmin Oh, email@example.com
EDITORIAL Editor Marie Monozca, firstname.lastname@example.org Sub Editor Florence Lee Contributors Bevan Colless, Jon Fong, Keegan Gan, Melissa Gil, Matt Herd, Dr Martin John, Shem Leong, Vanessa McNamara, David Ng, Paviter Singh, Dr Frankie Tan, Dr Tong Kim Leng, Asha Macam-Velasco, Jeanette Wang, Fabian William
CREATIVE Art Director Han Yew Hock
SALES & MARKETING Branding & Promotions Executive Loretta Tan, email@example.com
Jon Fong Jon was an elite athlete and coach who received numerous Singapore National Olympic Committee awards. He is the co-founder of Journey Fitness Company.
Matt Herd An accomplished podiatrist and athlete, Matt has worked at various institutions including Alexandra Hospital and Diabetes Society of Singapore, and more recently in private practice.
Dr Frankie Tan Dr Tan graduated from the Loughborough University in England with a First-Class Honours degree in Physical Education and Sports Science. He is currently an Editorial Board member of the International Journal of Sports.
Vanessa Mcnamara Vanessa is a dietitian specialising in sports, weight management and behaviour change. She is the founder of The Travelling Dietitian in Singapore and a qualified anthropometrist who loves food and travel.
Dr Tong Khim Leng Adjunct Clinical Assistant Prof. Khim Leng is a senior consultant at the Department of Cardiology at Changi General Hospital, and the director of its coronary care unit.
Fabian William Prior to setting up his own coaching school for running, triathlon and adventure racing, Fabian was a seasoned longdistance runner with many accolades under his belt.
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ADVISORY BOARD Jaclyn Reutens Clinical Dietitian Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants 1 Orchard Boulevard, #07-08 Camden Medical Centre Singapore 248649 www.aptima-nsc.com Changi Sports Medicine Centre 2 Simei Street 3 Singapore 529889 www.cgh.com.sg Dr Tan Swee Kheng Kinesiologist, Movement Specialist/Programme Director Fifth Ray Integrated Activities Pte Ltd 66 Kampong Bugis, #06-01 Singapore 338987 www.fifthray.com Singapore Sports Medicine Centre 10 Sinaran Drive, #08-08 Novena Medical Centre Singapore 307506 www.ssmc.sg RUN Singapore is published by Bold Ink Magazines Pte Ltd 65A Temple Street Singapore 058610 Tel: +65 6223 4258 Fax: +65 6223 3147 Distributed by Pansing Distribution Pte Ltd. Printed in Singapore by Stamford Press Pte Ltd, Co. Reg. No. 196300196M Bold Ink Magazines Pte Ltd, Co. Reg. No. 201202104C MCI (P) 018/02/2013 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the written permission of the publisher. The views and opinions expressed or implied in RUN Singapore are those of the authors or contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers and advisory board.
RUNNING ESSENTIALS The latest gear and gizmos to make your runs more effective and enjoyable
14 HIT THE DIRT: A TRAIL SPECIAL Detour and venture into the wild with these essential gear and accessories to make sure you are well-prepared for off-road rigours.
PHOTO: DEPOSITPHOTOS/ DIDIER WUTHRICH
26 RUNNERSâ€™ MARKET A roundup on the latest shoes, apparel and accessories to make you look good and run well.
VIVOBAREFOOT SPECIAL RUNNING ESSENTIALS
BARE YOUR SOLE! Less is definitely more with barefoot running!
Through the years, humans have adapted to the heel striking gait when running, due to long term walking and running on shoes with soft midsoles and a large heel lift (12 to 22mm). Such a running style can be debilitating to the lower muscles of oneâ€™s legs due to the repetitive shock of the heels pounding the ground, and may lead to long term injuries to the heels, shins and knees. With this issue in mind, a new movement in running was born â€“ barefoot running, with emphasis on landing with your fore/mid foot. With such a movement, came along the pioneers of the barefoot running shoe led by Terra Plana back in 2004, when they launched Vivobarefoot, the first ever barefoot running shoe with a patented, ultra thin puncture resistant sole that offers maximum sensory feedback and maximum protection. But why barefoot running? One great benefit in adopting this running gait would be the strengthening of muscles in your feet as compared to conventional running shoes. In fact, scientific studies show that it is more efficient to run with shoes that are thinner, lighter and more flexible, as these shoes replicate the feeling of running barefooted, providing more feedback from the ground and thus making one more efficient when running. But how does a serial heel striker transition from a pair of cushiony conventional running shoes to a pair of barefoot ones, having been dependent on them for the comfort they provide through the years?
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GET NEW SHOES
To get the full benefits of barefoot running, look for shoes with these key characteristics. First, the shoes should be lightweight, low to the ground with zero-drop from heel to toe. A punctureresistant sole that is less than 7mm thick, and nearly no cushioning so that the person wearing the shoes can get maximum sensory feedback from his/her feet. No cushioning also permits the sole to be flexible, which allows the joints in the foot to stretch and reach a full range of motion. Vivobarefoot has quite a range of shoes to suit your every need, with a sole for every terrain. Even if you are an experienced runner who is used to running in lightweight shoes, caution should be taken when transitioning to barefoot running shoes, as they are designed differently. As mentioned above, such shoes have little to zero cushioning, which sets it apart from even the lightest of conventional shoes you used to run in. Also, you are bound to engage muscles in your feet, lower legs and core differently than you are used to, as you will be forced to land on your heel less and more with your fore/mid foot. As such, this will require a period of adjustment, as your muscles will definitely feel sore in the initial stages due to years of neglect when you were actively landing with your heels.
Running with a fore/mid foot gait requires more strength in your calves in your feet than heel striking because these muscles must contract eccentrically to ease the heel onto the ground following the landing. Beginners will generally experience aches and very stiff, sore calf muscles. In addition, the Achilles tendon often gets very stiff. This is normal and
ILLUSTRATIONS: BRYAN CHRISTIE
TRANSITION TO SKILLFUL, INJURY-FREE RUNNING Inexperienced Jogger High Injury Rate
Beginner Barefoot Runner High Injury Rate
eventually goes away, but here are some things you can do to make the transition successful: • Start by walking around barefoot frequently. • No more than 500 metres to a kilometre every other day for the first week. • As a general guide, increase your distance by no more than 10% per week. If your muscles remain sore, do not increase your training. Take an extra day off or maintain your distance for another week. • Stop and let your body heal if you experience pain. Sore, tired muscles are normal, but bone, joint, or soft-tissue pain is a signal of injury.
Experienced Barefoot Runner Injury Free
• Be patient and build gradually. It takes months to make the transition. • It is essential to stretch your calves and hamstrings carefully and regularly as you make the transition. Massage your calf muscles and arches frequently to break down scar tissue. This will help your muscles to heal and get stronger. The great thing about barefoot running is that your body will tell you when to stop, and this is vital to your health physiologically. One can wear thick cushioned shoes and just keep going without realising that damage is being dealt to the body. The beauty of barefoot running is that there will be warning signs that it is time to call it a day, such as tight calf muscles, which is usually the first sign.
In fact, scientific studies show that it is more efficient to run with shoes that are thinner, lighter and more flexible... OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013
VIVOBAREFOOT VIVOBAREFOOT SPECIAL SPECIAL RUNNING ESSENTIALS
The Breatho Trail offers excellent grip from the shoe’s multi-directional lugs as well as offer great feedback from the puncture resistant sole.
Once you establish a distance or time that you know you can run without any pain or discomfort, stay at this distance or time for approximately two weeks just to get the hang of it. In the meantime, try to walk around barefoot as much as possible, as this would help strengthen your muscles. Also note that, each individual is different physiologically, so go at your own pace and not shoot off the blocks just because you see your friend doing it.
VIVOBAREFOOT BREATHO TRAIL
The Breatho Trail is a barefoot trail running shoe created by Vivobarefoot. Like other Vivobarefoot products, the Breatho features a zero-drop profile and a wide toe box that allows your
feet and toes to bend freely and naturally within the shoe, and at the same time get excellent grip from the shoe’s multi-directional lugs. There is also great feedback from the punctureresistant sole. The Breatho Trail also requires little break in, with nary a hot spot or any other anatomical problems that most shoes might present when brand new. With its lightweight design and cooling breathability due to the shoe’s mesh, the Breatho Trail offers great comfort, which is advantageous considering the tropical climate of Singapore. Strategically placed side panels and toe protection also help protect the feet against the harsh terrain of a trail route.
Vivobarefoot is available at
OTHER VIVOBAREFOOT FAVOURITES
Evo Lite (Multi-Terrain)
Stealth (On Road)
Ultra Pure (Amphibious)
• A L L B AG S S TO R E Harbour front Centre #02-67, Jurong Point Shopping Centre #02-31 • ADVENTURE 21 The Central #03-55 • FEDER SPORTS Peninsula Plaza #02-53, People's Park Complex #02-42 • OUTDOOR LIFE Novena Square #02-60/67, Wheelock Place #02-18 • RUNNING LAB Funan Digitalife Mall #02-31, Katong I12 #02-02, Novena #01-47 • SUMMIT SPORTS Centrepoint #03-07A/8 • SALAM & SONS Queensway Shopping Centre #01-19 • SPORTS ELEMENTS Square 2 #01-78 Distributor: GREEN PASTURE PTE LTD Tel: 6580 6767 www.green-pasture.com
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 2013
RUNNING · TRIATHLON · BIKE · TEAMSPORTS · WINTERSPORTS · OUTDOOR · FITNESS · GOLF
CALF ZONE Improved recovery & performance thanks to an ergonomic compression profile FOOT ZONE Accurate footwork thanks to stabilizing compression
High-End Quality · High-Tech Function · Unique Effect MADE IN GERMANY cepsports.com SINGAPORE CEP Compression Sportswear, #07-07A Parkway Parade • Proprius Medical, 41 Cambridge Road • Athlete‘s Circle, 27 Boon Tat Street • BIGsplash Running Club, 902 East Coast Parkway • Bikes N Bites, E-centre@Redhill MALAYSIA Athlete‘s Circle, KL • Performance Sportz, Kota Kinabalu • Revolution Run Co, Kuching BRUNEI Mc Quipp, Bandar Seri Begawan (opp Times Square Shopping Complex)
FOR THE TRAIL If tarmac pounding is getting a tad boring, you might want to spice things up with an excursion off-road and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. But make sure you are properly attired to fully enjoy the experience and avoid injury. Text Keegan Gan
rail running has become increasingly popular with runners these days, as it is a multi-sensory experience, and one would definitely enjoy the run a bit more with the fresh air and greenery rather than the usual road running routine that causes one to inhale exhaust fumes and other air pollutants. Also, there are all sorts of sights, sounds, and wildlife, so watch where you place your feet and try not to get yourself chased by a troop of angry macaques, yup trail running is that fun!
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Apart from deviating from the usual boring routine of the road, there are benefits in trail running. The most notable benefit would actually be the reduction of stress from the impact that hard tarmac and concrete has on your joints and muscles. With trail running, some of the injurious forces that would normally be transmitted from the pavement up to the ankles, knees, shins and hips are dissipated when the foot hits the softer ground on the trails.
RUNNING ESSENTIALS TRAIL RUNNING IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM ROAD RUNNING, ONE SHOULD TRAIN DIFFERENTLY IN ORDER TO ACCLIMATISE THEMSELVES TO THE RIGOURS OF TRAIL RUNNING. FOR ANYONE NEW TO THIS FORM OF RUNNING, HE OR SHE SHOULD ALWAYS START SLOW, AS THE MUSCLES WILL NEED TIME TO GET USED TO NEW MOVEMENTS.
Moreover, the uneven terrain provides additional strength and agility training as you try to keep yourself upright and stable while avoiding obstacles such as tree roots, rocks, small streams or even a squirrel dashing across your path. With some nifty footwork required, your core muscles and the lesser used muscles in your feet and legs are now fully utilised due to constant adjustments of your stride length and due to the uncertainty of where your feet would land as the terrain is not even as compared to the repetitive use of the same muscle groups when you run on a smooth paved road.
As the discipline of trail running is completely different from road running, one should train differently in order to acclimatise themselves to the rigours of trail running. Just like minimalist running, for anyone new to this form of running, he or she should always start slow, as the muscles will need time to get used to new movements. Another thing to watch out for, when running off-road would be the possibility of injuring yourself should you trip and fall due to uneven terrain. As such, you should invest in a good pair of all-weather trail shoes as the grip offered is comparatively more superior to road shoes and will provide better traction in wet and slippery conditions. And if youâ€™re running longer distances that might potentially take longer than usual compared to the same distance on road, it will be good to stay hydrated always by carrying a small hydration pack as well as some food and energy gel in a waist pack.
LOCATIONS & RACES
So where are the places to do trail running in Singapore? In such an urbanised setting like Singapore, the places are few and far between, with some notable ones being the MacRitchie Reservoir, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, The Green Corridor, which is the former railway line that once connected Singapore to Malaysia and the Kranji Countryside. If you are up for a race, there are some local/regional off-road events that might interest you, such as the Salomon X-Trail Run, Energizer Singapore Night race, The North Face 100, the Green Corridor Run and the Kranji Countryside Run.
FOOTWEAR There are certain necessities for trail running. Wearing the right trail shoes is one of them. A pair can make a difference between running the whole course unscathed or suffer cuts and bruises, due to the rough terrain should you slip and fall due to the wrong choice of footwear. Road shoes work fine for short runs, but for trail running, a pair of shoes with deeply grooved grippy treads and lugs as well as a stronger, protective sole offers far greater stability than most road shoes.
Cascadia 8 The Cascadia 8 was designed from ground up and engineered to adapt to the terrain’s surface and your foot. So versatile and durable is this shoe, one can really go the distance by running in an ultramarathon with it. The shoe’s BioMoGo DNA midsole provides smooth transitioning with each and every step while the Caterpillar Crash Pad on the sides help smoothen the heel-to-toe movement. The suede geometric pattern also provides the feet with a snug fit.
Breatho Trail Tackling all forms of tough terrain, the lightweight Breatho Trail with its off-road outsole that is designed with multidirectional lugs helps maximise grip for stability and traction. The shoe also comes with a puncture-resistant layer that maximises protection while being ultrathin to maximise proprioception. The zigzag, lace-lock helps keep your feet secure, while the anatomic toe box and zero-drop profile allow your toes to splay and the feet to flex.
Priced at S$179 and available at KEY POWER SPORTS stores.
Priced at S$159 and available at THE RUNNING LAB stores.
ON Cloudrunner The high-performance On Cloudrunner running shoe comes with all the features you ever want in a pair of kicks, and can hold its ground well on its own even during long, endurance runs that span across numerous terrain types – trail included. Bulkier runners or those with weaker knees will find this shoe a willing companion for high-mileage training as well as the next ultra marathon be it tarmac or trail, as the shoe’s sole absorbs both vertical and horizontal forces to ensure a soft landing. Priced at S$269 and available at ATHLETE’S CIRCLE store.
SKECHERS GObionic Trail The GObionic Trail is the latest model from Skechers’ GObionic line. A bona fide minimalist running shoe, the GObionic Trail provides the wearer with an almost zero heel-to-toe drop featuring a new Resagrip outsole with multi-directional traction for control over uneven surfaces. The shoe also features comfortable cushioning that keeps the wearer going, due to its lightness and comfort, and thus also fares well on tarmac. The GObionic Trail is a versatile shoe that can be worn as a daily runner or on race day. Priced from S$149 and available at all SKECHERS CONCEPT stores.
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ADIDAS Kanadia 5 Trail The adidas Kanadia 5 is an updated, agile trail running shoe with mud-shedding lugs, a breathable air mesh upper, durable synthetic overlays and an incredible TRAXION outsole. adidas' best yet, it features a grippy shank and adiWEAR durability, in addition to adiPRENE, which provides protection from harmful impact forces. An injected EVA midsole provides longterm, lightweight cushioning and an anatomicallyengineered EVA insole for maximum comfort. Priced at S$119 and available at all adidas stores.
THE NORTH FACE Double-Track Guide The North Face Double-Track Guide features a chafe-free seamless upper with mesh for reduced chafing and allowing your foot to breathe. On the move, comfortable EVA Northotic footbed rests atop the Cradle Guide dual-density midsole to gently correct over-pronation and enhance your natural stride while abrasion-resistant rubber pods are strategically placed across the soles for additional traction. Priced at S$186 and available at all OUTDOOR VENTURE stores.
Proterra Sport Low to the ground with a 4mm drop, light due to its Stratafuse technology-enhanced supportive foot cage and stable with reversed, diamond-cut 2.5mm lugs, the minimalist Merrell Men's Proterra Sport shoe gives your fast feet sure-footed flight. The shoe also features a breathable mesh upper, 10mm cushioning for great comfort, bomber construction and a stickyrubber sole for great grip even on slick surfaces. Priced at S$139 and available at all ROYAL SPORTING HOUSE stores.
VIBRAM FIVEFINGERS KSO Trek Sport Optimised for outdoor performance, the KSO Trek Sport builds on the success and versatility of the KSO and KSO Trek. The KSO Trek Sport is designed with rugged, high-performance materials to help maximise your outdoor experience. The upper is made with an abrasion-resistant Coconut Active Carbon for natural breathability, 4mm EVA midsole for plating protection and a lightly cleated 4mm Vibram performance rubber outsole for extra traction on a variety of terrain. Priced at S$179 and available at TAKASHIMAYA L4 SPORTS and THE RUNNING LAB stores.
Trailroc 245 The Trailroc 245 employs the groundbreaking Tri-C outsole and third generation Meta-Shank. The Tri-C comprises of three different rubber compounds varying in hardness to give optimal wear and maximum grip on dry and loose trails. Like the other Inov-8 shoes, this model offers the same industry-leading grip and underfoot protection. The key highlight of this model is its minimal 3mm drop and stripped back upper, making it an extremely lightweight natural trail runner at 245g. Priced at S$218 For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SALOMON XR Mission Light, stable, highly cushioned, and with outstanding grip on all surfaces, the Salomon XR Mission provides a comfortable running experience. Utilising Salomon's Sensifit and Sensiflex technologies, this flexible training shoe easily transitions from road to trail and is perfect for middle distance runs. The shoe also features a breathable mesh upper and delivers optimal traction due to its tough Contagrip outsole. Priced at S$159 and available at all WORLD OF SPORTS stores.
PICK THE RIGHT TRAIL SHOE
A good trail-running shoe offers light weight construction, grip and traction, while an excellent trail-running shoe offers the same features, but over all types of terrain and under all-weather conditions. Here are some things to look out for when buying a pair of trail shoes:
Performance The shoes must effectively transfer the runner's propulsive force to the ground, with minimum energy loss during each stride. Protection To have effective cushioning to protect the arch against the irregularities of the terrain and to reduce the detrimental effects of the constant impact on the muscular and skeletal systems. Comfort To have precise distribution of the pressure impacting on the foot, achieved through a sole profile adapted to the terrain and the race.
Minimus 10v2 Trail
The Minimus 10v2 Trail is engineered to provide the perfect balance of lightweight protection, flexibility and versatility. Minute changes have been made to the shoes, with the rubber forefoot band being replaced by a more traditional synthetic, the addition of NuFoam to enable the transverse arch the freedom to expand while also providing enough support to ensure a secure forefoot feel as well as a reduction in overall weight and an increase in flexibility. Priced at S$155 and available at all NEW BALANCE stores.
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Uphill The shoes must offer flexibility and traction. Downhill Cushioning and grip are vital, especially when you are gaining speed due to gravitational pull. Flat Terrain Easy to minimal ‘rolling’ of the shoe with the foot prevents ankle injuries.
Rain Just like downhill, the shoes must provide grip and also ‘cleaning’ (effective water dispersion). Dry Cushioning and flexibility for the comfort of your feet.
TRAIL APPAREL For trail running, your choice of apparel is basically the same as what you wear for running on roads. But as a rule of thumb, always choose something comfortable and functional; something that is easily washed and not susceptible to snagging from shrubs and branches. It also helps if it can protect you against the elements here in tropical Singapore, where it can be hot and humid one moment, and cold and windy the next when it rains all of a sudden; this is especially true in the Central Catchment area where the MacRitchie Reservoir trail route is situated at.
PUMA ACTV Kinesio Men's Compression Long Sleeve Top The Puma Men's ACTV Kinesio Compression Long Sleeve Top is engineered for high performance. It fuses the benefits of compression with those of strategically placed athletic tape to ensure maximum performance. Priced at S$119 and available at all PUMA stores.
Super Mica Jacket At less than 260 grams, this waterproof jacket is the top pick for people looking to save weight. The Marmot MemBrain Strata helps to keep one dry even in a storm without feeling clammy as the fabric allows sweaty moisture to escape fast enough. Priced at S$300 and available at CAMPERS' CORNER store.
Fast Wing Hoodie The Salomon Fast Wing Hoodie is featherweight, breathable and acts as a shield against the bitter wind and light rain. This hoodie features a full front zipper with upper snap for temperature control and an invisible chest zipper pocket for storage. Priced at S$189 and available at all WORLD OF SPORTS stores.
Exowings Twinskin Shorts Run easier, longer and recover better with the Exowings Twinskin shorts from Salomon as they combine EXO muscle support and compression with a lightweight outer shell and single layer between thighs to avoid chafing. Priced at S$179 and available at all WORLD OF SPORTS stores.
THE NORTH FACE
Better Than Naked Singlet
This unbelievably lightweight and fully breathable running tank features a seamless construction to reduce chafing. FlashDry technology accelerates drying time and regulates body temperature despite prolonged exposure to the elements. Priced at S$66 and available at THE RUNNING LAB stores.
ADIDAS Response Long Tights These running tights keep you sweat-free, carry your music, and are easy-on and off. The women's adidas Response 3-Stripes Long Tights are made with CLIMALITE fabric for comfortable and breathable wear. Priced at S$75 and available at all adidas stores.
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TRAIL ACCESSORIES Apart from the right shoes, you might also want to bring the right stuff out on a trail run; as such items will serve you well out in the ‘wild’. Items such as hydration packs are essential, unless you prefer the au naturel way of drinking from the forest streams of MacRitchie Reservoir’s trail. An insect repellent would help ward off mosquitoes while a GPS watch would be handy in getting you out, should you find yourself going around in circles in a forested area in the evening – alone...
NATHAN HUMAN PROPULSION LABORATORIES
#020 Hydration Vest
The Nathan Human Propulsion Laboratories (HPL) #020 Race hydration vest features an insulated reservoir compartment that zips open and provides quick, easy access to a two-litre reservoir to keep you hydrated at all times. Priced at S$130 and available at all KEY POWER SPORTS stores.
Recovery Compression Socks The Recovery Compression Socks from 2XU helps blood circulate better for faster flushing of lactates and improved oxygen circulation. The socks also help heighten proprioception and are designed for long periods of wear during travel or recovery. Price unavailable, available at all KEY POWER SPORTS stores.
Oakley True Digital lenses are high performance high-wrap lenses uniquely designed for athletes and sports enthusiasts to address the issue of blurring and distortion in the wearer’s peripheral vision due to traditional lenses. Priced from S$1,099 and available at INTEGRATED EYECARE CENTRE store.
The RCX5 training computer is a versatile and durable sports watch for any sporting activity. Unique sports profiles guarantee a swift and easy switch between sports, while the ZoneOptimizer coaches you to train at the right intensity, improving performance with downloadable endurance training programs. The unit provides heart rate information with a comfortable hybrid transmitter, and a Race Pace function helps you cross the finish line in time. Priced at S$619 For more info: www.polar.com/sg-en.
COLUMBIA Singletrak No matter where you are, Columbiaâ€™s Singletrak makes sure you are found if you are lost as its unique Trakbak technology detects even the slightest shift in compass coordinate. With a selection of features including temperature, multiple countdown timers and water resistance to 100 metres, this wrist instrument is a lifesaver.
With superior mechanical durability, reliable altitude measurement and water resistance, the Suunto Ambit2 is a GPS watch packed with numerous features such as a 3D compass, Heart Rate Monitor and Barometric Altimeter, making it an excellent watch for trail running. Priced from S$1,009-S$1,109 and available at all authorised SUUNTO stores.
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Priced at S$212.90 and available at all COLUMBIA SPORTS WEAR stores.
The UltrAspire Surge is ideal for running, biking or any activity where hands need to be free and gear needs to be handy. The Hydration compartment holds a two-litre reservoir. The fabric is soft, lightweight and breathable, while the contoured shape is comfortable and stable. It weighs only 304g, likely the lightest pack available and equipped with features including plenty of room for essentials, outer stash compartment, dual front pockets and top zippered pocket. Priced at S$158 For more info: email@example.com.
THE NORTH FACE
Torrent 8 Pack
Unless you like drinking from streams, bringing your own water along is a must. For the longer trail runs, a hydration vest such as the Torrent 8 Pack is recommended. The Torrent 8 Pack is a mid-sized hydration pack perfect for a half day on the trail and has enough space to carry your essentials and more. Priced at S$186 and available at all RUNNING LAB stores.
The adidas Media Belt will help keep monotony at bay as it houses your media player or mobile securely with you while you are running. The front features a zip pocket with an earphone exit while the back is ventilated with mesh for comfort. The belt also comes with reflective details for safety in low light.
XR Energy Belt The Salomon XR Energy Belt is a lightweight trail running belt with Salomonâ€™s proprietary stretch sensi-belt to help safely secure your smaller items such as your keys, wallet, energy gels as well as hold two 200ml flasks during training runs or races.
Priced at S$25 and available at all adidas stores.
Priced at S$79 and available at all WORLD OF SPORTS stores.
RUNNING ESSENTIALS DENON AH-W150 The Denon Exercise Freak Headphones feature an integrated amplifier and are professionally tuned to provide heart-pounding bass to energise your runs, no matter what your power song is. These headphones feature a sevenhour rechargeable battery and provide audio alerts for low battery status and operation feedback. Priced at S$199 and available at all COURTS stores.
Blister Bomber is a liquid dab-on device which applies an invisible coating to the skin to minimise or eliminate friction that causes blisters, chafing and irritation. It comes in a bottled applicator which can be applied to cover commonly chaffed spots between the arms and sides of the body, between upper thighs, and top of the toes, etc. Priced at S$16.90 For more info: www.FitnessTwo.com.
Bringing long-lasting mosquito protection from natural essences, the Para'Kito natural refillable wristband is an easy-to-wear and stylish wristband that is available in a range of colours. All you have to do is just insert an active pellet into the wristband and enjoy protection from mosquitoes. Priced at S$26.80 and available at WATSONâ€™S and COLD STORAGE stores.
KINETICA ENERGY GEL
Kinetica gels can be bought in super convenient 60ml single serve, tear-top sachets. Featuring a classic energy gel and fuel gel with added amino acids they are designed for use during exercise to replenish energy quickly and to stimulate improved performance. Priced at S$3.50 For more info: www.magnumnutraceuticals.com.
VIBRAM FIVEFINGERS SPECIAL
TRANSITIONING INTO VIBRAM FIVEFINGERS Vibram FiveFingers offers the next best thing to going barefoot.
So you have decided to revert to the ways of our bipedal ancestors, with the hopes of running in a more natural gait by going barefoot. The problem is, our surroundings are no longer lush and green as they once were due to urbanisation, as such your feet need to be protected, hence your decision to purchase a pair of Vibram FiveFingers. Now, before you start taking off like a lark, you would need to go barefoot first just to get the hang of it, as well as build stronger feet to diminish your risks of injuries. Vibram FiveFingers are a lot of fun, but you would also need to understand that more haste equates to less speed, because if you don’t learn to go slow in the beginning and let your feet acclimatise to minimalist running, you would then experience muscle aches due to your weakened muscles, tendons, and ligaments, as your feet have adapted to cushioned shoes through the years; in short you would need to relearn the art of running barefooted and awaken the other leg muscles that you have seldom used in the past due to a wrong running gait.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO GET YOURSELF ACCUSTOMED TO YOUR NEW VIBRAMS:
Start with minimal mileage – your feet will definitely feel weird and uncomfortable at the beginning but it’s ok. On the move, you will use muscles that you have rarely used in the past, muscles found within your feet and lower calves, so take it easy by walking around the house in them. Once you get the hang of it, start by going on walks at the park and a few days later jog short distances in them. If you start off with a 10km run, you’ll be in for a treat, as your feet and lower calves will be very sore the next day due to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), so take it slow. Change Your Running Form – When you make the switch from regular cushioned runners to Vibram FiveFingers, your running form will have to change as well if you want to have a pain free transition. With regular running shoes, the cushioning under your heel encourages you to pound the tarmac with your heels rather than a more natural mid to forefoot stride. Being minimalist shoes, Vibram FiveFingers have barely any padding, so if you pound on
your heels, it is going to hurt real bad. So adjust your running form and try to land on the middle or the front of your feet as much as possible and with practice, you will eventually perfect the mid to forefoot strike. Running in Vibram FiveFingers will definitely make one feel like a kid all over again as they are so much fun. But just don’t go running too far in them just yet if you are new to minimalist running and follow the advice as prescribed above. Eventually you will build the strongest, healthiest, happiest feet in the world, capable of kilometre after kilometre of near effortless enjoyment, fast and free in or out of your Vibram FiveFingers. Have fun and live life running barefooted!
VIBRAM FIVEFINGERS SPYRIDON
A great minimalist shoe for trail running or light trekking, the Spyridon provides the perfect balance between ‘foot feel’ and protection on rugged surfaces, so you can be assured that the Spyridon has what it takes to navigate most terrains. With a tough 3.5 mm Vibram rubber sole facilitating proper barefoot dynamics, the shoe provides impact protection from stone and debris due to its 3D Cocoon technology, with its aggressive multidirectional tread design delivering sure-footed grip. Furthermore, the Spyridon’s midsole feature a moulded nylon mesh that is made from 34% postindustrial coconut fibre, making the shoes light and porous, and with securely fastened, adjustable hook-and-loop closure and reflective applications, you will be safe and secure, even when running at night. VIBRAM FIVEFINGERS is made available at Takashimaya Level 4 Sports, Outdoor Life. For full list of retailers visit www.innovatez.com
RUNNERS' MARKET SERIOUS HYDRATION The North Face Torrent Hydration 12 gives you nine litres of room to organise your hydration (2 litres of it) and your gear. Its new reservoir prevents water sloshing and increases ventillation. It has a vented back panel for more airflow and a front slash panel for more storage, and incorporates front helmet and integrated trekking pole bungee system for lashing gear to it. Priced at S$226, the new North Face Torrent Hydration 12 is available at all Running Lab stores.
RUN WITH ENERGY Newton Running, a brand known for performance running shoes that actively support and strengthen natural running motion, has unveiled the new Energy NR. Designed to facilitate a seamless transition from more conventional running shoe brands into the Newton line, it includes a version of Newton’s Action/Reaction technology in the forefoot. Originally offered in Newton’s MV2 racing shoes, the more streamlined design employs five low-profile forefoot lugs to provide impact-zone cushioning and a smooth, stable ride. The lightweight, breathable mesh upper has a roomy toebox that provides ample room for the toes to splay, while midfoot overlays ensure a secure fit. What’s more, the Energy NR weighs just 255g for men and 198g for women. Priced at S$189, the new Newton NR is available at all Key Power International stores.
DON'T RUN ON EMPTY Camelbak has your hydration needs covered with the Podium Arc Belt. Whether you are running a 10km race on the road or taking on a mountainous trail, you need ample hydration for your body to stay in optimised condition. Just click in the number of Podium Arc Bottles on the belt, and you’re good to go. Podium Arc Belt is priced at S$99. For more information, visit www.pinnacleadv.com
NATURE AMPLIFIED Nike unveils two new running innovations designed to enhance runners' natural abilities. Runners can now reap the benefits of natural motion found in Nike Free and the supportive, second-skin fit of Nike Flyknit in a single shoe. The Nike Free Flyknit unites two of Nike's most innovative and popular technologies to deliver barefootlike flexibility and a compression fit that locks the foot in place, providing a snug, supportive fit in a single shoe. Nike's popular Dri-FIT technology expands into new fabrications and apparel designs to serve performance, fit and comfort needs in a variety of conditions. The result is Nike Dri-FIT Knit, an ultra-soft, lightweight fabric incorporating visibly different knit patterns to provide stretch and optimal cooling benefits. An open texture on the sides of garments provides breathability in key sweat zones, and seamless construction ensures a smooth fit free of distraction. The Nike Free Flyknit shoe is priced at S$259 while the Dri-FIT Knit apparel are priced from S$69.
FAST FOUR-WARD We may not run as fast as Usain Bolt but Puma says it can help propel runners forward with their four new running shoe offerings: To maximise energy and proficiency, Puma has designed the Mobium Elite shoe. It adapts to your natural running movement. How? The sculpted arch mimics your foot’s natural expansion and contraction while the Windlass Chassis changes in length, height, and proportion with your foot. The Mobium Band mimics the foot’s tendon: the more force applied, the more spring it returns. It is also enhanced with reflective, glow-in-the-dark and fluo features that ensure visibility to keep you protected while you run, whether it be during the day, night or low light conditions. Another new model is the Faas 600 Glow which Puma built for the slightly more traditional stability runner who heel-strikes. It features an 8mm heel-to-toe drop which encourages runners to midfoot- strike. It is equipped with FaasFoam+, Puma’s new proprietary blend of foam and rubber, that is more resilient, has increased step-in-comfort, has a more springy feel and is 25 percent lighter.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT They used to say you are what you eat. Now, research shows that certain nutrients are more effective in combination. That's the latest science that 2: 1 : 1 Recovery is based on. Hydrolysed whey, micellar casein and egg albumen proteins first give immediate and sustained amino acid delivery for repair and rebuilding, then the precise ratio of simple sugars and rapidly-digesting carbs helps refuel and replenish muscles that are pushed hard. An additional 5 grams of BCA As in the scientifically proven 2: 1 : 1 ratio of Leucine to Isoleucine to Valine stimulates muscle protein synthesis. If you're a serious runner, that optimum blend of carbs and proteins will be your secret weapon. 2: 1 : 1 Recovery retails for S$59 and available at all GNC stores.
The Faas 300 v2 Glow, on the other hand has a lightweight and technical design that will perfectly suit the runner looking for a functional lightweight trainer or racing shoe. Finally, Puma’s BioWeb Elite is engineered to deliver maximum cushioning and stability by wrapping the foot with an innovative cage design. It offers lightweight and flexible support that doesn’t compromise durability. WebTech, a flexible TPU heel wrap, provides impact protection and cushioning. Priced from S$119 - S$199, the above new models are available at PUMA stores and authorised dealers.
WONDER TAPE The application of elastic and therapeutic tape has become a common practice among runners, sportsmen and athletes, professionals and amateurs alike. It is commonly used for pain management, prevention of injury and supporting recovery. Acti-Tape offers those benefits, as well as alleviate common runners’ woes: knee pain, thigh and calf muscle stiffness, ankle injuries or pain in the hamstrings. What’s more, it comes in a variety of colours to add more fun to your training or workout. There are many ways to use Acti-Tape effectively for completely different conditions. Check out www.acti-tape.com for over 60 applications. One does not have to be an expert to use it. Acti-Tape is now available in Watsons, leading sports shops and pharmacies.
RUNNING ESSENTIALS FACTS & FIGURES TLC FOR YOUR RUNNING BUDDY Good running shoes are every runner’s best friend. Come rain or shine, heavy pounding or a stroll in the park, it’s there supporting you. It’s about time you give it some tender lovin’ care. Here are a few tips to ensure your best buddy is in tip-top condition: Air them out after every run. Loosen the laces, remove the insoles and allow your shoes to dry in the fresh open air. This is a must for those runners who run without socks, have sweaty feet, or run in the rain. The insoles often are the smelliest part. You can sprinkle a reasonable amount of baking soda underneath removable insoles to counter the odor. If airing them out does not seem to help, do buy a replacement pair of insoles.
A SHOE-IN Ever had that run where your feet blistered? Or maybe had a broken toe nail after your usual afternoon run? If you have, that’s because you might be wearing the wrong kind of shoe. Here are three factors often overlooked when buying a shoe: Know the kind of terrain you will be running on. Will it be on concrete, asphalt, grass or rubberised track? Will you be running off-road and onto muddy trails? Each terrain requires a different shoe for you to wear; not to mention, there are different shoes for training and running a race;
Dry your wet shoes properly. Fresh open air or a cool dry place will do. Do not place shoes under direct sunlight though for more than an hour as it will cause colours to fade. It is also a no-no to put your shoes under direct heat such as a radiator or dryer. Heat dries out the leather, melt the glue, and weaken the treaded materials in the outsole. To speed up the drying process, insert crumpledup newspaper inside the shoes. Take them on and off properly. When in a rush, avoid the temptation of not loosening the laces before wearing or removing them. Do not machine wash. Use soft brush (an old toothbrush will be perfect), mild soap, and cool tap water when cleaning your running shoes. Leave it then to air dry. Alternate shoes. Do you run almost every day? Get another pair of running shoes that you can alternately use. This should allow each pair to decompress and dry out. Best for running. To prolong the life and maximise the support and comfort you get out of your running shoes, try not to use them for other sports. When running around town on errands, you can use your worn out running shoes.
Find out your intended distance. 5 to 10km usually just needs very slight cushioning. A lighter shoe will definitely make you go faster. But when the run distances reach 20km or more, you will need more cushioning;
Are your feet prone to blistering?
Determine your foot type. Are you a neutral runner, an under-pronator or an over- pronator? This is one of the most important considerations to make when buying a running shoe so that you don’t injure yourself. You can go to shoe stores that can assess your running style, gait and pronation;
Blistering may not be as dramatic or serious as an injury, but they are nonetheless as disappointing. A simple blister can dampen your race performance or training. The right shoe fit, proper socks, and shoe inserts definitely help prevent blisters, but one uncomplicated and unassuming salve is petroleum jelly or any water-based lubricants. Yes, your ordinary petroleum jelly applied generously on spots that are prone to blister can spell the difference.
The right fit is essential for your running enjoyment and also to prevent injuries. Keep these tips in mind when buying your new kicks.
Whether you put on socks or not during a run, do apply petroleum jelly to help reduce friction. It is recommended that you reapply every 16km of mileage.
KEEP YOUR FEET HAPPY
Go the extra mile of protection by applying lanolin every night for a month before a run or race.
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT Indispensable advice from experts to help you run your best
30 THE TRAIL MIX From turnpike, puncheon to boardwalk, we demystify the different features the trail has to offer so you know how to deal with them. 34 READY FOR THE WILD If you are planning to run off the beaten track, here are some preparations you need to do to fully enjoy the experience.
PHOTO: DEPOSITPHOTO/VIKTOR CAP 2012
38 MARATHON GUIDE In our continuing series, experts dish out their most important advice and tips to ensure a strong finish at your next full marathon.
46 LEARN FROM THE PAST Many aspects of the modern running industry can be partly attributed to the golden era of the 1950s and the luminaries of athletic coaching of the time. 48 ASK THE EXPERTS Our panel of specialists answers readersâ€™ burning questions on health and running.
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT
TRAILS DEMYSTIFIED Channel your inner caveman, and let yourself run wild in natureâ€™s exciting features. Text Asha Macam-Velasco
t may sound surprising that trail running was only recently popularised in the 1990s, due in part to shoe marketing and advertising companies, looking to push their brands and expand their lines. The truth is, humans have been off-roaders, even barefoot runners for centuries. Our predecessors only had layers of fertile landscape, up until the invention of fancy wheeled transportation, which required a flatter, more even surface; enter concrete. Thankfully, not all are covered in hard cement. Trails still remain an integral part of our partly urbanised landscape, so that wildlife can thrive, and both runners and bikers can build serious skills and avert impact injuries from hard-road rolling and pounding.
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 2013
Before deciding to go off-road, it is crucial to understand what you will be running on. Choosing where to start will help you sustain the right footwork and endurance as you enjoy the great outdoors:
Designed to accommodate large fire trucks and four-wheeled lorries, this spaciously wide dirt road is generally used for access in the event of a bush or forest fire, hence the term, ‘fire road.’ This relatively flat terrain is typically composed of either loose or compact dirt—a great, easy venue for beginner trail runners and bikers alike.
One would easily find a fine ribbon of compact soil, peat or sand in a single track. This trail is just as thin as the width of a mountain bike, so it’s excellent for practising control and balance, as well as lateral footwork—side shuffles or cariocas. Single tracks are usually smooth and flowing, but there may be instances where one might encounter rocky and root-y sections so care should still be exercised.
Expand a single track to twice its typical width and you’ll get a double track. Because it spans a little more—about as wide as a tree— mountain bikers can now share this trail with runners comfortably working their arm swings. However, with the slightly afforded space, expect to run in on riders, hikers, horses and cattle.
“Birdie” or bird trails are essentially wide-enough driving roads linking prime bird lookouts. Here, asphalted roadways are often marked for site-specific stops, which also function as educational expanses on conservation and ecotourism. A bona fide bird trail is normally organised: well-equipped with accompanying maps and guides to various bird species local to the area, making for a wonderfully safe spot for families to do their runs.
Hardcore trail-ers very well know that obstacles are part and parcel of the fun that comes with being on a trail. Some of these naturally occurring hitches pose no threat, while others offer a real challenge, engaging a runner or biker’s inner Spartan. Here’s a closer encounter:
PHOTOS: DEPOSITPHOTOS/WARREN GOLDSWAIN, DAVID J SPURDENS
Have you ever run or skipped through large puddles during hard rains? Then you’ve practised on those exaggerated “high” steps to keep your feet and footwear dry. Honing those high strides or steps and adding a little lateral kick at the end of each foot drop to push excess water away is important as it is practical, whether you’re simply crossing puddles on the street, or avoiding a body of water that’s about four to six inches deep. On the trail, a runner will encounter at least two types of water crossings, and for both, he or she might need to own a walking stick. The first is a low water crossing that is relatively shallow like a stream with slow-moving currents with visible rocks, pebbles and a few thin tree roots to walk or step on. Here, your stride should be slightly high and light, and your stance minimally forward, so as not to slide or slip. The other is your deep or high-water crossing, which may be on a river with moderate or fast currents, and “drops” with larger and sharper rocks beneath, capable of cutting shoes, or god forbid—feet. One will really need to slow down here, or even seriously assess whether he or she needs to take a detour or find a log to hold on to whilst crossing. Sometimes, there would be puncheons over these more difficult crossings depending on how developed or “manicured” the trail is for seasonal obstacle or adventure races.
Do expect a real obstacle from a “drop.” This natural trail occurrence refers to a steep descent or downslope from a rocky elevated point or edge, often requiring a jump down to another rough landscape below. Are drops inevitable? Possibly. Find these “negative hurdles” where there are sharp slices or erosions on the terrain—in part to nature. Drops are useful at technical downhills in mountain biking and “Spartan” or “adventure” races where jumps, lateral quick steps in a semi-squat position are both honed and tested to their limits. If one is lucky, boardwalks are sometimes installed over these drops, which signals more traffic from hikers, horses and riders. On authentic trails, drops are handled differently and with care.
When you see a series of rocks sometimes covered in moss with grass and flowers alongside their rigid formations, then you’ve come across what landscapers and hikers refer to as a “rock garden.”
Adopting a “look before you leap” mindset is key. Do scan the landing area and run out. Study where the “ugly” bits or accident-prone areas are, and make sure to know where you’re exiting before you contemplate the run-in. If jumping in and down, absorb the impact of the drop by ensuring to hop with your seat back, knees bent and hands low to the ground. If striding over the dropout, apply more forefoot strike and a wider arm swing (as if going over a hurdle) as you make your high jump.
These solid rocks and/or large stones are either organically grouped together, or intentionally laid out to form steps that serve as “stairs” or a pathway, as they are naturally elevated in nature. During damp weather, runners step on rock gardens to avoid mushy pits, ruts and thick mud, however, these rocks can be slippery when blanketed in very moist moss and leaves (grass too). One must take extra precautions when hiking or running over wet rock gardens, remembering to step slowly and stay low to the ground with arms slightly abducted off hips and trunk for balance. If there’s a single track or a thin line of soil or grass alongside a rock garden, it might be better and safer for a runner to reroute to this portion. If the weather is dry, rock gardens are great for improving hill strength, agility and reaction work through lateral strides and high stepping over hard and uneven surfaces. As they are unstable by nature, expect them to also be rough and sharp, so it’s important to choose which ones to step on, making sure to take your time in traversing these tricky trail rocks.
TRAILS STILL REMAIN AN INTEGRAL PART OF OUR PARTLY URBANISED LANDSCAPE, SO THAT WILDLIFE CAN THRIVE, AND BOTH RUNNERS AND BIKERS CAN BUILD SERIOUS SKILLS AND AVERT IMPACT INJURIES FROM HARD-ROAD ROLLING AND POUNDING.
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT WOODWORK WONDERS
They may look decorative but they are impressively functional when you know how they truly operate to make the impassable, passable. Introducing, your versatile passageways:
Puncheons are employed where uneven, extremely muddy terrain or lack of tread material makes turnpike construction impractical. They normally consist of a deck or flooring made from sawn, treated timbre or native logs placed on stringers to elevate areas that are difficult to drain. A runner may or may not have the luxury of running space and stability (do watch out for gaps) on a puncheon, and if it happens to be a strung-up type (corduroy) that is suspended above a higher depth, consider it wise to tread carefully.
A typical trail turnpike is as wide as its tread: a retainer tree log, with side slopes or ditches for water to run down. Geosynthetic fabrics are placed under these retainer logs (the actual tread), which act as soil filters. The whole walkway is further reinforced with rocks, stumps and stobs. Turnpikes are pretty stable for running, especially ones layered with compact dirt, still, it’s safe to avoid doing speed work here as they might be slippery when wet.
A puncheon functions the same way as a turnpike, but requires less draining. This wooden walkway is used to bridge areas that are also above bogs, muskegs, small streams and boulder fields. Corduroy puncheons are most commonly seen, as these are normally built as quaint bridges in forests.
Nineteenth century European history has it that turnpikes acted as tollways so that main roads were “maintained” through toll payments made here. Today, main thoroughfare (road) turnpikes function the same way, but when found on trails, they work as elevated pathways above wet ground, creating a stable trail base in areas of high water and fair to well-drained soil.
Boardwalks are often made of wood planks laid out in a series. They’re originally created as walkways (also called oceanways) that look out to the ocean, so here you’ll find plenty of people that are walking, jogging or simply soaking up ocean breeze.
PHOTOS: DEPOSITPHOTOS/VAL THOERMER, JEROME LAVIGNE
Some boardwalks are also constructed as safe passageways over bogs and marshy wetlands where humidity is high and soil is expectedly moistened. Running on a boardwalk can be fun because of all the space, fresh air and nice view it extends. Treading on wood is also kind to knees. However, do be aware of how it is maintained, and also watch out for loose panels! An athletic trainer educated in the US, Asha has explored various trails like Mount Tamalpais, Mount Diablo, Lake Chabot, Silverado and other off-road areas in California, USA as well as in the Philippines.
TO GO OFF-ROAD, IT IS CRUCIAL TO UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WILL BE RUNNING ON. CHOOSING WHERE TO START WILL HELP YOU SUSTAIN THE RIGHT FOOTWORK AND ENDURANCE AS YOU ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT
TRAINING FOR THE TRAIL Running on trails not only gives your feet a break from pounding on the asphalt, the call of the wild offers a much needed escape from the din of the grey urban landscape. If you are planning to go off-road, here are some preparations and considerations you need to know to fully enjoy the experience. Text Shem Leong
o matter what level of runner you are, as long as you don’t suffer from chronic ankle, knee or back injuries, there is a trail out there with your name on it just waiting to be discovered.
Beginners should start with ‘easier’ trails of simple packed dirt or grass tracks to get a feel for the softer and less stable ground underfoot. The Green Corridor is a good place to start conditioning your knees and ankles for a bumpier ride. You would also be wise to aim for a conservative distance that you can complete with confidence. To the uninitiated, trail running is tough, and a shorter distance can feel like the equivalent of a longer run on the road. After a couple of trail sessions, don’t be surprised if you’re seeking out the more challenging undulating trails in the rock-and-root covered terrain of MacRitchie Reservoir.
The Route Will Set You Free
The beauty of running trails is that you’re surrounded by nature so stick with the programme and let the route dictate the run. Don’t worry about your pace or heart rate or stride rate or beating your previous best time, just let go and enjoy the crunch of gravel underfoot, the glorious sunbeams bursting through the canopy, the splash off a puddle on your calves, the sound of birdsong. Checking your ‘data’ every five seconds takes away from the whole experience of navigating the twists and turns and fallen tree trunks in the road. Without the distractions of ‘keeping to your heart rate training zone’ or ‘sticking to race pace’ you will quickly learn how to dial in your own perceived effort levels as you become acutely more aware of your rate of breathing and how your legs feel moving over the humps and bumps in the road. This is by far the most valuable and underrated (and for some, the most difficult) lesson to grasp for all runners.
Just because you’re running without gadgets, it doesn’t mean you can switch off. Trail running requires more concentration and attention to your stride because you need to decide where every single foot-strike is going to land in order to avoid a twisted ankle or worse. Make it a habit to stay alert every single step of the way – literally. Scan the ground ahead of you by casting your gaze about 15 to 20 metres ahead and track your eyes backwards (towards your feet) left to right continuously across your line of vision and look out for exactly where you are going to plant your next step.
Fit For Piste
PHOTO: DEPOSITPHOTOS/TYLER OLSON
You don’t need to be a super runner to enjoy the trails but the fitter and stronger you are, the more you will be able to enjoy the challenges of going off piste. Any form of structured training that makes you a better runner will carry over to making you a better off roader too. For example, a 20-minute programme of lunge and squat variations to build strength in yours quads and glutes performed twice a week will reap benefits across the board. However, there are some subtle differences between trail and road running that are worth mentioning and some specific tips to help you along: 1. Dodging roots and potholes, rocks and muddy puddles requires quick and reflexive lateral (side to side) micro adjustments to your standard pavement / treadmill running style. Multi-directional single leg hops are a great drill that will develop your ability to change directions quickly. They also strengthen the smaller supporting stabilising muscles and connective tissue around the ankle and knee joint which can take a beating when running on the rougher stuff. Start by hopping on one leg backwards and forwards for 20 to 30 seconds at a time, then progress to hopping in a “T” shape and finally hop on one leg in a square around a cone. Reverse directions and alternate legs.
2. Overcoming the little climbs on our local Singapore trails becomes easier if you’re able to put in some form of uphill running in the week. These are some of my favourite ways to throw some hills into the mix: • Short, hard hill sprint repeats can be done after an easy 30- to 60-minute run. Simply charge up a steep slope as hard as you can for 30 to 40 seconds and repeat 4 to 8 times. • Longer sustained uphill runs at moderate intensity can be done at Mt Faber/ Kent Ridge Park/ Rifle Range Road loops. Just plug into a steady moderate pace on the flat ground and work to maintain that pace all the way up the slope. Recover at an easier pace while descending. 3. Endurance junkies training for off-road ultra-marathons should do their long runs over two days back-to-back on consecutive days. This allows you an overnight recovery while still retaining the required mileage high. It reduces the risk of injury and leaves you fresher after the long run so that you are able to train more consistently. 4. Finally, there’s no better way to improve your trail running skills than to actually run on them. Experiment with using the trails creatively to mix the intensity of the runs. For example: • Measure out a 1 or 2km strip of trail and use this as an interval loop. For example 4 x 2km with 4-minute recovery after each one. This translates to a solid 8km run. Using the same stretch, you could also finish a long easy 10km run with a hard 2 x 2 km at the end. This teaches your body how to start conservative in order to finish strong. Instead of simply cruising your usual weekend long trail run you could run the second half as 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy to build strength.
TRAIL RUNNING REQUIRES MORE CONCENTRATION AND ATTENTION TO YOUR STRIDE BECAUSE YOU NEED TO DECIDE WHERE EVERY SINGLE FOOTSTRIKE IS GOING TO LAND IN ORDER TO AVOID A TWISTED ANKLE OR WORSE.
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT that you can hold without changing the speed for the entire run. Advanced runners can aim for 2 rounds! 5 mins @ 0% gradient 1 min @ 8% gradient 5 mins @ 0% gradient 2 mins @ 6% gradient 5 mins @ 0% gradient 3 mins @ 4% gradient • Work on your core and functional strength with the help of Swiss Balls, TRX and Bosu Balls. Here are some exercises that you can try: Single leg lunges with a TRX Single/double leg bridges on the Swiss Ball TRX planks with jackknifes Plyometric box jumps Squats on the Bosu Balls If the promise of getting a little muddy and filling your lungs with freshly oxygenated rainforest air strikes your sense of adventure then, go ahead, explore the woods! 5. Running in the trails in the rain is tremendous fun but if it is absolutely pouring and lightning is flashing across the sky (and landing close by) then it’s safer to head to the gym and get your running fix instead. Here’s how you can train specifically for the trails while indoors: • Do a random hills running set on the treadmill by using the ‘incline’ function instead of the ‘speed’ button. After a 20-minute warm up, try to complete the following sequence at the fastest pace
An Ironguides triathlon and running coach in Singapore, Shem designs individualised training plans to help amateur athletes achieve their goals whether on the road or trails. You can find out more about his group sessions, corporate run clinics and training camps at www.coachshemruclass.com.
TRAIL ETIQUETTE FOR RUNNERS It is such an awesome feeling to be charging down a trail that you barely notice the trees zipping by. You feel completely in control and utterly invincible. You feel like you own the trail… but hang on… you don’t! Trails are public recreational spaces to be shared by everyone. Sure, they may be your secret training spot for that half marathon personal best that you are going to smash but remember that it’s also a family day out for many young families, a romantic date spot for some teenagers and a treasure trove of wildlife pictures for the avid photographer. Be a considerate runner and mind your Ps and Qs – even when no one is looking! Here are some reminders: Just because you’re going faster than the walkers and hikers doesn’t mean
you have the right of way. Don’t charge down other members of the public that are enjoying nature at a slower pace and in a different manner than yourself. If you are overtaking slower moving traffic, slow down and call out “Trail’ or ‘On your right’ in a friendly non-threatening manner – no barking out orders. To reciprocate, slower runners/ hikers shouldn’t block the trail by running 2 or 3 abreast especially along the narrow points. Runners, be responsible for your bodily fluids. Watch where and how you clear your throat and send your snot rockets. When passing, leave a wide berth so you don’t spray others with your sweat. Don’t spoil the peace and serenity by blasting music from your phones or other
audio devices. If you enjoy music on your runs, earphones are the best option. Don’t litter. This is so obvious (and very basic) that it shouldn’t even be part of this list, but unfortunately not everyone seems to think so. Take your food wrappers, drink bottles and gel packs with you. Don’t feed the animals because this will draw them out of their natural habitat and upset the food chain and the rainforest ecosystem. They will eventually get reliant on humans for food and lose the ability to fend for themselves. Be patient and share the trail with everyone else enjoying it and take responsibility to leave it as you found it.
THE THE TRAINING TRAINING CIRCUIT CIRCUIT
MARATHON GUIDE: DO WHAT REALLY MATTERS The most important part of your marathon training is in the last six to 10 weeks prior to the race. If you set your goals and have been following your training plan religiously, you are on the right track to achieving your personal best or finishing strong. In this second installment of our Marathon Guide, running coaches and medical experts share their most valuable advice on the most crucial stage of your marathon training. Compiled by Marie Monozca
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 2013
TRAIN TO THE NEXT LEVEL Text Jon Fong
nstead of scraping for extra time to train more, here are some effective training methodologies for intermediate and advanced runners to help take your marathon to the next level without overly taxing your body and daily schedules.
Build Strength To Gain Speed
It is easier to train to run fast over a short distance, but much harder to maintain that same speed over longer distances. It is a simple factor of having the necessary strength in your legs to beat the onset of muscle fatigue. Terrain running and hill repeats are a great way to functionally build strength in your legs and break the monotony of flat road running. Looking for such places to train can also be a fun and exciting way for you to get out and explore. Beach runs are perfect for developing leg strength Off-road trails add more challenge to your training routes Progressively work at completing 10 minutes up to 30 minutes' worth of hill repeats each week Reduce your rest intervals between hill repeats
Cross-Train To Run Better
PHOTOS: DEPOSITPHOTOS/MIKAEL DAMKIER, TYLER OLSON
Improved endurance performance not only comes from spending time on your feet, but also from conditioning your mind, core and stabilising muscles. The more conditioned you are, the better you will handle your training and benefit from adaptation. Here are some
forms of supplementary training for you to consider challenging yourself and meeting your strength endurance needs: Plyometric exercises are a simple way to build strong core and joint stability CrossFit not only works out your body but toughens your mind Pilates is a great way to train smaller muscle groups and raises body awareness Yoga encourages the development of strong muscles, a stable core and flexibility.
Use The Hot Weather To Your Advantage
Hot and humid conditions create a tough environment that forces your body to acclimatise through the process of adaptation. By being able to train and race in tougher conditions, you will eventually be able to handle harder training specifics, recover quickly and improve your marathon performance. Try to schedule some of your long runs in the late morning, early afternoon Be sure to carry lots of fluids and hydrate often throughout your long run Monitor your heart rate and adjust your pace to maintain an easy effort If the effort gets too hard on extremely hot days, reduce your session duration Last but not the least, it is very important to understand that becoming a better endurance athlete takes time and does not happen overnight. That being said, these training methodologies should be adhered to with caution and are meant for runners who train five to six times a week with at least a year of
THESE TRAINING METHODOLOGIES SHOULD BE ADHERED TO WITH CAUTION AND ARE MEANT FOR RUNNERS WHO TRAIN FIVE TO SIX TIMES A WEEK WITH AT LEAST A YEAR OF CONSISTENT MARATHON TRAINING. consistent marathon training. Do not be too eager to attempt all of them at once, however you may try them out one at a time and in smaller doses to see how simple and effective they are. Jon Fong is a former elite swimmer and triathlete who has worked with athletes at various sports institutes. He is also the co-founder of Journey Fitness Company.
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT
BUILD UP YOUR MILEAGE Text Fabian William increase in your speed endurance. This then allows you to sustain a faster average race pace for a longer duration especially during the actual marathon.
Research shows that running about 55km a week allows you to complete a marathon and hitting about 90km a week to race it well. Elite athletes would go up to or at times beyond 135 to 145km per week.
The idea is to run shorter distances at a calculated fast pace depending on your performance standards and goals for a repeated number of times, for example: 400m x 12 reps at 1:30 minute pace with a rest interval of 60 seconds between repetitions.
Progressive training is the key to prevent injuries and for your body to adapt to working longer than usual. A gradual progression would be a 10 percent increment in mileage a week. I would recommend three to four days of training and with one to two long runs in a week. After three to four days of quality runs in a week, your body will experience the onset of fatigue especially in the higher loading phase of training. By having long and slow (60 percent of your maximum heart rate, conversational pace) distance runs, this will help reduce the stress on your body and also help in building your cardiovascular endurance and running economy. Long runs usually range from 15km at the early stage of trainings to anything between 32km to 38km in the later stages of training. Over time, the benefits of long runs can be seen through the weekly progression.
It's a simple theory – TRAIN FAST to RACE FAST. Most folks train at a comfortable pace and expect to race fast on race day – that's a recipe for disaster. Training to run faster by gradually increasing your intensity for your interval sessions will eventually result in an
Short interval workout distance can vary from anything between 200m to 2,000m while the longer intervals may stretch from 2km to 10km. I usually recommend the shorter variation of intervals for beginners or intermediate athletes/ runners as the latter may not be effective if administered or performed wrongly. The speed intervals prescribed should have optimal training effects on your anaerobic zone, improve your lactate threshold and lastly, to increase your aerobic efficiency and endurance. (Aerobic running is when you run easy and when your muscles have enough oxygen. Anaerobic happens when you run too hard and your muscles do not have enough oxygen. When this occurs, your muscles produce lactic acid which causes you to feel fatigued and tired.) Speed training can be very painful at times and may cause you to be sore the following day if your body is unable to flush out the lactate build-up efficiently during the training itself. But it is a key component for better performance in a race as it has positive training effects and teaches the body to adapt to perform better, i.e., run faster.
RESEARCH SHOWS THAT RUNNING ABOUT 55KM A WEEK ALLOWS YOU TO COMPLETE A MARATHON AND HITTING ABOUT 90KM A WEEK TO RACE IT WELL.
PHOTO: DEPOSITPHOTOS/ROBERTO CAUCINO
ow that the longest race of your life is fast approaching, it’s important to know how many kilometres one should rack up every week to train up to the marathon race.
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT
Recovery & Rest
Your training should be reduced to where you have started on the third or fourth week of training for recovery purposes. Anything that makes your body feel better falls under recovery. To speed up recovery, nutrition and hydration are two of the most important components. If your race or long runs take more than 60 minutes, I highly recommend that you consume a light meal, drink or a pack of gel before and during the runs to maintain a high-energy source (glycogen) for maximum training effectiveness. Hydration can be more than just drinking plain water. However, a sudden over-hydration with water will cause a depletion of electrolytes outside the safe limits. It is known as water poisoning or dilutional hyponatremia. Remember that your body loses sodium in a long run and by consuming a huge amount of fluid, it will dilute your sodium level. Therefore, consume your electrolytes drink during your long runs. A massage after a long run can ease off muscle soreness and bring you back to your regular performance at a quicker rate. Frequent massage will also help to reduce muscle tightness by keeping you relaxed and reduce the risk of injury. There are also preventive massage therapies before heading to a hard training session. Lastly, donâ€™t forget to have a good quality sleep as it provides a total relaxation for your body. For elite runners, an extra three to four hours of rest daily on top of the normal seven to eight hours of sleep each night is essential for a good recovery, bringing back your body to normal performance. Fabian William is the founder and head coach of FWCC with many years of coaching background. He was also a seasoned long distance runner with many running accolades under his belt. Visit www.fwcc.com.sg for more information on his training programmes for marathon runners.
PHOTO: DEPOSITPHOTOS/IGOR MOJZES
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT
MARATHON TRAINING: SOLO VS WITH A GROUP Text Dr Frankie Tan
he jury is out on whether running solo or with a group is more effective but let us see the merits of each.
Running alone can allow you to hit the mute button on the world and take full advantage of exercise's stress-busting benefits. When you are on your own, you can also pay better attention to your form, breathing, and pace. It is easy to choose to run with a group at a casual pace, but doing that all the time can keep you from reaching your running potential. Conversely, if you always run with a group that is too fast, it can push you into doing more than you should, and this can result in injuries. However, running with a group or with a buddy is good for accountability. Running buddies can also keep you from slipping off the pace or cutting a run short; the positive peer pressure and power of “social facilitation” can be at work at the subconscious level. Moreover, running in a group is also a safety precaution,
as runners get the opportunity to look out for each other to reduce incidents and accidents, and subsequently prevent further harm from taking place should an injury occur. For those who prefer to train solo for marathons, such as the upcoming Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, I believe that you need to have the right mindset – that is: running for long distances is not many times harder than running a kilometre. When it comes to long-distance training, running need not be done as fast as possible all the time. In fact, running slower and taking more steps (or shorter strides) are one of the ways to minimise injury when doing long-distance. Whether you intend to train solo or with a group, marathon runners should keep in mind the following:
Adopt A Proper Running Technique There is probably no one set or perfect way
of running; however, here are some general guidelines to ensure that you are doing the right running technique. Some of the common improper running forms are a slouching posture, heel-striking, over-striking and bending from the waist. To overcome this, ensure that while you are training, go for tall body alignment, mid-foot strike, high cadence (180 steps/minute or more), and a slight body lean to minimise injuries and stress.
Keep Yourself Motivated
To keep yourself motivated and focused on your goals, try running with some buddies, keep a training log, exchange ideas and talk to other runners. You can also reward yourself when you achieve a milestone. In addition, it helps if you do not think “all or nothing” – short but more frequent runs may be just as good. Dr Frankie Tan is the Head of the Sports Physiology Unit of the Singapore Sports Council. He works with national athletes from a range of endurance sports including distance running and canoeing.
WITH A BUDDY IS BETTER
TRAINING SOLO IS THE WAY TO GO Melvin Lau
Qadri Awdee 25 years old, Civil Servant Years running: 4 Races completed: adidas Sundown Half Marathon, Safra Bay & Army Half Marathon and adidas King of the Road Personal Best: 2:08 half marathon “On average, I usually run five to six times a week, alternating between running distances and doing interval training. I also go to the gym and do some leg exercises just to strengthen my leg muscles. If it’s for training purposes, I would usually have a running buddy so that we can motivate each other. Also, as a safety precaution, it’s better to have someone running with you when you’re pushing your limits. If it’s just a leisure run after a day in the office, I would usually run alone and blast the music in my headphones.”
42 years old, Company Director Years running: 2.5 years Races completed: NB/Real Run, Safra/Army Half Marathon, Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore Personal Best: 1:53 half marathon 4:24 full marathon “I run at least three times a week during sunset and before sunrise. On weekdays I do eight to 15km runs twice and on weekends are long runs from 20km up to 35km. My target for the upcoming Standard Chartered Marathon is to finish below 4:15. I prefer to run and train alone; it allows me to gather my thoughts, clear my mind of the stress at work. Also, I can run at my own pace and control the intensity of my workout. Training alone also allows me the flexibility of setting my own target and timeline within my schedule. I prepare for a full marathon by signing up for various races leading up to the race day. I use these as intermediate markers to gauge my readiness. It also helps to assess if my training is working.”
THE GROUP THAT TRAINS TOGETHER…
was well-received, they had about 150 runners who signed up. “We expect about the same number this year with many newbies and first-timers looking for a structured training programme to see them through completion of the half or full marathon in good form. The more experienced runners join us for the group dynamics and motivation to help them achieve their personal bests.” Operation Sunbird’s training sessions will be conducted at different venues: Mount Faber (for hills training), MacRitchie Reservoir park area (for trails, slopes training) and ECP/Changi Beach Park (for long runs and pace training)
One of Singapore’s largest running clubs, Team FatBird (TFB), is involved in major races in Singapore and overseas including the Standard Chartered Marathon, Sundown Marathon, Army Half Marathon and Gold Coast Marathon, just to name a few. The club which boasts more than 600 active members, helps train runners of all levels for races. For the upcoming Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS), TFB is offering a training plan called, Operation Sunbird (www. OpsSunbird.com). It’s a comprehensive 12-
On race day of the SCMS, TFB will field about 40 trainers, pacers and support week marathon training programme to prepare crew to guide the Operation Sunbird participants. “Our pacers are experienced runners for the race on 1 December 2013. marathoners having done at least three to five full marathons. They’re selected based Says its president, Anthony Sum: “The programme offers a variety of workout sessions on their ability to pace to training targets, communicate with and motivate runners, which will focus on building strength and and are also good team players,” adds endurance for the 21km and 42km distances. Sum. “They are also committed to training Participants can expect to do a good mix of runs like fartlek, tempos, hills, repeats, coupled schedules, dedicated to bringing out the best with the weekend LSD (long slow distance) and in the participants and willing to sacrifice (their own timings) to pace at lower speeds.” pace training. According to Sum, TFB’s programme last year
For more information, visit: www.teamfatbird.com
SAUCONY KINVARA 4:
GREAT SHOE MADE BETTER
How do you make a great product even better? The people from Saucony seem to have the answer in the recently launched Kinvara 4. The fourth version of the popular (and multi award-winning) lightweight trainer looks better than ever before, and it has new innovations as well as technologies that give you a better and more efficient run. Weighing at just 218g (based on men’s size nine), the Kinvara 4 is one of the lightest running shoes in its class. This performance trainer has a low, 4mm heel-to-toe offset that facilitates a greater range of motion compared to traditional running shoes.
The Kinvara 4 was awarded Best Update by Runner’s World Magazine, an influential running lifestyle magazine. They say that is offers “a responsive ride for efficient, mediumarched runners.” “The whole team is honored to bring home another award for both the brand and the Kinvara, a shoe that’s inspired enduring popularity with a cult-like following,” said Patrick O’Malley, senior vice president of global product for Saucony. “There’s always a huge responsibility in updating a legendary shoe. With this latest iteration, the team focused on maintaining the things people love about the Kinvara, while at the same time, making an even better running experience for them.”
The bootie construction and Memory Foam Heel Pods allow your feet to sit more securely in the shoe.
HydraMAX collar lining draws away moisture and perspiration from your feet.
Simpler design for cleaner aesthetics and more ventilation for your feet, while maintaining structure. More FlexFilm™ at the midfoot and heel area to frame and secure the foot better throughout your gait cycle.
Tougher, More Durable Traction
More Natural Movement
The outsole has a bevelled shape to facilitate a natural rolling movement from heel to toe.
The new and improved Saucony Kinvara 4 performs well and looks great. With PowerGrid™ in its midsole, you’ll experience a more comfortable and efficient run.
Lighter, more energy efficient midsole
The new PowerGrid™ in the midsole is an engineered foam that is 15 per cent lighter and 30 per cent more durable than standard EVA foams. It is able to absorb impact and return energy more efficiently than its predecessor, ProGrid™. The SAUCONY KINVARA 4 is available in men’s and ladies’ models, both in six aesthetically pleasing colours. Check them out at all Royal Sporting House stores. S$159.
The XT-900™, a carbon rubber compound that is extremely hard wearing, is placed on the shoe’s outsole for enhanced durability and traction.
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT May 6, 1954 saw the sub-4 minute milestone achieved, redefining running limits.
he 1950s in many ways could be considered as a golden era for athletics given the milestones and advances in training approaches that occurred in this period. Fuelled in part by the post World War II climate of liberation and hope, the rebuilding of the physical and social structures was mirrored in the desire to achieve on the athletic front for one’s nation. The Olympics of the 1950’s spanned Helsinki, Melbourne and Rome (1960) and ushered in many innovations which continue to have a foothold in running coaching today. Two interesting Coaches of the era perhaps stand out, as much for their own back-story and their contribution to how to train for running improvement.
The lifetime work of the luminaries of athletic coaching of the time, Franz Stampfl and Percy Cerutty, give an interesting insight into this period and lessons in the improvements possible from a holistic approach to running. The lineage of their ideas and philosophies indeed live on today, reflecting the ground breaking nature of their methods of the time which arguably have been popularised and further expanded. Whilst their predecessors and feats of heroes like Emil Zatopek in the 1930s and a posse of Finnish distance runners who were prominent in the 1940s were clear ground breakers, the combination of post war sport becoming more high profile given the socio-economic dynamics of the time and the capture of the methods of Stampfl and Cerutty through their writings helped promote their thinking in this area.
THE FUTURE IS IN THE PAST Much modern day running wisdom arguably stems from the golden era of the 1950’s, when the sport was full of passion, new frontiers and luminaries. RUN Singapore revisits a simpler time to see how the advances arose and are still relevant today. Text David Ng
Their respective backgrounds are of interest and to some extent explain their driven natures, with both having backgrounds full of quite extraordinary challenge. Stampfl was an interned enemy alien during WWII, having hailed from Austria, and ended in Australia via Northern Ireland and England. His early interest in coaching (including javelin and skiing) and the benefits of a scientific approach led him initially to the UK where he engaged with the likes of Harold Abrahams (of Chariots of Fire fame) and coaching at a school. Stampfl’s coaching reached one peak on May 6, 1954 where he was instrumental in guiding Sir Roger Bannister as an advisor to below the 4 minute barrier. Bannister widely acknowledges his introduction to a strict program that involved focussed interval training in the months leading up to that historic afternoon, as overseen by Stampfl, was a key factor in giving him the capability to (literally) break the milestone. Probably for this association, he is often credited as being the ‘father if interval training’. Stampfl also coached Bannister’s pacers, Chataway and Brasher.
Stampfl’s belief in the possibility of Bannister was of course a combination of many factors. He knew the potential was there given Bannister’s exploits in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics in the 1,500 metres and the public quest to be the first below 4 minutes. The 45 minutes of daily training that Bannister squeezed into his busy schedule as a medical student prior to their partnership some 6 months before history was made represented an opportunity, where more structured high intensity intervals were prescribed, along with teaming up with his charges Chataway and Brasher on Friday nights. Many other factors of course contributed, such as the weather conditions (the wind became favourable just before the attempt), equipment (he purposefully sharpened his metallic running spikes that morning) and the prospect of competition from the likes of John Landy of Australia were clear factors. That he had set a clear goal, and likely knew this would be one of his last opportunities for the feat given his looming career in medicine surely also played a part. Coach Stampfl’s high regard for the benefits of intervals and a measured approach to training was formed from years of competing first as a javelin athlete and his belief in the importance of a scientific approach towards improving. This was honed whilst working with athletes including his juniors at school level in his early years in the UK, and a strong minded belief which pushed him to push his athletes. His belief in building a tolerance to a tough interval program of up to 5 sessions a week for world class athletes like Chataway, Brasher and Bannister also stems from his incredible backstory.
Driven to Change
As an Austrian, the Teutonic accented Stampfl made his way to London as an art student in 1937, to pursue his wider interests and look for coaching opportunities away from the looming mayhem of war. He had a philosophical difference with the developing political climate of Germany since attending the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where he gained a troubling insight into the future that brought WWII. He was then arrested as an enemy alien and whilst on a ship of similarly labelled outcasts bound for Canada, that ship was sunk by a U Boat en-route, resulting in him enduring 8+ hours in the uncompromising waters off the coast of Liverpool waiting to be rescued. His rescue soon led him to being sent on another ship to Australia to be interned, a trip which was under-provisioned resulting in much hardship, and one suspects added to his belief in resilience and perseverance, which he demanded of his athletes. The Australian Percy Cerutty was an equally uncompromising individual who had running success to a provincial level after he was taken ill at 43, due in part to his excessive
"YOU ONLY EVER GROW AS A HUMAN BEING IF YOU'RE OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE." - Percy Wells Cerutty smoking that left him weighing 45kgs and with constant migranes. With no specific diagnosis from his doctors, he took his breakdown as a catalyst to turn his life around, resulting in him researching and developing a holistic approach to health management. His approach was selfcoined as “stotan-ism”, which encompassed a stoic mind and body, combined with the discipline of a Spartan warrior. His holistic approach was pushed at a seaside camp he established at Portsea in Victoria Australia, where there was no running track, few roads and little distraction other than training and thinking and preparing for training. The prelude to the modern day sports boot camp or health farm. Raw foods, natural technique (modelled of studying animal gaits), mysticism, mental preparation and visualisation were all cornerstones in his holistic approach.
understanding of broader goals and minimum distances that should be achieved.
Cerutty had a strong belief in his athletes taking responsibility for their own training details, and listening to their bodies to determine what was suitable for any particular session. His various training groups had however developed a selection of courses around the beach and nearby areas, varying in length and undulations. There was the 2km circuit through the trees and the 70m sand dune hill climbs (amongst other courses over varied terrain) and timing targets were known for each. Which route they would take each day was largely up to the individual, but there was an overall
Keeping it Simple…
The respective world’s of Stampfl and Cerutty often crossed and clashed. Cerutty had previously coached Landy, who left in 1952 to largely coach himself, but the LandyBannister race for sub-4 glory would be an early example of their linked athletes being in direct competiton. Stampfl was employed by the University of Melbourne in 1955 as Head Athletic coach under the nose of Cerutty, a native Victorian, and this no doubt created a source of ongoing tension. There was however a healthy respect for each other according to subsequent interviews and research, underpinned perhaps by the understanding that both shared the stage in exploring the limits of human running in a golden era. As with many disciplines in the arts and sciences, modern day thinking is usually a combination of accepted theory that continues to be proven correct through use and success. Many aspects of the modern running industry can be partly attributed to the golden era of the 1950s and Stampfl and Cerutty. Thus the importance of a scientific approach to improving speed and endurance, the awareness of the benefits of a holistic approach and the impact of mental attitude all have taken root in elite running, spurred by the professionalisation of sports.
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT …. reaching your running potential AREA
"Don't worry, it is only pain"… his scientific approach to intervals ensured tolerance to pain when at one's limits was increased methodically over months. Saw mental state as a key element of success.
Neural patterns - linking physical to mental visualisation (of technique). Attitudinal approach is key in fulfilling potential - promoted a stoic and warrior like a approach when in training.
Sports phschology now a mainstream area, with many professional teams/athletes adopting mental coaches; visualisation techniques widely accepted as a norm.
MECHANICS OF RUNNING
Looked for efficiency of technique, as suggested in his strong awareness of biomechanics and physiological aspects. A running style had to be "nice and easy, rhythmical and beautiful."
Emphasised gait and balance to promote full lung aeration. Studied use of nervous energy in animals and wanted runners to travel over the ground instead of on the ground. Naturally endorsed mid and fore-foot styles.
Barefoot running & minimalist movement is a recent trend, based around a broader awareness of naturalism and sustainability.
The father of interval training… 400, 800 and 1,200+ intervals at a track; structured over months, with decreasing rest periods.
"Stotan" philosophy: Wanted runners to achieve a "Stoic & Spartan" attitude. Look for variety away from the track to promote a natural affinity with holistic approach.
Boot camps; High Intensity Interval Training, body weight orientated resistance + stretching, cross training are now popular. Variety and return-on-invested time is a key 'buying factor'. More results in less time is a key marketing approach.
Emphasised independence, and for runners "to be complete masters of themselves and resist the overwhelming feeling of lonliness"
Believed in training 'hard' and optimising when you were training. Accept total responsibility for your sporting destiny - you control the outcome.
Sports Medicine and technology used for awareness and monitoring. The science of running is readily available through HRMs, GPS technology and smart phone apps.
No specific emphasis noted.
A key element of training; a few sessions a week were devoted to weights.
Core work is a recent trend; acceptance of resistance and weight training is commonly accepted and supported by health & fitness professionals.
Key and central; heavy emphasis with prescribed structure and time targets.
Not required, substituted by equivalent sessions on sandhills and trails. High weekly mileage on road and trail was an emphasis.
Drills are common in Singapore, partly due to the availability of excellent facilities. The Park Connector Network however provides a growing and convenient alternative.
TRACK WORK DRILLS?
“ …MY IDEAL ATHLETE WOULD HAVE THE MIND OF A POET. HE WOULD BE A MAN WITH RICH IMAGINATION, CAPABLE OF INTENSELY FEELING PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL EMOTIONS”
REACHING YOUR RUNNING POTENTIAL The ideas and philosophies of 1950s coach Franz Stampfl and Percy Cerutty live on today, reflecting the ground breaking nature of their methods of the time which arguably have been popularised and further expanded.
Long Term: Goals, Reality, Options, Way-Forward
- Franz Stampfl
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Long-Term Targets Inspiring Fun Elementary
Record & Document Dashboard GOALS + KPIs
Physical (Condition, Technique, Gear, Diet) Mental Attitude Training Methods
Both Stampfl and Cerutty’s approaches encompassed clear seasonal goals and monitoring. The options in delivering the goals were however quite different, but both required a holistic approach encompassing mental attitude, a balanced diet, and efficient technique.
Year 3: G.R.O.W. Reassessment
KPIs: (Measurement, Capabilities, Analysis)
Year 2: G.R.O.W. Reassessment
If you would like more information, please contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 1: G.R.O.W.
These advances and conventions have of course since filtered across to the general participation masses, with digital equipment and smart phone apps now universally adopted and so presenting the improvement orientated runner many options. The result is arguably too much choice and analysis through over-complication of what should be the simplest and most natural of all sports. Whilst Stampfl and Cerutty were largely focused on training elite runners, they would surely bristle at the idea that their legacy was to over-complicate running. Indeed, their approaches were united by underlying simplicity. Cerutty encapsulated it in his coined phrase of ‘stotan-ism’ – being stoic and spartan in commitment is what the runner should strive for to realise one’s potential. Stampfl’s take on simplicity was meanwhile reflected in his emphasis on independence, where he prescribed for runners “to be complete masters of themselves”. Such simplicity can often be forgotten in an increasingly complex running world.
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT
ASK THE EXPERTS Our panel of experts, sports doctors and specialists answer your burning questions on running, health and fitness. If you have anything to get off your chest, send us an e-mail at email@example.com. This issue, we have Bevan Colless, Dr Tong Khim Leng, Matt Herd and Dr Martin John answer our readers’ questions.
TIME FOR (SHOE) CHANGE Is it true that I need to change my running shoes every six months? I run about three times a week and clock a mileage of about 30km a week. — Anthony Koh, 35, Restaurant Manager Q.
Everyone has different body morphologies, running styles and train on different terrains/surfaces. Hence, we are also different when it comes to running shoe wear and tear and how often we should replace them. A.
There are several indicators that you should look out for: Firstly, listen to your body and how you feel. Your body will give you a direct indication if it’s time to replace them or not. If the shoes are not giving you the required support and protection, you will most likely start to get a few aches and pains you typically wouldn’t (these can get worse if not seen to). Secondly, keep an eye on how your shoes look. If the outer sole of the shoe (same stuff tires are made of) starts to go bald and smooth, it’s time to change them! Thirdly, distance…this is a tough one. This depends on the shoe model; is it a racing flat, a heavy-motion control shoe or a barefoot running shoe? Does the runner have a small frame or large frame? Are the shoes light or heavy on their feet? These are all factors that you need to consider. For example, myself, I use several different shoes for my running training depending on terrain and distance. My Nike Lunar trainers typically last me
about three months doing roughly 35km per week. On the other hand, my girlfriend who is 20kg lighter than me gets roughly six months out of a pair doing the same distance. As a general rule of thumb though, if you are using a standard running shoe not a racing flat or barefoot running shoe), you will get between 600 and 900km out of a pair. Lastly, if you are not sure, head to a reputable sports shoe store and try on the same model or updated model and run on the treadmill the store provides or in the hallway. Compare the difference; does the new pair feel much better? If yes, then it’s time for a change.
STRANGE TINGLING SENSATION While running, I often experience numbness or tingling sensation in my toes and feet. What could be the reason? — Ryan Ong, 28, Auditor Q.
It may be due to any of the following reasons: 1. You have a high instep/arch profile. There are several nerves that get compressed when the top of the middle of your feet pushes into the shoe tongue and laces. If this is the case, simply redirect the laces so they skip that part of your foot hence, decreasing the pressure. A.
2. Your shoes are too narrow for you. Running in between the long bones of the front of the feet (metatarsal bones) are sacks of fluid called ‘bursae’ and also the interdigital nerves. Both of these get compressed if the shoes are too narrow for you. If your pain starts out as a burning sensation and then turns into a tingling and numbness,
it’s usually an inflammation of the bursae; these swell up and then compress the nerves as a result. Get a pair of broader shoes as soon as possible as this can get worse and requires treatment. If it starts as a tingling and numbness, it’s usually the nerves being affected first. I recommend the same solution: broader shoes (i.e. a pair of ‘d’, ‘2e’ or ‘4e’ width shoes); also, stay away from narrow brands of shoes and stick to broader-fitting shoes. 3. You could possibly have an enlarged/ thickened nerve. This is known as Morton’s neuroma which typically affects the nerve that runs in between the third intermetatarsal space and the tingling/numbness will be felt in the third and fourth digits only. The other interdigital nerves can be affected, but less commonly. This requires treatment by a podiatrist straight away as it will get worse without intervention. 4. You could possibly have Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. This is an impingement of the tibialis posterior nerve, a nerve that tracks around the inside of the ankle and gets aggravated by factors such as over-pronation and footwear that are unsupportive. 5. You have an impinged nerve at the spinal level or through the gluteal region. This is less common as you would typically have other symptoms as well. Matt Herd Matt has been practising podiatry in Singapore for the last seven years and regularly competes in triathlons and long-distance running events.
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT WHERE TO LAND? Q. My friends tell me that I am a heel-striker, and in order to run well, I need to forefoot-strike. Should I then switch to landing on the balls of my feet? Will it make me more likely to get injured? — Chee Ying Ying, 26, Teacher A. This is a common question we hear in our clinic, especially since the book “Born To Run” was published and forefoot running has become a trend among runners. No one wants to be a heel-striker anymore, but there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ types of heel-strike. Landing with your foot at a large angle to the ground with your foot a long way in front of your knee is a ‘bad’ foot-strike due to the large braking forces and impact. Landing on the heel but with a low foot angle and quickly progressing to toe-off is a good way to run for many. Foot-strike is closely related to pace; you won’t be heel-striking at 3-minute/km pace, just as you probably won’t be forefoot striking at 6-minute/ km pace. And yes, if you change quickly to forefoot striking, your chances of getting injured are high.
Swelling and or grinding sensations in the knee Common symptoms of jumper’s knee: Pain at its greatest just on or below the kneecap Pain when you bend the knee — especially while walking, squatting, or going downstairs, jumping or kneeling Swelling and/or grinding sensations in the knee Runner’s knee is simply a collection of symptoms that may have many different causes. Jumper’s knee is specifically an injury of the patella tendon, which is a thickened cord-like structure that is located just below the kneecap and inserts into the boney bit on the front of the tibia. Now, what can you do to avoid both? Make sure you have correct posture and good technique. Warming up, stretching, and strengthening are all important factors in prevention. On the first sign of irritation, it is often helpful to apply a cold compress to the area for around 10 minutes, raise the affected limb and rest.
SINGING WHILE RUNNING? I don’t wear a heart rate monitor when I run or race. How do I know when to stop, walk or rest? Is it true that when one is running, he or she should still be able to sing or talk? — Mei Mei Huang, 18, Student Q.
You should stop, walk or rest, when your body tells you to slow down, such as feeling symptoms of giddiness, chest discomfort, overtly breathless or physically overwhelmed. One should run at one’s own pace, and pick up the pace through gradual increment. Usually, during low to moderate exertion, the runner is still able to talk or sing, but as the level of intensity increases, he or she will find it more and more difficult to do so. Thus, to be able to talk or sing depends entirely on the level of physical exertion. A.
Dr Tong Khim Leng Dr Tong is a sports cardiologist who is also an avid runner, having completed a full marathon.
Dr Martin John Bevan Colless Bevan is a Sports Physiotherapist and elite triathlete, cyclist and runner. He is a certified running injury specialist providing running assessments, and treating endurance sports and knee injuries.
Dr John is the Head Osteopath at Orchard Health Clinic and specialises in joint care, pain management and physical therapy.
KNEE ISSUES Q. What is the difference between runner’s knee and jumper’s knee? — Michi Tan, 40, Housewife
Runner’s knee and jumper’s knee are similar conditions, it’s just that the name given to them is a reflection of both the location of symptoms and the sports that seem to predispose the person to them. Both are painful conditions that can be caused by trauma, misalignment, foot problems or weak muscles. This can result in an inflammation response to the muscles, tendons or soft tissue structures of the knee that can be painfully disabling to an athlete. Here are the common symptoms of runner’s knee: Pain in or around the kneecap Pain when you bend the knee— especially while walking, squatting, or going downstairs
Your heart rate depends on the level of intensity of your run, your cardiovascular fitness level and general health status.
PHOTOS: DEPOSITPHOTOS/HOMYDESIGN, ALEKSANDR MARKIN
MIND, BODY & SOLE
MIND, BODY & SOLE Your guide to looking, thinking and feeling positively great while on the run
52 AGAINST ALL ODDS A health condition did not stop this runner to complete her very first – and longest race – 21km.
54 ROUGH IT OUT A different kind of fulfillment can be had when running on rugged, unpaved and challenging terrain.
MIND, BODY & SOLE
SEIZE THE DAY
Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon was a symbolic affirmation that I could overcome all limitations imposed on me by my condition. Text Melissa Gil
was 14 when I was told I had epilepsy. When I was younger, I was told I had psycho-motor seizures – big words that meant I fainted if I got too tired, too exhausted or too hungry. My first and worst episode happened when I was three years old; I was playing at home when I suddenly lost focus, my body stiffened and I convulsed, much to the confusion and dismay of my parents. I was told I was rushed to the hospital and since that time, I have been under the care of a neurologist. Under medication and care, I no longer had convulsions, but if I did get too stressed or overly tired, I would faint. I would come to, feeling depleted, and needing a full day’s rest to become my energetic self again. A few
more days were required until I was able to resume normal activities. My parents never let me feel like I was different. I knew I couldn’t engage in sports where I might put myself or others in danger if I suddenly fainted and lost my balance – so I never learned how to ride a bike. Yet they never prevented me from swimming in the ocean for as long as I was with someone. I knew I got sick once in a while and had a few more restrictions; but didn’t everyone have something like asthma or allergies?
In Fits & Starts
When my doctors told me, “You are just a normal healthy girl with epilepsy”, my vision of a
“normal” existence was a bit shattered. At that time, there were negative stereotypes – ugly images of people shaking and foaming at the mouth. I dismissed the thought and started researching and found out that there are so many types of epilepsy, ranging from absence seizures, where one’s eyes would glaze over while talking, and zone out, and suddenly be back in the conversation again all the way to full blown tonic-clonic seizures that are mostly dramatised on film with convulsions and all. I also learned that great creative minds like renowned author Lewis Carroll, the mathematician Blaise Pascal, and even Alexander the Great, had some form of epilepsy. The more I read, the less the word “epilepsy” became scary. And, I realised who I was remained inherently unchanged despite my condition.
I KNEW I COULDN’T ENGAGE IN SPORTS WHERE I MIGHT PUT MYSELF OR OTHERS IN DANGER IF I SUDDENLY FAINTED AND LOST MY BALANCE – SO I NEVER LEARNED HOW TO RIDE A BIKE. trusted friends who knew what to do and were prepared to bring me to a safe place should anything happen. I learned then that years of Pilates were good in the way of core strength but not in endurance. So I enlisted a running coach to help me learn how to run and build my endurance mindful of my condition. I learned to love the quiet nights of running alone as I did waking up early to meet up with friends to chat while running for close to two hours around the neighbourhood. I also started my exploration of Singapore’s running trails. Each month, my friend and running buddy would venture out somewhere different – Upper Thomson, East Coast Park, Botanic Gardens, MacRitchie Reservoir. Apart from being a practising Catholic, I also started studying Kabbalah, to strengthen my spirituality, as I believed my body would not meet the challenges I set for myself without a stronger spirit. I have come to accept that there were some limitations I needed to live with. I was told I shouldn’t participate in sports to the extent that I would have to catch my breath as this could trigger a seizure. I was given clearance to drive, which was later revoked when I started to have more frequent seizures when I began to work. And then, in 2012 I decided, I wanted to be fitter and stronger. This meant I needed to take back control of my body. I had ceded control of this previously to the condition as I was told the most I could really do was brisk walking. That year, I climbed the Philippines’ second highest peak, Mount Pulag, with an elevation of 3,000 metres. I did so, however, in the company of
A Personal Best
One day, my friend told me she had an extra bib for the Sundown Marathon. I had never run 21km before but without hesitation, I said yes. I made her promise that this would not be about time, but simply about finishing. You see my friend is a far more accomplished runner – she has completed full marathons and this would be my first half marathon. And I admit, I said yes with a bit of trepidation – what if my body couldn’t take it? What if I had a seizure? I knew I was running with a friend who would take care of me. I would find out later another friend was flying in for the race – a running coach and sports trainer – and I saw this as a blessing. I was being given the right crew
to be with. While my friends were capable of finishing faster, they worked with me to give me shorter goals to accomplish within the race. When my legs began to ache unbearably at the 17km mark, I began praying fervently, asking for the strength and endurance to go on. Where my body could no longer push, I knew my spirit would take me further. The farthest thing from my mind was the idea that I could have a seizure; I had never felt stronger than with this band of women who gave up the idea of a personal record to accompany a friend to reach a personal milestone. All I could think of was finishing the race and strong at that. And as we crossed the line together after hours of running, the full appreciation of what we accomplished sank in. A month after the race, I went to see my neurologist for my regular tests. She was in shock after I had told her I completed a half marathon and in disbelief as she told me that my tests have never been better. What I had gone through was the kind of physical strain that typically would have sent me into a seizure. But my training the past year and a half was more than physical – it was also mental. Physically and spiritually, I had worked on removing all fear and limitations that epilepsy had imposed. I am still under medication but with a greater appreciation of the blessings I have been given – a strong body and legs that would keep running for as long as my mind was set on it. And after more than a year of running, when people comment that I look fitter now, my parents tells them with a mixture of amazement and pride: “She’s a runner you know.” Melissa Gil is a director of a telecommunications company who is working on her dream of completing a full marathon – with her friends in tow.
MIND, BODY & SOLE
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED Roughing it out on trails has given me a different kind of fulfillment that I just can’t find on paved, smooth surface. Text Paviter Singh
’ve always enjoyed running. I remember our regular sessions at MacRitchie Reservoir for our school’s annual cross-country, and getting all excited and hungry to reach the Milo trucks. That was a treat we truly enjoyed. Nothing much has changed since then, the hunger, that is.
the wind brushing against my face. A blur of mud, roots and gravel constantly shift under my feet. I register every single element around me, except the fact that I’m running. It’s times like this when my mind, body and spirit feel completely free. Trail running has brought about a sense of rejuvenation for me.
Long after I left school, I found myself still very much hooked to running. As years went by, I hungered for longer and tougher distances. After completing my first half marathon in 2004, I strived to complete a couple of full marathons, which were fantastic. But there was something missing – a piece of the puzzle that somehow made things feel incomplete.
Trials On The Trails
I found that in the rough, unpredictable realm of trail running.
The world has taken many turns in different trails for me since then, with the most recent one being The North Face 100km in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia last May. It’s part of The North Face Trail Ultra Series, which has a race in Singapore in October as well. What makes the two races different? The Blue Mountains has a combined elevation of 4,200m and the temperatures drop to minus-1 degree made worse by howling winds.
With this newfound passion, I found a deep sense of relaxation and meditation. In the trails, I sense meaningful movement and feel
Coming from humid Singapore, I found the 15-degree maximum temperature quite cold, to say the least. The wind was frightfully
strong which brought about the dreaded wind chill. The day before the race, I suddenly felt very vulnerable and unprepared. There were a little over 1,000 participants in the 2013 race, including a sizeable contingent from Singapore. At 7.30am on a cold and windy morning, we set off and ran through the city before heading into trails and some unguarded cliff edges which gave way to the most spectacular of endless valleys. It was a perfect start. About 12 hours later, I was cold and in pain (with an ITB strain) along with many other runners at a checkpoint on the 65km mark, which resembled a hospital ward. My feet were numb and I was exhausted yet fully aware that my next checkpoint was 24km away in the cold and dark trails. Looking back, it’s times like this that one has to dig really, really deep. A lot went through my mind at that point, especially the thought of a nice warm bed. After my legs began to thaw a little, I finally plucked up the courage and left the warmth of the checkpoint.
PHOTOS: PAVITER SINGH & LLYOD BELCHER
THERE’S NOT MUCH FANFARE ON COMPLETING A TRAIL RACE. THERE IS NO NEED FOR IT. I’VE SEEN FELLOW RUNNERS GET COMPLETELY CHOKED UP WITH EMOTION BECAUSE THEY HAVE PUT IN EVERY OUNCE OF THEIR SPIRIT INTO THE RUN. TO ME, THAT IS WINNING AND NOTHING CAN EVER REPLACE IT. It was a matter of placing one step in front of the other; it sounded simple enough, yet it proved to be very difficult when faced with a 9km climb at the 80km mark. In such instances, I try not to think of distance or time. I value the smaller and more meaningful victories, which I apply in my everyday life as well. Reaching a tree 50m in front of me would give me the extra oomph to move on, rather than constantly dwell on the fact that I have a half marathon left to run. By repeating such a process, I finally had the finish line in sight. It was a hard day at the office.
I have done more than five trail ultramarathons each measuring between 50 to 100km. Am I done? Definitely not. Once you do it and conquer a particular trail, you will inevitably hunger for more. What have I learned from my experiences? Race preparation is very important. I would carry my race and elevation maps with me from the day they’re released, finding any free moment to have a look at them again to visualise what’s to come. My favourite pastime
is day-dreaming; I would imagine the hills I would run in, picture myself battling all the elements, the heat, the cold, the rain. There are other challenges you have to prepare for; one of them is running in the dark. Before my first ever 100km trail ultra-marathon, I had never run trails at night. Not a very smart move on my part, but sometimes it’s good to go for the acid test. Running at sunset, knowing I have a whole night of racing ahead, used to be my Achilles’ heel. I remember being all alone in the Borneo trails; there were lights in village huts in the distance with the smell of fire and hot food cooking wafting in the surrounding air. I felt really sad and homesick. During those trying moments, I learnt how to press on and build on to anything which presented a semblance of positivity, no matter how small. In this case, every step forward was a step closer to the finish line. Now, I embrace running at night; the darkness now provides me with a sense of focus and clarity. It’s also good to keep in mind that every trail brings about new terrain, weather and
elevation. No two races are equal and no two trails are the same. It’s important to understand and work with trails and nature, never force it. Lastly, unlike a city marathon, there’s not much fanfare on completing a trail race. There is no need for it. Everyone is a winner when conquering the trails. I’ve seen fellow runners get completely choked up with emotion because they have put in every ounce of their spirit into the run. To me, that is winning and nothing can ever replace it. Paviter Singh is an ultra-trail marathoner who is training for this month’s Mount Kinabalu Climbathon. He has also set his sights on the next Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, a 100-mile single stage race through the Alps. He believes his journey on the trails never ends.
MIND, BODY & SOLE
MIND, BODY & SOLE FACTS & FIGURES
How to stay cool when fazed by heat and humidity in very sunny Singapore HYDRATE (REPEAT SEVERAL TIMES) At least four hours before your pavement-pounding sessions, do drink 16 to 20 ounces of water. During workouts, strive to sip three to five ounces every 15 minutes. And if you’re running for over an hour, add another three to five ounces of your favourite sports drink containing carbs and electrolytes every 15 minutes.
REPLACE THE CAP Our bodies release heat through our heads. Wearing a running cap, which covers the scalp will spoil that process. Instead, do sport a visor and wear sunscreen (sunnies too) for sun protection. SEASON WITH SALT Sodium is a runner’s true pal in that it helps to retain and distribute water in the body. Before runs, sprinkle conservatively on foods when humidity rises. SPACE OUT Heat transfer naturally occurs when people are in close proximity to each other, stoking body temperatures. This happens especially at races where there are thousands of bodies in one general area. Find a space, perhaps one closer to the sidelines where you have a bit more “air” space and also more access to water, sponges, sprinklers and what-have-yous.
WALKING vs RUNNING Still unconvinced whether walking can get a runner in shape for running? It really can. Walking uses the same muscle groups as running and moves you through a similar range of motion. A long, brisk walk can actually help you maintain endurance when you, for any reason (fatigue, injury, or shoe trouble), can no longer run. “Also, taking several five- to six-minute walk breaks throughout the day will keep your metabolism stoked since walking stays in the aerobic, or fat-burning zone,” says walking advocate and marathoner Edsel Vengco, who’s also a sports educator and fitness trainer.
Number of minutes devoted to meditation, or quiet time alone before a run or event will not only give you a good mental break but release all the tension in order for you to run more relaxed and be in tune with your body, says a study published in the Journal of Applied Sports Psychology.
CLAIM YOUR REWARDS
As hardworking runners, we know that completing a run or finishing a race is a reward by itself, but as far as deserving those extra booties goes, there shouldn’t be any guilt there! Here are examples: Do take that break. Whether you hit a PR or barely finished a race, remember to dial back on the serious running for a period. Training demands a lot of time and social sacrifices, so take a few weeks off from “hardcore” workouts and runs. Give your muscles a rest, and spend time with family and friends. And say yes to that sinful dessert for a change! Say “Om.” Substitute logging miles for putting in hours to a yoga class. Your muscles have surely tensed and tightened up after months (or years) of training, so doing yoga will help your
mind and body relax and refocus, as well as recover strength, balance and flexibility to prevent injury and enhance running efficiency in the coming days. Trip out somewhere. Time to plan for your dream race in Europe. Pick a “vacation race” somewhere far for the next year so you’ll have plenty of time to train and make arrangements. Planning vacations has been proven to boost mood and increase enthusiasm and motivation, says a study in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise.
INSPIRE Individuals and teams that inspire the running community
58 FIGHTING FIT For Ironman Cairns podium finisher, James Middleditch, life does get more exciting and rewarding at 40.
PHOTO: DEPOSITPHOTOS/JAN WACHALA
62 UNITED NATIONS Pounding the pavement and exploring different vistas every week is the aim of this group of runners from all over the globe.
THE IRONMAN At 42, James Middleditch is an inspiration to mid-lifers who think they are past their physical prime. Following a podium finish at the 2013 Ironman Cairns, he is bound for the Ironman World Championship in Kona this month. Text Marie Monozca Photos courtesy of James Middleditch
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 2013
James at the 2012 Ironman Western Australia and (right) at the 2012 Ironman Cairns.
James, who works as a Facilities Management Director keeps a list of places and events he would like to race in (including one on every continent), but with the explosion of running and triathlon events, the list now seems never-ending. “I have done the Ironman Langkawi twice, Ironman China, Ironman Western Australia and I have also done the "Embrunman" in France, an Iron-distance race with the cycle course taking in the high Alps, with the Col d'Izoard at 2400m in altitude,” he shares. There is one offbeat thing that he looks forward to trying, though, and that's running back in time. Figuratively, that is.
here are just some athletes destined to be in sports. They're born with the right genetics, build and endurance to take on the more difficult physical challenges. It's a breeze. Then, when everything starts falling into place, fate throws them for a few loops to remind them that greater things are expected of them. James Middleditch has always loved the outdoors, and it showed. The 42-year-old British national was on his school's cross-country and athletics teams, as if being on one alone wasn't strenuous enough. Long distance events were his forte. "I spent my childhood outside, running around the playground, the local parks, mucking about on my bike, cycling over to see my friends or grandmother 20km away," the 16-year Singapore permanent resident elaborates. "So yes, I have always been active even if it was not structured. In my 20s I did a lot of mountaineering and trekking."
Running As His Forte
As with all endurance athletes, you have an inner drive to keep seeking bigger challenges. Good enough never is enough. That's exactly what James went through.
"I started triathlon doing team events as the cyclist. Then I decided that it was about time I stepped up to the real thing. My first triathlon was half-Ironman distance, I placed 15th and thought “I can do this!” Next up was the full Ironman and placed fourth in my age-group." From then, James realised that running was his strongest event, not cycling. Accepting this changed his training routine, and he now puts in more time practising on his bike. Of course, you'd think that with his background, reaching the highest levels of such a demanding sport would be relatively simple. But in China in 2008, he smartly fought off the extreme heat and dehydration by pacing himself before making a final push for the finish. And there have been other obstacles, some totally unexpected. "I have had a few punctures during races, a crash, but the worst was probably during the Sundown Marathon in 2010. I had a great first half marathon clocking 1.25 but then gastric issues sent me visiting every ‘portaloo’ and public facility along East Coast. Once it was all out, I felt great and had a fast last 10km, coming in under 3.15," says the father of two daughters aged 13 and 11.
"It’s wacky, but I want to do at least one race “old school” in the Kona 1980’s look– Speedos and cut off singlet, a pair of Fluo sunglasses and a steel bike!" he laughs. "In the future I’d see myself starting to be a volunteer at races and give back to the sport." Speaking of Kona, the World Ironman Championship was at the top of his bucket list, and has been working his way hard up the ranks. But when you focus on the journey, your dream destination will eventually come along and surprise you. This unforgettable peak came along just in this year's Ironman in Cairns.
AS LONG AS I AM ENJOYING MYSELF AND HAVING FUN I WILL STICK AT IT! THE DAY I DON’T ENJOY IT WILL BE THE DAY I STOP. – James Middleditch, on Ironman and other athletic pursuits
INSPIRE "I had been working my way up the field all day and in the last loop on the marathon I was determined to push as hard as I could," he recalls. "I had no idea of my placing (in fact not even my time since my watch had stopped working during the swim!) and when I heard them say “third” as I crossed the line I couldn’t believe it! I had been working and training hard for the race so I was overjoyed to be rewarded with a podium placing and a Kona slot." That personal best has inspired James to train even harder for Kona this month, which he now officially checks off his list – twice. It will be the second time he will be racing alongside the elites in the Ironman World Championship. And he will be pushing his limits to achieve his set goal. “I finished at 10 hours and 11 minutes in 2008. I wasn't prepared for the wind and literally got blown around on the bike. My target this time is to go sub-10 hours and break the magic 10-hour barrier at Kona. And the more I go below 10 then the bigger the bonus it will be,” he declares. Before the serious racing begins, James looks forward to the fun part of the race. “I will be holding up the Singapore flag during the athletes parade, and my parents will be making the trip from the UK to Hawaii to join and support me which is great!” He however rues that his wife and children can't join him due to work and school commitments. “Kona is a real celebration and a family event. It will be hard to race and not have them
but I am sure that I will hear their cheers across the globe. Indeed, I dedicate my race to them.”
Striking A Balance
James may seem deeply devoted and focused primarily on his sport. But he still maintains there is more to life than training. In his mind, the prospect of a cold beer keeps him going during a race. But in reality, it's a few weeks of rest after demanding so much of himself that is his favourite reward. He adds: "You have heard of the “train, eat, sleep, repeat” saying…but like all age-group athletes, I also have to squeeze in work and family; indeed I make sure to spend time with the family when not training, he declares, adding that his wife is "very patient and supportive". "I enjoy travelling as well as many other outdoor activities such as skiing and mountaineering. Cooking is something I love doing especially when the results are enjoyed with a good bottle of wine!" When all is said and done, James Middleditch will always be part of running and triathlon. There are still countless adventures ahead. The unknown looms ahead, and that is exciting, indeed. "As long as I am enjoying myself and having fun I will stick at it! The day I don’t enjoy it will be the day I stop," he admits. "There are plenty of examples of people racing and doing extremely well at ages no one would have ever thought possible hence, I think there is a long future." A strong finish at the 2013 Bintan Triathlon.
DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU James Middleditch’s advice to Ironman wannabes
Do not pressure yourself and adjust to the situation "Believe it or not, I don’t have a particular training plan. I’ve read the stuff and tried to draw up training plans but something always gives, a late meeting, a family commitment, it rains etc, so I have a more flexible and relaxed approach. I also listen to my body: if I feel good then I go hard, if I feel tired well, I’ll do an easy session. Essentially, I try and train 6 times per week which would usually include 3 rides, 2 runs and 2 swim sessions – in the region of 10 hours total per week."
There is no "one size fits all" "I am a vegetarian and pay close attention to my diet ensuring it is balanced. Fruits and vegetables are an important part and of course there is a fair amount of carbo in there! I have a weakness for chocolate (probably not that bad a thing!). But training and nutrition are very personal. What works for one will not work for another, there is no magic one-size-fits-all strategy."
Find your level of commitment "I think a lot of people dabble in triathlon and we see a lot of “been there done that” who tick the Ironman off the list, but not so many who come back season after season. But that is fine, the essential thing, especially for mid-lifers, is to keep fit be it triathlon, marathon, golf, tennis or whatever your sport is."
RUNNING If ever there was proof of running's universal appeal, it would have to be the IN Runners Group. It’s a veritable united nations pounding the pavement every week. Text Marie Monozca
he Internations – or IN Runners – Group was founded in early 2012 by Julia Dresel, a German expat who once finished a 100km ultra-marathon. In just over a year, the organisation has ballooned to no less than 380 active members from 56 different nations. But more than its diversity, it has also brought together people from their 20's to 50's with equally diverse reasons for running.
Julia, I finished my first half-marathon in November 2012."
"Due to health issues, I had to go through an operation in December 2011 and was hospitalised for five days. That was the single defining moment when I swore to stay a healthy and positive and happy person for the rest of my life!" recalls Yue Wang, an investment banker who is president of IN Runners Group now that Dresel has returned to Germany.
A Perfect Mix
"Then I was advised that running is one of the most effective ways to achieve this goal. I myself started running in June 2012, right after good recovery and getting permission from my surgeon. I joined IN Runners Group in August 2012. With good running tips from
The group’s Co-Consul, Laila Atmane shares: "I started running with the group beginning of this year, with the intention to run every now and then as well as meet new friends since I had just recently moved to Singapore.” The IT project manager is in charge of arranging runs and managing the group. For prospective members, IN Runners Group would prefer if they have some running experience because their runs range from eight to 11km. They may be passionate and serious about running and fitness, having individually and collectively taken on and finished most of the toughest runs in Singapore, but what really binds the group is the spirit of fun that prevails. Their priority is to enjoy themselves, and make sure that their members never forget that running, first and foremost, is to be enjoyed. "We always encourage diversity and we focus more on the fun aspect of running, rather than
focusing on time and speed," says Linda Loh, a business consultant and Co-Consul of the group. And to underscore the emphasis on fun, they remind runners to concentrate on their own progress, and not compare themselves with other members. Each has his or her own story to tell how being part of a tightly knit group has helped them. "I finished my first half marathon under two hours and 20 minutes with only five months of self training last November. Then this year I finished a 10km race under 44 minutes, ranked as the eighth finisher within my peer group," Yue says proudly. "I now have become addicted to running! We all agree that there is a great sense of fulfillment that comes with the completion of each run." Linda adds: "The group’s founder was just like that – Julia started casual running then ended up finishing a 100km ultra-marathon race. She’s an inspiration to many group members. Now we look for positive and open-minded people who love running."
WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING, JUST REMEMBER HOW FORTUNATE YOU ARE TO BE ALIVE, TO BREATHE, TO THINK, TO ENJOY, TO LOVE, AND OF COURSE TO RUN!
The IN Runners always end every run or race with a hearty meal and drinks; (right) the group’s president, Yue Wang and co-consul, Linda Loh.
– Yue Wang, President of IN Runners Group
To add variety and colour to their runs, the group changes trails and scenery every so often, and winds up discovering unlikely magical places along the way. A recent discovery is MacRitchie Reservoir, about 11km of amazing scenery with an adventurous jungle trail and beautiful lake to make your way around. Occasionally, the group takes on East Coast Park too, a flatter, more beginner-friendly experience roughly 8km. For an uphill challenge, there's Southern Ridge Trail, and the occasional shorter mid-week after-work run around CBD area, which is convenient for busy professionals in the group. And of course, no run would be complete or as refreshing, without the requisite reward. "We always look forward to chilled coconut juice or a hearty breakfast after a run!" says Linda. "The reward for me is the fun that comes with catching up and getting to know new members." "We bond before, during and after the run! It is a very social way of running, and we always try to motivate newcomers to come back with our friendly approach," adds Laila. "Some of us have become good friends and meet up socially." And, as Yue concludes, there is a profound realisation beneath the deep enjoyment of going beyond yourself: "The main goal is that people manage to finish the entire distance, and improve their running skills and endurance since some trails we run can be quite challenging. We see running as a metaphor for life – the journey may be tough at times but nothing beats the feeling of crossing your own finishing line. When you wake up in the morning, just remember how fortunate you are to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love, and of course to RUN!”
BACK TO BASICS IN Runners Group's advice to new members: Come with an open and positive mind. It’s all about you and your progress, so don’t compare yourself with the other runners. Start with a distance that you are comfortable with first, rather than speed, to build the basics. Try to push yourself to go slightly faster or further after a few runs. Set a goal that you can work towards (in terms of distance or timing). Get outdoors. Most beginners may find running a little monotonous – especially on the treadmill. A bit of natural scenery can make a run a lot more enjoyable. It’s good to push yourself to go further each time – but what’s important is that you enjoy the run. There is no shame in walking if you are tired! Do focus on your posture, and make sure you keep your back straight even when you get tired. Warm-ups as well as cool-downs can be good and prevent injuries. Find like-minded people/group you can run with, if you seek motivation and continuity. Do not run with an empty stomach, and keep yourself hydrated during the run.
WANT TO JOIN THE IN RUNNERS GROUP? To join the group, one must first be a member of Internations. Registration is free. For more information visit: www.internations.org/ and do the following steps:
Enter first name, last name and e-mail address and then press "Join now, it's free" button;
Browse all available groups under "Groups - Activity Groups" link from the top bar drop-down list on IN homepage after you log in;
Find "Internations Runners Group" in the list, go to group homepage, then sign up there to become an IN Runners Group member!
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ENERGISE Fuel for peak performance plus, tasty, healthy recipes to keep you trim
66 EAT, DRINK AND
PHOTO: DEPOSITPHOTOS/ELENA SCHWEITZER
A good nutrition and hydration plan is necessary for peak performance during and speedy recovery after your gruelling race.
FUEL UP FOR YOUR MARATHON
Running a marathon requires a huge amount of energy to manage both a busy training schedule and for peak performance during the race. An adequate and well-balanced diet will also aid recovery and muscle repair and have you preparing for your next marathon in no time. Text Vanessa McNamara
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 2013
he main aim for a marathon runner should be to consume a diet high in carbohydrate, moderate in protein, include small amounts of fat from healthy sources such as oily fish, olive or canola oil, nuts and avocados, and to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. This combination will ensure you are meeting your energy demands, meeting your vitamin and mineral requirements and maintaining adequate body function. A poorly planned diet or one that places too much emphasis on proteinrich or high-fat food choices will result in inadequate repletion of muscle glycogen stores. This may have a negative impact on training performance and recovery.
ENERGISE CARBS: WHAT, WHEN & HOW? A runner without carbs is like a car without petrol – cut these out and the tank will be empty in no time! The difficulty is, however, in choosing the right types of carbohydrates at the right times. Carbohydrates include all starchy foods, such as bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, sweet potato, crackers, noodles and couscous. Fruit and dairy products also contain carbohydrates. A runner’s carbohydrate intake should reflect their training load – in other words, more carbs need to be eaten on heavy training days, and less on easy or recovery days. It is wise to make carbohydrates the base of breakfast, lunch and dinner and on heavier training days, energy levels can be topped up with carbohydrate-containing snacks in between meals and carbohydrate-containing snacks and fluids before and during training.
Before the event:
After the event:
A carbohydrate-rich snack with some protein and salt is a great way to recover from the marathon and should be eaten within 30 minutes of finishing. This will help your muscles recover and will help to refill the tank before the next event e.g., a banana sandwich with a handful of salted nuts. Within 2-4 hours of finishing, a substantial meal containing both carbohydrates and protein should be eaten such as chicken with rice, eggs on toast, beef with noodles.
HYDRATION HIGH Adequate fluid intake is essential in reducing the risk of heat stress, maintaining normal muscle function, facilitating recovery, maintaining concentration and increasing performance during a marathon. This is particularly important in the heat and humidity of Singapore. Adequate hydration should be maintained on a daily basis and the best way to monitor this is by watching the colour of your urine. A light,
straw-coloured urine is what you want to aim for. Water is ideal for maintaining hydration but other drinks such as sports drinks, fruit juice or even soft drinks are useful during competition and heavy training as they provide fluid, carbohydrates and sodium. It is important to start an event well-hydrated, so drink regularly in the days leading up to the event and monitor your urine. Aim to drink 300-400mL of fluid immediately before the race starts, drink steadily throughout and then continue to drink fluids after the race is finished. Sports drinks or other drinks containing electrolytes are ideal for replacing what you’ve lost through sweat and making you thirsty so you drink more. The quantity of food you eat and the practical aspects of meeting your energy and carbohydrate requirements vary considerably from person to person. For a more personalised approach to eating for your next marathon, it is worth seeking advice from a qualified sports dietitian to ensure you perform at your best.
For a full marathon, it is advised that runners ‘carbohydrate load’ for 24-48 hours before the event in order to ‘super compensate’ their muscle glycogen stores. This involves minimal activity and consuming 7-8g of carbohydrates per kg body weight per day. Depending on the time of the event, a light carbohydrate snack should be consumed 1-2 hours before the event, particularly if it takes place early in the morning. This could be a more substantial carbohydrate-containing meal if the race is later in the day. The snack or meal should be low in fibre, to prevent gastrointestinal discomfort, and low in fat, as fat can slow down digestion, e.g. toast with jam, honey or kaya, cereal with milk and one piece of fruit, smoothie made with milk, yoghurt and fruit.
During the event:
It is best to refuel as early in the event as possible rather than wait for fuel stores to become depleted. An intake of 30-60g carbohydrate/hour after the first hour seems to work best for most people and this can be achieved through fluids or solids or both.
Examples of 30g carbohydrate include: 500ml sports drink 1 sports gel 2 small bananas 10 jelly babies 1 jam sandwich
Distance events such as a marathon require regular refuelling with easily and rapidly digested carbohydrates.
WATER IS IDEAL FOR MAINTAINING HYDRATION BUT OTHER DRINKS SUCH AS SPORTS DRINKS, FRUIT JUICE OR EVEN SOFT DRINKS ARE USEFUL DURING COMPETITION AND HEAVY TRAINING AS THEY PROVIDE FLUID, CARBOHYDRATES AND SODIUM. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013
A 3-DAY MEAL PLAN FOR A 70KG MALE RUNNER Commence carbohydrate loading 2 days before the marathon (490 - 560g carbohydrates/day for a 70kg male) CARB-LOADING 2 DAYS BEFORE THE MARATHON FOOD OR DRINK
1 cup of untoasted muesli 1 cup low fat milk 1 medium mango 250ml orange juice
60 15 25 20
200g tub low fat flavoured yoghurt 500ml sports drink
30 30 50
1 cup cooked white rice with chicken or beef and vegetables 1 cup fruit salad 1 Grande Iced Flavoured Latte
1 baked kaya bun 10 jelly fruits
35 25 60
2 cups cooked noodles with chicken or fish and vegetables 1 glass of cordial Â˝ bowl Tau suan topped with you tiao
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 2013
30 40 20 490G
PHOTO: DEPOSITPHOTOS/FRANCK CAMHI
AMOUNT OF CARBOHYDRATES (G)
CARB-LOADING 1 DAY BEFORE THE MARATHON AMOUNT OF CARBOHYDRATES (G)
FOOD OR DRINK
1 cup of breakfast cereal 1 cup low fat milk 1 medium banana 250ml orange juice
60 15 20 20
2 slices white toast with 1 tbsp honey 500ml sports drink
50 30 60
2 sandwiches (4 slices of bread or 2 bread rolls) with chicken (or other protein source) and salad 1 tub of low fat yoghurt Banana smoothie made with:
1 medium banana 1 cup low fat milk Â˝ small tub natural yoghurt (100g) 1 tbsp honey
20 15 15 20
2 cups cooked pasta with tomato-based pasta sauce 2 slices garlic bread 1 glass of cordial
70 30 30
1 muesli bar
ON DAY OF THE MARATHON MEAL
FOOD OR DRINK
Pre-event meal (2 hours before race)
1 cup of breakfast cereal 1 cup low fat milk 1 medium banana Regular sips of water
Immediately before race
300-400 ml water After 1st hour, aim for 30-60g carbohydrates per hour:
AMOUNT OF CARBOHYDRATES (G)
60 15 20
750mL sports drink/Sports gel 2 bananas Regular sips of water to maintain hydration based on training
45 30 40
Recovery snack (within 30 minutes of finishing race)
Banana sandwich Â˝ cup salted peanuts Plenty of water plus at least 1 electrolyte-containing drink
Recovery meal (within 2-4 hours of finishing race)
1 bowl ramen noodles with seafood 1 cup fruit salad
During the race (only include foods you have trained with)
QUICK FACTS A 70kg man will burn approximately 2,950 calories during a marathon running 10-minute miles. Dehydration of greater than a 2% loss in body weight will increase the risk of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems during exercise, as well as significantly impairing performance. To reduce the risk of cramp, ensure you consume adequate carbohydrate before and during exercise as this will help prevent premature muscle fatigue. Carbo-loading is recommended for 24-48 hours before the event to enhance muscle glycogen stores. Ideally, this would be 7-8g carbohydrate/kg body weight/day.
If you would like more personalised dietary advice, please contact Vanessa at The Travelling Dietitian. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.thetravellingdietitian.com
THE TRAINING CIRCUIT
ENERGISE FACTS & FIGURES
These power plants prove that protein sources aren’t limited to whey and meaty foods. And best of all, they feed muscles sans harmful fats:
The Topnotcher: TOFU Made from soymilk curds that have been pressed into blocks, the outcome is a soft and smooth texture that works well with various sauces and spices. Only 88 calories per half cup, and offering 10 grams of protein and a meager five grams of fat, tofu impresses even more with its richness in isoflavones—heart-protecting compounds that prevent inflammation. Research from Columbia University in the United States also suggests that the same compounds may produce enzymes that create nitric oxide, which keeps blood vessels and may boost bloodflow, while also improving muscle function—and one’s PR!
GRAINS Who would’ve thought that a cup of cooked oats delivers six grams of protein? These fibre-rich grains sure do! Also in the running are nutritional yeast (adds a cheese-like flavour to roasts) with three grams of protein per two tablespoons and amaranth (great with veggies, chicken and dressings) with five grams per cooked half cup. VEGGIES No wonder Popeye couldn’t live without spinach; a cup of these dark leafy greens offers five grams of protein power, plus they’re super rich in iron! Meanwhile, one piece of Portobello mushroom contains two grams of protein—great for home grilled dishes like vegetable satays kebabs, even yakitoris.
TIP: MAKE YOUR OWN NON-
BEANS AND LENTILS If 10 grams in navy beans, nine grams in edamame and lentils, four grams in green peas aren’t enough protein to prove their nutritional worth, know that these power picks, specially lentils (beans only carry half) also offer iron—about 18 percent of the Daily Value for adults. With iron delivering oxygen to cells, you can surely go the distance.
DAIRY POST-RUN SMOOTHIE BY BLENDING SOYMILK, SILKEN TOFU, CHIA SEEDS TOGETHER WITH FRESH OR FROZEN FRUIT. PACKS ABOUT 15 GRAMS OF PROTEIN.
Tired of all the usual pre-race pasta and “mee” dinners for banking energy reserves to fuel those marathons? Don’t be. A recent University of Minnesota study suggests that diligent carbo-loading may result in faster times, too. Runners who scarfed an additional half-gram of nutrient per pound of body weight during the 24 hours prior to a marathon snipped an average of five minutes of their time. Feeding for speed? Forget the carb guilt and get your extra serving of mainly whole grains for a healthy dose of fibre too.
NUTS AND SEEDS Two tablespoons of chia seeds pumps six grams of protein, 10 grams of fibre and five grams of alpha linolenic acid, a plant-based omega-3 linked to lower rates of heart disease. Ground flaxseeds are also worth the same nutrients. Both are rich sources of manganese, a mineral that turns fat and carbs into energy to boost performance. Lightly mixed nuts may pack in electrolytes like calcium, magnesium and some potassium—great for topping up on lost electrolytes during sweaty runs. Whether they’re for midday or post-run snacking, these nuts and seeds are definitely worth nibbling.
Can’t stay away from those fried kway teows and yummy char siews? The next time you go for seconds (or thirds), lace up your sneaks and head out for a run. Recent studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine show that performing aerobic workouts such as running, increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain’s prefrontal area, which regulate behaviour and emotions.
Races and places to achieve your personal best and enhance your running experience
73 BLAZING ASIA’S TRAILS
If you're looking for new trails to explore or seeking an intimate and unique race experience, these three places are for you. Not only do they offer challenging terrain, their location and proximity to Singapore is a plus.
77 A CELEBRATION OF LIFE Run For Hope
78 CHARITY RUN IN THE CBD The 10th Bull Charge
79 BEST OF HONG KONG
The 2014 Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon
SCENE & HEARD
83 2013 JURONG LAKE RACE PACK COLLECTION
80 ASIA’S ONLY MARATHON MAJOR
84 2013 SAFRA BAY RACE PACK COLLECTION AND RUN
WHAT’S UP & RUNNING
85 THE COLOR RUN SINGAPORE & THE NESTLE OMEGA PLUS ACTICOL ‘LOVE YOUR HEART’ RUN
The 2014 Tokyo Marathon
81 RACES CALENDAR
Calendar of upcoming races in Singapore and beyond. Get set and sign up!
PHOTO: DEPOSITPHOTOS/MIKAEL DAMKIER
BLAZING ASIAâ€™S TRAILS If you're looking for new trails to explore or seeking an intimate and unique race experience, these three places are for you. Not only do they offer challenging terrain, their location and proximity to Singapore is a plus. Text Jeanette Wang
rail running in Asia is certainly thriving with Hong Kong and Japan leading the way, in terms of races (number and variety) and the size of their trail running communities. But other spots, such as Malaysia, Taiwan and Nepal are fast catching up.
Sabah is arguably the country’s most famous trail running spot thanks to the annual Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon
Hashing – the international non-competitive “hare and hound” social event for drinkers with a runner’s problem – is said to have been started in December 1938 in Kuala Lumpur by a group of British colonial officers and expats. But despite this long history of trail running in the country, the sport today is still very much in its infancy. There is, however, growing interest. The Salomon X-Trail Run, for example, had 2,200 participants for its third edition last year, up from 900 in the inaugural race. Meanwhile, more than 800 people had signed up for last September’s “The Most Beautiful Thing”, Malaysia’s first ultra-trail race held at and around South-east Asia’s highest peak, Mount Kinabalu. The event began in 2011 with only 180 participants. There are other climbathons, such as the Gunung Datok Challenge in Terengganu and the Yam Tuan Antah Challenge up Mount Berembun in Negri Sembilan, but these are more hiking than running events.
Sabah is arguably the country’s most famous trail running spot thanks to the annual Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon that began in 1987, which has attracted top elites including Kilian Jornet and Marco de Gasperi.
MALAYSIA’S KEY TRAIL RUNNING EVENTS
At 4,095 metres high and with steep and tricky inclines, Kinabalu is best suited for the advanced trail runner according to Melody Tan, managing partner of Quick Release Adventures, organisers of key running and cycling events in Malaysia since 2002.
The Most Beautiful Thing 25/50/100km, Sabah
For beginners, she suggests the jungle trails of the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) in Kuala Lumpur, which is popular with newbies. For intermediates, she recommends: Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, which has a 15km trail network; Bukit Gasing, Petaling Jaya; Gunung Nuang, Selangor, a popular spot for those training for mountaineering or ultras; and Youth Park, Penang.
Beaufort 60km, Sabah www.sabahadventurechallenge.com
The Salomon X-Trail Run
Apart from the popular trails, Tan says there are many other off-road trails in Malaysian palm oil, rubber estates and jungles which hashers go to. Find a hash through the Malaysian Hash Council (www. malaysianhashcouncil.com).
Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon
PHOTOS: CV CHONG/PAVITER SINGH/SABAH PARKS/SABAH TOURISM
Mount Kinabalu International Cilmbathon, Sabah
PHOTOS: ACTION ASIA EVENTS
Nepal Action Asia three-day ultra in the Gorkha Valley
NEPAL With eight of the 10 highest peaks in the world, Nepal is undoubtedly blessed with mountains and trails. However, the trail running community is still quite small there, lying in the shadows of football and cricket, according to Richard Bull, a British race organiser residing in Kathmandu. But the sport is growing, thanks to an increasing number of events that attract an international crowd, and Nepali runners breaking into the global racing scene with top finishes at ultra-trail races overseas.
NEPAL’S KEY TRAIL RUNNING EVENTS Nepal Action Asia three-day ultra, Nov 1-3, 2013 www.actionasiaevents.com
Manaslu Mountain Marathon sevenstage ultra, Nov 9-22, 2013 www.manaslutrailrace.org
Mustang Trail Race eight-stage ultra, Nov 23-Dec 6, 2013 www.mustangtrailrace.com
Annapurna 100, March 1, 2014 www.annapurna100.com
Everest Marathon, May 29, 2014 www.everestmarathon.com
Nepal has a very diverse landscape, Bull says, from 300-metre high flatlands to peaks higher than 8,000 metres, and sub-tropical places to almost desert-like scenery tucked behind the mountains. The climate also varies from a long dry season to a lush monsoon period. The Kathmandu Valley has “a million trails to run”, says Bull. There are lots of small villages, temples, forests, friendly people on the trails, and a lot of tea and noodles to consume. For the rest of the country, its trekking infrastructure makes for fabulous multi-day trips. “There's always a place to sleep and eat pretty well,” he says.
However, the main tourist locations, such as Annapurna and the Everest region, tend to be very crowded, says Michael Maddess of Action Asia Events. He recommends the Gorkha Valley, where his annual three-day Nepal ultramarathon is held. As for trail difficulty, Maddess says: “Nepal has all but a lot of intermediate/advanced trails depending on how high an elevation you want to hike/run. The sky is the limit with the tallest peaks in the world.”
October to December and March and April are the best times to visit, though all months have their attractions, says Bull. And remember to keep an open mind. “Things perhaps don't work here as predictably as Singapore. It's not a very competitive place and time is elastic and people are not in a rush,” he says. “Don't forget to say 'namaste' to people you meet along the way, and always let yaks go first.” Maddess adds: “The main issue in Nepal is elevation acclimatisation as many people get too excited seeing great views and hike/run up too fast, which can result in altitude sickness, dehydration and other more serious problems if you’re not careful.”
“DON'T FORGET TO SAY 'NAMASTE' TO PEOPLE YOU MEET ALONG THE WAY, AND ALWAYS LET YAKS GO FIRST.” – Richard Bull, a race organiser residing in Kathmandu, on trail etiquette in Nepal
TAIWAN While hiking has been popular for decades in Taiwan, trail runs are just gaining popularity, according to Sasha Tarasov, a Russian trail runner based in the capital, Taipei. The great thing is that it’s relatively easy to find your way around. “Taipei is conveniently located in valley surrounded by mountains, and reaching the nearest trails can take as less as half to an hour,” says Tarasov. Metro stations have map boards, and there are a number of useful websites such as the National Parks of Taiwan official site (http:// np.cpami.gov.tw/english) and books and a blog by Richard Saunders (taiwandiscovery. wordpress.com).
There is much to be discovered in Taiwan, a country of nearly 36,000 square kilometres and mostly rugged mountain terrain, according to Maddess. Unfortunately most paths are not dirt but paved, Tarasov says. He adds: “The trails are finely meshed up, making it easy to explore without the fear of getting lost.” Popular spots include Yangmingshan, the National Park to the north of Taipei City; Taroko National Park, which spans Taichung City, Nantou County and Hualien County; and Jade Mountain (Yushan), Taiwan’s tallest mountain at 3,952 metres.
Yangmingshan National Park
To find a hiking group, Tarasov recommends 523, the largest hiking community in Taiwan (www.523.org.tw). Try also joining a hash, such as the Metro Hash, Bear Hash and China Hash groups, he says. The only “real” trail run in Taiwan is the OtterBox Action Asia X-Trail 9km and 17km, held in September. “Ninety per cent of the route is on trails, and it involves climbing mountains and crossing rivers,” says Tarasov. The rest of the trail runs are actually held mostly on paved mountain roads, such as the Caoling Trail Run and Zhenwushan Mountain Marathon 53km. The North Face 100 Taiwan, part of the regional series of trail races, had only 8km of trail this year according to Tarasov.
The author at the OtterBox Action Asia X-Trail Taiwan race in 2012.
TAIWAN’S KEY TRAIL RUNNING EVENTS OtterBox Action Asia X-Trail 9km and 17km, September 2014 Caoling Trail Run
The North Face 100 Taiwan For more trail events and races, visit:
Recently there have been cases of increased wasp nesting in forests in the north-east, Tarasov says. If encountered, pass slowly, don't panic or disturb them. See a doctor immediately if you’re stung.
Zhenwushan Mountain Marathon 53km
PHOTOS: ACTION ASIA EVENTS
“Taiwan has trails for all abilities, but I would think the majority is accessible to beginner and intermediate runners,” Maddess says.
AMAZING RACES ES RAC T! ALER
Our preview of the upcoming major races in Singapore and beyond! RUN FOR HOPE FACTFILE
A CELEBRATION OF LIFE 2013 RUN FOR HOPE 17 November 2013
unning is one activity that is extolled by many because of its manifold benefits for promoting fitness and health. It’s an exercise that strengthens not just the body but it’s good for the mind and soul as well. Sadly, not everyone is healthy and fit enough to perform what many consider a simple activity like running. Many people are afflicted by diseases that render them immobile or unfit to be enjoying what most of us can easily do unassisted. Many of them have cancer. It is this sobering thought and care for these people in our midst that the two Four Seasons hotels – Four Seasons Hotel Singapore and Regent Singapore – joined forces 21 years ago to help cancer patients through their event “Run For Hope”. Since the inaugural run in 1993, it has become one of Singapore’s largest charity runs raising awareness and support for cancer research and cancer patients.
This November, besides celebrating its 21st anniversary, also marks the sixth year that the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) has been the beneficiary. And to celebrate these milestones, the organisers hope to hold their largest event yet. It aims to attract 15,000 participants and achieve a target of S$600,000. The 2012 event saw more than 10,000 runners, raising close to S$450,000. “Since 2008, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore and Regent Singapore have partnered NCCS to raise awareness and funds for the NCC Research Fund and we’re proud to continue
Venue: The Promontory @ Marina Bay
Distance categories: 3.5km and 10km
Registration Fees Categories
Adult (19 years old & above) Youth & Junior (5–18 years old) Past-year Participant Rate
Adult (19 years old & above) Youth & Junior (5–18 years old) Buddie Rate
Buddie (19 years old & above) Group Rate
Group of ≥10 (19 years old & above)
S$48 S$25 3.5km/10km
S$43 S$20 3.5km/10km
More information can be found through this link: www.runforhope.sg/run-information/run-categories-fees-and-routes/
PHOTO: RUN FOR HOPE
RUN FOR HOPE
Date: 17 November 2013
doing so,” says Mr. Rizwan Shaikh, Hotel Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore. “The Run For Hope has grown into a significant platform raising awareness and funds that go a long way to enabling NCCS researchers and clinician-scientists to carry out their work in cutting edge research highly relevant to our community. In the last five years, about $20 million dollars have gone to fund more than 60 worthwhile cancer research projects benefiting patients through better treatment outcomes,” says Dr Tan Hiang Khoon, Director for Division of Community Outreach and Philanthropy at NCCS and also a surgical oncologist.
Run For Hope 2013 will feature 3.5 and 10km categories. The run is set to take place in the scenic surrounds of Marina Bay, starting and finishing at the Promontory. Participants also stand the chance to win some fantastic prizes, including overseas stays at a number of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. So if you are thinking of running for a cause, sign up now for Run For Hope and give hope to those who can’t be there because of cancer. Visit www.runforhope.sg for more information.
PHOTO: SGX BULL CHARFE
CHARITY RUN IN THE CBD
THE BULL CHARGE 2013 22 November 2013
elebrating A Decade Of Giving” is the underlying theme of this year’s Singapore Exchange (SGX) Bull Charge. Incepted in 2004, it is the only corporate charity run that brings the financial industry and all SGX-listed companies together for a common cause – to empower communities through financial literacy and promote sustainable societies. For the past nine years, the Bull Charge has tapped into the popularity of running to raise more than S$18 million for more than 50 charities. Corporate and individual donors from the financial industry and SGX-listed companies have come forward and generously contributed to the worthy cause of this event that benefits many disadvantaged Singaporeans. To celebrate its 10th year anniversary, the organisers are working towards a bigger and better charity run this year. They aim to attract 10,000 runners and raise S$3 million – more than double last year’s figures of 4,200 runners and S$1.388 million in donations. Funds raised will go towards four charities: the Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA) which empowers disadvantaged women; the Fei Yue Community Services which provides programmes and services catering to the different needs and groups
of the community; the Autism Association (Singapore), through The Eden Centre for Adults; and the Shared Services for Charities, an advocate for collaborating and sharing of professional resources among charities for better governance and organisational excellence.
So rally your colleagues, friends and family to run together and raise funds for The Bull Charge!
SGX has also enabled online donations from companies and members of the public via American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Paypal.
For more information and to sign up and/ or donate, please visit bullcharge.sgx.com. Registration closes on 22 October 2013.
President Tony Tan Keng Yam will grace the occasion as the guest-of-honour at this year’s Bull Charge 10th anniversary event.
THE SGX BULL CHARGE FACTFILE Venue: The Float @ Marina Bay Run Route: Approximately 5km around Marina Bay
Date & Time: Friday, 22 November 2013 4.30pm 6.00pm (Flag-off for run activities)
Categories Chief Challenge (3km)
Open to all CEOs or Chiefs of companies who donate S$5,000 per runner
Mass Run (5km)
Open to employees of SGX-listed companies in the financial district, and who donate a minimum of S$50
Management Team Relay and Challenge
On a first-come first-served basis and capped at 20 teams
For more information visit bullcharge.sgx.com or call 6340 4204 (Operating hours from 9am to 6pm, Mondays to Fridays)
WHAT A COOL RUN ancy getting away from Singapore’s humidity? Why not run in the sub-tropical climate of Hong Kong and achieve your personal best for a full marathon!
One of the region’s most exciting races, the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon takes place on 16 February 2014 – an ideal period when temperatures are cooler and humidity is lower. Punctuated by pleasant breezes and bright sunshine, the weather condition couldn’t be more conducive to longdistance running. Apart from its enticing climate, the Hong Kong race also has a unique course that is akin to touring the bustling city on foot. It’s flagged off in the bustling shopping strip of Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, then on highways, over bridges and through tunnels that are usually only open to motor vehicles. The event then finishes at the scenic Victoria Park, Causeway Bay.
No wonder then that the Hong Kong Tourism Board has been promoting the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon as one of the city’s great outdoor pursuits. Indeed, thousands of participants from all over Asia and beyond have been flocking to HK not just to eat and shop, but also to partake in Hong Kong’s myriad athletic activities including running events and endurance races.
Full Marathon 2013 winner Julius Maisei
PHOTOS: HONG KONG AMATEUR ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
2014 STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON 16 FEBRUARY 2014
If you’re drawing up your list of races to take part in and places to visit in 2014, Hong Kong makes a very cool and compelling choice. To register or for more information on the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, visit www.hkmarathon.com.
ASIA’S ONLY WORLD MARATHON MAJOR okyo Marathon is not only the largest marathon race in all of Asia, it is also the one and only World Marathon Major in the region. Last year, it joined the big league that includes Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, and New York Marathons.
complete this all-important race. Apart from the runners, there are 10,000 volunteers and over a million well-wishers that come together as one to make it happen. Tokyo Marathon unites people and makes a great contribution to fulfill the dreams of thousands of runners.
The event, which is also the earliest Major on the annual calendar, transitioned from an elite race to a mass participation event in 2007. The race now has an annual 300,000 registrants applying for 35,500 spots, which certainly puts it on par with the other World Marathon Majors in terms of participation size.
Just like last year, there will be various performances along the running route: ladies dancing, school kids doing cheer routines, even monks on a temple balcony rooting for participants. What’s more, expect the Japanese – known to be the most hospitable people on earth – generously give out sweets, buns, fruits and other energy-boosting treats to the participants. Their encouragement and kindness will inspire you to press on till you cross the finish line.
Every year, the busy streets of Metropolitan Tokyo come to a standstill to welcome runners from all over Japan and around the world. This city marathon is no ordinary run, it has become known as “a race filled with many dreams”. Its slogan, “The Day We Unite”, is very apt as Tokyo becomes a veritable melting pot of people from different races, of different colours, men and women, able-bodied and the handicapped alike, all united for one same purpose and that is to
Indeed, the Tokyo Marathon is no ordinary race. The people that descend on it are the ones that make it an extraordinary race. For more information on the 2014 Tokyo Marathon, visit: www.tokyo42195.org/2014en/.
PHOTOS: TOKYO MARATHON FOUNDATION
2014 TOKYO MARATHON 23 February 2014
THE TOKYO MARATHON 2014 FACTFILE
The event also serves as the 98th National Championship-Men’s Marathon Selection Race of Japan Men's Marathon Representatives for the 17th Asian Games in Incheon (2014). Events: Marathon (Men, Women, Wheelchair Men, Wheelchair Women); 10km Race (Men and Women for U-18, Visually Impaired, Intellectually Challenged, Organ Transplant Recipients and Wheelchair categories) Date & Time: Sunday, 23 February 2014 9:05am (Wheelchair start) 9:10am (Full marathon and 10km start) 10:50am 10km (Expected time to finish) 4:10pm Marathon (Expected time to finish) Maximum number of entrants: Marathon: 35,500 runners 10km Race: 500 runners
WHAT’S UP & RUNNING
WHAT’S UP & RUNNING SIGN
Get to the starting line and set a new personal record (or earn bragging rights) at these local and international races. SINGAPORE October 2013 4 & 5/10 · The North Face 100 www.thenorthface100.com.sg 13/10 · Pioneer Road Run www.pioneerrun.sg · Mizuno PAssion Wave Run www.mizuno.com.sg · Mizuno PAssion Mt Faber Run 2013 www.mizuno.com.sg 20/10 · Newton Challenge 2013 www.newtonchallenge.com 26/10 · Singapore Duathlon National Championships www.singaporeduathlon.com · Race The Dead 2013 www.racethedead.sg November 2013 9/11 · The Trail Seeker Races www.thetrailseeker.com 10/11 · Great Eastern Women’s Run 2013 www.greateasternwomensrun.com 17/11 · Run For Hope www.runforhope.sg 22/11 · The Bull Charge www.bullcharge.sg 24/11 · Swissotel Vertical Marathon www.swissotelverticalmarathon.com December 2013 1/12 · Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore www.marathonsingapore.com 29/12 · MR25 Ultramarathon mr25.org.sg
INTERNATIONAL October 2013 12/10 · Brocken Marathon Brocken, Germany
Marathon de Beloeil Beloeil, Belgium 13/10 · Spar Budapest Marathon Budapest, Hungary · Buenos Aires Marathon Buenos Aires, Argentina · Eindhoven Marathon Eindhoven, Netherlands · Essen Marathon Essen, Germany · Graz Marathon Graz, Austria · International Lake Garda Marathon Garda Lake, Italy · International Novi Sad Marathon Novi Sad, Yugoslavia · Italian Marathon Memorial Enzo Ferrari Maranello, Italy · RheinEnergie Koeln (Cologne) Marathon Koeln (Cologne), Germany · Leicester Marathon Leicester, United Kingdom · Medien Marathon Munich, Germany · Medibank for Better Health Melbourne Marathon Melbourne, Australia · Poznan Marathon Poznan, Poland · RunLiverpool Marathon Liverpool, United Kingdom · Schwarzwald Marathon Braeunlingen, Germany 17/10 · Augrabies Extreme Marathon Augrabies, South Africa 19/10 · Bilbao Night Marathon Bilbao, Spain · Polar Circle Marathon Kangerlassuaq, Greenland · Vaxjo Marathon Vaxjo, Sweden 20/10 · TCS Amsterdam Marathon Amsterdam, Netherlands · Sinotrans Limited Beijing Int’l Marathon Beijing, China
Bottwartal-Marathon Grossbottwar, Germany · Morgenpost Dresden Marathon Dresden, Germany · Haile Gebrselassie Marathon Hawassa, Ethiopia · Lago Maggiore Marathon Verbania, Italy · Marathon de Vannes Vannes, France · Marato Del Mediterrani Castelldefels, Spain · Plusnet Plusent Yorkshire Marathon York, United Kingdom 26/10 · Snowdonia Marathon Snowdonia, United Kingdom 27/10 · Casablanca Marathon Casablanca, Morocco · Chunchon Int’l Marathon Chuncheon City, Korea (South) · BMW Frankfurt Marathon Frankfurt, Germany · Lausanne Marathon Lausanne, Switzerland · Ljubljana Marathon Ljubljana, Slovenia · Lucca Marathon Lucca, Italy · Podgoricka ProMonte Marathon Podgoricka, Yugoslavia · Venice Marathon Venice, Italy · Brabant Marathon Brabant, Netherlands 28/10 · Dublin Marathon Dublin, Ireland November 2013 2/11 · Taroko International Marathon Hualien, Taiwan 3/11 · adidas Auckland Marathon Auckland, New Zealand · Joongang Seoul Marathon Seoul, Korea (South)
WHAT’S UP & RUNNING ·
Maratona Do Porto Porto, Portugal · Rursee Marathon Simmerath-Einruhr, Germany · Terschelling Marathon Brandaris, Netherlands 9/11 · Marathon du Cognac Jarnac, France 10/11 · Athens Marathon Athens, Greece · BDI Beirut International Marathon Beirut, Lebanon · Livorno Maraton Livorno, Italy · Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes NiceCannes Nice, France · Maratona di Ravenna Ravenna, Italy 17/11 · Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Istanbul Eurasia Marathon Istanbul, Turkey · Marabana Havana Marathon Havana, Cuba
Marathon Popular de Valencia Valencia, Spain · Palermo Marathon Palermo, Italy · Allianz Penang Bridge International Marathon Penang, Malaysia · Turin Marathon Turin, Italy · Yokohama Women's Marathon Yokohama, Japan · Antarctic Ice Marathon Ellsworth Mountains, Antarctica 20/11 · Firenze (Florence) Marathon Florence, Italy 24/11 · Marathon de La Rochelle La Rochelle, France · Marathon de San Sebastian San Sebastian, Spain December 2013 1/12 · Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Fukuoka Int'l Open Marathon Championship Fukuoka, Japan · HBN Law Marathon Willemstad / Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles · Lake Atitlan Marathon Panajachel, Guatemala · Maraton Internacional Costa del Pacifico Vina del mar, Chile · Toray Shanghai International Marathon Shanghai, China 7/12 · Reggae Marathon Negril, Jamaica 8/12 · Las Cruces Marathon Las Cruces, Mexico · Powerade Maratón Powerade Monterrey Monterrey, Mexico · Placencia Marathon Placencia, Belize 15/12 · Rabobank Spijkenisse Marathon Spijkenisse, Netherlands 22/12 · Chiang Mai Marathon Chiang Mai, Thailand
All events/dates are correct at time of printing and are subject to change without prior notice. For event organisers—if you would like your events published here, send all details to email@example.com.
WHAT’S NEW & NOTEWORTHY Promenade towards Kallang Riverside Park in Puma’s latest Mobium Elite, BioWeb and Faas 600 shoes. As they ran, runners had the chance to experience how the new PUMA AW13 Glow collection had been enhanced with reflective and glow-in-the-dark features that ensure visibility during night and low light conditions. The Puma Running Club is part of Puma’s long-term running sustaining programme and has been held in key cities including Japan and Taiwan. Each Thursday training session focuses on running-specific programme workouts, such as speed, circuit, strength and conditioning exercises, and 3 to 10km group runs cater to various levels, from faster runners to leisure joggers. To encourage runners to commit to a long-term running programme, Puma will also be giving free running merchandise to runners for every four sessions clocked.
Puma Launches Running Club If you haven’t kickstarted your training for the upcoming Singapore marathon, fret not for it’s never too late to get moving now. And the key is to get out there and join other like-minded individuals who are just as determined to get fitter, healthier and better prepared for the next race. Can’t think of anyone to run with? Popular sportslifestyle brand, Puma has launched the
Singapore edition of its eponymous Running Club last August which attracted 46 runners. A dynamic warm-up session was conducted by Puma-sponsored running club, Team RunFanatics at Marina Square, before runners were led to the starting point at Esplanade open theatre and split into two distance groups of 3km and 6km. Not only that, they pounded the pavement along the Marina
Those who are interested to join should email firstname.lastname@example.org by every Wednesday noon with their name and mobile number, indicating their shoe size if shoe loan is required. For latest updates, including terms and conditions, please refer to their Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/notes/pumasingapore/puma-running-club-brings-lightto-the-night-run/10151726111036893
SCENE & HEARD
SCENE & HEARD
RUN AS ONE
urong Lake Run is billed as the first and largest race in the western part of Singapore. Its slogan, “Running as One”, reflects a strong commitment by the community to bring together people from different races, walks of life and age groups.
Prior to the main event on 7 July, the organisers of the Jurong Lake Run held a race pack collection road show at Taman Jurong Community Centre. About 16,000 participants stepped away from their usual weekend routine on 29 and 30 June 2013 to be part of the action!
This year, Jurong Lake Run promises to be more than just a run where a new 850m Kids Dash category is included, and participants can look forward to a carnival extravaganza at the Chinese Gardens after the race.
RUN Singapore was present to interact with participants to let them know more about Singapore’s one and only running magazine. As a roadshow exclusive offer, every subscription to the magazine entitled
one to a goodie bag and to take part in a SPIN & WIN contest for a chance to win additional prizes. Two lucky winners walked away with the top prize of a Soleus running watch worth S$98 each. RUN Singapore is proud to be associated with Jurong Lake Run 2013 as the Official Running Magazine. We would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to our sponsors, friends, existing and new subscribers of RUN Singapore for their tremendous support during the event.
Special thanks go out to the following sponsors:
SCENE & HEARD
FITNESS & BONDING AT SAFRA BAY RUN RACE EXPO
t was another exciting year for organisers of the Safra Bay Run & Army Half Marathon as the 2013 edition showed a significant increase in participation among NSmen. Almost double the number of NSmen took part in the 21km and 10km races this year. RUN Singapore was in the thick of the action when it participated in its Marathon Sports Expo held in conjunction with the Safra Bay Run Race Pack collection in end August. Held over 3 days from 23rd – 25th of August, the event drew an overwhelming turnout of 46,000 registered runners. While enthusiastic runners picked up
Special thanks go out to the following sponsors:
their attractive race pack at the expo, they were pleasantly welcomed by a massive hall of sports exhibitors offering irresistible deals on sports shoes, apparel, accessories, energy supplements and health products. As always, RUN Singapore extended its attractive magazine subscription deal to all experienced and leisure runners who were passionate to learn more about running smarter and faster. Participants who signed up for one- or two-year subscription were rewarded with a goodie bag along with a go at the SPIN & WIN contest where they stood a chance to win a brand new Soleus Watch worth $98 daily. We also gave a
pair of Vibram Fivefingers Seeya/Seeya LS to one lucky winner of the “Take a Wild Guess’’ contest. In conjunction with the event was the highly anticipated launch of RUN Singapore’s online edition which is now made available via our RUN Singapore website at www.runsingapore.asia RUN Singapore would like to thank all our readers, existing and new subscribers for visiting our booth. Our sincere thanks and appreciation also goes to our sponsors: Acti-Tape, Energy Gel Addict, Flexi-Patch, Oakley, Optimal Nutrition, Pokka Sports Water, Soleus and Timex.
SCENE & HEARD
MOST COLOURFUL 5KM
he Color Run presented by CIMB Bank debuted in Singapore with 16, 000 participants taking part in this unique 5km run. Participants were engulfed with coloured powder and music every kilometre as they made new friends and celebrated together in a spirit of health and happiness.
So important is Singapore to The Color Run globally that Travis Snyder, the founder of what is currently the world’s largest event series, flew in to join the excitement. Taking the role of emcee at times, he personally engaged with the crowd and shared his thoughts of being in town:
“We have had crazy demand for The Color Run event all over the world – but no response has compared with the great people of Singapore. Because of this, I just had to come out to this spectacular city, join the inaugural event and participate first hand with our runners here.”
The party continued well after the finish with several Colour Throwing Festivals whilst being entertained by Before You Exit, one of the hottest bands from Orlando, Florida. A cheque of $16,000 was presented by CIMB Bank to Project Happy Feet on 18 August during the evening’s entertainment. Radiant in red
Paul Foster after the run
Runners soaking in the happiness
Rainbow of colours
Participants, both young and old, came together in support of good heart health.
RUN FOR YOUR HEART
round 2,000 Singaporeans took part in the inaugural Nestle Omega Plus Acticol ‘Love Your Heart’ Run, the first and only run in Singapore dedicated to raising awareness on the importance of good heart health. With the panoramic view of the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade foregrounding the start line, this run also served as a great platform for Singaporeans to kickstart a healthier lifestyle. Dr Amy Khor ran the 3.5km Fun Run & Walk category alongside participants of the Nestle Omega Plus Acticol ‘Love Your Heart’ Run, in support of good heart health.
Guest-of-honour, Dr Amy Khor, Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Manpower, was present to flag off the participants of both
the 10km Competitive Run and 3.5km Fun Run & Walk categories. Unique to runs in Singapore, this is the only one in which heart health education messages were embedded along the ‘Love Your Heart’ Run route and a mini health exhibition was held on site to further educate participants on the importance of heart health. As part of the fringe activities, participants were also treated to a slew of exciting events from the yoga warm-up session before the flag off, to stage games pertaining to heart health, yoga demonstrations and Zumba performances after the Run.
HERE’S HOW TO WIN: Simply complete the form below and send it back to us, and you could be one of the 30 winners to win a pair of SKINS Travel & Recovery Long Tights worth $180. RUN SINGAPORE/SKINS PROMOTION
WIN A PAIR OF
Simply send your completed form to:
RUN Singapore/SKINS Promotion 65A Temple Street Singapore 058610 Send your entries by 30 November 2013.
Q: SKINS gradient compression has been engineered to provide the correct level of surface pressure increasing circulations and delivering more oxygen to the muscle, aids in quicker recovery. (True/False) A: Yes, I would like to receive more information regarding SKINS products. Name (Mr/Mrs/Ms.):
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Terms and Conditions: This promotion is open to all Singapore residents except employees of Bold Ink Magazines Pte Ltd and its sponsors. Prizes must be taken as provided and are neither transferable nor exchangeable for cash. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute the prize with one of equivalent value. Bold Ink Magazines and the sponsor(s) shall not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the winner or any other party in accepting, using or consuming the products. Upon your submission of this entry form, you are deemed to have agreed that the organiser/sponsor can use, archive and distribute the data provided by you in a manner that we deem fit, without reference to you.
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AND ACHIEVE YOUR PERSONAL BEST! RUN Singapore is the definitive guide to running for runners and marathoners of all ages and abilities. Be in the know on the latest and must-have running apparel and accessories; uncover secrets to running smart and injury-free; learn how to keep fit; and boost your performance plus keep abreast of upcoming races in Singapore and all over the world! Packed with exclusive information and content, relevant features and latest news, RUN Singapore is the complete resource to help you become a better and faster runner.
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THE FINISH LINE
RUNNING IS A BEAUTIFUL WAY TO ENJOY AND DISCOVER A CITY/ DESTINATION!
WINNY CHRISTINE Age: 31 Occupation: Senior Project Manager Text Marie Monozca
he grew up not as a runner but as a tennis player. For many years, Winny Christine trained at the prestigious Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, in Florida, USA. She considers those years probably the best of her life. “The Academy created a lifelong foundation for me to always maintain a healthy and active lifestyle,” says the 31-year old Senior Project Manager of a sports marketing agency. She adds: “My family are also my coaches who push me to continually stay active. My father can run, bike, golf, and swim in one day. My two sisters are marathoners, triathletes, and Ironman finishers!” Winny, who was born in Jakarta, Indonesia but spent most of her growing up years in different cities all over the world – Chicago, New York, Miami, London and Barcelona – now lives in Singapore with her family. “I got hooked on running while living in New York in the early 2000. I often ran the streets of New York at night, both in the summer and in the winter (even with snow on the ground).
For two years, I worked with my client on their sponsorship of the ING NYC Marathon in 2011 and 2012. Running definitely contributed to my knowledge of marathons and also in connecting with the 40-plus runners I was managing in New York.” Running, has also allowed Winny to experience and explore a particular city – on foot. “Barcelona has some amazing running routes,” she enthuses. In Singapore, she runs about once or twice a week at the Botanical Gardens “because it’s close to home”, and about once a week at the Marina Bay Sands area, “on the weekends when it's quiet”. She said: “My friend and I can run for two to three hours discovering the streets of Singapore and end with a nice late lunch.” Despite her frequent travels for work around the region, running is very much an inextricable part of Winny’s routine, and will be more so in the coming months as she trains for races in Singapore and oversesas. “I have always been athletic but had never run a race in my life. Personally, I stay fit through running and tennis – and I feel the two really are quite balancing for me at this point in my life.”
My most memorable race was the first one – the Nike 10K Human Race in August 2008 in New York City. I had just started at Columbia Business School and a group of new students from all over the world decided at the last minute to run the race. The pictures from the run and fun times afterwards were so memorable. I decided to take up running because it is the fastest way to sweat in the least amount of time. I grew up playing tennis and staying fit through my years at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, USA. As I got older and moved to New York, tennis wasn’t really an option; but running was easy and so enjoyable in a city like New York. Running alone gives you time to think and usually the best ideas come when I do run alone. Running with friends helps me go further in distance and time which is great; the social aspect of it makes you feel less tired. I definitely enjoy both. I am a runner who runs to sweat and stay fit but definitely not a professional or long distance runner. I do listen to my body as I do want to be able to run for most of my life. My goal is to improve and bring myself back to finishing 10km under 60 minutes. I am gearing up for a few races in the coming months: The North Face 13km, Great Eastern 10km, Standard Chartered Half Marathon, and – I can't believe I registered for it – the Napa Valley Full Marathon, which I am doing for its beautiful and scenic route more so than the race itself! Thanks to the editor of this magazine who told me about it! Running is a beautiful way to enjoy and discover a city/destination! If you would like to share with us how or who got you hooked on running, or the first time you crossed that seemingly distant finish line, drop us a note with your name and contact details at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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