Sunday, November 30, 2008

Marathon Pacers: The Final Countdown

Field Report By FatBird Anthony
Photo_SlideShow by FatBird Jancy

FatBird Pacers before the Fam Run

After what began as a passion and desire to provide PaceMaking services to the SCCM08 20 weeks ago, Team FatBird Marathon Pacers has finally completed its 15 week marathon training program this Sunday morning at ECP, The PlayGround @ Big Splash.

The Pacers were bright and early this morning, along with the large turnout of Pacees and marathon trainees, many of whom have joined FatBird on our marathon training journey as well as new ones who for the first time were experiencing the FatBird training machinery and culture...hehe....hope they liked what they experienced. Trainers David and Ronnie had planned for this morning's 18km familiarization of portions of the SCSM08 final route, which was a refreshing welcome from the almost-becoming-routine weekend runs along ECP towards Changi Coastal Road and back...the tough training was behind us...haha.

Route Briefing @ The PlaygGround, Big Splash

FatBird Ronnie gave a thorough briefing and away the group of about 60-odd runners set off towards Fort Road, running into Kallang Stadium, and along the People's Academy section. The Pacers, in our white/blue Nike training gear (we will be donning a brand-new set of darker shades for race day *hint*) led the runners along in tightly-knit packs, watching for all at traffic sections and important turning points. After about 10.8km of running, the group reached the U-turn point near The Singapore Flyer. All were relieved by the water-stop and recharged with isotonic drinks in what was a rather hot and humid morning.

Along Nicholl Highway

The Pacees were taking in the run well, and most were very relaxed, a good sign ahead of next Sunday's race. The idea was to do a shorter distance in the final weekend, at about similar race day intensity, but without being drained off. Lots of final tips on nutrition, pacing, marathon-ning were being dispensed by the experienced marathoners, and the spirits were high. After the break, the group proceeded back along the same way, bypassing the Kallang section this time. Before long, we hit Fort Road to nice winds and cloudy skies. All were very cheery and felt strong even as we draw close to the finish. I urged them to etched in their minds this positive image, to be replayed on race day for a strong finish.

Mid-point break near The Singapore Flyer

4:30hr Pacer David Shum conducted a good round of stretches in the warm-down routine for the runners. The isototic taps flowed and were dry very quickly this morning, but not before all were refreshed and drank to their heart's content. While awaiting for the Pacers group photo shoot, I had the opportunity to brief all Pacers and runners on Team FatBird Pacers race day preparations and how to spot and follow our Pacers. FatBirds DO and Jancy also briefed the group about race day gear requirements and the carbo-loading arrangements.

When the Pacers and chosen Pacees finally collected their highly anticpated race day top, all were excited and pleased with what they saw, and will surely look forward to don the gear on race day with pride as a Team FatBird Marathon Pacer, leading and motivating runners to reach their important target times at SCSM08.

Team FatBird -
Follow Our Pace, Win Your Race!

Photo_SlideShow, courtesy FatBird Jancy

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Marathon Training Tip: Motivation

This week, we have Jonathon Fong, Exercise Consultant @ Racers' Toolbox ( to share with us his marathon training tip on Motivation.

When the going gets tough, it is often mental toughness that keeps you going. There are several methods that can be used to help keep you motivated during the upcoming marathon.

Visualisation techniques help to focus on the upcoming race and have proven to mentally prepare any athlete for the challenges that lie ahead. A few days before, it helps to take a drive through the actual course. Entering the race with a sound strategy e.g. mentally breaking the course into sections is much easier than telling yourself you have to complete the race as a whole. Break the distance into many shorter landmarks, and mentally congratulate yourself when you reach each landmark. Continually focus on reaching the next landmark.

Nutrition can also play a crucial part in race motivation. Immediately before and during the race, eat specially formulated bars (eg. power bar, power gel): some bars are higher in fat, but great tasting treats help maintain motivation. This also ensures that you are nutrient sufficient. Do make sure that you have tried these bars/gels in training beforehand in case it does not agree with you on race day and can affect your performance greatly.

When you are out there on the course, make sure you take in sights along the way, relishing the experience, wave to supporters and encourage other participants on the course. This helps to boost morale and is a great motivational tool to spurr you and others on who are sharing the same experience.

If you are finding it tough or if you ‘hit the wall’, it is crucial for you to think positive and be conscious of the fact that pain is only temporary. Take things as slow as you need to. Let your mind take over as you focus on the spectators, the path ahead of you, or the scenery, which will help you forget the physical pain. Repeat positive affirmations to drive the mind and body (e.g. just keep going, I am in control, etc.).

Sometimes it may be necessary to pull out of a race because of injury but at other times when the going gets tough, the prospect of quitting seems like the most logical idea. However, have you thought about the consequences that quitting will have? You will not only let your charity down but you will have to live with the decision that you had a chance to complete an endurance event but decided to drop out. Lance Armstrong, the legendary American Cyclist has perhaps the best opinion on quitting. He was quoted as saying, “Pain is temporary, quitting is forever.” Always push yourself to test your limits.

During the last quarter of the race, draw from a well of inner strength within yourself. Remind yourself of the sacrifices you have made to get this far, and how you have conquered fatigue so many times before. Press on and prepare to cross the finish line with a smile and your arms up in the air!

15-Week Marathon Training Programme: Week 14

Week 14


Mon 24/11: Rest / Cross (5 - 10km for those who choose to run - Option: Changi Business Park, 1815 hrs. Meet at "The Signature")
Do this or Wednesday.

Tues 25/11: 7-10km
River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs.

Wed 26/11: Rest / Cross (7 - 12km, International Business Park, Atrium. 1800 hrs.)
Do this or Monday.

Thurs 27/11: 7-10km, River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs.

Fri 28/11: Rest.

Sat 29/11: 5-7km Easy Run OTOT

Sun 30/11: 18km Route Familiarisation Run, ECP, Playground @ Big Splash Meet 0645hrs.

Note: Please look out for Team FatBird pacers at the meeting point.

Half - Marathon

Mon 24/11: Rest

Tues 25/11: 7-10km
River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs.

Wed 26/11: Cross.

Thurs 27/11: 7-10km, River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs.

Fri 28/11: Rest.

Sat 29/11: Easy Run.. 5-7km ..OTOT

Sun 30/11: 18km Route Familiarisation Run, ECP Playground @ Big Splash, Meet 0645hrs.

Note: Please look out for Team FatBird pacers at the meeting point.

A Special Interview with David Shum

David Shum (extreme right) pictured here with the rest of the 4:30 Group Pacers.

Interview by: FatBird Terry

This week, we are proud to have with us David Shum, our 4.30 Group Pacers for a short interview. Think you know the man? Read on to find out more!

About David
David has been a running addict since he got to know about marathon in the early 90’s when Mobil and Singapore marathon were the main year-end attraction. Since then, there’s no turning back except hitting the road after a hard days work. As avid soccer and badminton player during tertiary education, making the transition to running after graduation was not a plain sailing but a rather bumpy ride.

The first five years was quite a turbulence learning the rope through trial and error as well as pain and burnout. There was no education and awareness about footwear and training regime except that to run as much as far as possible. He had his youth to support him for the first five years of his running career and pain was not in his dictionary. Well, it when on for a while and hitting the wall as he hit mid-twenties where he suffered both swollen knees as a results from internal bleeding.

That experience had put him into a perspective of taking it sensibly and coming out wiser. It was not until at a much later stage of running years it has prompted him to undertake a proper athletic coaching programme through Singapore Sports Council. It did not only benefit him but also those around him that shared the passion of running. The education part has allow him to enjoy his run in terms of further, stronger and faster as well as providing him the cardio workout for other sports such as soccer and badminton.

T: So tell us how did running first started for you?

D: It was in 1992, after a dinner at Alexandra Village, saw a banner inviting runners to join the bandwagon of the SAFRA Running Club. They look cool in green, so I said "Why Not?"...the rest as they say is history.

T: Share with us one of your best marathon experiences.

D: The best marathon experience was the Gold Coast Marathon where it was my first overseas run and running under cold condition along the coast. The view was magnificent as endless wave hitting the shoreline and not short of supporters as well. Strangers were offering jellybeans, coffee as well as beer along the way.

T: (Great! we are planning on that marathon as well... right team?)

T: Ok... Besides running for marathons, what other sports do you do?

D: I played soccer and badminton competitively during secondary school as well as polytechnic in the late 90’s. Dabbled in golf for a while and found it very boring and lots of walking.

T: Now that you're a Team Fat Bird marathon pacer for SCSM08, what race day tips do you have to share with our fellow pacers and pacees?

D: Take on the run with a strategy in mind and follow the plan as close as possible. At the same time, make some friends along the way to keep yourselves occupied and on track as well as motivation from the rest around us. We can not under-estimate what little we the Pacers do that could have an impact on their running lives, and how much it meant for the pacees to learn and achieve their personal goals.

T: Lastly, tell us something we Don't Know about David Shum.

D: A trained professional civil engineer of 15 years and had since made changes to his career to feed his passion for running by managing a sports facilities at Singapore Sports Council for fours years. Had picked up athletic and soccer coaching respectively with SSC and FAS along the way and decided to volunteer his time as a Running Trainer for SAFRA Running Club (Toa Payoh and Tampines) from 2004 till now. Found coaching meaningful and fulfilling and had decided to make the third career change to being a lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic teaching Leisure and Resort Management.

Father of two young daughters (3.5 years and 6months) and an understanding wife who has tolerated my silly mileage and approve my ‘passport’ for most of the Sundays’ run. Hope to keep it this way.

18KM SCSM08 Route Familiarisation Run

We will be conducting our SCSM Familiarisation Route Run during this week's training @ East Coast Park, The PlayGround @ Big Splash on 30th November 2008.

Check the map below for details of the route. Do join us for a run and have some fun in this final long run before race!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Final Two Weeks...All Pumped Up!

Field report by FatBird Anthony
Photo Slide Show by FatBird Jancy

Team FatBird Pacers

It was a record turnout for Team FatBird Pacers Training session this morning, and it was an opportune time to capture all the various Pacer Groups and a large group photo to boot....aiya, forgot to take a group Pacer photo in the end....nvm, next week.

Final Brief

All were ready to implement their Pace strategies for race day, and I was raring to try out the strategy after having rested for 2 days. My left butt wasn't so tight anymore, and I had on my Lunar Racer to do a final test for race day. After a quick brief to the crowd, we set off with the 4hr group taking the lead. Ultra, Aero, myself were running to a average 5:30min/km pace, with Yamsong, HophIng, Matthew, babumouse, Bose, Soloman tracking behind. I explained the 4hr Pace strategy to Aero and the other runners.

The Run Off

Along the way, we met with so many running groups and familiar faces....lots of waves and hi-s and it was really nice to see so many out for their final few training runs. Ran by F2, and the Lunar Trials were taking place....waved to the Nike folks, and they gave some good encouragement. We reached 10km in 54min, well within 5:30 pace. I encouraged all to maintain that pace to 21km, and then we can drift(slack) a little...hehe. We reached 12km along Changi Coastal Road in 1hr5min...good time.

After the U-turn, it was refreshing to see the various Pace groups all running in tight packs and according to pace...I became confident that Team FatBird will deliver on race day. Shouts of encouragement ensued as we ran past the various groups. Back to F2, the Lunar trails were still in progress, and Ming started on his own run. Earlier, we touched 21km in 1hr54min (6min of buffer). With about 6km to go, were maintaining an average 5:27min/km Ultra, Aero, Matthew, Yamsong and myself were stil bunched up, as we navigated the final 5km along ECP. The sun was beating down on us, and we could see many tired faces along the way. We finally completed the 24km run back at The Big Splash in 2hr10min, an average pace of 5:26min/km.

We were all pretty drained by the weather, and witgh the pounding on those hard grounds, legs were getting battered and tight....glad that this will soon be over in 2 weeks time. Ultra went to get the iced-cold 100plus...wah, shiokzz. We offered some cold drinks to the F1 Runners who had completed their 30km+ recce run, and they are real fast....Lexxus, Hong Leng and gang. Had a good chat with them. I managed to brief the Pacers on race day admin and carbo-loading session with Pacees. The team spirit was high, and everyone was looking forward to the big day.

The Chosen Ones :)

A lot of runners joined us, including SgRunners IMD, babumouse, LaserRunner, renohtaram, phoenix and a couple of I-Runners and SAFRA runners too. It was one melting pot (haha...literally) at The PlayGround @ Big Splash, where we had fun exchanging tips, stories and pearls of wisdom for race day. The 21km group of Pacers and Pacees performed very well, and were in high spirits. With one more training run next Sunday for Team FatBird, it is time for us to rest and consolidate ourselves so that we will be able to deliver our mantra - Follow Our Pace, Win Your Race. Cheers!

Distance: 23.92km__Time: 2hr10min__Pace: 5:26min/km

Team FatBird Photo SlideShow

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Team FatBird Marathon Pacers Training Session #12

Field Report By: FatBird Anthony

Team FatBird Pacers & Trainees

Its 3 weeks to D-Day. The weather this morning was immaculate...cloudy, cool, although slightly humid, and nowhere near the kind of air we find in overseas temperate weather. The Pacers assembled early to get fitted for their race day tops, and fortunately, most of them found the right fit...*phew*. Thanks to FatBird Terry and Esther who helped to coordinate the tryouts as well as pack the tops in proper packages according to Names and Pace Timings for a personalized print.

Section of Team FatBird Pacers

I gave a quick brief to the Pacers and runners about the 28km route before starting off towards NSRCC/Changi Coastal with my 4hr group. Ultra, Raven, Cheow12, Soloman, YN's friend, and 2 more were running in the 4hr Pace Group as we moved along at 5:30min/km average pace. I informed the group about our race day strategy and that we should attempt to keep to that 5:30min/pace for up to 21km, before slowing a little to allow for drift. With that, we should have a buffer of about 4min for the Pacees, providing a safe margin.

We reached 10km in 55min...hmm, not bad. We chatted less as the group strung along Changi Coastal stretch. There were so many faimiliar faces that my arms got tired just waving to them...haha. We turned at the 4th Shelter along CCR, 14km mark, still maintaining the 5:30min/km pace. It was great to see the 4:15hr, 4:30hr, 4:45hr, 5:00hr, 5:15hr and 5:30hr groups running to pace, and in bunches. With 3 weeks to go, the team is coming together and peaking at the right time...I am so heartened :)

When we got to the Sailing/Canoe Centre, it was near 21km and avg pace was about 5:33min/km...slight drift. I told Cheow12 that we could afford to average out to 5:40min/km pace after that. Ultra took a pitstop at the toilet, and Raven continued with Soloman slightly behind. Saw the Too Family training hard and looking good for race day. David Tay and TriFam Pacers were out in force, putting in some good paced mileage. When I reached 26.5km, I took a walk break to wait for the rest to come closer....until about 5:40min/km pace before I finished off the final 800m. It was refreshing to have 3 cups of iced-cold 100plus, thanks to Ultra, Niwas, Esther and the drinks support team.

The 4hr group came back within 5min of my zone. Terry reported that all the Pacers were fitted. I had a good time handing Alber, Freddy and Deep their training gear and shoes. The rest of the Pacers got water bottles to help them collect rain water....haha. We took some nice group and Pacer photos, before I gave a briefing to the Pacers on the training schedule for the next 2 weekends, the final week's SCSM08 route recce run, as well as carbo-loading session on Dec 5. Then I handed out the Group Leaders' caps to the leaders as a symbol of their leadership as well as wearing those caps to be visible on race day to Pacees. They were pretty excited and happy with the colours of the gear and caps, although some found extra fascination with the colour of the water bottles...haha.

Overall, it was a good paced run for me and I can say for most who attended. The Lunar Racer I had on served me well, especially with a thinner and air-ier pair of socks. I will likely wear the Racer on race day for its sheer lightness and vibrant colour...hehe. A light drizzle came after the entire run, as we proceeded to wash up. I went with one group to Old Airport for my favourite Lor Mee, while another group went to Telok Blangah for Scissors Curry Rice....sinful, but well deserving carbo-reloading after a long distance run :)

Photo Slideshow

Marathon Training Tip: Tapering

This week, we have Jonathon Fong, Exercise Consultant @ Racers' Toolbox ( to share with us his marathon training tip on Tapering.

What is tapering?

Tapering is just a fancy word for “rest”. It is the rest that the body requires after all those months spent training for the upcoming marathon. Training for a marathon requires a significant amount of distance to be run, and this accumulates as stress on your body. So the further the race distance is, the longer the tapering period should be. Ideally the tapering period for a marathon should be anywhere from 8 days to 2 weeks before your race.

Why is it important to taper?

Tapering is important mainly because you want your body to be in the best possible shape when you stand on the starting line of the marathon. “The best possible shape” means that you are physically prepared from your training and that you are also physically rested and ready to take on the race that lies in front of you. You definitely want to be in a position where you have had an extra day of rest and being a little bit more fresh; than to have done an extra day of training and feel flat on your back at the start.

How do you taper correctly for your marathon?

The basic idea of a taper is to decrease volume while maintaining or increasing intensity: more quality, less quantity. Your body remembers the distance very well, but it tends to lose its ability to cope with intensity fast. Do remember that intensity is a relative term. Intensity refers to the pace you will be running at on race day and not anything faster than that. A marathon is not a ‘fast’ event. Most tapers involve a 40 to 60 percent reduction in peak training volumes in the final week before competition. The last week, especially, involves low volumes and little speed work.

In the last two to four days, there is little or no training, and any training is low intensity because this is the time for athletes to rest. The key during your taper is to listen to your body. Be aware of anything that starts to hurt, and do not allow yourself to become overly fatigued.

Another benefit of a tapering period is that you will have more time to be able to start focusing on other key components to running your race such as your mental and nutritional preparation for the marathon. On a final note, there are many different ways to taper and it takes time to find one that suits you. Only through trial and error will you be able to master this, so adjust and modify it as you see fit. While tapering strategies are usually effective at improving performance, they cannot be expected to work miracles.

About Jonathon Fong
Jon Fong - Director, Sports Science (
Jon is one of a handful of qualified sports scientists in Singapore and has been in the triathlon scene for the past 14 years. Starting at the age of 14, he has represented the country as a national athlete in numerous international triathlon events. Many of these events include the ASTC Asian Cup circuit, Asian Championships and World Championships. Jon was awarded the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) Meritorious Award from 1996 to 1998.

With a keen interest in sports science, Jon pursued a degree in Kinesiology at the University of Southern California and a level one certificate from International Society of the Advancement of Kinanthropometry. Under the Singapore Sports Council's Programme for Elite Athletes Career (PEAC), he has since worked with junior national athletes at the Singapore Sports School as a sports scientist. His work has helped to develop many elite athletes that currently represent our nation at major games and international competitions.

  • Sports scientist with a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Southern California
  • Ex-national triathlete for team Singapore
  • International Society of the advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK) level one certification
  • National Coaching Accreditation Programme (NCAP) theory level two certification
  • International Triathlon Union (ITU) Competitive Coach level one certification
  • 14 years triathlon race knowledge and experience

Monday, November 17, 2008

15-Week Marathon Training Programme: Week 13

Week 13


Mon 17/11: Rest / Cross (5 - 10km for those who choose to run - Option: Changi Business Park, 1815 hrs. Meet at "The Signature")
Do this or Wednesday.

Tues 18/11: 7-10km
River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs.

Wed 19/11: Rest / Cross (7 - 12km, International Business Park, Atrium. 1800 hrs.)
Do this or Monday.

Thurs 20/11: 7-10km, River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs. / Lunar Trials With Team FatBird

Fri 21/11: Rest.

Sat 22/11: 5-7km Easy Run OTOT

Sun 23/11:
24km @ Pace, ECP, Playground @ Big Splash Meet 0645hrs.

Note: Please look out for Team FatBird pacers at the meeting point.

Half - Marathon

Mon 17/11: Rest

Tues 18/11: 7-10km with at least 3 x 1km Tempo.
River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs.

Wed 19/11: Cross.

Thurs 20/11: 7-10km, River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs. / Lunar Trials With Team FatBird

Fri 21/11: Rest.

Sat 22/11:
Easy Run.. 5-7km ..OTOT

Sun 23/11: 20km Pace, ECP Playground @ Big Splash, Meet 0645hrs.

Note: Please look out for Team FatBird pacers at the meeting point.

Monday, November 10, 2008

15 Week Training Programme: Week 12

Week 12


Mon 10/11: Rest / Cross (5 - 10km for those who choose to run - Option: Changi Business Park, 1815 hrs. Meet at "The Signature")
Do this or Wednesday.

Tues 11/11: 7-10km, with at least 4 x 1km Tempos.
River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs.

Wed 12/11: Rest / Cross (7 - 12km, International Business Park, Atrium. 1800 hrs.)
Do this or Monday.

Thurs 13/11: 7-10km, River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs. / Lunar Trials With Team FatBird

Fri 14/11: Rest.

Sat 15/11: 28km @ Pace, ECP, Playground @ Big Splash Meet 0645hrs.

Sun 16/11:
Lunar Trials with Team FatBird, 15 - 20km @ Pace, ECP, B1 Carpark Meet 0700hrs. .

Note: Please look out for Team FatBird pacers at the meeting point.

Half - Marathon

Mon 10/11: Rest

Tues 11/11: 7-10km with at least 3 x 1km Tempo.
River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs.

Wed 12/11: Cross.

Thurs 13/11: 7-10km, River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs. / Lunar Trials With Team FatBird

Fri 14/11: Rest.

Sat 15/11: 20
km Pace, ECP Playground @ Big Splash, Meet 0645hrs.

Sun 16/11: Lunar Trials with Team FatBird, 15 - 20km @ Pace, ECP, B1 Carpark Meet 0700hrs. .

Note: Please look out for Team FatBird pacers at the meeting point.

Know Your Pacers Part 4: 5hrs 15mins and 5hrs 30mins Pacers

The team comprises of: Chantelle Wong, CK Tan, Terry Ang and Edwin Low (Previously 5:00hr)

Chantelle Wong

"Running was never something I thought as being 'girly'.

Until, I took part in my 1st 10KM run in 2004 – the KLIM. From 10km to 42km….and now I am hooked! Running isn't just for the guys – it is definitely for gals.
Am I nuts? Probably. But am I motivated? Definitely! Running has mysteriously made its way into my daily life and weekly routine. Putting my finger on what it is that makes me love pounding the pavement, waking up at 5am to train is hard – accomplishment, finding that higher state of mind when distance is just a number, testing and pushing yourself to the limit, being in the company of like-minded similarly driven runners…

Running has given me a whole new bunch of friends who have become an important part of my life – my motivators and sifus, who help me with pace and long distance running.

Yes, running is a commitment (kind of like a relationship really, you have to work at it you know). But it's a commitment that honestly, I don't mind making. Okay, sometimes at 6.30am, when I'm running around ECP, I do think about why I'm doing it. Or when I give up Friday and Saturdays out…
Is it worth it? Yes, it is worth it all!

Sure, sometimes, you stop to wonder: why do I run?
And the answer always comes back: I just do.

The team comprises of: Nicholas, Beverly, Esther and Terence


My marathon journey started 3 years ago when I realized I need to get in shape and better health. I started off with short runs of 3km, then 6km and finally 10km. I participated in some of the women's 5km and 10km races, and the running bug stuck with me.

I enjoy running as it brings lots of benefits to me. I am more alert and I rarely fall sick. The FatBird training run and I-Runs of which I had the pleasure of joining, have certainly helped me to be more prepared (mentally and physically) to complete a full marathon. I have participated in 2 marathons, a number of half-marathons and 10km distances.

All my efforts have paid off when I did my marathon PB of 4hr28min at the ChunCheon Marathon in Korea. I hope to be able to share some of my distance running experiences and win together with the 5:30hr Pacees at the coming Standard Chartered Marathon.

Terence Teo

I started running in September 2007 with the goal to lose weight and stay healthy. Back then, I am often known as a Fat Boy in the family as I weighed closed to 80kg but with discipline and detemination, I took up the challenge to lose weight and eventually shed of 20kg by February - March 2008. I am not fat in the past (and in actual fact I have a very small bone structure) but after I started taking medication for treatment of a birth defect, I started putting on weight and days in the army didn't really help either and thus it lead to the ballooning of a fat boy. However, I am not giving myself any chance to go back to the me I used to be. It is no longer about losing the weight but enjoying my runs, enjoying the times when we are all running together and more importantly staying healthy.

I constantly remind myself of the tough times that I had gone through to be what I am today and I will never give running up. So come race day, follow my team members and I as we cross the finishing line together: You, Me and Us for 5.30! Never Give Up!

The team comprises of: James Lua, Rosalind Yap, Weison and Joe.

Rosalind Yap

I love running. I love the feel of warm breeze caressing my face & hair as I surged forward. I love the feel of my heart pulsating with every heel strike, every breath drawn. I love the natural high after a long & good run. Running is my passion and my stress-reliever. I have been running since 1995 and ran my maiden marathon last year at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon under the guidance of my dear friend and coach, Ronnie.

To me, training season is always filled with a sense of purpose and esprit de corps, for that is when runners put in the hours and effort, and forgo their beauty sleep to train hard in the wee hours of the weekend mornings. Not to mention also, all that running puts a healthy glow on your skin and shaves off some years off your countenance! (better than SKII does!) Having also ran countless 10km(s) & 21km(s), I thought it’s time to help others attain their goal of completing their race in good time. Half-marathon is a good starter to the novice runner who wishes to complete a full-marathon eventually. Come follow our pace and win your race! All I want to say is “Enjoy your run, listen to your body!” Run safe so you can run longer!

Lim Weison

I started running seriously when I was in JC 1. Took the unorthodox route of joining track and field even though I had no prior experience in the CCA. The going was tough in the beginning, but I gradually started to enjoy the training sessions and the post-workout high.

I did my maiden half marathon at this year Army Half Marathon as a challenge to myself to complete it. Before that, the longest distance I ran was only 10km. In order to become a better runner, I have always ask myself: 'Can I give more?'. The answer is usually: 'Yes'. As a pacer for the half marathon, I hope to be able to inspire people to achieve their personal best in the half marathon.

2008 Chosunilbo Chuncheon Marathon Review

Field Report By Fatbird Anthony

Race Pack collection was a breeze. By just entering our surnames into the computer, the Organizer was quickly able to retrieve our full names and pre-packed race kit. In there was the bib no., ChampionChip and a unique ASICS sleeveless running sports jacket. Saw many of the local running groups collecting their race packs too....and they mostly look like very good distance runners.

It was a bright and sunny morning. We put on our long tops, with another running singlet, and track top to meet up with DO, Half-Timer at the lobby. Ripley, Vincent and another friend went separately to the race site at ChunCheon Stadium. We were surprised to see the blazing sun, and the weather getting warmer. I decided to don just my short sleeve FatBird red top with 2XU long tights. Bev was snug in her pink Nike long-sleeve tops, with a runaholic singlet, and a Nike ¾ tights.

Baggage deposit was a cinch, and the helpers were very friendly. We all gathered around the warmer at the information counter, and there we met Woodstock, Ripley and Vincent. We could see the runners gathering at their respective pens based on their marathon PB timings, and the Pace Groups were all decked out in colourful balloons designating 3hr-5hr groupings, with 10min intervals. It was impressive to see the 3hr Pace, these guys must be running an easy sub-3hr marathon to be able to Pace comfortably in that grouping.

DO and I went to Pen ‘D’ for runners in the 3:42-3:53 grouping. All the runners were gathered round the track of the stadium. After some exercises, the individual Pens were flagged off 1 group at a time. By the time my Pen went to the starting mat, 5min had elapsed from the gun time. Beverly was all excited as the cut-off time for this marathon is 5hrs...those who do not make the cut will be hauled up the bus...*sweat*. I started my Garmin 405 with the timing and Avg Pace on...I was hoping to reach a 5:10min pace for a 3:40hr timing if possible. Most of the runners had their gloves on, including me.

The first 5km was a gradual up-slope, but I was more affected by the chilly winds as it was my first experience running in much cooler weather than the hot, humid conditions back home. My throat was dry, as I trotted along at 5:20min pace to get warmed up. I could see the 3:40hr pace group in the horizon, and I got into a steady pace to enjoy the scenery. 

After getting warmed up, I felt better, and decided to pick up the pace. The scenery got better as we run around the lake and dam. It was a sea of people throughout the whole run, and all looked very ‘seasoned’. I noticed there were few ladies; maybe because of the ‘only full-marathon distance’ offered, and the cut-off of 5hrs (it has been changed to 6hrs cutoff since 2010)?

I enjoyed the scenery as I recalled various parts of the course where the ‘Marathon Boy’ went through. It was really scenic, and the weather was cool in spite of the blazing sun. However, parts where there were no sun were a tad chilly. The gloves I had on were really useful. The SpeedCage racers were taking in the impact of the hard and cambered rolling hills as they meandered around the lake. Feeling quite good, I went into a 5min/km average pace after the 15km mark, and subsequently ran ahead of the 3:40hr pacers. Around the 20km mark, I finally spotted DO....he went into a blistering first half, and was slowing a little due to the impact of the hard ground on his knees. I continued on my 5min pace as I ventured towards he 3rd quarter of the marathon. As it was noon, the sun was really beating down on us. The local Korean runners were feeling the heat, and it did not help that the water points were 5km apart.

At 28km, my left sole felt a tingling sensation, and then my right sole. It was the pounding on those hard flooring - and my lightweight trainers did not offer that much cushion for the distance. I tried to focus on the beautiful scenery at hand, but my feet were hurting. By 30km, I could feel blisters forming in both my soles...ouch! A quick check on my 405 showed that I had slowed to an average 5:02min/km pace. Knowing that it would be difficult to go for a 3:30hr finish (my Boston Qualifying time), I decided not to push too hard for fear of getting cramps or even having my soles ‘burn up’...yikes! The parts where we ran into the farmland and countryside were COLD, with rather high-speed chilly winds...some runners were bending their heads down and facing the challenge head-on. I decided that I had better not stop there to walk or stretch, since the cold winds would ‘freeze’ me.

By 35km, I could feel the burning sensation on the soles of my feet. I slowed down the pace to take some 'heat' off the soles. With 7km to go, my average pace was down to 5:04min/km. Some of the runners were getting cramps and medical attention; others were walking and braving the heat and the exhaust from the cars along the highway. The earlier 30km where the entire roads were closed was sorely missed then. I decided to take it a km at a time from the 37km mark. I knew that I would do a sub 3:40hr, but not so sure if I could push for a 3:35hr finish. Nevertheless, I pushed on....with the blisters forming, I could only run more gingerly.

Then it was 2km...a lot of supporters lined the streets offering drinks, support, and song & dance to cheer the runners. I managed a friendly wave back to acknowledge them for their enthusiastic support. I picked up speed for the final 1.2km. As we ran into the stadium, the crowd was a feeling like we were returning from an Olympics Marathon...hehe. I did the final lap round the stadium track to finish with my arms held up high for a 3:36hr official Nett Chip Time finish. The clock read 3:41hr as I ran through to rousing cheers of the crowd, photographers snapping finishing photos, and mini-skirt gals handing out finisher medals. It was a nice experience, one which I will cherish for some time to come.

I immediately went for 3 cups of Pocari Sweat, and collected my goodie bag after returning the ChampionChip. Since none of my running kakis were back yet, I went around looking for the medical tent for treatment of my blisters. Along the way, I was asked by a screaming man to help him with his cramps. I spent a good 10min tending to the poor guy, before the medical personnel came. DO came along too, and we proceeded to the finishing gantry to wait for the rest to finish.

We waited in anticipation and soon saw our gang finishing....Vincent in about 4:15hr; Beverly made the cut with a very good time of 4:28hr; Woodstock finished in 4:31hr; Half-Timer did 4:47hr and Ripley completed in 4:59hr. All did well to complete within cut-off time, and Beverly was especially pleased with her run. My Garmin 405 recorded a total distance of 42.29km...hmm, quite an accurate course, factoring in the slightly longer distance around the cambered roads I took.

As we left, the place was still abuzz with activity of many vendors hawking their sports wares, the sponsors giving product demonstrations. There were still runners completing their runs, although we were not sure if they would be given medals after the cut-off. 

As we took our long walk to the taxi stand, we exchanged stories and experiences of the challenging but scenic race route, the good organization of the whole event, the great km distance markers, the heavy grunting of the Korean runners, the interviews of runners conducted while they were on the run, and the lots of goodies that were on sale at the race site. It will be one good marathon experience, and I would surely recommend it to runners who would want to do a Asian Marathon to try the ChunCheon Marathon.

Lunar Trials With Team FatBird - 09/11/2008

Field Report By FatBird Anthony

Happy FatBirds with Lunars

Lunar Trials with Team FatBird Pacers

This morning was the start of the Lunar Trials with Team FatBird at ECP. It rained through 3am in the morning, and by 6am, the rain had abated. Many people have called/sms-ed earlier to cancel their turnup because of the rain, but all the FatBird Pacers were there for our training, as well as try out the Lunar Trainers and Racers.

Reached Carpark B1 at 6.45am, and saw the Sim Wong Hoo and his creative gang prepping for a 20km training run. Said hello to a few of the familiar ones, and then spotted Raven who mentioned the Lunar Trials shoes were there. We helped with the informal set-up, and by 7am, the rain had stopped for what would be great weather for a run.

Briefing to the Pacers

Gana was there with his team of national distance runners, some of them capable of running 2:50hr marathons. I managed to find a pair of Lunar Racer, with a slight upsize to US10.5, which fit me to a T in this case. A few small groups were gathered for their runs, and I invited them to join us for some pacing work as well as try out the shoes.

Sacha and Gana gave a brief followed by some tips for marathoning. I gave a quick brief to the newcomers of our paced run for the day, and away we went. Most of the newcomers followed the 4hr pace group, with a section following the 4:30-5:00 Pacers. It was a cool morning that was simply great for running. I managed to catch a few more new runners along the way, and one of them going for 3hr20min this year was even coached by Kien Mau....a number of serious runners were out putting in their final homework, leaving lots more in the cozy comforts of their warm beds at home...hehe...hmm, those who are willing to put in the effort will duly be rewarded, I am sure.

Since a few of us did 20-32km yesterday, most of the Pacers did about 10-12km this morning.The lunar shoes had good responses for their cushy feel, especially on the hard concrete of ECP where we trial-ed them. The Pacers had pleasant experiences with the shoes, and were pretty excited with the feel and responsiveness of the Lunars. Many think they can go the full marathon in them. I had a nice time with the Lunar Racer, and I believe I could go in them for a full marathon without too much problems.

The SAFRA MF folks popped by for a visit, and did a quick try-out of the shoes too. It seemed their training run was cancelled, and the few hard-core runners did turn up to run anyway...hehe. After packing and washing up, 10 of us adjourned to East Cost Road for delicious Prawn Noodle and Hgoh Hiang. A nice, wonderful Lunar experience indeed :)

Photo Slideshow from Team FatBird's Album

Marathon Training Tip: Marathon Race Strategies

Race Pacing and Strategy
Even the most thoughtful and carefully planned training can be for naught if you don't plan well and execute smoothly on race day.

Your marathon preparation occurs over several months. You plan meticulously and train diligently so that you are in peak condition. To do your best, you also need to have a plan for the marathon itself that anticipates the details: warm up, pacing, first few km, first half of the race, the final 5km and 400m.
Having a plan will help you get the most out of your long months of training so that you can finish exhausted but satisfied.

Warming up
The purpose of a warm-up is to prepare your body to run at race pace. Beginners, whose goal is to finish, can warm up during the first couple of miles of the race. However, if you are a more competitive marathoner, you will attempt to run the marathon faster than your normal training pace and need to find an optimal warm-up that activates your aerobic system while sparing as much glycogen as possible for the race itself. Plan to warm up with two five-minute runs with some stretching in between. Start warming up about 30 to 40 minutes before the start of the race. Start your first warm up run slowly, and gradually increase your pace. Try to time your warm-up so that you finish no more than 15-20 minutes before the race starts. Never over do it.

Your Pacing Strategy
No matter what distance you are running, hold yourself back in the early stages of the road race. After all your hard training, you are strong and powerful, and doubtless you are aching to push yourself. You'll get your chance, but save it for the end of the race when you'll need it. At the beginning, just concentrate on settling into a pace no faster than what you plan to be the average pace for the race overall. In a marathon, the first few km may feel ridiculously slow; think of them as warm-up miles and conserve your strength for the final stretch.

Assuming that you have a time goal for the marathon, and have trained accordingly, a pacing strategy will help you achieve your goal. That is where the role of Team FatBird comes into the picture!

The basics of marathon physiology indicate that the best strategy for the marathon is relatively even pacing. If you run much faster than your overall race pace for part of the race, then you'll use more glycogen than necessary and will likely start to accumulate lactate. If you run much slower than your overall race pace for part of the race, then you'll need to make up for this lapse by running faster than the most efficient pace for another portion of the race.

The optimal pacing strategy, then, is to run nearly even splits, taking into account the idiosyncrasies of the course you'll be running. However, your running economy will tend to decrease slightly during the race, meaning that your lactate threshold pace will decrease slightly as well. The result is that your optimal pace will be slightly slower during the latter stages of the marathon.

A more efficient pacing strategy is to think of the race in 2 halves (and conquer them separately), and allowing yourself to slow by 2% to 3% during the second half. Although in most cases you should stay with your pacing plan, occasionally the weather (high humidity and warm sun) or other circumstances may also affect your strategy. Sometime, I would also advice the runners to consider it as 10.5km X 4 runs as psychologically it is easier to conquer 10.5km X 4 than a full 42.195km at one go!

If you're running into a head wind (So far not very common in SCM), there's a substantial advantage to running in a group of runners to block the wind. This may warrant running a little faster or slower than your planned pace. Even on a calm day, you may want to adjust your pace in order to run in a group. Although drafting behind other runners will give you a small energy advantage, most of the benefit of staying with a group is psychological. You don't have to set the pace, and you can relax and go along with the group.

Most runners find it mentally difficult to run alone for long stretches of the marathon. You can measure the tradeoff between having pacers and having to compromise your strategy by a simple rule of thumb: If you have to deviate from your goal pace by more than 8 to 10 seconds per km, it will be important to drop away from that pack.

That 8 to 10 seconds can be the difference in effort that could put you over the edge. If your breathing is uncomfortable and you can sense that you're working at a higher intensity than you can maintain until the finish, then relax and let the others go. You may find that the group will soon break up and that you'll once again have others to run with.

Therefore, if you are a 5:30 hour's runner, never follow a 5:00 hour's pacer team without a good and valid reason!

The First Half (21km)
Stay focused! It's easy to get carried away and run the first 10-15km too fast. A better approach is to run the first 10-15 km at, or a bit slower than, your goal pace.

Avoid the temptation to head out too fast. Once the first 10-15km is out of the way, settle into a good rhythm. Try to run fast but relaxed. Establishing a relaxed running style early in the race will go a long way toward helping you avoid tightening up so that you can maintain your goal pace to the finish.

It's important to drink right from the start rather than waiting until you're running low on energy or fluid. If you wait until you're tired and light-headed, it will be too late. Never skip any water station. Sip at all the water station if possible. The longer you can postpone dehydration and carbohydrate depletion, the longer you will be able to maintain your goal pace. Do not just drink pure water alone; try to mixed water with isotonic drink given. If you are taking power gel, do not consume power gel with pure isotonic drink but rather water. Do not and never try anything new last minute from your usual consumption.

Mentally, the first half is the time to cruise. Save your mental and emotional energy for the second half of the race. Just try to get the first half behind you at the correct pace without using any more mental energy than necessary.

For the 1st timer who may not have sufficient mileage to take on a full marathon, you may wish to adopt a jog-walk approach. For an example, you may jog 20-30min then follow by a 5-8min brisk walking, and repeat the work out. Never be a hero, if you need to walk, you do so!

On to 30-35 km mark (Facing the WALL)
You should be constantly monitoring your pace and checking your body over for warning signs or even reservoirs of available energy. Pay attention to your breathing.

From the halfway mark to 30-35km is the no man's land of the marathon. This is the moment where many runners will face the WALL! The real trick is to do all of this while staying relaxed. It's not necessarily easy, since racing is largely about pushing yourself through pain. Yet the experienced racer remains at peace and completely at ease. At this point, you are already fairly tired and still have a long way to go. This is where the mental discipline of training will help you to maintain a strong effort and a positive attitude. Keep a relax mind and heart.

It's easy to let your pace slip. Use your splits to know exactly how you're progressing. Concentrate and maintain your goal pace during these miles. Slowing during this portion of the marathon is often more a matter of not concentrating than of not being able to maintain the pace physically.

Focusing on your splits gives you an immediate goal to concentrate on. If you find yourself flagging, don't try to make up the lost seconds, just focus on your target pace to get back on track. Focusing on these incremental goals along the way prevents a large drift in your pace.

The only fuel for your brain is glucose (carbohydrate), and when you become carbohydrate-depleted, the amount of glucose reaching the brain starts to decrease. Taking in carbohydrate as often as possible during the second half of the race can help you maintain your mental focus.

Remember one more thing, stop keep on looking at the watch if this is your 1st marathon. Do not add stress to yourself for wanting to achieve Personal Best (PB) for the 1st maiden run, and since it is your maiden marathon, any timing is still a PB.

The final 5 km and 400m
At 37km mark, you've made it to the most rewarding stage of the marathon. Up to this point, every km required the patience to hold back. Now you're free to see what you've got. As you approach the last leg of the race, it's time for the kick.

During these final 5km you get to dig down and use up any energy you have left. This is what the marathon is all about. It's the stretch that poorly prepared marathoners fear and well-prepared marathoners relish.

The key from 37km to the finish is to push as hard as you can without having disaster strike in the form of a cramp or very tight muscles. You need to use your body's feedback to determine just how hard you can push. Gauge how much extra energy you have left for the final push. If you have good speed, you might pour it out for a last burst of speed and kick the final half mile. If your speed is not so good, you might bet on endurance and step up the pace for a longer distance. Always remember to listen to your body!

Your legs will probably be on the edge and will limit how fast you can go. You need to test the waters a bit and push to the limit of what your muscles will tolerate. It is a process of taking progressively greater risks as the finish line nears. At this point, the known compression tights may come in handle to prevent and minimize legs cramps.

You will know you have mastered the marathon if you can give it a little more effort and finish strong. That why many of the Fatbird senior runners would advice runners to start slower and end strongly!

When not to finish
Most of the time, you should try to finish even if you have disappointed your expectations. The marathon is a test of endurance. If you casually drop out, it will be easy to drop out again.

However, there are circumstances that are important to recognize when dropping out maybe a wise thing to do.
(1) If you are limping, then your running mechanics are off. You will aggravate your injury by continuing;
(2) If you have a specific pain that is increasing progressively during the race, then you are doing yourself harm and should stop;
(3) If you are light-headed and unable to concentrate, you should stop and seek help immediately if possible;
(4) If you are overcome by muscle cramps (if cannot recover), a torn muscle, or heat exhaustion, please stop!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lunar Trials With Team FatBird

Registration has closed. Thank you for your kind support. For those who have indicated their interest for the trials between 23rd to 30th November, we regret to inform you that it is no longer available. The next two trial dates for the Nike Lunar is on the 16th and 20th November 2008. See You There!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

15 Week Training Programme: Week 11

Week 11


Mon 03/11: Rest / Cross (5 - 10km for those who choose to run - Option: Changi Business Park, 1815 hrs. Meet at "The Signature")
Do this or Wednesday.

Tues 04/11: 7-10km, with at least 4 x 1km Tempos.
River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs.

Wed 05/11: Rest / Cross (7 - 12km, International Business Park, Atrium. 1800 hrs.)
Do this or Monday.

Thurs 06/11: 7-10km, River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs.

Fri 07/11: Rest.

Sat 08/11: 32km to 35km @ Pace, ECP, Playground @ Big Splash Meet 0645hrs.

Sun 09/11:
Lunar Trials with Team FatBird, 15 - 20km @ Pace, ECP, B1 Carpark Meet 0700hrs. .

Note: Please look out for Team FatBird pacers at the meeting point.

Half - Marathon

Mon 03/11: Rest

Tues 04/11: 7-10km with at least 3 x 1km Tempo.
River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs.

Wed 05/11: Cross.

Thurs 06/11: 7-10km, River Promenade (Meet at FatBird statue), 1815 hrs.

Fri 07/11: Rest.

Sat 08/11: 20
km Pace, ECP Playground @ Big Splash, Meet 0645hrs.

Sun 09/11: Lunar Trials with Team FatBird, 10 - 15km @ Pace, ECP, B1 Carpark Meet 0700hrs. .

Note: Please look out for Team FatBird pacers at the meeting point.

Know Your Pacers Part 3: 4hrs 45mins and 5hrs Pacers

4hr 45mins Group: The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender. Follow our pace, and we will bring you to the finished line.

The team comprises of: Andy, Niwas, Heng Yew, Phei Sunn, and David Shum.

In a marathon, one can find runners of all ages, who only have one goal in mind, and that is to be able to cross the finished line. And similarly, like our 4:45hrs pace group, it too consists pacers of all ages, who only have one goal in mind, and that is to help you achieved your goal in completing the marathon before the 4:45hr timing. You definitely cannot reach the skies, but you definitely can reach the finished line. Believe it, this is not a dream, nor miracle, it is something that you can achieve when you put in your effort and follow us.

Andy Ho, aka Acidburn

I have wondered at times, what I am doing out there. Over the years, I have given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement. I run because it is my passion. Every time I walk out of the door, I know where I am going, and I am focus on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. I can run in any direction, pace, sometimes fighting the wind when I felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of my feet. Running to me, is more than just a physical exercise. It is a consistent reward for victory.

My first official race event was known as the Sheares Bridge Run back in 1995. My timing then was not amazing, but to me it is the experience, atmosphere of the event, and the moment of glory when you cross the finished line, knowing that you had did your best and push beyond what you think it is not possible. To date, I have completed 12 10km Races, 10 Half-Marathons, 8 Full-Marathons, and 1 Ultra-Marathon. Previously at every race, my goal is to try to achieve Personal Best (PB) Timing. This year however, will be very special and memorable to me. As I will be the pacer for the 4:45hrs pace group. My goal is to help others achieved their goal and objective instead, that is to cross the 42.195km in a timing of 4:45hrs. With my experience under my belt, I have every confidence that we can definitely achieve this goal together.

Sim Phei Sunn, aka PS

An avid runner for the past 6 years, I have taken part in numerous road and trail races ranging from 10km to ultra-marathons. I especially like to run in overseas marathons as it brings me to beautiful parts of the place that a visitor would normally miss. My first Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon was in 2003, and it left a very special memory. Everything was a new experience to me - the supporters, race atmosphere, and of course, the grueling distance itself. My maximum training distance then was only 25km, and my amateurish approach was simply to continue and not stop. Over the years, I have made wonderful friendships within Singapore running and triathlon communities, and learnt much from their experiences. Yet, no matter how sophisticated the tools and trainings have become, running, at its core, is really a beautifully easy sport - one foot after another, mapping out a memorable journey. Be a happy runner. Trust your legs and body, and let us savor the exhilarating moment of crossing that finishing line together.

Niwas Jikku, aka Niwas

I have been running since my secondary school days back in India. Back then, it was purely out of compulsion. After I came to Singapore, I had completely given up running for more than two years. I became insanely fat. Picked up running once again, I started off with a goal, that is to reduce my weight, and to look better. With motivation from my friends, I started running twice a week not more than 3km each time. Moving up slowly, I then run I-Run regularly at River Promenade. With the formation Team Fatbird, I met many like-minded people who constantly inspires and encourages each other. I had lots of advices and guidelines from those who had a passion and vast experience in running.

My first race was VGO Mount Faber 10km run in July 2008, where I clocked about 55mins. With the help of right people and friends around, I started to love what I did – Running. This year's SCS Marathon is going be a special and memorable one for me as a pacer for 4.45hr group. With the help of my team members and the rest of the pacers, I am confident that we, Team Fatbird will motivate people with the same kind of passion towards running, and help them in achieving their goals in this upcoming marathon. I wish good luck to those running the marathon this year and please do look out for Team Fatbird. “Follow Our Pace, Win Your Race.” Happy Running!

5hrs Group: Hi 5!

The 5-hour pace group comprises team leader Jancy, and is anchored by Benny and Edwin. The former two are experienced multi-marathon and ultramarathon finishers, whilst the latter a promising age-group triathlete. As middle-of-the-pack marathoners, this team reconises the difficulties and challenges that regular runners face, and is determined to bring all -new or experienced - who aspire to cross the finish line in 5 hours to their goal. Watch out for this team and experience the high with them!

Edwin Marc Low, aka FrootLoops

Aged 19, I started running about 6 months back when I came back from China. I had to lose that 9kg of weight, which I had put on for the winter, and to get rid of that beer belly! Having taken part in my first 10km event in June, I found that running was very addictive and could not give it up even if I wanted to. In order to satisfy that hunger for mileage, I signed up for the SCSM 08 and decided to make it my 2008 resolution - 'To complete my first Marathon'. Inspired by the older folks in the group, I decided to run my own race, at your pace. So, 'FOLLOW ME', no, not the shampoo brand, but follow me for the race and we will finish strong, together!

Next week, we will be featuring our pacers from the 5hrs 15mins and 5hrs 30mins group so stay tune!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Marathon Training Tip: Hydration

Hydration is a high Priority for Runners
Running for long distances burns huge amounts of calories, so you need to ensure you have the proper nutrients and fluids in your body before, during and after your workouts to increase your chances of success. A runner should never feel thirsty and should drink up to a liter of water before an event and up to two liters a day during training. During the hot and humid days, your body can lose much needed water and weight loss by 1-4kg depending on how far you run. This will not only decrease speed and efficiency, it can also lead to stomach problems, muscle cramping and dizziness.

What is Dehydration?
Dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. Dehydration can be caused by losing too much fluid, not drinking enough water or fluids, or both. Dehydration can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on how much of the body's fluid is lost or not replenished. Many runners malfunction as a result of dehydration during the long race.

Typical Symptoms:
(1) Dry or sticky mouth
(2) Low or no urine output (concentrated urine appears dark yellow or worse scenario in coffee brown color)
(3) Lethargic
(4) Dizziness

Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is critical to your running performance and, more importantly, for preventing heat-related illnesses. Dehydration in runners may lead to fatigue, decreased coordination, and muscle cramping. Other heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, have even more serious consequences. Runners need to pay attention to what and how much they're drinking before, during and after exercise.

Running in heat and humidity condition such as at ECP/Costal route (Singapore) can put you at risk for dehydration, heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses. The easiest way to avoid heat disorders is to keep your body hydrated. This means drinking fluids before, during and after exercise. The body's fluid needs vary with exertion, climate, humidity, terrain, and other factors. The new fluid recommendations for runners say that they should "obey your thirst" and drink when their mouth is dry and they feel the need to drink. In training, drink before workouts and make sure you have access to fluids if exercising longer than 30 minutes.

Pre-Run Hydration
If you're doing a long run or race (more than 15km-21km), it's important to make sure you're well-hydrated during the few days leading up to your long run. You know you're well-hydrated if you void large volumes of pale urine during the day. In the days leading up to your long run (or race), drink plenty of water and nonalcoholic fluids. Not only does alcohol dehydrate you, but it can also prevent you from getting a good night's sleep. In addition, alcohol inhibits oxygen uptake. Moreover, most alcoholic drinks are high in empty calories. While the odd beer will not drastically affect a runner, alcohol consumption does little or nothing to help the runner's performance.

Also, avoid excessive amounts of caffeine. Caffeine, like alcohol, is a diuretic. In addition, high amounts of caffeine inhibit iron absorption. Again, like alcohol, caffeine does little to enhance performance. A few cups of coffee drunk 60 minutes before competition have been shown to aid runner's performance. However, runners who are using caffeine loading are advised to try it a few times in practice before using it in competition. Caffeine can cause stomach upset to runners who are not accustomed to it. Additionally, a little extra hydration is needed to deal with the diuretic affect of the caffeine.

An hour before you start your run, try to drink 16 to 24 ounces of water or other non-caffeinated fluid. Stop drinking at that point, so that you can void extra fluids and prevent having to stop to go to the toilet during your run. To make sure you are hydrated before you start running, you can drink another 4 to 8 ounces right before you start.

Drinking on the Run
Here's a general rule of thumb for fluid consumption during your runs: You should take in 6 to 8 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes during your runs. During longer workouts (90 minutes or more), some of your fluid intake should include a sports drink (like 100plus, H2O, Gatorade etc) to replace lost sodium and other minerals (electrolytes).

An adequate supply of water is needed to permit the needed biological and chemical reactions necessary to produce the energy for running. After a workout, water helps in recovery by "flushing out" waste products through urination and defecation. It is very difficult (but not impossible) to "overdose" on water.

For the vast majority of runners, dehydration, not hyponatremia, will be the key challenge. However, runners should be cautioned that hyponatremia during marathons is the result of aggressive over-drinking of any beverage, actually drinking so much that substantial weight is gained before, during, or after the event, and under those circumstances, runners should cease drinking immediately. Consuming sports drinks during a marathon helps runners replace some of the sodium lost in sweat and that will help assure proper hydration, reducing the risk of both dehydration and hyponatremia.

The two most important things runners can do to protect themselves from hydration-related problems is to drink according to their individual fluid needs and make sure to consume adequate sodium.

If you don't have access to water on your running routes, you'll have to carry your own fluids with you. If you're looking for a waist fluid carrier, do take note of the following:

(1) Comfortable fit and not too heavy
(2) Very little bouncing
(3) Ventilated foam pads are breathable, so your waist doesn't get sweaty
(4) Easy access to bottles

Post-Run Hydration
Don't forget to rehydrate with water or a sports/recovery drink after your run. You should drink 20 to 24 fl oz. of water for every 1-2kg lost. If your urine is dark yellow after your run, you need to keep rehydrating. It should be a light lemonade color.

GE Women 10km - 26 October 2008

Field Report Filed By FatBird Jancy

It was a very humid morning. I had to walk very fast to the start point which was shifted from the Esplanade Bridge to beside One Raffles Link. The humidity really made me feel warm.

After introducing the elite runners and the guests of honour, the emcee started the race at 7.30am. Due to the fact that I started at the back of the pack, I had to weave my way throught the crowd of fellow lady runners for the first 1-1.5km.

After the initial 2km, the run was a smooth one through. I studied the map of route the fday before and lamented that there were many u-turns to make. But in actual fact, it were loops we made and not abrupt u-turns. There was no traffic light to stop for or narrow lane to negotiate. There was no chaotic merging with the 5km runners at all.

The drink stations were about 2.5km apart. Both water and isotonic drinks were served. There was enough for all and I didn't have to fight for any when I stopped at the 5km one to hydrate myself.

The most interest part of the route, I feel, was on the F1 race course. The ground was new and soft and the lane was wide. It as surprising quiet in this stretch. What an irony when it was just about 1 month ago that the FI Grand Prix was held there. I enjoyed this stretch the most.

The finish line was between Padang and the City Hall. Just round the bend at the Singapore Cricket Club, I could see the finish gantry and spectators flanking the finish chute. I finished with a very "show-off" pose.

The post race carnival was a very good one. There was ample supply of bananas, water and isotonic drinks. There was a booth giving out free cups of jello too. The best of them all was the booth that printed free photos of wallet size for you after you have your pictures taken by their official roaming camermen.

This was the 3 GE Women 10k but my 2nd run. I will come back again next year and I will recommend this run to all ladies. Can't do 10? Never mind! There is a 5km segment as well. And whether you are doing 10 or 5, your name will be a personalised one.

GE Women 10k.... Great race.... Good run....


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