Friday, December 2, 2011

Race-Kit Collection Day

After my brief morning meeting, I walked from the CBD area for lunch at the restored Lau Pa Sat (which means ‘old market’) for lunch. Breakfast was coffee and a protein shake, deliberately for shaking the sleepiness and boosting my immune system. Since I am convalescing from a mild bout of flu, the protein would help in building antibodies for fighting the germs that caused my cough and running nose the past few days.
Thereafter, I collected my race-kit at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. Thankfully, my decision to arrive earlier and take advantage of the rain led to a speedy collection. The race-pack was similar to previous years, with a drawstring-bag filled with race-bib, race-tee, and sponsors’ items. The numerous collection-lanes accelerated the collection and gave the participants the opportunity to browse longer at the race-fair.
The race-fair was filled with sponsor’s booth. Shopping at a marathon-fair can be a dicey affair. Neophytes and first-timers may end up over-buying stuff they need, nor tested before in training. While purchasing my box of High-5 race gels, and my highly recommended ‘Marathon Race Pack’ (value-for-money, $25 only) I spoke to a seasoned half-marathoner doing his first 42K.  I suggested that he focus on his pacing, nutrition (one gel pack per 30 minutes) and consume water/electrolyte drink at every aid-station. I bumped into running-coach Lexxus and we had a chat about his running adventures (TNF China); he scored a 3:06 at his virgin marathon in 2008. He evolved into a full marathoner from a 1:14 half-marathoner. Thereafter, I met multiple-Ironman triathlon finishers Reeves Lim, Ken Lim and Philip Koh – an informal reunion at the Perth City-to-Surf Marathon booth manned by a friendly Australian representative. I recommend this race as well as the famous Gold Coast Airport Marathon as the Aussies know how to run a great endurance event.
At lunch, Reeves Lim of INGENS (a marketing consulting company) and I chatted about the concept of progress and improvements. He asked if it was discipline and consistency that leads to athletic enhancement. I agreed to both factors, and also added adaptation. If we subject our bodies to routine and ‘same old, same all’ then our progress can be hindered. Due to the specificity of sports, we can also hit a hiatus or hindrance to our performance by making it too predictable for the body. By mixing things up, our body has less chance of coping with the training stress too easily, and thus learns by becoming fitter. For runners, this means training on the flat roads, hills, trail/off-road conditions, and with various paces.
Two days more before the big dance! Rest well, stretch and hydrate fellow runners!

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