Friday, September 2, 2011

To B, or Not To B, That Is The Question!

I have received useful and positive comments on my running and triathlon since early this year. I must admit, I run better now because I have spent more quality and specific training in the plodding department due to mild injury, and a focus on the Holy Grail of running – the Boston Marathon. It has been on my Bucket List for a short while.

It is slim pickings when one is weaker in the other disciplines. This year, the Boston Marathon people will introduce a multi-tier system to give those who qualified with a wider margin to have first choice/stab at a slot in April 2012. I nosed under the qualifying time (in Hong Kong) by one full minute, so I am crossing my fingers and toes once the floodgates open (under control) on 12 September. Meanwhile, I hope to do better at a BQ in Singapore's marathon on 4 December. That's the plan. I missed a PB in the Gold Coast Marathon in Perth in July, so that shifted my plans for a better stab at the Grail. Back to the onscreen-design (a.k.a. 'drawing board') on my iMac.

I am not a talented runner. I don’t enjoy running as much as I used to – I miss the ‘Runner’s High’. It is hard work, and I’m allergic to hard work. There is so much information, almost weekly, about the new shoe technology, running methodologies, and treatment for injuries. It can be confusing to the tyro and neophytes. With the sudden avalanche of minimalist shoes from leading sports-shoes manufacturers, we are stumped and stupefied by what would be the ‘best’ shoes for us, and at ‘affordable’ prices.

Key issues and concerns revolving around running methodologies have been: 
1)    Landing methods
2)    Preventing injuries
3)    Running faster and mileage
4)    Barefoot or not
5)    Shoes that are best

Perhaps there is no ONE big secret, but MANY smaller secrets to running fast. Little steps add up to giant leaps.

My friend, Nathan Carlson is already in Singapore with a team of four others; they are the Hawaii Army 10-Miler team. They will race in Sunday’s Army Half-Marathon/Singapore Bay Run. I understand that Nate is an, early 30-minute 10K finisher who has beaten professional triathletes before, so I am looking forward to the fast and furious action of all the teams on 4 September. It will be an early morning, I assure you.

Final tips for AHM (worth reiterating):
1)    Nothing new on race day. I mean, nothing.
2)    Stick to your intended pace diligently. You deviate, you’ll be late.
3)    Nutrition is key, the extra speed is free: water, sports-drink, and portable calories.
4)    No deep tissue massage from today onwards: you will lose muscle tone and your muscles may not fire fully. Light relaxation massage is fine, so go for it.
5)    Rest as much as you can tonight, and raise your feet up as much as you tomorrow. Grab your race-kit and then go home (for those doing Yellow Ribbon Run & Mega-Tri, you can collect it on Sunday).
6)    If you are still smiling, you are still on-pace and on-target.

All the best to you if you are running on Sunday!
Photo-credit: Lim Teck Chye

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