Last Saturday, the first Fringe Activity for the Great Eastern Women’s Run was held – to prepare runners for the race – which takes place on 1 November this year.
The Fringe Activity comprised of a training run of either 4km (for the 10km runners) and 7km (for the 21km runners).
Prior to the run, there was also a talk by Ms Phuah Kar Yin, Principal Dietician at KKH. She shared with runners, useful tips about running hydration and nutrition.
Tips from Ms Phuah
Here are a few of the useful tips that the dietician had shared with runners.
Ms Phuah stressed that it is very important to stay hydrated when you are running – this is especially so, for those taking part in the 10km and 21km categories at the Great Eastern Women’s Run. She explained, “The body produces heat when you are exercising and we perspire – to reduce our core temperature and prevent heatstroke.”
How much water is considered as enough, though? Said Ms Phuah, “You can go by the generic equation of taking in 600ml to 1L of fluids during every 1hour of running. The fitter and leaner you are, the more sweat you will produce – but if you are a first-timer, you should aim for the lower end of the range. That should be sufficient.”
She also added that weighing yourself before and after running is a good gauge of precisely how much sweat you are losing – and so you should replenish ourself with the same amount of fluid you have lost. Said Ms Phuah, “If you lose 1kg after running, you need 1L of fluids. If you lose 0.5kg, you need 500ml of fluids.”
Ms Phuah also pointed out that looking at the colour of your urine is a good gauge to determine whether you are sufficiently hydrated. She said, “If you wake up in the morning, it’s normal if your urine is a bit dark, like apple juice. But it should get lighter during the day and at the end of the day, it should resemble lime juice.” If it’s darker than that, she added that you are not drinking enough.
For runners, Ms Phuah also advised that you should take in 200-250ml of fluids prior to the run. This is from the time you wake up, to the time you flag off. And by fluids, she stressed that this isn’t simply water alone. You should also take in isotonic or sports drinks, as these are able to replenish not only body water, but also salts lost through sweat. As well, these also have carbohydrates to supply you with energy for running.
The dietician also pointed out though, that over-hydration is dangerous too. She said, “This is especially important to petite-sized female runners and happens when the sodium in the blood gets too low.”
Symptoms of over-hydration are headaches and in the worst-case situations, fainting and entering a coma. It may happen to runners who drink excessive amounts, such as about 3-4L of water in a very short space of time and the body can’t cope with it.
For 5km runners, Ms Phuah said that it’s okay to just consume sports drinks in the morning – if you don’t feel like eating prior to your race. But for 10km and 21km runners, it is very important to eat. She added, “Take a light breakfast high in carbohydrates and low in fats and proteins if you are eating one hour before the race – as these slow down digestion.”
The dietician added, “However, you can have your normal breakfast, such as bread with kaya and butter, if you are taking it two to four hours before the race.”
The training run itself was a scenic and pleasant one, passing through the Geylang and Kallang park connectors before returning to the Singapore Sports Hub via a shortcut through Nicoll Highway.
We ran together with the pacers and their bubbly energy and enthusiasm helped to keep all the participants going. As we ran, the pacers talked to the runners and pushed those who were tiring. Some runners may have gotten lost though, so they ran a little extra than they had intended!
And at the end of the training run, we were able to replenish our energy with fruit juice, isotonic drinks and water – as well as energy bars and some delicious egg tarts that the organisers had thoughtfully provided for the runners. I really enjoyed the egg tarts and as a result, I gobbled down my share – possibly much faster than I had intended to!
It was definitely a very fun experience, and I am certainly looking forward to the next training clinic with the Great Eastern Women’s Run.