With the annual Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) coming up in about three months time, on 4 & 5 December 2016, runners taking part in the Full Marathon category should be beginning their training by now, if they have not yet done so – according to national marathoner and medical doctor, Mok Ying Ren.
Mok is also the winner of last year’s edition of the SCMS Full Marathon (Men’s Local) category.
START SLOW AND PROGRESSIVELY INCREASE YOUR DISTANCE
Said Mok, 28, an Orthopaedic Surgery Resident at the National University Hospital Sports Centre, “If you have not done any running yet, then it is a good time to start and slowly progressively increase your long runs. You should be running consistently at least three to four times a week and maintain it till the day of the race.”
He added “Your longest run should be about one month to three weeks before the race, and should be about two and a half to three hours long. Then after that you should taper down in order to get your body feeling fresh for the race.”
WARM UP RUNS FOR A GOOD GAUGE OF YOUR RACE DAY PREPAREDNESS
Mok also suggests that it is good to do a warm-up race to gauge how prepared you are for the actual race.
He said “I think it is important to go for the longest races such as Army Half Marathon or Newton Challenge and run it at your targeted marathon race pace… to see how you feel after that. Choosing one such race is fine, but do not overdo it though.”
KEEP THE SINGAPORE HUMIDITY IN MIND
But Mok points out that when training and racing in Singapore, the heat is always a factor.
He said “Always start your runs out at a comfortable pace and keep the Singapore humidity in mind – the more humid it is, the more the heat will catch up with you halfway through your run or race. Also it is important to stay hydrated with electrolytes.”
PREPARATION IS KEY
First and foremost though, preparation is the most important thing when getting ready for any endurance race or competition. But at the same time there is such a thing as overtraining; so runners should be careful not to pile on the mileage too soon.
Said Mok “Many Singaporeans are busy with work and they do running for leisure; this is a good way to enjoy the sport. But of course if you are injured that is a sign that you are training too hard.”
He added “To find out if you have been overtraining you can also have a chat to someone who is more experienced – this can be a coach or even a fellow runner who can give you advice and tap on their own experiences.”
NEVER LOSE YOUR PASSION FOR RUNNING
Mok adds that the most important thing is to never lose sight of your passion and interest in running.He said “You need to enjoy it. Now that I have started work, I have realised how tough it is to actually juggle work and running. So I think that everyone should be able to enjoy the sport and integrate running into their lifestyle.”
Added Mok, “For me, I run home from the National University Hospital to Bishan; that is about 12km; it is my run for the day, and also a form of transport for me. It’s a great way to commute. Though some people choose to run to work though, personally I prefer running home because it means that I can bring my stuff home and bathe at home so I encourage everyone to try doing likewise.”