NTUC Income RUN350: Training With Pacers Session #2

Yesterday morning, the second Training With Pacers session – which was held to prepare runners for NTUC Income RUN350 – took place. This was in the form of either a 10km (for the 10km runners) or 15km (for the 21km runners) run, both beginning at the Singapore Sports Hub and running through Gardens by the Bay and the Marina Barrage. And this was where the 10km runners U-turned. For the 21km runners though, the route carried on for another 2.5km and U-turned at the NTUC Building in Raffles Place, before heading back to the starting line.

Briefing the pacers and runners before the run. (Photo: RUN350).

A briefing before the run. (Photo: RUN350).

RUN350 will take place in less than two months time – on 5 April, at the F1 Pit Building, Marina Promenade and will feature a 10km and a 21km competitive run, as well as an 800m Kids Dash.

Many runners had an enjoyable experience

During yesterday’s training session, many of the participants had a good run and didn’t have to contend with very hot weather – especially during the first part of the run. There was some wind too. Said software engineer Romain Chanu, 32, “Today the weather was cool (especially during the first half of the run) and also a bit windy. The sun was not too hot as well for most of the run, and I just found myself soaking up and enjoying the beauty of Downtown Singapore.”

As well, Chanu, who was running together with the two-hour (for 21km) pacers, found them to be pretty good. He explained, “The pacers were running at a constant pace during the training session so that was great. They were also very cheerful and supportive and really tried to motivate struggling runners and people who were slowing down throughout the 15km run – to get them to the finishing line.”

Runners in action! (Photo: RUN350)

Runners in action! (Photo: RUN350)

Pacers encouraged runners who were lagging behind

Added 2 hour 20 minute pacer for 21km, Peh Chan Guan, 58, who works as a principle estate officer, “We encouraged the runners and they tried their best. For our group, there were about four or five runners following us. They were lagging slightly behind us, but at least they were still running – and not walking or giving up. I felt that they had a bit of difficulty with the pace, but that’s probably because it got a bit hot in the later part of the run and this could have affected their performance.”

But despite this, Peh, who is the RUN350’s oldest pacer this year, still felt that the runners were pretty well prepared in terms of being able to finish the race come 5 April. Explained Peh, “They should complete their 21km race and from the way that they run, I think they have done at least one or two races of this distance before. But I can’t say whether they will reach their timing goals at this stage, though.”

Not impossible to meet your timing goals, with sufficient training

With sufficient training and proper race strategies though, it should not be impossible for runners to meet their goals for RUN350 though, according to senior accountant Tan Geok Pheng, 42, who is a pacer for the 50 minute pace group in the 10km race. Citing her own pace group, she explained, “For example, if you want to run a 50 minute 10km, you need to train three times a week, at a constant five minute per kilometre pace. Also, incorporate intervals or fartleg into your training as this will help with your speed work too.” So with sufficient training, according to the pacer, runners should be able to meet their goals.

Pacers strike a pose for the camera as they run. (Photo: RUN350).

Pacers striking a pose for the camera during the run. (Photo: RUN350).

Do not run too fast at the beginning

Added Tan, who had completed last year’s Standard Chartered Marathon (42km) in seventh position, “On race day, do not run too fast at the beginning because for sure, you will slow down a lot at the halfway mark. This is a common mistake by runners due to the adrenaline rush at the starting line. But keep in mind that you will need to save enough energy up for the final burst.”

Cooling down post-run, amidst the Chinese New Year decor at the Sports Hub. (Photo: RUN350).

Cooling down post-run, amongst the Chinese New Year decor at the Sports Hub. (Photo: RUN350).

Sufficient sleep is important

Besides training and race-day strategies, getting sufficient sleep is also quite important for the race, according to fellow pacer Sangi Reddy, a 35-year-old medical professional who will be in the two-hour pace group for 21km. He explained, “It’s important to sleep well not only during the night before the race, but also in the two to three nights leading up to the run. And finally, just run safe and keep yourself fit.”

My scenic 15km run through the heart of Downtown Singapore, yesterday.

My scenic 15km run through the heart of Downtown Singapore, yesterday.

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