StanChart Marathon: Race Tips from Adidas Running Ambassador, Melvin Wong

Adidas running ambassador Melvin Wong is a familiar face in the local running scene. He participates in local events regularly, and has taken part in several races including the SAFRA Bay Run & Army Half Marathon, Tri Factor Run and Gold Coast Airport Marathon. He has a marathon personal best of about three hours and in the Adidas King of the Road (2012), he emerged as champion.

Adidas running ambassador Melvin Wong (in black) shares tips with runners.

Adidas running ambassador Melvin Wong (in black) shares tips with runners.

To prepare runners for the Standard Chartered Marathon (SCMS) this year, Wong shared some running tips during the official SCMS-adidas ‘Run with Pacers’ sessions, which had taken place late last month.

Here are a few of the last minute tips that Wong gave to runners at the ‘Run with Pacers’ training sessions.

  1. Good pacing

Says Wong, “Pacing is not about holding back. Pacing is about knowing how to distribute your effort evenly for the whole race. This is crucial regardless of whether you are running a marathon, an 800m race or the 1,500m distance.”

However, making mistakes in pacing is quite common amongst runners, regardless of whether they are elite runners or first-timers at the sport. In fact, Wong admitted to making such mistakes himself, at a recent marathon in Japan – when he went too fast at the start, and ended up struggling in the second half of the marathon. At the end of the race, Wong admits that his second 21km split was done 18 minutes slower than his first 21km split.

If you are not sure of your ideal pace though, Wong says that you should take a closer look at your running logs and see what type of pace you have been going at, during long training runs. Use this as a gauge on marathon race day to figure out what type of pace you can sustain for long distances.

  1. Prepare with your mind

Said Wong, “Preparing with your mind means to mentally go through on race day what you should be doing and the schedule of events that you are likely to be experiencing.”

This means that you should mentally think about your desired race timing, as well as the gear you are going to wear. You should also think about the strategy that you will be adopting towards the race e.g. gunning for a personal best or to take it as a slow and easy run without any focus on timing. Race logistics are also important to prepare mentally, and these include your plan on how you’re going to take your energy gels and salt tablets, as well as your hydration strategy at the drink stations. Thinking about how you’re going to make your way to the race site such as by taxi or MRT train and so on, are also important – and figure out how long the journey is going to take.

  1. Run while breathing comfortably

Says Wong, “The last thing you should do, when running a marathon, is to launch an all-out effort for the first 10km and then end up struggling in the remaining 30km.”

For those who don’t know their comfortable pace, a good gauge for this is to determine whether you are breathing comfortably and in a controlled manner, according to Wong. If you have good control over your breathing patterns as well as running form, you are pacing yourself correctly.

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