Last Saturday, the fourth official ‘Run With Pacers’ training session for the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS), took place. This was a 21km run and the starting & ending point was at the Suntec City branch of the Adidas store.
A large crowd of runners turned up
And with not long to go now till race day on 7 December, it was no wonder that a large crowd of over a hundred runners, turned up for the run.
The official pacers for SCMS, who are from Running Department, had conducted the training run.
Pace was comfortable and pacers were friendly
One of the runners who had turned up was 37-year-old teacher Rita Yao, who will be taking part in her first full marathon this year. Said Rita about the run, “Though the weather was hot, the pacers were very nice to everyone and the pace was comfortable.”
She had been part of the five hours 30 minutes pace group at the training session and is hoping to maintain this pace on race day.
Very scenic running route
For 21-year-old National Serviceman Jeremiah Chang, the route, which led runners from Suntec City to the Singapore Sports Hub, the Gardens by the Bay and Marina Barrage, was a very scenic one.
However, the first-time marathoner admitted that he could not quite maintain the pace for the full 21km training session. Said Chang, “I think that could be because I drank too much water though, due to the hot weather, and was feeling quite bloated. That affected my running.”
Could even sprint ahead of his pace group
57-year-old engineer Richard Reid also agreed that the training run was very scenic and interesting, as it is a route that he does not usually run. Said Reid, who hopes to run the full marathon within five hours this year, “It was a really good run despite the weather. I was even able to sprint ahead of my pace group about two kilometres from the finishing line.”
Choose a comfortable pace group and stick to it
But Terence Teo, 32, the founder of Running Department, advised runners not to try and sprint ahead of the pacers on race day, especially near the beginning of the race when they have plenty of energy and adrenaline. Rather, they should choose a comfortable pace group to last the whole race distance and stick to it as best as they can.
Use the pacers to help you achieve your desired marathon timing
But if this is not possible on race day though, possibly due to a lack of training or other external factors, Teo advised runners to make use of the various pace groups along the race route, to help runners achieve their primary or secondary desired timings.
Said Teo, “For example, if a runner starts with the 5:30 pacers at a very comfortable pace and halfway during the race, realises that the pace is too easy and that he has the energy to push on, he can move up and look for the 5:15 pace group and so on.”
Added Teo, “But on the other hand, if a runner realises that a pace is not comfortable and that he is struggling halfway during the race, he should make use of the slower pace groups behind and use them to motivate him to not give up.”
Listening to your own body is still more important
Five-hour SCMS pacer Diana Lee, who works in the magazine publishing business, added that a runner should listen to his own body as this is more important than achieving a good timing.
She said, “While it is important to keep close to the pacers for your desired timing and drink when they tell you to hydrate yourself, at the end of the day, you should listen to your own body and don’t force yourself to chase us when your body tells you otherwise.”