With just 17 weeks to go till the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM), close to 500 runners laced up and joined in the SCSM Training Kick-Off at the Singapore Sports Hub today.
The SCSM race takes place on 2 and 3 December this year and consists of a 10km Competitive Race, as well as the Half and the Full Marathon categories, in order to cater to runners of differing abilities.Put together by IRONMAN Asia, the organisers of the SCSM, the day’s activities included the launch of the 2017 pacers programme with a 5km run led by the official pacers from Running Department, as well as a coaching clinic by Coached, the official coach for SCSM 2017, opportunities to get professional advice on heart rate zone training and try-outs of the new Under Armour Charge Bandit 3 shoe, which was launched at the event.
Third time SCSM pacer, Edmund Ho, 29, took part in the 5km pacer run. He said, “It’s good to be running with the people, the route is good and it’s a good warm up especially with SCSM coming up.”
The Media Heart Rate Run
For me, I had been invited to the Media Heart Rate Run session, which was scheduled at 9am. This had been conducted by Ben Pulham, founder and coach of Coached, a heart rate based training programme that allows you to track, optimise and enjoy your training.
During the heart rate run, we had been required to run for three kilometres at our aerobic heart rate cap. The figure to determine a good estimate of what your aerobic heart rate cap is, can be measured by using the formula 180 minus your age.
The run was attended by runners, members of the media and celebrity influencers who will be taking part in the SCSM this year.
For most runners who do not usually train based on their heart rate zones, today’s Heart Rate Run was an eye opener for them but at the same time, they can nevertheless see the benefits of training in this manner.
Heart rate acts as an indicator
Said Ang Kwok Ching, 39, an engineer, “I don’t really look at my heart rate when running. But it’s good because I realise that it acts like an indicator, telling me when to speed up and slow down. I think that it would help me with my pacing. I usually run anyhow.”
And added Kashif Khan, 42, a business development director, “It was hard to adhere to my heart rate cap because it meant going slow. But I guess that were are trying to be slow but sure, and I realise that will help us out in the long run. So it is about unlearning what we generally know about running and re-learning new things.”
Kashif continued, “For today’s run, it was surprising to see my heart rate go up so fast. It easily went up to 170, then 182 and then it stayed there. It was hard for me to bring it back down, but surprisingly I thought I was running at a comfortable pace and I had felt no discomfort.”
For his runs, Kashif has been focusing his training on distance and not his heart rate, so measuring his heart rate was something that he was not really used to. He said, “My goal is to run 10km in about 55 to 60minutes. I have been running by distance and time.”
Hopes to put what he learnt into practice
But he hopes to put what he learnt today, into practice though.
Explained Kashif, “Well the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so I need to practise it again and again, running at my heart rate cap regularly. Then I think I will see results, if I keep at it for three months. But if I do not practise then of course it will not be of any benefit to me.”
Heat can affect my running quite substantially
For me, I have been training at my heart rate for a while, so it felt quite natural to be looking at my heart rate reading on my watch as I was completing the 3km route – which had been basically three loops of 1km around the Singapore Sports Hub.
But I also had some surprising results, as I realised that the heat affects my running more than I may have initially thought. This was because I started the Heart Rate Run at about 9.30am and at this hour, the sun had been out in full force and the humidity levels were soaring.
So I found myself wilting more than I should otherwise have, and my pace was also somewhat slower than I had initially expected it to be at my maximum aerobic heart rate zone, which I am used to running at. So this too, was an interesting learning experience for me.
I also took the chance to use the Heart Rate Run too, to test out the newly launched Under Armour Charge Bandit 3 shoes, and my first impression of these shoes was that they were quite light for running and that they mould themselves easily to the feet, ensuring a good fit, making them rather comfortable for running. I admit that I was pleasantly surprised, as I had never tried Under Armour shoes before.
After the heart rate run, Coach Ben would take a look at each runner’s readings and give us feedback on how we had performed, and also determined estimates of the rest of our heart rate zones based on these readings. This would then serve as a rough guide in terms of subsequent SCSM training.SCSM ambassador and MediaCorp 987FM Radio DJ Joakim Gomez, as well as Under Armour ambassadors Denise Keller and Yang Man Yun were also provided heart rate zone assessments from Ben, who gave them professional advice on how they can improve their training for SCSM.
More heart rate run sessions happening tomorrow
If you are interested to get your heart rate zones checked out, there will be four more Heart Rate Run sessions taking place tomorrow on the hour, from 9am to noon, and a couple more later in the afternoon and the evening from about 4pm to 6pm.
As well, Coach Ben will also be giving a talk on busting running and marathon myths at 2pm tomorrow, for those who are interested to find out what they should and shouldn’t do when they are training for and running at SCSM this December.
How to register for SCSM
Register for SCSM at www.singaporemarathon.com. Standard Chartered Cardholders will enjoy 15 per cent off their registration fees across all categories.