Craze Ultra, a popular local ultra organised by Running Guild, takes place on 5 and 6 September this year and the race comprises of four different distances – 43km, 78km, 101km and 100 miles (160km).
Runners should be tapering now
And according to Ben Swee, 39, an Event Organiser and Fitness Trainer, who is the co-founder of Running Guild, participants in the 101km and 100 miles categories should have already completed their longest run and be tapering now.
He said, “Runners who hope to do their best at the Craze Ultra would already have clocked their highest mileage on a single long run session, leaving them with a tapering period of three weeks before race day. The tapering period will allow them to have sufficient recovery from the high mileage they’ve been clocking weekly in the build-up to they race.”
Runners who have not managed to reach their peak mileage should not overdo things now
What about those runners who have not managed to reach their intended peak mileage though? Said Swee, “We suggest not ramping up or increasing the mileage as there is a probability of injury and they might be getting into the race with a fatigued body and mind.”
He continued, “They can do one long run each week though, probably 20km two weeks before the race and 10km one week prior to race day. Mid-week they can do short runs of between 5 to 10km and strength training to get them through the race.”
Bring a torch or headlight
During the race itself, Swee also pointed out that it is important to bring a torch or headlight. He said, “The Ulu Sembawang Park Connector – about a 2km stretch at the 13km mark – will not be lit during the night. So it is important to have a torch or headlight with you especially if you are going through this section at night.”
Checkpoint 5/6 is good location to relax and refresh yourself before continuing
He added that Checkpoint 5/6 along the race route, is something to look forward to. Said Swee, “Checkpoint 5/6 at Lorong Halus Wetlands is a very popular checkpoint as it is a nice location to relax and refresh before runners continue their journey.”
Toughest part of the Craze Ultra journey
What is the toughest part of the Craze Ultra route, that runners, especially the first-timers, should be mentally prepared for? Said Swee, “The stretch between Checkpoint 4 at Yishun Dam to Checkpoint 5 at Lorong Halus Wetland is known to past participants as the hottest stretch of the route – as most participants are estimated to be at this section between 11am till 4pm. There is no shelter at this stretch.”
Added Swee, “So we recommended participants to get an ice-cold towel from Checkpoint 4 and to ensure their hydration bladder or bottles are filled before they enter this ‘hot’ stretch. A cap and sunglasses is highly recommended.”
Changes to the 100miles route
And according to the organiser, 100miles runners though, must take note that there are slight changes this year, to the running route – due to repair works being carried out at Changi Beach Park.
Explained Swee, “In previous editions of the Craze Ultra, Checkpoint 8 was located at Changi Beach Park. However due to repair works there, we were advised to source for a new location for Checkpoint 8. Hence it is relocated to Bedok Reservoir Park, near to Carpark B. As a result of the new location for Checkpoint 8, the route from Checkpoint 7 to 8 had to be changed.”
First-timers should start at a very comfortable pace
For first-timers taking part in the 101km or the 100miles categories, Swee recommends that they should start at a comfortable pace – to ensure that they last the distance, finish the race in one piece – and minimise the risk of injury. He explained, “Following other participants’ pace can lead to disaster. Keep going at a comfortable pace.”
Rest well the week before the race
He added, “And rest well especially the week before the race. Spend as little time as possible on your feet. You want to start the race well-rested. A tired body will impair your judgement and might result in injury.”
So in the days leading up to the race, getting plenty of sleep is very important for runners taking part in the 101km and 100mile categories.
Keep the body cool and keep on eating
Swee also mentioned that keeping the body cool is important, in helping you to complete the race in one piece. He said, “Have a hat and sunglasses. Some wear arm sleeves and leg coolers to help protect from sunburn. Grab some ice and put this into your hydration bladder or bottles, to keep your drinks chilled.”
Also, eating is very important throughout the race, to continuously keep up the body’s energy and glucose levels, according to Swee. This means not just gels but actual foods such as sandwiches, chocolates and biscuits.
Slow down or stop if you feel discomfort and don’t try anything new
Do not simply try and deal with discomfort during the race, either. According to Swee, you should see if something can be done to reduce this feeling. He said, “If you feel uncomfortable during the race, slow down the pace and stop, if necessary, to see what can be done before the issue gets worse. Some participants will change clothes, shoes, socks and re-apply anti-abrasion cream.”
He also advised runners against wearing new apparel or shoes, or trying any new foods on race day – instead, use what you have already tried and tested and are familiar with.
Use your mind to your advantage and keep moving
Swee also mentioned that the mind is your best friend – when the going gets tough, use this to help you get through the race. He added, “And keep moving as much as possible. Resting too long along the way and at checkpoints will eat up precious time – and you will be tempted to rest even longer.”
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