Types of Runs You Should Incorporate into Your Training Program

As someone who started out running only in the past 4 years, it is not surprising that I am still struggling with coming out with a ‘perfect’ running training program for myself. I ain’t any form of expert after all.

Having said that, I still felt a sense of achievement to be able to achieve my PB every year (currently set at 2hrs 18mins). There is no ‘perfect’ training program because everyone is built differently, physically and genetically. I had experimented with different kinds of runs during my training over the past 2 years – when I started to take this sport more seriously. And yes, while I am still experimenting with the different runs , I would like to share what I’ve learnt.

1. Base Runs

(Image: Fredericton Legion Track Club)

Base runs are, in-fact, runs that are of relatively short-medium length. These run are usually executed at the natural pace of the runner. Given that they are shorter than your long runs, somewhere between 3km to 8km in my opinion, base runs are meant to be conducted frequently.

For example, you can fill half of your weekly training schedule with base runs.

2. Long Runs

(Image: Chris Winter / Getty Images)

These are usually the kind of run every marathon runner will take it seriously, most of the time, overzealously as well. Yes, I understand that you want to make sure that you are physically and mentally ready for the distance, but studies have shown that too much of a running volume per week will have an adverse effect on your body.

Yet, on the other hand, too little training and you will find your system crying for help during the run. It is suggested that runners should, at a bare minimum, clock a 30km week during training.

3. Progressive Runs

(Image: ACTIVE)

There is no rush if you find yourself unable to catch up with your peers. Do not try to pace them if you know you will end up gasping for air or sustaining any form of injury.

Not everyone could finish a 5km below 20 minutes, not even myself. Everyone starts from the bottom and they trained progressively. Set yourself a target. Go at your comfortable pace and slowly try to best your previous run (of the same distance, of course) by 30 seconds every time.

4. Speed

(Image: ACTIVE)

One of the training routines many tend to overlook. You must be thinking, I am training for a long distance run, why should I be setting aside time to do speed runs?

The rationale is simple: when you run at your fastest and hardest, your heart rate will spike. This will result in an increase in your aerobic capacity, which you will rely on throughout the course of your long-distance run.

Furthermore, it will help you improve your timing as the time goes. A secret to achieving your PB, definitely.

There are 3 types of speed training you can embark on: fartlek, tempo and tempo, which I am going to elaborate on below.

5. Fartlek

Fartlek is a synonym for ‘hell’ in a runner’s dictionary. It involves unstructured run, at a medium-hard effort before a quick recovery session. What I will do is to run 400m (one round around the stadium track) at the fastest speed I can go, take a minute rest, before continuing the same workout for 7 more times.

You could see me lying flat on the ground at the end of the workout, on the verge of cursing my decision to do as such. You will feel the sore in the thighs also instantly but rest assured, your thighs are getting stronger.

Fartlek is definitely the kind of routine you want to do when you are looking to improve your endurance and mental strength.

6. Tempo Runs

(Image: Run Well)

Tempo runs involve running above your anaerobic threshold (tempo zone). What makes it different fartlek is that tempo runs are, instead of a sudden boost of energy, more constant.

It is easy to know if you have been running in your tempo zone. As long as you find yourself breathing heavily (but not to the point of gasping for air) and experience difficulty in speaking, you are in your tempo zone.

For me, I’d usually conduct my tempo runs in the gym. It is easy for me to run at a constant speed within my tempo zone using the speed selection setting on the treadmill. I will then sustain the speed for a good 5 minutes and slowly increasing it by 30 seconds in the subsequent trainings. Continue it until you can sustain the speed for 1.5km before increasing the speed by 0.2km/h.

I ain’t an everyday runner so my tempo speed is currently around 10.5km/h. (I know that’s considered to be slow to many of the runners out there but hey, I got to start somewhere)

7. Intervals

(Image: Simplifaster)

Don’t confuse interval runs with fartleks. While fartleks are more of track workout, interval runs can actually be incorporated into your base run.

You can try going at an intense speed (maybe slightly at the upper end of your tempo zone) for a minute or 2 before slowing down to a comfortable speed for the next 3 minutes. Keep doing this until you are done with your base run distance.

It will help to improve your running form and running economy, endurance and mind-body concentration. And for those looking to cut some pound, you will love its fat burning effect.

8. Recovery Runs

(Image: Flashstockrom)

Recovery runs are runs that many will tend to overlook, yet this is, in fact, the most important run out of all the runs I’ve introduced.

Despite the widely accepted rationale that recovery runs are used to wash the lactic acids away from your muscles after a tedious workout or after your race. In fact, such runs serve a more important purpose, that is, to find a balance between training stress and running volume. With all the workout/race you’ve completed, there is no doubt that your body is feeling the fatigue.

Going for a recovery run will challenge your body to run at a pre-fatigued state. It will make your body become fitter as it becomes more accustomed to the running volume you’ve introduced to your body, and therefore able to training further. You get to clock more mileage without putting more stress for your body – which is the last thing you will want on recovery days.

5 Types of Players at Escape Rooms

Escape Room is simple, find the clue and get you and your team out of the place as fast as possible. It is a mystery solving game that will make everyone so headache yet everyone will enjoy it. There are so many things you could learn from the game, from problem solving to teamwork. It’s a great squad bonding game that any group of friends should attempt. Throughout the gameplay, you will definitely see your friends falling into one of these categories:

1. The Detective

(Image: Victor Tirasov)

Most likely the most enthusiastic person amongst the whole lot. You will never fail to see the Detective searching up and down, in and out for clues and hints. They probably watched too much Sherlock Holmes and/or being an investigative officer has been their aspiration since childhood. They will analyse every single thing they encounter like a dog sniffing through the trash bin.

2. The Commander

 

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The leader of the team. They possess the critical thinking skills and provide the direction everyone would follow. The Detective is his right-hand man and they are usually formed by two with the most chemistry (like Sherlock and Watson, you know). He might be the only one who can stop the Detective from overthinking and get everyone excited throughout the duration of the game.

3. The Blur Sotong

We always bound to have that clueless friend who could not even catch the slightest hint. The clue could be right in their face, very blatantly, yet they still could not get it. There is no doubt that they are always the one who will be the last to understand the logic behind every hints.

4. The Sceptic

 

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There is always someone who trusts no one. Not sure if he/she has been let down too many times by the group or that he/she is just plain paranoid. The Sceptic will always question the Detective on the clues he/she found and doubts the direction the Commander decides on. Despite he/she risked becoming the least favourite person in the group, the Sceptic actually helps to stimulate one’s critical thinking skills and train everyone’s decision-making skills. “You sure or not” will be the main thing the Sceptic will say.

5. The Nobel Peace Prize Award Wannabe

(Image: Imgflip)

Whenever there are the detective and the sceptic, you are guaranteed a repeat of the Cold War. That’s when someone, whose only mission there is to ensure that no ballistic missiles are being released and that everyone would be heading for a good dine-in instead of the mortuary at the end of the game. You will never fail to hear this person mumbling, “Eh, chillax, it’s only just a game.” (Or somewhere along this line, you get me)

He deserved an accolade if the team comes out of the game not blaming one another for anything.


IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE WORLD OF MYSTERY WITH LOST SG

Escape Rooms Singapore like Lost SG is a high-tech, top-rated 60-minute escape room game in Singapore where players put their heads together to make sense of thought-provoking clues, and seemingly abstract puzzles to escape from a locked room. Each little detail could be the essential clue to help you unlock another part of the puzzle, or the ultimate key to your escape.

Featuring the best in escape room technology, your experience with LOST SG will surely fill you with amazement when you hear the ‘click’ of success before the room makes way for your next encounter. LOST SG weaves advanced gameplay into a new generation of immersion and realism.

There are 5 interesting themes for you to choose from and each has its own challenges and complexity. Whether you are a Sherlock Holmes wannabe or a history lover or just merely looking for some weekends trills for your friends, you will definitely find the game that your squad will enjoy.

LOST SG ESCAPE ROOM
1 Sophia Road
#03-01/02/03 Peace Centre
Singapore 228149

Operating Hours
Sunday – Thursday: 1100 – 2245 (last game ends at 2345)
Friday & Saturday: 1100 – 0045 (last game ends at 0145)

Review: 2XU Compression Run 2018 (Half-Marathon)

This marks the third time that I am taking part in 2XU Compression Run, although this would only my second time competing in the half-marathon category. Since last year onwards, I’ve given myself an annual challenge: to run in 4 half-marathon events each year. (Well, I kind of failed the challenge last year because I had to withdraw from Yolorun – which was supposed to be my final HM event for 2017.)

227 days since my last official race (Army Half-Marathon 2017), I was eager to get back on the roads again to further test my limits. If I were still at my fitness level last year, I would set my target at sub-2:15HR (a 16 minutes improvement from AHM17). My form dipped way too much over the months, to the point that I was very worried if I could even complete the distance in 3:00HR.

What’s worse is that I decided to turn up for the run despite suffering from an asthma attack two weeks ago. I could still remember how walking up a flight of stairs could get me gasping for air like a fish out of the water. I had to cancel any form of training. I felt damn lousy. For a moment, I thought of withdrawing from the race altogether.

Just one week before the race, I told myself to slowly get back to training. I did a 4.5km run on Tuesday evening and that was the last run I had. Deep down inside, I knew I hadn’t been following all my training routine tightly – like how I did last year. I was doubting myself: whether I am in the right condition to partake in the run.

I eventually made up my mind.

Race Day

Woke up at 0230 to munch on a bar of Carman’s Oats Slice (Golden Oats & Coconut) and a cup of black coffee before heading to Ang Mo Kio MRT Station to board the 0320 shuttle bus. It didn’t take us long before we were being ferried to somewhere near the starting point.

As usual, I went to deposit my barang-barang at the designated area before proceeding to one corner for my warm-up. It might due to the fact that it was so long since I ran a race, I totally forgot that participants were usually be divided into waves in order to facilitate a smoother running route. I reached the pit late and ended up having to wait for roughly another 30 minutes before I could cross the starting line.

By the time the participant from my wave started running, most of us looked as if we were being deprived of the toilet. Within the first 1km, you could see the guys running towards the bushes and a row of grown-ups peeing was being formed. It reminded me of field camp somehow, just that you don’t see white lines being hoisted near the bushes.

As for me, I felt the need to shit so I joined the queue at the public toilet some 500m away from the starting line. Told you everyone was toilet-deprived.

The toilet break came at the correct time for me. I went on to complete my first 5km with a slightly lesser body mass in half an hour. That’s the first achievement I didn’t expect myself to achieve given my poor form during all my training this year.

Initially, I wanted to continue running for another 3km before slowing down to a brisk walk but God knows where I got that absurdity motivation to get myself to complete 11km before I took a ‘walking’ break.

I basically just tried to run at a pace of around 6:10/km at the first 11km and trying to overtake as many people as possible during this phrase. I knew I might not be able to retain my energy burst/adrenaline rush as time passed by so I always make it a point to run my best during the first half of the race.

During my first ‘break’, I took out my GU Energy Gel (Strawberry Banana flavour) to replenish my system. This, in fact, was my first time trying out an energy gel during a run. I usually will grab a cup of isotonic drink provided but this time I thought of fueling myself differently. Well, they said one should not try new things – especially your gears and nutrition – on the big day, but being someone who loves experimenting, it think it’s better for me to experience things first hand instead.

Surprisingly, I love the taste of the energy gel, despite it being too sweet. I felt like I was eating mashed banana right from a packaging. I knew my system was fueled the right way – I was lucky my experiment went right for me.

I went on to jog for another 5KM at my most comfortable pace – somewhere between 6:50/km – 7:50/km. It was still physically and mentally tiring despite I just need to jog for 5KM before taking another break.

My timer indicated 2:01hrs when I slowed down to walking speed after passing by the 18KM indicator near Marina Bay Sands. I took the time to recharge my earpiece since it died on me at such a coincidental timing.

I was dreading but still resumed my jogging – although this time at a much slower speed – after crossing the 19KM indicator. I told myself, “2.1km more to go. You are on the way to an unexpected finishing timing. Let’s go for sub-2:30.”

By the time I passed the finishing line, I knew I’ve exceeded my expectation.

I ended up with a 2:25HR timing, I couldn’t believe it. I stared right at my watch and wondered if I was dreaming. I knew I was a little light-headed while I walked to retrieve my medal and finisher tee. Everything felt unreal. My timing (according to my watch, my official timing will have a different reading) bettered what I got last year, despite how unfit I am now.

Maybe Matt Fitzgerald’s 80/20 rule makes sense after all.

Adam also ran the same event. So we met up after he finished his run for a photo!

Now I’ve put in more effort to get myself more prepared ahead of my next HM at Sundown Marathon 2018.