ST: 3 IMPORTANT FACTORS TO ACE UR RACE!

This article was first published in The Sunday Times on 02 Dec 2018.

x

#AskMok

  1. Is it advisable to eat a snack while running the race to replenish energy? – Anonymous
  2. I hope to achieve a certain time goal. Is it better to run my own race, or run together with someone? – Anonymous

x

x

MOK YING RENIn just another week, you will be taking on the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon which you have been training so hard for over the past few months. Compared to the Straits Times Run 18.45km race, the marathon is and will be a whole different ball game altogether!

x

If you recall, I had shared 3 race tips prior to the Straits Times Run – start slow, prepare well, and have a good race etiquette. To build on these, I will now focus on 3 important factors.

x

IMG_1318.JPG
Mok Ying Ren (seen here answering questions and preparing runners during the ST Run 2017 – Festival Village), hopes the #RunWithMok column has prepared you sufficiently for SCSM 2018. Photo credits: ONEATHLETE

x

Race Nutrition – Run at your best

x

The marathon is an incredibly long race, and no matter how fast a runner you are, you will have to top up your energy regularly.

x

One of the best ways to replenish your fuel during the race would be to consume sports gels. These gels resemble baby food and are packed with high glycemic index sugars which are easily digestible. A good rule of thumb to follow would be to consume one packet of gel every 45 to 60 minutes, and accompanied by plain water for hydration.

x

There are also many brands of sports gels available in the market. Ideally, you should get used to the specific brand of gel which you intend to use on race day to avoid any unforeseen tummy upset.

x

CIMG3910

x

Mental Game – Run with focus

x

Standing at the start line and thinking about the 42.195km that lies ahead may leave you feeling extremely daunted. This is a feeling that even experienced marathoners may not be able to avoid.

x

One way to overcome this is to break up the race into smaller segments, and aim to achieve “mini-goals” for each segment. This then forces (helps) you to focus on the process, instead of just the end goal which may seem like a bridge too far.

x

Your “mini-goals” can be as simple as remembering to  take a small sip of hydration (drink to the point of thirst, of course!) at every water point. As you progress, these goals may be more performance-oriented, such as checking off each 5km within a specific split time.

x

Another aspect of the mental game is to be prepared for any potential mishaps that may occur during the race so that you are not thrown off guard. If something unexpected happens, turn your focus to the things that are within your control.

x

For example, there have been instances during my races where I had fumbled with my hydration bottles when grabbing them off the table and ended up dropping them. Instead of being disheartened, I focussed on getting hold of my hydration at the next water station.

x

CIMG3904
ONEathlete Ashley Liew and Evan Chee, and other Singaporean elite athletes at the start lines of SCSM 2017! Photo credits: RunONE

x

Camaraderie – Run as one

x

You may think of running as a team sport – ultimately, everyone racing on the course shares a common goal of finishing the race safely, and speedily. Just as how teammates in a sports team draw inspiration from one another, you can form impromptu running groups while running the race!

x

During the 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon, where I went on to set the Singapore half-marathon record, I was fortunate to have the company of fellow runners who were also gunning for the same finishing time. I managed to work with them, and we took turns to lead and break the headwind, not unlike a Tour de France race. This allowed us to perform better than if we had all been running our races individually. Our “team” members also changed as the race went on. As some runners got tired and dropped back, we also caught up with runners ahead who still had the legs under them and started running together as one.

x

Such team dynamics can help you to achieve your goals, as well as others to meet theirs!

x

With this, I wish you all the best as you undertake the biggest race on Singapore’s running calendar – remember to enjoy and savor every moment of it! 

x

DSC01702 x
100PLUS Ambassador & 7-time SCMS Local Champion, Mok Ying Ren shared hydration tips with about 200 runners and joined them in their final preps (on 1 Dec, sat) for the Singapore Marathon. Photo credits: ONETHLETE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s