30 Jan 2019 – With its efficient performance, comfortable support, and great aesthetic, the New Balance Fresh Foam series was made for neutral runners looking for responsiveness and cushioning in their running shoe. Always evolving and improving, Fresh Foam shoes deliver soft and smooth cushioning for running, training, trail or gym.
Birthed from an extremely lightweight and comfortable footwear series, the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit makes runners feel as though they are moving at the speed of light.
The latest Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit uses advanced laser-engraving technology that leverages on data-inspired design to provide uncompromising performance for wearers.
Simply put – featherweight! With excess material removed, Zante Pursuit promises an even lighter, better and faster run.
The NB runners who wore the shoes for a run around the CBD area were quick to feel the little ‘springy’ sensation on the mid-soles, and the stretchable support at the cushioned collars. This was a bit more evident as they whisked and manoeuvered around the evening crowd and steps along the inclined route.
For the competitive runners, having a light (read: high performance) shoe is everything! The run seemed a bit more effortless than usual for this elite pack.
But the prowess of the Zante Pursuit is more evident during a rebounding session by the instructors from Beat x Studio. It sure looks easy, but your legs are nothing but wobbly as you bounce on the trampoline. That’s when you feel the one-ness of your feet with the shoe. The dynamic fit of the shoe helps you to land with ease, and jump up with no weights attached.
As Youtuber Umehara Kenji put it, he found a new balance on the mat that day, while others were literally bouncing off to earn their dinner.
It was ‘no sweat’ while the instructors threw in some burpees and push-ups on the trampoline while at it.
For those who prefer a sleeker sock-like version, you can also consider the Fresh Foam Zante Solas. (National Marathoner Yvonne Chee rocks out in her purple Zante Solas in the image below.)
In essence, the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante is a lightweight neutral trainer that strikes a balance between being a soft cushioned ride and a fast snappy responsive feeling.
3 Feb 2019 – RunONE & ONEathlete celebrated our 2nd year! Both athletes and team members came together to look back on a fulfilling year, as well as look forward toward some of the exciting plans that lie ahead.
With Chinese New Year just around the corner, it was only fitting that we started the gathering with a lo-hei. As #ONEturnsTWO, it was touching to notice that the community has grown considerably bigger as athletes are joined by their partners, and as staffing expands.
The cosy setting also afforded many opportunities for athletes to mingle and catch up with one another. It was a welcome respite from ‘business as usual’ and allowed us to get to know one another better as individuals, not just the identity consigned by the sport that we do. At times, conversations would drift back towards the sport that we love and dedicate so much of our time to, as we shared our race plans and training woes as well as how we can support or provide advice through trying times and difficult moments. The point was not lost on each of us at ONE – there is so much more to being an athlete than any national record or personal bests can ever represent. Together, we can help each other achieve much more than any individual ever will.
Thus, we reaffirmed the spirit of family, community and ONEness.
The candid sharing of concerns, challenges, as well as plans and opportunities was loosely structured to create a comfortable environment to review what went well in 2018, and what we could be done better in the year ahead. It was also an opportune moment for many amongst us to give thanks and be grateful for the advice help we have received. The chocolate cake at the end also marked another momentous occasion for the ONE community, as well as the beginning of another chapter together.
From all of us at ONE, we wish our readers a happy Chinese New Year in advance, and fellow athletes an exciting and rewarding season ahead!
“This is Sparta!” We all remember Gerard Butler (as King Leonidas), who declared this statement in anguish as he fought to a dramatic death. Since the release of the 2006 period action film 300, the concept of masculinity and strength has become synonymous with the Spartans.
For 9 years, the Spartan Race has been growing steadily and developed franchisees in 30 countries, including Singapore! The Sports Hub was a natural choice to host the prolific obstacle courses all around its fairly new premises on the 26 January 2019.
Though one might think this race is reserved for the fittest of the fittest, 88.3Jia FM’s DJ Jimmy Koh (@jimkoh) dragged our RunONE Co-founder Jed (@jedsent) there for an early morning Saturday workout anyway! They were going along just to ‘observe’, he insisted.
The obstacles were meant to strike fear in those gunning for their respective bragging rights. It even taunted the most seasoned racers. For example, there was the Rope Climb, where participants were required to employ both upper body strength and knowledge of how to hook with your feet. Immediately after completing that station, Jimmy felt compelled to show off his ‘manly scar’ that he ‘suffered’ from the Rope Climb.
Jimmy also aced the atlas carry station by carrying the weight and going up and down the long stairs of the stadium! But the bigger jaw droppers were the endearing mak-chiks who unwittingly reminded Jimmy of their sheer power! (Read: Who runs the world?)
Despite keeping safety in view, the race organizers fully attempted to test both the physical and mental strength of participants! Check out how Jimmy fared at the other stations:
But rest assured that after all the grilling, what awaited was a big finisher medal, a finisher tee that sealed bragging rights, as well as a very rejuvenating coconut juice station!
REBEKAH ONG – If this Monday has got you feeling more deflated than ever, there’s nothing wrong with you, and there’s some good science to back that up. The third/fourth Monday of a new year was crowned Blue Monday by psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnall, who devised an actual mathematical formula that factors in weather, debt and time since Christmas, timing of New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels, and the urgent feeling that you need to take action, on top of the dreaded back-to-work Monday blues that many office workers face. The solution? Don’t turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy by focusing on the things you can do to boost your health and mood.
At the top of this list would be New Year’s resolutions, which are pretty common things that most people would set at the beginning of the year. Setting goals and targets that you want to achieve in the course of the year often ties in with starting on a clean slate and taking on opportunities to begin a brand new chapter in life. One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions is to get fit. The definition of being fit is to be in good health and one of the ways to do that is through regular exercise. For many in Singapore, running is a common way to keep fit and for some, this might be their resolution. If this is the case for you, here are some fun ideas to get you started on your journey!
Plan your weekly run sessions and set a distance goal. Always start small, then slowly progress further. You don’t need to go fast, but go at a comfortable pace, so you won’t get disheartened or stressed the next time you go for your run. Remember to always stick with something comfortable when you are just starting out.
Join a running group
If you are sociable and would like to make new friends, there are always running groups around to guide and help you become stronger in your run journey. Most of the running groups cater to runners of all levels. Do not be intimidated and go with an open mind to learn and improve. Some running groups which you can consider are Superhero Runners, Running Department, Adidas Runners Singapore, and Coffee Tea Runners, which are just a few of many such groups in Singapore.
Join a virtual run
Joining a virtual run is a good way to motivate you to get started on running. Depending on the site that you register at, there are different criteria for completion. One site that you can check out would be 42race.com. They have 2 types of virtual runs. One is a distance challenge where you are given a time period of a month to complete a certain distance. The the other option is like a typical run event which requires that you complete a pre-determined distance within a few days, but you can run anywhere and at your own time. These virtual runs are typically priced reasonably and some even provide a finisher’s medal.
Plan out your race calendar
In Singapore, there are lots of run events to choose from and our race calendar is one of the busiest in the region. Runs like the ever popular 2XU Compression Run and the biggest run on Singapore’s calendar, the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, all have different categories and enough goodies to entice you to join. This would be a good time to map out your training and race calendar for the rest of the year and commit yourself to train for them. The race atmosphere will definitely kick things up a notch and provide an entirely different experience from running alone.
We hope the aforementioned ideas will kick-start your 2019 New Year’s resolutions to keep fit and launch your running journey!
Rebekkah Ong is a fitness junkie and F1 geek. The elegant foodie is almost at every run event! She presents all things in fours!
The Run For Hope 2019 is taking place on Sunday, February 17 2019. It is organized by Four Seasons Hotel Singapore in collaboration with National Cancer Centre Singapore. Similar to previous years, the funds raised will go towards the National Cancer Centre Research Fund. (More info: http://www.runforhope.sg/)
In the blink of an eye, 2018 has come to an end and so has this year’s #RunWithMokcolumn, which was in partnership with the Straits Times Run and the Singapore Marathon. It feels like only yesterday when we embarked on this journey together to train up for two major races in Singapore.
Over the span of just a few months, my fellow contributors and I have touched on a myriad of running-related topics. Many of these had also piqued my curiosity when I first started on my running journey. I hope that we have been able to address your doubts and queries adequately, as you #LearnWithMok. (Recap all articles for 2018 HERE!)
It is also an opportune time for me to thank the ST Sports Desk Team for their support and inputs; fellow columnists who were generous with their experience and expertise; all the readers and race participants who were very forthcoming in writing into #AskMok to ask questions and attending the various talks and run clinics. A big pat on the back for those who diligently followed the RunONE training programme and our Sunday columns for 30 weeks! You have truly made the journey memorable! Thank you!
To conclude this column, I would like to share 3 takeaways that can be applied to your running journey henceforth, so that you can continue running!
Consistency is essential to any life pursuit, be it relationships, studies, work and, of course, running. Consistency means maintaining a certain level of frequency over an extended period of time.
Consistency in your running journey would mean, for example, running at least twice a week, regardless if you are training for a specific event. This will prevent your fitness and muscular adaptations from degenerating and allow you to bounce back to high-quality training within a shorter time. It will also reduce your risk of injury risk when you step up for your next training programme.
Always adopt a conservative approach to your training programme. It is very easy, and almost natural, to allow our haste and impatience to hijack our plans. On days when we feel good, we tend to want to do more or push ourselves that bit harder. Sometimes, it is wiser to hold your horses and allow your body to adapt and enjoy the fitness it has achieved at a methodical pace.
As you progress in your training, you should aim to increase your training volume and intensity incrementally. Take baby steps and avoid sudden ramp-up. Doing too much, too soon, is really a recipe for disaster. As the saying goes, ‘more haste, less speed’.
Be unique individually
You would appreciate that we have placed great emphasis on each runner ’s individuality. This applies, not only to training programmes and routines but also to smaller details like hydration and nutrition needs. Truly, one man’s meat is, and can often be another man’s poison.
I myself am guilty of having committed the cardinal mistake of replicating and religiously following training programmes of top runners in the world, only to be saddled with injuries and disappointment.
This is not to say that you cannot draw inspiration from the best athletes or should not adopt practices that your well-intentioned friends have recommended – you can, and you should. However, you should first put some thought into what you have read or heard and then make a considered decision on whether to follow through and embrace them as yours. Blindly following the group may do you more harm than good.
With this, the RunONE Team and I, are signing off! We would like to wish all of you an early Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
9 Dec 2018 – The weatherman told us it would be one of the coolest Decembers Singapore has seen recently. Expect showers, they said. Just not in the morning, we hoped. There is a fine line between comfortably cool, perhaps with a slight drizzle, and uncomfortably cats-and-dogs wet. Like the line that serious athletes who push their limits must (eventually) learn to run – too much and you risk blowing up; too gentle and you do not leave your mark. It is a calculated risk that athletes hone over their months and years of preparation.
On a particular December morning for the past 17 years, it is a drill well rehearsed that see throngs of runners take to the streets of Singapore for the marquee running event on Singapore’s race calendar. Among the close to 50,000 who turned up in this year’s Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM), a few seek to race the clock and the shadows of yesterdays. But against the backdrop of gearing up for the World Marathon Majors, what made this year’s SCSM extra special, is the number of new faces and rising stars on the circuit.
SCSM Day 1 – 10km Men’s and Women’s Race
In the 10km race category, Vanja Cnops, a Belgian-based researcher in Singapore, won the female race with a time of 40:07. She is no stranger to the podium, having most recently won the King of the Trails 4 female’s race! Goh Chui Ling was the top-ranked Singaporean female runner who came in 3rd with a time of 41:56, marking an improvement of over a minute from her results at the Great Eastern Women’s 10km race, where she also came in 3rd with a timing of 43:00. The rising track star (who trained for the race under former SA Technical Director, Volker Herrmann) shared with RunONE, that this would likely be her last 10km race as she turns her focus back towards the track season, which will get underway soon. Due to a lack of varied terrain for running in Singapore, it is not uncommon for track runners to diversify and switch up their training by either going into road, or trail, races, during the track offseason.
Separately, in the 10km Men’s category, ActiveSG athlete Shobib Marican was the top-ranked Singaporean, winning the silver with a time of 35:58. Shobib trains under coach Steven Quek, whose training ethos is based on a firm belief in consistency. In a short post-race interview with RunONE, Shobib felt that the familiarity earned through hard training gives him a certain level of confidence heading into the race – that the hard work is in the bag. One change that he liked about this year’s SCSM, was the reduction in bottle-neck as the race turned into a 2-day event with the half and full marathon event separated from the 10km. This allowed the 10km racers to better focus on executing their race.
SCSM Day 2 – Half and Full Marathon Men’s and Women’s Race
With the majority of race participants signing up for the half and full marathon, excitement was almost always certain to build up towards day 2, as the finale of this SCSM weekend.
ONEathlete & Under Armour Ambassador Banjamin Quek finished 3rd in the Local Men’s Half Marathon category with a time of 1:22 under trying circumstances.
Speaking to The Straits Times & RunONE at the end of the whole ordeal, Banja felt that the route was ‘good but tough’. He thought that the organisers could have done better by having more water points along the highways and better management of the human traffic who were leaving the race village, as evident from the long queues and crowd bottleneck observed.
Banja also wants to acknowledge and thank the prompt medical attention he received when he nearly collapsed after crossing the finish, a sign that the organizers have paid strong emphasis and close heed to safety issues following earlier race-related fatalities.
In the Full Marathon category, last year’s Men’s Champion Soh Rui Yong defended his title by winning with a time of 2:41:49. Trackstar Athletics’s Mohd Iskandar (2:49:46) who finished 5th Local in 2017, and Giebert Foo (2:54:14) etched into the Men’s top 3 to end the year with a well-deserved blast.
Newer faces on the podium, and more local runners in the sub-3 hour timings displayed the rising competitiveness of the local marathon circuit. Several others include Ho Ghim Khoon (2:56:02, 5th), and Tan Wei Jie (2:59:01, 8th) were also hopeful nominees who started off from the Elite Pen. Another notable young star is Daniel Leow who trains with the Singapore Shufflers and made a remarkable 38 minutes improvement over his 2017 results!
Giebert Foo’s SCSM2017 Ekiden Team, Victorious Secret Angels, retained their 2nd position in 2018, with the 5th and last runner, Soh Hua Qun speeding through to finish with a time of 2:44:46.
ONEathlete Evan Chee finished in 4th place with a time of 2:55:00, narrowly missing out on the podium by just under 1 minute while Ashley Liew suffered in the latter half of the race to finish in 3:09. Having won the SCMS in 2012 and coming in 2nd last year, it was clearly not his best performance by a large margin.
While this year’s preparation was largely similar to previous years, Ashley had tried incorporating minor tweaks in this year’s SCSM lead-up by racing more short distance events. Nonetheless, with his 2:41 finish at the Tokyo Marathon earlier in Feb 2018, Ashley remains the second fastest Singaporean over the Marathon distance this year. The upcoming offseason will provide an ideal window for Ashley to rethink his training and race strategies, and regroup before the 2019 season.
Before the race, Evan had set his focus on a singular goal and that is to improve upon his 2017 results by snagging a season-best finish quicker than his Gold Coast Marathon result of 2:51. Training was definitely different this year as Evan had to lay off running while recovering from injury for good part of the year since Jan. Mileage remained low throughout most of 2018 until the 2 months leading up to SCSM, when he finally managed to put in consistent weekly mileage above 100km.
As a result, Evan has had to adjust his race execution by focusing more on execution and good pacing strategy for this year. In the end, he managed to secure a 4th place finish in a highly competitive event like SCSM, which also doubled up as the National Championship for the 2nd year running.
Making the podium for the Women’s Marathon was, Dr Lim Baoying who was not an elite runner (starting from Pen A) emerged as the surprise winner with a time of 3:16:36; 2017 defending women’s champion, Rachel See, was strong through the first 30km of the race with an average pace of 4:25min/km and had to dig deep in the closing kilometres of the race to finish 2nd at 3:18:36. He Xiuying rounded up the podium with a very respectable finish of 3:18:57.x
Evan’s sister, Yvonne Elizabeth Chee, also competing in the elite female category for the first time, finished in 4th place with a time of 3:25. She had skipped the 2017 Marathon post-pregnancy, and geared her way into ‘her special spot’. The civil servant and mother of two also thanked her husband, who ‘made it possible’ by taking care of their children to afford her precious time away for her training runs. Singapore’s marathon Olympian, Neo Jie Shi came in 5th at 3:27:31.
With the conclusion of SCSM 2018, the hectic running season in Singapore comes to a pause as we, runners and spectators alike, usher in the festive season and a time to share with our loved ones! As we gather to celebrate love, friendship and hope during this holiday, the future for Singapore’s running looks bright given the performance and number of rising local stars at SCSM 2018. A starry, starry future beholds.
VOLKER HERRMANN – Race days are often the highlight of an athlete’s career. You have invested weeks and months, and made substantial sacrifices in every area of your life, for these precious moments of racing. When so much is on the line, naturally you would want to make every moment count, and every step you take prior to your race day is crucial. x
D-1: Take it as just another day
One of the biggest secret to succeed is to, ironically, approach race day as an average training day. While it is important to prepare well, you should not try to make the day an unusual one, especially if you are thinking of experimenting or trying something new.
If you are sharing your experience with your friends and supporters, remember to give them instructions beforehand, especially to be stationed at the parts of the race you would need their support and morale boosters the most!
H-18: Prepare early
Prepare your equipment the night before, like your shoes, socks, shorts and singlet (pin your number bib). It is important not to wear anything you have not worn at least three or four times before, preferably for your training sessions. You would not want to experience any unusual (unexpected) discomfort during your race. Tapes and lubricating gels should be used to cover sensitive body parts which are prone to abrasions.
If you are listening to music, prepare the playlist beforehand.
H-12: Get some sleep
It is normal to be anxious before your race – all your hard work culminates in this one day. It is usual to not have the deepest sleep the night before your race. Even top athletes are not spared the sleeplessness and anxiety before race day. It is actually the sleep several days out that plays a bigger role in your performance on race day. So, try not to think about your race on that night! If you are racing at a time that is not during your usual training hours, it is best to slowly adjust your sleep and training patterns accordingly, at least eight to ten days before the marathon. This will also greatly help in your sleep for the night before the race. x
H-3: Have a simple meal
Try to have breakfast at least three hours before the start of the marathon, preferably food with a low glycemic index, so that your blood glucose level will rise slower and more steadily. Avoid acidic fruits and fruit juices, and go for bananas. It will be best to stay away from dairy products too.
H-1: Make your way to the start line
Always be early for your race, and plan your way to the starting line taking into account road closures, long queues, and huge crowds!
Get in your dynamic warm-ups.
H: Stick to your race plan
x Facing competition often raises adrenaline levels, and naturally, you would have a tendency to run too fastin the first few kilometers. It would be prudent to hold off in the first ten minutes and start slightly slower than your planned race pace. If you are using fixed splits for different intervals (e.g. the 5k, 10km, or half marathon mark), write them down on your forearm. Having a quick look makes it easy to check whether you are following the race plan. x
26 Nov 2018 – The folks at lululemon brought together a bunch of highly flexible and creative individuals for a very thoughtfully planned weekend retreat at Sofitel Singapore. Not being one of the flexible ones, our Co-founder Jed was gratified to have been invited to join in! For all who attended, it seemed like a much-needed getaway from the buzz of really busy lives, on Sentosa Island.
All the lululemon Ambassadors and invited guests from Singapore and Malaysia were encouraged to put away their mobiles and anything that could potentially distract them from being fully present. Now, while you might feel that this would be like losing an arm or leg, our Co-founder – who stopped replying any messages or emails till the end of the day – said that it really gave him the time to reflect, process and be intentional about life in general. Ultimately, the virtue of MINDFULNESS was introduced.
Each of the sessions was centered around the core identity of the brand. For example, the participants encountered CHOICE when they explored possibilities during the first session, when they had a ‘unicorn brainstorm’ to list all the possibilities in their lives and overcome self-limiting beliefs to craft a reality-redefining ‘Possibility Statement’! After all, the biggest obstruction to our goals is our own limiting beliefs.
What are the values you stand for? What are the core values that define you? The facilitators got the peeps to identify these from a laundry list of values, before zooming in on the main themes and values. This effectively created a greater sense of self-awareness and MINDFULNESS of what is really important to and is driving us!
Every morning also began with silence (where participants did not engage in any conversation) and PRACTICE modern yoga and meditation. “The last time I did yoga was about more than 20 years ago,” Jed quipped. But we guess it did him much good, as he said he was more flexible and woke up with no back pains the next day. (Editor’s note: Can we send Jed to you guys again?)
No man is an island (pun intended, despite being on Sentosa!) and indeed, the COLLECTIVE of facilitators, organizers, 30 participants and support crew all played a pivotal role in each participant’s journey and experience. Intimate and transparent sharing knit their trust with one another and strengthened the friendships. New relationships were forged, and needless to say, the goodbyes were a little harder on the last day.
Despite this, a more meaningful finale would be to now go out as empowered individuals, and impact other lives positively! Lululemon S.E.A. wants these 30 Ambassadors and invited guests to experience the joy of giving and gave them 3 affirming cards and gift cards each, to bless others with.
It is indeed more of a blessing to give than to receive. Not just with gifts and cards, but also to give of ourselves to this world, through deliberate PRACTICE, intentional MINDFULNESS, and unlimited CHOICES, with this lululemon COLLECTIVE! May you #feelgoodgiving too!