Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Unsolicited Running Advice

This month marks my 10th year running and 4th year racing. I still regard myself as a newbie. But these are just a few things I've picked up along the way.  It's not a guideline, just some ramblings and observations of a crazy woman who's trying to squeeze everything in her limited time..

Here goes:

If your best timing for a 10K is 62 minutes, you will most probably not achieve a half marathon timing with your best 10k timing times two and then some. Never guesstimate using this formula. You'll blow out half way.

Train for your race and don't race your trains. Which means, you should neither :
1. Do your training runs at race pace EVERY TIME.
2. Race a train or a komuter or an LRT

It doesn't matter what you wear. Seriously it doesn't. All that matters is your training. An RM400 compression pants won't make you run faster or longer without proper training. A pair of 500 ringgit shoes won't make you fly to the finish line. It's all you.
(okay, they'll help you 5-10% of the way, but the rest is still all you)

Experiment on training days and not on D-day. If you wanna try replenishing with different flavoured gels, bars, chocolate, choki-choki, bananas, energy drinks, asam boi, asam jawa, asam keping, whatever, you gotta do that during your LSDs. Never start anything new, during race day.
Unless you want to end up puking your guts out all the way home. Or in some unfortunate cases, all the way to the finish line.

If you're running towards the finish line, and the person in front of you suddenly decided to stop abruptly, try not to curse him. He may be dying. His sudden cease of movement will cost you a few seconds but let's face it, you're not winning anyway.

If you've just done a 30 K run or a half marathon distance, I guess it's okay to say that you deserve this:

If you've just done a 10K,  you're just eligible for this, buddy.

 A tiny ice cream bon bon

And I mean just one.
A 5K? Halve it.
Lesser than that? Lick the wrapper.

Don't be forced or pressured into running a marathon. This is not high school anymore. Go on when you're ready. And again, train for it.
And it's perfectly okay to admit that you don't like it. Everyone has their own preferences. Run a distance that makes you happy.

There's a school of thought saying that to be a real runner you have to run for more than 20K. And only newbies run 10K or less. That is not true. You are a runner regardless the distance.
You run, therefore you are a runner

Some people are injury prone. Look back at how you run. Maybe you're doing too much too soon. Maybe you're going too fast. Reevaluate. Rest. Heal. Restart. ( Mark Parent would add 'repeat' at the end).

All of us are familiar with the runner's reflex. A runner can be a dead beat, slow moving zombie mid-race but will immediately perk up within the sight of a camera ( even though it's not even focused on him) with the brightest smile and that cheesy peace sign. Hence, the runner's reflex.
Once the camera is outta sight, that look of impending doom is back and they will continue on dragging their poor feet to the finish line.
Unless another photog comes along.

Running a race is no excuse to forget about your prayers. When you're about to agonize your body, it's smart to ask for some help from God.

Don't look down on treadmill running. Running on a treadmill is still running. You accumulate mileage. You sweat. There's constant motion of movement. Same thing. So don't make fun.

You wake up in the middle of the night to find your partner's/friend's finger on your neck. Fret not, he is not trying to strangle you in your sleep, he's just checking your resting heart rate.

It is better not to talk too much about running in the office. Let's face it, the layperson only cares whether you bag a prize or not.  They have no idea what a sub 50 min 10K means. They'll think doing a 30K run for fun is weird.
You can try to convince them to run but if you're not getting any positive feedback then just back off.
And only give advice when asked.
Nobody likes unsolicited advices.

Not including the ones above, okay.
You came here. So I guess I'm off the hook.



  1. I suka part runners reflex.

    OMG. You know, they should station photogs at each KM. I will make sure I look like I'm running cheerfully all the way past those photogs. Promise!


    1. Haha. Don't worry, photogs are everywhere during SCKLM. You'll be smiling the whole way I bet.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Kak Pah. Glad you like it :)

  3. lick the wrapper lol .. cool one doc :)

    1. Which reminds me, I have 3 bon bons left in the fridge...

  4. You are the bomb! Your postings come off real, natural, humble, humourous dan tiada vibe2 takbur atau riak yg terkadang newbies (less than 15k) "terbaca" di blog2 lain.

    Moga berlari lebih jauh, lebih pantas dan sentiasa diredhai Allah.

    1. Maybe blog lain don't mean to be that way, probably just sharing their accomplishment kot.
      I'm not sure about the jauh bit but Aminnnnnnn anyway.
      And thanks, you're sweet.

  5. Terkonang den zaman berlari suka suki. Yes, even now I will only run for suka suki. And that ice cream will justify 200% for even a 2K run. Thanks for this fun stuff :]

    1. Ya la, untuk super supir seperti kita, jaman lari berkilo kilo will have to take a back seat for now.
      It's all for fun :)

  6. Thanks Zacky.Keep running okay?

  7. I love this article. True and make sense. Gonna share it on fb. U rock girl!

  8. Thanks Anon. Glad you liked it too :)

  9. Wow, these advices n tips r very handy n informative 4 me, da amateur newbie runner.... Loved the way u potrayed it effortlessly, especially the part where trying to convincing a layperson @ bff to join running.... I`m definitely will never stop running...Ever.... Kudos! xoxo

    1. Thanks for the thumbs up, Eezard.
      Yup, even when times are tough, don't stop. Except when you're facing injuries.
      Tu pun, push the restart button once you're fine.

  10. I am newbie runner. Love this entry :)

    1. Love to know that there are more and more runners out there :)

  11. A very nice read....prompting me to do something like this soon. Haha. Hope I don't plagiarise your work too much. Haha. Kidding!

    1. Please do. Runners need all the advice in the world. Especially from someone fast like you :) ( I've been reading your blog too!)