Monday, August 29, 2011

Men's Health: August 2011

Men's Health August 2011 issue on Running, discussing about the roles and growing visibility of Pacers at Marathon events. Thanks to the Art Director and photographer for capturing such a nice picture (it looks much better in the magazine :D) and the writer for encapsulating the essence of my experience as a marathon runner and pacer.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Going Barefoot?

With the rage and interest in the ‘barefoot’ running movement and all the launches of ‘barefoot’ running shoes from the major sports companies like Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Vibram, Merrell, the running community is getting all excited and keen to jump into the minimalist bandwagon. I too, have recently started to look at these ‘barefoot’ and minimalist offerings to see what they can do for us mere mortals, and how we could bring the best of the barefoot solutions to our runners.

It is beginning to show that going totally ‘barefoot’ is not a viable option for most of us, not in our concrete jungles for sure…even in the nature of trails and forests, going unshod (without shoes) is a risky and dangerous proposition for our pampered feet. However, much can be learned from understanding what benefits can be gained from running barefoot (there are already lots of literature propounding this), and how we can properly harness the advantages for our own performance enhancements and gain more years of injury-less running.

New Balance Minimus Trail (MT10)

To gain a better understanding, I will be trial-ing some of these new offerings from popular barefoot running shoes such as Vibram FiveFingers, New Balance Minimus, and a host of others which can be found at Birthday and other popular minimalist running websites and blogs.

I view these ‘barefoot’ & minimalist shoes not as an outright replacement of our cushioned racers and trainers, but more of a ‘weapon’ or ‘utility’ to our arsenal, to help develop us into better forefoot/midfoot runners (with a lot less heel-striking), leading to less injuries and more training days, eventually resulting in enhanced performances and increments to our running lifetimes.

Vibram FiveFingers Komodo Sport (KS)

Many of these barefoot running companies offer shoes which have one or more of the following ingredients to make our journey into the world of barefoot running safe and rewarding:
- encourage proper running form (with mid-forefoot strike).
- minimize running related injuries
- taking a gradual, progressive transition from cushion shoes to minimalist and barefoot shoe
- proper use and training guide

Vibram FiveFingers (Step-By-step Guide), New Balance (Good Running Form) and Merrell (Barefoot Training) have useful information on the aspects of good form running and making the proper transition. The other barefoot running companies too will have similar information and training programs and advisories for transitioning to barefoot running if they are to be taken seriously.

As I try out some of these barefoot offerings in the coming months, I will take a gradual approach to savor and sense every session of running with these shoes. I aim to have fun with them on my maiden ‘minimalist’ running voyage.

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Insights: Its Not Easy To Be A Kenyan Runner

an interesting account and insights of a professional Kenyan Runner on all aspects of running, and why running is their only Way Of Life!

"You might think that all Kenyans were born with perfect running technique. the answer is no, it is something we force and teach our body to get used to pain, after every training we do 10 or more minutes of flexibility, range-of-motion and form drills. Working daily on various aspects of the running motion helps Kenyan runners keep that long, flowing, seemingly effortless stride they’re so often envied for..."

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Minimalist Running: Training Plans & Guides

With the growing interest in barefoot running and minimalist running shoes like New Balance Minimus range, Vibram Five Fingers, Merrell, Terra-Plana and the likes, many runners are embracing minimalist running footwear in the hopes of enjoying more injury-free running years.

The minimalist shoe manufacturers are beginning to adopt more active approaches in educating runners on the proper use of minimalist shoes, including ways in which they should be progressively adapted for us who have been used to conventional running shoes for so long. A few leading vendors in the minimalist area like Vibram are going one step further by releasing step-by-step guides accompanied with training plans for minimalist running.

This bodes well for the future of minimalist running as more runners can learn to use the shoes in proper fashion to enhance their running forms which eventually will ease off the running-related injuries.

I look forward to more training guides and information from the major minimalist shoe manufacturers which will serve to benefit the whole barefoot and minimalist running community.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Pre-Running Years

While dusting off the old photo albums, I uncovered hardcopy photos of my younger, pre-running days. I am posting a few of them up to serve as a reminder to myself that I am not getting young anymore, and need to work even harder to maintain my healthy lifestyle.

Celebrating daughter's birthday in 2000

Panting after doing a short run to prepare for the annual IPPT

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Monday, August 08, 2011

Singapore, My Homeland!

All runners, friends and fellow Singaporeans, let us celebrate as One United People in this country where rainbows of a thousand colours brighten up our beautiful skies - Singapore, Our Homeland!

Happy 46th Birthday, Singapore!

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Marathon Challenge: Are We Up To It?

The Marathon - there’s pain, suffering and success.

The first man that ran a marathon died shortly after. Since then, hundreds of thousands of from across the globe flock to run the marathon, known as one of the ultimate test of stamina and endurance.

What is the difference with those that can run over 26 miles (42km) and those who can only watch in awe? Can sedentary people and non-athletes be transformed into marathoners crossing the finish line.

With good coaching, discipline, and lots of group support, Team NOVA shows how the marathon journey can be accomplished when it follows 13 sedentary people through a nine-month regimen designed to prepare them for the grueling Boston Marathon.

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