Thursday, March 31, 2005

Speedworks vs High Mileages

Originally uploaded by DOrunning.
There is an interesting and active ongoing discussions on this subject in the MR25 Forum. To improve and better one's time for Half or Full Marathon, should we do more Speedworks or Higher Mileage works?
My target for Singapore Marathon this Year is to do a 3hrs 45mins race. I completed my first marathon'04 @ 4hrs 21mins, second (KL marathon'05) @4hrs 2mins. As such, I must cut at least 17 mins, to achieve the objectives. Mileage works have helped me to complete both marathon, i still think it is very relevant for me to LSD(long slow distance) during the weekend to build endurance.
How can I include speedworks to my weekdays runs? What kind of intensity or duration?
Here are some of the advices given by people who are vets runners and still going strong:-
* Teck Heng> "do more speedworks and train in more extreme conditions..." meaning run faster in hot blazing sun often.
* Chwee Teck> "do more Hill works"
* Female Cyclist> " competitive cycling helps builds Hamstrings.."
Now, what will works for me and my present level of fitness? Hill-works, interval runs, Fartlek and anythings Fast and Furious....
I will research them and hopefully find a routine of the above speedworks cocktails that suits me toward my objective.. faster and stronger... Will report the findings in April.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

There's a quicker way to get into shape

Originally uploaded by DOrunning.

Gym rats are wasting their time, says new research - fast and furious is better. Lucie Hoe reports

It is music to the ears of the time-crunched and the gym-shy: researchers have found that when it comes to shaping up and shedding the pounds, quick workouts are as effective as hours spent exercising. In a study conducted by sport scientists at the University of Glamorgan in South Wales, it was found that fitness enthusiasts who cut the time of their gym sessions by up to two thirds achieved the same results as those who plugged away for longer.

Giles Greenwood demonstrates intense training's benefits
As part of the study, regular exercisers were split into two groups and instructed to follow an upper-body weight-training programme for two months. All subjects exercised three days a week, but while one group performed a single set of eight repetitions on the weights equipment, the other did three sets. At the end of the research, both groups displayed significant improvements in their muscular strength and a corresponding decrease in body fat.
"The results prove that it is counter-productive to spend hours at the gym, and that a shorter workout can achieve exactly the same results," says Dr Julien Baker, who led the study. "Although our research focused on upper body-strength training, these results may also be true for other types of exercise."
Dr Baker's findings add credence to the fitness industry's predictions that "convenience workouts" are the way forward; in January, the American Council on Exercise suggested that "abbreviated fitness programmes" will be the exercise phenomenon of 2005. Key to their effectiveness, says Vicky Mahoney, a personal trainer at the Holmes Place Academy, is that you raise the intensity of your workouts to put in more effort over a shorter length of time. "It's not how long you slog away, but what you do with the limited time you have that counts," she explains. "A lot of people waste time at the gym by standing around or chatting. If you really get down to it you can get a lot done in less than half an hour."
So what should you do if you have only 15 minutes or so to devote to the sweat and grind of daily exercise? Here, we review the options that will achieve maximum results in the minimum time.
* Gym classes
-workouts that can be conveniently slotted into a lunch break. You can try the Express Hips, Bums and Tums, which last for 20 minutes, or the 15-minute abdominal sessions. .
"But the difference is that you are putting in intense bursts of effort in between."

*Running and walking
Guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine suggest that you can indeed halve the duration of your daily jog or power walk to no ill effect. They say that just 30 minutes of high intensity exercise at 80 per cent of your maximum aerobic capacity - a level at which you would be puffing and sweating - is as good as an hour at a workload of 60 per cent.

"If you have only 15 minutes to run, then you need to push your body outside its comfort zone with some interval training," says Louise Sutton, head of Health and Exercise Science at Leeds Metropolitan University. "Try to incorporate 30-second bursts of fast running to raise your heart rate to at least 75 per cent of its maximum, followed by a 30-second jog to recover, and repeat that throughout the run.
"Always do a steady jog or walk to warm up and cool down. An alternative is to fast hill-run for 15 minutes, which is a great way to work the bottom and thigh muscles."

Weight training
In his latest book, The PHA (Peripheral Heart Action) Workout (Dorling Kindersley), Matt Roberts, the celebrity trainer, advocates halving workout times. He suggests that a weight-training session need last for as little as 20 minutes: "Alternate between exercises for the upper and lower body, but don't take a rest between - that way, you will work your heart and lungs to their maximum."
American fitness experts such as Jorge Cruise, author of Eight Minutes in the Morning (Rodale Books) and Brad Pitt's personal trainer, Ken Hutchins, are forging a trend for weight-training sessions that last as little as eight minutes.
They claim that by lifting heavier weights - a higher percentage of the maximum you can lift - and by slowing the pace of each exercise, you will achieve muscle tone and fat loss as effectively as if you spend an hour at the gym. Instead of the usual five seconds that it takes to lift and to lower a weight, Hutchins and Cruise recommend that, for a more intense workout, you take 10 seconds to raise and 10 more to lower. "Within two to three minutes of exercising a muscle this slowly, it reaches a threshold," Hutchins explains. "The body then gets a signal to make that muscle grow stronger."

S'pore Navy Biathlon 2005 Pics Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

My Biathlon'05

This is my second year participating in the Singapore Navy Biathlon, my first was last year's event held at Sentosa. This year's race was held for the first time at East Coast Park(beside the Bedok Jetty) instead of Sentosa.

The new swim and run route here were oppositely different from Sentosa. The new venue require participants to swim in the open sea facing the true elements from mother nature.But the new 10km run route is boringly flat.

The swim portions described by even some of this year's winners as " tough and challenging". For weak swimmer like myself who swim no more than 10 times a year, the degrees of difficulties multiplied many folds.
The swim was my longest non-stop swim distance that I ever covered. Due to the undersea-current, choppy wave,murky sea and inability to locate the bouys, the swim distance of 1.5km was extended to more than 2km as I swam blindly zig-zag toward the bouys and the finish exit. My total swim time was 42 minutes compare to last year's 20 minutes for 1.5km swim, more than double the time taken. Although, I was tired and drained by the open sea swim,I achieved a new personal distance record. I am confident that these experiences will prepare me better for next year's race.

As for the 10km run, my tired legs and the hot-blazing sun ensure a slow time for me even when the route is flat. My run time includes the change-over was 57minutes. I completed the race in total time of 1hr 39minutes 13seconds. I am disappointed with my poor run time. But a brighter note, it may be much easier to make significiant improvement for next year's race with the experiences gained.

I shall be back for Singapore Navy Biathlon 2006 and will improve my performance significiantly......

Singapore Navy Biathlon 2005

SINGAPORE : A record number of 1,600 participants took part in this year's Singapore Biathlon held on 26th March,Saturday.
The event had other firsts like a new venue at the East Coast and even an electronic time tracking system.
In the end it was still top spot in the men's open for defending champion Ben Pulham from New Zealand.
It has been dubbed the largest biathlon in South East Asia and the record number of entries shows the growing popularity of such sports here.
The first race to be flagged off was the Men's Open category.
After swimming 1.5 kilometres in the seas, the athletes had to run for another 10 kilometres.
Taking just one hour and nine seconds to cross the finish line first was 24-year-old Ben Pulham from New Zealand.
Pulham though had some problems with the elements.
He said: "Swimming was surprisingly difficult because there was a bit of a side current so I got taken in quite a bit towards the jetty. Return the first buoy and then just enter the sun, basically swimming blind, can't see anything so it was quite hard."
Other categories included the women's open, men's veteran and School's challenge.
Champion in the women's event was Britain's Victoria Campbell.
Like the men's winner, the 22-year-old too had difficulties in the water.
For some though, finishing the race was good enough.
"It's tiring, the longest distance I have done," said one participant.
The organisers meanwhile are pleased with the new venue as it allows for more participants compared to Sentosa the previous location for the past 4 years. - CNA

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Chris's Farewell run ... MR to Upper Pierce and back... Posted by Hello


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