Wednesday, April 27, 2011

6 Training Tips to Help You Speed Up


6 Training Tips to Help You Speed Up

Running faster is within your reach—it's not just for the genetically gifted. Sometimes, the simplest things can hold you back, like how you eat, sleep and think. Of course, you have to put in some quality training. But many runners are surprised to learn that what they do outside of their workouts makes a big difference in how fast they go. Use these six simple training strategies to speed up—and impress yourself—in no time.

#1 Way to Run Faster: Be Efficient

In our busy lives, we have to balance work, home life and personal time. Often when running late, the first thing skipped is our workout. Skipped workouts lead to inconsistency, which can impede your progress. Set yourself up for success by having everything ready to go for your workout. Each night, assemble a workout bag with your
running gear, water bottle and recovery snack. In the morning, grab it and go!

#2 Way to Run Faster: Work Smarter, Not Harder

Make the most of every workout by working out with a purpose. Before you embark on a workout program, set a meaningful end goal that you find motivating and challenging. Then, consult with an online program, a reputable book or a running coach to design a program that maximizes your time and minimizes junk miles. That means your training plan should focus on quality, rather than quantity. High-quality training is that which is specific to your goal and your ability level. Running extra miles beyond what is necessary may break you down and wear you out. Find out what it truly takes to reach your goal—then aim to do just that, not one mile more!

# 3 Way to Run Faster: Vary Your Training

Running the same route or pace day after day can keep you stuck at a plateau. Vary your training distances, paces and terrain to become a stronger, faster runner. Include drills, fartlek, hills, speedwork, long distance and easy runs as part of your training. Your body will adapt to the new challenges and your motivation will stay fresh from the variety.

#4 Way to Run Faster: Eat Right

Learn how to fuel yourself before, during and after workouts. Through proper nutrition, you'll grow stronger and improve performance day to day. Starting a workout low on fuel is a sure way to underperform and fall short of your workout goal. Proper nutrition leaves you energized during the workout and helps you to recover after it. Start with a carbohydrate-rich pre-workout snack. During workouts, hydrate well and include an energy source for runs lasting longer than 75 minutes. After a workout, rehydrate and consume a snack within 30 minutes. Daily nutrition also counts - eat a variety of wholesome foods to improve your body composition and health (both which improve your running!).

#5 Way to Run Faster: Affirm Yourself

Positive self-talk is an integral part of confidence and success. Often, reaching that next level in sport is simply a matter of believing you can. More than 66,000 thoughts float through our minds on a daily basis. Imagine the energy you could harness by making most of those thoughts self-affirming and positive! Before a challenging run or race, create a powerful affirmation that you can focus on when you find yourself with fear, doubts or insecurities. "I can do this" or "I am strong on the hills" are phrases you can repeat to yourself throughout your key workouts to build confidence in your abilities.

# 6 Way to Run Faster: Be Serious About Rest

Instead of training more, rest more. Resting as hard as you train is important for progress. Rest allows you to recover stronger from the breakdown that occurs when running. Follow hard days with easier days. After a hard workout, get a good night's sleep or a short nap to kick off the recovery process. Include other recovery modalities such as massage, stretching or yoga.

This article originally appeared on

HappyFeet - Be Happy. Just Run

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ops NightHawk's FlightZONES #07 - 24Apr2011

FaceBook Photo Album

After the group photo session to cheers of 'Go, Go, Sundown!' and 'Run, Run, Sundown!', the respective pace groups of HM (2hr, 2:15h, 2:30h) and FM (4:00h, 4:30h, 5:00h, 5:30h and 6:00h) were flagged off. The Sundown Pacers (who were already in their 9th week of training) would set a target Optimal Pace during this session. The 4:30h, 5:00h and 6:00h FM groups were the largest, with many of the runners falling into these groups.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

North-Eastern Wetlands & Trails - 22Apri2011

FaceBook Photos. 
Photos 109-130.. Courtesy of Dennis Quek.

Route: Run from Kovan Hub to Lorong Halus Wetland and back by the Punggol PCN. Exploring the scenic trail along the Sungei Serangoon and a view of the Singapore 17th Reservoir.

1. 1.8km on road from Kovan to entrance of trail (along Tampines rd opposite Defu Lane)
2. Enter trail and flat all the way to Buangkok Flyover
3. Continue run from Bunagkok flyover ...under the flyover, trail all the way to TPE flyover
4. Reach Lorong Halus wetland trail, and venture up a small hilly slope
5. Down small hilly slope and out to road leading to Lor Halus Wetland (Reeds growing area)
6. Toilet break, continue to the Dam (connecting Coney Island and Pasir Ris)- a view of the sea & Pulau Ubin
7. Return back via the red bridge and along the new Park Connector to Buangkok flyover...exit and cross traffic light
8. After crossing traffic light, down slope to another section of the sungei Sernagoon Park Connector along Hounang Ave 7 leading to Tampines Rd traffic junction
9. Exit from Sungei Serangoon Park Connector(Tampines Ave 7) and back to Kovan hub 206
Route provided by CK Chin.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

A Night Run Event Best to be Forgotten!

HappyFeet just want to remember the friendship and bonding of the marathon runners who were there to support and cheered on each other. Thanks for being there for each other! :)

Yes, a Night Event Best to be Forgotten by the Running Community! :(
Like our wise MM MO said " Malaysians work real fast ! Unity in running.... Don't mess with the 'running community'..."

If you really need to know more about this chaotic event , Check out the following FaceBook Pages.

Boycott Energizer Night Race

Energizer Night Race KL 2011: We want justice

Social media disaster: Energizer Night Race 2011

With such rude and aggressive attitude to runners... no wonder things went so terribly wrong that night!    Video : Such Arrogant Organiser!

HappyFeet - Be Happy. Just Run

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thinking Outside the Shoe: A Conversation About the Barefoot/Minimalist Movement

 Extracted from
Jenny Hadfield, Co-Author, Marathoning for Mortals and Running for Mortals

Barefoot Tom wrote: (Twitter Name: @RunNaturally) In your article, you mention that one might start in a barefoot or minimalist running shoe before going barefoot. However, this goes against anecdotal evidence that we have learned over the years. It seems the best way to learn to better your form and become stronger is to go purely barefoot first. This does not mean that you cannot utilize minimal footwear, but it does mean that the foot-to-ground connection can teach you more in a week than wearing even the thinnest soles around can do, which we outline in the barefoot running book co-authored with Dr. Craig Richards. Once you have built up your strength (especially in the core and in regard to foot and ankle stability), then you can throw on a pair to get you through a run, to go a bit faster, or to simply have some protection.

Coach Jenny wrote:
Great information Tom.  You’ve highlighted what I believe to be one of the most overlooked benefits of running barefoot, the body’s subconscious ability to immediately adapt to running with less impact and with authentic form.  It’s not something you think about, it just happens and it is a truly amazing process.   Once learned, it can be repeated in shoes structured or minimalist with practice.  It is less about running barefoot 100% of the time and more about tapping into the benefits and improving your running performance by learning to move with less under foot.
I believe if runners start with stationary strengthening (exercises in place), it will reduce the risk of injury that can happen when even walking barefoot (happens a lot this time of year as it gets warm).  I'm passionate about starting from this place (developing strength before you move) as I've seen so many people start off with too much barefoot movement (walking or running) at once and get hurt.  Then they blame the movement, rather than the rate of progression.  Although some can progress fairly rapidly, the rate of progression from living in a supportive shoe world to moving with less is directly related to foot/body strength, balance and environment.  Meaning, some who start by walking barefoot can still get hurt because they lack the strength in their feet to support their body in movement.
The disconnect, I believe happens in the translation of what “slow transition” means.  Like running, moving into barefoot movement will be faster for some and slower for others, yet either way success depends greatly on your ability to practice patience, invest in developing the strength so you’re starting from a point of strength and awareness that although it is a natural form of movement of our body, we don’t live in a barefoot culture.  Once the foundation is firmly in place, a runner can move to walking barefoot and eventually running.  When I speak to starting with shoes, then progressing to less shoe and then barefoot I am only referring to performing strengthening exercises.  I think we're talking around the chicken and egg here…

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

10 best places to run in Singapore.

The MacRitchie Reservoir Loop shows off Singapore at its lush, green best.
Singapore measures only a little more than 700 square kilometers but hosts a terrific variety of trails for the island's runners.
While it's impossible to escape the humidity, certain trails -- MacRitchie and Southern Ridges -- provide a respite from the heat, and on weekends are packed with avid runners putting in the miles.
Here's a guide to 10 of the best routes -- both long and short -- catering to varying abilities.

1. MacRitchie Reservoir Loop

 Singapore’s largest water catchment area is also one of its more popular exercise destinations.

The trail that circumvents the reservoir gradually brings you closer to Nature: you start on asphalt, near man-made facilities, before heading off along the reservoir via a wooden boardwalk. The trail eventually leads deep into the jungle, where the boardwalk gives way to a dirt track.

A word of advice: Bring water and eat your pre-run snack before you enter the jungle. The monkeys here are mostly harmless, albeit rather shameless food-snatchers.
Distance: 9.7km
Recommended for: Intermediate to advanced runners. The route leads deep into the jungle surrounding the Reservoir, far from amenities and civilization, so you have to be comfortable with the distance.
Amenities: Average. Shower and bathroom facilities, along with lockers and refreshment stalls, are available at the start and end points only. In between, the jungle will have to be your bathroom. There are bathroom and water facilities round the entrance point of the HSBC Treetop Walk. 
Junction of Lornie Road and Thomson Road.

Henderson Waves
Don't suffer the hills of Henderson Waves alone, call along running buddies.
2. The Southern Ridges Trail

 The Southern Ridges Trail spans three parks in Southern Singapore -- Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge Park -- before ending in West Coast Park.

This particularly challenging route is literally an uphill battle, but rewards the persevering with lush natural views and the 300-meter-long Henderson Waves, a wavy, rib-like wooden bridge that stands 36 meters above Henderson Road.
Distance: 9km
Recommended for: Kenyans, and advanced runners. The sloping terrain will make the run considerably challenging, especially over the full distance.
Amenities: Good. Bathroom facilities are well spaced out, even in the jungle trail. Car parks are available at all three parks, as well as shower facilities and beverage kiosks.
Mount Faber Park; Telok Blangah Hill Park; or  Kent Ridge Park, tel 1800 471 7300.

3. Keppel Bay 

Keppel Bay is one of Singapore’s bastions of luxury, so its appeal is more aesthetic than athletic.
This three-kilometer run, beginning outside the Harbourfront Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station, takes you across a marina to this offshore island that serves mainly as a yacht harbour.
The view alone, especially at sunset, makes this a run worth your time and effort.
Distance: 3km
Recommended for: All runners.
Amenities: Poor. There isn’t much in the way of shower or locker facilities, so this route is better suited to those who live or work in the vicinity. Post-run refuelling can be done in the lush confines of waterfront restaurant PrivĂ©. Be sure to change out of your running attire, though.
HarbourFront Centre, 1 Maritime Square.

Singapore River
A popular route for runners working in the CBD area.
4. Singapore

Ah, the majestic Singapore River, a calm, tepid but glamorous dowager whose banks are lined with popular watering holes.
By night, she comes alive with strobe lights, large crowds, and the occasional splash of someone who’s had ten shots too many falling over.

By day, there is minimal human traffic, and the faded buzz of the nearby Central Business District area gives you the impression of being removed from the chaos of urban Singapore.

Either way, a run along the Singapore River is scenic and breezy, and culminates in a picturesque final leg that takes you past Parliament House, bits of Marina Bay and the iconic Merlion.
Distance: 6km
Recommended for: All runners. This route is straightforward, and is pretty much a sightseeing trip that burns calories.
Amenities: Rather poor. No locker or shower facilities nearby, unless you’re staying in one of the hotels situated by the river. There are plenty of car parks, and public toilets are available in, well, every public building you pass.
Martin Road along Robertson Quay.

5. Fort Canning Park 

 Singapore’s very own urban park is located just off Orchard Road, and majestically overlooks its many malls.

The track here meanders uphill, so it provides a certain degree of challenge in terms of terrain.

Fort Canning Park also features a lengthy staircase, suitable for those "Rocky" fans who wish to finish with a Singaporean take on that iconic scene outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Distance: 3km
Recommended for: All runners looking to immerse themselves in one of Singapore’s most historical sites.
Amenities: Lockers are available at Fort Canning Centre. Toilet facilities and water points are available at regular intervals

51 Fort Canning Rise.

Tanjong Beach
The beaches of Sentosa are ideal for barefoot runners.
6. The Beaches of Sentosa

 This sun-kissed route begins at Sentosa Island’s westernmost beach, Siloso, and ends at its easternmost, Tanjong Beach.

For proponents of barefoot running, this route is one of the few in Singapore that allows for a shoeless jog.

For those who think that is an open invitation for injuries, a jogging track runs parallel to the beaches.

Frequently littered with beautiful bodies, this route is also the best for people-watching or showing off.
Distance: 3.3km
Recommended for: Matthew McConaughey. And just about everyone else.
Amenities: Good, with at least two toilet/shower facilities plus water points per beach. There are car parks at the nearby Beach monorail station, and at the end point at Tanjong Beach.
Siloso Beach, Sentosa Island.

7. Pasir Ris – Changi Beach

This is the epitome of that not oft-heard phrase "the storm before the calm."
The route begins at the industrial estate on Loyang Avenue, but the manic drone of vehicular engines and heavy duty machinery fades away as you enter the lush, green Changi Golf Club before ending off at the tranquil Changi Beach for a picturesque warm down.
Route: Click here for a detailed route
Distance: 12km
Recommended for: All runners
Amenities: Average. Shower/toilet facilities,  car parks and beverage kiosks are located at the start and end points only.
Loyang Avenue.

East Coast Park
Head east for a long, leisurely run.
8. East Coast

 Located along a stretch of beach in the south eastern coast of Singapore, East Coast Park is a very popular destination for runners.
Its 15-kilometer looping jogging track (kick off at Big Splash) is especially useful for those who wish to clock in serious mileage before a race.
Many of Singapore’s big races, such as the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon and the Sundown Marathon, include East Coast Park in their routes.
Distance: 21km
Recommended for: Intermediate and advanced runners.
Amenities: Excellent, with lockers, bathrooms, showers and water points placed at regular intervals. There are several car parks spread across East Coast Park, as well as countless food joints for a hearty post-run meal. The satay at the East Coast Food Centre are excellent.
902 East Coast Parkway.

Tanjong Rhu
The beauty of this picturesque waterside route will keep you going.
9. Kallang – Tanjong Rhu

Most fitness enthusiasts in Singapore will know Kallang Riverside Park, where this route begins, though more for its watersports than its appeal as a running route.
However, it also represents the first leg of a very picturesque waterside route that used to take you past the symbol of Singaporean sports, the National Stadium, which has since been demolished.
The run continues down to the riverfront condominium district Tanjong Rhu, a picture-perfect scene of tranquillity before ending at Mountbatten Road.
Distance: 5km
Recommended for: All runners
Amenities: The start point has bathroom, shower, locker and carpark facilities, while the end point has none. The run will take you close to Leisure Park Kallang, which has toilet facilities as well as numerous food and beverage outlets.
Mountbatten Road.

10. Changi Beach Park 

There is something timelessly romantic about Changi Beach that charms people to run here, especially military types and adventure racers.
This particular route takes you from Changi Beach Park and all along Changi Coast Road past the runways before looping back.
The aircraft taking off and landing help distract you from the ongoing pounding of the pavement.
Route: Click here for a detailed route

Distance: 19km
Recommended for: Intermediate to advanced runners, and travellers in transit.
Amenities: Good. The start and end points have everything you need, lockers, toilet and shower facilities, carparks, and an array of shops and restaurants for pre and post-run fuel.
Along Nicoll Drive and Changi Coast Road.

Suffian Hakim stopped playing football one day and started writing for several print and online lifestyle publications. The whisky tastings and the media luncheons are starting to show in his belly, and in his nightmares his disembodied old football boots chase him and kick his fat behind.
Read more about Suffian Hakim

HappyFeet - Be Happy. Just Run

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Run with Orang Asli – A Trail Run 03Apr2011

We runners share a heritage; we share a history, to run through the forest, the ferns, and the trail. What about sharing this trail with the original folks of the forest? And share some charity too.

Would you like to run with Orang Asli?

Some of us felt it was time we got together to do something worthwhile while enjoying an awesome run.  So we came up with the concept: Run with the Orang Asli – The Trail Run.  It’s  a project where we map out a trail run into the secondary jungle to appreciate mother nature whilst adding value by helping out the indigenious people of our country. A Trail Run into the fringes of flora at Jalan Bentong Lama. And in tune with keeping it back to nature, this trail run is void of any commercialism (yes!! No corporate sponsorship and barring any pompous officials).
Here is what the people who spawned this idea have to say.

Why run?

Karen Loh:
"So why Run for OA? Perhaps we runners can assist the OA in our own way, with a little assistance to ease their struggle into society's routines whilst respecting their choice of lifestyle, honour their unique culture, their boundaries and most of all their privacy.

My recent runs have always been motivated by raising awareness for the plight of our Orang Asli. The tag "Running For Orang Asli" started in Shape Run 2010 and has since been well spotted during various runs. Even when I'm not running, many running friends have volunteered to run for Orang Asli."

"Why build awareness? It’s a simple assumption that the Government grants the Orang Asli subsidies and some are given allowances?  But what am not I to think when I see NO electricity NOR running water in the villages I've visited? Or how should we feel when someone takes toll money through an oil palm estate to enter into their village? Where is the justice when the sad remaining plots of their customary land have been pushed by hungry agri-estates into the fringes of forest and road?” “I have seen little ones going to school without school shoes and wearing the same uniform for 3-4 years in a row . Try thinking why so many drop-outs at secondary level, having believed that school fees were free...not."

Dzul Aminuddin (some know me as Barefootdzul!):
"Karen's cause morphed into this Run via my initial idea of a nature trail run for charity. We often run in corporate-managed events which raise charity but wouldn't it be awesome to have a more intimate connection from us runners? No corporates, no sponsorships, no unrelated officials. A true bandit runs for bandits! And run WITH the Orang Asli."

"Having consulted the Orang Asli Outreach Learning Center Project, and sought permission from the Village Elder, we’ve been able to recce a trail and a small group of pre-run volunteers the likes of Julie Wong, Irwan Anuar and Azhar Elmiza Ahmad will trek the trail conditions and mark the route. We are confident that the trail will provide fair adventure, fresh forest air and fun for the family on the day. And most importantly, in the spirit of "Born to Run", we are hoping some of the Temuan tribe will run with us, thus adding new runner friends to our ever-widening circle of like-minded freedom runners."

Julie Wong
“As a trained Community Organiser/Facilitator, I am also exposed to the plight of the indigenious people who has always been sidelined or neglected. As I am very occupied with the many issues in urban areas, this is the least I could do to lend a helping hand. The passion shown by Karen has definitely touched my heart. Hopefully this run will create an awareness on the livelihood of the Orang Asli and let us not judge them for what they choose to be as we shall never impose our value onto others.”

Irwan Annuar
“Working with this group, has enlightened me on a number of issues for the orang asli villages.  Getting involved mapping out the route was most exciting as it was a terrain that I can see all runners would enjoy. And best of all it’s only a 15 minute drive from the Universiti Islam Antarabangsa at Gombak - though urban fringe but delightfully pristine enough to feel in the wild

What does your contribution and time go to?

1.       To raise diesel funds for the Orang Asli village Kg Batu 16 of Jalan Bentong Lama – they have no electricity and generators run at night can cost more than RM8 per night.
2.       To raise RM500 for Rahman (a welfare volunteer from Orang Asli village Kg Batu 12 Jalan Bentong Lama) who is building a traditional visiting hall for visitors and he is bearing the cost himself.
3.       To raise funds for single mothers in the Orang Asli village Kg batu 12 and for the Kg Batu 16, Jalan Bentong Lama.
4.        Awareness of the environment and the situation of some orang asli villages.
5.       Opportunity to interact with the orang asli and make new friends.
6.        Appreciation and conservation of our indigenous people’s culture and our mother nature.

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