It’s time of the year again- running season with the Singapore Marathon this coming Sunday. I won’t be running this year’s race, so I won’t be able to do much of a pep and review of the race. Nevertheless, here are some notables for this year’s race as well as some tips I have in pacing.
Looks like this year’s race will be rather interesting as well. For starter’s this year’s event is the largest to date. Singapore’s Muhammad Shad Feroz will be running tied as Kenya’s Henry Wanyoike’s running guide in this year’s race, as Joseph Kibunja is down with injuries. I remembered seeing them as they pass me on the return journey after marina bay on the esplanade bridge in last year’s race, in their relative speed, they were like almost literally sprinting throughout their half marathon. You can really see the bond, trust and soul in their run- and I guess that is what the race is all about.
Tips in pacing
The pacers to look out for this year will be the official Team Adidas pacers (in light blue Adidas wear) as well as Team Fatbird (in Nike dark blue running attire). Trifam is not the officially pacing this guess I believe. Remember, if you are sticking to pacers, try not to run in front of the pacing group and keep your pace constant (i.e don’t speed up or slow suddenly), this will be beneficial to all the runners within the group. If you have the capacity to jump a notch up in the pacing group (say from 5.30hrs to 5.00 and so on), break free from the group and run at a constant pace till you meet the other pacing group in front, then stick with them. Once you are accustomed, then go on for the 4.30 or 4.00 using the pacing groups as “slingshots”. Do note and make you have the capacity to do so before attempting the next bar as doing so will burn you out earlier in the marathon compared to sticking to a group.
Stand Chart races are known for their excellent race management, not to mention waterpoints as well. A 100 plus umbrella at a waterpoint do really mean that there is 100 plus dispensed there and they are usually located at the front and end of the waterpoint, unless stated “water only”, so do make full use of the length of the waterpoints and take a cup near the end, where the crowd is usually thinner or even, non-existent. this will help in clearing the congestion, particularly from the 30km mark onwards, where many runners will start to “hit the wall”.
Also, take sips and watch for spills- a wet shoe accelerates abrasion in your shoe- it’s like asking for foot-full of blisters within 5km, so take precautions not to spill your drinks, particularly watching where you throw your cup as well, do you not want a cup full of 100 plus being splashed onto you as you are overtaking near the bins right?
Some other tips
- Deep heat is good, but don’t go for every opportunity there is. It more of a mental placebo after multiple applications as it won’t be effective then.
- Do not open and gobble up your power gel the moment you get your hands on one, only to have to deal with a sticky mouth and hands for the almost a few kilometers before the next water point. Instead grab one and only down it once you see a water point or those signs indicating one coming up.
- The dusk time is a popular time where “ninjas” will run into the bushes for business, especially round the popular marina bay area, despite portable potty stationed at water points (which usually have at least 3-4 people queuing at any given time). Instead, time your toilet urges properly, clear yourself before the start of the race at home (not at the event toilets) and time a break in between at toilets along the route (e.g petrol kiosks, etc), avoiding popular areas like the East Coast toilet unless you really need to. From experience unless you have a bad bowel urge, a pre-race toilet break will usually see you toilet-free even until the end of the marathon- you will sweat everything out and your urine will be dark and minimal post-race, which is completely normal.
- For clothing abrasions, Vaseline is far better than anything, including plasters. Look for the medical points and the staff there will be more than willing to supply you with some.
- You can take passive and active means to counter blisters. Besides taping up your blister prone areas before the race, if you feet is prone to blistering (or if you know it will after a certain distance). Tear off some spare duct tape (aka black tape) and row say a good 20cm of it into a small row and stow it say, in your running pocket or a running pouch. Make an impromptu pit stop (or when there is no medical point nearby) and wrap your toes up mid-race if need be, it’s a real life saver.
For those running your first marathon, it will be an eye opener for you, and a personal record in the making as well, remember- finishing it no matter what timing you have it what that matters.
Take care and have a great race come Sunday!