In December 2014, Singapore will once again hold the vaunted Singapore Marathon. This marathon has been held every first Sunday of December since 1982, and it has really grown considerably since then. Now if you’re serious about joining and finishing the marathon, you should have been training for this event for quite a while now and that you’ve asked for professional assistance from a personal trainer or running coach in Singapore. Experts have recommended that you start your preparations at least 4 months in advance, so if you are just starting now then you may want to consider joining next year instead.

Here are some tips for you:

• Invest in the right running equipment. Some people think it’s cool to emulate the barefoot trend in running, but personally I feel that it’s much safer all around if you wear the right shoes instead. That way you don’t have to worry about stepping on something sharp or just otherwise unpleasant. Forget about the celebrity endorsers or getting the cool ones with your favourite colours. You need to go to a professional running store and get yourself fitted. Your shoe needs to fit your feet perfectly. If they bother you when you train, get them replaced. You’re just risking injury if you persist.
The right equipment also means the right pair of double layered socks. These are mandatory equipment, and they help prevent painful blisters.

• Find your ideal stride. Don’t opt for super long strides, because your stride will just tire out your muscles more quickly. Your stride can’t be too short either, because you’ll just cover less distance and waste your energy. It has to be just right. A personal trainer can help you determine your perfect stride.

• Don’t run every day. If your trainer thinks that every day running is a good training idea, then it’s much better idea to run away from him, because most probably he doesn’t know much about long distance running. Your body needs to recover between runs, and you can use the non-running days to ice down any sore parts such as your shins and knees. Do all these four times a day for about 20 minutes each time.

• Eat and drink healthily. Proper hydration is crucial, and you need to get your body weight in the first hour after the run to the previous level before the run. As for your diet, during your training about ⅔ of your calories should be carbs (especially complex carbohydrates). About 10% should be protein, and you should be consuming about 0.6 grams per pound of weight. The rest of your calories can come from unsaturated fat.
Without adequate preparation, placing among the top finishers may be next to impossible. In fact, finishing a 42k run may not be possible at all. But if you really want to try, then at least you can try to finish the race without hurting yourself. You can also try the shorter distances if possible. Run with your heart and you’ll enjoy every moment in the Singapore Marathon.

Change it up: there are many ways to train for a marathon other than steady state long runs. Some examples include intervals, tempo runs and further training to name a few. Doing different types of training will accelerate your progress towards completing or getting better timing for your race.

Coach Sharm, MSc

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