Saturday, December 31, 2011

Flexifitness Wishes One and All a Happy New Year.

Picture 1 - Ashley Liew - Ends the year with a track personal best time of 4min 21 sec, running solo during the trial.

Summary of Singapore Events
Most probably Mok Ying Ren and Ang Chee Yong will be selected in the Hong Kong Marathon 2012 since they came in first and second in the Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon 2011. This was told by an official of SAA.  

Jonathan Kang would like to do that Tokyo Marathon 2012 on 28 of February and this race is closed for registration for others. 
The SAA cross-country race 2012 is on 21st of Jan and this will be held at Bedok Reservoir in the morning. The Safari Zoo Run 2012 will be held on 5th of February 2012 at Mandai in the morning. Kids between the age of 4 and 8 has to run with an adult, 9 to 12 years will run a 2.8km time-trial. There is a 6km time trial for 12 years and above. Lastly, there is a 12km race for the competitive adults. I hope that people take it as a fun outing and also to support the zoo animals in terms of fund raising. 

Picture 2 - Ashley's only target is to go for it at Gold Coast Marathon 2012 

 Gold Coast Marathon 2012 would allow a more friendlier spectatorship during the race.

Ashley Liew - Hoping to get much faster time for 1500m over time
Ashley Liew and the rest of the Flexifitness sports children ran a 1500m test and did some games on that day. Ashley ran the first 300m in 49sec and kept sustaining the pace and finally did 4min 21sec running a solo run on the CCAB Track at Bukit Timah. It was 17sec faster than the 1500m test did last week, which was a 4min 38sec. With competition, I believe that Ashley would have done a sub - 4min 20sec definitely, from today's performance.

Ashley has an earlier personal best time of 4min 27sec in the past. This was a big boost for Ashley Liew as he is coming out of the earlier performance which was not that good and it was a bad experience to swallow. His resilience has made him to do this time today. I hope that many don't give up and keep at your goal and over time get your goal.

I told Ashley that when I did 4min 20sec, in the past, around 22 years of age, I did 2hr 40min in the 1987 Singapore Mobil Marathon coming in first in the men open at that time. The next race I went to was at Japan, Biwako Marathon or further known as Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon 2012. I hope that many people will see this as an indication and know your standard. 

Wishing all the readers all the best in their endeavours. - 14589 page views as at 12 o'clock mid-night 31/12/2011. Overall pageviews goes to 162969

Flexifitness ended the day with souvenir giving to its members and then we ended with a dinner.  

Picture 3 - A surprise birthday celebration (Photo - Courtesy of Ashley Liew)

I would like to thank the members and wish them all the best and at the same time wish the readers all success in your endeavours.
Picture 3 - Flexifitness Wishes All readers All the Best for the year 2012

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon (Japan) - 4th March 2012

Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon

Next Post - The Gold Coast Marathon 2012 route and weather report. 

Picture 1 - Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, One of world's flattest marathon routes and has a very enthusiastic crowd ,  all the way throughout the race.

The first overseas international race that I ran representing Singapore was Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon 1988. It was a big race and the organisers used that as a platform to choose two or three Japanese runners for Asian Marathon Championships. In this marathon, the former marathon record holder Zeko from Japan also ran in this race. A lot of photographers were following this Japanese runner by the name of Zeko where ever he was going before the start of the race. He was the idol of many runners at that time. 

From the race, as for me, out of 10 Asian country runners I came in 7th with a time of 2hr 46min. 

My half-way timing during 1hr 17min 07sec. I was elated to see my time. Most importantly, the most impressive race in terms of friendship and warmth, I would say that it is actually Lake Biwa race. The organisers were very friendly during our stay and made sure that we got first class treatment at the hotel, although I was not impressed with the 'alien go that side' sign at airport. The airport authorities asked me and my manager some questions which was not that welcoming. Apart from that, the for the rest of the arrangements made by the Japanese side for officials waiting to look after us was excellent. I would say that the Lake Biwa experience was very good for cold weather running. 

Picture 2 - Map of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon running route

During the race, the Japanese crowd in fact, cheered for me. They even knew my name and called out to me,"Rameshon, fight, fight,fight....". Good sportsmanship shown by the Japanese crowd. Later, after the race, we found out that the crowd know about us through the media. All the way, till the end, the crowd was there to support. 

My only bad experience running the race was running the last 10km where the temperature lowered from 17 degrees Centigrade to 10 degrees. I was literally shivering during the last 10km and I was running much slower because of the weather and completed the race in 2hr 46min. 

I was told to become a non-vegetarian by Mrs Maurice Nicholas in order to run much faster. I stayed as vegetarian all the way even after hearing that. I remember reading, " Meat is for the body and vegetables is for the mind." In fact, I found that in life my mind got stronger through becoming a vegetarian and also eat healthier diet.

The good part of the race is that the race was near all flat. The organisers in fact roll out the course of the run and the elevation so that we are aware of the height of the terrain.

As running the Lake Biwa Mainichi brings memories of the past, like the serene lake and friendly people out there, I decided to write something on it. 

Picture 3- Height elevation of the marathon route

 Contact e-mail for the race.
The Lake Biwa Marathon first fired its starting pistol in 1946 in Osaka and is considered to be the oldest marathon held in Japan. In 1962, the marathon moved to Otsu city which is home to Japan's oldest and largest lake, Lake Biwa. Since this move the race has been renamed the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. The course is comparatively flat and considered to be "a fast-speed-course". Many of the world's foremost athletes have taken part in this race and establishing great records. The Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon is held on the first Sunday of March every year. In 2012, the race will be held on March 4.


Summary of Upcoming Races in Singapore 2012

 Races that will benefit Singaporeans - For competitive, active runners and non-competitive

It will be good for people to prepare for the upcoming races in Singapore and the region. I have done my best to put these mini-races such that one can aim for a sub-goal which will lead to a major goal.

I hope that this will help one to improve and tune up for upcoming 10km, half-marathon, marathon race.  I have added some details in the It is not full detail, but a summary. By using the race name in google browser one will be able to register for the race.

Case for SAFRA Running Club to function just like MR25 Club

SAFRA Running Club - Massive Crowd Could Join

After talking to Ning Wen Long and the rest of the committee members, I found that it will be a good idea to put some of the runners in competitive races like the SAA Track and Field Series and SAA Cross-Country races.

Competitions like Singapore Open are there and I don't tend to see SAFRA Ruinning Club in the spotlight. It is always the same case. It is the FLASH CLUB, MR 25, Wings CLUB and SWIFT CLUB etc. Others clubs the clubs being mentioned in the previous sentence are not really active enough such that people are aiming to go SEA Games. I remember running for Singapore Masters in 10000m race a few years ago. If I can run for Singapore Masters, I am wondering the possibility of inlcuding SAFRA in the competitive running scene like the competitive track and field races mentioned.

Usually, we see them in Army Half-marathon and Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon. If we could include them into the competitive scene, I believe that we can bring about a number of people who can join SAFRA running club. There are huge number of people waiting out there with not much avenue to join a competitive club. 

Then, again the issue goes back to whether SAFRA running club is a competitive or a casual running club. If you look at MR 25, in order to join the club, one needs to just do 25min and below, that's all. Hence, there is competitive and quite active groups. From my understanding, I found that the capability just like MR 25, SAFRA running club has but there is not much participation in races where clubs are involved. 

This is a move that can be very positive for runners who are out there in search for club. My firm believe is that if authorities can support this, there may be a breakthrough in this. Singapore will have more competition and the vast number of runners can join this club to run competitions. There are many runs coming up in Singapore and I hope to see SAFRA Running Club present. This is just my thought. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Flexifitness' Blog runningcoachsg is going to cross 13000 pageviews/month

 Flexifitness Blog runningcoachsg set to cross 13000 pageviews per month.

This year, I found that there was an increased in pageviews for people reading runningcoachsg. Thanks should go to those who have been reading this blog. Without you this blog will not be a popular blog. This also spurs me to write more on revelant topics to make people to get more motivated to train and exercise or keep oneself healthy.

For the benefit of readers, I thought that things like the vegetarian food that I have taken and the shops that I have consumed during my intensive running days should be featured so that I can share on what food has made me to run faster during my serious running days. Vegetarian Society Singapore has been informing the public on this so that it is easier to know the shops.

As for last year, the highest pageviews read per month was about 12300 and this happened twice. As for this month, for the first time, since the inception from May 2010, the readership is set to cross 13000. Flexifitness (runningcoachsg) would like to thank the readers for the support that has been given. Thanks!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Meeting SAFRA Runners' Club

SAFRA Running Club - Manned by Warm and Friendly People 

Picture 1 - (Left to Right) Melvin Lee, Ong Say Cheng, Rameshon, Ning Wen Long and Jimmy Chow. We decided to take a photo at  Mt Faber (SAFRA). The SAFRA Committee members were warm when I met them.

Today I did my 10km run with my friend Gorlden. We started from CCAB Bukit Timah, ran to MacRitchie Reservoir and then came back. The day was cooling and refreshing. 

Later on, I proceeded to SAFRA (Mt Faber) to meet the committee members of SAFRA Running Club who are passionate runners themselves. I met four of them. They told me that there are 17 of them together. I will mention the four people that I met. Their names were Ning Wen Long (Chairman), Ong Say Cheng (Vice-Chairman), Jimmy Chow (Special Project) and Melvin Lee (Operation for Sponsor). At present, Wen Long told me that SAFRA running club has no coach and the runners are self-coached and they are a motivated group. 

Later, the topic went from running to Hong Kong 100km Trail Walk event. I told them that SAFRA did well on the trail walker event which was held a few years back. 

Subsequently, they gave me a brief history of SAFRA running Club. I was told that SAFRA club was started by Tony Lam in around 1994, who became the first Chairman (Bukit Merah). It was a recreational and leisurely club at first. Later on, the club had some successful runners who did well in some competitive events like the Standard Chartered Marathon 2011. Now, Melvin told me that the club is more structured as compared to the past. 

I was told that their training days are Tues, Thurs and Sundays. The runners meet at Mount Faber. Once a week or twice, there are interval training/hill repeats. There are 2 runners who came in top 10 in this year's Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon race - 1 for men and 1 for women. In men Open, local section, Ning Wen Long, 34, came in 6th, running in a time of 2hr 59sec. Wen Long told me that he saw Ashley Liew at Marina South. While overtaking Ashley, he told me that he was encouraging Ashley to tag along to the finish. It was nice of him and a mark of a true sportsman to show such expression of friendship, especially during the race. 

There is another runner by the name of Stella Lee, 36, came in 9th in the women open, local section. This indeed is a real achievement. I also come to find out about Melvin Lee and Jimmy Chow's achievement on ultramarathon, which I will feature in my future article. I realised that SAFRA has many successful runners as well and wondered whether that there is avenue for any growth in running the running program. They told me that that is not in the pipeline at the moment. I was wondering that it would be good for SAFRA to expand itself and compete with Wings and SWIFT Club one day. There is shortage of a real running clubs in Singapore. With 230 members in their wings, SAFRA, I hope, could one day be competitive as well as cater to casual runners. 

They told me that they do welcome expatriates to join this club. Ong Say Cheng told me that they even have a person who is 66 years of age. Students who are 16 could also join them for runs before they go into National Service. The registration fee is $32 for a period of 2 years. 

Ong Say Cheng told me that they will do an assessment of the people to test for some form of stamina before joining them. Melvin and Jimmy told me that they do run at Mt Faber, Labrador, East Coast Park,  and various parts of Singapore running routes. 

Melvin elaborated on the perks on joining SAFRA as a Running Club. There is 40% off for New Balance shoes. They also have discounts from companies for compression tights. The runners will get 50% off for running in SAFRA events like Standard Chartered Marathon and Army Half- Marathon annually. 

On top of that, Melvin told me that they have one social gathering per term for team bonding and team cohesion. One of events that they do is celebrating birthdays. Carbo-loading a day before the marathon is also one of the social gathering. These is to name a new of their social gathering events.
Those interested in joining the club are to contact Ning Wen Long through this e-mail.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Patrick Makau Ratified as the World 30km and Marathon Record Holder

Monte-Carlo - The following World records have recently been ratified

30km Race
1hour 27min 38sec Patrick Makau Musyoki Ken, Berlin, Germany 25 Sept 11
1hour 27min 49sec Haile Gebreselassie Eth, Berlin, Germany, 20 Sept 09

Marathon Race
2hour 03min 38sec Patrick Makau Musyoki Ken, Berlin, Germany 25 Sept 11
2hour 03min 59sec Haile Gebreselassie Eth, Berlin, Germany, 28 Sept 08

Picture 1 - Patrick with his world record at Brandenburg Gate, Germany

Friday, December 23, 2011

Injury - Hwo to stay out of it (Part 2)

Injury - Priority should be identifying the seriousness of the problem first.

There were times when I got this knowledge of injury prevention from books and experience. They were many times that I was able to stay away from injury while training very hard in running. I always remember that prevention is better than cure.

The moment an athlete gets an injury, the immediately thing that happens will be the athlete getting into a depression. The athlete will find this difficult to cope with if he or she has a very big goal to achieve. Hence, for serious runners coping strategies are very important. 

As for my part, I can share with you that injury can be prevented if they are able to observe and be aware. This skill comes if one reflects and meditate more. 

The first line of defence to protect yourself from injury is to see the stages of the injury. 

If the injury is such that it comes and goes as a sensation now and then, it means that the injury is at the first stage. At this stage it is alright to train and watch out. One could may be cut down on mileage or intensity of training if the sensation persist. The sensation may last for  few seconds to 3min. This, from my personal experience, is stage one. Injury comes as sensation first.

The second stage comes when you wake up, the pain comes for a few minute and also persist as sensation throughout the day. this is stage 2. One should do the best to cut down doing 50% mileage, instead of 100% mileage. One should look for improvement from injury status. Once you are back to normal, you can go back to your original mileage gradually. 

The third stage of injury is when you get sensations coming in the morning, when you are just sitting or eating, or even every where you go, you can feel the injury. This stage is point that one must not aggravate the injury anymore. One should learn to do other forms of cardio training like swimming and cycling, or even canoeing to keep the fitness. I believe that one should wait for the injury to go from stage two and to finally to stage one. One should find the road to recovery.

Flexifitness Blog - runningcoachsg - readship reaches more than 150000 pageviews

Flexifitness Blog, runningcoachsg, reaches more than 150000

Table 1 - Top 10 countries reading this blog. 

Finally, after crossing 150000 mark of pageviews for readership of the Blog, we are revealing the figures to the public. 

Flexifitness would like to thank readers for this achievement. We would also do our best to bring up the sports and running in Singapore and world over. We actually revealed this figure after waiting   for Singapore readers to reach more than 100000 for readership. 

Picture 2 - This month's pageview

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Flexifitness Athlete Ashley LIew - Weight Loss to 2hr 41min in Gold Coast Marathon 2011

It is good to see on the right hand side of the photo how Ashley's trimmed down his weight. He also brought his time for 10km down from 39min to 34min in a matter of 3 years.

After a recent trip overseas, Ashley Liew did his personal best time for Army NAPFA Test 2.4km in 7min 32sec, today, after taking a break from long-term marathon training. His focus now is to run in the Gold Coast marathon 2012 and is hoping to run mini-races in Singapore and Malaysia.

It will be good for people who want to lose weight to read TODAY's  (Straits Times, 22 Dec 2011, Mind Your Body, Fit & Fab - His road to happiness, by Joan Chew. page 2).


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Pick - Best Races for our local Marathoners to run in Year 2012.

Picture 1 - Similar to Gold Coast Marathon and Hong Kong Marathon, there are many races overseas which will benefit runners who want to do a sub-3hr or sub 4hrs.

When I used to run races in the past, I used to be very choosy on running the race I want to run. 

I was once selected to run in an international marathon race in Pune, India, in the early 90s. I rejected the offer straightaway as the race was held in a very hot environment, like mid-day weather of Singapore. The then SAA officials were displeased at first. Later on, Mr Lim Jit Imm, the former Vice - President of SAA told me to run in Hong Kong marathon. In the past, Hong Kong marathon was flat and a fast course as compared to now. Currently, beset with a number of highways. I did 2hr 31min for the race and came in overall 5th position for the race. It was the first time I broke the Singapore National Record held by Tan Choon Ghee, Yvonne Danson's husband, which was 2hr 34min at that time.

Later on, in life, I chose races where there were many people doing between 2hr 08min to 2hr 10min. It was more of checking all the statistics of all the races in the world, especially the major ones. I wanted to see how many elite runners can do that time. At that time, I realised that London marathon and Berlin marathon stood out from the rest of the marathon races. Chicago and Rotterdam were my dream races as well but I told myself to run in these shortlisted very important races for improving my timing in marathon. 

In 1993, I did 2hr 29min in London, April, after sitting for my first year exams and then four months later do 2hr 28min in Berlin. I was fascinated with the crowd and the way the races were organised. 

When I raced in SEA Games, Chiengmai weather, I realised that I was going through the dream weather that I actually wanted. I did 2hr 24min and Yvonne Danson did 2hr 34min for Singapore. 

Right now, there are many marathon races in the world that one can take part in. My advice to all is to avoid Berlin and London marathon unless one is in top form to run the race. Or if you like, just enjoy the charisma of the race and run for fun and not to the time. 

I ran the Berlin marathon in 2007 and 2008 and found running in the race not easy. It is too crowded. There was no space for me to run. I did 2hr 54min. I could have gone faster but I had to contain myself not to collide people on my left, right, front and back. I was very tired because of this. I told myself to avoid Berlin and London unless, I aim for a goal to run sub- 2hr 30min. For top runners, this race will make sense and make one to attain a good time. 

I ran London marathon and found the same problem. I came to a conclusion, that if I am an elite runner, these two races will be a very good idea. 

Right now, it is advisable for marathon runners to run races like Hong Kong marathon and Gold Coast marathon 2012 race because of the ability for one to do a personal best time because of not too much crowding. The weather in Hong Kong has been good, except for the pollution from the highway. The water points are very good. However, the challenge is that this route has about 10 to 11 uphills, especially the long highways. One must be well prepared with some hill training.

The other race that is fast becoming popular is Gold Coast marathon. Last year, I saw many runners able to run a faster time because of the flat course and the 10km races were placed a day before the marathon race. At the start line, it is easy to talk to your own athlete. 

I believe that Singaporeans who want to do well should do the Gold Coast Marathon 2012 in order to do a personal best time. The race is also very well organised. 

Picture 2 - Hong Kong Marathon is well organised throughout the year, although the route is very hilly.