Tag Archives: Running

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Achieving Beyond a Best Time

A personal record or personal best (frequently abbreviated to PR or PB) is an individual’s best performance in a given sporting discipline. It is most commonly found in athletic sports, such as track and field, other forms of running, swimming and weightlifting.

Source: Wiki Definition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_record

Let’s not beat around the bush here – the majority of runners who enter a marathon or ½ marathon or 10 km run are doing it for the personal challenge. Less than 1% will actually put in the time and effort of an elite runner: that is training twice a day, doing 100-160 miles a week.

For professional athletes, a best time is nice to achieve but it is not the total measurement of how the athlete performed.

Yet if you talk to many non-professional runners, you would think the time element of a PB is the only component that defines a PB. Runners’ can be upset for days recounting the story of how they could have beaten their PB if they just ran that bit faster, or runners’ depression sets in when they haven’t seen sight of a best time for days, weeks or months.

Parkrun (a worldwide free 5K event that happens every Saturday) sets out some performance elements:

  • Personal best time
  • Personal Parkruns you’ve completed
  • Number of times you have volunteered to help the Parkrun community

Defining a Personal Best in a Run

If a PB = Best Performance, then a PB can relate to a culmination of many aspects, that can be treated like milestones. In addition to time, you can have a PB in your preparation, conduct and effort.

Preparation

This means you can have multiple PBs in an event:

  • How much preparation did you really put in?
  • Were you able to put in more than your effort on the day?
  • Have you PBed in your conduct? ….”Hmmmm” I hear you say…

Conduct

Your preparation should have included reading up on the rules of conduct for the event. Follow the guidelines below and you can say you PBed in your conduct. These are some typical rules of conduct:

  • For road events, keep on the inside close to the curb unless you’re over taking. In places like the UK & Singapore, keep on the left, unless overtaking on the right.
  • Drop all trash into a bin to keep the course clear and safe for other users and to prevent “run-away” trash.
    RunnerPutInBin

    • Dropping your trash on the floor can cause other runners to slip/skid/trip causing them injury

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    • Dropping your trash on the floor can create “run-away” trash:

Run-AwayTrash

  • If you run past the bins, then hold onto your trash until you come to a checkpoint. There are several bins there to deposit your rubbish.
    • TyreLadyBelieve me, you have the strength to carry a couple of grams to the next checkpoint….I drag a 10kg tyre! It just takes a little more effort and 1km is short compared to the distance you will achieve! In the Singapore Marathon there are bins about every 20 metres in the ECP area.
    • If it is a gel packet, then put it into your short’s pocket/underwear or for women put it into your bra top. For the “euwwers” out there, you are smelly and sticky anyway, or carry a small bag for your trash.SuperHeroVolunteer
  • Thank the volunteers for their time and help. They’ve been out longer than you, setting up and then waiting to help & encourage you. At the Singapore Marathon, many will have been setting up checkpoints since midnight, and then waiting for runners from 04:30 onwards. Give them energy and they will give you energy back.

 

  • Look out for each other. You are an immediate hero when you help someone.

Effort

The effort you can expand will depend on both your physical and mental preparation.  On the saying “90% mental, 10% physical” Ross, a sports scientist, says:

An athlete who lacks talent is exposed, as a junior in many cases, and never reaches the Olympic Games.  An athlete who has abundant talent, but lacks the mental edge, may fade into obscurity because they don’t have the drive or discipline to train, or because they don’t compete well.

The athlete who lacks confidence or self-belief stands out among the crowd eventually – they reach the “highest level of insecurity”, if you will, before being exposed, often spectacularly.  On the other hand, the athlete who lacks talent often disappears into the middle of the pack and obscurity.  Perhaps this is why we have identified mental aspects as so crucial, the source of the 90-10 principle?

Source: http://sportsscientists.com/2010/02/the-mental-edge-thoughts-and-opinions/

And finally an element that very few seem to spend time on is visualization. This can be done in bed some days before an event. This can help you go so much further than you expected as it can keep you positive throughout the event.

So next time you talk about your PB, remember you can PB in other areas other than time.

 

Tips for Runners at the Singapore Marathon

  • Use rehydrating salt (@ 60cts a pack in the pharmacy). Found every 2 hours is good enough for me.
  • SwelteringRunner

    Sung to the melody of Eurythmics “Here Comes The Rain Again”

    If you are a 4 hours onwards marathon runner, the sun will suck out your energy.

    Carry a water bottle that you can refill at the hydration stations. You will be thankful you had one when 1.5km to the next checkpoint feels “forever” long after 30km in the hot blazing sun on the open road…and as you’re pouring water over your head to cool yourself down, you will overtake gaunt faces wishing they had brought their own bottle to do the same between checkpoints.

 

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Tring Returns From Retirement

TrangTring

Dec 2008: Trang (back) & Tring (front)

November 2008, Tring was found wandering a Singaporean rain forests. She was dirty, frightened and lost.

We cleaned her up and tried to get her to participate with Trang in the Singapore Marathon in 2008. After being in the jungle, Tring found the crowds of people overwhelming. Her reluctance to move after 6 miles, meant we had to take her off the reigns and continue on with Trang. We completed the event whilst Tring was looked after by a friend. Tring’s confidence was really low, so we found a role for her as trainer and coach to other runners. She loved it.

Tring Marathon Dec 2010

Tring in her former glory days

We slowly introduced her to larger groups of people and in December 2010, she completed her first marathon – the Singapore Marathon. We also gave her a bunch of animals to look after during the event in case her people phobia returned. Tring was hooked.

OldTring

She went on to complete the Singapore Marathon in 2012, three Parkruns, Twilight Ultra (50K) – 2015 & the Green Ultra (50K) – 2016.  With the distance she had put in, her pretty treads were looking worn on one side, and holes developed catching on roots and stones on trail paths. It was time to retire her.

Many tyres like her have gone onto successful careers upon retirement (…as garden ornaments or pledge tyres), but Tring was not ready to go. She requested a new lease of life as a a “Tyre Lady” tyre.

Tring’s Transformation

We have rebuilt her! Her transformation from land lover to sea lover is now complete. So here is the lovely Tring and the art work she displays is:

“Plastic fish feeding on polystyrene”

Tring is requesting that all people of the world help stem the flow of plastic in our waters and ocean which is affect our aquatic life, plus our fundamentals – food, water and air supplies.

It requires a little effort by refusing disposable/single use plastic & using a BYOR (Bring Your Own Reusable) approach. That is bring your own reusable cup, plate, cutlery, bag, etc to anywhere that provides plastic. It’s part of stuff in my handbag 😀

Please commit to this action because #PlasticSoup #PlasticOceans can be healed. Boyan Slat is helping one part of the solution with an ocean clean up:

We are another part of the solution.

Below are images from the web on plastic pollution that we can all play a part in stopping and preventing in the future.

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Running Injury Free (& Pulling a Tyre)

StartPhoto

June 2006 I began running with a tyre, targetting my first marathon, the Singapore Marathon, to complete with my tyre.

Singapore Marathon, 2006: Shin Splints

New York Marathon, 2007: Achilles Injury

I sought advice from people who had been running for some time. Was told it was my foot wear. Went for gait analysis and bought myself an expensive pair of running shoes.

Ultra 45 Northamton to Tring, 2008: ITB Strain

Singapore Marathon, 2008: Plantar Fasciitis

Those who had been running for much longer than me told me I would continually get injured because of the tyre and my foot wear.  Those who cared for me, told me doing long distance running was bad for my body and health.

Posture

Poor postural alignment: Shoulder, hips and ankle should be aligned

At the end of 2009 I put myself on a Pose running course. I chose the Pose technique as it would tell my biomechanically what I was doing wrong.  Dr Nicholas Romanov has written you a post here: https://posemethod.com/running/ so that you can understand what the “running pose” is all about.

Sandals

Completed 4 marathons in these sandals

My technique sucked! By the end of the course, the instructor told me I was good to go, so I challenged myself to complete 10 marathons in 2010 with a tyre and any foot wear I chose, that included beach wear sandals to prove to everyone that it had nothing to do with the tyre nor the foot wear. It had everything to do with technique. (In case you’re wondering, I have not read “Born to Run”). It should be noted that I kept to low mileage for the first 2 months after the course, to train “new” muscles for longer distances.

After 47 more Marathons (with a 10 kg tyre = 22lb tyre) and 26 more Ultras, one being 150 km with a 15kg tyre, the worst “running injury” I have suffered is a couple of blisters.

What changed was my proprio-perceptual awareness of what my body was doing and how to correct it. I changed my harness to a body harness as over a long distance I found my posture would drop when I was tired.

After doing the Pose running course, I assisted 3 more Pose running events in 2010 and 2011 to help others improve their running technique.

After that….well everyone wants to run with a tyre 🙂

Consider training with a tyre if:

  • Need to do hill training and only have flat areas in your local vicinity
  • You want feedback about your running technique. Note the tyre bouncing due to poor postural alignment (butt sticks out). Had a bad stitch at the end of this event and found it difficult to straighten up!

Also you might want to read one of my old blog posts: http://www.tyregirl.com/the-adventures-of-tyre-girl/archives/03-2013

If what you are really looking for is strength training and time improvement, then would suggest you look at using HITT (High Intesnity Training Techniques) to improve your times. Core strength can be improved with Yoga and Pilates. An additional bonus with Yoga is it teaches you proprio-perception.

You can test all the methods in this post have improved your running by using a tyre, but your times and reduction in injury will also prove they work.

So if you are injuring in your running, then invest in your technique. It is far cheaper in the long term then having to take time off & seeing a physio to get yourself fixed.

Remember: Train slow and it is unlikely you will find your “fast muscles”.