HYPE: This Season’s New Running Shoes & Gears

Its the new season and as usual, all the major sporting apparels and brands are coming out with their latest gadgets, gizmos and gears! With really exciting major races coming up such as the Adidas KOTR, Nike We Run Singapore (happening in September-October period), Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore and also the likes of Singapore G1,  NEA 10th Anniversary Charity Run/Walkathon and the National Day Run, one can expect to don on new gears to boost your running experience.

Add flava, add colour, add style. 

Well scroll down below to check out my Top 6 shoes and gears coming your way this season.

Continue reading

Advertisements

2012 Gold Coast Airport Marathon: The Interview With Endrew!

Thw 2012 Gold Coast Airport Marathon might have ended recently. And like most of you, i did not manage to fly myself to down under to catch the action or run it. I’ve heard loads of record breaking and fun stories happening there – the cool weather, the pre and post race day, the run itself and not forgetting many Personal Bests were “created” there too! Even for a newbie runner like me, its sooooo tempting to head down to GCAM and give it a go!

However, sometimes the greatest stories and lessons learnt come not from finishing the race. But its when you hit a brick wall, you pick yourself up and move on. I managed to catch up with a runner friend of ours, Endrew, who had the opportunity to travel to Gold Coast for the run. And here’s the exclusive interview. Enjoy!

1.        Tell us a bit about yourself (eg. Hobbies, Occupation etc)
Hi I’m Endrew and I’m a Retail Sales Executive. My hobbies are Running and Sleeping. 😛

2.        When did you pick up running/keeping fit and why?
I started my running just about a year ago. My first was race was the 12km Energizer Night Trail 2011 with two of my friends. I signed up just for fun! From that day onwards, I started to go for more and more runs and races. Plus point about these races – you will also get to know more friends! 🙂

3.        What’s your training/running regime like?
I have been running 3 times a week (at least 10km each time) for my first year. As for now, I don’t really run or train that much. I use the running events as a training session so as to not make the race so stressful. Running to me, is not just about how fast you can run or securing your personal best. To me, what is important is to enjoy and have fun with all the runners. Race-Train-Fun.

4.        Thats a nice tagline! Hahaha! Anyways, how was your experience in this year’s GC Marathon? Did you participate in the previous year’s?
This was my first time in Gold Coast (GC). Mixed feeling for me, as I got DNF at the 22km mark. I felt dizzy and had low blood pressure thus I was sent to the hospital. One week before GC I did my Standard Chartered KL marathon at a time of 5 hours 50min eventhough I suffered an early cramp at the 23km mark. Obviously I was disappointed and gave myself a lot of hope in GC for a better timing. But I failed to do so. Many thanks to Mohan though, for the encouraging words he gave to me.

Overall GC marathon was SUPERB! Love the weather, the people & their support and the view! But do remember to drink more water days before the race day itself! I guess this was my mistake for not drinking enough water and it caused my dehydration, dizziness and low blood pressure on the day itself. 😦

 5.        How different was it compared to previous GC Marathon OR Marathons in Singapore? 
It is very different I must say. I’m sorry to say that local races are getting more and more expensive. And personally, I feel that the standard is not there at all. The supporters, the  people along the road side, cheering you on. Its something which you can’t find in Singapore. Although the route and the view is very normal for Singaporean to say “Siao eh so hot run what marathon!” but in GC you can actually feel its different because of those supporters!

6.        The atmosphere is certainly very different aye! Quick question: Would you run the GC Marathon next year? 
I’ll be back for SURE!

 7.        If theres one thing that you could improve on about the GC Marathon, what would it be?
I will say its the BANANAS! Maybe I was too hungry that morning that is why I was looking for something which I can eat while running. Hahaha! But I heard there were oranges given out nearing to the end of the race which I had no chance to try them (because of the DNF). 😦

 8.        Many people are picking up running as a sport be it competitive or leisure, what do u think is the reason for this sudden surge of runners?
I guess running is an “IN” thing now. Too many reasons – some run for health, to lose weight, or even for charitable causes. It is good because this “IN thing” enables you to meet lots of friends and also get to know many new ones in this small world!

 9.        How do you think Singapore can better manage its sporting/running scene?
Singapore is trying very hard to build its sporting community, which is great idea. But there are too many companies out there trying to use this as a platform to earn from events, charging exorbitant prices for registrations…which is actually a  bad thing. For example, running a FULL marathon in Singapore can cost about $80! This is a little too much given the standard I have been experiencing in Singapore. At this price I can fly to Malaysia for a Full marathon too and with a better experience over there.

Running is a cheap sport but in Singapore, its different now.

 10.      Lastly, any inspiring words for runners out there who just started picking up the sport or thinking of picking up the sport?
Drink more water before your runs and do rest well before the race too. Running is meant to be fun so don’t feel stress if you can’t run. Run and get know more friends. Slowly you will get better and better. 😉

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 Words of wisdom there from the Gold Coast! Till next time, Guten Tag!

P.S, if you wanna read what our running friend Su Ann had to say about the 2011 Gold Coast Airport Marathon, do check out: 2011 Gold Coast Airport Marathon: The interview with Su Ann!

EVENT: Beginners “Cheat” Sheet to Complete The Sundown Marathon

Credits to Khai from kaveman.sg

26th May 2012 – 28,000 people gathered at the field next to Nicoll Highway at about 2200H, all full of energy and smiles on their faces. No, this is not another one of the Worker’s Party rally speeches but instead, they were all gathering for Asia’s only night marathon event – The Sundown Marathon 2012.

Sundown Marathon 2012 would be my FIRST Full Marathon event and like anything that you’re gonna do for the first time, its kind of gives you a nervous feeling. Thoughts of “What ifs” were constantly playing in my mind. What if I don’t complete it? What if my legs give way? What if i stress myself too much and collapse? OMG.

Thankfully, i managed to complete the race at a time of 5 hours 52 min. Which was below my target of running it within 6 hours, 🙂 No doubt it was a grueling run due to the heavy rain and cold winds at my 22km mark, but with the help of my pacer friend, the supporters who braved the rain together with us, as well as the volunteers (who frantically poured 100 Plus and mineral water which tastes like lipstick), i managed to conquer the 42km route!

The Sundown Marathon 2012 experience in 30 seconds

~

Well here’s 6 “cheats” you could use for next year’s night marathon :

1) Sleep and Eat. Have lots of sleep and meals before the race.

I’m not trying to be a badass here, but i was dozing off along the Marina Barrage route. Despite sleeping TWICE during the day, Perhaps it was the construction route which made me feel sleepy. Perhaps it was because it was about 1-2am. Perhaps i did not consume enough coffee beans. Perhaps perhaps perhaps….

Running a marathon burns calories. Lots of them in fact. According to LiveStrong.com, a person could burn 2000-3500 calories in a single 42km race, depending on multiple factors like age, sex and weight. Carbo loading also helps to keep your stomach full so that you wont keep feeling hungry during the run, which could affect your performance.

2) Hydrate yourself weeks in advance and after the race.

There’s no water like plain mineral water. And if you would like to add some taste, you could consume 100 Plus too. Try and avoid alcoholic drinks and gassy-sugary drinks (like Coca-Cola etc). Proper hydration is essential not only hours before the race but also days in advance. You know you’re well-hydrated if you void large volumes of pale urine at least six times a day. 

3) Run light. 

Running a 42km is different as compared to running a 10km (obviously). Small hand-held equipment (like cameras) or even water bags should be kept away. Not only does it restrict your movements as you run (i.e clutching the camera) but also in the case of bad weather or if you take a tumble. It’s something you would have wished that you had not  carried in the first place. Take it from me. And those water bags… leave it to the serious runners who do not want to waste time queuing up to grab a drink.

4) Cushion, Stability & Speed.

I had always been a ‘minimalist’ and ‘racers’ kind of guy. Thus, most of my shoes aren’t the chunky types. However, as this would be my first full marathon, I opted to run in a pair of shoes which would provide me with 3 crucial aspects – Cushioning, Stability and Speed. New Balance 890v2 was my choice of running shoes.

I loved the way the shoe provides a decent amount of cushioning and stability but still remain light due to the REVLITE MIDSOLE FOAM material. Despite the heavy downpour causing the shoes to get soaked, my feet were pretty much intact and still alive. It only ached a little.

5) Be prepared, be mentally prepared.

42km is no joke. Thats 42,000m for you. Almost the length of one end of Singapore to another. Initially when people were warning me that 42km requires mental toughness, I was quite skeptical. But after going through the route, braving the inclement weather, feeling like Bear Grylls….YES. You’ll need some form of mental toughness to push you through the 42km journey.

What I did was to break down the run into smaller segments as well as plugging in my Sennheiser Adidas PMX 680 sports headphonesGreat stuff. It’s waterproof by the way. But sadly, I cannot say the same thing about my handphone. 😦

6) Grab a running buddy.

Although running is all about yourself, your race, your experience, it is always good to have a buddy or pacer who would run WITH you and go through the run together. Personally, nothing beats having someone by your side as you run and both of us cheering and motivating each other on. Thank you, buddies. You know who you are.

~

All in all, the Sundown Marathon 2012 had a been a great run. It was one  helluva experience. Never knew i could do 21km TIMES TWO after completing last year’s half-marathon race. I thought people were mad to do a 42km. But hey, i guess I’ve joined that group now. Proud of my accomplishment and the finisher’s tee is certainly really really nice! Hey, Sleep can wait. 😉

Run Minimal, Run Zero: Trail Running With Anton Krupicka

29th March 2012 – New Balance’s Ultra Runner, Anton Krupicka, dropped by MacRitchie Reservoir late in the afternoon to lead a group of trail running and running enthusiasts for a short 6km run. Seeing a few familiar faces around, i was so happy and psyched up to run the trail with the “Jesus Runner” as one of my friend calls him. Tall, long blonde hair and sporting a hobo beard, he gives out that “Badass Nature Runner” vibe. True story.

Krupicka signing autographs for excited fans

Fun Run With Krupicka @ MacRitchie Reservoir

Post-Run Cam whoring session. Hahaha!

Anyways, the gear i used during the run was the latest range of minimalist shoe by New Balance – The NB Minimus Zero. Thank you New Balance! A really light weight trail running shoe with minimal support and cushioning. Nonetheless, it is very comfortable to run in them. I did not get any blisters during the sockless 6km run.

With a unique sole which would remind you of those plastic bubble wraps, the grip and the traction when running on muddy, soft soil and rather wet trail grounds was superb. I did not have to be too concerned about slipping or falling as i ran through the trail route. It was also very flexible and that gives the feet more room to play and feel when it hits the ground running.

The only downside to it is that on the trail route which was peppered with really sharp rocks, the minimalist Vibram-technology sole did little to protect my feet. You could feel the sharp rocks kinda pressing hard against your sole. And just like what one of the fellow runners said – “A free foot massage”. But of course, running in a minimalist shoe, one has to be prepared of such circumstances.

Like its predecessor, the NB Minimus Trail, this shoe really worked for me during the trail run. I still love the NB Minimus Trail though for its slightly thicker and sturdier feel. But would definitely start using the NB Minimus Zero for my trail runs in Bukit Timah Hill now. Heh.

Till then, run strong, run fast, run zero. Oooh thats deep. 😛

The new Minimus Zero shoes

P.S, You can check out the NB Minimus Zero at all New Balance outlets or leading sports shops

P.P.S, some of the pics are courtesy of New Balance.

Running as an exercise.

I just have to post this up again. 😛

Running, i believe has been mankind’s earliest form of exercise since the god-forsaken days of the cavemen. Imagine being chased by a saber-tooth tiger or chasing after a woolly mammoth, you certainly need to have good strong legs to carry and propel yourself to safety or for survival. Well, in a case of the former, being faster than your friend would be sufficient. 😛 Fast track to the 21st century, people run. They still do. We run to keep ourselves physically fit, to lose weight, to challenge ourselves, to take part in those races/runs and get that finisher’s medal and many more reasons. Some people get that surge of euphoria or endorphins in them when they run. Running releases that “happy drug” in them and they would just zone out during their runs. For me personally, i only get it after i cross that 10-15min mark. And especially great if my stride and breathing are in sync. A scenic running route helps too! 😀

With so many races and runs coming up (check out : Why We Run 2011 Running Calender), its best advised that we train up for them. With the sudden surge of running enthusiast/newbies (like me) in Singapore, its important for them to know the advantages and disadvantages of running indoors and outdoors for your runs.

🙂 Advantages of running outdoors: 1 word – its cheap. Heck, it could even be free if you just run somewhere around your neighbourhood. But do remember to invest in a pair of good running shoes to minimize the risk of injuries. Also, running burns more calories than walking (duhh?) if you hadn’t known about it. Great for people who wants to keep in shape or for those who want to achieve that single-digit percentage body fat.Yes, im trying to achieve that. 😛 While reading up on articles about running, here’s an interesting finding, from Cambridge University that claims running helps improve your memory and help your brain grow too. No wonder i’ve been a little forgetful nowadays. Wow! Rest assured, i doubt that your head will suddenly become as huge as Megamind’s just because you run a lot.

Run and be like me. Seriously.

😦 Disadvantages of running outdoors:

1 word too – the weather. ok, so that’s 2. But oh heck it. Running outdoor is totally dependent on the weather. Although it would be nice to run in the rain and all, but you might catch a cold, fall sick and there goes your week of “healthy exercise living”. Last thing you want to happen while running is to be strike by lightning or some sort. If you’re running outdoor and it happens to rain suddenly, please TAKE COVER! Live today to run another day.

Also, running under the scorching heat isnt a pretty good idea unless you intend to take up some hardcore Adventure Race across the Gobi Desert, then yeah, that’ll be good. But if you’re new and an avid/casual runner, running in the early morning and late afternoon/night would be good. Just dont forget to slap on some SPF 45 Sunblock when running in the morning ya… 😉

Because running itself exerts force on your knees and joints, it is important for one to take note of his own individual capability and pace and not subject the poor knee to any more unnecessary pressure. And oh, sports bra are called SPORTS bra for a reason. They support a woman’s asset from bouncing too much which could result in sagging. And yeah, prolly give them a “better and comfortable hold” too while running.

Do remember to watch out for traffic too!

🙂 Advantages of running on a treadmill:

Rain or shine, you can run in the comfort of your home/gym. Customization of the run can also be controlled by the the runner and generally, the treadmill has consistent and better traction as compared to outdoors. The drain covers, curbs, puddle of water etc, are pretty much a hazard if you are not alert enough.

Treadmills nowadays allow you to adjust the level of difficult too. Speed, Inclination and whatnots are pretty useful to train for your upcoming runs. And if your gym or home has a treadmill that is located directly in front of the TV and HEY PRESTO! You can catch your favourite episode of How I Met Your Mother without having to stream them off the internet for re-runs. Side track a bit, HIMYM Season 2 Episode 15 is awesome. Its about the Boston Marathon and how Barney Stinson trains for it (click HERE for link).

What up.

😦 Disadvantages of running on a treadmill:

Let’s be honest here. Scrolling through your friend’s holiday trip in Phuket and checking out the sights (and sounds) from the FB album is NEVER the same as heading down to Phuket and experiencing the culture there. Ok, bad analogy here you might say. But i know you get what im trying to put across. At the end of the day, as much combination and customization of setting on the treadmill that you have made, its never the same as running outdoors. Where the scenes and environment changes around you as you run. If you’re bored, you could always try a different route and best part, you can run with a whole group of friends without having to worry about whether there are sufficient treadmills.

Next up is the cost of a treadmill. Simply put, with that amount spent on a treadmill, i’d rather use that money and go for a run overseas or take part in races and go for fitness courses or even get myself new sporting gears! And unless you have a whole extra room to cater to your workout needs, then i get it. Treadmills aren’t small in size or comes in a round shape where you run like a hamster.

Well, unless of course…

~

All in all, whats important here is that you should as much, try and go for a run once a week. If not, a jog would be great too. Take care of our body (fitness) and health, and it’ll take care of you. Like i mentioned in one of my earlier posts:

“Never neglect fitness, never neglect health i would say. Those are prolly 2 of the most important things in our lives that many people tend to take a (lots of) break from and it just wont work out good for you in the long run. Nothing personal but its just that nothing gives me more satisfaction than knowing that im in the pink of health…and that im at my peak performance. Ready anytime, anywhere. ;)”

 

Then again – different people, different ideals. 

What’s yours?

When toning shoes just got toner – the New Balance truebalance 855

A toning shoe that helps females to look good, feel good and not compromise on performance.

As part of the Boston-based brand’s Wellness initiative, New Balance has introduced its truebalance 855 range, an update to the 850 training shoe.

Using balance board technology, it features a flexi midsole, spring system design and a rounded shoe bottom. Every step taken with truebalance works our body to maintain our natural balance, further activating our muscles and core engagement, thus burning more calories.
And through this ‘hidden toning’ technology, it is a toning shoe with style without compromising on excellence. Women of all ages will find it useful and beneficial to tone and strengthen their bodies without calling attention themselves or their footwear.You go girl!

The New Balance truebalance 855 range comes in five colors at a retail price of $135. It is available at all New Balance stores and leading sport shops. 🙂

Till next time, Guten Tag!

New Balance & Polo Ralph Lauren unites on the Tennis Courts

For the upcoming US Open tennis championship, Polo Ralph Lauren collaborated with fellow American brand New Balance on a special tennis shoe – New Balance 851PL

The 851 PL

The official limited edition performance tennis sneaker is created for Polo Ralph Lauren by New Balance® to achieve maximum performance and control on the court. Style meets substance we’d say.

If your competitive game demands the ultimate match-day court shoe, lace up in the New Balance 851. This featherweight tennis performer will keep you both comfortable and on your toes, ready to return your opponent’s killer forehand volley.

A limited-edition style, will displays the logo of Polo Ralph Lauren, the official apparel sponsor of the US Open. This shoe will be worn by all the ball boys and girls in the 2011 tennis championships

  • Mesh upper for maximum breathability.
  • Molded insole for comfort and shock absorption, skid resistant neon rubber outsole for increased traction and pivoting.
  • ABZORB® cushioning in the midfoot provides exceptional shock absorption
  • Ndurance® rubber compound for maximum outsole durability
  • ACTEVA™ ULTRALITE premium ultra-lightweight midsole provides optimal resistance to compression set – 32% lighter than standard foam

The 851 SMASHES into all New Balance concept stores this month. Go check it out, now!

Cheers! 🙂

-Haffiz A.

Step aside Optimus Prime. Say hello to Minimus!

I don’t know about you ladies and gentlemen out there but when i first got a whiff/sight of New Balance’s upcoming range of shoes, i was awestruck by its design. Yes, im referring to the NB Minimus range of shoes which would be retailing in August 2011. The NB Minimus: LGHT + RGHT Barefoot Insprd shoes. What up yo!

No longer the tacky chunky New Balance running shoe designs which to be honest, i hated, the NB Minimus is supposedly small and compact (judging from stolen pictures hahaha!). I hate chunky running shoes like my New Balance running shoes i had back then during my NS days. Already i have skinny legs, having shoes with thick soles and sides made me looked like:

Fido Dido. Cool guy but seriously, too skinny for my liking.

Anyways, back to the main topic of NB Minimus (boy, dont you just love the name? If Optimus Prime has a kid thats just what he’ll call it man!), The Minimus range is broken down into 3 different categories – the NB Minimus Running shoesNB Minimus Trail shoes and the NB Minimus Walking shoes.

 

Now lets take a look at its specifications and my opinions on some of them (do note that i have NOT gotten a chance to get my feet in them…YET. So this is what i managed to sieve out with some help from Frenzy, my Decepticon robot friend. ;P

Awwww yeah~!

  1. A significantly less drop from heel to forefoot (4 mm in all styles compared to 12.5 mm in traditional athletic shoes).What it means: This gradual drop positions the foot into a more neutral stance and promotes a more natural stride by moving the wearer off their heel and encouraging a mid-foot landing. 
  2. Each shoe uses stretch materials and minimal constructions that reduce weight. (each NB Minimus style in men’s size 9.5 weighs less than 8.5 oz).What it means: Lighter and faster runs. Duhh??
  3. NB Minimus Trail shoes are equipped with Vibram® (from the guys who brought you the Vibram Five Fingers). What it means: Superior traction and durability in trail conditions not forgetting allowing  and an outsole design that is engineered for natural movement and provides off-road durability and traction.
  4. Lower sole unit heights (more natural running posture). What it means: A shoe designed for BOTH road and trail runners who prefer minimal footwear and also serve as a training tool for runners who aspire to change their running gait. 

With Key benefits include strengthening the wearer’s feet and calves, encouraging good form running and walking, and increasing ground feel for better control. I’m wondering if this could be my next running and Strongman shoes to come… Hmmm…

Till the shoe fits, Guten tag!

DAYUUM! THIS COULD BE THE ONE!

“If you RUN…

Quote

YOU are a Runner.

It Doesn’t Matter How FAST

or How FAR.

It Doesn’t Matter if Today is Your First Day,

or if You’ve Been Running for Twenty Years.

There is No Test to Pass,

No License to Earn,

No Membership Card to Get.

You Just RUN.”

-John Bingham

Just Do It.

(P.S, im not advertising for Nike. Its just that i found this running pic really nice and decided to us it.)

6 months of Running in Year 2011

Posted on June 2, 2011 by minicoopers51

6 months has passed and one of the most anticipated marathon has gone by. How have you been training and performing since the start of the year?

For those who might be thinking of participating in the end of the year marathon, Singapore Marathon, guess what? the dates are out. Marked 4th December on your calendar and start training now.

But before one actually attempt their first marathon distance, I would like to advise them to try out the Half marathon distance first to see how their body and training fare against such strenuous distance.

Not sure what is a Half Marathon?

A Half marathon is a running distance half of a marathon (42.125) which is about 21.1km long. Running a half marathon distance is a good way to gauge if one is ready to attempt a marathon distance, it also allows runner’s body to adopt to the distance thus, minimizing cramps when attempting the marathon distance.

Any upcoming Half Marathon distance to look forward to in Singapore?

Surprisingly, there are many half-marathon distance running event lined up for the year. Other than the annual Safra Army Half marathon this year alone there are many events that provide such distance category.

26/06/2011 – F1 Nature Run
10/07/2011 – Singtel Run against Cancer
23/07/2011 – Marina 21k
17/07/2011 – Timex Tri-Factor Run
04/09/2011 – Army Half Marathon
02/10/2011 – Singapore Half Marathon
15/10/2011 – The North Face 100
16/10/2011 – New Balance Real Run
30/10/2011 – Newton run 30km
04/11/2011 – Singapore Marathon

Have you sign up for anyone of them yet?

Train hard, Drink more water, Sleep well, Smile more & persevere! Running is easy but to keep on moving is never easy.

Cheers! (: