Saturday, November 24, 2007

Approach To Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2007...

By Frank

With 7 days to go till the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2007, what needs to be done has been done. My official training came to an end this morning. My body and mind should be ready for this big race. And even, my “weapon” is now ready, the adidas adizero Tempo.

How do I prepare myself for this race? 42.195KM is certainly no joke. Unlike my previous KL International Marathon 2007 which took me a year to train, this time, it only took me a mere 3 months. Reason why is, I have been running and hence am a runner already unlike the last time when I was just about to start my running career. Training was tough. The first month, I trained 7 days a week, implementing the athlete’s method of training. It was the month of building muscles particularly on leg muscles. But the other major muscles are not neglected. Resistance and free weight trainings are done. However, the core muscles is one major component that I have been paying attention on, as it will help me with my posture especially during the second half of the race when fatigue starts to kick in.

The second month, I started with my long runs once per week. 10KM, 21KM and 30KM. I felt good running. Although running, weight training is still being carried out. I started training with plyometrics too. And now the final month, everything comes full circle. The final touch up is being done here. My hits and misses is being analysed and hopefully being rectify while I can, particularly on my tight hamstring muscles.

As for diet, I have been eating extra healthy for the past 3 months. Lots of greens and fish. Necessary supplements like energy drink, protein, multi-oil formula and joint supplements are taken. I also did shave my head almost bald. I heard being this way will help me run better. Therefore, a small sacrifice here. But the main threat here is, I questioned myself on how did I do it the last time at KL International Marathon 2007, surviving 42.195KM? This was my one and only mental barrier that I needed to overcome since the second month of training. And as each day passes, I kept remembering on who and what I though of during my runs. With this, I boosted my own morale and also motivated myself.

Strategy for the race, I will just stick to a steady pace with a heart rate of around 150 to 155 beats per minute, which is around 60% of my maximum heart rate. With a heart rate monitor, it will really help now. And also that I will pay attention to my breathing and hydration system as I have more knowledge to it now. I have done my plenty of research on the Internet and also on books and magazines over the past months for running related issues. Overall, if everything goes well, I foresee that my time should improve over my time at KL International Marathon 2007.

And now, my mind is strong and hopefully my physical self is too, as I endure myself in 42.195KM of madness!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

adidas adizero Tempo...

By Frank

The adidas adizero Tempo, categoried as a performance stability shoe is certainly a very light and yet flexible shoe, suitable for fast running. Weighting at 303 grams, it is suitable for mild pronators. The design of the shoe is pretty similiar to other adizero series, the only thing is that the adidas adizero Tempo might be a bit bulkier. Colour wise, it came nicely designed in majority white with shades of red and silver around the overlays and heel counter. Without paying extra attention to it, some might even take it as the adidas Supernova Cushion 6. It is just so similiar!

adidas adizero Tempo...

Putting on the adidas adizero Tempo brought me to a whole new level of experience in a running. Being a performance shoe or some call it a racer, it's my lightest shoe I have to date. Compared to the adidas Supernova Cushion 6, this shoe is really a step, if not 2 steps above. Although it comes only in normal width, the shoe fits nicely with enough space for my feet to move around. The toebox too offers enough space for my toes to move and breathe. The overlays and vamps, though look nothing compared to the bigger mesh on the adidas Supernova Cushion 6, are actually made of perforated materials which allows superior ventilation within the shoe. And being built on a lighter material, it too offers the noseam technology which eliminates stitching.

The cushioning system just like all current adidas shoes is using the FORMOTION technology with adiPRENE 45, which the latter acts as a dampening system that allows the feet to be cushioned but yet not "bouncing" upon heel strike. The theory behind the "no bounce" is to reduce multiple impacts that might occur during heel strike which may lead to muscle soreness. At the inner heel area of the outsole too, was the presence of the pro-moderator technology which helps with the degree of pronation for the wearer. As for the forefoot, adiPRENE + was used instead for the cushioning and the responsiveness of it towards toe off was just excellent coupled together with the great flexibilty of the shoe.

A view of the outsole...

The most noticeable and only downside of the shoe is probably the very short lace. And to make matters worst, it loosens very easily even when I double tied it. Not sure the reason why, but I notice it’s made of a different material compared to the one on the adidas Supernova Cushion 6.

FORMOTION: Provides a smooth, balanced ride from heel strike to toe off, while controlling pronation.
adiPRENE 45: Provides added comfort and cushioning.
adiPRENE +: Excellent forefoot cushioning and provides a responsive toe off.
adiWEAR: Extremely durable outsole in high impact areas.

Overall, the adidas adizero Tempo is a shoe that offers great comfort, support and cushioning. Besides, I just can't find any downside besides the lace issue where it can be solve by just changing it. The adidas adizero Tempo retails at RM399.

Monday, November 05, 2007

New York Marathon 2007...

Extracted from The Sun UK (5 November 2007)

START spreading the news. Paula Radcliffe is back.

Less than 10 months after giving birth to daughter Isla and two years and 81 days since she last raced over 26.2 miles Radcliffe stormed to victory in the New York Marathon.

Those vagabond shoes saw her cross the Central Park finish line 23 seconds ahead of Ethiopian Gete Wami in 2hr 23min 8sec.

It was revenge for the World Championships in 2001 when Wami pipped Radcliffe to bronze in the 10,000m by eight hundredths of a second, prompting the now infamous on-track spat with husband Gary Lough.

This time there were hugs for Gary, who handed baby Isla into her arms within seconds of the finish.

Radcliffe admitted: “I kept repeating to myself I love you Isla, I love you Isla to keep my rhythm going.”

Paula, 33, was not just a part of this race, she was determined to win from the start and repeat the victory here in 2004 when she made her comeback after the Olympic disaster in Athens after failing to finish.

She was only too aware that if she could do it here, she could do it anywhere — hopefully Beijing next summer, where Radcliffe is Britain’s best hope for athletics gold. Then maybe even London 2012.

Olympic track legend Seb Coe, chairman of the London Games, was among those waiting to congratulate her in Central Park.

The Bedford racer, who set the world-record of 2hr 15min 20sec in London in 2003, returned only last month after a two-year lay-off.

Injuries after giving birth to Isla on January 17 meant she missed the World Championships this summer and the chance to defend her marathon title.

She could manage only second place in the Great North Run in Newcastle, suffering her first half-marathon defeat in eight years as American Kara Goucher romped to victory.

But five weeks later there was no mistaking the gutsy Radcliffe of old. She led from the start on Staten Island, tailed by the tiny Wami.

By Brooklyn Radcliffe and Wami were already 40 seconds ahead of the rest of the field including reigning world champion Catherine Ndereba.

At the halfway mark — the Pulask Bridge which links Brooklyn to Queens — they were 2min 36sec up.

As they ran past the Giants Stadium Radcliffe, with her trademark knee-length socks, shades and titanium necklace, was slowing, the head bobbing more than usual.

As they edged around Central Park Wami overtook her but Radcliffe fought back, sprinting past into Columbus Circle and the gates to Central Park.

Wami — who won the Berlin Marathon 35 days earlier — had nothing else left to give and finished well back in 2hr 23min 32sec.

She admitted: “I tried to pass her but she was too strong and I couldn’t catch her again.

“When I had my child it took me three or four years to get back so I’m impressed by her.”

There was some consolation as her second place meant she picked up a £250,000 cheque for winning the World Marathon Majors series, the culmination of 10 races over 18 months.

Third was Latvian Jelena Prokpcuka, who has twice won the New York event, way behind in 2hr 26min 13sec.

Radcliffe, whose victory earned her £85,000, was well within the 2hr 37min qualifying mark for next summer’s Olympics in Beijing.

She will now have to decide whether to run another marathon in the spring, with London top of the list, or go straight to China on the back of this victory.

It was a family affair for Paula. Parents Peter and Pat were in New York for the race, having flown out to help Gary with “international baby-sitting duties.”

Gary himself clocked 2hr 41min in New York last year.

Among the celebrities taking part was seven times Tour de France winner and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong, who clocked 2hr 46min 43sec.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Terry Fox Run 2007...

Event: Terry Fox Run 2007
Venue: Tapak A, Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 4 November 2007
Time: 9.00am
Distance: 8.14KM
Shoe: adidas Supernova Cushion 6
By Frank

Before you run through the report, pleace click the link here to know more about the late Terry Fox if you do not know who this great person is.

The Terry Fox Run 2007 has been successfully organised this morning. However, there were some shortcomings compared to the event last year. In terms from the number of runners this year, from what I have seen is that is lesser than last year. Nevertheless, the turnout is still pretty amazing. It is a non-competitive and charity run and there are 2 routes being the short route of 3KM and an advance route of 6.5KM. But from the distance above, I know I have entered 8.14KM. Why? Read on...

The start and finish line...

Me, Andy and William met up at around 8am. An hour to go before the start, we made ourselves comfortable by walking around enjoying the scenery and also helping ourselves to the free bananas. Then at 8.45am, a short warmup session by the Group X Demo Team from Fitness First is gone through. It was well received by all the runners around where everybody danced into together.

Bananas galore...

Warmup session by Fitness First...

The big shots from the Canadian High Commission...

At 9am, the run was started by someone from the Canadian High Commission. The start was pretty hectic though. The road was pretty narrow and it was jam packed with parents and their kids. I can't blame them for this as they are there for fun. However, I do not understand that why are there some teenagers walking and blocking the road everywhere. Can't they just make themselves to the side allowing a small passing lane for runners to run through. Many runners had to resort to running on the grass just to overtake them. Lucky no one fell, at least around me. The marshalls were great as cheerleaders lending support to everyone. However, the problem came as I completed the short route. There was no marker for the advance route and marshalls don't even know where to go. I was really suprised that the marshalls themselves didn't even know. With no one to ask around, I decided that I shall use the same route as I ran last year. There were marshalls around but did nothing but just sat there. Camera-mans from Lensa Malaysia was there with them too and they took plenty of my pictures as I ran alone. Nearing 10 minutes down the route, I saw the first runner coming from the opposite side. I felt something wrong here. Shortly later, more and more people came until I realised that I was actually running the other way around. *smacks head* I turned back and ran with the crowd until I saw the marker for the advance route. Took it and I was greeted by a steep uphill climb. I went for it, taking it as part of my training. The "doing nothing" marshalls I mentioned earlier now came "alive" and started cheering. Duh... Now that is why my distance is 8.14KM, as read by my footpod.

The crowd around the Milo van...

I crossed the finish line at 00:45:41. Perform my warm down and stretching while waiting for Andy and William. Andy arrived shortly but William was seriously off pace. Must be enjoying the scenery. Helped ourselves to the food but what was left was only bread. The muffins and bananas were all snatched up. And the queue for Milo was so long that we didn't even bother to look at it. Spotted Andrew later and we snapped a few photos before we left the place. Overall, it was a good run although it could have been so much better. But anyway, it's all for a good cause and I'm glad that we all are part of it.

Runnerz @ Terry Fox Run 2007...