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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Running the Marathon for Plodders Part 5

It's finally here. You are raring to go and move from being a plodder to a runner. But first some things to bear in mind.

Day before the race:

Make sure you have your timing chip and bib. Secure them the night before the race. Put all your race attire aside and get everything ready. No need to kalakabo in the morning.

Do not wear anything new. If you have been thinking that 2XU is a math formula, Skins is what you have on your body, don't try them out during the race if you have never worn them before. Likewise that sports bra or nice singlet that you bought from the Race Expo. New apparels need to be seasoned or rather your body need to be seasoned to them so don't wear anything that is brand new.

Stop eating anything that will give you the runs. That means, no spicy Mala hot pot or Samy curry fish head. Clear your stomach as much as you can.

Carboload? What's that? Unless you are from a country that do not eat rice or noodle daily, there is really no need to have a night of gorging on pasta, bread and rice. All that food will just cause a stomach upset.

Plan your transport so that you can reach the race site at least 1 hour before the start time.

In the morning

Set your alarm clock to wake up at least 3 hours before the race to give you sufficient time to eat, get ready and travel down to the race site.

Eat a light meal at home. Good food to eat are bread - get the Gardenia or Sunshine roll; a cup of Milo and a banana.

Clear your stomach before you leave the house.

Bring along a small bottle of water and a banana. Eat the banana while waiting for the race to start. Take small sip of water. Discard the bottle when the race start. No need to carry it along.

Finally the Race

Stay within your desired timing pen. Don't go to the front where you will be trampled upon by the elites.

There is no need to do any hard run to warm up. You are not the elites. Starting off slowly will do for the warm up. However, you may want to do some light dynamic stretching to warm up and loosen the joints and body.

The need to pee is more in your mind than in your "uhem". Ignore it or wait until you reach the first proper toilet. It is not very glam to pee in the open.

Don't follow the crowd and charge from the beginning. Be discipline and stick to your run strategy.

Drink at every water point. Okay you can skip the very first water point if you don't feel thirsty but otherwise drink even if you don't feel thirsty. It will keep your body hydrated. There is no worry of getting hyponatremia, at least not in our weather. But if you are scare of losing too much salt (is it even possible with our local diet?), that's where the salt tablet come in. Don't drink isotonic drink only. Alternate the isotonic drink with plain water.

Keep left when you run to allow the faster runners to overtake. And don't run hand in hand or side by side with your darling. Wait until the finish line for that photo taking opportunity.

Take a packet of gel every 10km. Sucks your energy chews when you hit 35km and the heat is getting to you and you are totally drained.

Keep track of your pace and slow down or speed up if necessary but do not get carried away if you are ahead of schedule. Be discipline and stick to your game plan. Otherwise the damage later on can be unimaginable.

Cramps? Hopefully won't get but if do, slow down and walk if you feel the cramps coming. Get assistance from the first aid stations along the way. And the lamp posts and trees don't need you to prod them up. Stretching may make the cramp worse.

Smile and raise your hands in triumph for the camera when you cross the finish line.

Good luck and God speed.


  1. Thanks for sharing!

    I'll be running my first FM this sunday!
    Hope to cross the finishing line in one piece with reasonable timing.

  2. Hi Melkenn,
    All the best for your FM this Sunday

  3. Thanks for the sharing! Really enjoy reading your blog.

    My 2nd running for the full this year so good luck to me!? :)


  4. Hi Jenn, wow you came back and read this silly blog. 谢谢! May you be as fast as the cheetah, as swift as the swallow and as strong as the ox in your 2nd marathon. God speed and the Force be with you.

  5. haha tekko this is funny but informative, i wish i have this advice when i ran my first marathon :) thanks for sharing.