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Monday, July 23, 2012

Some Uncle advice for Trail Running

It's the hot season and the runners are out in force in the woods and trails, partly to run away from the sun and also to prepare for the mother of all trail run in Singapore, the TNF 100 Challenge.

Many groups are conducting familiarisation or training run. Such run typically spans 20km to 30km. Ordinarily, a 20km run couldn't faze any hard core runner but a 20km run in the trail is a different ball game altogether. 

Whilst it is true that it is cooler in the forest, the heat is still there nonetheless and a runner will continue to lose water. Further, a comparative distance run on trails typically stretch up to 50% longer than a road run for the average runner. Therefore hydration is extremely important. Yet unlike said the East Coast Park or roads where one can easily stop at a toilet or drink kiosk to top up water, there is no such luxury in the forest. So runners should invest in a good hydration bag and get one to carry enough water.

The hydration bag can also be used to carry a basic first aid kit. This is one area a lot of runners neglect. When we did the TNF Trail Run series last year, 4 of the run leaders carried first aid kit. It is easy to pick up an injury in the woods - the chances of falling down and cutting oneself is extremely high, getting bitten by insects or worse snake etc. A good basic first aid kit should minimally consist of the following: spray plaster, antiseptic wash, bandages, water proof plaster, tweezer and cotton swabs

Finally, run with a friend. Accident can happen any time anywhere and a friend alongside can help when the need arises. 

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