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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Have a Break

Not literally though. Race season is now in full stream and there is at least 1 race per week. Some weekends there are 2 or even 3. And it is interesting to see some of my running acquaintances signing up for each and every races. Some did back to back races as in ran the Real Run last Sunday at Sentosa and then went over to Tanjong Pagar for the Green Corridor Run. And it is because of support like this from the running community that there are races sprouting all over.

There are now on top of the established races, many new races like the Green Corridor, ST Run in the Park, City Chase and then there are theme runs like the recently concluded Foam Run, the upcoming run like Garfield Run and the Electric Run....

But despite the popularity of races, there have been casualty. The theme run from US the Heroes Run has been cancelled due to poor response, the Punggol Waterway half marathon has been postponed indefinitely and some races are not coming back or at least there are no news of them yet - like the Mizuno Mt Faber Race but for every race that got canned, 2 pop out to replace it.

I am impressed at the continued support shown by the local running community.Despite complaining day in day out about the high cost of the registration fee and the lousy goodie bag, they still continue to sign up. But I think that a lot of runners especially the newbie are putting themselves at a higher risk of injury by running too much too soon. Maybe our runners should all take a break and relax and skip some of the more expensive and poorly organised races. That will send a clear message to the event owners to take a long hard look at how they should organise races and hopefully we will have less but better organised and more appropriately priced races.

Friday, May 23, 2014

For Sale - New Balance Go 2 Tight

Available for sale. New Balance Go 2 Tight MRP2353  Men US size S (Asian size M) Black. Brand new still with label.
Photo from New Balance Website

Lightweight tight with a new, modernized fit is wicking, breathable and reflective. Complete with internal key pocket and drawcord, the Go 2 Tight is the perfect base layer or only layer –– whatever your run demand,


Material: 87% Polyester and 13% Spandex
Interior key pocket for storage
Internal drawcord
Reflective logos and trims

More details available at the New Balance website here

Listed price on NB US website is USD$44.99. No stock available on Amazon.

Selling price now S$38.00 Sell collect at Raffles Place/Tanjong Pagar/Pasir Ris Mrt. 

Interested message me (if you know my handphone number) or pm me via my Facebook

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Garmin 620

I bought a Timex to replace a Garmin and now I bought a Garmin to replace the Timex. Actually I bought 2 Garmin - the 620 and the 220. But I have only used the 620 to date whereas the 220 is being used by the sidekick.

Photo from Garmin website

The 620 cost much more than the 220 and after using it for more than 5 months, I felt quite stupid that I bought it instead of saving the extra money for something else. Not that the 620 is a bad watch. In fact it is a wonderful watch with a lot of features which was the problem. I never did use any of the extra features!

Anyway, here are some of the special features of the watch apart from the usual GPS, HRM, Interval, etc

  • Touchscreen
  • Customised screens
  • Wi-fi
  • Auto sync
  • Foot pod
  • Running Dynamics
  • VO2 Max Estimator
  • Recovery Advisor
  • Race Predictor
And a whole host of other features which other than the customised screens I have not used to date. Read more in the Garmin's site

Initially GPS lock on was quite erratic but this seems to have settled down after a few software updates. Locked on is usually under 15 seconds. The touch screen is easy to scroll through. Customisation of the screens is a bit difficult to do in view of the small screen but the readings are easy enough to read through with a maximum of  4 displays per screen though I find that 3 is the optimum.

The strap looks replaceable unlike the previous 110 that I had previously. And it is waterproof which means I can bring it into the shower or even go for a swim in it.

So far I have no issue with it except for the auto pause feature. It will pause by itself even if I was running. I figured it could be because my arm was not swinging enough but it was irritating and consequently the distances were off. So I turned this feature off. 

But it is still early days. Just a few months and since I haven't been running a lot, have not really been making full use of it which is a pity considering that I paid so much for it. So for those who are looking for a super duper GPS running watch, this is highly recommended but if all you need is a watch to measure distances and time, the Garmin 220 or even FR10 will suffice.

For a super comprehensive review and a run down on all the features, go read DCRainmaker's review of the watch.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Vibram Five Fingers

The biggest running news this past week must be the news of Vibram  Five Fingers being ordered by an American Court to pay $3.75m in a class action suit filed by a disgruntled lady who claimed that the VFF did not live up to its claim of improving foot health namely:

(1) Strengthen muscles in the feet and lower legs 
(2) Improve range of motion in the ankles, feet, and toes
(3) Stimulate neural function important to balance and agility
(4) Eliminate heel lift to align the spine and improve posture
(5) Allow the foot and body to move naturally

Of course the ruling has got people on both side of the camp arguing their point with those anti-VFF and anti-barefoot lambasting the VFF and barefoot camp. The VFF and barefoot camp naturally is arguing that wearer of VFF has to phase in the running gradually and not jump straight into it.

I have not worn a pair of VFF before. The only reason is because I don't like the design but I have dabbled in barefoot running and minimalist running. I got injured as a result but I don't blame the barefoot running. Me think there is a place for everything and every type of foot wear. The suit in US was not so much about the effectiveness of the shoe but more about the stupidness of the US law system and its jury system and also the stupidness of VFF to make claims in their sales pitch without doing the very necessary research to substantiate their claims.

I have a number of runner friends who swear by their VFF. The only runner I knew who complained about his VFF was a guy who bought in online at a dirt cheap price and which even he suspected is an imitation. Anyway I like to think that the VFF and the minimalist/barefoot movement is here to stay and will be an integrated part of the running scene together with the traditional running shoes from the mainstream companies like Nike, Adidas, New Balance and the Reebok etc

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Smell the Roses

No more races for the rest of the year or at least nothing signed up yet. So taking things easy now. Running is down to about 30km average a week most of which are slow relaxing run. On top of that, devoting more time to hiking. And it has been a very different experience going into the trails as a hiker and not a runner. There are no roses to smell but so many things to see, things that one do not usually notice or be able to spot if running. Like the following:

A cicada. Not easy to spot this noisy creatures which can camouflage itself. And I found out that the ruckus we hear in the forest can be made by just 1 of this critter!

A tiny little Reed snake. Actually it was already dead when we spotted it. Somebody must have stepped on it. Poor it. Anyway, we picked it up and put it on a branch. At least it can die in glory!

 Another snake. A bronzeback. This one very much alive and way bigger. And it was looking at us. lol

And last but not least, a colugo. This is the first time I seen another specie of mammal other than the monkey, squirrel and wild boar in our forest. 

Its good to take time to relax. Good for the leg, the knee and go smell the roses in whatever remain of our forest before they disappear completely. Hopefully in the coming weeks, will get to see more of our forest dwellers.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Lesson Learnt?

At the recent NTUC Run350, together with tons of runners caught in the rain, we were stuck in the medical tent. While there, I had the chance to observe the set up and I think the organiser have learnt well the lesson from the 2XU incident.

I counted at least 8 ambulances and at least 4 mobile medic on bicycles and 2 on motorcycles. I asked one of the mobile medic and he confirmed that he has a AED with him. I must said that the organiser seems to be very well prepared for all sort of emergency. And all these for a race of 21km and 10 km with a combine running strength of only 16,000.

One of the mobile medics on bike
Good that race organiser are now not taking chance with the safety of the runners. Let hope the other organiser, especially those for the longer distance, will follow suit.