Race Report: 21 Km 2XU Compression Run, Singapore

4 hours after the 2XU Compression Run Singapore started at exactly 5:00 AM at the famous F1 Pit Building, Singapore, over 20,000 runners crossed the finish line, beaming with smiles and high-5’s for conquering their respective race categories (21 Km, 10 Km, and 5 Km). Overall, it was a great race! It was well-organized from the paid shuttle bus service, bag check-in, multiple wave starts to avoid over-crowding, race marshals at strategic points of the race route, water and sports drink stations every 2 Km, and the after race festivities

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My race photo courtesy of Pic2Go

After you claim your race medal, finisher’s shirt (for 21 Km runners only), bananas, and Pocari Sweat, you can pamper yourself to a massage, sponsored by Tiger Balm Active. The massage was simply what my tired feet and legs needed, and although it hurt a lot (uncle applied the right pressure on my cramping muscles), I felt relieved right after. There were also free yoga sessions for those who preferred this relaxing exercise for recovery. Another great treat were the free pictures taken by Pic2Go, which tagged you during the race and automatically posted your race photos on FaceBook after you enter your BIB number.

 

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Ahhh… massage =)

Although the race route was mostly flat, it was tough because of the hot and humid temperature. I initially thought it would be cool during the run, but I was sweating profusely even at 5 Km into the race. It’s a good thing I brought my hydration belt, which allowed me to drink at will and avoid the crowded drinking stations. I only needed to refill one of my flasks at Kilometer-11. I walked a few times after Kilometer-17 to stretch my hamstrings and calves, which felt like starting to cramp. But after a “power walk”, I quickly recovered my pace and kept it until the finish line. I finished in 2:09.18, which is a new 21 Km Personal Best (PB) in hot and humid Singapore!

 

Thanks for reading and hats-off to the race organizers! Thank you too to MOBE MTTB for providing me the resources to pursue my passion in sports!

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Simulate your race for better results

Exactly 1 week prior to my first major running race of 2016 (21 Km 2XU Compression Run, Singapore), I did a long run. I woke-up extra early  last Saturday morning, ate a banana, 1 energy gel, and drank cupfuls of water, then started my work-out, wearing the same clothes (tri-shorts, singlet, sun visor) and rubber shoes, and taking the same “gadgets” (Suunto Ambit3 GPS watch, iPhone, hydration belt, Sony MP3 player) that I plan to use come race day. You see, besides increasing my mileage closer to 21 Km, my goal was to simulate the race itself — from taking my early morning meal before the race, to stretching and warm-up, and the long run itself.

I practiced when to take my energy gels, which was approximately every 30-45 minutes of running, followed by 2-3 gulps of electrolyte drink from my flask. I also practiced “recovery” after a hilly path by slowing down my pace, then slowly increasing the pace after I have caught my breath. What was surprising was that I did not experience the same fatigue and muscle cramps when I was training for last year’s Standard Chartered 21 Km marathon. And I can think of only 2 reasons that had contributed to my better training performance. First was that I was better fueled with calories, electrolytes, and water throughout the work-out. I drank before I felt thirsty, which is one of the important things that endurance athletes forget when training and competing. Second was the external environment. I ran extra early (6:30 AM), which meant I would finish at a time when it was not too hot and humid. The April 3rd 2XU Compression Run is scheduled to start from 5:00 AM, so I can expect a cooler and less humid race experience!

Overall, it was a great work-out. I ran 17.5 Km, with an average pace of 5:35 minute per kilometer. If I can sustain the same pace, then I expect to finish the race close to 2 hours, which would be my personal best in hot and humid Singapore!

Anything can happen beyond my control come race day. It might rain. Race may be delayed. The race route and altitude will certainly be different from my training environment. But one thing is for sure. The more I simulate the race during training, the more I will be prepared for the actual competition.

Thanks for reading and remember not only to pursue your passion in sports, but also to make them happen. Learn more how MOBE MTTB can help you. See you soon!