Why run when you can swim?

How I wish I can do more interval run training prior to my first 21 Km marathon of the year. But my body, especially my legs, are telling me to avoid the constant pounding on the pavement. I have also been recovering from a plantar fasciitis on my right foot, so the last thing I would want to happen is to race this weekend with an injury. So what do you do when you want to sustain your fitness level, but don’t want to run and get an injury? The answer is – swimming.

Following are some of the key benefits of swimming to runners.

  1. Sustains and improves your aerobic endurance gained from running. If you want an equally challenging aerobic exercise, swimming will be a perfect alternative to running. Like running, swimming relies a lot on your aerobic capacity to sustain the exercise. So whether you swim a constant pace for a long distance (750 m to 1.5 Km), or do sprints for short lengths of the pool (8 x 50 meters), swimming can sustain or even improve your aerobic endurance. If you use a heart rate monitor, you can easily compare your heart rate performance with that when you are running, and you will see the similarity in your average and peak heart rates.
  2. Teaches your body to pace better. Swimming requires rhymic breathing to efficiently move through the water, like breathing every evens (2 or 4) or odds (3) strokes. This will teach your body the skill of pacing, which is equally important in running. If you find yourself starting your run too fast, then bonking in the later part of the race, then swimming will teach you to consistently maintain a pace that you can hold throughout the race.
  3. Builds your upper body strength. Runners usually have weak upper bodies. Swimming is a great total body work-out that will strengthen not only your shoulder muscles and upper back, but also your core muscles and hip flexors. This will improve your balance and stride control in running.
  4. Reduces your risk of injury. Besides avoiding the constant pounding on the pavement from running, swimming strengthens the flexibility of your ankles and hip flexors through kicking in the water. This then lowers your risk of IT (Illiotibial) band, knee, foot, and ankle injuries.  Swimming also builds lower body strength which can heal muscle imbalances and prevent common injuries, such as achilles tendinitis (inflammation of the  achilles tendon) and shinsplints.
  5. Helps you recover better. Because swimming is non-impact, it is gentle to the body. It is the ideal option for active recovery because it offers a cardiovascular work-out without the usual strain on the knees and ankles. Water itself with a temperature around 27 degrees Centigrade can be therapeutic and reduce muscle inflammation, especially after intense running.

So there! Don’t feel guilty when you miss or cannot follow your usual run training regimen due to injury and/or insufficient recovery. Hit the waters and swim! Your body will thank you for it!

Thanks for reading, and don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing your dreams. Find-out how MOBE MTTB can help you! See you soon.

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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!

Applying Pareto’s Principle in Training

I completed my second day of interval run training at the track oval last Thursday. I spent an extra 10 minutes in my warm-up run and stretching before doing my main program of 10 sets of 200 meter wind sprints at about 90~95% perceived effort. In between sets, I jogged slowly to recover and prepare for the next set. All in all, I completed my whole training in 42 minutes; ran a regular 3.5 minute per kilometer pace for each 200 meter interval; and I raised my heart rate close to (sometimes exceeded!) my maximum limit of 178 beats per minute.

  
 So where does Pareto’s Principle (80/20 rule) come in running? You see, no matter how many training sessions you complete, you won’t improve unless you do the few critical sessions that really count. And interval training is one of those critically important work-outs that do wonders. This does not mean that base aerobic endurance (usually gained through long steady runs) and strength-training are less important to running. In fact, they are important in establishing the foundation for performance improvement later, preventing injury, and improving range of motion. However, my point is that you will not perform at the higher level if you do not incorporate speed work in your running program. After all, the goal of all races at any distance is to finish at the shortest time possible. And this is where interval training is most effective because for a relatively short period of time, you can significantly increase your fitness and performance level. Therefore, interval training is the 20% that will deliver 80% of your running performance come race day. So always remember to apply Pareto’s Principle in your training program!

Thanks for reading and never let anyone stop you from pursuing your passion in sports! Learn how MOBE MTTB can help you. See you soon!

Sean Wray – Former Police Officer turned Entrepreneur

I have met Sean Wray twice – First during the MOBE (My Online Business Education) Home Business Summit last Jan’16, then a second time in March’16 at the Super Charge Summit, both held in Singapore. Little did I know that this tall unassuming British guy was actually the HULK (i.e., Marvel superhero) personified (!), except that he does not turn green, and I have never seen him angry.

Sean used to serve in the London Metropolitan Police Force before he pursued his true passion in sports and personal calling as a Success coach. Today, he is one of MOBE’s Diamond Affiliate partners, and he travels all over the world as part of its Success Team, who deliver training at various live events. He is a body-builder and personal fitness trainer. He owns two (2) cross-fit gyms. And he runs a very successful online business that caters to elite athletes and glamour models. I asked him what is his secret in being so successful in managing his time and businesses amidst all his overseas travelling.

Find-out his secrets and more by watching my 3-minute interview of him. You will also discover how MOBE MTTB (My Top Tier Business) can help you pursue your passion in sports!

Thanks and see you soon!

Yannick van den Bos – Living Life on His Own Terms

Despite being only in his early 20’s, Yannick van den Bos has learned to live life on his own terms. He is one of MOBE (My Online Business Education)’s Success Team  coaches, who travel all over the world, that not only deliver training, but also inspire budding entrepreneurs reach their financial success through online marketing. He paddle boards, does cross-fit, plays basketball and other beach-bound sports activities during his leisure time, which he confesses is quite a lot! He lives in a beach in Mexico, and enjoys the relaxing sea breeze and glorious sunsets. He revealed that he can afford such a lifestyle because of his very successful online marketing business through MOBE. In fact, he paid-off her mom’s debt of tens of thousands of dollars during his first year with MOBE. Today, Yannick has earned over US$ 170,000, and he is one of MOBE top Diamond Affiliate Partners.

Watch my full interview of Yannick below during the Super Charge Summit in Singapore last March 4-6, 2016. Enjoy and see you soon!

Jose – Family Man, IronMan, Entrepreneur

During the Super Charge Summit in Singapore last March 4-6, 2016, I met Jose from Nicaragua, one of the Success Team coaches in MOBE (My Online Business Education). He approached me during one of the training breaks. He said he noticed I was wearing an IronMan finisher shirt, and that sparked a common interest between us. I learned that he too had been doing triathlons for some time, from 1998 to 2008 to be exact. He had raced at Saint Anthony, Tampa, Florida (Olympic Distance), Chicago (OD), Tampa Max Bein (70.3 IronMan), Clairmont, Orlando (70.3), and Panama City, Florida (IronMan Full Distance). What was even more inspiring is that he did these races, in order to raise money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Foundation. He stopped racing due to a back injury and since then, he had been focusing on raising his family and growing various businesses.

Jose is an accomplished businessman in real estate in Nicaragua and Florida. He deals with the import and export of coconut oil. He and his wife also run an ice manufacturing business, and more recently, Jose has become a Diamond Affiliate Partner of MOBE. Jose shared that he did not finish University education, but that he had accomplished a lot and earned more money than others who have gone through University because of his persistence, passion, resourcefulness, and clarity of purpose. These are qualities that according to Jose, are not only important to be successful in sports, but also in Internet Marketing, and life in general.

Watch my full interview of Jose here. Enjoy and see you soon!