Monthly Archives: August 2014

Running Gear

This part is where most of my affiliate links are in the whole articles on running, I am just trying out how  effective affiliate marketing is as well as sharing useful information for running. Please support me by clicking on the links. It will open a new window/tab. Get yourself something if you really feel that it is something that you can benefit from. Have fun reading and have fun shopping.

Shoes

Shoes is obvious. It is what protects you from the harshness of the road. It is what people wear when they are running. Whether shoes provide any manner of performance can up for debate. Some research have shown that different types of foot would benefit from different types of shoes. And there are arguments on the part that the increased padding in shoes may have weakened our foot structure. I would suggest go to a foot clinic to scan your feet, and get the proper recommendations. DO NOT buy tight shoes that the sales person says it will stretch to fit your feet, because your feet will also try to fit the shoe. and your feet is already perfectly designed for your feet. If you were to wear a shoe, get the one’s with 0 degree elevation.

I have in the past years discovered the joy of Running barefoot. I save money from buying shoes 2-3 times a year. My feet hasn’t had an incidence of sprain. But the early periods, I did suffer from blisters. I may still suffer from blisters if I run too fast and to far, and if its too hot. My current limit on barefoot is 25km in under 3 hours at night. and 21km morning run. I will have another section on running barefoot. But if you can’t wait, read up on  barefoot running on amazon.

barefoot running book

Glasses

I highly recommend safety/running glasses. It would reduce the amount of debris going into your eyes during running. I actually bought one because I frequently had those issues. And I found that it was useful for running myself. I bought a pair of oakley sunglasses with prescription. I am near-sighted. I bought mine for USD$200.

Running Cap

running cap

Any cap would do. I wear caps under two conditions, It’s gonna be a long run on a hot day, or its a rainy day or night. Any cap would do. But I have seen people wearing caps with flaps that cover the rest of the neck. I guess it is useful for ultramarathons that run through mid-day.

Armband

generic armbandiphone arm band

Useful to place items such as your phone, keys, cards, extra money. Gonna be useful for especially long runs. I’d recommend at least the armband, If possible, get a specialized armband for your phone, it will fit snuggly. Additionally get a water proof one, you might be running in the rain, or you will be sweating like crazy. If you have an iphone get a sweat proof armband for running. Or if you use an android phone, there are general sports armbands.

Hydration backpack

caribee hydration pack

Depending on your body weight, hydration requirements, running distance and time of day. I find that I can run 21km at night without any hydration. But when it is daytime, any running above 1 hours I will need some hydration. I will even wear during race events, just in case the organizer runs out of water. The laggards like myself often experience this. There was even a run where the water points had no water in the beginning of the race. so just be prepared. You can buy different sizes from 1 litre to upto 3 litres. Keep in mind that this adds to your weight. So highly recommended you train with the weight as well if you are training for marathon or ultramarathon runs. I personally bought and used a Caribee Stratos XL Hydration Pack.

Running Vests, or Fluid Race Vests and Hydration belts.

race vestrace belt

These are similar to Hydration packs, but these are belts or vests that you wear that can hold 2 to 4 water bottles. I have seen ultramarathon runners wear this. it is either for easy refills at the water stations, or for them to be able to put different liquids in different bottle. some people alternate between isotonic drinks, cold water, and energy drinks. I will cover hydration topics later.

handheld bottles

either bottles held in hand or held in a strap in the hands. some people bring one, others bring two for balance. I don’t like anything have in my hands, so I don’t prefer it. but other may like it because it makes them look like a runner and not a hiker.

Night LED Lights

LED (Light Emitting Diodes) Lights have become a trend with night runs. It gives the runner visibility to other road users. I highly recommend it for night runners. LED lights comes in different forms, and runners may wear it on different parts. Some runners put it on the whole of their body that makes them look like a christmas tree. For some people it may look ridiculous, but more visibility is more safety.

 

 

 

 

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Safely Running on the Road

Run Counter Traffic

You can see incoming cars more easily, and react accordingly. Car drivers may be able to see you from your front rather than your back. Where I am from most people run with the traffic. I think it is remnants of the race competitions that actually run with the traffic. But I think this is only for convenience of the traffic police and the organizer.

At a Junction

Look both ways before crossing. Go behind the outgoing cars, they rarely look both ways.

Night Runs

Wear lights, a lot of lights. Wrist band, arm bands, waist bands, headlights, shoe lights, shoe laces lights. The more lights you have the more visible you are, the safer you can be. But it is understandable that we don’t want to waste time wearing lights and just go run. I personally am satisfied with an arm band light and a headlight. But I have seen some people wearing a whole light set while running. I guess they were training all night, therefore they might as well be really visible at night.

get the nite ize marker band or the nite ize slap wrap. Additionally, you can ensure your phone does not turn off its display screen. It may take up battery life, but you’d be safer.

Tight Bends

Car drivers can sometimes be blinded by the bend, but still proceed with their normal speed anyway. Again counter traffic running is recommened, and additionally you may stretch your hands wide on your side to ensure that the driver can see you. This is probably also more effective if you have a lighted wrist band.

Where to Run

We can run anywhere, but different places have different feel, has its own advantages and disadvantages.

  • Running Tracks
    • PROS. Soft padding, measurable distance without the need of a gps device.
    • CONS. limited views,you run in circles, often in one direction. My concern is that it may lead to slight imbalance between your legs and feet. May have to pay entry fee.
    • MY VIEW. I personally use it for Interval training or when I just want to do a quick sprint of 2.4km.
  • Treadmills –
    • PROS. Comfortable, being indoors you can be protected from the weather. certain treadmills even have elevation settings, and monitoring devices, such as heart rate monitors, calories burnt, distance, speed and time. Certain people claim they are faster and run further on treadmills than outdoors.
    • CONS. Very limited view, there is no twist and turns. does not simulate air resistance. The equipment can be as costly as USD$299 as seen on this amazon. or as much as USD$999 as seen on another.
    • MY VIEW. Not a fan, I like to run with a view. Also, I remember when I was running on treadmill, my running form tend to go heel striking. A different feel to when I am trying chirunning, when I need to lean forward to fall forward. So to me it doesn’t feel natural. And finally, I’m a cheapskate. Why would I buy a machine for me to do at home what I can do on the road for practically free.
  • Roads
    • PROS. provides almost unlimited space for running. It is a very good environment to simulate actual race day, as most runs are done on the road.
    • CONS. watch out for motorist. (I will cover about safe running later)
    • MY VIEW. The most ideal route. Some runs use the same route every year, so training can be done using those same routes.
  • Hill Running
    • PROS. Provides with a workout that helps build strength and speed.
    • CONS. some hills may be tricky. need to be careful during the run. Not an ideal reflection of actual race day, unless they are also hill runs.
    • MY VIEW. Something that can be done once or twice a month. I actually joined a hill run, did terribly, but my run 1 week later was quite fast. Also an urban alternative is the fire escape.
  • Recreation Parks
    • PROS. A relatively very safe place to run. Since it is a public place, a lot of people are there to keep you company.
    • CONS. sometimes limited distance (can be overcome by doing laps). Irregular shape also makes it difficult to track performance (unless using GPS)
    • MY VIEW. If you want to have a relaxed run. it is probably the best place to go. But not suitable if you are either doing Intervals or even long distance run. 
  • City Area or in parking lots.
    • PROS. long after working hours this place is almost deserted. A good time and place to do short runs around the block.
    • CONS. during working hours quite packed, a lot of people a lot of cars.
  • Beaches
    • PROS. It is a good training area for injured legs and feet. or for those who are just begining. The soft sand absorbs impact on landing that it is easy on the joints. alternatively, some runners may go barefoot, or run in the water for resistance training runs.
    • CONS. certain beaches maybe significantly affected by tides and wave as determined by the lunar cycle. causing a nice beach area into a watery area.
    • My View. I like beach running especially since I used to live next to one. the cool breeze, the soft land. I actually used it to begin my barefoot running. Just watch out for the broken shells, dead carcasses of fish, jelly fish, and other creatures.

I personally started running around a mosque compound that was more or less 1 km in length. In which I graduated to running onto the roads. But when I picked up barefoot running, I started at the beach, to the running track, and on to the road. 

Upcoming Runs in Brunei for the last half of 2014

Looking at my last few month’s performance. I told myself I need to get my game back. One of the few ways I know in order for me to keep at it is by registering AND paying for events in the next few months, that will motivate me to train for those events. So I searched and I found a few events.

I have already registered for these events.

  • Larian Hari Keputeraan (31 August 2014) – I registered for 21km
  • Serawak Triathlon (14 October 2014) – I registered for Olympic Standard Triathlon

I have yet to register for the following events

  • UBD Green Run (14 Sept 2014) – http://www.ubdgreenrun.com/
  • Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Obstacle Race Challenge(28 Sept 2014) – I am guessing this is replacing their RBAF triathlon this year. check facebook page.
  • Panaga Triathlon (12 October 2014)  – this was postponed from early this year, I haven’t found any updated official information on this.
  • The great race (19 October 2014) – Looks like an obstacle Run. Check www.thegreatrace.com.bn
  • BSB Marathon Run (2 Nov 2014) – Just found out about this today. check http://www.baamarathon.com/

I have to set my schedules, so I can partake in this events.

Abundance, Health, and World Peace.

My personal bests

Someone asked me how fast I run a 5km, to be honest I don’t clearly remember. I am very sure faster than 30 minutes. and I seem to remember 25 minutes in one of my runs. Our human memory is often feeble, especially when I don’t really care much about the time for 5km. I have been looking into my 10km time. which is still about 1 hour.

Fortunately I have been running using endomondo, and using the PRO version, I can look into my personal bests. the following is a chart of my 5km personal bests in the last 12 months.

chart 20140829

apparently my best 5km was just under 25minutes! granted this is not the speed of elite runners, but hey, it’s my personal best. It was great to see how much I have improved over the month. although it seems I have been taking it relax in the last two months. I was curious so I checked by 10km times.

chart best 10km month

My 10km times actually improved during the month of July, that was during the fasting month and I was doing night runs. I was doing several 10kms, and at least once was under 6min/km resulting in sub 1 hour 10km run.

It so sad though to see the drop in performance as well as activity in the last 2 months. There are several upcoming events that will help keep me busy and reach that level again. Specifically I’ll need to improve on my cycling to improve my Triathlon times.

Abundance, Health, and World Peace.