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December 01, 2010

Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 42.195km Preview

Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 42.195km Preview

On this day in December 2010, I shall put on record some of my pre-marathon race thoughts in this Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 42.195km preview on a Seen This Scene That post.

Above: Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 42.195km Preview Picture 1 - Race T-shirt and BIB.

Writing this is an exercise to prepare myself for my inaugural full marathon run on 5 December 2010.

A bit of background is in order.

I have never attempted to run 42.195km in training and certainly not in a full marathon in Singapore or anywhere else on this planet.

My marathon training for the 42 km Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) race began with preliminary work in 2009 when I first toyed with the idea of participating in a full marathon after finishing a 10 km run.

Regular (and serious) marathon training kicked off about five months ago but disruptions due to mild training injuries and non marathon-related interferences affected my schedule of interval trainings, tempo runs, hill work, long slow runs and other necessary preparation.

My last competitive half-marathon (21km) run was at the 21-km SAFRA Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon on 12 Sep 2010. Since then, long runs of distances up to 38 km have become a regular fortnightly routine.

What do I expect to achieve at the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2010?

My main idea is to enjoy my very first full 42.195km marathon run. Hopefully from start to finish and every minute in between.

Certainly the start point of this year's full marathon promises a star-studded line up with scenes of seasonal-themed street decorations and festive lights.

A run through Orchard Road and Chinatown also offers refreshing background sceneries for full marathon runners.

The Marina Bay waterfront will add more visual features to take away the stress of a full marathon run. Away from the city, the run across Marina Barrage is expected to be another scenic highlight.

Above: Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 42.195km Preview Picture 2: Marathon Race Route.

I expect to meet a record number of full marathon participants. Competitive runners bring inspiration and encouragement. With runners surging along the full marathon route, I hope that it will raise a wave of positive energy to carry me into the final stretch and beyond.

My pre-race preview of the full marathon running route reveals that for the most part, it is generally a flat one. At about the 37km mark though, when I run up the steep Benjamin Sheares Bridge, I think that would be most challenging segment. It is the steepest incline of the entire race route and by that late phase of my run when glycogen stores are near empty and joints start to feel the heat, I think my muscles, tendons and ligaments will put in the loudest protests.

How about a marathon completion time?

For this race, a marathon completion time is irrelevant. Whatever happens, I shall be contented when I cross the finish line. The time it takes to complete the full marathon will be set in stone as my personal best full marathon record.

With a half-marathon under my belt, I could easily crunch an online marathon timing conversion calculator to come out with a timing. But with actual practice on training runs, I have found to my chagrin that a realistic completion time for the full marathon is going to be longer than the predicted one by a wide margin.

Moreover with suboptimal preparation and recent recovery from injury, it would be unwise of me to pin a time for my target so publicly. In case the pressure on my mind, heart and lungs deflate my ego.

I have extracted from friends and online sources some pitfalls to consider. During racing, emergencies, injuries and accidents are just around the corner for unwary marathon runners. "Hitting the wall", abdominal colic, plantar fasciitis, ITB syndrome, blisters, dehydration and strains / sprains are just a few of many things that could trip runners up in the race.

I hope that with proper medical screening, adequate marathon run training, sensible nutritional support, realistic race pace and a safety-first mindset, I would have reduced risks to the minimum.

As the days count down to the full marathon race, I enter my taper phase with confidence that my mental and physical preparations for the 2010 Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 42.195km race will give joy when I cross the finish line.

See more places. Live more life. Run fun races.

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