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The A to Z of Running a Singapore Marathon

by On Oct 7, 2015
The A to Z of Running a Singapore Marathon

We're not in the business of redefining your alphabet, but if you're a marathon runner, you know how many components go into a race. As an homage to your favourite sport—and just for fun—we've created a Singapore marathon-focused alphabet just for you. Each letter and word represents an aspect of the physical pursuit you cherish most, so see how many you would have chosen had you composed this alphabet yourself.

A is for Abrasion; a commonly diagnosed injury that can occur if runners don't take precautions during marathon runs. Falling on rough terrain can land a runner at a first-aid station and could even be a race-ender, if the abrasion is severe enough. Protect your skin by donning the proper clothing and watch your step!

B is for Body, and your body deserves to be pampered when you prepare for a Singapore marathon. Get plenty of sleep the night before, eat a proper breakfast, warm up correctly and don't abuse your body on days preceding the event or it won't thank you by the time you cross that finish line.

C is for Competitors; fellow runners from all strata of Singapore society—and those from foreign shores who join you at the start line. Sure, you're competing, particularly if the rewards—prestige, prizes and honours—are big, but treat all competitors with respect, particularly since you represent your homeland.

The A to Z of Running a Singapore Marathon

D is for Deadlines. The best intentions won't get you into a marathon if you don't respect deadlines imposed by race organisers. Turn in your documents, credentials and fees by the deadline date or before. If you plan to run a slew of Singapore marathons, set up a calendar just for deadlines and nothing will fall through the cracks.

E is for Energy drinks. Maintaining electrolytes during a run—especially in humid Singapore—can mean the difference between a successful finish and not finishing at all. Don't pass hydration stations, just because you need to make up time. When you spot energy drinks along the run route, power up so you've the energy to keep going.

F is for Fans. Every runner should cherish fans stationed along marathon routes because their cheers, flag waving, encouragement and support can make all the difference should your resolve flag. If you undertake lengthy endurance races, the silence surrounding you on remote trails can be daunting with no one to spur you on, so thank fans every chance you get.

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G is for Gear. The right running gear is essential, so replace worn running shoes and broken wrist watches, buy the right socks and tote a lightweight poncho if you expect inclement weather, so you can throw it on as you run. There's lots of fancy gear on sale for marathoners, but the essentials are all you need to run your race.

H is for Heat and Humidity. Singapore's heat and humidity are legendary, so prioritize water replacement with frequent hydration station stops to counter your body’s loss of salt and water. Running in high humidity increases the heart rate by up to 10 beats a minute, your temperature escalates and medical conditions are exacerbated by heat and humidity, so don’t risk heat stroke or hyperthermia.

The A to Z of Running a Singapore Marathon

I is for Intensity. A marathon runner who doesn't meet intensity criteria needs to up their game if he or she is to finish respectably and not become discouraged. Synonyms for intensity are passion, concentration, power and strength, so you can see how important it is. Always check your personal “intensity barometer” pre-marathon to make sure you're fired up and ready to go.

J is for Joy, and who doesn't attain this state of bliss when the weather is perfect, the trail is hospitable and one feels so connected to Mother Nature as the miles streak by? Joy is a state that's hard to come by in our crazy, busy world, so taking time to push one's boundaries during an energetic run around a favourite track is the epitome of joy for those of us who adore running.

K is for Kilometres, the measurement used by many countries, including Singapore. If you intend to become an international competitor, your ability to convert kilometres into miles is important. If you missed metric conversion day in Math class, bookmark a chart and learn to calculate so don't inadvertently register for a marathon you’re not equipped to run.

L is for Length. Have you been running 3km marathons or mastered the 5km or half marathon, but stopped short at pushing your physical boundaries? You may have excellent reasons to stick to short runs—but if you don't challenge yourself by attempting a longer one at least once, you do yourself a disservice!

M is for Marathons. You love them and so does Singapore, so give thanks that you live in a nation with a huge commitment to hosting them. The Singapore races calendar list events from small fun runs to high-profile events like the Energizer Night Race, Pocari Sweat Run, Swisshotel Vertical Marathon and Standard Marathon, choose the one(s) that suit your ambitions.

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N is for Negative Splits, the running term describing a competitor who runs the second half of the marathon in a faster time than they clocked in the first half. It's not easy to register one's personal best during the second half of a tough race, so marathon runners capable of achieving negative splits deserve your respect.

O is for Obstacles. Do you prefer smooth tracks, even terrain and groomed trails? Or do you thrive when confronting obstacles on the Singapore circuit? Mud, uneven trails, path blocks, vertical challenges, wildlife and harrowing weather all present unique obstacles. Your willingness to confront them puts you in the warrior class.

The A to Z of Running a Singapore Marathon

P is for Preparation. If you're a seasoned runner, you know how critical it is to prepare for a marathon. Stretching, medical checkups, proper diet, adequate sleep and a healthy training schedule may be all that separates you from injury, so respect and follow your preparation ritual before every marathon.

Q is for Qualifying. Not all qualification requirements are created equal. You may be required to do a trial run to pre-qualify for a marathon or your participation could depend upon recruiting sponsors to undertake a charity run. In some cases, all that's required to qualify is filing papers on deadline, so don't put it off!

R is for Rest. It takes a wise and sensible runner to prioritize rest; it's one of the most essential facets of a training and marathon schedule and it can't be ignored. Taking time to rest at critical junctures during a run is a wise strategy and it goes without saying that a good night’s rest is paramount before an endurance race.

S is for Starting and Stopping. The right start is critical. Get off too slowly and you could find yourself hurrying to make up lost time. Lag behind due to injury, fatigue or distractions and you may have to stop before you hoped. Focus on both so your Singapore marathon has a great beginning and end.

T is for Timing. Incidents of timing discrepancies at marathons make headlines, which is why you might find RFD technology fastened to shirts, vests or shoelaces. Some marathon organisers install time-trackers along run routes. Serious competitors appreciate the accuracy this sophisticated technology provides.

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U is for Unique, a word that describes everything about you: your running style, your commitment to your body and your willingness to push the boundaries to stay in the best shape possible. Every runner has a unique approach to her training and marathon schedule, so count on your instincts to guide you and you'll never lose your enthusiasm for running.

V is for Victory. If you've put aside some of your favourite activities and social life because your conditioning routine demands a level of devotion and time, don't skip the victory celebration once you hit the finish line. It doesn't matter if you're first or last—every finish is a victory, should be treated accordingly and celebrated.

The A to Z of Running a Singapore Marathon

W is for winners. Even if you don't cross a marathon finish line first, don't put yourself down, swear off running or refuse to go out and celebrate with other competitors. Everyone who finishes a marathon is a winner, so that puts you on the list, no matter where you place.

X is for X-Rays. Always permit race medics to X-ray a bone if they suspect an injury—even if the adrenalin pumping through your body makes you dismiss the pain. If something feels funny—even if you're in first place—allow doctors to take X-rays as insurance so you don't sustain further injury.

Y is for You, and your opportunity to thank volunteers who are happy to give time and energy to undertake a million details associated with Singapore marathons. Sure, organisers thank volunteers, but runner appreciation counts double. Say, "If it wasn't for You, I wouldn't have been able to run this marathon; thanks a million!"

Z is for Zeal. Do others describe you as possessing enthusiasm, passion, intensity and fervor? If they do, it's obvious they can see how much zeal you exhibit when setting a shining example for others. Your healthy lifestyle, commitment to the sport you love and willingness to prioritize your workout reveal your character and make you an excellent role model.

What's Your Alphabet Representation List for Running a Marathon?

We've provided you with a complete runner's alphabet, but you may have better ideas for one or more letters. Why not see how many definitions you can come up with that relate to Singapore marathons? Send us your clever definitions—we really want to read them to see how ours compare!

Aidan is the Editor-in-chief of RunSociety. As a health improvement hacker and explorer, he oversees RunSociety’s Creativity Channel, spanning a wide range of inspirational and enriching topics daily to the running community. Get in touch with him if you have any fresh ideas!

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