Salam and Hi! all ! This may come in a bit too late for training tips, but since I got a few SMSes from my friends asking me how I trained and tackle the KL Towerthon last year(2008), might as well I share with you guys. Nothing much really, just the things that I do to prepare for towerthon. Other athletes may have their own ways.
How long did I prepare for Towerthon ?
Around a month and a half before the race.
How frequent was the training session ?
2-3 times a week. Max : 4 times.
How long per session ?
Average 40mins- an hour
Where do I usually train ?
– Uni stairs..huhuhu..steep and long !
– Batu Caves stairs
– KL Tower stairs (they’re usually open 3-4 days prior to race day. call the organizer to check when they are open ok. Security purpose and also for the technician to switch on the ventilator. )
– hostel stairs (yeap, late night when others are studying..hahaha.. and they’ll be like ‘what is this girl doing running up and down the four-storey building!’)
– also dont forget to do flats/rubber track for recovery
– gym for strength training
Any other tips ?
yeah, if this is ur 1st time doing the towerthon and just wanna feel how towerthon is different from other road races, I suggest that you aim to train and finish the race injury free. it is best that during training you run up the stairs step-by-step. Not 2 steps all the way or else you’ll fatigue and tire even before half-way before the tower head during the race.
There are 2 type of stairs in KL Tower. 1- the normal long short flight of stairs you normally see in fire emergency exits, i.e. the ones in tall office buildings. The second type are the shorter but wider type, the ones you sometimes find at parking lots. I may not be very accurate in my description, to be sure just go to KL Tower for your training okay. You will have an advantage over other runners.
The stairs are generally narrow. And you have thousands of runners running to the top from 1 door at the bottom of the tower to the last door at the top of TowerHead. Expect a few landings where you have to take a new set of stairs. The stairs are not in spiral , so no worries. Or else you’ll be dizzy by the time you reach the top !
During my experience training in the tower, when no one was there except for me and a few friends, you will have ample of space, the stairs railings are dry and you can easily grip and hold them everytime you turn or want to support yourself to speed up. Race day : railings are wet ! So its very dangerous to depend on them for grip and support as you might slip and fall.
Before flag off :
Go to the loo ! There might not be enough mobile toilets. Guys : do what u should do.. Ladies: there are toilets in AMBANK building across the road from start line, and also Shell Petrol Station which is adjacent to AMBANK building. AMBANK building is the huge white building with mirror windows at the front, plus the big yellow-orange camel.
Hydrate yourself well. PowerGels for energy. You can bring your own water for the run. But you’ll be very tired holding them coz you really need your arms to help you swing your body upwards during the stairs-run ! They have water station during the race ok, yeah, at the stairs itself.
The hill climb towards KL Tower base :
This is where everyone is tricked to go super speedy on the hill climb. They forgot about the stairs ! Last year I just went steady on the hill climb as I did not want lactic build ups before the hitting the stairs. So guys and girls, steady on the hill climb. Plenty of time (and stairs) to pump those muscles. I know you have been training hard. Don’t get over excited looking at your training partners or rivals speeding up from the beginning. You may want to save some surprises for later. Ahha !
You will pass through a flight of escalato before entering the emergency door. Again, avoid the 2 steps at 1 go. climb the stairs 1 by 1..’step by step ! oohh baby !!’ (NKOTB)
Inside the KL Tower
It will be humid and you will find yourself hyperventilating. Your hate rate shooting up like krazee. The best thing is to pace yourself FROM THE START LINE. Avoid pulling the railings coz they might be wet and slippery. Just focus in finishing the run. I did not waste any breath or saliva talking to my friends during the climb coz ever breath counts. Penat tau kalau cakap. Pace yourself well. If you find your way blocked by a bigger person just go in between that person and the railing if there are still space. Or else just kindly push the person to the right/left with ur hands to give yourself some space to pass through.Stopping/walking kills the speed, at least for me.Watch out for wet/slippery stairs and also used water bottles/water caps.
Prepare to run on all 4 extrimitie (2 hands + 2 legs ). yeah, i was on all 4 towards the end of the stairs towards towerhead. It helped !
Towards the towerhead , where you feel like you’re all max out, just sacrifies some more by sprinting at towerhead by.. TH1, TH2, TH3. And finito !
Smile ! a lot of photographers and friends with cameras waiting for you !
Other experience :-
Jittery on race morning despite the ample training and prep. I also included gym/weight training as part of prep.Just make sure you don’t do 2 intensive sessions back to back. Your legs and knees need rest too. stretching is important, so do not NOT stretch. So, stretch ya but dont over do it too !
The flag off is according to age group. So listen well to the announcer what time your flag off is.To be safe dont wander off once ur at the start area !
I was excited and yet ‘afraid’ i might be left far behind my stronger and fitter friends. At the hills, they were attacking and maintaining the quick-to-fast pace. No problem for me, I just paced to myelf and does not matter if the photographer took a shot of you BEHIND your friend.
At the stairs I did not see any of them because they are well into their attack plan. Come second half of the climb, I was actually passing them 1 by 1. I was already climbing slow at that time but they were struggling a bit at that time. I remember passing 2-3 national athletes who were close to each other. They were surprised as myself when I over took them. See, I told you, PACE yourself well from the beginning and take care of your breathing ; LONG , DEEP , CONSISTENT AND CONTROLLED. You should look up and learn how to breathe and maintain your heart during intensive exercise.
Climbing on all 4 was a fun experience me. I was practically crawling towards the end of the stairs towards the towerhead.
You go down after the race using the lift back to the lobby where you will check out your results. I came in 15th with the time : 20mins 44secs , a mere 7 seconds behind Stephanie Chok, national triathlete (her tme 20:37). (no, not that i am fit, but maybe she did not prepare well or else she would have been much faster than this ok. ahhaha!!) She came in 14th !
Top men result : Julius Kangethe from Kenya 13:55, top Malaysian man : Shahrudin Hashim : 14:37. Top women : Yuan Yu Fang (national walker) – 15:58
Ok, i think thats it !! All the best to those taking part in KL TOWERTHON ! Race safe and smart. Don’t forget to enjoy the spectaular view at the viewing deck once u reach the top.
Unfortunately I won’t be able to join this year !! Next year perhaps !!