hohoho… i’m in the middle of transcribing a survey interview for my research. been working on it for the past 6 hours and my mind is about to go…booms! *think Miss Singapore 2009*.. so..let me take break from it kejap (but definitely not break from typing as i am still typing..)..anyways, i saw in my blog stats page, that somebody landed on my blog with the key words ’20 more days to towerthon’..
Let me sum it up real big time quick as i dont have all night long on this..
Have you been training ?
- if you’ve been training real hard, keep it up. just make sure you don’t over do it and expire your knee way long before its due (nobody wants them knees to expire right?)
‘Hilly options’ ?
- if you’s been running/training on flat surface all this while, do, oh please do look for some elevation in your running course. Look for hills. If you have never tried running hills before, i recommend that you start at hills which have a gradual climb. a good example would be those elevations you find around putrajaya roads.. long, gradual.
- if you’ve been running hills, do try out stairs specific training. your office/apartment stairs if possible. or you can go to Batu Caves !
Pace ? Stride? Do I have to adjust them ?
- tips for running gradual long climbs : keep a medium pace, maintain a slight bend of your body posture (your back) towards the gravity. maksudnye, lean forward sikit lah. medium stride , as in your steps/langkah ; ensure its not to small, not too wide. too small, u tire out on the long climb. unless you’ve been training this way and it works best for you, then fine.
- but if not, just stick to a medium stride. strides which are too small will also drain you. imagine going on a looongggg hill on your bicycle using the lightest gear. you will tire very easily because of the high cadence.
- what about steep hill? should i include that in my training for towerthon? of course you should but again, a word of advice, you gotta be cautious as not to do it abruptly, suddenly, secara mengejut. just like your body in general, your knees need some conditioning to it before you put it under more strain
- For steep hills ; small steps (just small and not mini), but with a fast turnover. yeah, higher cadence.and keep that back straight, bend more towards gravity and loosen up that upper body. you will need your shoulder relaxed and arms swinging by your side to assist your ‘ascend’
Cross what ?
- spice up your training a little by doing some cross training. go cycle, swim, hit the gym, do some strengthening, and maybe on your rest days, add in a session for stretching only (remember to warm up before stretching.. NEVER stretch ‘cold muscles’.. u know what i mean right.?
- strengthening : yes you can definitely do some free weights for your arms, or your legs. but remember, its a towerthon race, not a Mr Universe competition.. we do not want bulky meats.But we need lean, mean AND strong calves (betis), quads (paha), bicep and triceps (your arms). How do you achieve this? Here’s a hint ; medium to light-medium weight, fast and more reps. e.g. 3 sets of 10-12 for each group muscle that you’re working on. again, dont over do it. and stretch also after you workout your muscles
- core strengthening : one of my favourite work out.. found it very useful especially for my Ironman. you gotta strong core, your whole musculo-skeletal system will be strong. that also, IF you do the right core exercises.
- there are plenty of articles/websites/magazines showing how to do core exercises
- another benefit of core strengthening, you won’t tire easily !! yup, proven over and over again. imagine if you have a weak core , you back is weak, your abs are weak too (oops..).. you WILL find it very hard to sustain that upright posture when you’re running. Upright as in with a straight and steady back. Imagine running up KL tower with your shoulders hunched, squeezing your ultra not so might abs, suffocating your diaphragm and lungs with your bad posture…you will definitely feel tired. and remember , going up the stairs of KL Tower, you will suffocate.. with thousands of runners climbing up at the same time as you.
- so think about it..core is important
- contraindications to do core exercise : don’t combine it with another heavy/hard workout on the same day. an effective core work out will burn them calories ! and you will feel exhausted. but for a good cause of course !
Breathing.. how do i breath ? normally ?
- Economy is the key word. you don’t want to feel tired from breathin..
- Do you realize how exhausted you can be by just breathing improperly ? i refer to the rapid + shallow kind of breathing. inhale, exhale ; fast turn over but the gas you pump into your lungs and alveoli are minimal. Gas minimal, what more the oxygen concentration of that minimal gas inspired..not enough !!!
- What missjewelz practises : DEEP INHALE through my nostrils and EXHALE slowly through my mouth. I am a firm believer of this type of breathing as i can be economical. ‘Slow’ so that i don’t tire as quickly as compared to when I breath fast.
- I know there are other school of thoughts even for breathing (no wait, there are different schools for nearly everything !!) *chuckles*
Any other tips?
- tell me about it.. i dont have much but i certainly would love to share what has worked for me..
- numero uno : STRATEGIES
- Strategies : if you’re not fast, come on, just stick at the middle or back pack at the start line if you’re fast, by all means, just be at the front please.
- i am not fast, so i will start at the middle/back pack. it will add more suspense to your adventure up the tower *oh really?* yes !!!
- Strategies : start slow, pick up a medium pace in the middle/ two thirds of the climb, and finish ultra lightning fast (as fast as you can. but make sure you maintain that quality breathing ok) *imagine you’re running up the stairs now*
- Strategies : steps? i took 1 step at a time.. the last 3/5th of the climb, if i still have some energy left, i would do 2 steps. you will be surprised by how many people you will take over. including those brothers that looked more muscular and more Fitness First than you.. *muahahah*.. yeah, my strategy worked in my maiden towerthon.. i over took 3-4 national athletes (lady athletes la) around 3/5th of the climb.. and they were like looking at me like.. ‘eh, what she’s doing here..’..? come on, i was surprised myself ! uhm, but the climb continues.. i just couldnt’t stop. not for a second
- there are water provided at certain landings..there are certain part of the climbwhere the organizer do provide water. so DRINK ! Its hot in that tower.
Got any more tips ? (ok, i dah ngantuk ni..but allow me continue sikit lagi.. 🙂
- be economical in every sense possible when training and racing.. you don’t want to spend/use much, but you want the gains and profit.. *uhmm, ok..sooo..?*
- well, when running up the stairs, avoid zigzagging from one corner of the stairs, to another corner just to avoid a slower runner. just run in a straight line up the stairs. as much as possible.
- awal-awal (at the early) of your run, of course, you MAY think, ooh i have a lot of energy stored..but not for long.. you will be suffocated and drained ! so try to maintain that straight line.. look up when running but don’t forget to look down;
- the stairs and stairs hand rail WILL be wet, and slippery. some morons (mind my language) will simply throw the water bottles (which they drank 2-3 sips) from on the stairs, wetting it, and endangering the rest of the other runners (on that note , be sure to check your shoes)
- if you’re running towards the inside of the stairs , as in close to the hand rail.. becareful as not to practice to grip it all the time..especially when you want to ‘swing’ yourself from one set of staircase to another. these rails also may be slippery..we don’t want any Mary Poppins to be flying in the tower..we just need all of you to reach the top safely
- after climbing full gear up the stairs, you will pass 3-4 TH levels (Towerhead). they are marked, you can see on the wall big bold TH3, TH2, TH1 ..the steps here are more wider then the ones before them . I remember that time, i was already on all 4, crawling up the stairs like the spider. yeah, quickly climbing, and still maintaining my breathing. i was just so lucky coz I passed no one with my spider crawly stunt , which, worked by the way for me.. (boy , i had fun..!)
- ok…last : keep yourself light !!! light drifit clothing. wear SOCKS !!! you won’t want blisters.. ermm.what else.. i didn’t carry any bottles with me. it will definitely slow + tire me down. no camera also..!!! every gram counts. ahha..
- sleep early night before so i can wake up fresh !!
- avoid food stuffs which can cause increased bowel movement night before and race morning
- if you’re used to taking Powergels, take them around 15 mins before race start.. keep a bottle of water with you before race start.. for towerthon, it’ll be a wave start..start by categories.. usually women will star later than men
- visit the loo ! (there are usually mobile loos available) even most XYs prefer to do it at the near bushes. in AMBank, there are also washrooms. usually the guards will allow runners to use em.
- some light warm up and stretching before the race
and in case you didn’t know this, The KL Tower (from my experience)are opened for runners to do their training weeks leading to the big day. So do call up the organizers to check what day and time you can go there for training. Go with friends ya, it will be fun ! 🙂 to have the stairs all to yourself. haha.. and practice some sprints. I did my sprints with fellow runners . almost like playing catch.
more on this story here under the title ‘Musing on KL Tower International Forest Towerthon Challenge 2008’
OK, to all of you doing the Night Towerthon Challenge, I wish you all the best. Hope these tips which I’ve shared here will benefit you 🙂 Feel free to leave any comments in the comment box ok. 🙂 Train smart and have fun while you’re at it ! (and take care of those precious knees). Mmuah ! -missjewelz- 0258 hrs, 17/2/2010
Other towerthon tips which i’ve share before in my blog, around a year ago. click here