Take these steps to reach the finish line

The ST Run in the City 2017 will end at the Padang, and takes runners past sights like Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer.
The ST Run in the City 2017 will end at the Padang, and takes runners past sights like Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer.ST FILE PHOTO

Welcome to the first instalment of my running programme: #RunWithMok.

Because of the numerous components and factors to be considered, it is a challenge to plan an efficient yet effective training programme for myself - and even more so for someone whom I have not yet met. Yes, that's you.

#RunWithMok is intentionally designed to be easy to follow, to cater to as wide a group as possible.

Despite its simplicity, you can be assured that the principles on which #RunWithMok are based are the very same ones which I adopt in my personal training programmes.

FLEXIBILITY

#RunWithMok is highly flexible in terms of timing.

You probably already have many personal commitments, such as your family and career, which are high in priority and cannot be displaced - and that's fine.

This programme is designed such that you are in full control. Feel free to switch around the prescribed sessions for the week in any configuration you like to suit your schedule.

RECOVERY IS KEY

Rest is a crucial component of training which should not be neglected.

On rest days, your body undergoes a process known as supercompensation. Simply put, this means that your body is allowed to "absorb" the training done.

When you return to training at the same intensity, you will be able to achieve a higher performance capacity than before and thereby improve your performance.

Adequate rest and recovery also prevent injuries that may occur if one's training load is too heavy or is increased too quickly.

FINDING YOUR INTENSITY

To start off #RunWithMok, you are first required to determine your personal three main intensity zones - easy, moderate and hard. A scientifically validated way to determine this is to utilise the talk test:

•Easy: You should be able to have a conversation comfortably.

•Moderate: Having a conversation starts to get difficult.

•Hard: You cannot have a conversation.

It is important to run at the prescribed intensity so that you will gain maximum benefits from the programme.

To be more precise in determining your zones, go to runone.co where we will help you determine your zones based on a simple running test.

It is common for beginner runners to run too quickly during their easy runs. This then jeopardises their recovery and, consequently, their improvement.

Go easy when the programme calls for it, and go hard when it is time to go hard. That is discipline.

CONSISTENCY

Try to be consistent and follow the programme as best as you can. You may understandably have to miss a few sessions along the way.

But remember, your performance and experience on race day at The Straits Times Run in the City 2017 will be directly proportionate to the effort which you invest in your training! So start your preparation for the race early, and check off your runs each week.

Together, we will get you across that finish line.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 08, 2017, with the headline 'Take these steps to reach the finish line'. Print Edition | Subscribe