Athletics: Fitness at the core at launch of Great Eastern Women's Run

Participants at Great Eastern Women's Run 2018. This year's edition will take place on Nov 3.
Participants at Great Eastern Women's Run 2018. This year's edition will take place on Nov 3.PHOTO: GREAT EASTERN WOMEN'S RUN

SINGAPORE - Business owner Lily Lim may have "hated running all (her) life", but the 62-year-old was the first in line outside Guoco Tower to sign up for the Nov 3 Great Eastern Women's Run (GEWR) on Thursday (June 13).

"Running is (now) part of my fitness regimen. It's one of the sports I picked up in the last few years and I try to be as healthy as possible," said Lim, who has signed up for the run since 2012 and will participate in the half-marathon.

She was one of 50 women who received a complimentary race slot for the run on Thursday. These women also participated in a customised fitness programme aimed at strengthening the female body, led by Rockstar Fit founder Natalie Dau, Nike Master Trainer Wany Misban and Shape Fit Girl 2018 Roxanne Gan.

At the area outside Guoco Tower in Tanjong Pagar yesterday, the three fitness trainers led the women in exercises such as squats, planks and stretches.

Lim, who started running more seriously in 2012, believes these exercises will be of help to those participating in the run.

She joined a weights group about three years ago to strengthen her core and, drawing from her experience, said: "Once your core is stronger, (running) will be a breeze.

"I had been running already when I joined the group to do weights, arm exercises and core work, and the next time I ran, I could go uphill without any problem."

Explaining why the exercises were chosen, Misban, 30, said: "Planks are a very common core exercise that a lot of people are scared of and can do wrongly.

"Today's goal is to be more efficient in getting their planks done and then push into core endurance. As a start, you definitely want to strengthen the core so that it can support your movement.


"If your core is not strong enough, then your backache starts to set in early and you cannot last (a 5km run), and to even think of doing 10km would be very hard."

Gan, 29, noted that many people know what to do to get fit but do not know enough about recovery so that they can perform better.

"My job is to step in and educate them on the importance of stretching to prevent injuries and get a better posture," she added.

"We're not just looking at how fit you are in running or how strong you are in lifting, but how healthy you are (in terms of) range of movement so that you're efficient in everything you do."

This fitness programme aims to help women prepare for the run, as well as Singapore's first all-women Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT), which will take place on Aug 24 at the Singapore Sports Hub.

Keith Chia, Great Eastern's head of group brand and marketing, noted that while men go on to serve National Service where they have the IPPT, there is no continuation of the National Physical Fitness Award (Napfa) test for women once they leave the formal education system.

"We feel women don't really have an opportunity to understand how well they're doing from a physical wellbeing point of view, so we thought (the IPPT) is a good yardstick for them to come out and have a fun day with us, just to find out how fit they are," he added.

"Hopefully some of them will feel motivated to sign up for the run as an activity that helps them improve their physical wellbeing."