Yes, you can look and feel as happy as her when running 10km. Credit: © Manzo Niikura/amanaimages/Corbis

There are some things in life that a girl just has to do. Like deciding to have salad instead of fast food for dinner; wearing killer heels that look a million bucks but kill your feet; and completing a run. You read the last one right – crossing the finish line of a run is an achievement. Think of it as a badge of honour that gives you bragging rights. Do I even have to mention the health and fitness benefits that you reap through all that training?

Even if the last time you ran more than one km was back in school, taking part in your first run is totally doable. You can start off easy with a fun run, but if you want go in for the long haul, signing up for a 10km will give you that much needed motivation for train.

The year-end mass runs are a great starting point for beginner runners, thanks to the cooler weather. You also get the license to indulge in more festive feasting. One run I will mark into my calendar is the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore happening in December. This year, 2014, is the 12th year that the event will be organised and be it the full marathon or a 10km run; it’s going to be one smooth run without any bottlenecks.

Once you have taken the plunge and registered for your first run, check out my list of five things you will need to help make training for your first run more fun and less painful!

 

1. A ROCKING PLAYLIST
If running doesn’t come naturally to you, trust me that’s absolutely normal. I find that listening to my favourite tunes, especially the fast-paced ones, helps to spur me on for another 500 metres. One of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore official #TEAMSCMS ambassadors Sofie Chandra (above) who happens to be Zouk’s Head of Business Development and PR has shared with us some of her playlist:
• “C’mon” Danny Marquez & FORMATIVE
• “Survivors” Ran-D & Digital Punk- Survivors; 
• “Rush (In Screeches We Trust Edit)” Re-volt

2. A GADGET TO TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
You are bound to get stronger through your training and even if you can feel your body becoming fitter, it’s always fun and extra motivation to be able to see how well you are doing. The Fitbit Surge may only be available in 2015 but this new tracker is poised to be a “fitness super watch”. Built-in GPS will show you a comprehensive summary of any workout you do; experienced runners will be able to up their training by focusing on their heart rate thanks to the continuous wrist-based heart rate feature; and smartwatch features like caller ID and text alerts help you stay focused when you are out on runs.

The Fitbit Surge will retail for $329 and be available in early 2015 at major electronic retailers.

3. JOIN A RUNNING CLUB
Are you the sort that experiences all sort of inertia when it comes to exercise and can’t be trusted to work out if you are alone? If your answer is yes, then you are the perfect candidate to join a running club. Running clubs are gaining in popularity in Singapore and if you ask me, there’s no better way to run than with a friend. If you are thinking, are all these people like professional athletes who run 42 km every day, don’t be intimidated. One of the clubs Ridge Runners welcomes anyone to run, jog or walk through the Southern Ridges, some members even bring their pets! You never know who might join in – a little bird told us that Taiwanese star Vanness Wu has been spotted running with the club!

The Ridge Runners meet every Sunday at 6.15am at Mount Faber Carpark D.

4. GOOD RUNNING SHOES
Duh, if you are going to run, you need good running shoes. If you prefer to go for a run at night ‒ it is much cooler – you have to get your feet into the Nightcat Powered edition of the Mobium Faas 600 V2. Besides encouraging a natural gait cycle, this special edition features 360 degrees reflectivity and a blue LED light right on the top of the tongue – the light lasts up to four hours when fully charged! You’ll be set for a safe run no better how late in the night.

The Nightcat Powered edition of the Mobium Faas 600 V2 retails for $179 at all Puma stores.

5. PILATES MOVES
Yes, your legs do most of the work but a strong core is important when you run too! Strengthening your core helps prevent leg injuries and backaches. If you practice Pilates, the breathing technique will also help you maximise your lung capacity! Here is a simple Pilates exercise you can do at home that a trainer from Pilates Fitness has showed us. You will stretch your hip flexors that are usually tight from running while preventing runner’s knees and strengthening your abs and back muscles at the same time.

Step 1: Get in a lying down position, facing up with upper body flexed off the mat. Your lumbar spine (lower back) is gently resting on the mat (imprinted position) and legs in a tabletop position. Your hands are resting against outside of knee caps, with shoulder blade stabilised. Inhale then exhale. Begin to extend one leg out to a diagonal position, moving outer hand to ankle, inner hand to knee of flexed leg.

Step 2: Inhale. Begin to switch legs and hands.

Step 3: Exhale. Fully extend other leg, changing hands to flexed leg

Step 4: Inhale to switch legs. Complete 8 to 10 repetitions.

Pilates Fitness is located at 85A, Serangoon Garden Way and 434, Telok Blangah Road.