Sunday, May 18, 2014

Vibram Agrees to Settle Class Action Lawsuit

Some of my friends and families sent me this article, cause they all know I ran in VFF. 

I don’t have much to said about the “scam” putting up by VFF, it was just merely a slogan or marketing gimmick that we usually saw in many campaigns or promotions. If VFF is guilty for this, then all other company that jump into the barefoot bandwagon too are guilty. As runners, I only belief that running is an activities that based on yourself (being your legs, foot, muscles, core and others part of your bodies). And obviously, running should not be the type of shoes that you are wearing. Most of my thoughts were described in this article here. 

Have a look, think and working on what you believed in.

Loved my experience in my first Full Marathon in VFF
Loved my barefoot running too, but BF is in the back seat now.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Race Report: Kuala Kangsar Larian Hari Keputeraan Sultan Azlan Shah 2014

I was running the previous edition of the same race, which was only 12km back in 2011. The experience was great. As I missed 2 years on this race, I signed up immediately once it opened for registration in December. Then I tuned down my races appetites after the burn out in early January this year. Initially I was thinking of DNS, but after I worked out my plan for sub-4 in SCKLM, the race served right as a trial exam to gauge my training progress. So I decided to give my best and see if I am on track with my aim. The game plan is simple, set my Garmin Virtual Partner to 5.5min pace and go for it!

Figured out that few races happened during the weekend, we may not have many photographers taking runners photos, hence I tagged along with my Olympus TG2 for some photos during and after the race. I reached the event site early around 6am, met some running kaki and taken some photos. But the TG2 not taking very good night shoot (may be is my scene setting issue) hence only few of them can be used. We gathered in the starting pen 10 minutes before start, some 7km school children queued in and joining us. As there are not marshal manning the starting pen, this is not surprised me. Told some of them to start later, but eventually some were flagged off together with us.

The flag off is 2-3 minutes earlier than the plan 6:50am, but I am ok with that. Stuck with the usual jammed start, but still the starting pace was furious! Not much slowdown in the first KM. The jammed eased after we turned into the main road. The first water station emerged after we came down from the bridge (2.8km). After the water station, finally some one was checking the 7km and diverted them into difference route. We continued into the kampung area. Nice view and friendly villagers cheering the runners to keep going. The feeling was great!

The 2nd water station at 5.8km and the 3rd water station at 8.2km where we made our u-turn back to the town. The sun was rising beautifully before I made my u-turn. I kept consistence pace at 5:10-5:20 for the whole stretch except took brief stop in every water stations. The heart rate was averaged at 160BPM. As I was pushing all the way, I didn’t noticed much what is the content in each water stations. Before the start, I heard there are more then the usual water and isotonic served, but I didn’t pay much attention to that. I noticed there were one local food stall in the kampung area that allocated some of their food with a board said “Free for Runners!”, but I was not able to take a photo. There were coconuts served at the final water station at 11.6km, I gave it a miss as I was still feeling strong and eagle to see how far I can sustain this pace. The finish line approaching fast, I decided to push harder to finish strong.
Sprint into finish. Thanks Sean for the photo.
Overall the race was very well organized and really value for money (RM20 registration for timing chip, medal, t-shirt, socks, shoes bag and buffer breakfast). Live entertainment, special water stations (coconuts and fried banana), marshals and traffic control, all made this event near perfect for runners. The only area for improvement will be the route. The 15km route no longer going to the palace and town area, it will be perfect if we can have the route cover that part of the royal town. Saw one incident of a collapsed runner when I near the finish line, hope he is doing fine now.
What is the feeling of staying 160BPM or 86% of max heart rate for 15km? Tough! But one has to recognize that you really need to push, and then you can expect a break thru. I have confident in my training regime and belief all the hard works had transformed and built my body to go with that pace and rate. The result? I completed the 15.6km with total time of 1:21’59”, average pace 5:15min/km. The fastest pace achieved at the final 1.6km @ 4:52min/km without injury (but left with some very sore muscles, I think it was mainly due to no stretching after the run, I continue to take photos right after my ice-cream).

My conclusion, I am on track in my Sub-4 Project. I think I am ready to first sub-2 in the half marathon. The next test will be in Ipoh Half Marathon on 22 June. Frankly, I still think Ipoh Half Marathon (or the official name is Ipoh International Run) is suck. Until today their official website is not fully updated and functioning (but I registered online since the online registration part is working, yet I can’t check my registration status). I signed up with only one reason, to do it in 5.5min pace, in order to gauge my training progress. I will fine tune my training plan for SCKLM with the outcome from this half marathon. I wish to see how fast I can go.

The finishers photos taken stored in my FB page HERE.

Friday, May 2, 2014

My VFF Komodo Sport

My collection of VFF Komodo Sport
I owned 3 pairs of VFF Komodo Sport. The first one is the earlier version (yellow colour) and the other 2 of them are the current version (sliver colour). Loved this model and completed countless miles with them.

I got the yellow unit in July 2011, and it retired after my first marathon in a VFF during April 2012 Energizer Night Marathon. If I remembered correctly, I made a hole at the right outsole after 700km on them, and the total mileages logged with this pair was less than 1000km. I got a replacement, and this was the pair that takes me thru the rest of the 2012 and the whole of 2013. I stayed with this only pair until around August 2013. Only after the higher training mileage and intensity at this stage causes the shoes to be wet by sweat and I started to use the 3rd pair as a back up or racing shoes. This time, a hole formed on its left outsole after SCKLM last year. But I still run in it regularly, only retired recently as my index finger can now get thru the hole. Hence the second pair of VFF logged way more than 2000km. Less than RM0.20 per km, definitely value for money!
Hole on the right sole
Hole on the left sole
After I gave it a final wash, I realized that I can still running in them by combining each side which is still good! You will now see me running in Yellow + Silver VFF Komodo Sport, at least for the next 2 coming race in Kuala Kangsar and Ipoh.
Happy mix!
More mileages!
I got another pair of VFF Sprint last November but it still in the box. May be is time to break them in cause the training is getting tougher now and I will sweat the shoes almost right after each run. Another pair of spare shoes will give time for me to clean them before use. And may be is time to get another pair of VFF Komodo Sport whenever its sale.

Since I ran, I spent 1.5 years in conventional type of running shoes (NB1226, NB905, MR00, GTS10), and after that all running done with VFF Komodo Sport (with some very small percentage of barefoot mileages). I think I changed my running style/gaits lots, from heavy heel striker to light forefoot striker. Even when I running with VFF, my running gaits still improved progressively. That’s the reason why my VFF can last longer now. Btw, I think I really need to find out why the left foot now is heavier compared to the right one.

What about barefoot running? It’s taken a back seat now as I am chasing my sub-4 speed with aggressive training plan and pace. The understanding on how one can run in barefoot safely is definitely helping my running gaits. I belief the day will come when I ran completely barefoot, but now I need the gloves on my feet to protect the foot sole.

Run safe! Run happy!