5 Key Tips To Become A Faster Runner!
By Awan Bunjing
A SPEEDSTERS GUIDE TO FINISHING ANY RACE IN RECORD TIME
GET TO KNOW AWAN
Azwan Bunjing or Awanrun as he is popularly known, has been running actively since 2009 and has taken part in numerous races locally and internationally, notably The SC Singapore Marathon (10km) 2016 & Jeju International Tourism Marathon (21km) 2017. This speedster is currently an adidas Malaysia Ambassador and co-captain of the adidas runners KL. He often trains and runs with the Kyserun Krew.
Awan has achieved some astounding personal best times that puts us mere mortals to shame. (current record : 5km – 16:03, and 10km- 34 min :44). He shares with us some of his best tips to becoming a speedster.
The Speedster Guide
1. GET A TRAINING PLAN
Get a training plan tailored towards your performance and chosen category. Having a proper and strategic training plan will ensure that the training load is balanced , practical and helps improve your performance leading up to your race. If you’re unsure on how to create a training plan, you can have an experienced running coach or trainer plan one for you. I’d recommend the coaching class and training programs set by “The Running Plan“.
2. FIND YOUR CREW
Running alone is good, but running with group is FUN ! Being part of a community of people with the same goals and drive will definitely motivate you to push your limits, share knowledge and maybe plan a runcation or two together. Many runners who run with a crew or group, tend to improve faster and run better than when they train alone. In fact, the Kyserun Krew, recently organised the #Breaking4project, where some of our runners trained to finish their marathon below the 4 hour mark. This created a ripple effect amongst the running community to work together and push their boundaries. There are several running crews that you can join for FREE! I often run with the Kyserun Krew and adidas runners KL, you can follow them for their monthly and weekly activities.
3. EAT WELL, REST WELL
Remember to eat well before and after the race. It is not about the quantity, but the quality. Choosing the right nutritious and healthy food to fuel is key to performing well during your race. My usual breakfast meal before a race is 2 slice of wholemeal bread topped with Peanut Butter and a pre-workout ignitor drink like Fully Charge. About 30 minute after I complete my race and have cooled down, I would consume my recovery drink, I prefer Recoverite as it has a 3:1 Carbs & Protein content. It ensures that my body has replaced all the carbohydrates and energy I lost during my race. Currently, my preferred supplement brand is Hammer Nutrition as they have a great range of supplements for both pre and post race performance and recovery.
4. DON’T NEGLECT STRENGTH TRAINING
I clocked my personal best after I started implementing strength training into my training plan. It really makes a difference in ones race time and even reduces the risk of injury. I don’t really go to gym to do weights or use machines, most of my strength training is via body weight exercises and incorporating a resistance band into my routines ( Sanctband is my go to resistance band ). I like resistance bands as they are easy to carry around and I can be creative with it.
5. HAVE A RACE PLAN
Before attending any race one should have a race plan. If your goal is to clock in your personal best time, then focus on maintaining a goal pace. How strongly you run and complete your race will boil down to your first 5-10min of the race, so you need to be really disciplined with your target splits. Don’t be carried away with the runner in front of you, especially during the first KM.
But if you are racing to achieve a good placing, you’ll need to be tactical and plan according the field you are going to face. You need to use your strength and leave no chance for fellow competitors to exploit your weakness. If you are a good kicker (someone who has a very strong finishing kick or sprint at the last part of the race) , don’t leave too much of a gap in between yourself and your competitor, so you can outkick them at the end of the race.