Running hasn’t always been something that I’m good at and it’s ironic because I ran for school in middle distance competitions.
Since completing National Service roughly about half a decade ago, I’ve since stopped running or even participating in some of the sports that I enjoy – Soccer and Rugby.
Needless to say, IPPTs have been constant failures almost every other year simply because I no longer have the stamina or speed to complete the gruelling 2.4km run under a scorching heat at 9.30am at the Home Team Academy.
It’s simply torturous to do so and with the recent announcement by MINDEF to implement ‘I can’t remember what’ to get NSmen to take their IPPT and report for ‘voluntary’ training thereafter, I have to wonder what happened to the good ol’ concept of ‘Work-Life Balance’ when gentlemen who fail their IPPT are made to report back to camps for physical training after work and if they fail to, they’d probably receive a letter and an impending disciplinary trial awaits.
It’s simply ridiculous to be implemented in a result driven society like Singapore where results matter more than the experience or journey than one goes through – and this applies across the board in all governmental organisations beginning with the education system whereby students learn that with bad results, you are condemned for life.
It’s a sad society that we live in, here, in Singapore for most of us.
And whilst I’m not looking forward to failing my IPPTs any longer because of a 2.4km run that I simply cannot do, there is nothing much I can do but to just keep training and running as regularly as possible.
But of course, there is also the more difficult question.
Most of us who go running, run long and hard to develop our slow twitch muscles and it’s a form of aerobic exercise.
The 2.4km run requires a different kind of training. It requires a middle twitch muscle and is an exercise which falls between the aerobic and anaerobic form of exercise whereby one would need both speed and stamina to complete.
The only type of training that suits this would be interval trainings together with a few session of pylos to get those muscles moving and without a coach or training partner with knowledge on how to conduct this training, the individual wouldn’t know how to and may just end up dead on the circuit.
Whilst, I anticipate new measures to be made again to adjust to the unhappiness voiced out by fellow NSmen who are too busy to ‘volunteer’ their time for physical training, I just hope that I’ll be able to survive the New Balance Real Run this Sunday with just 4 days of training – all in a week!
Oh, and for those of you who are thinking of picking up running – get a good pair of shoes, socks, running tights and aim to just complete 20 mins of running non-stop to get the fats burning and for you to get used to the breathing (this is actually just a good warm up).
When you’re feeling much more confident about your stamina, aim to run 20mins at a longer distance before you embark on other training methods!