How do you get from your monthly 2.4km IPPT to a half marathon to suddenly deciding to challenge your body to take on a triathlon? It’s unfathomable. Then, there are also many other endurance sports that runners progress from their journey as a runner. What does it take to get there? Let’s understand that here!

Runner To Marathoner

runner-track-starting-footThese are runners who’ve seen what they’re capable of, what running has done for them and want to challenge themselves to take this a step further. If you’ve already conquered the half marathon (which is pretty amazing already!), learning how to take yourself twice the distance is going to require more conscientious training. First, you’ve to learn when your body starts to fatigue during a long run. Second, you’ve to figure out which snack bars/ sports gels/ sports drinks (refueling basics) sits well with your stomach (while you’re jostling up and down). Third, you should know how to train. Note: You absolutely CANNOT skip out long run days anymore. When you’re not out there clocking in your mileages, you can scour through the whole repository of information we have online.

Runner To Ultra Runner

Photo Credit: Asia Trail Master
Photo Credit: Asia Trail Master

Ultramarathon inspiration, Dean Karnazes, is an all-night runner. He can set off in the middle of the night and have his family pick him up on their way to their destination. Quoting him, “I run because if I didn’t, I’d be sluggish and glum and spend too much time on the couch. I run to breathe the fresh air. I run to explore. I run to escape the ordinary.” He has certainly taken it to a whole new level. When you’re training for a run (especially an ultramarathon) or in one, you’re spending a great deal of time alone with your thoughts. It gives you incredible space to think, reflect, imagine, daydream and if you’re one of those who love that, your transition from a runner to an ultra runner makes perfect sense. You just need to know how to gradually step your endurance and recovery up.

Runner To Trail Runner

Photo Credit: 123rf
Photo Credit:

A big part of immersing in the run experience is enjoying the journey. It helps to have a great view to go with it. Those who have a strong love for nature would be venturing into trail running. On top of that, the uneven terrain present in trail running really challenges your cardiovascular system and works those calf muscles. For fitness and health, it’s a perfect option for your adventurous health junkie. Since trails are unlikely to come along with a MacDonald’s pitstop, fully equipped with water cooler and toilets, you’re also going to learn how to arrive at the start point more prepared. You’d find out the best hydration packs to take along, the best sports gels/drinks and where to get the best discounts in town. (Admit it guys, we’ve all spent a few afternoons just browsing online stores)

Runner To Biathlete (Swim – Run or Run – Bike – Run)

SITMost runners take on a biathlete before they advance to a triathlon – where you take on swim OR bike AND run (just some logic fun). Whether it’s a biathlon or a triathlon, it’s a completely different ballgame as just completing a 5K, 10K, half marathon or marathon. You’re going to be starting out your run right after finishing a swim OR cycle. This means that unless you use the correct muscle groups, you’re going to be tired before the run portion even starts. Most beginners would hire a coach to teach them the correct technique first and research A LOT before starting out. Start with reviews (here’s one and another) from biathletes/triathletes who have been there, done that.

Runner To Triathlete

Photo Credit: Singapore International Triathlon
Photo Credit: Singapore International Triathlon

Many veteran triathletes can tell you that taking on a triathlon requires a pretty significant lifestyle change. Imagine that your daily runs are going to be extended into a complete workout – you start with swim as a warm up, then cycle to dry off from the swim and finally, run as your main exercise. Not only is it a huge time commitment, you’d also need to really train up your endurance and your nutrition has to be solid. Plus, you’ve got to learn new skills such as how to bike and cycle properly! (If you’re one of those who thought those are childhood skills already learnt, you’re not alone) The good news is, there are plenty of tips (nutrition, recovery and more) available, professional coaches and even motivation!

Ready to take yourself to the next level? Runners always are!