The Science of Running – Part 2

During the “The Science of Running” clinic, Singaporean top athlete Adrian Mok discussed about “Heart Rate Training for Running”. I was a few minutes late for the talk but was still able to take note of a lot of important points from his presentation. I can say that the items he talked about are very useful for me and something that I can really apply to my trainings. You see folks, I have a Polar RS200SD watch but I haven’t really gotten to using the full features of its heart rate monitor since I do not really know how to. The talk gave me a clearer idea on how I should be using it. Hmmm that and with the help of my coach, I think I can start training with the benefits of a heart rate monitor.

the clinic attendees ;)

the clinic attendees 😉

Here are some of my notes/learnings from the said talk (some may not be verbatim to Adrian’s words):

Adrian Mok as he talks about Heart Rate Monitoring

Adrian Mok as he talks about Heart Rate Monitoring

  • Training with a heart rate monitor enables us to train at the right intensity.
  • To enable us to train at the right intensity, we need to know what our heart rate is and follow a proper training program with a mix of speed or interval workouts, tempo runs, recovery runs and longer runs all done in our target heart rate zone.
  • We should also determine our maximum heart rate. The ways to be able to determine our maximum heart rate are through:
    • Clinical Tests – treadmill or bicycle stress test by a cardiologist or an exercise physiologist
    • Field conditions in time trails – supervised by an experienced coach or an exercise physiologist
  • To get your predicted Max HR, there are also two ways:
    • by using the most common formula of 220 – age (result is in beats per minute)
    • by doing the fitness test as prescribed for Polar S-series watch users wherein both the VO2 max and the Max HR will be obtained
  • If you haven’t been exercising for a while your heart rate may jack up very very high. This is because your whole cardiovascular system has not yet adapted to the stress that training brings. In this case, walking is ok and one should not push yourself too hard.
  • Training with a heart rate monitor is all about sports zones. There are actually 5 heart rate zones:
    • Zone 1 – Very Light Intensity (50 – 60% of the Maximum Heart Rate)
      • warm-ups and warm-downs are usually done in HR Zone 1
      • possible recoveries are also in zone 1 to help speed up recovery after a heavy training or workout
      • low intensitytraining helps get the blood flow into the muscles
      • a lot of people make the mistake of working-out without doing warm-ups this is bad because you need to have blood circulation before a workout
      • if you don’t have time for stretching, it can be skipped but warm-ups are always necessary
      • a sign that your body is already warmed-up and is ready for more exercise is when you start to sweat.
      • in colder climate countries,  it is harder because longer warm-ups are needed to be able to get the same effect
    • Zone 2 – Light Intensity (60 – 70% of the Maximum Heart Rate)
      • very easy; with this intensity you can still speak in full sentences without the words breaking-up
      • features an aerobic training exercise which is simply the body’s use of oxygen in generating energy
      • best for marathon training
      • best for those who lose weight because aerobic exercises burns body fat
      • works on fat metabolism
    • Zone 3 – Moderate Intensity (70 – 80% of the Maximum Heart Rate)
      • comfort zone for most people
      • improves fitness level
      • still an aerobic training but higher in intensity that zones 1 and 2
      • intensity wherein you push somewhat hard but still not hard enough
      • best for running marathons
      • best for long distance runs
    • Zone 4 – Hard Intensity (80 – 90% of the Maximum Heart Rate)
      • intensity wherein the body becomes very effective
      • features an anaerobic training wherein the body doesn’t make use of the oxygen anymore
      • downside is starting with this level of intensity, lactic acid is produced
      • this is best for people who want to train harder
      • one just have to teach the body to adapt to this zone for when it does, running in this zone won’t make the runner feel uncomfortable
      • good also for interval track workouts
    • Zone 5 – Maximum Intensity (90 – 100% of the Maximum Heart Rate)
      • for peak performance/workouts
      • best for short distance runners; sprinters
      • anaerobic training at the highest intensity level
while explaining about heart rate zones

while explaining about heart rate zones

  • Elite runners usually doesn’t make use of heart rate monitors because they are so good in guessing/telling what their body needs/wants
  • Training/Running in the treadmill is not hard enough
  • The use of heart rate monitors helps improve your training
  • If your body becomes stuck in training in a particular sports zone, it is a sign that your body is fatigued
  • It is important also to know in which zone your body is comfortable in
  • Heart rate monitors are useful in checking/knowing how fast you can recover and how fit you are through the recovery heart rate
  • If  the heart rate recovered fast then one is fit; if the heart rate took time to recover, the body is tired and needs rest
  • The body needs rest especially after training hard
  • Training in zone 5 day before a race day is not recommended because the body needs to recover from a high intensity training
  • Intensity of workouts should be varied and one best way to do it is by heart rate monitoring
  • If you want to workout/train harder, intensify your intervals and tempo runs more
  • Low intensity training usually equates to higher volume
  • In training, it is important to write down your goal, break it down and make sure that it is realistic
  • Know your comfort zone and choose a workout that suits you best

Speaker’s Profile : ADRIAN MOK


As an accomplished athlete in endurance sports, Adrian has represented Singapore for triathlon on a national level. His best achievements include running marathons among the top local men’s category and winning the age-group in triathlons. In 2002, He was part of the team in Singapore who attempted the Eco Challenge in Fiji, which is commonly known as the toughest race on earth. His accolades of ultra endurance attempt includes representing Singapore for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii in 2004 and running 168km around Singapore. Despite his hectic schedule, he continues to find time pursuing sports competitively.

Adrian manages the Polar subsidiary in Singapore as the GM and the Area Manager for the Asia Pacific region. Literally walking his talk, he frequent gives seminar and motivates corporate audience. Having successful build some key sports brand in Singapore, Adrian speaks with deep passion on sports.

Adrian also conceptualized the first night and ultra marathon event in Singapore . The addidas Sundown Marathon has received raving success from participants. Overcoming many challenges, he is also the person who have brought Aviva Ironman 70.3 into Singapore as one of the most spectacular sports event that is staged in the city.

The Science of Running – PART 1

Last week I together with Run Radio Executive Producer Marga Deona were among the attendees of the “The Science of Running” clinic presented by RUNNR Academy. The clinic was originally a 50-slots-only event but the number of registered hopefuls reached 100+ prompting the organizers to stretch the slots to a max of 80 attendees. The huge number of interested registrants is understandable because the topics were pretty interesting and relevant. As for me, I can fairly say that whatever (little) knowledge I have were truly reinforced and additional learnings were gathered from attending this.

Since there were some who were not be able to attend, let me share to you folks my notes. Hopefully, these will prove to be useful knowledge to you all as it is for me. Since this will be a long post, I decided to divide this into three parts. The first (this post) being the event’s press release, the second for my notes on Mr. Adrian Mok’s talk and the third and last, my notes on Mr. Arland Macasieb’s portion and part of the Q&A.

Top Runners Talks on the Science of Running

RUNNR Owner, Mr Toby Claudio with Adrian, Arland and Polar Representative

RUNNR Owner, Mr Toby Claudio with Adrian, Arland and Polar Representative

The Runnr Academy recently conducted a running clinic entitled  “The Science of Running” at the Runnr store in B3, Bonifacio High Street in Taguig City.

The clinic featured two of top-ranked athletes namely, Filipino-American Arland Macasieb and Singaporean Adrian Mok.  Arland, a professional triathlete, exercise physiologist, and bronze medalist-triathlon (2005 and 2007), shared valuable tips on “Optimal Running Technique”, while Adrian, the 2008 ALPS marathon contender and participant in the Ironman world championship in Hawaii in 2004, discussed “Heart Rate Training for Running”.

The Runnr Academy is part of the Runnr specialty store’s sports development program focused on promoting the sport of running. The clinic was sponsored by Polar and Newton, two top brands available at Runnr. Polar is the world’s leading maker of heat rate monitors, while Newton is the revolutionary new shoe brand that uses technology based on Newton’s law of motion.

Macasieb, 33, holds an MA in Exercise from the Montclair State University. The three-time Philippine National Triathlon champion (2001, 2005, and 2006) and six-time Ironman finisher talked about common running errors among recreational runners; attributes of elite runners; running posture and tools, drills and skills; and formula for speed. He is looking to participate in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and the 2012 Summer Olympics-Triathlon in London. Says Macasieb, “I want to help develop and grow the sport of triathlon and speed skating in both in the United States and in the Philippines.”

Mok, an accomplished athlete in endurance sports who has represented Singapore for triathlon on a national level, will talk about running at the right intensity to improve performance, and pairing training goals with the right heart-rate zone. He works as the general manager of Polar Electro Singapore and owns a local sports outfit. Mok, who also takes credit for bringing Ironman 70.3 to Singapore, says he is a true advocate of a healthy and active lifestyle.

For more information on other running events and activities, you may visit the RUNNR specialty store at B3 on Bonifacio High Street, or log on to <>

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RUNNR is the first world-class running specialty store in the country.  Located in B3, Bonifacio High Street, RUNNR is the first and only specialty store of its kind with all manner of runners in mind.
RUNNR has the best running gear from all the top brands such as Adidas, Asics, Fuelbelt, Hammer, Mizuno, Nathan, New Balance, Nike, Polar and many more. It is also the first to launch the revolutionary line of Newton Running Shoes and CW-X compression apparel in the country.
RUNNR features an exclusive Footworx Fitting process, a combination of three, state-of-the-art technologies: the Footprint Scanning, High-Speed Video Gait Analysis, and the Custom Insole Molding. The store is the first and only store in the country (and possibly the world) to offer all three technologies under one roof.
A team of highly trained staff can take each customer through the Footworx fitting process to be able to offer accurate and comprehensive recommendations based on an individual foot type and gait characteristics. First, foot morphology is analyzed using the RUNNR Podoscope, which uses two combined features: a thermodynamic scanning system for viewing the foot print and direct measurement of foot and arch dimensions which determine foot type. Second, using the high-speed video gait analysis, customers will run on a treadmill while the camera captures the way they run, checking their pronation angle as they go through their normal gait cycle. They can compare different shoe to find the one that works best for them. Lastly, RUNNR offers the ‘Flashfit’ custom insole molding process where insoles are heat-treated to make the perfect insoles in while you wait.
These customized services ensure that whatever one’s requirements as a runner, the shoes and optional insoles minimize foot instability for better shock absorption, and minimize fatigue while reducing the chances of injury.
RUNNR is the brainchild of the people behind Toby’s Sports, the country’s largest and most popular sports retail chain.
Other running gears available at RUNNR include Fuelbelt and Nathan hydration packs, Polar heart-rate monitors, and will be the first to market the revolutionary line of Newton running shoes in the Philippines.

Contact Persons:
Michael E. Dugenia                               
Managing Director                                                         
Tel: 725-0237                                                                 
Cel: 09276552000                                                          

Air B.Urquiola
Business Unit Director
Tel:  725-0237 
Cel: 09178328572