Bangkok Vertical Marathon at Banyan Tree Hotel

UPDATE: Due to the flooding situation, the Bangkok Vertical Marathon has been postponed until 22nd January 2012.

The Bangkok Vertical Marathon takes place two weeks today on Sunday 29th October at 8.30am at the Banyan Tree Hotel on Sathorn road.

The event isn’t a race 26 miles into the air, because that would be ridiculous, but it is a nonetheless gruelling sprint up Banyan Tree’s 1,093 stairs, starting at the bottom and conveniently finishing in the hotel’s famous Vertigo rooftop bar, perfect for a celebratory cocktail overlooking Bangkok’s skyline.

Registration for the 61 floor race is 350 baht with all proceeds going to the Thai Red Cross in support of the HIV Formula Feeding Fund. You can register at the Banyan Tree website or at the front desk.

Training for the Bangkok Vertical Marathon

The best way to train for this event is, of course, by running up stairs. Nothing else quite mimics the way your leg muscles are tested. Try using the stairs of a friend’s tall condo if you can. Start with, say, 10 floors and build up. Start by having rests between sets of floors and then reduce the frequency and duration of rests. Get a feel for how hard it is to do 10/20/30 floors in one go – remember that the race is 61 floors, which is 8-9 minutes of high intensity work at a good pace.

Another option if you only have a few flights is by training with a partner, tag team style by running up and down 3-5 flights hitting every stair up and down, tagging your partner and then waiting for them to do the same before repeating. Complete 10-20 rounds for a great high intensity workout. You can also do this on your own by timing your breaks but as it’s such high intensity it works better with a partner for extra motivation.

Technique for the Bangkok Vertical Marathon

This will be my first stair running event, but today I spoke to the winner of the women’s category last year and she told me that it’s best to use the hand rails from the very beginning, not just when you get tired. Makes sense really. Try to take 2-3 steps at a time if you can.

I’m really looking forward to this one, should be pretty intense. Good luck to all those taking part!

Bangkok Midnight Run @ Amari Hotel 8th October 2011

The midnight run in Bangkok has over 5,000 participants

It’s 9 weeks today until the Bangkok Midnight Run at the Amari Hotel in Pratunam, Bangkok. The course is a 12km loop around the streets of central Bangkok, running along Petchburi road and looping back towards Asoke, Sukhumvit and then back through Pratunam to the start. There is also a 6km option, and as the name suggests they both kick off at midnight on Saturday 8th October 2011 from Amari.

Given the times that me and my friends have recorded in the past few years I’m pretty sure it’s actually closer to 11km than 12km, but I’m not one to complain about a kilometre less when I’m running around in the middle of the night.

I’ve found the easiest way to register for the Bangkok Midnight Run has been to actually go to the Amari Hotel itself. You can do this anytime from now until the day of the race.

Charity

It’s all done in the name of charidee with two very worthy causes – Baan Gerda, which cares for HIV & AIDS orphans in Lopburi, and Chalerm Prakiat School which is an education centre for children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. The race costs 300 baht and all proceeds go to the above charities. 2.6 million baht was raised last year which is an amazing effort. You get a racing vest and various other freebies along the way.

Training and Running Schedule

9 weeks is plenty of time to train for the race, even if you feel your fitness levels are low.  I’ve devised an 8-week running plan for you to help prepare so there are no excuses!

CT stands for Cross Trainer, but can also be bike, rowing machine or swimming. On CT days take it nice and easy but if you’re feeling sore or tired then make it a rest day. On rest days try to squeeze in a short pulse raiser (for example, 5 minutes on the bike) followed by stretching. This is important to aid recovery and prevent injury and tightness in the muscles.

The start of the race gets pretty packed

You don’t have to stick by the program to the day. Tuesdays activites can be switched to Monday or Wednesday, for example. And don’t get disheartened if you miss a few sessions – just focus on starting up again and getting back on track! The main running day is Saturday so you may have to tinker with your social schedule a little!

Complete the ‘runs’ as fast as you can, record your time and see how this pace matches up with your target time for the final race. If by the 5th or 6th week you’re feeling particularly good one day, feel free to extend one of your runs beyond the scheduled run, and conversely if you’re feeling terrible another day just stop and have a good stretch – it does’t have to be followed to the letter, it’s just a good guide.

Easy runs are on Sundays and are time-based – don’t worry so much about pace, just get your legs used to running for that amount of time. Contact me if you would like to discuss your training for this race or your fitness goals.

WEEK 1
Monday: REST
Tuesday: 2.5km run (all runs as fast as possible)
Wednesday: CT 20 mins (CT = cross-trainer, bike, swimming or rower) or rest
Thursday: 2.5km run
Friday: REST
Saturday: 3km run
Sunday: Easy run or CT for 25 mins (don’t worry about pace on easy runs)
WEEK 2
Monday: REST
Tuesday: 3km run
Wednesday: CT 25 mins or rest
Thursday: 3km run
Friday: REST
Saturday: 4km run
Sunday: Easy run or CT for 30 mins
WEEK 3
Monday: REST
Tuesday: 4km run
Wednesday: CT 25 mins
Thursday: 2km run
Friday: REST
Saturday: 5.5km run
Sunday: Easy run or CT for 30 mins
WEEK 4
Monday: REST
Tuesday: 4.5km run
Wednesday: CT 25 mins
Thursday: 3km run
Friday: REST
Saturday: 6.5km run
Sunday: Easy run or CT for 35 mins

Stretch on your rest days to help recovery and lessen the chances of injury

WEEK 5
Monday: REST
Tuesday: 5km run
Wednesday: CT 25 mins
Thursday: 4km run
Friday: REST
Saturday: 7.5km run
Sunday: Easy run or CT for 40 mins
WEEK 6
Monday: REST
Tuesday: 5.5km run
Wednesday: CT 25 mins
Thursday: 3km run
Friday: REST
Saturday: 8km run (Extend to 9 or 10km if you’re feeling good)
Sunday: Easy run or CT for 40 mins
WEEK 7
Monday: REST
Tuesday: 6km run
Wednesday: CT 25 mins
Thursday: 4km run
Friday: REST
Saturday: 9km run
Sunday: Easy run or CT for 45 mins
WEEK 8
Monday: REST
Tuesday: 7km run
Wednesday: CT 20 mins and good, long stretch
Thursday: 3km run and good, long stretch
Friday: REST – ensure you stretch well after 5-10 minutes pulse raising activity
Saturday: RACE DAY – good luck!
Sunday: Relax!

If you would like any further help completing the Amari Bangkok Midnight Run in your target time, or if you have any other running or fitness goals you would like to discuss, please feel free to contact me.

We’ll be looking at some nutrition tips between now and the race. Enjoy the training, and good luck!

Bangkok Midnight Run Course Map:

Links

Official site of Amari Midnight Run

Map

Bann Gerda HIV Orphanage

Half-marathons and marathons in Bangkok and Thailand

The Bangkok Marathon starts in the middle of the night at the Grand Palace, providing a great backdrop but hard to prepare for

Running is popular amongst expats and Thais in Bangkok, and if you take a trip to any of Bangkok’s parks in the morning or evening you’ll see plenty of people running around and braving the heat.

There are many marathons and half-marathons in Bangkok and Thailand as well as many smaller ‘fun runs’ of 5km and 10km. If you really wanted to you could probably find an organized run somewhere in Thailand most weekends.

Here is a list of marathons and half-marathons in Bangkok and Thailand from January through to December. If you’re new to running to Thailand then you may want to plan your big runs for November to March, as this is when the weather is at its coolest.

Phuket Laguna Marathon - great scenery but very hot!

We’ve provided a point of contact for each event – click the link for a website where available, if not a phone number is provided. Please let us know if we’ve missed any out. The days provide a rough guide and will change depending on when the weekend falls, which is when most marathons and half-marathons in Thailand take place. I’ve also sneeked in the Siem Reap half-marathon around Angkor Wat temples as it’s such a great course!

So, here’s out list of marathons and half-marathons in Bangkok and Thailand.

January

17th: Chonbueng Marathon, Ratchaburi Province, contact: +66 (0) 32261812

29th: Khon Kaen Marathon, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen Province

February

26th: Bangkok International Half Marathon (New Event starting 2012)

28th: Phu-Thai Varitchaphoom Marathon, Sakonnakon, +66 (0) 42781032

March

14th: Sichon Hospital Marathon, Sichon Hospital, Nakhon Srithamrat Province

14th: Udon Marathon, Hnong Prajak Public Park, Udon Thani Province, +66-81-873-5806, 81-974-8755

May

30th: Hatyai Marathon, Jiranakorn Stadium Hatyai, Songkhla Province

June

5th: Nong Khai Marathon, Nong Khai Province

13th: Laguna Phuket International Marathon and half-marathon, Phuket Province

July

4th: The Tribe-to-Tribe Internationall Marathon, Maesariang District, Maehongsorn

17th: Pattaya International Marathon, Pattaya Beach Road Soi 4

September

11th, River Kwai Half-Marathon, Kanchanaburi Province

18th: Ko Samui Island Marathon, Ko Samui, Surat Thani Province

October

9th: Amari Midnight 12km Run, Amari Hotel, Bangkok

November

20th: Bangkok Marathon and mini-marathon

December

4th: Angkor Wat Half-Marathon, Siem Reap, Cambodia

25th: Chiang Mai Marathon, Chiang Mai Province

So plenty of marathons, half-marathons and fun runs in Bangkok and Thailand to keep you going for now.

Why not pick one later in the year to aim for… Good luck!