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

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Bangkok Personal Trainer – 6 tips to find the right personal trainer in Thailand

So, you’ve decided to hire a personal trainer in Bangkok to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Like lovers, friends and business partners, not everyone is compatible in life, so it’s important to find the right personal trainer that suits you if you want to progress and achieve your goals.

The standard of personal training in Bangkok’s health clubs and gyms is generally quite low. Many of these chain gyms charge extortionate money for underqualified and unmotivated ‘personal trainers’ who care more about selling you your next 50 sessions than a real desire to see you improve.

In one of Bangkok’s largest chain gyms (that shall remain unnamed!) I’ve seen PTs more interested in phone messages and checking themselves out in the mirror than monitoring the progress of their clients. However, there are also some great outfits in Bangkok providing a thorough, extensive service and new innovative techniques.

Personal trainers can be great if you’re struggling for motivation, you’ve hit a plateau and have stopped improving, you prefer training with someone or if you’re coming back from an injury and have specific training requirements.

So if you’re considering hiring a personal trainer in Bangkok I’ve drawn up a list of things to think about and consider:

1. Are they organized, attentive and honest?

In summary, do they have the character and attributes of someone you can work with – honesty in setting realistic goals and feedback about what you’re doing right and wrong; punctual and organized in planning and implementing your program to fit in with YOUR schedule; and attentive to your needs by offering their full commitment and attention to you?

2. Are they a good motivator?

Whatever your reasons for getting a personal trainer, you should be motivated and inspired by them. Do they have a drive and enthusiasm that will rub off on you? Are you motivated and inspired by their achievements and outlook on fitness/life?

3. Are they qualified?

Don’t be scared to ask them what qualifications and experience they have. Make sure their qualifications are from a respected, accredited body, such as a REPS Level 3 (UK) or NASM (USA). Ask about additional qualifications and if they’re first aid qualified.

4. Do they offer discounts for bulk sessions or group training?

Ask if any discounts are offered if you book, say, 10 sessions. Many people like to train with a friend so see if any discount is offered for this. Your trainer may offer a second friend free or a set rate for groups of friends.

5. Are they a good role model?

Ask yourself if this is someone who practices what they preach. If your PT trains hard, looks after themselves and has a positive and energetic approach to life and fitness then they will also have a positive impact on you.

6. Are they pushy?

I’ve heard of all sorts of high-pressure sales tactics in the fitness industry in Thailand. Put simply, if they seem more interested in pressuring you to purchase more training sessions than your progress then steer well clear. Sometimes only a few sessions is enough to set you on your way; sometimes people need more. Be especially wary if they push supplements or pills onto you – although dietary supplements sometimes have their place, you can reach your fitness goals from a balanced, normal diet.

There’s a few questions to ask yourself when you’re thinking about hiring a personal trainer in Bangkok to help you meet your goals. If you’d like to discuss your fitness goals or anything else in this article please feel free to contact me.

Good luck!

12 places to play tennis in Bangkok

Paradon, or ‘bon’, was the first Asian player to hit the top 10

Tennis in Thailand has seen a big rise in popularity since Paradorn Srichiphan hit the ATP world top 10 about 10 years ago. There are now plenty of tennis courts and tennis clubs in Bangkok and the sport is popular amongst Thais and Bangkok’s expatriate community.

Many of Bangkok’s tennis courts are outdoors which makes it pretty tough to play in the heat and humidity, but it does mean that the courts are usually free in the daytime, if you can brave the heat!

Tennis equipment is widely available in Bangkok’s sports shops and there are some tennis specific shops in Bangkok too, one being situated near the entrance to Sukhumvit soi 38, where there are also 2 tennis clubs.

Here’s a list of 12 places to play tennis in Bangkok. I have included Google map links and the nearest BTS Skytrain station where I can.

Sports Conditioning

BASE next to Thonglor BTS on Sukhumvit soi 36 offers sports conditioning and has trained a number of amateur and professional athletes. You can check out their group class schedule and personal training package details.

Santisook Bangkok Tennis Club   Sukhumvit Soi 38  Thong Lor BTS

Located on Soi Saeng Chai off Sukhumvit soi 38, this Bangkok tennis club consists of 5 outdoor courts and 3 indoor, roofed courts. Prices are cheap and if you’re feeling lazy you can even hire a ball boy for 25 baht an hour! The courts are not in fantastic condition but very playable.

Spin n Slice   Sukhumvit Soi 38   Thong Lor BTS

Also a Bangkok tennis academy, Spin n Slice is based just across the road from Santisook in the Sunshine Court apartments. Run by German ex-tennis pro Timo, Spin n Slice has a great quality court that can be rented by the hour. The tennis court has floodlights but to play after dark is more expensive, at around 300 baht an hour.

Chulalongkorn University / Bangkok National Stadium   National Stadium BTS

Behind National Stadium are many tennis courts that can be rented. They have outdoor and indoor tennis courts that are cheap, as well as a range of other sporting facilities here.

Surasak Tennis Club   Soi Si Wiang   Surasak BTS

Just around the corner from Surasak BTS are 6 open air tennis courts. They often get busy during peak hours so it’s best to book ahead or play off-peak. A good option for Sathorn or Silom based expats.

Soi Klang Racquet Club   Sukhumvit Soi 49   Thong Lor BTS

This tennis and racquet club is one of Bangkok’s most well-known sports venues. It has tennis, squash and badminton courts, as well as a well-equipped gym. Check the website link for more details.

AUA Rajdamri Language Centre    Soi Ratchadamri   Ratchadamri BTS

Well located on Ratchadamri road near the skytrain, this language centre has tennis courts that are great for meeting new players. The location of this venue makes it good for any Silom or Sukhumvit based expats that want a game of tennis.

Ari Tennis   Sukhumvit Soi 26   Phrom Phong BTS

Ari Tennis Club is based at no.98 on Sukhumvit soi 26. It’s quite a Thai tennis club with more locals than expats. Courts are about 250 baht an hour and they have decent tennis players and coaches based here.

The 50 Tennis Club   Sukhumvit Soi 50   On Nut BTS

Unfortunately their website does not have an English language option, but this tennis club has top quality PlaxiPave courts that are available to rent for 260 baht an hour in the evenings. Equipment can also be rented and it’s open until 10pm.

Sivalai Clubhouse   Isaraphab soi 3, Bangkok Yai

This tennis club is quite far from the centre of Bangkok in Bangkok-Yai, but it may be useful for some suburban expats. Only 3 courts so book ahead. Prices are good at about 170 baht an hour.

Lot Fai Tennis Courts in Sirikit Park   Morchit BTS

A great range of sporting facilities, this park has already been mentioned in our basketball post. These tennis courts in North Bangkok are just 35 baht an hour, so great value. No tennis equipment for hire so make sure you bring your own.

Sun Tennis Courts    Sukhumvit Soi 40   Thong Lor BTS

Another option for Sukhumvit based tennis players, these courts are open until midnight. Based on Soi Samarnchunt off Sukhumvit Soi 4, they are floodlit and open until midnight.

Any top hotel or university!

Any top hotel in Bangkok will have tennis courts although this is an expensive option. Most Bangkok universities also have facilities, so if you find the above venues hard to get to try asking around.

There are many options here for Bangkok’s tennis playing expats. Let me know if there are any good courts I’ve missed and have fun!