October 9, 2012

Clementi Camp Run: Changing to a New Pair of Running Shoes

Author's Note:

Hey guys, sorry for the late update. I was away for in-camp training for a week during the first week of October. I flew off to Shanghai 2 days later for another 2 weeks trip. I was intending to update my blog at Shanghai, but horrors of horrors, blogger is being blocked in China too (Along with facebook, bloomberg and many many websites. Agghh). Therefore, I got 3 weeks worth of action to update, so do be patient with me. And yes, you can expect some action from my Shanghai trip, so stay tune!


Come on, you are not really expecting me to blog publicly about my running regime in an army camp! Although the regulations for camera smartphones to be brought in-camp have been relaxed this year, it is still an OFFENSE to take any pictures inside camp. And of course, it is definitely an offense to publish my running route in-camp! So, I am going to talk about my new SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) ASICS shoes and the running experience with it.
My SAF sponsored Asics running shoe (Taken out of camp!)

For the benefits for the non-Singaporean readers of this post, let me give you some background of what "reservist" and "in-camp" training means. Essentially, all Singaporean males have the compulsory "privilege" of serving the nation by enlisting for 2 years of full-time military service. After which, you have to serve at least 10 years of "reservist" training from a week to a month of compulsory retraining after the 2 years full-time military training. Failure to turn up for the privilege of free food, free lodging and free hike through the mosquito infested woods of Singapore will result in disciplinary action, which include spending time in prison. So one of the perks is that you get free branded footwear during that 10 years of reservist training. Previously, it was New Balance and Brooks. Recently, Asics is the preferred running shoes. It is a pretty good deal given that a pair of Asics running shoes cost up to hundreds of dollars in a normal sports apparel shop and we can get it for free! The only downside is that you will not be making a fashion statement when you go on a run as every Singaporean male will know that you are wearing free SAF shoes (which makes you look cheap in today's status obsessed society).

I did not care much on what people think of me based on my running attire anyway, and my old SAF New Balance shoe served me well until the soles painfully split apart  from the shoe proper. Some of my friends advised me to get proper forefoot running shoes as SAF running shoes is not built for that purpose, but heck, I have been doing well with SAF shoes so far.

The shoes come in two varieties. One for arch foot and another for flat foot. Being an extreme flat footer, I chose the arch support shoes and luckily, it came in my favorite blue color. After dumping my old shoes in the camp bin, I embarked on a new running journey

That's where the pain of breaking into the new shoe comes in...

The first run created a strain on my Achilles heel. So did my subsequennt 2 runs. The rigidity of the new sole is forcing me to land on my heels instead of my forefoot. The relatively thicker sole also diminished my feel of the ground. My theory is that the new shoes are putting on stress on my heels as it forces a heel strike shoe to perform like a forefoot shoe.

Tried 2 short runs at Bedok Reservoir. Achilles heels hurt!!!
The problem now is that I could not run more than 5km before the pain kick in. I have signed up for a 9km run in nov and my old shoes are on the way to the incinerator. I need to condition my shoes ASAP!

So, during my shanghai trip, I wore it as much as possible, walking everywhere with it. Good thing that few locals actually recognize these are free saf sneakers, but fellow Singaporeans recognized my hometown immediately on seeing my footwear.

At the end of the trip, I did a 6km run around shanghai. No strain, no pain. Looks like my strategy is working!!

Perhaps I should get a pair of backup running shoes so that the next time I need to change shoes, I do not news to undergo such painful transition. And I was told that running is a cheap sport....



  1. Dear Sir/Madam,

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  2. You have not posted for a while - hope everything OK - love reading your blog. How is the leg?

  3. Thks. Been busy with my new book recently and didn't have time to published some of the photos. Now that things have slowed down a bit, I will get back to posting again!

  4. Do u know where can I buy these shoes?

    1. These shoes are available for Singaporean serving compulsory military conscription. They can be redeemed for free as long as you are still serving in the military.

  5. Interesting, You need to cover more like this..


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