Okay. That’s the corniest way to start the new year.
But, yes, I’ll channel Madame Auring for this post—not for the entire year, mind you!—and make some predictions for our new, exciting year of running:
(1) Back to basics. From gadgets to races (to even P-Noy as President), runners will opt for simplicity rather than extravagance. Runners will purchase equipment for running, but will focus on the essentials, e.g., the right running shoe. Runners will not give importance to LCDs or fireworks in a race (those are just bonuses), but will demand for ample hydration, safe route, and the like. There will be greater interest in simple, natural approaches, such as Chi Running and yoga.
(2) Barefoot shoes will be all the rage. Barefoot running is still a controversial topic, but more runners are seeing (and feeling) the importance of going barefoot at least once in a while (this runner included). I don’t think Pinoys are quite ready to go completely naked down there (in the foot, silly) so we’ll go conservative by purchasing Vibram Five Fingers, Terra Plana’s Evo barefoot shoes, or Nike Frees (still my all time favorite!)
(3) Compression is in. As if there weren’t enough brands of compression tights in the market! Despite the high price and the hot weather, expect more people to purchase compression tights or socks as they go for longer distances. With the great demand, even smaller, lesser known brands may come in.
(4) NUVALI will be the new BHS…at least as race venue. Runners know Bonifacio Global City’s route like the back of their hands and we are looking for new courses to conquer. NUVALI’s fresh air, traffic-less roads, and challenging route will be a refreshing venue for more races this year. Don’t forget that it can also host muddy trail runs.
(5) Coach Rio will be the star of a new teleserye. As if he’s not doing well enough with race organizing, I predict Coach Rio’s star will shine brighter this year. He’ll be the favored race organizer for those with big budgets…and okay, maybe he won’t have his own teleserye, but we’ll see him more often in the boob tube. This guy deserves all the good karma that’s coming his way.
(6) Runners won’t just run, they’ll stretch and strengthen. It used to be that runners would just run, run, and run, then get injured. Now, we’re much smarter. We know that it’s important to strength train, do core work, and stretch, not just to avoid injury but to become better runners. See stability balls, dumbells, TRX Suspension training, foam roller, and other equipment flying off the shelves. See more runners in yoga classes too…and not just the ladies.
(7) Runners will run slower…by choice. It’s still cool to run fast, but it won’t be an issue if you run slow either. Runners will give more importance to running really slow during their long runs and will even learn the value of run-walking intervals. Jeff Galloway’s arrival in February should help encourage slow and safe running.
(8) Runners will pay more attention to diet. Sure, we run so we can eat more. But, runners this year will pay more attention to eating more of the right food to get proper nutrition to fuel their runs. Expect to see more sweaty guys in singlets requesting for non-fat soy milk lattes from their baristas. Nutrition experts and dietitians will be just as popular as running coaches.
(9) Everyone will be coaches and race organizers. Well, not exactly everyone, but a number of runners without proper credentials nor experience will hope to cash in on the running boom. This is NOT good for the community. Think twice before signing up for a run clinic or a race. Do your research on the background of a “coach” or a “race organizer.”
(10) New York Marathon will be the new Singapore Marathon. Two years ago, every runner wanted to run Standard Chartered Singapore. Now, everyone wants in on New York. It’s quite costly, but it’s worth every penny.
Did I miss any? What’s your Madame Au-Run-ning prediction for 2011?
Happy New Year to you!