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How to get started with running in Bangkok

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How to get started with running in Bangkok

 

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Please join me in this not-so-unlikely-scenario-in-August. You have relocated to Bangkok recently. Found a great place to live, swimming pool right at your doorstep, kids are going to a wonderful school, you managed to locate your favourite Thai street food vendors and are ready to pick up your sports routine again. Life is good, you are getting settled and so you decide to go for a run in the nearby Queen Sirikit Park.  

 

The first thing you notice after donning on your running shoes and reaching the park is that it is remarkably quiet at 11am on a Sunday morning. You went out after you had set the kids up for success with a nice family breakfast and immediately find yourself running in less than ideal circumstances. You did not bring any water or put on sun protection because you never did that back home. After your warm-up you notice that the running shirt you usually wear is already drenched in sweat. “I better get going”, you think, only to find out that there is an impenetrable wall of humidity in the park that prevents you from picking up any speed whatsoever. You double check your sports watch because that Heart Rate must be wrong. After one exhausting lap of the park you return to the safety of a shaded tree and rethink your plan to go out and run in what now feels like a sauna. “Whoa… I am really out of shape with the move and all”, is what might go through your mind. Deflated, you return home to spend the rest of the day nursing a headache that arose shortly after you stopped running.

 

If this sounds familiar to you, rest assured, you are not that out of shape. You just experienced a little piece of Bangkok’s beautifully suited climate to drain every bit of energy out of you. You are simply not used (the proper term being acclimatised ) to this environment, yet. Here is the upside; it will get better! Until then, learn to do what experienced BKK runners do. 

 

8 Tips and tricks to get you started with running in Bangkok

 

Avoid running in the heat of the day

 

This is a must-do for runners acclimatising to Bangkok’s humidity and temperature. The reason it is so quiet in the parks at 11am is that very few people will opt for a heat training session other than some experienced runners who are purposely training heat sets for their (ultra)marathons. Most parks open at 5 am in the morning so if you set your alarm you can be running in a relatively cool period of the day from 5 to approximately 7.30 am. Trust me when I say you won’t be lonely in the park at 5 am. There are a  surprising amount of people active that early in the morning.

 

Not a morning person? No problem! Parks stay open quite late so you can also opt for a cooler sundown session at night. Equally as many people out and some you may even recognise from your morning outing.  

 

Shorten your training runs

 

As it takes time to adapt or acclimatise to your new environment, shorten your training runs for the first 6 weeks after moving to Bangkok. This is an ideal time for you to step back, be kind to your body and establish the routine first before adding volume to your running. Three sessions of 20 to 30 minute jogs in a week are better than one single long run over the weekend. I always encourage people to take this 6 weeks acclimatisation period to make some changes in your running form. This way you go out there with a purpose rather than just running for the sake of running. Not that that is such a bad thing but hey, make the most of the given situation!

 

Full Story: https://expatlifeinthailand.com/health-and-beauty/how-to-get-started-with-running-in-bangkok/

 

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-- © Copyright Expat Life in Thailand

 

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Running at dawn or dusk is also the time when those wonderful Bangkok denizens are out in force looking for a blood fix. Wear long sleeves or mosquito repellent.

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I love running in Bangkok. It's not easy and it's pretty restricted in terms of time and locations, but the parks are great.

Just one thing: do I have to stand still during the playing of the Thai national anthem? I'm not Thai and not at all nationalistic, but in the interest of self-preservation I have opted to stand still. 

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I suggest hooking up with the Hash House Harriers. Heat, sweat? We laugh at that. Plus side there are a few runners as well.

Avoid running during the day? We've been doing that, OK evenings, since 1977.

Do what experienced runners do? In Bangkok? Finish the session with a beer.

Edited by VocalNeal
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4 hours ago, VocalNeal said:

I suggest hooking up with the Hash House Harriers. Heat, sweat? We laugh at that. Plus side there are a few runners as well.

Avoid running during the day? We've been doing that, OK evenings, since 1977.

Do what experienced runners do? In Bangkok? Finish the session with a beer.

 

I tried the HHH in China, but left the group after a 2 hour run and then 4 hours of the leaders trying to force feed beer down everyone's throats.

 

Is the BKK group just as focused on the drinking?

 

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10 hours ago, impulse said:

 

I tried the HHH in China, but left the group after a 2 hour run and then 4 hours of the leaders trying to force feed beer down everyone's throats.

 

Is the BKK group just as focused on the drinking?

 

Bangkok runs/walks are about 1 hr. No one is forcing you to stay and drink beer for 4 hrs. Bangkok has about 30 mins of beer and about 1 1/2 hours of socializing.

 

There are no rules you could have left whenever you wanted. 

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1 hour ago, soistalker said:

Running in Bangkok is all about deeply inhaling the inhaleable(sp) and respirable particulates in the air.  And delicious O3 Ozone. 

No thank you. 

Bangkok is a large place lots of places to go. I'm sure we (hashers) will outlive people who don't exercise frequently.

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27 minutes ago, VocalNeal said:

Bangkok runs/walks are about 1 hr. No one is forcing you to stay and drink beer for 4 hrs. Bangkok has about 30 mins of beer and about 1 1/2 hours of socializing.

 

There are no rules you could have left whenever you wanted. 

 

You've never done a run in Tianjin then, where they charter a bus to location.  And finding a taxi to run between cities is tough.  The circle lasted longer than the run (and was very abusive), then there was the dinner with pressure to drink more before hopping on the bus back to town.  I don't know if they were all like that because I didn't go back for a 2nd run. 

 

I guess you're saying that BKK HHH isn't like that?

 

 

Edited by impulse

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15 hours ago, androokery said:

I love running in Bangkok. It's not easy and it's pretty restricted in terms of time and locations, but the parks are great.

Just one thing: do I have to stand still during the playing of the Thai national anthem? I'm not Thai and not at all nationalistic, but in the interest of self-preservation I have opted to stand still. 

No you don't have to stand still during the Thai national anthem, just continue on with your run while your lungs keeps on enjoying sucking down those PM2.5 particles.

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16 hours ago, Denim said:

Avoid running .

 

Good advice. Been doing this for years. 

In South East ASia, I just don't get the runners. I cycle some of the year (not in Bangkok!) and with the higher speed than running you get to cool a little bit. But when it gets very hot and humid, I even give that up.

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