Singaporean literature is often based around the fictional, where we delve into lots of historical significance, political strife, and different religions. Naturally, stories about running long distances do not rate high on the list.
However, that isn’t to say that there hasn’t been any local books about running in Singapore. In fact, back in 2013, TARD Copy Pte Ltd published a book that was open to a limited audience, and sold in selected shops. Titled Just One More Step, the book was written by David Shum, an accredited running coach who has worked with Sport Singapore and the International Association of Athletics Federation.
David Shum’s intent on writing the book was simple. He wanted to make sure the book was meant for beginners or those who were looking for advice on how to run better and tips and lessons about running that you would probably only get when you get a personal trainer to train you.
In a slim, 84-page book, Shum covers MANY topics. From what to wear, accessories that runners should carry while running for different distances, to marathon plans and what to aim for in every kilometre run, David Shum covers them all.
What I really liked about the book is the fact that David uses examples of case studies to explain certain details of his advice. In one situation, he details a runner’s problem when it came to their experience running a marathon, and provides advice on how the runner could improve on their timing or running experience better. This is something which you don’t see a lot in books about running, especially in a local context.
What also makes his book unique is his detailed, easy to understand training plans. In a segment entitled The Training Plan, Shum uses the chapter to detail how you can train for different distances, including running etiquette, road conditions, and even a daily log sheet runners could replicate in real life.
In the end, what makes this book an enjoyable read is Shum use of simple, direct words. He doesn’t write the book in an effort to target just the elite runners. In fact, he writes the book with the intent to engage runners of all abilities and training levels. From beginners starting out on their 5km plan to full marathoners, Shum does not discriminate. He gives advice on what people can do on their first trip running overseas, injury management, and running posture.
If you manage to get your hands on a copy of Shum’s Just One More Step, count yourself as one of the lucky few. Shum’s book is like having your own personal coach in a book you can devour in one hour or so, but the information inside that you can utilise would last you a lifetime.