There are lots of bootcamp workouts in the Botanic Gardens, but RunCamp from Momentum Bootcamps manages to actually make running fun. Plus Sassy Mamas can get a free trial class!
Every so often, Team Sassy Mama gets together to try out a new activity; we might bake bread, or create our own perfumes, or learn how to upcycle furniture. This September it was my turn to organize our team activity, and as a bit of a fitness fanatic, it was a no-brainer for me to want to do something sporty. My colleagues were less than thrilled.
“Just to warn you, I HATE running!”
“Do we really need to do something outside?”
“There better be cake waiting for me at the end!”
These were actual quotes. I was mildly disconcerted but, having participated in Momentum Bootcamps RunCamp before, I had the sneaky suspicion my colleagues just might come around.
I’m a pretty enthusiastic runner but I generally dislike running outside in Singapore due to the heat and extreme sweatiness that follows. I’ll make the occasional exception for MacRitchie or the Botanic Gardens, though – the air is fresher, you don’t have to deal with cars or crowds, and the surrounds are downright inspiring (after nine years in Singapore I’m still delighted to spot monkeys and Monitor Lizards!).
RunCamp just happens to be set in the Botanic Gardens (there’s another session at East Coast Park), and combines running with short strength or core sets. You might do a lap or two around Swan Lake, then hit the wall for lunges. Then you sprint up the hill five times, followed by sit-ups. It’s tough, but you’re never doing anything long enough to get sick of it. It’s also a GREAT workout.
What I love most about the Momentum classes I’ve done, though, is that the instructors are super positive and encouraging (the Momentum philosophy is all about “providing a personal training experience in a group training environment”), and the groups are totally diverse and inclusive of all abilities.
Momentum Bootcamps was founded back in 2009 and is run by awesome mama Amanda Clement. Their whole thing is about empowering women (and men) who want to exercise for the love of it. I’ve witnessed first hand their dedication to creating a warm and supportive community, whether through social media or while cheering each other on during the toughest moments. “Don’t underestimate the power of positive, infectious energy!” Amanda insists.
“I’m not a huge fan of running,” explains my colleague Nadia, “but this was my chance to challenge myself to do something new. And I’m so glad I did it! The instructor, Sarah, made this so fun and I loved that it was a mix of exercises + running. I thought I would bore myself to death just running but the mix made it fun!”
“Sarah was really motivating and I found myself enjoying the friendly competition. Plus when you are running hard, catching a glimpse of some playful otters in the pond or watching out for monitor lizards as you pound the path really takes your mind off the muscle burn.”
Yeah that’s right, we spotted a family of otters! That won’t happen on the treadmill!
As our colleague Kristin points out,
“I was a little nervous for run camp with my running primarily isolated to the treadmill in air conditioning, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was great to get outdoors and enjoy the surroundings of the Botanic Gardens. The class was scaled for all abilities and I liked that the running was broken up by exercise segments. I also really enjoyed the group atmosphere – definitely caused me to push myself harder than a solo workout. I would definitely go again!”
I agree with my colleagues: exercising in a group setting definitely helps you push yourself to another level by bringing out your inner competitor (or maybe that’s just me…), but it also gets you super hyped up to cheer each other on. These are both major benefits that you simply don’t get when you’re working out solo in the gym or just running on your own.
There’s already heaps of research about how exercise is a natural mood enhancer, but studies have increasingly shown an equally strong link between exposure to the outdoors, happiness and health (hence the whole forest bathing trend!). There’s something about being surrounded by nature, clean air and wildlife – particularly in a crowded city like Singapore – that just puts you in a really good mood!
If you’re intrigued but still a bit nervous about being able to keep up, Momentum also offers an introductory 6-week running programme for beginners and intermediate runners, with key techniques, performance coaching, and heaps of motivation to help you become a more efficient, stronger, and faster runner. It’s a super fun way to meet other mamas in the same boat, and maybe even become running buddies.
Once the bug has bitten, Momentum also offers interval track sessions (RunClub), running + strength classes (Strength for Runners), and distance running groups (RunFree).
“I am not someone who enjoys running, or to whom it comes naturally,” says Jessica, “but I was pleased to find that I was capable of more than I thought. It was also a reminder that I push myself much harder in a group session than I ever do training by myself.”
If you’re ready to push yourself mama, or simply want to meet some new people while enjoying one of Singapore’s most beautiful settings, I’d definitely recommend giving RunCamp a go!
RunCamp runs on Fridays at the Singapore Botanic Gardens at 7:30am. There is also a new Beginners RunCamp at 6:30am at East Coast Park. Click here to read about all of Momentum’s Running programs.
Curious but not ready to commit? Momentum offers a free trial for any class! Click the link for deets. You can also book classes on an a la carte basis, or purchase packages starting from $175 for 5 sessions.