It’s that season again – Haze Season! Yep, Malaysia has 3 seasons – Rain, Shine and Haze. The haze situation is an annual episode, usually making its grand entrance around this time of the year. For healthy and active individuals, it stops us in our tracks. To make things worse, haze season almost always clashes with the Malaysian Marathon season.
It somehow manages to hit right at the peak of our training, blocking us from reaching the ultimate climax. Of course, there are many other concerns (that are more crucial) in regards to the haze such as our respiratory health. But for now, we will focus on how you can make the most of this hazy situation.
1. The Gym
I guess this is every runner’s nightmare. We chose running to avoid the gym. But now, we’re forced back in.
The gym would be one of the best options if you really need to continue your training. You can hop onto the dreamill, I mean treadmill, to clock in your mileage. For distance runners, you will look like a lifeless hamster on its wheel for a few hours. You can kill time by listening to some music, watch TV, play games, read news etc OR you can take this time to work on your mental strength. The mental aspect plays a huge role when running a marathon.
Reminder: If you frequent your local gym, make sure it is during off peak hours and that you don’t hog the machine. Be considerate! I can see some of my friends clocking in 20-30KM on the treadmill. WHAT?!?!
If the machine can accommodate your sprints/faster paced workouts, you can get key workouts (tempo, intervals, fartlek etc) done too. Just make sure you get the speed right and don’t fall off the machine!
If you are just looking for ways to stay active, join a class! Most gyms offer a wide variety of classes and activities from power yoga to body pump! There will be something for you.
2. Indoor HIIT circuits
If you are like me and you dread the dreadmill (I can barely survive 10KM), create your own mini HIIT circuit to do at home! It may or may not be running specific, but at least is gets your heart rate up! You can work on your VO2 Max. If you are not training for anything in particular, this is a great and effective way to torch some calories!
-50 mountain climbers
-20 air bikes
-15 weighted squats
-15 push ups
-15 jump lunges
-15 tricep dips
You will have a full body workout done in 20 minutes! Get creative and mix things up!
3. REST lah!
This is probably the last thing that you want to hear!
But if you have been following a training plan diligently, there is no harm in taking a day or two off your feet. Marathon training can be very taxing. Most of us have standard working hours and incorporating marathon training into that schedule can place a lot of stress on our bodies both physically and mentally.
We are not professional athletes in training. We may not have the luxury of extra sleep or access to optimum nutrition to recover from hard workouts. Our energy is stretched to so many other aspects of our lives that running is only a small part of it.
I took two days off. In fact, I feel a lot better! The pain in my leg has decreased and I feel so much stronger! Taking time off allows the body to repair micro tears in your muscles. Try not to underestimate sleep and rest. Changes in your body take place AFTER your workout when your body is at rest. If you want to reap the full benefits, make sure you are getting enough REST!
4. Get other things done!
Take this time off to do the things that you have been putting off! Get your laundry done, do the house chores, a room makeover, organise your to-do list or get out and catch up with your friends! I am guilty of the last one! If I am not running in the evenings, I enjoy staying in for some me-time.
So, take this opportunity to meet up with your friends. You can also take this time to do some research and reading. There are so many things about running that you can read up on (nutrition, training, injury, recovery etc).
Load up your brain with some running knowledge that you can use in your next run!
5. Be THAT #hazerunner
If you really want to run in the haze, take extra precaution. It is difficult to predict the long term effects of the haze on the body.
Drink a lot of water and try not to stay out for too long. Monitor daily API values and decide wisely. You can try wearing the N95 mask to run. They are effective in blocking out smaller dust particles and having something is certainly better than nothing!
But remember, your health comes first. I know many of you are not running to be healthy per se (we like to torture ourselves). Sometimes, we are too focused on getting our best times that we disregard our health!
Hope this helps!
What are YOU guys getting up too during this hazy season? Share them with me!
Keep Running 🙂