Category Archives: Featured Articles

Feature: The Ultimate Running Programme

Don’t forget your heart, the most important muscle!


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Special thanks to Axtrosports for this feature! Click here for the FULL ARTICLE. This is just my part on running. ENJOY!


 

We are grateful to have Adele Wong from www.adeleruns.com to share with us a surefire way to whip your heart into shape.

Why Run?

Running is a great workout that can be your staple-go-to healthy activity or thrown in to complement other training regimes that you might have. Running boasts many health benefits, including improving the cardiovascular system (heart, lungs, vessels), strengthens bones, lowers cholesterol levels, releases stress, increases metabolism and helps with weight loss!IMG_4966

If you’re just starting out, your main focus should be on consistency. Commit to a few days of running a week and make it sustainable by picking your preferred time and place.

Week 1-4

The focus for these weeks would be to make running a habit and to build a strong base for more structured workouts.

You can start by running 25-30 minutes, 3 times a week. Monitor how you feel after each run. When 30 minutes becomes too comfortable, you can add 5-10minutes and eventually, being able to run for 50-60 minutes with ease.

At this stage, you can forget about distance and pace. Instead, focus on how you feel. On a scale of 0-100%, you should be running at 70-80% of your effort. Don’t worry, you will get a better gauge of how you feel when you start to run a little more!

Week 4 Onwards

Once you get stronger with a good base, you can spice up your running regime by adding some “fun” and structured workouts. This is where you can work on developing speed and endurance.10356340_10204293752563578_8230519310562349253_n

 

Let’s talk about adding interval training to your running routine. Without getting too technical, interval training is alternating between bouts of high intensity effort and low intensity effort. The duration, recovery time and effort level of each bout depends highly on which physiological system (cardiovascular, muscle strength, nervous system, anaerobic system etc) you want to work on.

Some Great Routines

Short Sprints

10 x 100m sprints with 2-3 mins of recoveryIMG_1446

As you get fitter, work on increasing reps and distance up to 200m. Keep your running time to less than 1 minute.

Hill Sprints

10 x 30 seconds up a steep hill with a jog down for recoveryIMG_2065

As with short sprints, work on increasing reps.

*Short sprints and hill sprints stimulate the nervous system and works on strengthening your muscles.

Long Hill Repeats

8-10 x 60-90 seconds up a gradual incline with a jog down for recovery

IMG_2092Work on increasing reps.

This workout works on muscle fibres that are needed in middle distance running (1km-10km).

Other Routines

6-8 x 400m with 2-5 minutes of recovery (@ mile pace)

4-6 x 600m with 2-5 minutes of recoveryIMG_1448

1 km @ 5km pace | 3-5 x 800m with 2-5 minutes of recovery (10km pace) | 1km @ 5km pace

5 x 1km with 3-5 minutes of recovery

2 minutes x 6 with 2 minutes of recovery

10 x 30 seconds with 30 seconds of recovery

The combinations are endless! You can even do a combination of 5 x 1km finishing with 5 x 400m or 3 sets of 100m, 200m, 300, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m. As mentioned previously, the effort, duration and recovery time depends on which physiological system you intend to work on.

In general, if you want to work on:

Improving the pace over longer distances (speed endurance): the recovery interval can slowly be shorten/equal to the running time

Getting used to the increased pace by stimulating the nervous system: 3-5 minutes of recovery depending on the length of running time

Anaerobic system: the recovery time should be twice the amount of running time to allow for full recovery and anaerobic products to be cleared.

Try adding any 1 of these structured running workouts once a week on top of your usual 3-5 days of easy running. As your body gets used to the stress of heavier workouts, you can start adding 2 structured workouts a week!

Running is so versatile! Mix it up and have some fun!

10 Types of Runners You’ll See At a Race: The Beginner’s Field Guide to Spotting Runners

1. The Finisher Medal Runner

The finisher medal is extremely important to the Finisher Medal Runner – you can bet that it is one of the first things they look out for before deciding to join a race. The next time you join a run, check out the event page on Facebook or their official website. Look under the comments section – you will surely spot a Finisher Medal Runner asking if there are finisher medals, and whether or not the medals are limited.

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The finisher medal is their personal trophy and a testament to their race effort. It is a symbol of achievement. The medal will probably be hung proudly on their wall, or be placed on a special shelf or drawer, along with their dozens of other finisher medals.

2. The Goodie Bag/Race Tee Runner

A bit like the Finisher Medal Runner, but their prize is the goodie bag or race tee, or both. The Goodie Bag/Race Tee Runner doesn’t care about a piece of decorative metal. They are practical folk who want value for their money – a bag filled with useful or nice or delicious stuff, and a cool running shirt! Sometimes, the Goodie Bag/Race Tee Runner won’t show up to race, but to collect their goodie bags…

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Picture for illustration purposes. We are not Goodie Bag runners (Haha!). Although we did take extra goodie bags.

3. The Fashion Runner

The Fashion Runner looks like they stepped out of the advertisement pages of Runner’s World magazine. Decked out in the latest running gear and fashion from head to toe, these runners may have possibly spent more time and effort researching the latest running fashions instead of training for the race!

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4. The Walkers

There are sub-categories of Walkers:

The Sprint-Walkers: These runners sprint away at the sound of the starting gun before getting winded and then slowing to a walk. Later on, they pick up the pace again and alternate between walking and jogging.

The Emergency-Brakers: These runners slow down into a walk abruptly during a race, which may cause another runner to run into them. These runners are considered a hazard, especially in a big race with thousands upon thousands of other runners. Don’t be an Emergency-Braker!

The Perpetual Walkers: They literally walk from start to finish. They believe that it doesn’t matter how long you take, it’s whether or not you finish! Walking is good, walking is better than sitting at home watching TV. But if you plan to walk, be mindful of other runners.

5. The VERY SERIOUS Runner

The VERY SERIOUS Runner is IN IT TO WIN IT. Whether it is to win the race, finish on the podium, or to beat their Personal Bests, the VERY SERIOUS Runner is there with a goal. Many of them can be spotted by their distinctive habit of having their hand on their GPS watch at the start and finish line!

10329272_10152482796061388_6383199236266856243_nYou wouldn’t want to mess with these guys. They will probably be too far off for the average runner to get in their way anyway.

6. The Pacer

Whether they are an official race pacer (running with a balloon, or a distinctive top) or someone you’ve personally identified, these runners are there to help you reach your race goal. All you have to do is keep up with their pace. These runners are usually seasoned runners who are comfortable with their running achievements, and are now there to help other runners achieve their goals.
10155239_10204049259771411_8682356719321650345_nThe pressure that comes from being a pacer is immense though – a whole bunch of people are depending on you to help them achieve their goal. They deserve a pat on the back or a friendly “thank you” after the race.

7. The Boyfriend/Girlfriend Runner

The only real reason they’re running is because their other half is running and made them join as well. Or they might have joined because it was something they could do together – they will run side-by-side from start to finish! Can I hear a loud “AWWWWWWWW”!
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Or, they wait at the finish line for their other half with a drink! Double “AWWWWWWWWW”! (Haha!)

8. The Kiasu Runner

You know this girl or guy. They either arrive an hour before the crowd to sit at the starting line, or arrive later but then slither their way through the other runners in the starting pen to get to the front of the pack. If you do the latter, just know that the other runners are inwardly shaking their heads at you. It is hot and stuffy in the starting pen. The last thing anybody wants is another sweaty person bumping and pushing them while inching their way to the front.

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Start from the back if you’re late!

9. The Selfie Runner

I had a memorable encounter with some Selfie Runners a year or two ago. They didn’t settle for taking selfies at the starting line, they were also taking them DURING the run! Still, it would have been OK if they had slowed and stepped to the side to take pictures of themselves, but the Selfie Runners I came across literally stopped in the MIDDLE of the crowd to snap a picture.

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Please, think of others even when you’re trying to take a picture of yourself. Another runner could run into you and send you both tumbling to the ground. Not worth the selfie, unless you were intending to take a picture of yourself undergoing medical treatment.

10. The No-Show Runner

Unless you know them personally, the No-Show Runner is extremely hard to spot. That’s simply because they don’t show up on race day, for whatever reason!

10390178_10152482864621388_8270826469428204769_nI don’t want to admit it, but I am guilty of being one or more of the “types” of runners I’ve listed here! But I feel one of the most important things in life is being able to laugh at ourselves (YES, even though we may be a VERY SERIOUS Runner). Anyway, I tried my best to remember and categorise the runners I’ve encountered, or know as friends. I hope I haven’t managed to deeply offend or insult anybody with this list!

Did you manage to think of a type of runner I couldn’t think of while writing this list? Do share in the comments!

Thank you http://www.healthworks.my/ for featuring this article! 🙂 Be sure to check them out!

Running Spots in KL

Thanks to http://www.healthworks.my/ for featuring my article on “Running Spots in KL”!

They feature everything from food to fitness to health advice to daily motivations. If you’re a health nut like me, you would definitely want to check them out. Remember to “LIKE” their Facebook page too.

The article that was featured:

Congratulations, you’ve decided to run! You’ve bought some flashy (and most probably expensive) running gear. You’ve set some goals for yourselves (hopefully). Now the question is: Where to run? The real answer to that question is: Anywhere!

But I guess sometimes we just need specific pointers to get started, so fret not, here’s a quick and short list to help you identify suitable running locations. Okay, I know the locations listed below (except for number 1) are mostly in Kuala Lumpur. That’s because I’ve only listed the locations that are familiar to me. But hopefully, even if most of the locations on this list aren’t very accessible to you, you’ll find it a handy guide to look for and find your very own running trail!

Without further ado, here’s my list:

  1. Your own neighbourhood

Sometimes things are just outside your door step! Before you venture far away in search of that perfect running trail, explore the surroundings that you commute past every day on your way to school or work. I’ve been surprised because some people tell me that they’ve never considered their own neighbourhood for running.
Think of it as a tour – how well do you know your own neighbourhood, really? You can make your run more interesting by greeting and chatting with your neighbours (not too long, though!), smelling the literal roses, petting a friendly dog (make sure it’s friendly!), or checking out that newly renovated house (perhaps chuckling to yourself that money can’t always buy taste). You may also spot some eye candy you’ve never noticed – a shiny new car, a hot girl, a cute guy.

A good thing about running around your own neighbourhood: you don’t have to look for parking space!

  1. Desa Park City

If you feel motivated by the sight of other people running, this is where you should be. Parking is free and safe, on accounts of guards patrolling the area. There are many other runners in the park, along with cyclists, people walking their dogs, families and their kids.

There is a relatively flat running/walking track that makes a big loop around the waterfront, for a distance of 2.2 kilometres. If that is not challenging enough for you, you can go all the way up to Ridgewood, also known as “DPC Hill”. Be prepared for a non-stop 600 metres of uphill torture! There is an additional 200 metres up to the water tank, but I’ll leave that for you to decide once you reach the round-about. I will say, GO FOR IT!

You can run here at any time, even late at night.

central-parkSource: desaparkcity.org

 10001511_10203681770064398_1275453995_n“DPC Hill”

1723556_10203681816825567_472968638_nOn the way down from the water tank!

Source: Victor Chong

  1. Lake Gardens (now known as Perdana Botanical Gardens)

This is a popular place for runners in Kuala Lumpur, especially on weekends. Many runners do their LSD (long slow distance runs) there, and many running clubs and communities gather there. Go and join in the fun and meet new people. Most are welcoming and will let you run with them.

There is a variety of terrain to keep things interesting – a mix of stairs, hills, flats, twists and turns.

The park itself is relatively safe with a lot of runners around during peak times, but it is a big place. Take care if you are running alone, in the more isolated areas. Don’t leave valuables in the car, as there have been cases of break-ins.

Segway-Tour-Lake-Gardens-KL-Kuala-Lumpur-bridgeSource: Google

  1. KLCC Park

Another popular location for runners, this park is convenient if you work in the heart of the city and want to put in a run after work, or before. One loop around the purpose built running/jogging track is 1.2 km. It is quite safe, as there are guards patrolling the park. I believe the park is closed after 10 or 11 PM.

Parking is expensive. You are, however, rewarded with a view of the Petronas Twin Towers, and the park and track itself is very well-maintained, with water fountains located throughout.

1538793_10202927450041525_900563239608092125_nYeah, we have loads of fun (at our Puma Running Club Sessions)! Or maybe its just me.

Source: Victor Chong

  1. Kg Pandan Sports Complex Track

This is a competition 6-lane running track (where one loop equals 400 metres). The track is open and free to the public. Parking is free and relatively secure – you can see your car from the track so if you’re the paranoid type you can even keep an eye on it while doing laps around the track!

There are quite a number of runners after working hours and on weekends, but not so crowded that you can’t run properly. On a “closed” flat track with clearly marked distances like this one, it is easy to train with speed runs and intervals.

 

kampung-pandan-trackSource: kakithon.blogspot.com

  1. Indoor

I very much prefer running outdoors than doing miles on a machine, I love the wind in my face and the feeling of covering ground with my own feet. But there is an alternative when circumstances just don’t allow running outdoors (Rain? Hail? Snow?): the treadmill, either at home or in the gym.

The good part is the convenience. But the convenience can also be a bad thing – you can easily hop off the machine and quit a run halfway!

When you’re out running, your main focus is of course the run itself. But safety is paramount. If you are used to running with some tunes, lower the volume so that you still hear the sounds around you – it’s not a good thing to not be able to hear a car beeping their horn because you’ve strayed onto the road!

1003585_10152347139061388_1610799531_nWhen you run, don’t just focus on your footwork. Look up, be aware of your surroundings (and also enjoy the view along the way). Remain alert, especially when you’re running alone. Have fun and stay safe!

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Long runs are better when the sun goes down.

Time to explore the road ahead of you. GO!