Tag Archives: puma running club

Train in the Right Heart Rate Zone to Maximise Fitness

Picking up from where we left off, we’re going to talk about the MOST vital organ in the human body – the HEART!

IMG_3827Post-run heart rate.

 Heart Rate (HR)

Our hearts are constantly beating (to pump oxygenated blood around the body) to keep us alive. Heart rate is usually expressed in BPM (beats per minute). The rate at which the heart beats varies for every individual. This is why the resting heart rate (RHR) of an individual is a good indicator of cardiorespiratory fitness. The resting heart rate is the number of times the heart beats per minute while it is at rest. The more physically fit you are, the stronger your heart is, which results in a lower resting heart rate. A strong heart is able to pump more blood around the body with each beat (therefore, your heart rate decreases).

The whole point of exercising is to raise your heart rate (to stress it enough to elicit change and adaptation). You can see why knowing your heart rate and how it responds to exercise is one of the keys to fitness.

Measuring your Resting Heart Rate (RHR)

The best time to accurately measure your resting heart rate is the moment you get out of bed. Make sure you wake up peacefully and not by the buzz of the alarm or the thought that you are late for work. This may lead to inaccurate readings because your heart rate probably shot up 100 beats to cope with the stress (Ok, kidding!). But yes, it will affect your resting heart rate.

You can use a heart rate monitor/watch (what I do) or do it the old-school way – manual palpation.

Manual Palpation:

-Place your index and middle fingers on the radial artery (as shown in picture)

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-Set your timer for 60 seconds and start counting!

-Take your average readings over 3 days and voila, you have your resting heart rate!

The normal range: 60-100 beats per minute [1]

Don’t be alarmed if your resting heart rate falls below the normal range (my resting heart rate is between 48-51 BPM). I am sure many of my crazy running friends are well below that range too! Well trained athletes have resting heart rates that can go as low as 40 beats per minute!

Take note:

*The resting heart rate is influenced by many variables – stress, drugs and medication, caffeine, body composition, fatigue, fitness level etc. Make sure that you are not on any drugs for at least 12 hours prior to taking your resting heart rate.

*Your resting heart rate (RHR) provides an insight into overtraining syndrome. If you have an elevated RHR of over 5bpm (over a few days), it is time to schedule in REST.

Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)

The most accurate way to determine your maximum heart rate is to undergo a physical test at a physiology lab. But not everyone has access to these facilities so here are a few alternatives:

-Fox, Naughton & Haskell Formula: 220 – age = Maximum Heart Rate

-Tanaka, Monahan & Seals Formula: 208 – (0.7 x age) = Maximum Heart Rate

-Gellish et al. Formula: 206.9 – (0.67 x age) = Maximum Heart Rate

Adapted from the ACE Personal Trainer Manual, 4th edition, ACE (2010)

Please note that these formulas are a rough guide. Your maximum heart rate may differ by 7-12 beats on either side of the value.


 Heart Rate Training

Hitting the Target

So how do you know whether or not you’re doing too much or not enough? You certainly do not want to over- or under exercise.

The next thing you want to know is: the right heart rate zones that you should be training in.IMG_2984

Heart Rate Zones

Most heart rate zones are calculated using the percentage of your own maximum heart rate. There are actually many limitations that come with this method because it doesn’t take into account the resting heart rate. Remember how the fitter you are, the lower your resting heart rate is? Again, I will leave that for another post. This should suffice for now.

Let’s take a look at the different zones:

Zone 1: Very Light

About 50-60% of your Maximum Heart Rate

Training in this zone improves blood circulation. Your heart rate is probably here if you’re taking a stroll in the park, walking your dog or shopping.

Shopping

Zone 2: Light

About 60-70% of your Maximum Heart Rate

Training in this zone also improves blood circulation. This zone is ideal for warm ups, cool downs and recovery periods after a hard workout. If you’ve ever heard of LISS (Low Intensity Steady State training), this is the zone to be doing just that.

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Recovery run/walk

If you’ve just started your fitness journey, you can spend about 30 minutes in this zone. It helps to build a good stable aerobic base with HEALTH as the primary goal.

Activities in this zone include: recovery runs, jogging, brisk walking, power walks etc. This zone is also known as the “fat burning zone” because you’re mainly using FAT as fuel. This zone is pretty much aerobic and fat metabolism requires oxygen. However, if you are talking about fat loss, this is not the ideal zone to be training in (it gets complicated). I can elaborate on that in another post so we’ll leave it at that for now.

Zone 3: Moderate

About 70-80% of your Maximum Heart Rate

Zone 3 is where you perform your easy runs. You can comfortably hold a conversation when you’re running/working out in this zone. This is where you’re able to work on general fitness and build up on endurance.

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You will burn both carbohydrates and fats in this zone. Lactic acid slowly rises in this zone but your body is able to clear it efficiently.

Zone 4: Hard

About 80-90% of your Maximum Heart Rate

This zone is where your anaerobic limit is at. It is where you perform your tempo/threshold runs.

These runs are done at your lactate threshold, the highest speed at which your blood lactate levels remain steady. It places just enough stress for the body to raise the lactate threshold. Tempo runs prepare the body and the mind to adapt to hard running over longer distances. It also works to build on endurance and helps the body delay fatigue caused by lactic acid.IMG_3761

Working out in this zone should feel comfortably hard.

Zone 5: Maximum Effort!

About 90-100% of your Maximum Heart Rate

What most people term as “ALL OUT”. If you are performing interval runs, this is THE zone – MAXIMUM! It is a pretty tough zone to be in and it is usually attained by trained athletes. This zone can only be sustained for short periods of time such as doing 400m sprints.IMG_2773

Interval runs improve your VO2 max – the maximum volume of oxygen that your blood can deliver to your muscles when running at high speed. This type of training aims to increase tolerance against lactic acid build up and allows lactic acid to be cleared more efficiently. This results in improved speed and performance.FullSizeRender

If you have just started out, don’t worry about not being able to hit this zone. Be patient.

To Sum it All Up

Being aware of your training intensity (by knowing your exercise heart rate DURING the workout) helps you determine when to slow down, maintain or kick it up a notch!

Use these tools to determine your resting heart rate (RHR), maximum heart rate (MHR) and the appropriate zones that you need to be training in to maximise your fitness goals!

Get a Heart Rate Monitor

I am currently using the MIO Alpha 2 (www.mioglobal.com). It is an idiot proof watch that does all the work for me (well, except the running). It accurately detects my resting heart rate and exercise heart rate. I just have to make sure that I hit the right heart rate zone!IMG_3734

I’ll do a review on it in my next post!

I hope you found this useful!

Till then,

Keep Running!

7 Ways to a Faster YOU!

This is the article I wrote for Healthworks.my ! If you have already read it on their website, just scroll through to view the pictures.

Do check out Healthworks.my and like their Facebook page. It is your one-stop-place for everything health, lifestyle and fitness!


 

You’ve been running steadily for several months, you’ve taken part in numerous running events and now, you want to take it to the next level. We’re talking about performance and speed because we all want to be the next Usain Bolt, right?

  1. Speed Work

The obvious thing to do if you want to run faster would be to throw in speed work into your training sessions.

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How?

They improve your VO2 max – the maximum volume of oxygen that your blood can deliver to your muscles when running at high speed.

Higher VO2 max > More oxygen delivered to working muscles > Increase in the production of ATP > Greater muscle contraction > Run Faster

Running puts a certain amount of stress on the body. Thankfully, humans are highly adaptable and we are able to learn and change to better handle that stress in the future. Remember how hard it was when you first started running – your breathing was all over the place, your heart felt like it was going to explode and your limbs had a mind of its own – but you continued anyway? And then a few weeks later you realised that running is the easiest thing in the world. That is because your body adapted to the “stress”.

It applies to speed work as well! Runners improve most when they occasionally overload their system and train at a particular speed. Your neuromuscular system, heart and lungs adapt to allow you to run efficiently at higher speeds.

Take Note: Start by Adding One Session A Week

Adding too much too soon is always a recipe for disaster. Instead of adaptation, your body enters the exhaustion stage and you will burnout, develop injuries and fail to recover. Start by adding one speed session a week to your normal training. For the regular runner, 3 speed sessions per week is enough to get you that much faster!

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Example:

  • Try 5 x 400m/5 x 800m/5 x 1KM at interval pace.
  • Rest for about 1-2 minutes in between each bout (Rest time depends on individual fitness).
  • Interval pace is hard running and talking is almost impossible.
  • It is about 90-100% effort.
  1. Plyometric Training

When you think of running, the last thing that comes to mind is probably strength training and plyometrics. However, these two have been known to enhance running performance. Plyometrics include high intensity, high impact drills like jumping and hopping.

How?

Plyometric training improves what is known as the Stretch-shortening Cycle (SSC). The SSC is the transition between the eccentric and concentric muscle contraction and how elastic energy is harnessed to help with force production.

Running is a series of eccentric and concentric contraction. What you want is the concentric contraction to follow closely after the eccentric contraction. If there is a long pause between the two contractions, the captured energy is loss.

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Hill sprints and jump combo? Hahaha! Kidding, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

What You Need To Know

Plyometric training > Quick SSC > Less energy and oxygen is needed to produce the same level of force > Run Faster

Take Note: Do Once A Week 

Plyometric training comes with a relatively high risk of injury. Novice runners are not advised to attempt these drills. Unless you are very experienced, plyometrics should only be done once a week. Never do them on days of high volume training.

Example:

1-2 sets of:

  • 15-20 box jumps
  • 15-20 jump squats
  • 15-20 jump lunges
  • 15-20 single leg hops
  • 5 sets of 50m hill sprints
  • Proper form is KEY to avoiding injury.
  • Consult a fitness/running professional before attempting any of these drills.
  1. Get Rid of That FAT

No doubt runners come in all shapes and sizes. Take a look at the elite pack and you will see a variety in physical proportions. However, they all have one thing in common – nearly all of them have a low body fat percentage. In other words – lean.

A study done in 2006 demonstrated that body fat is a good predictor of athletic performance [1].  The best runners have the leanest legs!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

Close enough.

Not all fat is bad fat, but storage fat is “dead weight”

Our bodies have storage fat and essential fat. Essential fat is the kind that is needed to sustain life. These are stored in the vital organs, the bone marrow as well as muscles and tissues of the central nervous system. Storage fat is stored in adipose tissue, found around the abdominal area, buttocks, hips and under the skin. The more we eat, the more fat we store and it becomes our energy reserve. However, storage fat is not essential for health and too much of it increases the risk of certain diseases.

When we talk about running, storage fat is considered “dead weight” which would only add to the energy cost of running.

Finding The Right Amount of Fat

Determining your optimal body composition is a tough one. Having too much or too little of fat can be detrimental to health. Thanks to our modern lifestyle – increased accessibility of food coupled with our sedentary lifestyle – it is unlikely that we have too little fat for optimal performance. You can gauge your optimal fat percentage by tracking performance. Your body composition at your peak performance is likely to be your optimal body fat composition.

What You Can Do

Move more and eat sensibly > Lower Body Fat Percentage > Run Faster

  1. Be Feather Light

If you are having trouble with lowering your body fat, your best bet would be to lower the weight of everything else that you have on you when you run!

Go light on the run. This includes your top, shorts and shoes. A study performed in 2010 found that it was more economical to run barefoot as compared to shod running [2].

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This basically means that the weight of the shoe could add to the energy cost of running. This does not mean that you have to become a barefoot runner overnight in order to improve running performance. Just opt for light weight shoes.

As for running apparel, go for technical wear that wicks sweat away from your body. Normal cotton tops absorb sweat and can add to the weight when you run.

In short, go light >run faster

  1. Get A Caffeine Fix

This is probably what all coffee addicts want to hear – YES, coffee is a legal performance enhancer! Many elite athletes rely on their morning cuppa, so there is good reason why you should too!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAlmond latte! SO GOOD!

Coffee has been known to give you that mental boost, improves mental alertness and reduces a runner’s perception of effort. When you’re able to focus coupled with the fact that running faster would feel easier, you can be sure to finish with a new Personal Best!

Physiologically, caffeine enhances neuromuscular coordination – the speed at which nerve signals are sent to the muscles from the brain – and reaction time. With more signals firing at your muscles, you will be more efficient, running faster with more force and less effort.

The benefits of caffeine have been proven out on the field. One study found that runners who took caffeine before a 5KM run performed better than running without caffeine [3].

IMG_4143

Source: media-cdn.tripadvisor.com

How Much: 400mg or 4 Cups

Before you start chugging down on a giant cup of coffee, there is such a thing as caffeine overdose. Although coffee can be part of your healthy diet (as they are rich in antioxidants), moderation is always key.

According to the FDA, a safe and healthy amount of caffeine a day is about 400mg or 4 cups.

People react differently to caffeine (tremors, palpitations, stomach upset, irritability etc), so experiment with it during your training before you attempt to take caffeine on race day! Caffeine is absorbed quickly and it can last pretty long. You can take it 30-45 minutes prior to toeing the start line.

IMG_1694

Affogato anyone?

Whether coffee is used to get you out the door, out of bed or make you run that much faster – it works!

Drink a cuppa > Run faster

  1. Strengthen The Core

The core is the center of the body which holds everything in place and it includes all the muscles which help you to maintain posture. These muscles are found on the abdomen, back and around your hips.

IMG_0639

The Problem: Postural and Muscle Imbalances

The thing about runners is that we tend to neglect strength training. Most of our time is spent logging in the miles. Over time, we develop postural and muscle imbalances. These occur between the muscles that we use all the time (lower body) and the muscles that remain idle (upper body).

Weaker muscles/muscle imbalances may force other muscles to compensate for their lack of function, leading to injury (lower back, knees) and pain.

IMG_2079

Why It Matters: Helps Hold Proper Running Form

A strong core would mean that you are more likely to hold proper running form for a longer period of time. This is especially useful when it comes to distance running. Also, by strengthening these muscles, weight stress from the upper body on the legs can be evenly distributed and reduced. This will then reduce the risk of injury, allowing you to run longer and harder.

A strong core keeps you in place, preventing unnecessary swinging/swaying which goes to improve your running economy = faster times.

What You Need to Do: Strengthen Your Core

With this in mind, what you need to do next is to strengthen your CORE. Stretching and strengthening the muscles overall can restore muscle balance.

The Basic: Plank

If you have absolutely no time and are extremely lazy, the plank would be your best bet. It works nearly every muscle in your body from your arms to your core right down to your legs.

IMG_1051

  • Keep your back straight
  • Keep your elbows below your shoulders
  • Suck your belly in, keep it tight
  • Do not let your hips sink
  • Plank every day for 1 minute and then move on to 2, 3, 4… and see how long you can hold it without compromising on form and technique!

Strengthen core > Run faster

  1. Believe That You Can Do It

And if all else fails, just believe that you can do it! The brain is the ultimate conductor, regulating running performance in response to the signals that it receives from the body. The brain always acts in your favour – to protect your body. It does so by slowing you down before you hurt yourself due to loss of homeostasis or from becoming prematurely fatigued.

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However, you can change the decision made by the brain in response to these inputs. This is where motivation, expectation and the simple belief that you can do it come into play. For example, you will most likely tolerate a greater degree of discomfort if there is an incentive (money, fame, PB, medal etc).

At the end of the day, physiology still wins. You have to be capable physiologically before you can psychologically believe yourself into better running performance. You are able to psychologically push yourself to the max, accessing all available reserves till the point that is just before death. If you haven’t pushed yourself or ran till you felt like dying, it is likely that you have not unleased your ultimate running potential.

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In short, Motivation and Belief >Usain Bolt

dfa

Source: Instagram

Before your next big running event, try these “faster running” tips and see how it goes!

 

Run Society Interview

I did an interview with Run Society recently.

I talked a little bit about myself (running, training, races, experience etc) and the PUMA RUNNING CLUB. You can CHECK IT OUT here.

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The Team.

Thank You Run Society for the feature.

Keep Running!

 

 

2014 in a FLASH!

Is it just me or did 2014 passed by in two blinks? We have come to the last page of the last chapter of the year. To say that 2014 was an awesome year is an UNDERSTATEMENT!1620520_10153006265161388_8679834674850829399_nI don’t even know where to start! It has been a big year of experiences, learning, triumphs, celebration, failures, lessons, discoveries, realisation and such. I will try (YES, TRY!) to summarise the running/fitness related aspects of 2014.1620470_689034887876265_5509030869444227803_n

This year, my running life has taken a huge leap. What started out as a mere pass time evolved into one of the main players for much of 2014. I didn’t even know running was THIS big of a thing. I mean, look at the number of running groups and the number of people running! Before 2014, I knew nobody in the running community (I didn’t even know it existed!). Now, I am blessed with so many of them!

So, let’s see what I got up to!10885314_10153006293721388_3457171254213537215_nFirst win of the year!

A few note-worthy points (in no particular order):

– Became a Puma Pacer (and now one of the leaders of the Puma Running Club)

-Competed in 25 races

-Finished on the podium/within the prizes for 24/25 of them

-First year being up on ANY podium and finishing within the prizes (Never came close to winning before 2014)

-Managed 5 champion titles in a row

-Became a part of Team Dirigo

-Ran my first Half Marathon (2XU Compression Run 2014 – 3rd place)

-Ran my first Full Marathon (SCKLM 2014) and finished in 3rd place (BQ too!)

-Featured in a magazine and having my running/health related articles published on Healthworks.my

-Meeting a whole COMMUNITY of runners

-Being able to inspire other people

-One of the pacers for the Puma Night Run 2014

-Became a Puma Sponsored Athlete

-Ran my first trail run

-Took part in my first relay race followed by a few more (Mix team of 5 – ParX 2014, All-girls team – Allianz Pacesetters Relay 2014, 2-women team – Putrajaya Relay Trail Run 2014, Mix team of 2 – Serama Adventure Race 2014)

These are just a few of the many significant moments in my running life. I have much to be grateful and thankful for.10415655_10153006265271388_4515075272361293232_nLive with no regrets! I am truly humbled by all the experiences, both the good and the bad. Learn from your bad experiences. Your best stories stem from overcoming past failures.

KEEP LEARNING, STAND TALL & NEVER GIVE UP!

10888750_10153006300126388_4729946694401520071_n 10882284_10153006300131388_7424685058556949884_nOk, show and tell is over (teehee!). Now all I gotta’ do is find a place to stash my trophies and medals. It is important to not let your victories go to your head, or your failures to go to your heart. Try not to dwell in your wins and achievements. Yes, they are a form of motivation and it is okay to celebrate but remember to move on. Life is about continuous improvement and moving forward. Never settle for less when you can do SO MUCH MORE!

Ok… MOVING ON!10551723_10152188831976048_5235394676202937990_o

Running has been very rewarding. It works both ways. You can help yourself AND other people along the way.

This year, I realised how important it is to surround yourself with people who truly love, grow and respect you for who you are.

The Puma Running Club

1013612_10153006265136388_2505356129743788350_nI have blogged about this before but it deserves another mention!

This was where it ALL BEGAN (in Dec 2013). It was my first running club and also my first time running with a group of runners. Gone were the days where I ran alone and knew nobody whenever I took part in races. The Puma Family took me in and sucked me into the running world. From there, I came to know even MORE running groups (Cari Runners etc) as well as other runners. For the first time, I was exposed to specific training sessions (Intervals, hill sprints, tempo, etc.). I could see how these sessions were beneficial – I joined more races after taking running more seriously.

10418338_10153006266911388_5341767127642031668_nThe Puma Running Club has been a way for me to help other runners attain their running goals. This was why I agreed to be a part of the Puma Pacer team – to give back to the running community. I know what it takes to work hard for something and reaping the rewards. I want everyone to have that experience. I love to see people achieving their goals through pure blood, sweat and tears. Their expressions are almost always PRICELESS!

1458523_10205867507186460_7536537097201103768_nIn just one year, the Puma Running Club has grown from a few members to a group so big that we can barely handle!

10393881_10153006265451388_6187128639751867794_nThank you for the immense support. Look out for 2015! We have a lot in store for you. We promise to do our best to make every session a smashing one.10403650_10205625191848728_628064876195492104_n

We want to help YOU!

The Running Community

10897776_10153006266451388_3001890739474425903_nThe A TEAM!

The Puma Running Club was the stepping stone to a huge running community that I hadn’t known existed – the Cari Runners and all the friends that I have met along the way! 10882285_10153006265236388_3250072281001828173_nMy ultimate supporter! He wakes up at ungodly hours, drives me to races, waits for me, takes photos/videos and cheers me on! Who else does that? HAH! Thank you for always waiting at the finishing line and being there at my most difficult times! You’re the best! 10888760_10153006265361388_1417554876376447945_nMore than just my training partner. Thank you for teaching me a thing or two about running! I was always the blur one. I don’t know what I’d do without you! She’s an inspiration, a girl with a big heart and a strong mind. 1459303_10153006264936388_2416102104081054634_nFunny how we were all at the same race back in  2013 (we didn’t know each other back then) and look at where we are today!10385376_10152877422980798_8783970220212712765_n10846221_10205960870400482_1256925157986124445_n 1970551_10152773734976388_2562369935450847234_n 15903_10153006266406388_3024720723238382524_n10357513_4681225566059_1085154803915653212_nThe big brother when it comes to running. He knows what he’s talking about! Thank you for bringing me into the Puma Running Club (and then quitting at the end!). Also, for your advice and support!10644790_10153006300136388_1007695928296009072_nThe ever friendly ATM gang.10882309_10153006266866388_2063760121912757528_n 1940020_10152492822162146_6244093865986023529_nTraining and running with a bunch of people that I had just came to know is not something that I would normally do. The immense support, encouragement and motivation from this group made running that much more fun and exciting! THANK YOU!

Team Dirigo

This was probably THE BIGGEST thing that happened. 10881565_10153006266791388_8749098935376212435_n

The try-outs.10384194_10153006266556388_2144342878471011419_n

Trying out for Team Dirigo was something I did out of curiosity. I wanted to see where I stood, and what I was capable of with my new found dedication to the sport. I didn’t expect to be picked for the team! I initially signed up for the 21KM category for SCKLM 2014. That would have been my first 21KM, and my longest race ever. Little did I know that I was required to run the full marathon with Team Dirigo!

10892021_10153006265721388_5992085982191018718_nTraining alongside other professional athletes under a proper running coach was an experience of a lifetime. Any form of proper training was new to me. We had a structured training program to follow and many intense track sessions. Serious stuff! All the athletes displayed focus, dedication, discipline and determination. I was exposed to a whole new world of running. It was a different ball game and I had much to learn. Thankfully, Coach Mark and my Dirigo mates were with me at every step of the way.

10334328_10153006265806388_5552079757136952395_nBig thanks to Coach Mark and Team Dirigo for seeing me through my FIRST FULL MARATHON! I have always hated long distance running. Anything beyond 10KM was crazy far. I was actually looking forward to the day when I would actually run my first full marathon, which was probably somewhere in the distant future. I guess being a part of Team Dirigo accelerated that process!

10885023_10153006265501388_817482605669920992_n 10474454_10153006265556388_1592770420384951914_nI didn’t expect to complete, BQ AND be up on the podium for my first full marathon. Truly an experience to remember. I want to thank everyone that helped me get up there. Your support means the world to me. I couldn’t have done it without you guys!

1606392_10152272435546048_6098132874055233043_oStill, I wouldn’t consider myself as a long distance runner, far from it actually. But I am slowly learning what it takes to become one. I am truly honoured to be part of Team Dirigo and to be training under Coach Mark Williams. Thank you for not giving up on me.

10676247_10153006265981388_5709845855204752351_nThis year has taught me a lot on how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I have never pushed myself so hard and so far before. I have achieved PBs that I never thought was possible. There really is no limit when it comes to running. Sometimes, it’s not about what you have. It’s about what you do with what you have.

10336688_10153006264781388_2870504447090831086_nWith the new-year upon us, take some time to reflect and to determine your next step. Take on challenges and new experiences. Head confidently into adventures that would take you to new horizons. Believe in yourself and keep an open mind.

10906284_10153006264796388_2984097916222741365_nI pray to God for a good 2015, giving all praise and glory to Him for whatever happened in 2014! 10603720_10153006266246388_3815644368845847000_nSo stoked for what is yet to come! THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING.

 

PUMA NIGHT RUN 2014

IMG_5423The Puma Running Club has a special place in my heart. It was where my running journey really began. It was a society where I felt that I was cared for, loved and wanted. From being a member, to a pacer and now, one of the leaders of the club, all I can say is that this group is SOLID. With the Puma Running Club, many of us achieved our running goals and PBs. Together (both the pacers and our running club members), we grew in our running abilities and our love for the sport.

IMG_5420The Puma Night Run 2014 was the first ever of its worldwide series in Malaysia. This was the club’s major highlight event. It was where we could showcase what we have been doing every week, pacing our members and helping them reach their goals. We also had a 10KM program that was tailored for this event.

10733769_10152856017696388_96275407701808454_oThe months and weeks leading up to the big day were stressful for us. Although we were not part of the organizing team, we felt responsible for anything that could possibly ruin the whole event. We highlighted every single detail to the organizers and made sure that they met our needs. Stuff like the route being under distance was out of our control as we couldn’t get pass the authorities. All we hoped for was a killer event for the runners!  IMG_5419I was down with fever on the morning of the big day (of all the days to fall sick, it had to be on this day!). I was thinking of giving the event a miss but I knew that I HAD to be there. I had 2 panadols before making my way to Setia Alam.

Upon arrival, I was impressed with the Village Area. It was like a mini Puma carnival with large canopies, a stage and many miscellaneous stalls around. Honestly, this event exceeded my expectations. Judging from what we had to deal with the few weeks leading up to this event, I wasn’t expecting this.

IMG_5426We gathered at the Convention Centre for a briefing session and also to get our pacer balloons. LED BALLOONS! How cool is that?

IMG_5429 IMG_5422Lighting up the night!

IMG_5428We had some time to catch up with each other, take photos and walk around the Village Area before gathering backstage. The whole atmosphere was just really chilled and relaxed. I felt really good! For once, I will be pacing the runners instead of competing with them.

IMG_5435Going crazy backstage!

IMG_5436After the short warm up session by our celebrity guests, it was our turn to go on stage.

10734001_10152399456776048_5303479239131490496_nThey introduced the pacers. Our 1 minute of fame?

IMG_5437I was the 60 minute pacer, along with Yung Hui and Felix. As I don’t own a GPS watch, I had to rely on them to make sure that we were getting our paces correct. We stayed within 5:45 to 5:55, with a few minutes of buffer. It was an enjoyable run. The route was pretty much flat with one small hill (element of challenge?). There were many U-turns which I thought was great! I love U-turns because you get to see the other runners on the opposite side of the road. I cheered for all the top runners when I saw them running pass. SO EXCITING! And of course, seeing the other pacers and runners go by was also very exhilarating. I felt so good that I had forgotten that I was sick. Running is the cure!

I was surprised to see water stations at every 3KM (total of 3 water stations). I don’t normally drink for 10KM races but you would usually find 2 water stations. So, thumbs up for 3 water stations! I would have preferred if they had placed the last water station at the finish line. Also, traffic control was a bit poor. During the final KM, I had a few cars getting in my way.

75935_10152856017886388_1457225353403871153_nAs a pacer, I am glad that I was able to help motivate and push some of the runners to the finish line. Some of them managed to hit their Personal Best! Way to go! When the runners thank you personally at the finish line or through social media (Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc), you know that all your hard work has paid off. It is so rewarding. Their faces and their expressions – Priceless! I feel so happy for them!

10702011_10152856018061388_7944656669250686649_nWhen you are dedicated enough, you will find a way.

Before the big day, all of the pacers met up during the Deepavali Holiday to test the route. Although it was a Public Holiday, everyone made it for the trial run.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our guest pacers: Zi Shen, Hui Xin, Lucas, Yuki, Michael, Xiao Jin and Seven. Thanks for helping us out! And of course, our core pacers: Victor, Elaine, Daniel, Shu Wei, Yung Hui, Felix, Peng Peng and Brian. Special thanks to Zi Shen and Victor who made many other small arrangements and making sure everyone did their best.

As pacers, we NAILED our timings and I am so proud of them.

IMG_543350 minute Pacers:

0:47:59 – Zi Shen

0:47:59 – Daniel Lai

0:48:06 – Shu Wei

IMG_543460 minute Pacers:

0:57:32 – Yung Hui

0:57:33 – Felix Boi

0:57:36 – Adele Wong

IMG_543170 minute Pacers:

1:06:37 – Peng Peng

1:06:39 – Hui Xin

1:06:43 – Lucas Ng

IMG_543280 minute Pacers:

1:16:22 – Yuki

1:16:23 – Michael

1:16:25 – Xiao Jin

IMG_5430Sweepers:

2:08:30 – Victor Cheong, Elaine Tan, Brian Kit and Seven

IMG_5440After our run, we went to look for the sweepers. We ran/walked all the way back to the finish line together. No one was left behind.

10556307_10152856017441388_1518777635714235246_n63952_10205589844325062_3185327727986011138_nThe Puma Night Run 2014 winners! Congrats! Psssst, 3 of them are our running club members!IMG_5442The night ended with fireworks! SUPER!

All in all, I think it was a pretty good event! The pacers had loads of fun at the after party concert! You should have seen some of them. Everyone was out of their “running element”.

IMG_5445Errrrr…presenting…our fastest runner. IMG_5444We received quite a number of feedback from the runners, both good and bad. Thank you for all of them! No event is perfect, the organizers are humans as well and sometimes, we make mistakes. On behalf of Puma Malaysia and the organizing committee, we apologize for any mishaps that occurred along the way. We value all of your comments and we will forward them to Puma Malaysia. We hope that the Puma Night Run 2015 will be even bigger and better! Thank you for all of your support! It means the world to us!

10556316_10152856017471388_9171922350484687040_nOh and ummm, post run fuel with the Puma gang.

IMG_5441We came and we conquered! GOOD JOB GUYS!

At the end of the day, it all boils down to our love for running. We are all in this together. We are here because we share the same passion. Let us encourage and empower each other, instead of bringing each other down! Spread the love people! Love you guys! Thanks for making it an awesome one!

See you at the Puma Night Run 2015!