Give The Gift Of Health With These 5 Garmin Smartwatches This Festive Season

2020 has been an eventful year, but one key takeaway has been the added emphasis on personal health. With a greater focus on creating healthier habits and spending more time on both physical and mental well-being, give the gift of health to your loved ones with Garmin this festive season. Packed with multiple health and fitness tracking features, encourage your loved ones to kick-start 2021 with healthy and mindful habits. 

For The Adventurous Dad

Does your dad love adventure? Through significantly increased battery life and new purpose-built and functionality including mountain biking and climbing activities, the fēnix 6 Pro Solar series (starting from $1,299) makes a great gift to fuel your dad’s adventures. The rugged yet sophisticated design is perfect to suit your dad’s daily adventures, whether it’s outdoors or in the boardroom. Plus, with the added solar charging feature, the fēnix 6 Pro-Solar editions remain performance-ready for weeks.

For Mums On The Go

Venu Sq (starting from $299 for the non-music edition) is perfect for mums who are always on the go. The sleek design of Garmin’s latest addition to their lifestyle range boasts all day health monitoring and 20 indoor and outdoor multisport modes. Great for mums who are looking to start their wellness journey and keen to try out new forms of exercises.

For The Toughest Brother

Tough brothers are befitting of a tough watch that’s like them – the Instinct Solar (worth $629). It’s built to the U.S military standard and able to withstand the harshest of conditions. Supported by both a Power Glass solar-charging lens and Power Manager feature, the Instinct Solar brings you an incredible battery life of up to 50 days in smartwatch mode, allowing you to do what you love, longer. 

For The Sister Who Plays Dress Up

Looking for stylish watches to gift your dear sister? The vívomove series (starting from $389) is the perfect choice. With its unique analog watch face, the vívomove series features hidden smart screens that display the various 24/7 health tracking functions like heart rate monitoring and respiration rate tracking so you are able to view your body stats on your wrist. 

For The Kids

The vívofit jr. 3 (S$129) is more than just a fitness tracker. Embark on an interactive experience where completing activities daily unlock new adventures on the parent-controlled app. Parents can assign chores and schedule alerts weekly or daily to help kids learn about schedules and responsibility. The kid-tough etched band features designs like blue stars, digi camo, lilac floral, Marvel Iron Man, Black Panther and Disney Princess and Little Mermaid and a user-replaceable battery that will keep your watch running for one year.

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Five Tips for Running Safely Day or Night

Running is a great way to get exercise. It doesn’t require any special equipment, but you’re still able to burn calories, build muscle, and give your heart a great workout. You can start by jogging a short distance or train for a marathon, and you can easily jog in your neighborhood without having to go anywhere special. It is the most accessible exercise, no matter what your ability, how much money you have, or how much time you have!

However, no exercise comes without at least a few risks. Whether you want to start jogging first thing in the morning or you have to jog at night in order to squeeze a little exercise into your schedule, these tips will help make sure that you stay safe on the road, on the trail, and everywhere in between.

1. Avoid Others on the Trail, Which Includes Dogs

It’s easy to get into a trance when you’re running. If you’re new to jogging, you may simply find yourself distracted as you’re getting used to what your body feels like when you elevate your heart rate. No matter why you aren’t paying close attention, it can result in a serious accident if it means running into or veering away from others on the trail at the last minute.

Not only do you need to be aware so you can avoid other people on the trail, you need to avoid animals too. A whopping 4.5 million dog bites occur each year. The last thing you want to do is end up startling a dog that is walking on the trail and end up going home with an injury.

2. Choose Your Route Wisely

There are a lot of great jogging paths out there. That doesn’t mean you’re ready to tackle any and every route.

It’s important to choose a path that matches your ability level. If you’re a new runner, you shouldn’t be choosing difficult uphill trails. You should also avoid secluded trails unless you are running with others. Running on a sidewalk is always better than running on the road, and you may want to choose paved paths over gravel if you struggle with your balance.

3. Make Sure You’re Visible

It is extremely important to make sure you’re visible when you’re running. It can ensure you avoid other walkers and runners on the trail, but it is especially important if you’re jogging on or near the road.

A few safety tips for daytime running include:

  • Face oncoming traffic when jogging
  • Wear brightly colored clothing
  • Jog in open spaces where you are easily seen

It is especially important to make sure you’re visible if you plan on running at night. That includes wearing reflective clothing, but it may also mean wearing a headlamp. Not only can it light the way ahead of you as you’re jogging, it is also the best way to get the attention of drivers and others on the trail.

4. Know What to Put in Your Pocket

The last thing you want to do is go out for a jog with a pocket full of stuff that is uncomfortable and weighs you down, but that doesn’t mean you should leave everything in your car. There are some things you should always have in your pocket.

Make sure you always have your ID in your pocket, keep your cell phone with you in case of an emergency, and make sure you have a safe place to put your car and/or house key.

You should also carry a personal safety alarm. That way, if you find yourself being followed or attacked, you can quickly and easily push the button to get help from others in the area.

5. Make Sure Someone Knows Your Exercise Schedule

Jogging with others can be a lot of fun, but for many, it’s a solitary activity. There’s nothing wrong with jogging alone as long as someone knows your exercise schedule.

Make sure a friend or family member knows your regular exercise schedule. If you are going to try a new trail, make sure you tell someone where you’re going and how long you expect to be there. That way, if you don’t return home when you’re expected, friends and family will know where to start looking for you.

Running is a great way to get exercise and take care of your health, but that doesn’t mean it is completely safe. Make sure your new commitment to fitness is safe by following the tips on this list.

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How to safely practise intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting, sometimes called intermittent energy deprivation, is a broad umbrella term for various meal cycles that change from non-feeding to voluntary re-feeding over a certain period. 

The concept of fasting is based on the concept of‘ total calories in equals total calories out.’ Any calorie not spent is stored inside the body. When you fast, you limit your food intake so that your body is forced to use the stored calories, which will help you lose weight. 

The biggest problem with intermittent fasting is that it does require some discipline on your part. If you’re willing to do it right, you’ll be able to make it work for you. But if you’re looking for an instant solution to your weight problem, then it may not be for you. 

There’s also a limit to intermittent fasting as too much food abstinence can negatively affect your health. To help you avoid the negative effects of intermittent fasting, here are some ways to do it safely: 

1. Always Consult Your Doctor Before Doing Any Fasting Method

There are different types of fasting methods, one of which is water fasting. This is a prolonged fasting method where you don’t eat anything but only drink water for a certain number of days. There are also timed fasting methods where you fast for several hours a day or one to two days a week. To do these methods safely, you should consult your general practitioner first. 

Some people are not meant to fast for longer periods because they have underlying medical conditions, like diabetes or heart problems. So, better have a full body work up so you may know if you’re safe to do intermittent fasting. 

2. Always Hydrate With Water

Another important thing that you need to know about fasting is that it can damage your organs and systems. You may also feel nauseous during your fasting days. To help you out, it’s recommended to drink plenty of water during your fast.

Hydrating while fasting will ensure that your organs work at an optimum rate even when you’re not fueling it with food. This will help them burn the excess calories stored inside your body so you’ll have the energy to go through your day. 

3. Plan Your Workout Accordingly

It’s important to plan your workouts when you’re doing intermittent fasting. When you’re fasting, you should stick to less intense exercises because you might not have the energy to do intense workouts. 

Although you can work out during your fasting hours or days, it’s still safer to do workouts hours after your meals or during your feeding window. This is to ensure you have enough energy to fuel your exercise, and you won’t pass out because you’re too hungry. 

4. Eat The Right Foods During Your Feeding Window

The re-feeding period of your fasting phase is one of the most important aspects of intermittent fasting. When you eat after fasting, your cells are re-building themselves to support proper tissue and cognitive function. New proteins are also formed to replace old ones, and your cells are slowly building energy sources after hours of food deprivation. 

Eating healthy food that supports cellular functions is essential when doing intermittent fasting safely. Ensure you have a balanced meal with the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and good fats. You should also eat fruits and vegetables so your body will replenish the vitamins and minerals it lost during the fasting stage. 

5. Don’t Overeat During Your Feeding Window

After hours of depriving your body of food, you may be tempted to eat as much as you can during your feeding schedule. The first thing you should know about intermittent fasting is that you’ll have to eat food when your body tells you that you’ve had enough. The reason for this is that you want to get into a fast phase and still be able to lose weight. This can be done in two ways: either eating only a small amount or eating very slowly over several days.

Summary

Aside from weight loss, intermittent fasting has plenty of health benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety. When the body is in a state of starvation, it’s relaxed, which makes it less likely to suffer from aches and pains, anxiety, and headaches.  

To fully experience these benefits, you need to follow safety protocols when doing intermittent fasting. Always consult your doctor before doing prolonged fasts and make sure you still live a healthy lifestyle. Proper diet and exercise are still the keys to ensure you’re fit and healthy while engaging in intermittent fasting.

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Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon Introduces Free Virtual Run

18 November 2020, KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) today announced the introduction of its inaugural Virtual Run, which will take place from 5 -13 December 2020 and offers free registration. Organised by Dirigo Events and with Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia as Title Sponsor, the KLSCM 2020 Virtual Run is set to become the premier virtual running event in Malaysia. The Virtual Run will offer the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km and 5km distance categories and runners from all over the world are expected to participate.

A Virtual Run is where participants who register for an event can run anywhere within the specified time-frame as long as they provide proof of their completed distance through digital apps or wearables. As the Covid-19 pandemic has halted the staging of mass participation events, at least for the foreseeable future, Virtual Runs are increasingly becoming the next viable option to fill that void.

“We wanted to create something for our runners that would motivate and re-energise everyone about running again because without events to train for, enthusiasm levels often drop easily. And with the pandemic continuing to spread, it is now more important than ever for all of us to maintain our health at optimum levels and keep our immune systems strong,” said Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events.

“We also understand that a lot of people are struggling financially at the moment and so we decided to make registrations free of charge to encourage as many people as possible to take part,” added Biemans.

Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, who are title sponsors of the traditional Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon, resumes that role for the virtual event and are eager to play their part in encouraging Malaysians to maintain a healthy lifestyle in these trying times.

“In response to our runners’ enthusiasm to stay fit virtually and remotely, we are delighted to elevate their running experience with the new and interactive KLSCM virtual run. Our first ever virtual marathon comes at a time where we are witnessing a significant shift to virtual events in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that the continued commitment of our KLSCM sponsorship will provide tangible ways for runners to keep active and engaged during such testing times,” said Abrar A. Anwar, Managing Director and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia.

A distinct feature of this Virtual Run is that it has been designed to provide a proper challenge to participants, as unlike some virtual events where you can accumulate your mileage over several runs, the KLSCM 2020 Virtual Run requires that you complete your entered distance in a single attempt. Other key features to look forward to are:

1. Free Registration

Registration for the KLSCM 2020 Virtual Run will be free of charge. Runners will receive an e-bib once successfully registered and an e-certificate (upon completion) downloadable from 21 December 2020 onwards.

2. The KLSCM 2020 VR App

A dedicated digital Application has been developed that can be downloaded for free, and
which will enable runners to track their run, submit their results, share their activity feed and comes packed with a host of other engaging features like category leaderboards and even an Augmented Reality selfie filter. You will also be able to Sync the App with your other digital wearables.

3. No Participation Limit to Categories

There will be no limits or quotas to the participation numbers for any distance or category. Participation will only be limited by age (12 years old and above for 5km, 15 years old and above for 10km and 18 years old and above for Half and Full Marathon).

4. Cut-off Times

There will be no specific cut-off times for each respective distance. Participants can complete their run anywhere outdoors, at a location of their choice, any time between 12.00am, 5 December and 11.59pm, 13 December 2020 (GMT+8).

5. Inclusion in KLSCM Official Participation History

Each successful registration is entered into the runner’s KLSCM Participation History.

6. Special Commemorative Merchandise

To commemorate the inaugural Virtual Run, exclusively designed official merchandise such as personalised medals, event tees, sports towels and face masks will be made available for purchase during the registration period.

Registration for KLSCM 2020 Virtual Run will be open from 18 November to 3 December 2020 through https://klscmvr.kl-marathon.com/2020/

For more information and updates on KLSCM 2020 Virtual Run, please visit:
Facebook : www.facebook.com/SCKLmarathon
Twitter : https://twitter.com/klscmarathon
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/klscmarathon/
Website : www.kl-marathon.com

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3 Ways to Help You Lose Weight

When it comes to weight loss, most of the fad diets that help you shed weight quickly often leave you feeling deprived and hungry. Furthermore, you’re likely to put on all the weight right back once you stop the diet. 

To ensure that you lose weight and sustain it efficiently, it’s essential to follow ways that have been backed by science. This ensures that your weight loss goals are met successfully. 

In this article, we discuss three effective ways to help you lose weight:

1. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a pattern in which you cycle between fasting and eating. Intermittent fasting focuses on when to eat instead of what to eat. There are several intermittent fasting patterns you can follow depending on your schedule and eating habits. Many studies suggest that eating during a restricted feeding window leads to the consumption of fewer calories. Some of the most common methods of intermittent fasting include;

  • 16/8 Method: If you plan to follow this pattern, you can finish your last meal by 8:00 pm and skip your breakfast. This leads to a 16-hour fast and an 8-hour feeding window. 
  • 5:2 Method: In this method, you fast two days a week and eat up to 500-600 calories on your fast days. 
  • Alternate Day Fasting: You fast every alternate day and eat normally on non-fast days. 

During the fasting period, you cannot eat anything. However, you can drink water, coffee, or tea. To enhance your intermittent fasting results, you can also take pills and supplements that support your weight loss goals. You can find good-quality, natural diet pills, and supplements at Thinco.

2. Create an Exercise and Diet Plan

When it comes to weight loss, it’s important to keep in mind that weight loss depends a lot on discipline and focus. While following an exercise regime and diet plan may be necessary, keep in mind that fat loss and retention of muscle mass are essential for sustainable weight loss. 

For fat loss, plan an exercise routine that will work with the kind of exercise you are doing now. You can include strength training that will help build muscle mass and increase your strength. Resistance training also helps you burn fat quickly as it increases the number of calories your body burns when it’s resting. It’s also important to keep a balanced diet. You need to have a little bit of everything to support your weight loss plan.

Once you focus on fat loss, you will also need to have the discipline to follow through. It’s easy to eat a candy bar, but if you don’t have enough motivation to continue exercising, it’s almost impossible to lose weight. Keep in mind that if you’re not committed to staying on top of your plan, you will end up eating unhealthy foods that are going to add unwanted pounds. Instead of giving up, keep the focus on fat loss, and it can be a successful journey for you.

3. Eat Healthy

To ensure that you lose weight without compromising your health, it’s important to eat mindfully. Including protein in your diet can help you feel fuller. This is because protein regulates the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and increases the satiety hormones. Including plant-based foods in your diet can increase your intake of fiber and lead to a feeling of fullness while consuming fewer calories. This will further aid your weight loss. 

Several studies suggest that balancing your gut bacteria can also help with weight loss since increase the number of good bacteria in your intestine can help improve your metabolism and digestion. 

For a weight loss diet, it’s important to cut down on refined carbohydrates and sugars that are quick to digest and convert to glucose quickly. This leads to higher insulin levels that promote fat storage and contributes to weight gain. 

Conclusion

Weight loss can be challenging if it isn’t followed mindfully. To get the desired results, it’s essential to incorporate holistic lifestyle changes instead of following fad diets. Since most fad diets lack any scientific research, they often fail. However, following a healthy diet, a regular exercise routine, and intermittent fasting can help you shed those extra pounds effectively without harming your health.

To lose weight, it’s important to follow a disciplined routine. Learn how to plan meals, cutting calories, and eating healthy recipes. Make sure to do some research on weight loss. This will help you learn about weight loss and healthy eating. Your weight is also influenced by your genetics and lifestyle choices. However, changing your lifestyle to a healthier routine can help you lose weight successfully.

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My Five Most Memorable Runs

Chicago Marathon 2019 - A dream came true!

“Don’t Limit Your Challenges. Challenge Your Limit!” – Liong Chian Min (Malaysian ultramarathoner & World Marathon Majors runner)

With this November marking the 4th anniversary of my Full Marathon (FM) journey since the first one on November 12th, 2016, I have been thinking a lot about my running experience lately.

My dream is to constantly challenge myself to run stronger, get faster and go further. Hence besides running FM, I have also explored trail running, hill hiking and Ultra Marathons (UMs) with distances stretching beyond 42km. Hitherto I have participated in 23 FMs and 6 UMs during this 4-year period, which led me to almost every state in Malaysia and running vacations around the world, such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Chicago.

Perhaps it would make sense that on this anniversary, I take a moment to pause and reflect on my best running moments so far. After some thoughts, I have narrowed down the list to “5 Most Memorable Runs” during 2016-2020, with each one representing a landmark milestone in my marathon journey.

Let me share the significance of each run, how I prepared for them & the lessons I learned along the way!

1. PUTRAJAYA NIGHT MARATHON 2016 (November 12th, 2016)

Why Important? My First Full Marathon (FM1)

Most Memorable Run 1 – Putrajaya Night Marathon 2016 (first FM)

As the saying goes ‘the first time is always special’, Putrajaya Night Marathon 2016 (PNM16) was truly memorable for me. Nothing could ever beat the euphoria of completing my virgin FM. Personally, PNM16 was perhaps the watershed moment in my journey, due to a couple of reasons.

Prior to 2016, I had never summoned enough courage to attempt any runs beyond Half Marathon. When I set my goal to attempt first FM that year, I rationally chose a close-to-year-end event, so that there was adequate time for training and preparation.

No doubt, the thought of running 42km was initially daunting, as there was always the mental barrier of whether I can complete the FM within COT (Cut Off Time) and avoid DNF (Do Not Finish). My 2016 modest goal was just to finish within 5 hours. And of course, the best way to gain confidence was to prepare physically and mentally, with consistent training throughout the year.

My run program was tailored to gradually increase my monthly mileage during 2016. In tandem with my training, I registered for at least one run event every month, raising the bar each time from 10km to 15km, 21km and eventually a few runs beyond HM, such as 2nd Penang Bridge Challenge 2016 (27km) and TRR Brooks Run 2016 (30km).

Choosing a pair of great running shoes became critical. After much consultation, I opted for the lightweight ‘Brooks Launch 3’ shoes, which provided the necessary support and energy return for my run. More and more, I also began to pay attention to my food intake, focusing more on carbo-loading before each running session.

On Nov 12th 2016, upon flight arrival & check-in at Putrajaya Dorsett Hotel, I was ready to face PNM16 challenge after months of training. Despite the heavy rain, I ran non-stop in my first FM with 15,000 runners and managed to finish with 4:25:40 (of course my PB, since it was my one and only FM).

What I Learned – For those runners who want to accomplish their first FMs, I would advise that you must commit to your goal early, find your inner motivation to succeed, maintain the discipline for consistent training, but most importantly, be prepared to leave your comfort zone!

2. STANDARD CHARTERED KUALA LUMPUR MARATHON 2017 (May 21st, 2017)

Why Important? My First Sub4 Marathon (FM4)

Most Memorable Run 2 – Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2107 (first Sub4 FM)

While PNM16 was memorable as my FM1, it was not until my 4th one, Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2017 (SCKLM17) that I achieved my first Sub4 (to finish within 4 hours). For me, Sub4 had to be the natural step-up, once I could consistently complete marathons.

To achieve Sub4, the training had to be different. It was no longer about whether I can finish FM within COT, BUT how fast I can complete the 42km ordeal. The average pace for Sub-4 marathon is about 5 min 41 sec per km; hence a runner must consistently hold his average pace around 5:30 for a long stretch of distance (with spare time for water stations, bad weather & unforeseen circumstances). The likelihood of leg cramp would easily increase in such a race against time.

The next logical plan for me was to get a reasonable running watch, which can adequately help to monitor and access my run performance (pace, distance, mileage, heart rate etc) during training and race. After much research, I finally bought Garmin Forerunner 235 (which I still happily use till today).

Definitely when it came to preparation, the training focused more on the aspect of run efficiency – such as cadence, stride, food diet, training mixtures, heart rate monitoring, VO2 etc. The run workout became more tactical before marathon (when to taper and carbo load) and during marathon (when to surge, when to conserve strength and be patient, how to save time at water stations, how to keep yourself hydrated, how to handle cramps etc).

As this was my first SCKLM attempt, the run route was scrutinized, especially for areas with elevation and steep descent. For example, SCKLM route was notorious for its hilly ending from Km 33 onwards (Bukit Tunku and a long climb along Jalan Parlimen).

Come May 21st, 2017, about 36,000 runners joined SCKLM17. I was one of FM runners to complete my first Sub4 FM (3:55:49), which I dedicated the achievement to my late father (who was supportive of my runs and passed away just 2 weeks before SCKLM17. For further reading:- https://www.justrunlah.com/2018/11/16/marathon-tribute-to-my-papa-by-paradigm-runner/).

What I Learned – For those runners who want to attempt their first Sub4 FM, you would need to run using your heart and your head. The training is still important, but you must equally learn to understand your body and know how to pace yourself correctly. Pay attention to your run details and efficiency.

Remember the golden marathon mantra – the actual racing does NOT usually start, until the last 10 km!

3. STANDARD CHARTERED SINGAPORE MARATHON 2018 (December 9th, 2018)

Why Important? My First Overseas Marathon (FM12)

Most Memorable Run 3 – Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2018 (1st Overseas FM)

2018 was the year that I joined 7 FMs, the highest participation in a single year. Although there were a few memorable FMs during 2018, I considered Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2018 (SCSM18, my FM12) as the one to stand out the most. After running more than 10 FMs in Malaysia, it was time for me to explore my first overseas marathon.

Unlike the local runs, the preparation for an overseas marathon will require a bit more coordination – eg accommodation, foreign currency exchange, visa (if required), food, flight booking etc.

But why SCSM18? Well…there were a few reasons for my choice.

First of all, SCSM is rated by IAAF as a Gold Label Road Race, a standard that unfortunately no marathon in Malaysia has ever achieved! It would be a great eye-opening experience to participate in Gold-Label marathon and explore the difference.

Secondly, Singapore is very near to Penang geographically, which makes the travel much faster (just about 1-hour flight). Likewise there are a lot of common factors between Singapore and Penang. From weather aspect, it is still the same hot and humid – so there won’t be any acclimatization required. The food and language were almost the same too.

Thirdly, SCSM route is relatively flat, with not much elevation; so it would not be too difficult.

Thousands took to the street on Dec 9th, 2018 and I completed my first oversea FM with Finish Time 3:48:08. After gaining SCSM18 experience, that provided me the confidence to explore more overseas marathons in future (for my SCSM18 review, pls read https://www.justrunlah.com/2018/12/19/a-tale-of-two-marathons-by-paradigm-runner/).

What I Learned – For those runners who want to try overseas FM, you have to pay attention to other factors, such as weather, accommodation, travel, food, especially the logistics to get to REPC (Race Entry Pack Collection) and Start Point. Choosing a hotel nearby to these locations will definitely help, but with many foreign runners in such race, it is best to get your lodging reserved early to avoid disappointment.

PS – however due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the participation in any FM (let alone an overseas one) will be more challenging nowadays.

4. CHICAGO MARATHON 2019 (October 13th, 2019)

Why Important? My First World Marathon Major (FM16)

Most Memorable Run 4 – Chicago Marathon 2019 (first World Marathon Majors FM)

As an avid runner, I would not be honest if I told you that I had never harbored any desire to run in World Marathon Majors (WMM). Ever since my first FM, a dream in my Bucket List was to take part in one of the six WMM.

I still remember Dec 11th, 2018 when I received the email to inform that I was selected to run in Chicago Marathon 2019 (CM19), which was my 16th FM.

Though SCSM18 was the baby step for participation in overseas marathon, the CM19 preparation was entirely different. With CM19 organized in USA (almost 15,000 km away from Malaysia) during October, an autumn marathon provided yet another set of challenges. The temperature there would be somewhere between 10-15C, while Chicago is known as The Windy City for an obvious reason – the wind factor!

To train for CM19, I registered for Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2019 (SCHKM19) in February as a trial run. As a spring marathon, SCHKM19 offered me the experience to run FM in almost similar climate – a much colder temperature, with strong chilly wind.

Another action plan was to arrive a few days earlier in Chicago, which gave me the chance to acclimatize my body to the weather. I did a few light jogs during those few days to observe how my body reacted to the cold temperature and strong winds and how my breathing would be affected.

Finally on Oct 13th, 2019, I ran my dream marathon, together with 45,000 runners from all over the world, with my fastest Finish Time 3:36:54 (my new PB).

What I Learned – If you want to join overseas FM in a country with completely different climate, you need to adopt different preparation. Try to get there a few days in advance. This will give your body a chance to adjust to the weather, wind, temperature and food. Bring extra clothing to keep you warm (if necessary) eg windbreaker, earmuffs, gloves etc.

Such preparation was extremely valuable, as it would give your body the opportunity and ample time to adapt.

5. LANGKAWI ULTRA 2020 (February 29th, 2020)

Why Important? My First 100km Ultra Marathon (UM5)

After Chicago Marathon 2019 (CM19), my attention quickly shifted back to another concurrent goal – to run my first 100km UM. I had another 4 months to train for Langkawi Ultra 2020 (LU20), scheduled on February 29th, 2020.

The training for 100km UM was very dissimilar to those of CM19, in terms of speed, distance, weather, physical and mental conditioning. It didn’t escape my attention that 100km UM is equivalent to running two consecutive FMs, plus another 16km.

Unlike FM (where I aimed for Sub4 speed), the game plan for my first UM was to avoid DNF, while achieving a decent Finish Time. With 18-hour COT, my aim was to finish hopefully within 14 hours (run, walk or even crawl, if I had to).

In fact, my training for UM began, way before CM19. The approach for 100km UM focused more on physical endurance, body conditioning and mental strength during such gruesome distance. Speed became secondary for UM training.

But here’s the thing. For a working family person, I would not have the luxury to regularly train for 10-15 hours for UM. So I did the next best thing – spread out my FM runs during 2019, leveraged on my 50km trail runs for endurance training and joined a 75-km UM along the way.                   

As part of my LU20 training, I signed up for 3 UMs, as a step-up to bridge between 42km and 100km. The first one was Penang ECO 2019 (in June 2019), a 50-km trail run with Elevation Gain 2,921m. Next came PUTRA Perlis Ultra 2019, a 75km road run in Dec 2019. With 4th-place finishing in PUTRA Perlis Ultra 2019, I found the confidence to take on LU 100km. Finally I participated in UTOS 2020 (another 50-km Johor trail run in Feb 2020), just 3 weeks before LU20, to ensure that my endurance training was consistently maintained.

Come Feb 29th, 2020, I stood at the starting line of 100-km race with another 86 runners and eventually completed LU20, with Finish Time 13:38:16 and ranked 7th in my category.

What I Learned – For UM, physical and mental preparation are equally crucial! Physical training would prepare your body well for UM, but your mental resilience and heart desire must be strong enough for you to finish the race. Your ultimate strength doesn’t come from your body, it comes from your heart, asking you, ‘How bad do you want it?’”

There were many times during the 2nd half of UM race when my tired body would tell me to throw in the towel, but the ultimate decision came from my mind.

At that moment, I remembered the words from Michael D’Aurelio, the author of the book ‘The Ultramarathon Guide: A Simple Approach to Running Your First Ultramarathon‘ – “The moment when your legs give up is the exact moment when your heart gives more.”

For me, it has been a wonderful marathon journey so far (2016-2020) and perhaps more will come in future. Which brings me to my sincere wish that you have enjoyed reading them and learned some tips from my experience. Hopefully my anecdotes may even inspire some of you to greater heights.

In your running journey, you are there to improve yourself, NOT to compete against others (unless you are a professional elite runner). Remember that as long as you are better than yourself yesterday, you have taken a positive step to be a better you!

You are running your own race. You compete with no one but yourself.

So train to your best ability! Go out there and create your own memorable runs!! This is your journey!!!

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Common Injuries Runners May Experience

Running is an interestingly common sport that’s popular among people of all ages. While running is one of the friendliest activities that you can try during your free time, some people take running to a higher level and participate in running sports.

Being a runner, you should be prepared to experience some kind of injury at least once in your running career. In fact, 79% of runners suffer from injuries at least once a year.

Since runners aren’t immune from experiencing running accidents, it’s still important to be informed on what injuries are common among runners and how they’re treated accordingly. Essentially, most of these injuries will involve the lower body, which runners constantly utilize for their running.

Here are eight common injuries that runners should be careful from experiencing:

1. Plantar Fasciitis

The irritation and degeneration of the plantar fascia, which is the large ligament on the bottom of your foot, is an injury known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can occur from a variety of causes:

  • Wearing tight shoes or shoes with poor cushioning
  • Excessively running long distances
  • Excessive stretching of the fascia
  • Recently exercising on hard surfaces

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis can vary depending on the person, but they usually include a popping or clicking sound, a sudden and sharp pain, and swelling. Also, plantar fasciitis in runners can occur in any joint in the foot.

In fact, plantar fasciitis in runners may also occur in other areas of the body, like the neck and back, because the plantar fascia runs under so many nerves and tendons that a person’s range of motion may be compromised.

Plantar fasciitis causes a lot of pain and discomfort, especially when walking. The best way to alleviate the pain is to rest your foot for at least a day. The pain can also be relieved by wearing compression socks that help relieve the pressure.

If the pain and discomfort are so bad that you’re not able to walk for more than a few minutes at a time, you should contact a doctor or visit this website.

2. Stress Fracture

Stress fractures are one of the most common injuries among runners and other athletes. Runners frequently injure their bodies through repetitive exercise, especially when doing long runs. Injuries caused by this type of stress to the joints and ligaments can be painful and can even lead to permanent damage.

Running also promotes bones strengthening over time, which is good for runners, but as with everything in life, your bone will be unable to withstand too much stress over too short of time

There are many factors that can cause a stress fracture such as pressure exerted on your bones by running, specifically the stresses of running and jumping. Another factor is the stress of being thrown around, especially during sprinting and running on uneven surfaces.

3. Achilles Tendinopathy

Achilles tendinopathy is a common condition that occurs mostly among younger runners who don’t take any special care to prevent it. This injury causes pain on one side of the foot that starts from the heel area and gradually progresses up the leg towards the ankle joint. There’s no specific reason for this condition and no definite cures or treatments available.

Therefore, most runners who suffer from Achilles tendinopathy prefer to undergo some sort of physical therapy, especially rehabilitation. In fact, treating this condition is the same as treating patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. As such, treatment involves correcting and strengthening the Achilles tendons.

Rehabilitation is an essential part of treating Achilles tendinitis in runners. Therefore, you should ensure that proper exercises are undertaken to strengthen the muscles involved in running. These exercises include stretching and strengthening, which can last from three to six weeks. Once the rehabilitation program is complete, the doctor may require the runner to continue with the rehabilitation for a longer period of time, if necessary.

4. Muscle Pull

A muscle pull injury is usually caused by a misalignment or improper technique used, especially when training for high-distance runs. Muscle pull in runners occurs when the muscle fibers are pulled too tight or too far from the direction of motion. It’s a common injury that occurs by stretching the muscle far beyond its optimal range.

When a muscle pull occurs, the body tries to repair the damage as fast as possible, causing another muscle problem called tendonitis. Tendonitis is caused when the muscles that surround the injury are pulled toward the original injury. If your muscle pull goes deeper than the tendon itself, it can also cause a rupture in the tendon. This can cause a person to experience pain along with the muscle, sometimes to the point that moving becomes difficult. In these cases, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor and get treatment as soon as possible.

The best way to prevent a muscle pull injury is to avoid doing too much of a single exercise and don’t make the mistake of doing so with little rest in between each set. Also, keep your elbows up when you’re running. If you have to pull your knee out during a run, try to keep it down as much as possible and don’t let it drag on the ground. Runners who don’t avoid these mistakes tend to end up with injuries like muscle pull and even tendonitis.

5. Shin Splints

Shin splints, or tibial stress syndrome, happen when a runner suddenly increases their running volume, particularly on hard surfaces. Shin splints occur along your shinbone, which is in the inner parts of your lower legs.

Moreover, they’re caused by the bone being overworked and can be aggravated by running shoes that lack cushioning and shock absorption. This causes the bone to become more susceptible to bone spasm, resulting in shin splint. Many medical practitioners will advise runners to wear supportive footwear with a firm but soft midsole to absorb shock.

Fortunately, tibial stress syndrome isn’t a serious injury. It may disappear provided you have enough rest. If you’re still required to run with shin splints, it would help if you would lessen your running frequency.

6. Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprain injury in runners is more common than people imagine. A major reason for this is that runners frequently rotate their ankle while running because of an abrupt stop or beginning an exercise at a wrong angle. The ankle is often bent inwards to absorb the shock while the foot turns out and away from the direction of motion, and, at the same time, to protect the ball of the foot.

This can be dangerous in a variety of ways. For one, if the foot is twisted out or pulled slightly away from your body’s center of gravity, you’ll experience an immediate jarring sensation in the ankle.

An acute ankle sprain can be a very serious injury. In fact, an ankle sprain can lead to permanent nerve damage and nerve compression. Because of this, ankle sprain in runners should be treated immediately and appropriately by a doctor to minimize the possibility of long-term, permanent, or debilitating consequences. To prevent the possibility of another sprain or injury from occurring again, a doctor will most likely recommend that the athlete return to their normal activity level after the treatment is complete.

7. IT Band Syndrome

Your leg has a long, connective tissue called the iliotibial band (IT band) or Maissiat’s band that traverses from your outer hip to knee. Your IT band has a plethora of functions: abducting, rotating, and extending your hip, as well as knee stabilization. However, the overuse and repetitive flexion and extension of your IT band can cause an injury known as the IT band syndrome.

When your IT band becomes inflamed, tight, and irritated, it’ll induce friction on the outside of your knee during stretching or bending. Typically, younger athletes who use their knees frequently become the victims of IT band syndrome, such as runners, cyclists, hikers, soccer players, basketball players, and weightlifters.

To avoid IT band syndrome, make sure that you avoid the following training errors:

  • Training in poor body form
  • Improper warm-up and cool down
  • Not having enough rest between activities
  • The abrupt increase of training frequency or volume
  • Training in wrong surfaces
  • Wearing improper footwear

8. Bursitis

This last injury focuses more on your hip than a combination of your legs and knees. Bursa is a small, sac-like, cushion structure in your bones, such as the hips, which is filled with fluid that lubricates the motion of joints and tendons during any activity. Bursitis occurs when your bursa becomes inflamed. Fortunately, bursitis is commonly a temporary condition that doesn’t cause any kind of deformity in your hips.

Your body possesses over 150 bursae, but runners specifically injure only three of them:

  • Pes anserinus bursa: along the inside of the knee
  • Retrocalcaneal bursa: at the back of the heel
  • Greater trochanteric bursa: the most common in runners; at the hip

To treat hip bursitis, the runner requires intensive physical therapy involving stretching and strengthening exercises for the hip muscles and lower back. For more dangerous cases of hip bursitis, surgery can be a good option. However, this surgery involves removing the bursa itself, and it’s still unclear if it would affect your running abilities. Therefore, it’s important to discuss this with your therapist.

Takeaways

While running is a simple activity, it’s overwhelming that the slightest mistake on your running angle, speed, or turn can put you into a compromise of having these injuries. Since most runner injuries happen due to overexertion, runners must know how to make the most of their training without pushing themselves past their limits, while still doing their best to improve their running ability.

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Tuning Your Home Fitness Regimen To Boost Running Performance

Working out at home can add another string to your bow in improving your fitness and overall athletic performance. According to The Mayo Clinic, making fitness and exercise a part of your life – including home regimens – can benefit your fitness in ways that having scheduled physical activity cannot, with performance, mental benefits and recovery all enhanced through consistent at-home work. Fine-tuning your home workout regimen to benefit running will help you to convert these benefits from something general into a specific and measured boon to your overall health.

The weights

Many runners will not want to pack on muscle – or rather, they will want to keep to an ideal running weight. This means a strict diet, often, and time spent away from muscle-focused exercises. However contradictory it may seem to pack more weight onto the body, it remains that a degree of weight-training can help you with your athletic performance. This is true whether you need the explosive lean muscle of a 100m sprinter, or the conditioning of a long-distance runner.

Dumbbells and barbells are some of the most ideal fitness equipment for exercising at home that you can obtain for overall physical benefit, but doing this work properly lies in one specific time period. A study analyzed by Scientific American held that you should separate forms of activity out so they never cross-over within a six-hour period. This means keeping your weights to one day and cardio to another. Otherwise, the contradictory exercises can lessen the benefits of each other and create an enhanced risk of injury.

Preventing injury

Injury is very prevalent among runners. According to an important 2019 study published by the British Medical Journal found that preparation for running events holds a 20% injury risk alone. One of the best ways to prevent injury comes through regular stretching and flexibility exercises; the home exercise environment is perfect for this. Whether that’s taking regular stops through the home and doing mini-stretch sessions; think a leg here when at the stove, or doing full-body stretches when drying off from a shower, or something more long-term like yoga. Whatever method is chosen can have a great positive impact on body flexibility and help to prevent damaging long-term injuries.

Improving mental health

The majority of a person’s time is spent at home these days – that’s a lot of time given over to reflection and quietness, away from the hustle and bustle of cities and towns. This creates an opportunity to improve mental health, something which has a well-founded impact on athletic performance. Whether recovering from injury or having the mindset to be able to push through pain barriers when in the race, mental health is incredibly important. Making mental health part of a home exercise regime is entirely possible, too. Yoga is again a great example of exercise that includes both aspects of whole-body health, but it can also be something as simple as meditating while doing aerobics, or listening to helpful advice or philosophy while on the treadmill or working weights.

Brought together, the home provides a great studio for positive physical enhancement. There is so much you can do to help your body prepare for the rigours of a race, and that can be accomplished without stepping outside the door. Consider that for next time you’re training.

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4 Sources OF Electrolytes You Should Be Taking Daily

Electrolytes and fluids are necessary for all cells, organs and even the human body itself to function properly. These substances are electrochemical in nature and help maintain a proper balance between chemicals. Electrolyte fluid is used in the skin to help prevent dehydration and can also help keep the body from becoming starved of vital nutrients. The electrolytes keep those fluids moving that is needed for the skin to retain moisture and to retain colour.

What Electrolytes Do

Electrolytes play an important part in your human body’s functions. Without enough of them, it is nearly impossible to carry out normal functions, especially when there is a lack of fluid in the body. Electrolyte fluids are found in the muscles of the human body as well as in the brain. They are what help to keep the communication going between the two.

Some essential electrolyte sources are found naturally in our foods and water, while others may need to be added to our diet. Some people may need to consume more than others because they may have health problems or an existing condition that affects their electrolyte needs. This can happen when someone is ill with the flu as well. Electrolyte fluid should always be consumed before a workout, if possible.

Where Electrolytes Are Found in the Body

The three main sources of electrolyte fluids are water, muscle, and red blood cells. Water is always the first on the list because it helps flush out the wastes in the body. If you are dehydrated, the body will use this liquid to replenish itself. Muscle cells also contain electrolytes that help maintain the body’s electrical balance and enable it to perform properly without becoming overworked.

Red blood cells are the last type of electrolyte fluid to come to mind. Red blood cells require an electrolyte fluid source in order to continue operating correctly. Some people may need a vitamin, mineral or enzyme supplement to provide these fluids for them.

Lack of Electrolytes

For some people, there may not be enough electrolyte liquid in the diet. This is particularly true of people who are diabetic, pregnant, or taking medication. It may be difficult for them to take in a sufficient amount of fluid without harming their health. For people with kidney or heart conditions, the body’s ability to metabolize food may be compromised. There are special supplements that can help a person who has kidney problems to get electrolytes from their diet.

Another issue that affects electrolytes in the body is that the blood sugar level can drop. too much glucose in the blood is absorbed by the cells and this can cause a drop in blood electrolyte levels. When the blood sugar level drops, the body does not have the ability to absorb calcium, which is needed for the bones. People who are on diuretics or diuretic medications may suffer from low levels of electrolytes, too.

The solution is to ensure your body gets its daily dose of electrolytes. Whether it’s in liquid form, a supplement, or food, it is important for your system to operate properly and not be dehydrated.

What exactly are the 4 sources of electrolytes that you should be taking daily, and what exactly do they do for your body. The answer is potassium, magnesium, chloride, and calcium.

1. Potassium

Potassium is both a mineral and an electrolyte. Its basic function is to keep your body balanced with electrolytes and maintain the amount of fluid in the body’s cells. It is vital for how your muscles and nervous system works.

Your potassium correlates with the sodium in your body. When one goes up, the other goes down, and vice-a-versa. When the potassium level in your body is too high or too low, it can cause serious conditions such as low blood pressure, nausea, constant urination, muscle weakness, confusion, or even paralysis.

2. Magnesium

Magnesium is also very important with regards to your electrolytes. This chemical is vital in the transporting of oxygen and calcium into the various cells of your body. It is directly related in affecting your potassium and sodium levels as well. To prevent excess cramping and muscle contractions, magnesium must be a core part of your daily regimen.

3. Chloride

Chloride may be one of the most vital of the electrolytes in your body. It is actually this compound that balances the amount of fluid both outside and inside the cells of your body. Chloride is also known to maintain your blood pressure, your blood volume, and the PH level of your fluids. Generally, chloride comes from the salt that your body takes in. Your intestines absorb the sodium chloride as you are digesting. Any extra chloride in your body is eliminated through your urine. Although this compound is most important, it does not take much for it to work properly. Only a small amount of salt is needed actually for it to do its job correctly.  Basically only 1 teaspoon a day will fulfill its recommended allotment.  

4. Calcium

Calcium is a mineral that is basically responsible for carrying electrical charges when its dissolves into the fluids of the body. It is interesting to note, however, that most of the calcium in a body remains not charged. Although most of the body’s calcium is stored in your bones, muscle cells and blood cells also carry this mineral. Calcium is most noted for the essential functioning of muscle contractions, bone and teeth formations, normal heart rhythms, and clotting of the blood. It is interesting to note that calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the whole body.

Daily Dose of Electrolytes

Vegetables are good sources of electrolyte fluids because they are low in calories and also contain a variety of nutrients and minerals. When vegetables are combined with a source of electrolytes, they provide a complete balanced diet. Most fruits and certain vegetables may also be a good source of electrolytes. However, it is important to read the labels on the fruits and vegetables and know the proper amounts needed. Along with vegetables, there are other kinds of foods that can add electrolytes to your system. These include such things as dairy, nuts, whole grains, and beans.

Each element contains a list of its appropriate food group to best maintain your electrolytes.

  1. Potassium: sweet potatoes, cooked spinach, prunes, raisins, melons, oranges, tomatoes, peas, avocados, bananas, and nonfat yogurt.
  2. Magnesium: Dried beans, lentils, peanut butter, nuts, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables.
  3. Chloride: Lettuce, celery, tomatoes, rye, seaweed, and olives.
  4. Calcium: Meat, milk, milk products, eggs, fish with bones, beans, asparagus, dried apricots, figs, and fortified cereals.

Eating these foods will provide for a balanced diet as well as replace electrolytes in your body from day to day. If your diet does not include these minerals, you may want to think of enhancing it with an electrolyte beverage or supplement. These can be very beneficial because our diets don’t always include our necessary nutrients. Electrolyte supplements can be found in the stores or online from companies like dripdrop.com.

What Affects Your Electrolyte Level?

The best way to keep the electrolyte fluid in the body is to take in enough fluids. If your blood is not getting enough, then you should consult your doctor for electrolyte tablets or fluids to give you what you need.

Electrolytes are important for different types of activity too. A person who exercises needs more electrolytes than someone who doesn’t exercise at all. If you are a woman and are going through menopause, the body changes a lot during this time and can also affect your electrolyte levels.

Certain medications also can affect your electrolyte levels. Certain foods that should be avoided in a person with a high blood pressure problem include caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol. If you are someone who is taking antibiotics, then you may also need a different type of electrolyte liquid.

Conclusion

As you can see, electrolytes are not just about sports drinks. They are vital minerals that your body needs on a day to day basis to stay healthy and work properly. They can be found in specialised beverages or the food we eat daily. They are important for our day to day functions. Without them, we can become sickly and incapacitated. Our muscles won’t work well, and our brain won’t be able to think. Our heart can become frail and cause complications. It is vital for your body to maintain its electrolytes to prevent oncoming illnesses and dehydration. When in doubt, always contact your physician for any medical advice regarding your diet and your well-being.

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The World Comes Together Virtually on The Streets of Singapore For the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2020

Grand Finale hybrid race to take place from 27 November to 6 December

  • New virtual race experience with augmented reality routes featuring Singapore’s iconic landmarks powered by Rouvy (an indoor racing app with augmented reality courses)
  • Grand Finale hybrid race features the Half Marathon, 10K and Double Up challenge and will be free of charge for runners
  • Event concludes with a two-day Grand Finale Celebration experience at Gardens by the Bay on 5 & 6 December
  • Participants and the community can tune in to the live SCSM 2020 Race As One Show on 5 December at 6pm via the official SCSM Facebook page

SINGAPORE / TAMPA, 29 OCTOBER 2020 – The IRONMAN Group, event organiser of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM), today announced the launch of registration for the 2020 SCSM that will feature a unique hybrid race format for participants to run through the streets of Singapore virtually, creating a world-class experience for runners around the world. This new format will be free of charge for
runners in place of the traditional race due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following 13 weeks of the SCSM Virtual Racing series, the Grand Finale, starting from 27 November through to 6 December, offers runners both locally and around the world, an opportunity to race together in one of five categories:

  • SCSM Grand Finale Rouvy AR 10KM
  • SCSM Grand Finale Rouvy AR Half Marathon
  • SCSM Grand Finale VR 10KM
  • SCSM Grand Finale VR Half Marathon
  • SCSM Grand Finale VR Double Up Challenge

Adopting a hybrid race format, runners can register for the outdoor or indoor race option with a compatible tracking device or join the immersive augmented reality (AR) format powered by Rouvy on a treadmill. The AR format will allow overseas runners to traverse through the spectacular cityscapes in the ‘Best of Singapore’ routes.

To bring runners together safely to celebrate finishing the race, participants in Singapore can opt to attend a two-day signature Grand Finale Celebration experience at Gardens by the Bay on 5 and 6 December. The experience will be open to runners who have purchased Grand Finale race entitlements, and will be on a pre-registration basis for specific time slots as part of prevailing safe management measures. Overseas runners can also opt for a race entitlement package, and have their race singlet, medal and other goodies sent to them.

An Augmented Reality (AR) Race Like Never Before

This year, The IRONMAN Group worked closely with various partners to push the envelope in elevating the virtual race experience for runners through programming and technology innovations. The AR format powered by Rouvy allows runners to create avatars and see themselves competing with fellow runners in real-time, while also emulating the actual race experience through various in-video features.

The Half Marathon and 10K routes featured in the AR format have been specially curated in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to feature some of Singapore’s most iconic landmarks and scenic streetscapes such as Orchard Road, Little India, Chinatown, the Civic District and more.

SCSM2020 Grand Finale Rouvy AR Route

To allow as many runners as possible to experience this immersive virtual race format, race organisers have also teamed up with Sport Singapore to activate 12 ActiveSG sport centres around the island. These gyms will offer bookable slots for the AR Half Marathon and 10KM categories via the ActiveSG app.

Grand Finale Celebration Experience at Gardens by the Bay & the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2020 Race As One Live Show

While the race has pivoted to a unique format this year, local runners can still look forward to the Grand Finale Celebration experience. Held at the Flower Field Hall in the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, the Grand Finale Celebration will give runners the opportunity to collect their race entitlements and commemorate their race achievements against photo backdrops of their choice. Strict public health and safety protocols in accordance with the safe management guidelines by the authorities will be in place, and
runners are encouraged to stay updated for the latest information from SCSM’s digital platforms.

In addition, there will be a special 90-minute live Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2020 Race As One Show on 5 December starting at 6pm. Runners can tune in via the SCSM Facebook page to catch celebrities and personalities race for a cause in the Rouvy AR Half Marathon Relay Challenge. This year, SCSM will be joining National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC)’s Giving Week 2020 and raise funds for Community Chest, more details will be shared closer to date. Through this initiative, the race organisers hoped that all participants, partners, and the community would come together and stand in solidarity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The show will also feature highlights and runner stories from the 15-weeks SCSM Virtual Racing Series of this year’s unique marathon.

Speaking at the launch, Geoff Meyer, Managing Director of Asia for The IRONMAN Group, commented “The 2020 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon will be a race like no other, and a celebration at the end of a very challenging year. I am proud of the team and our partners for rising up to the challenge, presenting runners with a unique and innovative world-class experience. We look forward to having people around the world participate in the race virtually and safely, and to end the year with an uplifting event.”

Mr Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board said, “Marathons are all about overcoming obstacles and pushing your limits. We are heartened that The IRONMAN Group have shown that same spirit for this year’s event, by adapting and boldly reimagining the race during this challenging period. We encourage all event organisers to do the same, to continue exploring new formats and redefining how events could look like in the new COVID environment. In the meantime, we’re excited that runners from all
over the world can experience the sights and sounds of our beautiful city virtually this year. We hope this will inspire them to visit us in person, in time to come.”

“While many Singaporeans were eager to see the SCSM return in its full glory, we know that for this year this was not to be. Undaunted, the organisers have creatively put together a celebration of the SCSM through an immersive and engaging journey and experience. This speaks to the spirit of Singapore and of all runners who want to come together in one voice to celebrate our way of life and in overcoming the limitations of these COVID-19 times. I wish all runners an enjoyable, meaningful and memorable SCSM
2020,” added Mr Lim Teck Yin, Chief Executive Officer of Sport Singapore.

Gear up for the Race with the SCSM Virtual Club

To help runners stay active, train and gear up for the race, runners and the community have been able to participate in weekly challenges and races on the SCSM VC platform. Since its launch in August, the SCSM VC has received over 80,000 participation across the weekly virtual races and challenges.

Races under the Virtual Racing Series have been categorised according to four themes that celebrate running routes that are unique to Singapore. The four themes also mirror STB’s passion tribes, which include the Action Seekers, Culture Shapers, Explorers and Foodies. These routes give runners the opportunity to explore and rediscover different sides of Singapore and its hidden gems.

“2020 has been challenging for all sporting events globally but we are delighted that the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon is still able to engage runners from all over the world through a hybrid model. Team SCSM has responded in solidarity with our running community to create extraordinary virtual experiences that we will remember for years to come,” said Patrick Lee, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited.

For more information on the SCSM 2020 and the SCSM Virtual Club, please visit
www.singaporemarathon.com.

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All About the Sports Science Degree

Are you interested in both sports and want to learn what our bodies do during physical activity? Well, then it’s obvious. You must enroll in a sports science degree! In this article, we’ll examine what one needs to get on this course, and what options await you after graduation.

Sports… Science?

Firstly, let’s discuss what exactly this subject is. If you’re hearing this term for the first time, then you’d be correct for thinking that this specialization studies everything related to human physiology and its response to exercise. To be precise, these academic sectors are a mixture of subjects that concentrate on scrutinizing physical performance.

The essential academic subjects that go into Sports Science are related to the human psyche and inner working of our bodies. Additionally, students get to study entrepreneurship to be later capable of working with sportsmen and -women as advisors and even trainers.

Human physiology is being more and more intensely investigated, which progresses and evolves the way that people exercise. As of recently, this field is seeing a big increase in popularity due to sports science graduates becoming more in demand as both personal and sports team advisors.

Here’s What to Expect From This Course

Most commonly, such a degree lasts only about 3 to 4 years, ending on an undergraduate level. However, some higher education institutions are also beginning to provide a graduate-level degree in this field. The Master’s diplomas, of course, focus on academic research and will take up 2 more years of your time to get.

“Can someone do my homework?” – it is a question you’ll be asking relatively often because this degree isn’t one the easiest. The adjacent subjects that you’ll have go through are very hard on their own – neurophysiology, biokinetics, biomechanics, etc. So, don’t let the word “sports” in the title mislead you.

Most subjects in this degree are balanced, as they have almost equal amounts of theory and practice. You’ll be doing as much research and lab work as much as you’ll be reading up on learning materials. At the end of your degree, you must write a final term paper to back up your research during college.  If you have problems with writing an essay, then professional writers will be happy to help you with this, for this you can turn to such a service as www.privatewriting.com/buy-research-paper-online .

How to Prepare for Sports Science?

The degree usually has a pre-requisite science subject. That means that in school, you must successfully finish one science subject if you want to get on this higher education course. The subject you want to choose in school is obviously biology – it’ll give you a good base on which you can continue your studies.

Of course, several other supplementary subjects will give you an advantage in college. These include chemistry and physics, as they make your foundational holistic and more comprehensive. Additionally, putting some effort into PE and learning practical aspects of it will give you a good real-life reference as to how sports science research translates into actual exercise.  

Possibilities for Sports Science Graduates

The health and sports sectors are continuously expanding, and the scientific field in question is swiftly turning into a hot degree! Why so? Because this specialization is highly versatile and can be utilized in many ways. Everything from managing athletic teams to being a personal sports advisor, to curating health events, to treating athletes psychologically, and so much more.

One of the more popular professions to acquire for sports science graduates is a sports psychologist. Of course, this job requires additional certification in psychology, but it’s an engaging and high-paying career. Another popular choice for further specialization is physiotherapy. Someone with sports science and medicinal knowledge has all the required competencies to treat recovering patients.

Our world is continuously becoming more health-oriented, which is most likely the major reason behind the growing interest in sports science. Those who choose this field will surely profit from society’s current fascination with healthy lifestyles, diets, and exercises.

Did Anyone Become Well-Known After Getting the Degree?

There are several famous people with this degree. First of all, the internationally renowned brother boxers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko both have a Ph.D. in the field of sports science. Furthermore, a member of the British royal family and a Williams Formula 1 team member, Peter Phillips, also was studied this subject as a major.

Lastly, a world-famous scientist from South Africa, Tim Noakes, finished this degree too. In fact, he’s a big name in the healthy lifestyle community, as he has written numerous books on improving your diet and exercising.

Trust Your Gut

If you feel like this is what you’ll enjoy, then don’t get bogged down by researching every single aspect of this field. Trust your intuition and enrol in a course. You’ll always be happier doing what you like than what you feel that you need.

Author Bio: Jennifer Walter is a psychology professor, an independent researcher, writer, and contributor. He is the guru to hundreds of students, the author of hundreds of analysis studies, and the voice behind most liked articles on content creation and strategy at privatewriting.com .

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When Should You Get Back into Running Following A Car Accident Injury?

You’re running, perhaps trying to lose weight or preparing for a race. Maybe you do it for personal enjoyment. Whatever the case, you’re hitting your goals and staying disciplined until one day out of nowhere you suffer a life altering injury from a car accident.

Depending on your personality, you may be quick to want to get back into any physical activity you were doing, but many car injury doctors would heavily advise against this. The reason being you may hurt yourself more and stifle your ability to get back into running. Being aware of this, there are a couple of things that will guide you in knowing when the right time to get back to physical activity is after a car wreck.

See A Specialist

The first thing you’ll want to do after getting into a car accident or suffering a significant injury is to get checked by a doctor. Depending on the extent of your injuries, your doctor will explain what you need to do to correct the injury and heal properly. Often times doctors will recommend physical therapy, chiropractic care, or orthopedic care.

If you need to find a good chiropractor, search for a chiropractic clinic like this one in Marietta, Georgia. Once you undergo a treatment plan and start to see improvement, your chiropractor or physician will clear you for certain activities. Running and exercising will be on that list. Trust their professional opinion.

Make Sure There is No Pain or Discomfort

While you can wait for a specialist to clear you, ultimately you’ll also need to listen to your body. If you are cleared but begin experiencing pain doing something that used to not bother you, this may be a sign of tenderness or swelling. Your body is still trying to recover. Don’t fight these feelings or sensations by brushing off the pain. Instead, listen and feel what your body is trying to tell you and respond to that.

The key to restarting your fitness journey is to take it slow. There’s no need to rush the process or start challenging yourself off the bat. If you choose to begin working out again, do ‘easier’ exercises to ease back into it. Your body will thank you!

How Long on Average Should A Person Expect to Be Out?

Again, this question will change on a case by case basis. Some people only suffer neck injuries and need whiplash treatment while others can experience disc herniations, fractures, concussions, and much worse.

However, you’re reading this to know an approximation of when most people return back to life as usual. Most people are back into the swing of things with no symptoms anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. Some cases are fewer; for example a whiplash injury may only take a couple days to feel normal again. A more severe injury could require 3-6 months of physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Always make sure you feel no pain, have been cleared by a doctor, and take it easy when getting back into running. The last thing you would want is to hurt yourself further and cause an injury down the road that has trouble recovering properly.

Author Bio: Isaiah Ram is a writer, digital marketer, and musician from Atlanta, Georgia. He works with orthopaedic clinics and is an advocate of all things health and fitness related. In his free time, he works with Beyond in exporting raw cashews from West Africa. His dream is to help develop third world countries and create sustainable living.

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Which Supplements Can Benefit Runners?

If you are a runner, there’s nothing more disheartening than a slowing pace or being too sore to operate the following day after a long run. If you have noticed a change in your running habits, the root cause could be a deficiency. As running takes up a lot of your energy, some supplements can help you smash your personal bests and reach new heights.

Whether you’re going for a simple run around the track or training for a marathon, here are some of the best supplements that can enhance your running performance.

Protein

If you’re a moderate or endurance runner, protein supplements are integral to your athletic and general wellbeing. Even if you follow a strict diet and eat the right foods, if you want to hit the trail hard, protein is vital for your muscles to repair the micro-tears that stem from rigorous exercise. If you aren’t getting plenty of protein, you will be at an increased risk of injury and experience more sore days after a hearty run. Hair loss can even occur too, which is why you should incorporate protein shakes into your diet that will ensure your body is getting everything it needs.

Magnesium

It’s estimated that over 70% of the U.S population is magnesium deficient. And for those who enjoy running, that statistic is likely far higher. Magnesium is needed for your muscles to operate properly and repair. So, if you’re exercising strenuously without plenty of magnesium in your body, your workout may not be as effective and could do more harm than good. For your body to be able to absorb essential minerals and vitamins like calcium, magnesium is a necessity.

Vitamin B12

If you’re lacking in vitamin B, you may experience a range of neurological issues that can affect your running performance. Vitamin B12 is classified as ‘stress’ vitamin. This is because it works in your body by helping it to healthily respond to stress. If you don’t have a sufficient amount of vitamin B in your body, you may also experience fatigue which can harm your energy levels and make it more difficult to get the most out of your run. It’s estimated that roughly 20% of America’s population is deficient in B12, but for vegans especially, this number could rise to 92%. There is a unique multivitamin that vegans can take to ensure they’re getting enough vitamin B12.

Iron

Iron is a crucial element for oxygen-carrying red blood cells. If you’re an older runner, you will be at an increased risk of having iron deficiency because of the demands involved in training. Endurance athletes are at an increased risk of having low iron levels too. This is because their main focus is on carb-loading, rather than high-quality protein. If you are experiencing constant fatigue, supplementing your diet with iron is key. If you aren’t sure whether to use iron supplements, it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor first.

Probiotics

Your immune system and gut health can benefit immensely from probiotics. To limit the number of days you’re off the running track because you don’t feel well or are experiencing stomach issues, taking probiotics is a must. Probiotics are full of good bacteria that your gastrointestinal system requires to alleviate symptoms associated with indigestion. Even if you’re following a balanced diet, your gastrointestinal system may not be able to absorb all the foods you eat, which is why taking probiotics can help maintain a balanced system.

No matter what level you’re at, all runners can benefit from supplements that can create the mental focus, stamina, and energy needed to get the most out of your run. Supplementation is critical for maintaining your potential and protecting your body.

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How can Running Boost Your Mental Health?

Participation in road running races in Asia has increased by 169%, reports SCMP, with some training for marathons, half-marathons, or Ironman style events. Others are signing up merely to enjoy a great day out, boost their fitness, or even shed a few unwanted pounds. Running is a great way to boost your cardiovascular fitness but it is also a powerful mental health booster. If you are curious to know why you often feel ‘on top of the world’ after a good run, read to discover the scientific reasons why.

Running Improves Mental Fitness

A study by researchers at the University of California-Davis Health System has found that when you take part in vigorous exercise like running, levels of two important neurotransmitters (glutamate and CABA – which carry out chemical messaging functions in the brain) rise. As explained by lead author, Richard Maddoc, “Major depressive disorder is often characterized by depleted glutamate and GABA, which return to normal when mental health is restored.” Scientists still don’t know why athletes ‘hit a wall’ or suddenly feel too tired to go on during a workout, but they think that it is a blend of the muscles being depleted of oxygen, and the brain having reached its limit.

Stress in Asia

Emerging data shows that many Asians are battling stress, with employees working significantly longer hours than their counterparts in the UK and Australia. Chronic stress can lead to a host of physical and mental conditions – including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and anxiety. It can also cause bruxism (grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw) at nighttime. Those who have bruxism can wake up with painful, tight muscles. Exercises can soothe jaw pain but stress should also be tackled at a deeper level, through sports such as running and mindfulness-based practices such as meditation, nature walks, yoga, and Tai Chi.

Running vs Stress and Anxiety

Running can help the brain buffer the effects of chronic stress. In particular, scientists at Brigham Young University showed that running can help eliminate the negative effects that stress can have on memory. Prolonged stress weakens the connections between neurons over the time and this process, when prolonged, can affect the memory. The study showed that when stress and running co-existed, the strength of these key brain connections is maintained. As pointed out by lead author, Jeff Edwards, “The ideal situation for improving learning and memory would be to experience no stress and to exercise… we can’t always control stress in our lives, but we can control how much we exercise.”

Running can Help You Stave off Depression

In a recent University College of London study on the link between sedentary lifestyle and depression, findings showed that engaging in moderate-to-intense physical activity – such as going for a run or a cycling ride – resulted in poorer depressive symptoms in adolescents. These symptoms (including mood issues and poor concentration) were significantly higher in teens who did not exercise. Every additional hour of physical activity per day lowered depression scores by between 7.8% to 11.1%, depending on children’s age. The older the teen, the more exercises like running were likely to lift their mood.

If you love the way running makes you feel, chances are you already know of its many mental health benefits. Running lifts your mood, helps lower the negative effects on stress, and brings you into the Great Outdoors, known itself for soothing stress. Try to run regularly to maintain all the documented benefits of this sport, and if you feel like a change, cycling will also improve your mental fitness and help you prevent anxiety and depression.

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How to Effectively Lose the Extra Fat in Your Body

Most people want a fast and easy way to get rid of all of their excess weight – unfortunately, there really is no quick and easy way to lose all of your extra weight in the short term. For you to be successful with your efforts, you can start by learning more about weight loss vs fat loss, and then gradually adapt to a healthier lifestyle for good.

If you’re looking for a quick and effective way to lose the extra fat in your body, then this article will show you how to do just that. Here’s how you can effectively lose the extra fat in your body:

1. Eat the Right Foods

Another technique that you can use to help you get rid of the extra bodyweight that you have is to eat the right foods. The foods that you eat play an extremely important role in helping to burn fat in your body. There are many foods that can help to help you burn off that extra fat that you have accumulated over time.

For starters, you have to stop eating junk food. There is absolutely no reason to eat anything that’s been pre-packaged or has chemicals in them. This includes chocolate, potato chips, soda pop, and even fast food. It’s best to go with natural foods that are high in fibre and protein.

Instead, eat as much fresh fruits and vegetables as you can. This helps you have an ample amount of good nutrients that will make you feel good and help you burn off the excess fat in your body. When you eat more raw foods, you’ll be able to give your body a lot more nutrients that it needs to remain healthy and active.

2. Consume Less Calories

One of the first things that you need to know about losing the extra fat in your body is to make sure that you cut down on the amount of calories that you’re eating. If you can cut the calories down in a healthy way, then you’ll end up losing weight.

Foods that contain unhealthy calories are alcohol, cake, dairy ice cream, pizza, and potato chips. If you’re truly serious about losing the extra fat from your body, you should remove these foods from your diet and stick to healthier foods instead.

Ticking off the mentioned food items from your grocery list can be challenging, but you’ll be surprised on the variety of healthier options available to you. Instead of consuming pizza and dairy ice cream as your afternoon snacks, opt to make smoothies from frozen fruits or prepare some vegetable sticks.

3. Eat More Fibre

Fibre is one of the most important nutrients that your body should have if you want to lose extra fat. Fiber works by keeping your gut bacteria healthy and reducing your appetite. Having a sufficient amount of fibre in the body can make you feel full for longer periods, and prevent cravings during the day.

For you to experience the benefits of fibre to your weight loss journey by increasing your fibre intake, eat more avocados, apples, banana, green peas, and carrots. Several nuts such as almond nuts, pecans, and walnuts are also great sources of fibre, so make sure to add these to your grocery list. You can also make recipes using oats, whole grain pasta, and quinoa to boost your daily fibre intake.

4. Drink More Water

One very effective way to lose the weight that you are carrying around is to drink plenty of water. Water helps you to sweat more that can help you get rid of that extra body fat
quickly.

Drinking water will also keep your digestive system in perfect condition which will result in a more regular and healthier bowel movement. Water also flushes toxins out of your body that can cause you to feel sluggish and regulates your body temperature, thus helping you burn fat more efficiently.

5. Exercise Often

You should also try to exercise on a regular basis as this can help you lose weight much faster. When you’re doing your exercises, you should be working out the different muscle groups in your body in order to increase the blood flow to your muscles, which will help to burn that extra body fat. You can start following workout routines for your upper body Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and then work on your lower body during the other days of the week.

If you haven’t exercised before, then you may want to start by walking every other day and slowly increasing your frequency to five days a week. You don’t want to push yourself too hard but you need to start slow, and gradually progress the intensity and frequency of your exercise.

Aside from walking, you can also try out running, swimming, and doing cardio exercises. All of these routines can help speed up your metabolism and help your body burn more calories in lesser time.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Eating right and staying active isn’t enough for you to lose the extra fat in your body and keep the pounds off – your sleeping habits can also affect your success. Sleep deprivation can increase your cravings, and prevent you from making healthier lifestyle choices. Over time, these can become reasons why you’ll gain fat instead of losing it.

If you don’t want this to happen, prioritize getting at least eight hours of sleep every night. A healthy sleeping habit can effectively repair damaged tissues and muscles from physical activities, making it very easy for you to recover from your workouts. Sleeping for at least eight hours every night can also improve your focus so you can make sound decisions concerning your diet and exercise.

Your Effort Counts

Losing weight is a goal that a lot of people have. Whether it’s to lose weight for health reasons, or just to look good in the mirror, losing weight is always a good thing to strive for. It doesn’t matter what your reason is – you can lose weight as long as you are willing to put in the effort.

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Starting from Zero (Singapore’s Mile Zero)

Milestone
noun.
1. a stone setup beside a road to mark the distance in miles to a particular place
2. a significant stage or event in the development of something

For sure, Singapore has achieved a lot of milestones faster/earlier in its relative young age compared to its neighbours in Southeast Asia, that is in the alternate meaning of the word. But in the context of its original meaning, where the heck did all the milestones go in Singapore?

Went for a volcano mountain trail run here, 623 km south of Manila

Milestones or kilometer markers are a nice visual reference of how far you are somewhere. In the age of social media, you’d definitely have a selfie with this inanimate object (plus a cute dog) than share a screenshot of where you are in Google Maps.

On road trips and provincial bus rides, it’s one of things I look for to pass the time while the landscape scroll by the window like a 2D video game. It gives me a reference point as to where I am relative to the next town and how long more do I need to hold my bladder until the next rest stop. Also with some mental math, measuring the time between markers will tell me the cruising speed of the vehicle. Got a pricey fancy watch with too many numbers on the bezel and don’t know what it’s for? That’s how you use the tachymeter. So if the time between km post is lower than 32 secs, hold on to dear life as your bus hurtling down Malaysia’ expressway have gone over the speed limit already.

Kilometer 0 Post, Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines
Kilometer Zero post at Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines (image from Google Maps Street View)

I must have started noticing this absence of markers from long cab/bus rides here in Singapore. Then the more I go around on foot with my weekend one-way long runs and the further I go on my road bikes rides to the ends of Singapore – Tuas, Lim Chu Kang, Changi, the more sure I am that I’m just not being inattentive, that they’re not hidden or not easy to spot, there are none at all. Or at least nowadays? Maybe in this day and age, given how small Singapore is and made even smaller figuratively with great infrastructure and public transport, its not that hard to find your bearings.

It made me wonder though. If there were such markers here before, then where would it all start from? I initially searched for ‘kilometer zero’ as that’s how a similar post is called in Rizal Park in The Philippines and it didn’t lead to anything. Eventually I found that in Singapore the imperial measure is used so its called Mile Zero, and it is at the former General Post Office (GPO) now Fullerton Hotel. The road mileages going outwards are documented in this map from 1936 kept by the National Archives.

Singapore Mileage On Roads (1936) from the National Archives

Thought it would be good to use the zero point plaque as a starting point for a long run inspired by that historical map. But run to where, when there are no more physical markers outside of the GPO? There’s at least one landmark that’s named after a milestone – Ten Mile Junction LRT station which is now closed and the mall now renamed Junction 10.

So off I went like a mailman with a promise to deliver parcels through inclement weather, following the shape of the original route which I believe should go though – Anderson Bridge, Padang, Stamford Rd, Victoria St, Middle Rd, Selegie Rd, Bukit Timah, and Upper Bukit Timah. On Plotaroute website its 10.6 miles to that junction in Bukit Panjang going to Choa Chu Kang and it looks on point per the old map.

Video of a mailman’s promise to deliver even through bad weather

At the end of my run, the building/terminal seems named wrongly, it should be called Eleven Mile Junction or Junction 11 😁. Joking of course. You know runners, always whining their expensive GPS watches not being super accurate, griping how distance markers of race events are not on point, etc. Sweating buckets and getting your feet sore from a long run is never fulfilling enough, there’s always something to complain about 🤣.

PS. Just remembered. The rail corridor do have distance markers. The yellow flag-like signs were carried over from the old railway setup though are renumbered now. Videos of KTM trains running on tracks here have those signs showing numbers in the 700 range, with the zero point likely at the northern tip of Malaysia.

Rail Corridor 10km marker at Bukit Timah, trail going up the wilder side.
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