Sportswear Recycling Program

Nashata collects woman’s activewear and sportswear as one of our efforts to reduce ecological footprint. Nearly 100 percent of clothing are recyclable and we hope to be a part of the efforts to reduce textile to landfill by collecting woman’s activewear and sportswear for secondhand clothing or recycling.

Most sportswear are made of polyester-based fabric, and they can be shredded and then granulated into polyester chips. These chips are then melted and used to create new polyester fabrics.

Join our efforts to reduce ecological footprint. Simply collect your activewear and sportswear and send them to us.  Here are some info about the sportswear recycling program.

  1. What type of used products does Nashata collect?
    • Any clean and dry lady sportswear, except shoes, socks and undergarments.
    • Torn items are acceptable
    • We accept any brands
  2. What happens to the used sportswear collected by Nashata?
    • Nashata will send suitable products to partners in under-developed and developing countries as second-hand items.
    • Send other items to partners specialized in fabric or textile recycling. Fabric for sportswear can be completely recyclable at the end of its life.
  3. Where is the program active?
    1. Malaysia :
      Ship or drop-off to Nashata Cyberjaya
      Address :
      Nashata Lifestyle Sdn. Bhd.
      K12, Jalan GC 14, Glomac Cyberjaya
      63000 Cyberjaya, Selangor
      Malaysia
      Contact Number : +60123112489  Operation Hours for Drop-off:
      Monday – Friday, 10am – 7pm, except public holidays
    2.  Singapore :
      Ship or drop-off to Mudzalifah Anuar. Contact her for arrangement.
      Contact number : +65 8183 5954.
    3. You can volunteer and collect sportswear in your area too. Just drop us a line at contactus@nashata.com
  4. Why are we doing this?
    1. Recycle
      We take-back your sportswear and send them to suitable under-developed or developing countries as second-hand items. This would make sportswear more affordable and accessible to these nations. Items that are not suitable for these markets will be sent to our fabric recycling partners.Through these efforts, we can reduce and avoid pollution and energy-intensive production of new clothing.
    2. Reduce
      Since inception, Nashata avoid use of plastic and paper as efforts to reduce waste. We email customers about care of products and reuse plastic covers for shipment. We provide packaging of product that can be used for multiple purposes. Our customers use Nashata packaging to store items for travel, camping and races. Our efforts to reduce ecological footprint continues.
  5. Why should you send unwanted sportswear to Nashata?
    • We make sure these items will be used or recycled.
    • We reward you by giving 15% voucher for purchases at Nashata.com, valid for 1 year. Please allow 3-5 working days for the team to check items sent and validate contact info provided.
  6. How can you be a part of Sportswear Recycling Program ?
    • Ship or drop-off sportswear in a bag, labelled with your name, phone number and email address) to Nashata contacts. We need your contact info to send Nashata digital voucher to you.
    • Be our partner. Provide drop-off point or help collect unwanted sportswear at your area.

Just drop us a line at contactus@nashata.com if interested or if you have questions.

Standard Chartered Extends KL Marathon Title Sponsorship

Fabulous news for runners! We can look forward to another four years of wonderful racing experience at the KL Marathon. Dirigo Events and Standard Chartered Malaysia announced a four-year extension to their title sponsorship agreement, taking the biggest run in Malaysia with the Standard Chartered KL Marathon through year 2022. The 2019 edition of the highly anticipated event will take place on 28 and 29 September and is expected to draw over 38,000 participants.

Standard Chartered has been the title sponsor of the event since 2009 and celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the bank’s involvement at this year’s event in April. The Standard Chartered KL Marathon’s (SCKLM) 10th Anniversary saw its biggest participation yet with 38,000 participants competing in 10km, Half and Full Marathon distances, with a 5km Fun Run and 1km and 3km Kids categories. The 10th Anniversary event also saw SCKLM being held over two days for the first time to cater to the growing number of runners, and this will continue in the next edition of the race.

Rainer Biemans and Abrar. A. Anwar exchanging the sponsorship documents

“We are extremely pleased to be extending our association with this wonderful sporting event and delighted that we will be able to continue inspiring Malaysians to lead healthy, productive lives,” said Abrar A. Anwar, Managing Director and CEO of Standard Chartered Malaysia at a signing ceremony held today. “Over the last 10 years, SCKLM has grown to become the premier running event in Malaysia, bringing together participants from every state within the country and from over 70 countries. This is largely due to Dirigo’s excellent organisation of the event and we are happy to resume this successful partnership to take this event to even greater heights,” added Abrar.

The 2019 edition of SCKLM will also see the inclusion of new, as well as returning sponsors. SCKLM welcomes Under Armour and Banana Boat as first-time sponsors of the event. Seiko resumes its long-standing sponsorship while 100 Plus returns as beverage sponsor for the next 4 years.

“We are really happy to have secured our title and major sponsors for the 2019 edition of SCKLM well ahead of the event, which gives us ample time to plan and maximise the sponsorship agenda of our partners,” said Rainer Biemans, Project Director of SCKLM and Director of Dirigo Events.

So mark your calendar and let’s not miss the run in 2019. Need convincing? Checkout our past experience running the Standard Charted KL Marathon.

 

Get updates on SCKLM at their social sites below:

Facebook       : http://www.facebook.com/SCKLmarathon
 Twitter            : www.twitter.com/SCKLmarathon
 Instagram       : https://instagram.com/SCKLmarathon
 Website          : www.kl-marathon.com

 

 

Climbing Mount Kinabalu with Family

No one is too old or too young to climb a mountain. Climbing a mountain can be a good family activity, especially for children. It fosters team-work, patience, agility and persistence.

My family and I climbed Mount Kinabalu for the first time in 2013, comprising my husband and back then, 11 and 13 year old daughters. Mount Kinabalu is Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site, awarded in year 2000. This year, I decided to take my 13 year old son to conquer the mountain. I owed him this adventure as he was left behind in 2013.

Pinnacle Reflection at Mount Kinabalu

It was the monsoon season (Nov – March) and the weather was unpredictable, mostly cloudy and raining in the afternoon. We had a little bit of training, mostly cardiovascular workouts two weeks before the climb. Typically, a party of 5 climbers gets a guide, but after 2015, the park allocates one guide to a party of 3 climbers under 18.  Since my two children were 13 and 16 years old respectively, we got two guides; one main and another for my 13 year old, at no additional charges. Do check with your agent about this before confirm booking. I was not aware of this until I reached Kinabalu Park and I took it as a bonus.

Our Guides Oni (second right) and SabarYunus (far right)

We reached Kinabalu Park at 9 am, where we completed some paperwork, got our tags and packed lunch. The climb from Timpohon Gate at Kinabalu Park to Low’s Peak (4,095 meters above sea level) was 9 km.  We started the climb at 9:30 am and reached Laban Rata (6km) at 3:30 pm. There were 7 shelters along the way, where we stopped to rest and had lunch. It started to rain heavily after 12:30 pm and we had to walk up steep trails of flowing water in raincoats.  We reached Laban Rata, all soaked and wet. However, the waterproof high ankle hiking shoes we had were really helpful to keep our feet dry and warm.

We had a room consisting of 2 double-decker beds. Every climber was given a towel each upon check-in at Laban Rata. There were shared bathrooms for ladies and gents respectively, equipped with solar-powered water heater. So, no sun, no heater *wink*

Buffet dinner was made available from 4:30 pm – 7 pm. We had early dinner and rested after that.  We woke up at 1:30 am and got ready for 3 km climb to Low’s Peak. We had sweat-wicking long sleeves top on, with a light-weight insulated jacket over. Based on my first experience, it was important not to over-dressed. You would be sweaty while climbing and needed to stay light and dry. We brought some water, energy gels, extra gloves, sun block and medical kit along and left the rest in our room.  Warm supper was served at 2 am and by 2:30 am, we started climbing very steep stairs to the summit. It was cold, windy and slippery along the way. I was at awe looking at the clear night skies with stars, shooting star and constellations visibly bright and clear.  Occasionally, I would look up and back to see the skies and the city lighted up from the mountain. It was too beautiful. If you do not have altitude sickness, the walk from 8 km onwards was quite easy. You need to watch-out for icy surfaces and avoid stepping on the rope. Our guide was very helpful to keep the children safe and to move in good pace. We reached Low’s Peak at 5:30 am, just in time for the sunrise and took lovely shots at the summit. The sky was clear and we could see the ocean and Kota Kinabalu city from the summit. The view was surreal.

Low’s Peak Mount Kinabalu

Once the sun was up, I got heated up fast at the peak. If sunny, you may need to start removing unnecessary layer of clothing and put on sunblock and shades. We descended 3 km quickly after and reached Laban Rata for breakfast at 8:30 am. After a short rest, at 10 am, we continued 6 km journey back to Timpohon Gate. It was misty and cloudy and luck was not with us when it started to rain the last 4 km. It was quite challenging to walk downhill in the rain. Even though I took it super slow, I fell down many times, once on my face. My children were fine and moved quickly. We arrived Timpohon Gate at 3:30 pm, picked up the certificates and had lunch at Balsam Restaurant.

Steps from the Peak to Laban Rata

Climbing Mount Kinabalu was gruesome but totally worth it. It was a 9 km walk (9 hours) in total to the peak from Timpohon Gate and 9 km walk (8.5 hours) down – all within 30 hours. My son was happy to be able to experience what he missed 5 years ago.

We had good guides – SabarYunus and Oni (took many pictures of us voluntarily, highly recommended for children, attentive and caring) . We secured our booking through Best Borneo Tours. The budget per person to climb Mount Kinabalu is RM1500/USD400

Many Ice Formation at Mount Kinabalu. Temperature was under zero degrees.

Some Tips

  • Bring drinking water or purchase at Laban Rata. Avoid drinking spring water along the trail or at Laban Rata if you are not used to drinking it. My family and I suffered from bad water poisoning due to this in 2013.
  • Take Diamox a day before the climb if you have altitude sickness (ask your doctor before taking any) . My children took 2; a day before the climb and the day of the climb.
  • Hiking sticks are useful for descend. You can rent for RM10 at Kinabalu Park.
  • Bring knee and ankle guards. They can be useful for descending
  • Energy gels and energy bars to keep you motivated and going
  • Follow the guide’s pace. Avoid stops, just keep moving.
  • Bring water bottles

Descending Mount Kinabalu with a smile. The experience at the peak is priceless.

Shoes

  • Waterproof shoes are necessary if you hike during monsoon season. You may be walking through streams of water for hours and need your feet dry.
  • Bring extra shoes with toe opening or soft on toes to hike down. I descended using my soft running shoes to reduce impact on my toe nails.
  • All weather sweat-wicking socks

Look for water-proof label on shoes.

Soft-fabric shoes for descending

Clothing

  • Sweat-wicking long-sleeves tops. I wore Nashata Raazglove, Azza Toplectic and Ultra Top II and Stirrup Leggings.
  • Wind-breaker or a jacket (Laban Rata to Low’s Peak)
  • Cap or headwear (Laban Rata to Low’s Peak)
  • Face and neck-gaiter (Laban Rata to Low’s Peak)
  • Neck scarves
  • Water-proof gloves. Bring an extra pair

Must bring gears

  • Waterproof bag
  • Headlamp
  • Raincoat
  • Charger – Many power points in hostel, but no wifi.
  • First aid kit

Cold yet Happy Faces

I am grateful for a mission accomplished – all my three kids at age 11 and 13 conquered Mount Kinabalu safely. Climbing Mount Kinabalu is not only about agility and physical endurance, but more importantly – mental strength.

It gets bright and sunny fast after sunrise

I do not think I want to climb Mount Kinabalu again but perhaps some other mountains. If you are thinking of taking your children or teenagers to climb Mount Kinabalu – It is not easy, but Go For It!

“Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.”

Kenapa Ramai Kembali Berlari di Pink Ultra

Heiiii ! Saya lari lagi di Pink Ultra edisi ke 4

Larian Ala Trail di Paya Indah Wetland, Dengkil

Tahun ni merupakan edisi ke 4 Pink Ultra dan merupakan kali ke 3 saya menyertai.  Edisi pertama (2015) dan ke-2 (2016) diadakan di Taman Saujana Hijau, Putrajaya. Edisi ke 3 (2017) di Taman Tasik Cyberjaya dan edisi ke 4 (2018) di Paya Indah Wetland, Dengkil.  Semua acara Pink Ultra adalah larian looping, berjarak 50km.

Pink Ultra dianjurkan oleh Team Pacat dan ia adalah untuk wanita saja. Tapi  peserta lelaki boleh jugak sertai dalam kategori duo; iaitu larian bersama peserta wanita dari awal sampai lah tamat larian. Selain itu ada kategori solo dan kategori relay.  Peserta diberi masa selama 10 jam untuk berlari dan perlu  dapatkan 50km untuk dapat medal dan finisher t. Tak habis lari tak dapat hokay !

Acara kali ini diadakan pada 4 Nov lepas. Saya menyertai kategori duo bersama Noi.  Kami di lepaskan pada jam 7.10 pagi.  Laluan kali ini lain dari edisi yang sebelum ini, kali ni 95% larian adalah trail. Kami kena berlari 1.5km ke check point dan pusing semula ke starting line melalui jalan yang sama.  Bermakna 1 loop adalah 3km.  Peserta duo dan solo diwajibkan untuk menghabiskan sebanyak 17 loops (51km) dalam masa 10 jam. Pemandangan di Paya Indah Wetland sangat cantik, dikiri dan kanan ada tasik dan katanya ada buaya juga.  (nasib baik masa hari tu tak ada buaya 😊  Kami tak akan rasa sunyi masa berlari sebab akan bertembung dengan runner lain berlainan arah. Tambahan pula, marshall juga selalu ulang alik untuk menjaga keselamatan peserta.

Noi dan Intan Berlari Kategori Duo di Pink Ultra 2018

Part ni memang best, makanan dan minuman yang banyak dan sedap. Ada nasi lemak, bubur ayam, mee hoon sup, buah-buahan, kek..dan bannyyaaaaakkkk lagi dan pelbagai air yang sentiasa sejuk berais.  Di Pink Ultra jurugambar mengambil gambar peserta-perserta yang kelihatan cantik-cantik belaka, hokay ! Marshall dan sukarelawan pula sangatlah peramah, banyak membantu dan sangat baik. Ini sememangnya tradisi Pink Ultra!

Bagi saya Pink Ultra memberi saya ruang untuk mencuba keupayaan saya berlari jarak jauh dan ianya ibarat training saya untuk acara larian lain yang akan datang.  Pengalaman berlari ditengah panas, mental diuji sebab route looping, sakit cramp, blister sana sini, penat, letih, rasa nak pitam, semua jadi satu kepuasan untuk saya.  Ramai yang memberi kata-kata semangat bersorak bersama, jumpa kawan baru.  Yes, bonding and more time together!

Larian Loop 50 km dalam masa 10 jam

Bagi saya Pink Ultra adalah acara yang sangat bagus untuk wanita yang ingin cuba berlari dengan jarak lebih dari marathon. Sebab semua rasa ada,  manis, masam, pahit dan pedas semua ada disini. Sedapkan? 😊 eh jom lah sertai Pink Ultra tahun depan!

BMW Berlin Marathon 2018

It was sheer luck that I got to ballot as a team with Zamzamiah or better known as Amie for the BMW Berlin Marathon 2018. It was a last minute opportunity and Amie submitted our ballot in November ’17. When I found out about winning the ballot in January, I was shocked. Never had I dream about winning the ballot, what more running at one of the the Abbott World Marathon Majors.

To prepare for the Berlin Marathon, I registered and ran for the Malaysia Women Marathon 2018 in March ’18 and Standard Charted KL Marathon in April ’18.

The Expo

I took a 15 hour flight from Malaysia and arrived Berlin on a Friday, 14th Sept, two days before the race. Amie who was already on a solo backpack travel met up with me that morning and we headed to the Race Expo.

There were many exhibits at the entrance; safety cars, displays of the medals from 6 major marathons, list of runners who have raced in the 6 major marathons and many more. I managed to scribble my name on a small spot.

  • Hijabi Finishers at the BMW Berlin Marathon 2018
  • Malaysian Finishers at the BMW Berlin Marathon 2018
  • Zamzamiah did her personal best!
  • The Race Band, the Medal
  • The cute Adidas cup
  • The entrance of Race Expo
  • BMW Berlin Marathon Expo
  • A drive by Adidas to reduce plastic cup use
  • The medal for abbott world marathon majors six star finishers
  • The medals of the six major Abbot marathons
  • Malaysian runners who are Abbott world marathon majors six star finishers

 

As we walked further, there was a checkpoint for runners. A few volunteers were providing race bands for runners. As we walked in further, we saw many booths of merchandisers and running organisers, mostly from Europe. The booth to pick up the race kit was at the very end but there was no queue. We were given our race number and timing chip swiftly.The queue to pick up pre-order finisher tee was already long and we waited patiently for about 30 minutes.

The Adidas booth was always full. Runners and visitors were busy purchasing the event tee. It was selling like hot cakes for Euro30 each. We came back to get more the day after and they were already gone. So do your shopping early if you see a good bargain. We picked up the adidas drinking cup that we could use for the race – in support of their effort to reduce plastic use.

Outside of the booth area were more car display, BMW hot-air balloons and an old plane.

The Race

On the race day, which was two days after, we took the train to the race area at 7:30am. The crowd started to build up. The flag off was done in 3 waves ; 9:15am, 9:30am and 10am.

 

At the start line, everyone was bumped up by the music. As the minutes get closer to the 10am flag off, some just loose their sweaters on the streets and dash.

It was a perfect day to run. The sun was out and the weather was simply beautiful.

The routes were nice and flat. I loved checking out the city on foot and enjoyed the crowd cheering and playing music along the way. I think there were close to a dozen of performers playing music along the way and outside of cafes. At 1pm we were told about the new world record set by Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge at 2:01:39.

  • Putting on the Race Band at Expo
  • The main Expo Hall
  • The Route
  • All excited to start
  • More Halls
  • Scribble your name on it

There were many volunteers providing peeled and cut bananas & apples at designated water stations and later ultra sports energy gels.  You can choose to fuel up with water, hot tea and energy drink.

I was happy to be able to finish the 42.195km run with more than 40,000 other runners and receive the medal for my son. It was my worst timing, but I was grateful. I wasn’t in my best state of health.

Congrats to finishers & May the Abbot Major Marathons be with you!

Fun In The Sun: Stop Being Bored

Salam to all my beautiful ladies.
I pray this blog finds you in your best forms of health and wellness.

Many people are trying to live a healthy lifestyle now more than ever before. Many are looking for that circle of friends that will support this healthy lifestyle. As you know, if we want to build a healthy community and have more health aware circles then we should start with raising healthy children.

As a physical education teacher, I have been searching for the right way to approach my students and encourage them into living a healthy lifestyle and learn how to make healthy choices. The best way I have found is to make fun videos for them and it has done wonders in my teaching so far.

Here is a little fun video I made for my students.
Of course, I never do sports without Nashata being involved. The ultimate meaning if comfort.
In this video I wore the following for the two different characters presented.
– Athleisure and Azza topletics Modest Sports Shirts.
– Hooda Ellipse and Raazglove Sports Hijbs

Enjoooooy

Slave Route Challenge 2018 – Cape Town

Rizq is when the city you travel to has a race that co-indices with travel dates. The Slave Route Challenge was held on 13th May, Mother’s Day in Cape Town, and I thought it was a good way to check out the city and get to know the community, so I registered for the 21km run. Cape Town is the oldest town in South Africa, also known as the Mother City

Climbing the Pentz Road, Bo Kaap Area with the city center at the backdrop. Picture courtesy of ABPHOTOZA

The registration was done online and the experience was smooth. I collected the bib and race license at the Castle of Good Hope a day before the run. It was autumn coming to winter in Cape Town and the weather was lovely with blue skies throughout my trip.

The run started sharp at 7am in front of the City Hall with three thousand participants in the half marathon category, followed by 10km and 5km every 15 minutes after. The runners were diverse and many runners in hijab ran along with me. What I like about running in hijab is getting the salams and greetings from other fellow muslims along the way. I look like many of them – the Cape Malays.

The 21km route took me along the beautiful neighborhood in the city of Cape Town with the sunrise shining upon gorgeous Table Mountain on the backdrop, Company Garden with a bit of a incline the first 5km. It was followed by a steep climb on Pentz Road 8km onward up to the top of Bo Kaap neighborhood. The runners were cheered by the residents, volunteers and locals along the way, serving local delicacies till the top of the climb. The run continued on flat roads towards the Stadium, Green Point area along the waterfront and back to the City Hall.

  • Castle of Good Hope
    Castle of Good Hope
    Castle of Good Hope
  • Volunteers at Castle of Good Hope
    Volunteers at Castle of Good Hope
  • Race Kit Collection at Castle of Good Hope
    Race Kit Collection at Castle of Good Hope
  • The start and finish point - The City Hall
    The start and finish point - The City Hall
  • The first mosque I spotted. First 2 km of the run
    The first mosque I spotted. First 2 km of the run
  • Entertainment along the way - this at Company Garden
    Entertainment along the way - this at Company Garden
  • Lovely buildnings at Company Garden
    Lovely buildnings at Company Garden
  • Mini water bags at water stations - Cute!
    Mini water bags at water stations - Cute!
  • Climbing the Bo Kaap area
    Climbing the Bo Kaap area
    Climbing the Bo Kaap area
  • At the top of BoKaap area
    At the top of BoKaap area
  • Table Mountain at the backdrop
    Table Mountain at the backdrop
  • At the top of Pentz Street, Bo Kaap
    At the top of Pentz Street, Bo Kaap
  • Colorful houses at Bo Kaap
    Colorful houses at Bo Kaap
    Colorful houses at Bo Kaap
  • Ran Around the Stadium
    Ran Around the Stadium

What I enjoyed most about the race :

  • Supportive community
    There were volunteers every 100 meters, cheering and managing the traffic throughout the run!  They dressed up in tutus, skirts and other fancy attires. Not only that, the residents at Bo Kaap area came out from their homes and cheer! The runners were close knit and friendly. Alhamdulillah, I felt at home and made new friends at the run.
  • Coke at water stations
    A coke lover like me would just find the drinks super refreshing. They even had coke zero at water stations. There was a water shortage in Cape Town and they provided drinking water packed in small green and blue plastic bags. Only coke was served in cups.

    Coke Lover was happy

  • Opportunity to check out the city on foot
    The route took me along historical and tourist sites on foot.It was a lovely and relaxing morning run. The cut off time was 3 hours 30 minutes and I took my time to finish the race. I stopped many times to capture beautiful moments. I spotted four mosques and suraus along the run. Even the race kit area was held at a historical site – Castle of Good Hope. All runners received free entrance ticket to District Six, also a historical site.

Here are more pictures!

Mosque at Bo Kaap

Mosque at Bo Kaap

Mosque at Bo Kaap

Mosque at Bo Kaap

 

Many pleas to protect Bo Kaap as Heritage Site

The Medal

I would love to run again at Cape Town! It was simply an amazing experience!

 

This Ramadan, Keep Moving

Just about a week to go until Ramadan, in sha Allah!

Every year, the period leading up to Ramadan is flooded with a lot of nervicitement (yes it’s a new word coined for moments of nervous excitement alright!) with discussions ranging from resolution and goal setting to menu planning.

During this time we make a conscious effort in realigning our spiritual well being, spending time in prayer, supplication learning and reciting the Holy Qur’an. While this remains the main focus of the month, we still have  to carry on with our daily chores and activities – and this whether we like it or not – includes maintaining our fitness levels.

In the past, I, like many others, absolved myself of any fitness related activities during Ramadan, simply because of the fears of dehydration, fatigue and hanger, which ultimately would take away from the spirit of the month. However, while making up for some missed fasts this past month, I trained and it dispelled all the notions I had built up in my head. In fact, I felt energized, Alhamdulillah!

I am a moderately active person with average fitness levels. Between work and school runs, I manage to train 3-4 days a week during which I do a mix of weight training and running.  So here I am sharing learnings from my own experience – a beginner’s perspective if you like – to encourage you all to keep moving this Ramadan!

When do I train?

I choose to train 60-90 mins before Iftar for about 30-45 minutes. While many suggest it is better to train after iftar or before suhoor, I go with what works best for my schedule. Since school and work schedules operate on shorter timings here in the Middle East, there should be enough time to prep Iftar and dinner well in advance.

The other recommended times are generally post-iftar or pre-suhoor, times at which our bodies are better hydrated and nourished.

What kind of training?

The training intensity would vary based on when you choose to train. Since this will be the first Ramadan I will be training, I plan to stick to a light schedule, which ensures that I keep my body moving.

Model: Nura Arabi Wearing Nashata Modest Sports Wear

  • Yoga routines: There are many free apps and videos which take you through simple routines that range from 10 minute warm up exercises to 40 minute deep restorative routine which are fantastic in relaxing your muscles and breaking a sweat without tiring you out.
  • Functional Training: This involves compound movements that mimic patterns from daily life. Here again, there are several apps which have routines of varying effort and duration to guide you through a simple routine. If this is the first time you would be training while fasting, I suggest relying purely on your body weight and gradually introducing light weights based on how your body takes to the stress of fasting. Start with 3 sets of approximately 10 reps of each exercise. Some great exercises are:
    • Step Ups
    • Squats
    • Walking lunges
    • Push Ups
  • Brisk Walking / Jogging: Considering the weather in the UAE during this time of the year, I stick to the treadmill. Each day of fasting can feel different, so choose a speed and incline based on how you feel on that particular day. As tempting it is to push yourself to try harder, this is not the time to set new challenges. Start with a 15 minute walk, which you can then increase gradually in duration, speed and effort as you progress.

For the sake of avoiding repetition, I will not delve into the What to Eat during Ramadan spiel. But I will emphasize  this – HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE! And start preparing your body from today. With the time being between iftar and suhoor being so short in the summer months, it may not be possible to maintain fluid intake as you would on regular days. The solution? EAT water! Hydration is aided by the intake of foods rich in water content and potassium rich foods which help maintain the electrolyte balance in our bodies.

As we all know, the key to having a productive and less stressful Ramadan is being organised.  So plan ahead and schedule in your time to train!

Wishing you all a blessed Ramadan. May it be source of nourishment for our minds and bodies!

Tips and Tools: Run Safely at Any Time of Day

Trying to squeeze a run into today’s modern and often busy schedule can be difficult, especially if you are limiting yourself to only daylight hours due to safety concerns. At times I’ve started a run before the sun came up and finished only as it began to rise or started my run after after the kids are tucked in and feel the need for a little “me time”. Both instances require me to be aware of my surroundings and use certain safety precautions to ensure that I come home safe and sound.

pexels-photo-796545.jpeg

Know your route. Running when others are likely still in bed is not the time to be adventurous and try out a new route. Use a well established running route that is both well-lit and well-traveled. Stay to the outside of parks and other locations that can obscure the view of passersby and that could provide cover for those up to no good. When planning a route, try driving it at night or early morning and take note of street lights or the lack of lighting and anything that can obstruct the available lighting.

Let someone know where you are. While most people won’t appreciate you waking them up in the wee hours of the morning to notify them you are going out for a run, there are other ways you can notify loved ones where you are and where your are going. Using the RoadID app (available on iPhone and Android), you can send a customized message to any cellphone you decide (i.e. “going for a quick 4 mile run, should take 45 minutes”) and then the app sends location updates if you should stop moving longer than 10 seconds. 10 seconds of no forward progression will sound a warning alert to you to either click that you are fine within the app or if you do nothing, everyone you’ve determined will receive a message that you have not moved and your last known location. Also, if you go over your predetermined finish time, a warning will sound that you can disable. If you do not let the app know you are okay, your contact/s will be notified and your last known location will be sent as well.

Protect yourself. There are many items on the market that are discrete, easy to carry ways to protect yourself. One of my absolute favorites is a Stun Ring. This small device is a ring that goes around your finger, with a high voltage stunner at the top and the trigger fits nicely in the palm of your hand. In case you are picturing yourself inadvertently stunning yourself and laying seizing on the ground, there is a safety switch that you have to enable before you can even activate the trigger. I keep it switched off most times but when I encounter an uncomfortable situation, an large off-leash dog or even an environment that suddenly makes me on-guard I switch that safety off so that I can act without hesitation. Please note: I consider this a last resort defense tool. It can be used against animals, however many report that the sound of the device without contact is disturbing to most animals and they will likely retreat without harm.

See and be seen. Being visible to others that may be also on foot, on bike or car is so very important. I nearly hit a pedestrian at 10 o’clock at night who was dressed in all black, socks and shoes included. This individual thought it was a great idea to illegally cross the road when I had the right-of-way. What saved him was the small reflected decal on his shoes! I saw these moving decals and at the last moment realized they were attached to a person. Reflective gear is a staple in my wardrobe. Nike makes a highly visible reflective running vest, Aeroloft Flash which has all reflective detailing and there are other reflective wear in the Nike Aeroloft Flash line. Movement also catches driver’s attention, so I use a lithium battery-operated, LED flashing slap-style bracelets on my upper arm and ankle. Seeing is just as important and being seen. I love this awesome headlamp that actually does both. The front of the lamp is adjustable in light positioning as well as brightness. The strap is adjustable to fit many head shapes and sizes or fit over hijabs and hats. As an added safety feature, there is a highly visible red light on the back of the head strap. The best thing about this headlamp is that it is rechargeable so no worries about purchasing batteries.

Keep some form of identification with you. Thankfully, the Nashata brand sportswear that I use has lots of thoughtfully designed, small pockets that can hold identification cards or emergency contact information. However, consider if you are involved in an accident or faint due to exhaustion; you don’t want someone searching all through your small pockets to find an identification card, which in most cases won’t have contact or medical information. Identification bracelets such as RoadID contain identifying information, emergency contact information and important medical information. I don’t use the bracelet (yet) but I do use their phone app which has a wonderful feature. The app displays this very important information on your cellphone lock screen. You can display the contact information for up to three contacts and put certain information such as allergies or medical conditions or instructions. Most emergency personnel look for a phone or wallet when they find a person incapacitated . Providing contact information and medical conditions could actually save your life.

The best way to stay safe is to do as many as these safety tips as possible. Layer your reflective wear, stay alert, travel on visible paths and let your loved ones know where your going and when you are expected back. As wiith every run, the goal is to come home safe and if you feel something is not quite right, err on the side of caution and follow your safety protocols. No run is worth risking your safety.

How to be an eco-friendly runner

I was inspired by my recent event called National Geographic Earth Day Run to become a more environment-conscious runner. True to its theme, the run has taken efforts to minimize waste, keeping the environment clean, and ensuring the event is as environmentally-friendly as possible.

As a runner, sustainable living is very easy to start. You don’t have to buy expensive organic food, or turn into a vegetarian (although this is highly encouraged!), or give up your current lifestyle that is accustomed to modern amenities.

These 3 simple tips can help you make the Earth a better place while still enjoying your passion for running:

 

  • Bring Your Own Bottle

This is commonly implemented at trail runs, however it is not yet common for road races. This is a great idea because water stations will be clean without cups littering the road. The only trash collected at the water stations will be mostly bananas or energy gel, and this will minimize the volunteers needed to clean up the roads after an event.

During your long run LSD, bringing your own bottle ensures that you remain focused. You can save time by not needing to stop at convenient stores along your training route. You are also free to plan your own routes without worrying if you have enough water to sustain the long run training.

Water station at this event was one of the cleanest that I have ever seen.  There is almost no trash!

Any water bottle will do, however it is advisable to invest in a bottle that has a handle or belt attached. Keeping your hands free will make your runs significantly more comfortable.

  • Buy your supply in bulk

Instead of buying single servings for your energy gels, energy drink, and recovery drink, buy a tub or a bin that will last for several servings. This is a great idea because it will eliminate single-use packaging, such as plastic wrappings. It might be a big amount to spend initially, but the cost per serving will be significantly cheaper.

It is a bit of a hassle since you have to take time to mix your own energy drink/gel. However you will save money in the long run.

Not affiliated with Hammer Gel, but this is an example of how your cost per serving will be cheaper when purchasing in bulk:

  • Carpool to events or training venues

This is a great idea because it cuts down the number of vehicles on the road. Lesser vehicles means decreased harmful gasses emission such as carbon dioxide, which is a significant contributor to global warming. Parking at event venues will be easier too as there were reduced number of cars. Or better yet, take the public transport and you don’t have to worry about parking at all.

Not only is carpooling beneficial to the environment, it is also good for your too. You will save money because you can share the cost of gas and toll. Not to mention, they will have company to ensure that you get to the race venue in time

  • Plus point: Organizers set up recycling bins

Based on my observation, one of the biggest trash sources from an event are the freebies and the refreshment. To tackle that problem, they did not give any bags at the finishing line – just a medal and a fruit. Should participants be interested to collect freebies from the sponsor tents, they can throw the packaging or plastic away inside these recycling bins.

On top of that, this event has carefully selected banana to give away at the finishing line, so they have set up a compost bin (not in this photo) for organic waste.