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.

Sir Bani Yas Challenge (29-30 March 2018)

Marwa Al Wadhahi, a young Omani lady who is enthusiastic about sports and adventure shares her experience at the Sir Bani Yas Challenge 2018. She loves challenges, pushing her limits and experiencing new things. She works in the Oil & Gas industry during the day and passionately practices sports in the evening and holidays. 

Marwa Al Wadhahi

I was very excited when I saw the announcement of Sir Bani Yas Challenge which was originally consisting of 3 km of kayaking, 10 km of trail running and 37 km of cycling. I was excited because I never cycled and kayaked these distances, I’ve never been to Sir Bani Yas and I’ve never done a 50 km challenge in single day. Basically the challenge had a variety of activities and in a unique and exciting venue.

Wildlife at Sir Bani Yas

Sir Bani Yas Island in the Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, was the venue of the challenge. The island was one of the first “Greening of the Desert” projects established by Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1971. Over the years it became one of the UAE largest animal reserves and is home to over 15,000 free roaming animals and birds.

Due to circumstances out of control, the cycling was cancelled and the challenge was modified to become a total of +33 km of an amazing hike on & between mountains, fun kayaking and a long trail run.

The challenge was tough, we started at 6.30 am where the weather was foggy and nice then it got hotter as time passed approaching noon. I personally absolutely loved the hike and the kayaking, I found the trail run (which was the majority of the race) fun at the beginning but then it was really torturous due to the heat, strong pulsing cramps and trail that felt like infinity as the long distance was new to me.

I pushed myself hard, I felt like crying, I felt like giving up, I thought to myself “What made me do this? What was I thinking” I literally felt physically and mentally exhausted. However, because I signed up for the challenge with a mindset and goal to finish as a minimum and despite all the pain and torture I felt, I was absolutely determined to finish, I limped, I walked, I jogged with pain until the finish line.

Husaak Support Stations

On the other hand, the organisers, Husaak Adventures, and fellow participants along the way were very supportive which injected me with positive energy amid the suffering, I smiled to them, felt positive and said to myself that I can do it and I should not give up even though I felt like it! Giving up was just not an option for me. I had fun chatting with some participants along the way and cheering others to continue as well which really makes a difference and pushes people further. Organizers were at the water/food stations and also driving back and forth with cars cheering, checking on us and supplying water

Hiking Trail Views

With a few hundred people participating, Alhamdulillah I’m proud to finish 4th out of more than a 100 female participants, and 33th Overall out of almost 300 male & female participants 🏁 I really pushed myself that day. I haven’t had specific training for this event, just my regular gym training. So I was basically fit but not really trained for this kind of long distance running.

Trail Run

I believe if I hydrated more in the weeks leading to the event and practiced long runs, it would have went even better. Maybe I wasn’t trained enough or ready to go at the pace I was going at but the experience was definitely enriching. The feeling of true struggle that I haven’t felt in a long time, but pushing hard and fighting pain & fatigue to reach the finish line was priceless.

6 Reasons Why You Don’t Want To Miss The Next SCKLM

  1. SCKLM is the Premier Running Event in Malaysia 
    More than 38,000 runners descended on Dataran Merdeka to take part in and celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) 2018 and its popularity continues to grow, as evidenced by its race slots selling out in a day when public registrations opened.
  2. Lovely routes of Kuala Lumpur
    At the SCKLM’s 10th Anniversary, the organiser incorporated new routes for the Full and Half Marathons which took in more of KL’s iconic landmarks but remained as challenging as usual with its route undulations. The hilly stretch beginning from Km32 was especially grueling for a lot of runners. But worry not, there were supporters along the tough route. For example, there was a group of supporters cheering runners and offering Malaysian popsicles at the first hilly route at Bukit Tunku.
  3. Supportive and Committed Pacers
    Pacers not only brought runners back on time, but they also cheered and supported the runners. They were cheerful and went over and beyond. I saw a few pacers running back to motivate and support runners a few hundred meters before finish line and repeated the process. They were incredible!

    Pacers at SCKLM

    Fazu supporting runners. Whatever it takes to motivate &  cheer runners up!

  4. Various Categories to Suit all Ages and Type of Runners
    SCKLM is for both serious and social runners. Out of 38,000 runners, more than 10,000 took part in the Full Marathon and 11,000 in the Half Marathon categories. The rest were 10km, 5km, friendship run for social runners, as well as 1km and 3km Kids Dash for the first time. There were also several categories like the Corporate Challenge, Media Challenge, Universities Challenge and Ministries Challenge to either raise money for charity or provide friendly competition and confer bragging rights to the eventual winners.

    Runners who raced at all 10 editions of SCKLM get Special honour

    Runners who raced at all 10 editions of SCKLM get special honour

  5. Well Organised & Safe for Runners
    Over 1,600 volunteers, paramedics, supporters and staffs of the organiser making sure the  routes were secured, runners were safe and hydrated throughout the run. You do not have to worry about a moving vehicle coming from your back or heading towards you.

    the full marathon started and ended with confetti blasts

    Essential information about the run was provided and communicated well in the runner’s guide.There were many spots where you can rest and relax and catch up with running friends before & after your run. You could use the SCKLM mobile App to check running buddy updates and cheer for them as they approach the finish line. The app was pretty cool with a feature that adds your pictures  taken by strategic cameras along the routes.

  6. Prayer-Friendly for Muslim Runners
    This year the organiser included location for suraus along the Full and Half Marathon on the runner’s guide. Not only that, signboards of suraus were placed at these areas so that runners know the location while running.

    Signage for Suraus

So, don’t miss the next SCKLM in 2019! You get to meet new runners, make friends and enjoy a good run!

Lastly, here are some happy faces of running ladies at the Standard Charted KL Marathon 2018.

Nashsuhah finished her 14th Full Marathon under 5 hours

#NOEXCUSE because 'Anda Hebat! '

#NOEXCUSE because ‘Anda Hebat! ‘

Intan Siza and the Full Marathon Finisher Tee  #omaksukarunning

Running shoes: Minimalist VS Normal

Do you feel overwhelmed by choices when choosing running shoes? Should you go for cushioned shoes? Or light-weight shoes? How do you choose what type of shoes are right for you? Do you have various types of shoes in your closet, yet unsure about which shoes should you wear for this weekend’s big race?

Based on my general observation, there are 2 types of running shoes in the market: Minimalist shoes or regular, cushioned shoes. Regular shoes are equipped with the padding and support required to cushion the impact of running. Their soles are thick. While minimalist running shoes are the exact opposite – they are very light, thin, and flexible. Minimalist shoes mimic the feeling of running barefoot with almost no cushioning.

Traditionally, people have been running barefoot for years. From that ideology, running professionals and designers came up with the idea for minimalist shoes. For every research and data that supports minimalist shoes, there are equal papers and numbers that shows otherwise. Some say that cushioned shoes prevent injury, allows you to run longer, and it is ‘safer’. However, I have also observed fellow runners that still complain from ITB, knee pains, and twisted ankles from wearing highly cushioned shoes. Therefore, I conclude that there is no right or wrong answer. It depends on various factors, such as the condition of your feet, experiences in running, running condition, distance, etc.

I have both types of shoes in my collection. So, how do I decide which shoes should I wear for this weekend’s big race? Personally, this how I decide what type of shoes should I wear for Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2018 (SCKLM), or any other run. Please feel free to follow this guideline when purchasing new shoes too:

SCKLM: Suraus for Muslim Runners

Standard Chartered KL Marathon is only a few days left and we want you to go through the smoothest experience you’ve ever had. This time round we would like to help all the muslims to feel at ease performing prayers during the running period.

Here are the routes provided by the organizer:

Half Marathon Route Map

For half marathon, the suggested prayer area is located at the side road of the Lebuhraya Duta – Ulu Kelang (DUKE) when you’ve reached 11km, slightly after you pass the water station. Though there is only one surau suggested here, there are also few mosque along the road.

The first mosque you’ll pass through is the Masjid Jamek before you hit 1km running. After 14km running, you’ll meet another mosque Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan. If you can make it on time, at the end of the route, you’ll see the last mosque which is Masjid Negara.

 

Full Marathon Route Map

As for Full Marathon, more suraus are suggested here. The first surau you’re going to pass is at 14km running (close to Tabung Haji & water station). Then, you’ll see a surau by the road side of Jalan Ampang after 15km run. After Kompleks Sukan Datuk Keramat and LRT Jelatek you’ll find another surau located at the road side of Jalan Jelatek. At 19km run, the surau is located close to the checkpoint by the road of Jalan Setiawangsa. The last surau that is suggested for marathoner is close to the checkpoint is at the DUKE road, that is after 26km running.

Just to inform, the mosque available near the route is the same as what the half marathoner will pass: Masjid Jamek, Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan and Masjid Negara.

Few tips on prayer guidance:

  1. Don’t forget your prayers even when you’re running
  2. Jangan lupa solat walaupun bersukan berjam-jam! (in bahasa Malaysia)

Hope this helps! Share it with others so they can also schedule their prayers early before the run! 🙂

SCKLM’s 10TH ANNIVERSARY SET TO SIZZLE!

Top Malaysian Runner’s Gather Pace Before The Big Event

KUALA LUMPUR, March 2018: The 10th Anniversary of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) is expected to be a hotly contested event in several categories. The Malaysian Men’s Full Marathon category in particular will see intense competition amongst several Malaysians who have been posting increasingly fast times in the lead up to Malaysia’s premier running event. The Full Marathon Open category and the Malaysian Women’s Full Marathon category are also expected to be hard fought affairs. We at Nashata supports female runners to woman up. It is a tough battle to even run, what more to win. But there is #NOEXCUSE not to try harder and push the boundaries.

SCKLM2018’s Malaysian Men’s Full Marathon category will see an intriguing battle between a few runners in particular, namely Muhaizar Mohamad, Leo Tan, Nik Fakaruddin and Ow Yong Jin Kuang. Muhaizar, Leo and Nik recently competed in the Tokyo Marathon and finished spectacularly by breaking their own personal bests. Leo Tan, who is an engineer based in Taiwan, was the first to finish and beat his previous personal best of 2:28:19, also posted in Tokyo last year, by recording a blistering 2:25:28, which is unofficially the new national record.

  • Leo Tan ran his heart out in the recent Tokyo Marathon 2018.

Muhaizar, in his first attempt at an overseas marathon also performed admirably despite not being able to travel early to Tokyo to acclimatise and having to run in close to freezing temperatures for the first time in his life. The Armed Forces personnel also bettered his own previous best of 2:31:52 which was posted at the KL S.E.A. Games 2017 and which earned him Malaysia’s first medal in the Marathon for over 44 years. Muhaizar finished the Tokyo Marathon in 2:27:21, which was also faster than the previous national record.

  • Muhaizar Mohamad did his best in Tokyo Marathon 2018.

Nik Fakaruddin, Muhaizar’s colleague in the Armed Forces and training partner, also smashed his previous personal best by almost 10 minutes to post 2:31:01 in his first attempt at an overseas marathon. Ow, who finished in third place behind Muhaizar and Leo at SCKLM2017, could also spring a surprise as his preparation for SCKLM2018 would have been unhindered as compared to the other three runners who ran in the Tokyo Marathon just a few weeks ago. All four runners are in with a shout of claiming victory at SCKLM2018 and the running community will be eagerly waiting to see who emerges as the 2018 Malaysian Men’s Full Marathon champion.

  • Tokyo Marathon 2018. Nik Fakaruddin (in blue in the middle).

“In fact, all top 10 finishers of the Malaysian Men’s Full Marathon category at SCKLM2017 will be back this year” said Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events and Project Director of SCKLM 2018. “I’m really happy that the fastest marathon runners in Malaysia all look to participate and perform well in SCKLM to see who is the best in Malaysia. The level of quality that we have locally is showing signs of advancement with Muhaizar and Leo’s rivalry in particular creating great interest and encouragement among local runners,” he added.

A couple of other categories at SCKLM2018 will also be generating a lot of interest come Race Day. The Men’s Full Marathon Open category is also expected to see stiff competition between five-time consecutive SCKLM champion Kennedy Kiproo Lilan and the person who upstaged him last year to win, Cosmas Matolo Muteti. Both will be back this year and Kennedy will be eager to reclaim his title from Cosmas.

  • SCKLM2017 FM Men's Open

The Malaysian Women’s Full Marathon category will also see a challenger to perennial champion and national record holder Yuan Yufang. Annie Yee, another Malaysian who performed well at the Tokyo Marathon by posting a personal best of 3:15:00 is expected to give multiple winner Yufang a run for her money this time around and a new champion might yet be crowned this year. Loh Chooi Fern, who finished second behind Yufang in 2017 will also be running this year and hoping to do one better at SCKLM2018. And finally, all eyes will be on the Malaysian Women’s Half Marathon category, where Sheela Samivellu, two-time SCKLM winner and national record holder, will be gunning to see if she can better her own mark of 1:24:44, previously set at SCKLM2016.

  • SCKLM 2017 (Sheela Samivellu smiling with pride in the centre)

“We’re expecting a really competitive SCKLM2018 with a few categories expected to see strong competition between the top contenders, which bodes well for the continued success and relevance of SCKLM,” said Rainer. “It is heartening to note that these runners want to take part in SCKLM because they want to compete against the best, and on a fully certified course. On our part, we will do our best to create the best conditions possible for such contests to take place,” he continued.

Many runners are intrigued to join this huge event and Nashata founder, Eliza Noordin is no exception to that. “I am a slow runner but there’s no excuse for me to not be a part of this exciting run.” Eliza and other women runners like Intan Suraya and Nahsuhah are helping other runners by sharing their tips about running, food, health and routes on Standard Chartered Malaysia Instagram page. These women help to empower women to give their best in spite of their gender. The Standard Chartered KL Marathon has grown to become the premier running event in Malaysia that draws thousands of local and international runners to the country whilst firmly establishing Malaysia in the global running calendar. The 2018 10th Anniversary edition will be the largest yet with more than 38,000 runners taking part, and will once again see sponsorship from Title Sponsor Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, along with Brooks, Lucozade, Seiko and Pacific Regency.

For more information and updates on SCKLM, please visit:

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

10 gym bag essentials for all hijabis

Let’s face it ladies, active hijabis have special requirements when it comes to packing to go to the gym. Because we sweat more after working out, just changing into a fresh set of clothes and giving yourself a wipe down with some wet wipes will not be enough. We usually need to take time to shower properly, or at least wash our hair. Hence, we usually bring more stuff to the gym. But how much is enough?

Below are 10 items that I must have inside my gym bag and I have to admit, I can’t live without any of them!

  1. Hairdryer – Never wear hijab with a damp hair. Damp hair breeds bacteria and fungus, will lead to unpleasant odor, dandruff, and weak hair in the long run
  2. Shampoo – The very least is to wash your scalps to get rid of the sweat
  3. Small towel – I always bring at least 2 towels. Big towel is to dry my body, and a small towel to dry my hair. I find that my hair will dry faster this way.
  4. Hijab essentials (hijab, undercap, pins, accessories, hair ties, etc) – Use a small container for loose items such as pins and accessories
  5. Treatment oil – my personal favorite is as argan oil or coconut oil
  6. A set of clean clothes – this includes underwear, tops, bottoms, hijab, etc
  7. Water bottle
  8. Breakfast – if you’re heading out immediately after working out, prepare your snack before you leave
  9. Ladies stuff – sanitary pad, panty liner, etc
  10. Treat your self! – include in a nice bath gel or a luxurious lotion to reward yourself after working out. My personal favorite is a sugar scrub.

Hijabis, I hope this list will be helpful for you to pack before hitting the gym. Remember to pack the night before heading to the gym to make sure you have everything you need. Less stress, more sweat!

World WOW Race Series – New challenges for you every month

Keep yourself motivated and rewarded every month when you join the Women of Wellness (WOW) Virtual Race Series. The ultimate race is in October 2018. Be a part of a new race, new challenges every month! Live while racing. Be a part of the active lady community.

WORLD WOW RACE

WORLD WOW RACE

The March Race
The race kicks off in March with Cycle and Run challenges. You would need to cycle 15 km and run 15 km, in total, during the month of March 2018. You can cycle or run anywhere, in any sequence and anytime during the race period (1st-31 March)  Submit your results to instagram account WOWRace or wowrace@nashata.com by 8th April 2018.

How can you join the March Series?
Just register (1-15 March 2018) and pay for the run.

Who can join the race?
As long as you are a girl or a woman, you can join the race. Open to all nationalities. 

What do you get?

  • Nudges and updates from WOW Race team & community at WOWRace instagram account
  • Finisher gets Nashata Raazniq WOW Race Series worth RM49/SGD16.50/USD15.50. It is free size.
  • Finisher gets 20% discount for the next WOW Race
  • Finisher kit will be sent to you within two weeks after the running period is over. Free shipping worldwide!
  • Top 3 racers with most combined mileages will get special reward worth RM300 from Nashata.

Finisher gets the – World Wow Race Raazniq

WOW Run is an annual running event started by Mudzalifah Anuar in 2014.  It was initially known as the World 1st Muslimah Run and has evolved into women run and now race series as an effort to promote active lifestyle. Mudzalifah is a fitness coach, a triathlete and an inspiring friend to many ladies. She designs the current and upcoming races for the World WOW Race Series until the month of September. The series will end with the WOW Run on the 8th October.  BE FIT BE YOU and join the community of active ladies and let’s inspire and keep reminding one another!

The founder of WOW Run – Mudzalifah

Conquer Early Morning Workouts Like a Pro

For the past few months, I’ve switched from intense 45-minute (or a bit more) lunchtime workouts to early morning, hour-long workouts. Early morning workouts really work better for my hectic schedule and still allow me to remain fresh and clean during the entire workday. One of the drawbacks of lunchtime workouts is that the time was too short to shower at the gym (that is, if I wasn’t running or biking outside) and we do not have showers at work. While I still utilize my lunch a few times a week to get in a workout, it is usually a short workout at the gym (allowing time for a shower) or a restorative workout such as Yoga.

The early morning workout is exactly what I needed in my life, but it was by no means easy for me to make the transition. I found that with a little planning and preparation, an early morning workout was more than possible. I devised a routine that worked for me and my crazy-busy schedule and I am sure you can create one that works well for yours.

Below are some time-saving tips that may help you get in your early morning workout like a pro:

Get to bed early the night before. It’s really hard to get up before the sun has risen, if you have only had a few hours of sleep. Aim for a bedtime that allows for around 7 hours of quality sleep.

light-dark-bed-lamp.jpg

Pro Tip: Avoid the viewing of electronics such as computers, cell phones and televisions 30 minutes before bedtime. If you view these screens, use blue light blocking glasses.

Pro Tip: Use natural sleep aids (teas, powders, pills) in order to fall asleep and stay asleep. Look for products that include one or more of the following: Melatonin, Valerian Root, Magnesium, Calcium, Lavender or Chamomile.

Set your alarm..or two. Waking up early will be a challenge at first, so set an alarm to ensure you wake up on time and another alarm to make sure that you leave the house on time. If you are a hard sleeper, you may want to set one alarm to wake you up and one 5 minutes later…to really, really wake you up.

pexels-photo-635003.jpeg

Pro Tip: If you are using your cell phone alarm, modify the alarm label with a motivational message. (Mine is: You’ve Gotta Work For It!)

Lay out your clothes the night before. Set out your gym clothes within easy reach and include all of your accessories (hijab, heart rate monitor, watch, socks, compression sleeves) and your shoes. The last thing you want to do at 4 AM is hunt for a matching sock, so lay out everything you need.

Tri Flat Lay

Pack your gym bag the night before. Make sure you include everything you will need after your workout, such as a change of clothes, shower gel, shampoo, lotion deodorant or feminine products.

Pro Tip: Lay your work clothes on the floor, folded in half longways. Place your pants/skirt on the bottom, then stack your shirt, scarf/hijab (if you use one), underwear, socks or stockings and accessories. If you have a work badge, clip it to your clothing at this time. Roll all the items together tightly and place the entire roll in your gym bag.

Prep your pre and post-workout meal. Set out your cups or containers with your pre-measured powder in it ready to go. In the morning, add your liquids and go.

Pro Tip: If you have a smoothie pre or post-workout, consider freezing the ingredients in a mason jar. Add the liquid to the jar in the morning. Most glass mason jars fit the standard blender base attachment so you can blend your smoothie or shake directly in the jar and head out the door.

Now you are ready to rock your early morning workout like a pro. It takes 21 days to establish a new habit. Give it time if you struggle a bit at first to get out the door in time. After a few weeks your early morning workout will become second nature.

5 tips on how to wake up early to work out

I admit I am not a morning person. On my off days I could stay in bed all morning and my only motivation to wake up is a good breakfast. However, through out the years, I have learnt that I need to manage my time better and appreciate that we get only 24 hours in a day. There is so much to do in so little time.

I have also learnt that there is no “right time” to work out. I prefer to work out first thing in the morning before I go to work. One of the benefits of working out early is that you get it out of the way as soon as possible, freeing up time for you to proceed with your daily routine, such as going to work, run errands, or spending time with family and friends. I have also noticed that I will feel more energized after working out. My mind is more alert and I will be in a happier mood.

However, you do need to sacrifice other aspects. I had to give up watching TV at night and I am not hooked on to any TV series, so I do feel a little bit left out when people talk about Game of Thrones or the latest Korean dramas. I have also sacrificed my late night ‘lepak’ time because I am just too sleepy to socialize and eat at 10pm.

In the end, it is all worth it. Fitness is a lifestyle, not a trend or a seasonal thing. In the long run, I trust that I will be able to reap the health benefits and work towards my fitness goals. So how do you wake up early and still feel like a champ?