The Weekend Runner: Spartan Race 2015



Let me start off with a confession: I am scared of heights. Maybe it’s because I overthink about the risk of falling, but most of the time it’s about having confidence that I can do it. The phobia is not mind crippling or hinders me in any way, but I wish I was one of those people who can confidently take the plunge to “Just do it”. (Cliché, but true)


So to challenge all the little voices of doubts in my mind, I signed up for an obstacle race called Spartan Race. The last time I entered an obstacle race was Viper Challenge (read about it here). In Viper Challenge, you were allowed to skip the obstacle if you’re not up for it, but this was not the case for Spartan Race; every incomplete obstacle will cost a penalty burpee. So, I had to choice but to suck it up, face my fears, and force myself to do it.


Spartan Race consisted of 6+km run and 22+ obstacles. The challenges will involve monkey bars, ‘burden runs’ such as running while carrying 20lbs sand bag or medicine ball, and yes, as expected, lots of climbing. The day before the race I kept saying to myself over and over again that I will not surrender to any challenges without a fight. Facing my fears in the eyes is the only way to overcome it, avoiding it will only make it worst.


12107069_521358164693423_1631315325869293329_nThis is moment that you have been waiting for: the most highest obstacle that you had to scale. (Picture courtesy of the Spartan Race Malaysia Facebook page)

 IMG_1187There’s no turning back now. 


There were lots of slippery mud too, and sometimes the safest way to descend a steep surface was just to slide down. Luckily, my Nashata compression pants came attached with a skirt so I was confident that the skirt will prevent any thorns or stones from getting into the pants or worse, cause the pants to tear. (Imagine the unnecessary bum show if that happened!)


IMG_1168 This pants-skirt was a lifesaver.

IMG_1176 Team Ayam Goreng 2.0 after a ‘refreshing’ swim in the mud.


Overall, it took me about 2 hours and 33 minutes (official timing) to complete the race. I believe it will take more than just an obstacle race to ‘cure’ myself from this fear of heights, but at least I have installed the confidence needed and remind myself that sometimes it’s just all in the head.



Sometimes it is more challenging to overcome your mind than it is to overcome a physical barrier. (Picture courtesy of @nakedspiritrunners)


Until next week,

The Weekend Runner.

How Eda Fatimawati transformed obesity to fitness

We got to interview a young civil engineer who claimed obese three years ago. Now, Eda Fuzi is very passionate about running and loves to keep fit and eat healthy. Currently, an avid marathoner, she is determined to be an ultra Marathoner and Duathlete soon. She also started swimming recently.


women marathon



1) Eda, how do you lose weight and maintain your health? 

My mother passed away in 2009 due to the cancer, a year after when I realised I weigh 80 kg. Yes, I was in a shock and since then I started to exercise and find new hobbies to ensure I would keep up with a healthy lifestyle.


I was a sports girl back during my school and university days, I played almost all types of sport. But I was not a runner. I never run for a competition back then. I was neither a short nor a long distance runner. But one day my best friend who embraces an active lifestyle convinced  to run and trained me. He kept pushing and motivated me to push my limit further. I would say he is the key person that made me fall in love with running. My cousin started running years before me and he motivated me as well. A few months after I started running, I met new friends while training for my runs and many became my running buddies. Soon after that I get to meet new runners, newbies, triathletes, elite runners, etc. What I love the most about the running community it we help each other no matter what. Now, I am happy with my weight. I am no longer obese.

I have been running for almost three years now; and I get to make new friends along the way. Since I am committed to running, I make sure I train 3 to 4 times a week, collecting 35-50 km of mileage in average. That is  2 – 3 times of short distance, speed training, or a 10 km run each per session. Then, LSD (Long Slow Distance) runs in the weekends (15-25 km) for endurance training.

2. Do you take any supplements?

I DO NOT take any slimming supplements. I have tried them before but never worked. Now, I only take supplements that are necessary such as Evening PrimeRose Oil and Fish Oil.

2) How’s your daily food intake?

Taking control of what to eat was hard at first. But once I get the hang of it, everything becomes so much easier.  I learn how to count calories and eat right. Knowing our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is key. After knowing how much calories I need per day, I just need to eat accordingly.

I always make sure there are vegetables, fruits, dairy and protein is in my food. I eat 4-5 times a day. With snacks and eat at small portions. I do take carbs but mainly bread.

3) Many people think that if they do an exercise more often, their muscle become bigger. Is it true? What’s your opinion about that?

Yes, it does technically. Most runners have bigger calves. But some say it is just a myth. While other part of the body depends in which area you are focusing on.  Most runners lost muscles after a long run. That is why long distance runners are/needs to be skinny and thin. And that is not exactly bad. Sprinter may have large calves and muscular body as they need to use those muscles to help them sprint as fast as they can, they use red muscle tissues. A long distance runner (marathoners for example) uses white muscle tissues that work to sustain longer time and endurance. The thin body would help to carry less weight on the long run. Sprinters are heavier and more muscular as they need to use their muscles as a boost to run fast in a shorter distance.

So, if you run long distance, you shouldn’t worry about growing muscles.


4) When did you start running and how long did it take you to train for a marathon?

I started running in 2010. I increased my mileage per week whenever a marathon approached. If my average per week is 40 km, I will gradually increase it to 50, 55, and 60 km. Two weeks before a marathon, runners will be in tapering mode. Taper simply means to cut or reduce mileage. Tapering is the training phase right before a long distance event, such as a marathon, when a runner starts to cut back on his or her mileage Reason behind tapering is to reduce the potential of injury, mental preparation and to recover muscles. A week before a marathon, I will rest completely. While carb loading will only starts 3 days before an event.

5) We notice you are always in your compression wear during a run. Why you wearing the compression wear instead of other usual sport wear? How do you feels and what the differences?

Most of the time I would wear compression pants during long runs (Long-Slow Distance, Half Marathon or Marathon events). On training sessions, I would prefer to wear calf guards which normally, compression as well.  I wouldn’t say compression wear improves my performance, but I personally, would prefer to run safe and finish with free injuries. That is my priority.

Runners I know use compression-wear to protect muscles. There are research articles that say compression helps runners to improve blood flow through their muscles, thus, protecting muscle from injury and then most probably help us to run longer distances safely.  Sometimes I can feel compression protects my muscle movements during strides.

Most runners also use compression wears/gears for recovery. I wear them after a hard run or sometimes before bed, to help recover my muscles faster.

This is because compression of the lower leg increases blood flow and helps flush out lactic acid. Hence, aids recovery.

6) What was your fear and how do you overcome it?

I guess every runner fears of injury. How do I overcome it? Run safe and run happy. I run for my parents. Running is not always about achieving Personal Best/Timing. The reason why you run matters more. I appreciate myself more, I have overcome what I thought I would never accomplish, I appreciate life. I run for my own well-being.


Eda runs


Thank you Eda for sharing your views and being an exemplary runner. From her sharing, we get to understand why she runs. It takes a lot of discipline and determination to achieve what Eda has achieved the past three years. InsyaAllah, she will get to be the ultra marathoner soon!

All the best!

Kelebihan Pakaian Sukan Mampatan

Ramai di kalangan atlit yang giat di dalam aktiviti sukan memakai seluar dan baju yang menggunakan teori mampatan atau lebih dikenali sebagai ‘compression wear‘. Baju dan seluar mampatan kerapkalinya mempunyai reka bentuknya yang ketat dan melekat ke kulit untuk sebahagian atau seluruh badan, manakala kainnya diperbuat daripada kain spandex yang istimewa.

Pakaian Sukan Mampatan

Terdapat banyak kelebihan memakai pakaian sukan mampatan ini. Diantaranya adalah seperti berikut:


1. Membantu Pengedaran Darah

Sebenarnya pakai mampatan bukanlah baru dan ianya digunakan untuk kegunaan yang lain. Sebagai contohnya stokin mampatan digunakan untuk kegunaan medikal. Orang-orang tua yang mempunyai masalah mengedaran darah mengunakan stokin mampatan untuk membantu mengedaran darah dan ianya secara tidak langsung dapat menolong pergerakan kaki. Untuk pakaian sukan, seluar dan stokin mampatan sukan dapat membantu pengedaran darah untuk bahagian kaki ketika berlari dan bersenam. Pengedaran darah yang baik bukan sahaja dapat membantu pergerakkan tetapi juga meransangkan kesihatan dan organ tubuh badan.

2. Mempercepatkan Tempoh Pemulihan dan Mengurangkan Kepenatan Otot

Dalam aktiviti sukan pula, seluar mampatan dapat menggalakan pembuangan asid ‘lactate’ dalam darah, dan ianya secara tidak langsung mempercepatkan tempoh pemulihan semasa dan selepas bersukan terutama untuk aktiviti sukan yang lama seperti berlumba basikal, larian marathon, hoki dan bola keranjang. Kepenatan otot ketika bersenam dapat dikurangkan semasa bersukan dan sakit-sakit otot selepas bersukan boleh dikurangkan dengan penggunaan pakaian mampatan yang betul. Ianya penting untuk para atlit yang perlu sihat sentiasa dan bebas dari kecederaan otot. Mereka yang baru bergiat aktif dan khuatir sakit-sakit otot selepas aktiviti sukan juga akan memanfaat daripada teknik mampatan.

3. Selesa Ketika Bersukan

Jenis kain mampatan selalunya ketat dan rekabentuknya yang kemas dapat menyokong otot-otot ketika bersenam. Oleh kerana itu, baju dan seluar mampatan dapat memberi keselesaan kepada otot dan kulit sepanjang senaman. Keselesaan amatlah penting ketika  bersukan untuk focus dalam meningkatkan prestasi bersukan.

4. Meningkatkan Prestasi Sukan

Ramai di kalangan atlit yang memakai pakaian sukan mampatan dapat meningkatkan prestasi sukan selepas penggunaan jangka pendek dan panjang. Walaupun sedikit, ianya masih membantu meningkatan keyakinan dan secara tidak langsung memberi motivasi untuk terus bersukan. Beberapa penyelidikan telah dilakukan untuk mengkaji penggunaan pakaian sukan mampatan dan mendapati ianya meningkatan prestasi pemakai kerana faktor-faktor pengedaran darah dan pemulihan yang cepat.


Kelebihan tersebut boleh dikecapi sekiranya pemakaian dibuat dengan betul. Contohnya, memakai pakaian mampatan ditutupi dengan lapisan pakaian yang lain akan meningkatkan suhu badan. Oleh itu, pastikan anda memakai pakaian sukan mampatan dengan cara pemakaian yang betul dan pastikan anda tahu bahagian mana yang perlu teknik mampatan ketika bersukan.