DNF? Know your limits!

Base on official result of recent Malaysia Women Marathon 2017, 8% of the Full Marathon participants and 1.5% of the Half Marathon participants did not finish (DNF) the race.

DNF or do not finish is something that every runner would try to avoid during races. Even those who are injured or suffering from cramps would try to walk towards the finish line. Some may say they are heroes, some would say that they are hurting themselves. But, as for me,..I wouldn’t want to arrive the finish line by an ambulance.

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Reach finishing line within cut off time is every runner’s aim 😉

I have participated in 9 Half Marathons (21km), 12 Full Marathons (42km) and 4 Ultra and alhamdulillah, I finished them all strong.

DNF may occur for a few reasons, and I would like to share with you the common four  and how to avoid them.

1. Lack of training and experience

If you have never trained for a long run; 15km, 20km, don’t even register for a Half Marathon, or even a Full Marathon. Know your limits. As for me, before I join a 10km run, I would run 10km 3-4 times a week. Once satisfied with the timing, I would join a competitive running event. Same goes with the Half Marathon. After I have trained for 21km distances, only then I’d join an event. As for 42km (Full Marathon), I started to join after running 8 Half Marathons. I joined Ultra after I have completed 9 Full Marathons. The point here is you need to have a lot of training and experiences from every single run that you join before you upgrade yourself to another longer distance.

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I try to run 10km at least , 3-4 times a week to maintain my stamina. 🙂

2. You don’t fuel yourself enough 

Some may DNF due to electrolyte imbalance; they may experience cramps or vomiting after half way, and this leads to dehydration. Some may have stomachache, due to spicy food they eat the night or day before. To avoid these problems, do take a lot of fluid ; drink a lot of water, isotonic drink a week before the event to ensure you hydrate well. Eat extra amount of carbohydrate and protein too. On the day of the event or a day before, avoid spicy food. As for me, if the event starts at 4am, my last meal the night before would be at 8pm and if after 8pm, I would take bananas and water. If you eat enough prior to the race, you don’t even need any energy bar/energy gel during the race. Your body is already prepared to use up all the glycogen to transform into glucose once you are in state of starving.

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Fuel yourself enough before and after race.

3. You don’t plan your run

Strategy is very important in every race. As for me, for a 21 km race, I would try to finish the first 10km within my usual time – 1 hour. And then, the next 11 km dragged to 1 hour 10 minutes. If it rains or if the route is tough or if I experience a cramp, I would still finish within 2 hours 30 minutes, InsyaAllah. If you continue slow jog or power walk for the last 5-8 km, you could finish under 3 hours, as long as you run your best the first 10-15 km. As for Full Marathon, my personal best is 4 hours and 57 minutes. My strategy is, I would aim my first 10km within 1 hour  to 1 hour 10 minutes and next 10km within 1 hour 20-30 minutes. So, my first 21km would be at least 2 hours 30 minutes, the slowest. If you maintain 1 hour 30 minutes (pace- 9min/km) for another 2 sets of 10km, InsyaAllah you can finish under 5 hours and 30 minutes. If you can push yourself enough, you would make it within 5 hours and 15 minutes. Last year, I finished my full marathon SCKLM in 5 hours 16 minutes, read my experience → https://blog.nashata.com/?p=6391

Full Marathon at Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2017

Full Marathon at Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2016

4. Not enough rest

Lack of rest and sleep will affect your performance at the race. This issue is not strange if you go for runcation (run + vacation). The tips here is go to the place earlier (1-2 days earlier) so that you can rest well before the race. You will not be in a rush and have more time to calm down and focus during the race.

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Having enough rest is the key for you to recover well after the race.

DNF is better than DNS (Do Not Start). So, whatever challenges there may be, let’s plan ahead and pray for injury-free and pleasant races. After all, what’s is the most important is TRAINING. Train hard, believe in yourself and with that, InsyaAllah, you will finish strong and happy.

Till then, keep running and be inspired!

#NashataRun4Charity for South Africa Children Centre

In March 2017, Fatimah, Intan Suraya, Nahsuhah,  Saamiyah, Zaheda and Zainab (not her real name)  volunteer to run more than 600 km as a team to raise funds for Baitul Aman. For every 1km they run, Nashata will contribute RM1 to Baitul Aman. You can help sponsor them too and make their run worth more for the children at Baitul Aman.

As of 22nd March, the running sisters have ran 457 km. Zaheda tops the team with 124km to date. Make their sweat worth more and more for the children they wish to help. Sponsor at least USD5 to these runners at LaunchGood or RM22 at Nashata

Zaheda runs in niqab and the most in the pack!

Zaheda from Durban runs in niqab and the most in the pack!

Zaheda runs the most and fastest in the pack!

Zainab runs fast and diligently. She keeps us on our toes!

Intan Suraya runs a full marathon and 2 half marathon in March

Intan Suraya runs a full marathon and 2 half marathon in March

Nahsuhah - The fastest and youngest in the team

Nahsuhah – The fastest and youngest in the team

Saamiyah & her running team

Saamiyah in Nashata Azza Toplectic & her running team at her 1st full marathon Oct’16

We update the team everyday and support each other

We update the team everyday and support each other

Why you should sponsor the run?

You can be a part of the cause and help our running sisters make a bigger impact for Baitul Aman. Make their sweat worth more and more for the children they wish to help. Sponsor at least USD5 to these runners at LaunchGood or RM22 at Nashata

Why Baitul Aman, La Mercy?

Our running sisters from South Africa feel strongly about children and education. They collectively chose Baitul Aman to be the recipient of the cause. With the increase of the HIV and AIDS pandemic, the number of abandoned babies and neglected children from diverse backgrounds requires Baitul Aman  to cover conventional child and youth care programme as well as others. The home takes care on average 48 children including abandoned babies.

What is the duration of the fund raising?

Our running sisters started running for Baitul Aman from 1st March ’17 and will stop 31st March ’17. However, the sponsorship continues until 10 April ’17

What happens to the sponsorship?

The amount sponsored via launchgood will be transferred directly to Baitul Aman.  Fatimah, Saamiyah, Zaheda and Zainab (the runners) will visit the center to deliver sponsorship from Nashata at the end of the campaign.

You can be apart of this too. You can :

  • Sponsor the runners at least USD5
  • Virtual run with the runners wherever you are. You can post your runs and use hashtags #nashatavirtualrun4charitySouthAfrica #nashatavirtualrun4charity
  • Follow and support the runners on social media. These are the hashtags for the run #nashatavirtualrun4charitySouthAfrica #nashatavirtualrun4charity

About Nashata Run For Charity

It is a virtual run that aims to raise funds for ‘Charity of Choice’ in a new country every month. Nashata runners together with a group of runners in respective country would run virtually for the whole month. Nashata pays RM1 for every 1 KM each runner’s mileage. Nashata Run for Charity fosters 3 things:-

  • Stronger Sisterhood
  • Strengthen Fitness
  • Support a Cause

Started first in Brunei in Feb ’17, the run gathers four female runners from respective country and two Nashata runners who volunteer to run as much as they could to raise fund for a charity of their cause in the country.

In March’17, six Nashata runners from South Africa & Malaysia pledge to run to raise funds for Baitul Aman Children’s Home in South Africa. Be a part of the cause and help the runners make a bigger impact by sponsoring them with Nashata.

… more countries to be announced soon. If you are interested to participate please email contactus@nashata.com