The Weekend Runner: Race Rituals

As races slowed down, I find myself spending more time on reading and researching about running. After browsing a few articles, I came across several interesting information: Before a race, Usain Bolt admitted to eating chicken nuggets as one of the ways to prepare himself. Killian Jornet wrote in his book ‘Run or Die’, that he will have a jar of Nutella after every ultra race. I’ll call these practices as the ‘race ritual’.


While your race rituals may or may not be similar to the fastest man on earth, I am sure most of us have a unique set of mental preparation – a set of step-by-step behaviour that only takes place on Race Day. Regardless of the distance, location, or type of race, I have certain procedures that I will follow consciously and unconsciously and why I think they help.


–        Pre-race rituals

1)     Laying out my clothes on the night before the race. I do not want to end up looking for my number bib at 4am. Also, nothing new on race day to prevent chaffing, weird colour coordination, or other outfit mishaps.


Which Nashata top and hijab goes well for tomorrow’s race?

2)     Eat. A lot. Carbo-loading, protein-loading, etc. Whatever you call it, everyone has different fuel and nutrition needs. Personally, I don’t see the difference, as long as I don’t skip dinner.

3)     Wake up at least 2.5 hours before flag-off time. Ample time to have breakfast, make coffee, warm up, and ensure that I get the best parking spot.

4)     Music on full blast while driving to the flag-off venue to get the adrenaline pumping. Confession: I love listening to Taylor Swift before every race.

5)     Check the race route. The elevation, road, a crazy uphill – basically, I need to study and know what I am in for.

6)     A quick facebook update once I am in the holding pen. And taking loads of pictures. I find that it helps to ease the pre-race jitters.


Good morning everyone what time is it? It’s Race O’ Clock!!!


–        Post-race rituals

Only 3:

1)     Finisher pictures with the medal.

2)     Eat. A lot. Because it feels rewarding to know that I deserve that 2 pieces of roti canai and kuih.


Not just desserts, but an extra piece of roti canai perhaps?

3)     Sleep and rest. I’ll be hibernating, do not expect me to emerge before evening.

Do you have your own race rituals? What about lucky objects, favourite socks, or something that you will never run without? Do you answer your phone or text messages on the morning of the race?


Signing off until next week,

The Weekend Runner.

How to Complete Reading the Quran in 21 Days

“Ramadan is the (month) in which the Quran was sent down, as a guide to mankind and a clear guidance and judgment (so that mankind will distinguish from right and wrong) (2:183)

In honour and remembrance of that, some would devote time to complete reading and understanding the Quran during Ramadhan.  There are many other ways to complete reading the Quran during Ramadhan. Do what works for you. Below is my sharing on how to complete reading the Quran within 21 days.

Other than Tarawih, reading the Quran during Ramadhan is good. There are 30 juz with 6236 verses (ayat)  in the Quran. In 21 days, you need to read in average 300 verses, and allocate 4-5 hours a day, should you want to complete the Quran. This is assuming it takes 1 min to read a verse. Many can read a verse in less than 30 seconds.

1. How can you find 4-5 hours/day?

Whether or not you are working, you can find time within these slots

  • 75 mins after you have completed morning meal/sahur or after morning/Subuh prayers
  • 1 hour during lunch break hour or after Zhuhur/afternoon prayers
  • 1 hour after work or after Asar prayers
  • 45 mins between Maghrib and Isya prayers
  • 1 hour after Isya or tarawih prayers

2. What are the mediums to read the Quran?
Whether you choose to read the translation of the Quran or recite the Quran in Arabic, it does not really matter. Here are the medium you could use:

  • hard copy of the Quran
  • hard copy of the Quran with translation of your preferred language
  • digital version of the Quran when traveling or everyday reading on the move; web based sites like, app on electronic devices. Sometimes the digital version provides a translator and an audio reader. These functions can aid your reading and comprehension of the verses in the Quran
  • You can choose both, hardcopy and digital version of the Quran concurrently

I use multiple mediums to cross reference.

3. Here is a plan to complete the Quran in its entirety during Ramadhan
More verses are planned out the first few days and the number is reduced towards day 21. This is because many women tend to be busy towards the end of Ramadhan, plus women get a few days time off in a month.

Ramadhan quran reading planner

May Allah accept our deeds, soften our hearts and grant us forgiveness. Have a bless Ramadhan!