WE HAVE MOVED!

Dear readers, 

Thank you for your loyal support in visiting Why We Run Network. We hope we have inspired you to embrace health & fitness as part of your lifestyle. To reach out to more viewers and encourage them onto the path of healthy living, we have moved to SingaSports.com. Do check out our new site for latest events coverage & updates, reviews and more!

We look forward to having you to join us as we embark on leading healthier and more meaningful lives together!

The Team at SingaSports.com,

Experience Sports. Experience More.

P.S, If you are unable to view the new site, I would advise to clear your cache again. Thats because your electronic device have so-called “registered SingaSports.com as the whywerunn’s landing page. We are working on that issue. SOrry for the inconvenience caused! 😦

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HEALTH & FITNESS: Training Even When Fasting

With just DAYS away from the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan, I still remember around this time last year, both Haffiz and I were interviewed about our training runs and preparations for the upcoming, then Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2011. I was prepping up to run a half-marathon (21km) and Haffiz is running the full 42km. Was I excited? Hell yeah, I  was stoked.

One of the challenges that we and many other active Muslim people face during this period, is the fasting month of Ramadhan. Despite the required change of training programme, I would not say it is a burden. Mainly because one can always train at a later part of the day nearing to break fast timing (adaptive) OR simply that fasting keeps my body lean too.

We both have different styles of training. His mainly focused on more runs while mine was more a balanced between short runs and high-intensity workouts with weights. I opted for endurance, speed and muscle. Anyways, here are some of the “tips” of my half-marathon  training regime during fasting month. 🙂

1. When did you start preparing for the year-end Standard Chartered marathon? What is your routine training programme?

Mentally, i started prepping myself last year during the SCSM 2010 when i was covering the event from a spectator’s point of view.

Physically, i started going for short distance runs (eg. 2XU 12km race and my own 4km short runs in my neighbourhood) as well as to build a better physique by training with the SG Titans (a non-profit Strongman team, http://www.sgtitans.com/) once or twice a week back then, coupled with my own workouts.

2. For the month of Ramadan, how have you tailored your training?

The month of Ramadhan coincides with the start of my new school’s semester so schedule wise, its very hectic. Thus my runs are minimized to running in the school gym (where i work PT) on its treadmills. I tailor my training very differently now. I am more focused on developing a stronger core and focus on high intensity training / endurance workouts to boost BOTH muscular development as well as improve my cardiovascular system. Training period on the other hand is limited to 1 hour before break fast or at night, 2 hours after my break fast.

3. How much does the new programme (in the month of Ramadhan) affect your preparation?

With lesser time to train, I have to make the best out of each individual session/training. Personally in my opinion, as long as you maintain that level of activity / training for your body, it would not affect much of one’s performance for your runs. I had always been a believer of stronger core leads to better, faster runs. And of course coupled with cardio workouts, it will keep you in shape for the runs/races to come.

4. Why is it important that you continue to train during Ramadan? 

To feel good, be healthy, maintain a decent fitness level at least and most importantly, look good for hari raya! 😛

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Buy a baju kurung that you like BUT you cannot fit well in it yet. And that will motivate you to run! 😛

For more info on this year’s Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2012 run, check out: http://www.marathonsingapore.com/

HEALTH & FITNESS: Physical Activity Brings Benefits to Those With Cancer

As mentioned earlier, this blog is more than just about me or my team’s experiences and more in sports, health and fitness. Its a blog for the people, BY the people. And I’m pleased to share with you this amazing article by one of our readers, David Haas, on tips which would benefit our community as a whole. 🙂

Whether newly diagnosed with cancer, going through treatments, or in remission,
physical fitness can bring you many benefits. Those who have cancer often lose
their strength and energy, experience fatigue and weakness, and may also suffer
mental stress. A program of physical activity can help to improve how you feel
and relieve some of the effects of cancer treatments. It will not only give you a
boost of energy and a positive attitude, but it will also help you to feel mentally
and physically stronger and enable you to regain any of the physical functions
you may have lost.

Cancer patients should start out slowly with their physical fitness routine and
increase intensity as they can. This is especially true for those with certain types
of cancer, such as mesothelioma, which is a rare cancer in the lungs. The type
and amount of physical activity you can pursue also depends on other factors
such as age, treatments received, surgeries, and pain levels.

Go for a light run. No need to be so competitive.

Very little physical activity is better than none. Begin by simply sitting up and
moving your limbs (i.e. leg lifts, arm circles), walking short distances, or by doing
light stretches. Later on, try riding a bicycle, gardening, or swimming. Whatever
you decide, don’t overdo it and cause more harm than good. Your physician will
be able to advise you on what exercise is appropriate at your stage and amount
you should do.

Physical activity will help you recover from the effects of your cancer and cancer
treatment. It will also improve your overall health by reducing your risk of heart
disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, stroke, and more.
Exercise makes you a healthier individual even when in remission and will allow
you to enjoy your life more fully. 😀

Generally, having some great fun physical activity time with friends allows
you to enjoy your life more fully.

This article was written by David Haas. David is a cancer patient advocate who writes and researches for the betterment of others. He often blogs about programs and campaigns underway at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, as well as creative fitness ideas for those dealing with cancer, while creating relationships with similar organizations. Check out his personal blog HERE OR you can follow him on Twitter @HaasBlaag.

HEALTH & FITNESS: Cardio Overload

(Article by Nash A.)

I’m sure the feeling of euphoria would have won over the fatigue that grows on you after the 42nd kilometres on the road. Completing a marathon somewhat at times boosts one’s self-esteem and makes us feel good about our accomplishments. Besides, knowing that it is for the development of fitness, we tend to think that the heart is also going to get stronger each time we finish the race so we should go out there and conquer as many marathons and runs as possible. Well, that could be a grave mistake.

A recent study actually measured the vascular functions of avid runners after their runs, the result is really shocking.

By measuring cardiac enzymes and taking ultrasounds, the researchers were able to measure the acute effects of extreme exercise on the heart.

They found that:

  1. Right ventricular (RV) function diminished after races
  2. Blood levels of cardiac enzymes (markers for heart injury) increased
  3. The longer the race, the greater the decrease in RV function
  4. 12 percent of the athletes had scar tissue in their heart muscle detected on MRI scans one week after the race

Although exercise reduces your cardiovascular risk by a factor of three, too much vigorous exercise, such as marathon running, actually increases your cardiac risk by seven, according to a study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010 in Montreal. This is a powerful lesson to anyone who engages in large amounts of cardio exercise, because as it turns out, excessive cardio may actually be counterproductive.

The Solution:

1) Mix it up

Do not cancel your runs just yet. Long-distance running should not be stopped totally. Instead, frequency could be reduced, making way for interval training, which allows you to capture peak cardio activities without superficial strains. Right amount of stress, for the right amount of time.

2) Super-Slow Resistance Training

The objective of superslow resistance training is to create more tension in a muscle for a given workload. This is accomplished by decreasing the speed of movement. The amount of force or tension a muscle can develop during a muscle action is substantially affected by the rate of muscle shortening or lengthening.

In Conclusion

As you would diversify your financial portfolio, please do diversify your training portfolio.
Physiological development should be holistically done to ensure a sound and functioning body, with no signs of over exertion.

But of course, go easy on the diversification. 😛

HEALTH: Say NO to Smoking.

Stub out smoking

A pretty interesting and informative poster by the Australian National Preventive Health Agency about smoking.

More often than not, people tend to think that as long as they run or exercise, they are “allowed” to smoke because well, they are keeping their body fit. But thing is, every cigarette you smoke is only doing you more harm than good.

Yes, it “relaxes” you for the time being and is a great social tool. But smelly, smoky fingers and breath isn’t really a great way to keep a handsome image. Also, with tar in your lungs, I’m not really sure of how it would help you in your future runs, marathons, triathlons and other sports activities.

On a side note, smoking pollutes the air and destroys our environment. Have you seen how SMOGGY Singapore is lately? Zomg.

Of course its easier said than done, i must admit it. But hey, the goodness it brings, its gonna be all worth it. 🙂

REVIEW: Adidas goes Minimalist – the adipure Trainers

Fitness enthusiasts, HEADS UP! Adidas has unveiled its latest range of training gear – the adipure Trainers. The first natural-style training shoe designed specifically for the gym, these shoes were surprisingly very comfortable to wear. And according to the guys from Adidas, the adipure Trainer promotes natural movement by harnessing the body’s natural mechanics thus activating and strengthening muscles.

Like most “minimalist training shoes”, it uses your foot’s natural power and movement that will help you strengthen muscles you never knew you had in your feet, lower legs and throughout your core. Featuring an independent toe separation design and a quarter-inch minimalistic profile, the adipure Trainer allows an athlete’s foot to be close to the ground for optimal speed, balance and agility during a workout. 

For me, one of the plus points of these adipure trainers is that it provides real comfort around the ankle and balls of the feet as you skip, do your clean and jerks and even squats. It has a nice clean and natural feel, providing protection for the skin while still maintaining solid traction with the ground and durability.

It comes in 4 different colour combinations (although I heard that the blue and red are not in stores just yet). Retailing at S$169, you can get your adipure trainers at all leading sports shops and adidas boutiques.

One should not just know how to run but also know how to be functional in your movements and training. Personally, I advocate Total Fitness rather than just being real good in a single particular sport. 

 

Top 15 Reasons To Run

Find a Reason or two… and go run.

I’m doing it for Reasons 12, 13 & 14. Hahaha! So which ones are yours? 😛

P.S, click on our Singapore 2012 Running Events Calendar to view the upcoming races. Should we have left out any run or races, do let us know. And together, WE can get people to start running. 🙂 

Of Sports, Fitness and Health

RUGBY:

“A ruffian’s game played by Gentlemen.” 

Honestly, having played rugby in primary school and then a season during JC days and lastly, a short stint during my NS Army days, i must say, rugby is one sport which requires team work like no other.

Every single man relies and trusts their buddies beside them to “protect them” when they get tackled. Rugby, a contact sport, requires SPEED, AGILITY, POWER, STRENGTH & BRAINS to win the game. Perfect sport for people who desire to up the fitness and physique level. I know, cause i’ve been there done that: READ HERE

But that being said, i still love playing soccer… just a little aggressive though. Like Gennaro Gattusso.

~

DISCIPLINE & REGRET: 

“Discipline is doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, when we don’t want to do it.”

Its always easy to fall to temptations and skip a day’s training or snack on an unhealthy meal just for a day thinking, ITS ONLY A DAY. But such bad habits die hard and 1 day becomes 2 days and so on. Before you know it, you’re doomed.

~

THE FAULTY FOOD PYRAMID:

“It promoted eating so many grain servings, it was promoting obesity.”

I had always suspected that something is wrong with the pyramid because it kinda lacks the essential proteins to build and pack on those muscles. Anyways, here’s to find out more: READ HERE

~

McDonalds: Still Loving it?

“McDonald’s confirms that it’s no longer using ‘pink slime’ chemical in hamburgers.” READ MORE

Its been 1 month + 5 days since i last touched a hamburger from McDonalds or any one of those fast food “restaurants” like KFC, Long John’s Silvers, Burger King etc. Well, i plan to stay on track and go fast food free for the whole of 2012.

Unless of course someone offers me $10,000 to have a bite at a new fast food burger. And that had better be a McD’s Samurai burger at least. ;P

The Skinny Of My Active Sporting Lifestyle.

Start of the 2nd month in 2012, i thought i’ll share with the newer readers: WHY I TRAIN. An old post, but nonetheless, still GOLD. And looking back at it, motivates & inspires me to work harder.

Contrary to its name, this blog has grown from merely a running blog to something which covers a wider range of sports and fitness and also health. Inspiring the uninspired to run, bike, swim and train etc. This post goes out to all those skinny guys and ANYONE who AIMS to achieve something better this year. 🙂

To be fitter, faster, stronger, better.

~

Family members, relatives and friends used to ask/tell me all sorts of questions like “Why you train so hard?”, “Concentrate on your education and not your gym/running stuff.”, “Some people people so fit also die early.” and blah blah blah. Well, this post is gonna be pretty much about me and my journey to reach my goal of achieving a the physique and fitness of a Roman God Bod. 😛

I must say that i’ve not reached there YET. Hahaha. Slowly but surely yeah? This posts goes out especially to all the people out there who is like me, skinny and weak, and seek to have a better bod and fitness level. I feel you bro.

Anyways, I had always wanted to share my love of fitness and also my interest in weights training to achieve that physique that one can only dream of. You know, kinda like those Men’s Health front cover models. ;P I personally started gyming and understanding the different forms of exercises for different muscle groups when i was 17. Yes, i do remember it clearly because that was one of those moments in your life which you realise that your decision had made a great impact to your future self. Its like a decision to get married or to have a kid. THAT extreme? YES it is!

First and foremost, i, like many other self-claimed skinny guys out there is what scientist classify as ECTOMORPH. Also known as a “hard gainer” for our inability to gain as much weight even though we might eat the same amount as those we claim as “fat people”. We have high metabolism thus we burn more calories faster than what we take in. And guess what? Brad Pitt is an ECTOMORPH too! Yay! Got “spiritual” connection liao. Somehow, i feel like Tyler Durden (from FIGHT CLUB) and Achilles (from Troy) now. 😛

I tried. Very hard to gain weight.

Yes, i did almost a lot of things to try and gain as much weight, but to no effect. Chin up regime when i was ard 6-7 years old didnt help much nor did eating a whole tray of rice, chicken and what nots when i was in secondary school. 😛 Okay, i was kidding about the former. Hahaha!

Basically, i was a thin and fragile kid back in my secondary school days. My weight was always fluctuating between 45-50kg AND FOR A GUY, that is kinda light. It didnt help that i was a hyperactive kid and participated in outdoor activities as well as sports. (i was a Scout Trooper from 1997-2005 & i played touch rugby from 1997-1999) As much as i tried to eat, my stomach just couldnt take in much calories and i get full very easily. *sigh sigh sigh*

2001. Scouting moments

Well anyways, i remember it as clearly as it was yesterday when back then in 2005, a female friend of mine exclaimed to me that i had a weight of a girl as we were taking our Height & Weight during our P.E lesson. There i was already having a hard time to gain weight and such, and there she was popping my confidence-balloons. Although the comments deflated me emotionally, i CHOSE to think rationally and logically and decided IT IS TIME for me to do something.

I couldnt help to see a skinny dude looking back at me whenever i look into the mirror. Could you? OMG! I bet you cant either! It sucks, really. So i decided to hit the gym and learn as much as i could from people, internet and books. Also at the same time, joining my favourite sport of RUGBY drove me to achieve a better bod and physique as (contact) rugby IS indeed a hardcore sport. Pick up a sport people. It DRIVES you to be good and serve your team/school well!

2005. JJC Cougars.

Over the course of 2 years in JC, i gained 15kg. Quite an achievement for me as on the average, i’d manage to gain only 5kg per year. Of course, i didnt become fat or bubbly as i had constant workout and high level of intensity gyming back then. But still i wasnt happy with my fitness level. Being in the army and doing all the *censored* shit out there turned out to be very useful. I grew leaner with all those morning and afternoon runs and route marches. And the constant chin-up regime before meals (even as i became a commander), propelled my physique and strength to greater heights.

2008. Post-NS days.

And as my level of fitness grew, my confidence grew too. I could wear more variety of clothing without making it look like i had an oversized jumper on me. And yes, my post NS days – when 25 chin ups were no problem and my 2.4km runs were 9min.

Fast forward to this time round, i am happy…er with what i have accomplished thus far. Participating in sports/activities ranging from  soccer to rock climbing to camp facilitating to kettlebell-ing and etc, it gave me more confidence knowing i could achieve MORE as i play the sport. I could run faster, kick harder, climb higher and lift heavier weights.

As of this current moment, the year 2012 will be a life changing year for me as i set out to achieve MORE accomplishments for myself (picking up Muay Thai & BJJ at Evolve MMA, getting my swimming fins back to work, just to name a few sports). It will be mentally draining. It will be physically tougher. It will be spiritually demanding.

End 2011. Successfully completed my personal best of 35 chin ups in one set. I plan to hit 45 by the end of 2012.

BUT hey! Playing sports and keeping fit is kinda like a drug. It makes me happy and boosts one’s confidence. And best of all, it keeps me in the company of fitness enthusiasts. Rather than wasting time sitting under the void deck, drinking, rioting, making a nuisance, might as well, i keep myself healthy and fit. I think that one great group of people whom you can train with FOR FREE (no hidden costs) is with SG TITANS. Who are they? Stay tuned to find out more. Or you can just click the SG Titans page above on my header. 🙂

And thats WHY I TRAIN.

17 years of determination and hard work. More to go.

January 2012 - Trail run cum hike from Dairy Farm Bukit Timah Hill to Kampung Chantek.

Till next time, Guten tag and lets build some hurtin’ bombs!