Friday, June 17, 2016

Ramadan & Running

We are in the middle of week 2 of Ramadan already. Time sure flies. So fast. I'm going to touch little bit on running in Ramadan topic based on my own experience and experiment. Basically it depends on your body. Running in this month is pretty tricky. Need to do 'try and error.' 

There are a few great blogs discussing on this matter. These blogs are:
1. (written by our local elite Azwan Bunjing)
2. (written by ultramarathoner Arman Arshad)

Tips from SCKLM - coach Mark Williams
Tips from SCKLM - Lili Suhairi
My yearly signature pic for Ramadan run. 6th June 2016, 1st Ramadan 1437
My yearly signature pic 2013-2015 ;)

In Ramadan, I only have 2 viable options; running before break fast or after terawih. Running before break fast is ideal for me as I can straight away break fast after completing my run (after the Maghrib azan lah obviously). Running after terawih is actually better as I've replenished my body with foods and water. The problem with this run is stomach still full. Possibility of vomiting. I can only start my run around 10pm and I can't start late or risking late sleep. Sleep late means possibility of not waking up for sahur or getting sleepy during work. Need to avoid both. Running before sahur? I don't dare trying this because I'm afraid I'll become tired or dehydrated whole day. Not going to risk my work performance or my daily life. 
I tried running before break fast few times, 5-10km. It was so dead tiring eventhough I ran easy and slow. Felt like doing speedwork. Tiring but manageable. I ran around 6pm  and completed my run around 7pm. As long as I had sahur beforehand, it's possible for me to run. I ran after terawih for my long run with friends. It's a little bit uncomfortable with stomach full with foods but it felt better eventually after few miles. 
Runwitme pm-ed and asked my opinion on running in Ramadan. He published my tips in his blog entry.
Thank you famous blogger Runwitme! Please read that entry as there are many tips from other great runners as well.
Train to eat! Please consider this pic as break fast pic LOL
By the way good luck with your training and selamat berpuasa!

Eighty is mighty, celebrating a new mileage milestone

80k per week is mighty enough, at least for me. Never had the opportunity or mental strength to do this kind of mileage. I usually clock 7-8km per day, 40-50k per week. My long run lingers around 15-21k. For the past few months, I was struggling in getting my slightly fast pace back. I did all those stride, tempo, interval, long run but none felt right. My easy/aerobic pace suffered. Wayyyyy slow from my normal pace. This disaster was all started when I didn't really focus much on running last year. I did like bare minimum. Last year was quite a super lucky year for me as I podium-ed in running, hunt, explorace and other events as well. Too much of something is bad enough (Spice Girls - Too Much). Yes, winning is fun but I failed at my weekly training. Missed my key running one too many. It was either I didn't have enough time or just because I didn't feel like running. I learned my lesson and tried to put everything all back together early this year but with no luck.

Eighty and fruity. Credit to original owner
I discussed with few friends and they gave me few interesting tips. I was also given this pdf copy of Hanson's Coaching Services LLC Training Schedule, 20 Weeks, 60-80 mile per week, marathon. I love their lengthy explanation and science behind running. The suitable remedy for this malady is back to basic, back to building base. (Meghan Trainor - It's All About That Base). I need to put more mileage. Yes, mileage. My major weakness for years. I failed at getting a great timing for my full marathon because I didn't clock enough mileage. I walk-run-walk after 30km in all marathons I had participated. 'Mileage is king' they said. They also said 'smile for miles.' How to smile when you need to clock in high mileage huhu. Smile no, suffer yes. "Mind over matters,” they added.

Runner's World Miles per week
I set my mind, held my head high and executed my mileage plan. Ran almost every day. Did easy-no-risk run. No speed training or whatsoever. I increased my usually 7-8k to 11-12k daily. It was all about mental. I ran mostly on track and did the looping run. Mental kuasa dua! Luckily my friends were there and their presence helped. I was either ran with them or talked to them to combat this mental thingy.

I successfully completed the 80k+ (experiment) for the very 1st in my life last week! Yeay! A new high, a new record! Clap, clap, clap. The most important aspect was injury free. Slight soreness was expected. It was a crazy week. In my mind was work, mileage, sleep, work, mileage, mileage, mileage. My mental strength not that tough and that mantra helps. I ran from late evening until early night. I even ran in the drizzly rain. Mileage matters. My lil experiment worked!

Mileage, mileage, mileage

2nd week
I managed to do 73.9k for the second week before 1st Ramadan. Failed to clock 80k as the soreness lingered more than I expected. After two weeks of 70/80k+, I learned more about my body. My strong and weak points. My strong point is I can do it if the mind-set was right. ‘Where the Mind Goes, the Body Will Follow.’ ‘Mind over body.’ My weak point is I still cannot do a good and proper long run. I was able to increase my daily run up to 14k but I still having problem when I want to increase my long run more than 22k. Body not ready. My next mission is to increase the volume and quality of my long run. I also want to try 100k per week at least once. Body please cooperate, thank you! Thanks for reading!