Running Tips

Nike We Run SG 2013

20131108-042144-pm.jpg

Runner’s tee

20131108-042134-pm.jpg

Finisher’s tee

I have been running recently but not that regularly like 3-4 times a week, most of the times, it’s just 1-2 times a week.

But boy, was I surprised to discover that I could actually break my own personal record at the Nike Run. On certain days where my stamina decides to be awesome and my body is filled with loads of energy, I can run 6km non-stop. So that was the benchmark I set for myself whenever I run. Stopping after 6km is somehow less guilty.

But during the recent Nike run, I managed to complete the 10km run without stopping at all! Sure, there were times when I felt that I shouldn’t be too hard on myself but for most of the physical workouts, be it running, swimming, weight-lifting etc, it’s over and above your physical limitations. Mental endurance and strength plays a major role as well.

If I were to just stop and accommodate to my physical limitations, I might not complete 10km without stopping.

I’ve met many runners who vomited, experienced cramps and there was even a girl who collapsed and then later passed away at the hospital. My condolences.

We have heard how many active participants passing out/away while participating in such events and we often question ourselves why. Shouldn’t these people be fitter, be healthier than the rest of us?

More often than not, it’s the cardiac arrests or issues related to the heart that caused the problems and tragic.

I have been advised by my family and bf to go for a health check-up, which I am really procrastinating… But I know I should. I’m just too chicken to find out the truth.

Anyway, that aside.

I’m not a hard-core runner/exerciser,yet… although I’m certainly more active now than before and I’ve been trying to keep to a more healthy diet recently too. (:

Nevertheless, here are some tips which I would like to share, especially if you are just starting out like me.

Things to do before running :

1. Grab a bite, preferably a piece of banana. 

Banana is packed with loads of carbs amongst other vitamins and minerals, which you can unload during your run as these carbs would provide fuel and energy for your body.

I have tried running 10km previously (Yellow Ribbon Run) without eating at all, and ended up a dead chicken. I started walking after 6km and usually, my appetite after exercising is lacking. So I had very minimal food after the run and ended up having to stop the bus and vomit along the road side. That was extremely embarrassing but thankfully, my bf was with me the whole time.

I’d also tried to run on an empty stomach (which I mean that the previous meal was already digested long ago) during my own evening runs and ended up almost dying as well.

So recently, I’ve heeded advices online to eat about 1.5h/2h before running. And yes, it certainly did help. The reason why I didn’t eat anything before running previously was due to the fear of having painful stitches/cramps, but then I’d realised that gobbling something small like a banana would fill your stomach and provide you with the energy required. Also, it is not too heavy that it would cause you indigestion and cramps.

Personally, it’s also more of a reverse psycho thing because now that you’ve consumed one of the highest-carb-loaded fruits, it gives you no excuse to push yourself further and run the extra mile… You know what I mean? 🙂

I didn’t have bananas with me before my Nike run so I just grabbed whatever I could find, forcing them down my throat. I just needed to fill my tummy with something, and preferably healthy as well. And I chose muesli (high in fibre) but bad choice, because reaching about 8km or so, my tummy started to hurt… you know the kinda thing you have when you need to shit?

Haha, so yes bad choice. I’ll never eat muesli before working out again….

Even if your run event starts at an unearthly hour, you should always make it a point to wake up earlier to fill your stomach with something approx 1.5h-2h before the event starts.

Trust me, don’t gobble down just before your run or skip the food intake… otherwise you will definitely regret it.

2. Have sufficient rest the night before

This statement discredits me because I don’t get sufficient rest before my runs, sad to say.

It’s quite self-explanatory so I’ll leave as that.

3. Empty your bladder/bowels etc

Another self-explanatory statement.

4. Hydrate yourself, but not excessively

It’s always good to hydrate yourself either with plain water or isotonic drinks.

For myself, I’d always preferred plain water over isotonic drinks. Even at hydration points during the run, I would opt for plain water over isotonic drinks. It makes my stomach a little queasy so I tend to avoid it.

But it’s great to drink it after a run.

Don’t drink too much before the run and during the run, if not it might cause stitch as well and well, you will need to empty your bladder again.

I usually try not to stop to hydrate myself at the hydration point, but maybe only the 3rd pitstop. Because it causes me to stop and I don’t do that if permits because it would adversely affect my stamina (I was told of this back in sec sch but am not sure how true is this). Of course, you should stop if you’re feeling pain/discomfort etc.

5. Don’t eat something that is too heavy or spicy for your stomach to take the night before

You wouldn’t want your running event to turn into having the runs. 😉

General tips :

1. Train regularly. No one can participate a running event/marathon without training themselves well first. 

Training about 3 times is good enough. At least better than my training schedule.

2. Warm up and cool down exercises

Sure, there will bound to be aches and all, lucky you if you don’t. But never skip the warming up and cooling down exercises They would do your muscles a great deal of help. It prepares your muscles before the run and helps to relieve aches thereafter.

You should feel the stretch and tension on your muscles, especially at the thighs and calves if you are preparing for a run. I mean where else should you feel them at right? Ankle rotations and stretching at the hips/waist are ideal too.

I don’t do much vigorous warm up exercises such as shuttle run or jumping jacks to preserve my maximum energy for the run later. I don’t want to tire myself out so quickly….heh.

3. Track your running logs

May or may not be accurate but at least you know how you fared. I use run keeper app to help track my pace, calories, distance covered…

It’s free too.

By having running logs, you can assess your own performance.

Although I have qualms on its accuracy because it doesn’t take into account different relief/terrains, e.g. uphill and downhill… so calories burnt and pace may not be accurate and fair.

Nevertheless despite the above, I’m still quite a beginner to start off with so I’m trying to discover more useful tips for myself which I can share with you guys as well.

I hope they would be useful to you 🙂

Oh and yes, as per the title, I managed to complete my 10km Nike Run at 1h24mins, a total improvement of 10mins from the Yellow Ribbon Run at 1h34mins.

10mins is alot and every min and ever sec do count as well, actually. 😛

Have run running!

In the mean time, I guess I will go find out more about High Intensive Interval Training (burns fats faster and improves stamina) as well as knee supports…I’m suspecting that I might have runner’s/jogger’s knee 😦

Remember, it involves BOTH physical and mental endurance. Without either one, you will not achieve your target.

Till then, thanks for reading! 🙂

Tips on losing weight Part 1

I have had like gazillion people telling me how skinny I am right now… From people who sees me almost everyday, like from my colleagues, my bf, my mom…and then I’ll have others like my friends, my hairstylist (Charles from Headlines Hairdressing), my bf’s grandma and uncle…

And many others who assure me again and again or chided me saying that I’m mad whenever I say I’m on a diet.

I guess once you’ve started, it’s difficult to stop especially when you’ve seen results (and receive compliments or rather purely remarks that you’ve lost weight) and this just gets you even more motivated.

Honestly, I’m getting a little annoyed because I’ve been receiving the same remarks on being skinny/lost weight too often recently. Especially when they comment how skinny/sunken/sharp my face is, I mean my face shape is like that and I hate it. And I know that my face fats would be the first to go and show once I lose weight. Followed by my tummy area and my arms and thighs would be the last.

Everyone has their own set of differences. Some people have got their fats off their limbs first and although their body is slim, their fat cheeks remain. I think face is extremely important because that’s where most people pay attention first to. Even if you’re a guy and curves like boobs, butts and sexy pair of legs catch your attention first, I’m sure many of us, be it girl or guy would pay first attention to the face. Who would pay attention to your tummy or the flabs of your arms first?

Hardly anyone I guess.

Unless you’re saying that you arms/butt or whatever are out of proportion… then well, maybe.

So it’s like my body is not super skinny like all bones no meat, it’s just that people tend to look at faces first and mine is very skinny. Yes I admit that my face is skinny and so people keeps on harping that I’m so skinny….

My body may be slim but not skinny, okay?

So anyway, I guess what sparked off this motivation was when I started seeing results after my Lipocryo treatments which you can read it here and here 🙂

I did not really control much of my diet and still continued to eat normally and my exercise was I guess abt once a week? And I saw results! I was really impressed.

I decided to push myself a little further by always bearing in mind of the calories in<calories out formula. The calories you don’t need or don’t use up will eventually be converted to fats.

And judging from my fat analysis, my fat % had exceeded (25.1%) the normal range (17%-24%). (So I’m not wrong when I say that I’m fat, right?! LOL)

Don’t tell me that it only exceeded by a little because it makes alot of difference to girls, okay? LOL!

Losing weight I guess is like one of the perpetual ‘to-do’ things on a girl’s checklist which is also perpetually left unchecked. HAHAHA!

I was hovering between 46.5-48.5kg previously before I started to control my diet and exercise more regularly. You can say I’m slim, but you can’t lie and say I’m skinny. There is a huge difference. And I might weigh less than 50kg but I don’t look toned and have flabs here and there.

My weight for some reason does fluctuate and especially after I eat, I can weight heavier by 1-2kg! So for the most accurate weight, weigh yourself first thing in the morning. With or without clothes on, it’s your choice. I guess having no clothes on would be the most accurate one.

The last time I weighed myself was this morning and the scale dipped to 43.8kg – my lowest so far.

Psst, I am standing at 160cm by the way, short I know! 😦

Here’s a little comparison I’d tried to showcase the differences so far :

20130924-105610-AM.jpg 20130924-105642-AM.jpg

20130924-110147-AM.jpg 20130924-110127-AM.jpg

And here’s the most recent pics of me, taken after pampering my tresses at Headlines Hairdressing salon! 🙂

20130924-110138-AM.jpg 20130924-110134-AM.jpg

 

Actually, I don’t really see a great difference…what do you think? :p

And anyway like you, googling on tips is often what I would do and based on my own experience and research, these are some of the tips I would like to share with you girls.

Will start of with the notion of calories/fats intake, or if you prefer, your food intake/diet in general.

1. Counting your calories

I tried to pen down the food I consume, counting calories and all, but I just couldn’t la.

It’s quite anal and depressing to keep having to count each and every time you put something into your mouth, except plain water.

I thought that counting them seems to show one’s obsessive compulsive disorder, otherwise known as OCD. I mean if you want to be OCD, don’t show it.

For me, it’s obvious what’s fattening and what’s not. So food like fried stuffs, chicken rice, macs, chocolates, sweet and soft drinks etc would be what I would cut down.

This brings me to my second point.

2. More protein and less carbs

 

You’ve heard about no carbs or low carbs diet and stock up on the protein to replace the carbs, because if the body requires energy fuel, it would get it from the protein as the next alternative if you don’t have enough carbs.

I think it’s important to note that LOW carbs doesn’t mean NO carbs.

For your body to operate functionally well, you would still need carbs.

Some people choose the healthier version of carbs such as oats, wholemeal bread, brown rice etc. If you’re alright with their taste, then good for you. These food are packed with other awesome vitamins and minerals.

I can’t do brown rice. I would die.

And our usual white rice is made of starch with no proper nutrients so…

What I do is to have everything at the back of my head throughout the day. So for example, if I had bread in the morning, I would reduce my carb intake for lunch or order mixed veg rice without rice, LOL.

Either that, fruits such as banana contain carbs and fruits, contain fructose (a sugar compound).

If you need carbs to satisfy your hunger for a longer time, try noodles instead. But do note on the amount of starch which would be converted to fats should they not be ultilised as well. Yellow noodles are the most fattening. My favourite would be bee hoon, or if not, you may opt for kuay teow as well.

I like soupy stuffs so dry noodles with chilli is not for me.

I always opt for soupy stuffs and I guess I’m lucky to have this as one of my favourites.

My food is often quite bland or very ‘light’ in the sense that it does not contain alot of flavour/sauces etc. I can do with a bowl of fishball beehoon soup or if I were to have yong tau foo, I would opt to forgo any noodles and just opt for soup. And I’ll still be fine.

I’m not a very much meat lover by nature as well, so I would stock up on loads of veggies if possible.

So you can either replace your carbs with healthier alternatives or either that, reduce your carb intake by reducing the portion. For example, if you are having a plate of fried rice. Halve the portion and offer it to someone else.

Of course, I’m not too sure how smaller meals would help in terms of increasing your metabolic rate, but I guess it does work since lots of people are claiming its success. I’d try to eat in between to prevent gastric as well.

3. Train your stomach

Because you’re consuming lesser than before, you’re inducing your stomach to consume lesser. You need time and patience. And after awhile, your stomach just shrinks by nature. That is what I believe because after awhile, the stomach just gets used to it.

During the initial stage, try snacking on fruits when you’re hungry and drink lots of water to sort of ‘bloat’ it up. I drink alot of water by nature and drinking before sleep doesn’t cause water retention for me. I guess my body is very much used to the fact that I am a water barrel since young.

Drinking lots of plain water is also beneficial for your health and beauty as well 🙂

So another reason to load up on the water!

After slowly reducing your food intake or carbs, you would realise that your stomach is beginning to adapt and you would find yourself consuming lesser and not being able to finish your meals. Try not to waste money, so if you know you can’t or don’t wish to finish the meal you’ve ordered, offer to someone else first. This is also courtesy, rather than telling them, “eh I can’t finish, u want or not?” Pfft.

Hmm, I mean after digging and messing around your food, I doubt anyone would be comfortable to have your leftovers. Even if they are gian beng, I personally am not comfortable with that thought la of having someone else eating my leftovers since I don’t like to eat the leftovers of others as well.

4. Alternatives and options for eating lesser

What I usually do is to order less.

If you order less, you would consume less. Unless you know you’re still gonna snack on fattening stuffs or order more after realising that the food portion served is too little for you, then this tip won’t work.

My colleagues say I eat like a kitten/baby, which is quite true compared to others.

If you need to have macs (either in a bo bian situation or just cannot control your cravings – but this shouldn’t always be the case), have something with lesser calories and in smaller portions.

Don’t laugh, but nowadays I would opt for happy meals now.

I usually eat the full nugget meal so now I would opt for kids nuggets meal which has 2 nuggets lesser and smaller packet of fries. I would change the drink to iced lemon tea rather than consuming coke, but do note on the price difference. Or better still, opt for green tea or milk.

I would also try to see for example, during cafes/restaurants, if I can order the kids meals but am always disappointed when they impose age restrictions. 😦

So if you get, choose something healthier and less fattening. It’s the lesser of 2 evils you know.

On top of that, if you are gonna pamper yourself just this once with oily food, drink hot water or tea after that because it helps to keep the fats in its liquid state which in turn helps to digest the fat faster and more effectively. This can help move the fats more quickly through the digestion process and eliminate the unneeded fat.

Cold water, on the other hand, may solidify fats. This can decrease the speed at which you digest fat. The problem with this is that your body has more time to absorb the fat rather than expel it. The results can include weight gain as well as a buildup of cholesterol and triglycerides.

Another trick is to drink water before your meals to limit the amount of fatty foods and other foods you eat. Drinking two glasses of water before you eat can fill you up. This will help you to be less hungry and eat less.

My personally-preferred trick which I find it quite useful is to consume coffee with milk about 30 to 45mins before your meals! Because I am a coffee-lover, I take it everyday. But do watch the caffeine intake. I think it’s because of the caffeine and milk, it helps to keep me full and my appetite for my meal would be restricted and reduced! You may also try milo, horlicks etc but watch the sugar intake too.

5. Sugar cravings

I know, some of us just love sweet stuffs by nature or attacked by the sudden craving for sugary stuffs. Or maybe, you have had a bad day so far and nothing seems to be going right for you and you want to pamper yourself with sweet stuffs.

Don’t go reaching for that bar of chocolate, instead choose an alternative!

Have sweet stuffs that are still healthy such as fruits! As mentioned, they contain fructose too and is a sugar compound too. I will not go into the debate of whether fruits can make you fat due to the natural sugars they contain, but you may want to read this useful article as well as this informative article for your pleasure reading 🙂

PHOTO: Here are five reasons fruit isn't making you fat.

Again, taking the lesser of 2 evils, I guess I would rather you consume natural sugars that contain goodness of other nutrients as well contained in fruits than refined and processed sugars. On top of that, fruits containing fibre helps to keep you full. This also the reason why you should always consume fruits before your meals for effective absorption of the nutrients and if you feel full, you would reduce your consumption intake 🙂

For fruits as a healthier alternative as to refined and processed sugars contained in sweets, chocolates, cakes and soft drinks etc, you may have them in sliced pieces or as a fruit juice to quench your thirst!

Alternatively, you may wish to consider honey instead as well.

Would honey make you fat since it’s sweet too?

This article would address your concern.

From that article, you can see that not only does honey contain other essential goodness of nutrients, just like fruits, honey has also been said to aid in losing weight!

Apart from other goodness, honey has been said to help burn off fats as well as a good source of energy to take before your workout!

Honey can also be mixed with other ingredients such as lemon and cinnamon which has been claimed to have effectively assist in losing weight!

But be sure to choose the authentic honey because fake honey are usually just sugar syrup which is extremely fattening!

Here’s how to distinguish between the two!

honey-without-pollen-food-safety-news1.jpg

***

I hope these techniques would come in handy for you as they are tried and tested by me! I won’t go into details on other common issues relating to weight loss such as slimming pills, slimming wraps etc. Some work and some don’t.

Whether they are effective or not, there are a few issues you need to bear in mind.

  1. Understand that whatever you put into your body, there will always be risks. You need to conduct your own due diligence and decide for yourself. Like plastic surgery, consuming slimming pills is everyone’s choice and we all have the liberty and freedom to make choices of our own. That, I’ll leave it up to you.
  2. So okay, you may have lose some weight via healthy/unhealthy method (of course the former method is preferred), so how do you maintain it? You would still need to watch your calories intake and expenditure. It is a known fact that after reaching your ideal weight, it is always tough to maintain it. Fear of weight rebound is understandable. After going through all the hard work and torture, why would anyone want to go through the same torment again? I say torment because diet-wise, you can’t enjoy loads of sweet stuffs as compared to the past. You will need to think twice before reaching out for that chocolate bar or planning to get yourself a cup of bubble tea.

To maintain your weight, I believe in following the above 5 tips for dieting. You can still eat, not that you have to starve yourself completely.

The next post will be dealing with part 2 on tips on losing weight which involves exercise regimes and workouts, which also covers the ‘calories out/expenditure’ section.

Hope these tips are useful to you and good luck in your weight loss goal! 😀 😀