Saturday, August 30, 2008

Megathon 2008

When : 30th August 2008
Where : UiTM Shah Alam
Distance : 5.5km
Medal : Top 10 (Men Open & Women Open)
Hamper : Top 30 (Men Open & Women Open)

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Friday, August 29, 2008


Why do you run?

To stay in shape, to meet new people, to feel better? If you said “yes” to any of the above, you are like many other runners. By running as few as two to three times a week, you can:

• Burn calories - Running burns more calories than any other form of cardiovascular exercise except cross-country skiing.

• Fight aging - You can prevent bone and muscle loss and promote human growth hormone by taking part in high-intensity activities like running.

• Reduce the risk of stroke, heart attacks and breast cancer - Physicians encourage running for their patients who are at a high risk for or in the early stages of osteoporosis, diabetes or hypertension.

• Improve overall health – Running helps raise good cholesterol and boosts the immune system.

In addition to the many health benefits of running, it also boosts the mind. Running helps you:

• Build self confidence.

• Treat depression by reducing tension and fatigue.

• Improve attitude - Go for the “runner’s high.”

• Improve focus and determination in all areas of life.
• Meet and develop a group of friends with similar interests.

• Promote feelings of pride and goodwill by participating in races that contribute to society, such as Komen Race for the Cure and Charles Harris Run for Research.

The Benefits of Running

Why do they run?

Running. It’s painful, tedious, and exhausting. So, why do so many Americans do it? People run for many reasons. Most often, people run to stay in shape and to reach an ideal body weight. Studies show that a combination of diet and exercise is the most effective way to lose weight, as it triggers a loss of body fat and a proportional increase of lean tissue. Running, a rigorous cardiovascular exercise, allows a person to burn an average of 100 calories per each mile he or she runs. Other popular activities, such as biking and walking, only burn a fraction of those calories in the same amount of time. While the average human being burns about 2000-2500 calories a day by simply existing, running 5 miles a day can burn an additional 500 calories, making it a legitimate way to lose weight. Furthermore, running is an easily accessible activity-- with a decent pair of sneakers and some determination, anyone can run.

Surprisingly, how fast a person runs has little effect on the number of calories he or she will burn. The most important factor is weight. For example, a 220-pound person running an eight-minute mile burns 150 calories, while a 120-pound person running at the same pace burns only 82. Every person’s body requires an excess of 3500 calories in order to gain a pound or a deficit of 3500 calories in order to lose a pound. Thus, 180-pound person who runs 5 miles each day will lose about 5 pounds a month. However, as his or her weight goes down, he or she will burn fewer calories per mile. Eventually, a runner’s weight will stabilize. When this will happen depends on how much the runner eats and how far he or she runs. Most runners lose weight effortlessly at first, but eventually, their weight stops declining and reaches a plateau. In order to continue to lose weight, some serious runners will intensify their workouts, as extra weight will only slow them down. Otherwise, recreational runners can maintain their lower body weight by continuing to run consistently.

Health benefits are another motivation for runners.

For example, running helps lower blood pressure by maintaining the elasticity of the arteries. As a person runs, his or her arteries expand and contract more than usual, keeping the arteries elastic and the blood pressure low. In fact, most serious runners have unusually low blood pressure. Running also helps maximize the lungs’ potential, as it keeps them strong and powerful. While deep breaths force the lungs to use more tissue, the 50% of normally unused lung potential is utilized. Even smokers can sometimes recover full lung potential through running. Finally, running strengthens the heart and helps prevent heart attacks. The large muscle exercise it provides helps keep the cardio system efficient and strong. In fact, the heart of an inactive person beats 36,000 more times each day than that of a runner, as running keep the arteries open and the blood flowing smoothly.

Yet, most serious runners will say their addiction goes beyond the physical benefits they achieve from running. Runners say the intense exhilaration and euphoria that comes after a run is what motivates them most. In fact, this euphoria comes from a betaendorphin release triggered by the neurons in the nervous system. Intended to alleviate the pain after a run, it creates a feeling of extreme happiness and exhilaration. Runners become addicted to this intense high, and it can often replace other addictions to drugs, alcohol, and even food. While runners claim to achieve more energy in daily life from running, it also helps bring appetite, exercise and food into balance. Furthermore, as running makes the body function better, it improves sleep, eating, and relaxation.

Running and diet.

Running does not increase appetite. In fact, exercise tends to diminish it, acting as a suppressant. "For better running, watch what you eat and when you eat it," is the advice of the Running with George web page. Runners pay close attention to their diets, as most runners try to maintain a balanced diet that is low in fat. Carbohydrates are especially important for runners; muscles need the glycogen that comes from them in order to produce energy. Thus, Carbohydrates should supply about 60 % of food intake among runners. In order to boost energy, some runners practice carbo loading before big races. Several days before competition, they eat foods high in complex carbohydrates, such as pastas and potatoes, in order to increase their supply of glycogen during the race. However, carbo-loading is not the most effective way to enhance a performance, as it is probably better to eat normally and maintain a balanced diet.

However, muscles do not work well on a fatty diet, and intake of fat should not exceed 25%. Aside from carbohydrates, proteins can also supply energy and should comprise about 15% of calories in a runner’s diet. Most importantly, fluids are necessary in allowing blood to transfer glucose to muscles and in flushing out metabolic waste. Furthermore, insufficient fluids inhibit one’s ability to sweat... and runners need to sweat. While the most important and effective fluid is water, Tom Osler recommends sweetened caffeine drinks before a marathon, such as highly sugared teas. Such drinks are said to boost energy and stamina during a run. Beer is also "a legendary favorite of runners" because it contains water and carbohydrates. In the 1970s, Jim Fixx advocated beer drinking among runners.

Most runners are extremely careful about their diets. Marathon runners claim that it is important for them to maintain an unusually low body weight in order to run their fastest and reduce the strain on their cartilage, joints, and muscles. Thus, marathoners are often "startlingly thin," as they try to stay about ten pounds below their normal body weight (Fixx, p.75). This means that a good runner weighs no more than two pounds per inch of height and has about 5-7% body fat if he is a man and 15-20% if she is a women. This measurement is extremely low, as the average man has 15% body fat and the average woman has 22% to 35% body fat.

It is not surprising that most runners are able to achieve an unusually low body weight, as serious runners train up to 20 miles a day. Most train two times daily, once in the morning and once in the evening, seven days a week. Thus, a normal training program burns an extra 2,000 calories each day, aside from the 2,000 a person needs to simply exist. Yet, the desire to stay "unnaturally thin" often prevents runners from providing these extra calories (Simbeck, p.19). As a result, eating disorders are not uncommon among runners, especially women. While one would assume that a highly trained runner who runs 90 miles per week would need to consume extra food to provide the 1200 plus calories he or she burns each day, studies show that most trained women runners consume the same number of calories as recreational female runners and sedentary women (1500-2000 calories/day.) Thus, problems range from anorexia nervosa to bulimia as the extremes, to more subtle eating problems. While many female runners will eat, they will not consume enough to support the physical demands on their bodies.

Run for a cure.

Some runners view their running as a remedy. The psychological benefits of running far outweigh the physical demands. In fact, running is often used to treat clinical depression and other psychological disorders. Furthermore, some doctors claim that running works as well as psychotherapy in helping patients with clinical depression. Running makes patients less tense, less depressed, less fatigued, and less confused. It gives patients something other than their depression to focus on, as it removes from the world around them into their own liminal zone. While studies show that running is a natural tranquilizer, its effects on patients with clinical depression, addictions, and disease are remarkable.

Running programs are also used in treating patients with heart disease. Special classes designed specifically for heart patients promote running along with other types of exercise as a means of increasing activity and rebuilding strength. Under medically supervised running programs, death rates among patients who survive the initial attack drop from 4-6% to 2% each year. Says Dr. Terence Kavanaugh, cardiologists have "learned how to fight back, and in that battle one of their most effective weapons has been running" (Fixx, p.227). As it helps strengthen the heart significantly, running also helps patients to become less depressed after a heart attack. While one-third of heart patients develop neurotic-type personality and excessive depression after a heart attack, running significantly reduces these effects. Remarkably, some patients even go on to run marathons.

What Motivates a Runner?

What would drive someone to jump out of bed in the early morning hours and run for countless miles before most people even hear the alarm go off? Are they crazy? Maybe, but probably not.

Once someone dedicates themselves to running, whether as an avenue to lose weight, have more energy, look better, or simply live a healthy lifestyle, they begin to realize the full range of benefits running provides. Running then becomes a habit. For many, it even becomes somewhat of an addiction (a good one). The "runner's high" is just something they must have.

Running is about a lot more than just being in shape and looking good. It provides a great mental escape during the run. Running allows your mind to run free and thoughts to flow. It provides stress relief as one can not only feel good during and after the exercise (as those endorphins get pumping), but can relax and enjoy the run, the moment. For many, running becomes a spiritual thing.

The challenge for many beginning runners is getting to the point of habit. While they may be motivated during the first weeks of running, they fall into the trap of making simple excuses to take a morning off and then find themselves losing motivation.

See if this sounds familiar: Someone decides to start running to get into shape. They run 3-4 days per week for two weeks. Week three arrives and Monday morning the alarm clock goes off while they are cozy in bed and they think, “I’ve been doing so good I’ll treat myself to a morning off and some extra sleep.” Just that one morning off early on can create a big-time setback for many as they may take another run off or even longer, thus delaying them from getting into the habit of running or preventing from ever even getting into the habit.

If you are new to running or just trying to get back into the mode, do yourself a favor and stick with your plans early on. Do the simple things like laying out your running gear the night before to help motivate you the next morning. Run consistently for 4-6 weeks, at a minimum, and you’ll be on track to a healthy life of exercise. Consistency is the key and staying motivated is the way. Run!

Marathon Motivation

Got enough marathon motivation to push you across the finish line? It’s one thing to be motivated to start training, it’s another to stay motivated every day.

Training the mind should be considered equally important to physical marathon training. Following are a few simple techniques to help build mental toughness and create the proper mindset.


Set aside a few minutes each day, or at least a few times each week, to relax and picture in your mind the runner you want to be. Picture yourself making a great training run or running the actual race. As you are creating that image, try to get other senses involved by trying to feel what it will feel like to achieve your goal or push through any obstacles you envision.


Flood your mind with positive thoughts by talking to yourself every day. Tell yourself that you are a marathon runner, a sub-four hour marathoner, or whatever it is your goal might be. Our minds operate in the present so the more we tell ourselves something, even if it is not yet true, the faster our mind believes it and begins working now to make that affirmation a reality. Also, put an affirmation, race brochure, or inspiring quote somewhere you will see it every day like on your desk or bathroom mirror.

Block the Negative

Be aware of negative thoughts creeping into your mind. When you catch them, stop them cold in their tracks by telling yourself the opposite. For instance, if you catch yourself thinking you are tired during a run, tell yourself several times, with emphasis, that you feel great or feel strong. Do the same for any pain during a run. By telling yourself the opposite, you are diverting your focus from the negative to the positive.

Over the course of training, you may find yourself lacking motivation at some point. This is very common. Maybe you get discouraged because unexpected events have caused you to miss a run, a few runs, or even a week or more of runs. Maybe something in your life diverts your focus from training and your goal. Whatever the case, do not let it stop you from achieving your goal!

Think of supporters cheering you on as you run with ease through the marathon or half marathon. Think about how rewarding it will be when you cross the finish line and reflect on what you have just accomplished.

Surround yourself with positive, motivating things. Watching running movies is great for marathon motivation. Find something that connects with you emotionally and you will find that your intensity and desire will grow to where you don’t just want to achieve your goal, you have to achieve your goal.

Take a step back and think about why you have set this monster goal for yourself and see yourself enjoying all the benefits you expect to have once you accomplish your goal.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

URC Slideshow