Sunday, 26 June 2016

Ultron the Official Apparel of the club

We are happy to announce that Ultron has been appointed the Official Apparel of the club.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Nutrition for Active Sportspeople: Do's and Don’ts

Exercise and Sports Nutritionist, Dr Mahenderan Appukutty from the Faculty of Sports Science and Recreation, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam shares what athletes can do to fuel themselves for better performance.

Do: Consume a Balanced Diet

There are three essential macronutrients for runners:
1.  Carbohydrates are converted to glucose and then stored in your muscles as glycogen. This gives you energy, but it gets used up quickly – in the first 20 minutes of running! After this, your body will turn its fat stores into energy instead.
2.  Protein is essential to develop muscles and maintain healthy tissue. Make sure you consume enough protein in a balanced diet; after running, taking protein in the form of milk or protein drinks will help your body repair wear and tear of muscles and aid recovery.
3.   Fat is needed to fuel exercise too and also for other bodily requirements. Fat plays an important role as a primary source of energy at rest and during low-intensity exercise. If your body doesn’t contain enough fat, says Dr Mahenderan, it will use up the carbs quickly and burn protein instead, which is needed for healthy growth and regeneration of muscles. It is important to know the amounts and types of dietary fats found in foods.

Don’t…neglect any of these macronutrients. Macronutrients need to be balanced at all times:
  •        Higher carbohydrate/protein intake typically means lower fat intake
  •        It is not recommended to totally remove fat from your meals

Dr Mahenderan says the average breakdown should be 70% carbohydrate, 15-20% protein, and the remaining 10-15% should be fat. It all depends on the type of sports and training cycles too; that requires personalized nutritional advice.

Do: Plan for Fuel Before and During the Race

Carbohydrate-containing foods have different effects on blood glucose levels. Foods with a low glycaemic index (GI) are slower in releasing glucose to the blood, whereas foods with a high GI release glucose at a faster rate. Dr Mahenderan recommends taking low-GI food approximately 4 hours before a run or exercise and a lighter snack about 1-2 hours before exercise. This allows sufficient time for the body to convert and absorb the energy it needs. Avoid fatty foods before running or exercise, which will slow digestion. During the run, use gels and sports drinks as they can be absorbed more quickly. As exercise intensity increases, the percentage of energy provided by fat metabolism decreases and the percentage of energy from carbohydrate metabolism increases.

Don’t… overlook the importance of planning for nutrition and energy before and during a race; your strategy should be fine-tuned while training; it’s not advisable to try anything new during a competition.

Do: Hydrate and Replenish

Everybody has different hydration needs; Dr Mahenderan recommends weighing yourself before and after training or running to see how much fluids you’ve lost and estimate how much fluid you need to replace. In addition, sports drinks are an important source of fluids and energy while exercising or running; the carbohydrates found in sports drinks help to replenish your body’s energy supply for better performance. For long training sessions or marathons, refuel at regular intervals; when the weather is particularly hot, increase your fluid and electrolyte intake to compensate for increased sweating.

Don’t… wait until you are thirsty or tired before refuelling; by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated!  

Do: Educate Yourself

Know what you are consuming, read the nutrition labels and work with a qualified nutritionist or dietician to customise a plan that’s suitable for your specific needs. For example, all isotonic drinks provide electrolytes; key words to look out for are potassium, sodium, and carbohydrates for energy. Dr Mahenderan also urges active individuals to meet their micronutrient requirements such as calcium for muscle contraction and to prevent muscle cramps, and iron to assist the body's ability to transport oxygen.

Don’t… rely on unproven remedies or products without scientific evidence.

Do: Take Time for Recovery

The importance of recovery nutrition depends on the type and duration of completed exercise. Immediately after a race (within 60-90 minutes), help your body to heal with protein and carbohydrates – this allows your body to repair wear and tear of tissue due to prolonged exertion. Recovery nutrition is intended to replenish fuel (glycogen) stores used during the training session or competition; take protein to assist with muscle repair and synthesis, and lastly, restore fluid and electrolytes lost in sweat. A recovery plan should be done in stages and tailored to meet an individual’s goals.

Don’t… force your body to start training immediately after a run. Even experienced runners who are fit and in good health would experience fatigue for several days afterward; taking a week to rest will provide you with a physical and psychological break before you begin training again. Rest is very important. Lack of rest and recovery days can lead to overtraining syndrome—a difficult condition to recover from.

This article was developed based on the recent Lucozade Sport™ ‘Fuel Your Performance’ Running Clinic, an initiative to help dedicated athletes achieve their performance goals and inspire others to achieve their dreams.

Efficiency Fuels Running Performance

There’s more to running than just putting one foot in front of the other – one of the Lucozade Sport™ “Fuel Your Performance” Advocates Edan Syah, acknowledged as Malaysias fastest marathon runner for 2016 and one of the Lucozade Sport™ “Fuel Your Performance” Advocates, shares his experience on how to train and run efficiently, based on the five components of running efficiency.

1.                  Endurance Engine
Endurance capability indicates how long you can sustain with easy effort. During exercise, the heart beats faster, providing more oxygen for the body. The harder you exercise, the faster the heart beats. A heart rate monitor will allow you to see how well you perform during extended exercise, the heart rate monitor should read between 70-80% of your maximum heart rate; in hot or humid weather, this may go up to 85% as the heart needs to beat faster under such conditions.

2.                  Strength and Conditioning
“Its important to respect the distance; you need to prepare yourself,advises Edan, who advocates a proper training programme and the guidance of a coach or mentor to stay motivated. He readily admits that having a training programme is easy but sticking to it is difficult! I took 3 years to prepare for my first marathon,he recalls. Now, he dedicates at least six months to prepare, running 10km or half marathons as part of his training.

To condition your body and improve endurance, a gradual process is often the best approach, especially for beginners and intermediate runners, as aggressive training can lead to a higher risk of injury. In turn, the recovery time will set you back in your training schedule. Instead, train consistently and patiently, slowly building up speed and distance until you reach your goal.

Strength training is also important but don’t confuse this with pumping iron and building huge muscles. There are a variety of exercises, some of which may involve using weights, which help to build a runner’s strength and train the body to move more efficiently. These include squats, lunges and push-ups as well as deadlifts and planks. You need to develop your strength for the right muscle group.

3.                  Running Form
Running form is all about using the correct technique and posture to run as efficiently as possible. While most people think of running as an activity that only involves the legs, proper running form extends from the way your head tilts while running, to the way your foot strikes the ground.

A few tips to improve your running form:
  • Look ahead naturally while you run, keeping your gaze on the horizon and not downwards
  • Keep shoulders low and loose, not hunched or tight, and keep them level without dipping left and right
  • Use your arms to complement your legs – keep elbows bent, allow arms to swing forward and back rather than across the body, and keep hands unclenched to reduce tension in the upper body
  • Lift your knees just enough for a short stride forward – lifting the knees high is more effective for sprinters running short distances; for marathon runners, it uses up more energy than necessary
  • Hit the ground lightly and focus on the ball (middle) of your foot compared to the forefoot or the heel; with every step, flex your ankles as your foot rolls; as you roll onto your toes, spring off as you feel your calf muscles propel you forward
 4.                  Fuelling

During training, a balanced and nutritional diet with the right carbohydrates helps to fuel your body while protein helps to build, maintain and repair muscle tissues. The night before a race, a meal rich in carbohydrates like pasta, rice and potatoes helps your body to ‘stock up’ on energy. However, avoid eating too late – give your body time to digest before turning in for a good night’s sleep.

Your body will lose fluids as you sweat so drink water consistently before, during and after running; this is essential while training as well as during an actual marathon as dehydration will affect your mental and physical performance, and cause you to feel more tired after running. What’s more, severe dehydration, especially in hot weather, can be very dangerous. 

This article is brought to you by the Lucozade Sport™ ‘Fuel Your Performance’ Campaign, an initiative to help dedicated athletes achieve their performance goals and inspire others to achieve their dreams.

Q&A with Edan Syah, Malaysia’s Fastest Marathon Runner in 2016 and Lucozade Sport™ “Fuel Your Performance” Advocate

Edan Syah is no stranger to overcoming challenges, both physical and mental. Acknowledged as Malaysias fastest marathon runner in 2016, he started running in 2008 but only ran a full marathon in 2011 which he dedicated to his mother who had passed away and to raise funds for a cancer-related charitable body. Soon he realized his running potential and he wanted to maximise it at the right time…and the rest ishistory in the making.

A relative newcomer, this self-coached runner has achieved an impressive list of achievements in a short span of time he qualified for the 119th Boston Marathon 2015 and finished with a time of 2:41:55, ranking him as the fastest and youngest Malaysian in the race. At the Tokyo Marathon 2016, he achieved a personal record of 2:38:55 and is now ranked as the fastest marathon runner in Malaysia. The full-time running coach was previously a product specialist and a graphic designer, and now balances his work with personal training, a challenge most working adults who love running would face today.

Hear more from Edan about his own running journey and some advice for budding runners

Tell us more about your achievements in running.
I believe in having your own goals in running; for me, mine is to run in the 6 World Marathon Majors and have now completed three so far: 2014 in Chicago, 2015 in Boston and 2016 in Tokyo. Next up: London, Berlin and New York!

How do you train?
I train 6 days a week (my off days are Mondays) and I normally run first myself before I start the training sessions with others.

You have participated in races in different countries. What have you learnt from running in other countries?
I think the main thing to deal with is the weather. In Tokyo this year, it helped that I got there earlier to train and adapt to the weather. To me 15 degrees Celsius is cold; but the Japanese were saying that the weather was too warm! Some of them were dehydrated and collapsed before the finishing line. When the weather is cold, its tough on your breathing and you need to know how you hydrate yourself too. When you train here in Malaysia, you see the sweat and you know you need to rehydrate roughly every 25 minutes. In cold weather, you still need to hydrate yourself even though you dont see the sweat! You need to drink at least 500ml of sports drinks like Lucozade Sportevery hour to replenish the energy and electrolytes you have lost.

Who is your running idol?
Yuki Kawaguchi, a ‘citizen runnerfrom Japan. He works full-time but he is able to run better than full-time athletes who train everyday! He even had the chance to represent Japan in the 2014 Asian Games.

How would you advise budding runners to train for a marathon?
Dont focus on distance but focus on duration. For example, do a 3-minute run and a 2-minute walk, so you have a 5-minute set. Finish the duration and you will get the distance. If you focus on distance first, you will tend to walk more than you run!

Have a long term goal when planning your marathon-running. Make it personal; dont compare with your friends. Have a goal for the next 6 months and prepare towards it. Its not a competition with your friends. If you want to be serious, get a training coach who will help you train better. 

How long should one prepare for a marathon?
Respect the distance. If you want to prepare for a half-marathon, you need at least 2 months to prepare. For a full marathon, you need at least 8-12 weeks to train before you run. Else, you may just end up walking through the race or suffer (in pain) after it!

Training on a treadmill or outdoors: Which is better?
In Malaysia, a lot of it depends on weather. Haze can be a factor too. Its important to mix the training both on the treadmill and the road, because you have to run outdoors on the road during the race. You need to adapt to race day conditions.

Any advice on recovery for a relatively new runner?

The most important thing to remember is that after every race, you need to do cooling down and stretch your muscles within 15 minutes after the race. Drink electrolyte drinks like Lucozade Sportimmediately after the run because that is the time that your body needs something very fast for replenishment of the loss of minerals, water and energy. The day after the race, it is advisable to go out for a light jog or cycling to reduce the lactic acid in your body; you need to stay moving. You can even go shopping as you will be walking a lot!

Quick tips from Edan
  • Use proper running shoes to protect your feet and improve performance; regular sneakers or shoes designed for other sports won’t give your feet the support they need for running long distances.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking small amounts of water before and throughout training to prevent dehydration, as well as after training.
  • Maintain consistent energy levels while running with 30g-60g of carbohydrates every hour for each hour of racing.
  • A balanced and nutritional diet with the right carbohydrates helps to fuel your training while protein helps to build, maintain and repair muscle tissue.
This article is brought to you by the Lucozade Sport™ ‘Fuel Your Performance’ Campaign, an initiative to help dedicated athletes achieve their performance goals and inspire others to achieve their dreams.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

4 x 3km vest and medals finalised

The Allianz Pacesetters 4 x 3km relay vest and medals designs have been finalised.