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Tales of a Triathlete #6 – Foodie-athlete/Nutrition

Benjamin Ooi – So, one of the perks of athleticism is that I can eat anything I want, and as much as I want. Right? Well, (technically) yes, but not quite!

A snapshot of a typical meal before my Ironman World Championships race in Kona, Hawaii

When it comes to nutrition, there are various competing schools of thought. Most athletes follow strict and professionally-administered meal plans. Some avoid certain types of foods perceived as unhealthy, while others invest heavily in daily nutritional supplements.

As for me, I’m too much of a foodie to do any of that. I do have two principles that sum up quite aptly my outlook on eating as an athlete. While I hope they don’t sound trite to you, these simple concepts have genuinely taken me through a swimming/water polo childhood, and continue to be relevant as a long-distance triathlete.

  1. Calorie intake
  2. Balanced diet

Calorie in, Calorie out. I’m a firm believer in this – how much food one takes in vs. how much energy one expends forms the basis of every weight-loss/gain scenario, athletes and non-athletes alike. By this logic, I don’t consider avoiding delicious fatty or fried food as critical to keeping in good shape, but I would indulge in lesser quantities to compensate for the relatively denser caloric content in these ‘sinful’ food. This is also probably how I manage to shock many fellow athletes by continuing to eat my favorite foods right up to race-day. A close parallel would loosely be the late Mr Lee’s philosophy of ‘eat(ing) till you’re 70% full’. Also, try not to eat too close to bed time.

Balanced Diet. Having said the above, a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for the body to cope with a heavy training workload. Many hawker dishes here contain very little protein or greens, and this needs to be actively managed. It is also important to take in some food soon after a workout. Personally, I would have 4 (or more) eggs at the food-court nearby and a healthy amount of soy milk if I am not able to have a meal immediately after my workouts.

Coffee is surely part of any (sane) athlete’s diet!

Finally, a learned self-awareness and discipline is an overarching factor when speaking about how diet impacts athlete (and athletic) performance. Google may provide simple easy answers to questions of what to eat, how much to eat, but what really matters is when you internalise these habits. While not the easiest thing to do, truth to be told, this self-control comes quite naturally with self-awareness and understanding of what is necessary for your goals.

Ben Ooi is an Ironman Triathlete and younger sibling to two national water polo sisters. He qualified to compete in the World Ironman – World Championships 2017 in Kona, Hawaii. The SMU alumnus is currently working in the private sector and would love a South American holiday, anytime.

For inspiring stories related to running and sports, as well as discounts to local races, subscribe to ‘RunONE’ by adding +6588347638 to your Whatsapp contacts. Then send us the words, “Run With Me.”

Body & Soul S7: Preventing Atrial Fibrillation Stroke

24 JUL 2019 – In 2007, during a SEA Games Triathlon Time Trial event, a young and active athlete and friend of Mok Ying Ren passed away due to cardiac arrest. This taught Mok Ying Ren that life is fragile, and how some precautions can be taken, more so as an athlete.

Did you know that there is more than one type of stroke that can affect us ? If you engage in a lot of vigorous sporty activities or if you love running long marathons, do be cautious of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) related stroke.

#LearnWithMok as you watch ONEathlete Mok Ying Ren and former national sprint icon U.K. Shyam share their experiences on how to prevent this health condition with Host Daniel Martin and Dr Carolyn Lam on Mediacorp Channel 5 Body & Soul, Season 7, Episode 6.

In this episode of Body & Soul, they also talked about the signs of an AF related stroke. Catch the episode on toggle catch up TV right here.

Click here to watch on toggle
From left to right:
Daniel Martin, Dr Jeremy Chow, UK Shyam, Mok Ying Ren, and Dr Carolyn Lam

You can also catch up on the following related reading:
ST: The relevance of pre-participation screening by Dr Yeo Tee Joo
ST: Minimising risks in running by Dr Malcolm Mahadevan
ST: Taking a (sick) break from running by Dr Wang Mingchang

20 Personalities You Might Have Run Into At Gold Coast Marathon 2019!

07 JUL 2019 – 26,287 Runners, from 56 countries had gathered at Queensland, Australia’s coastal city for the 41st edition of the Gold Coast Marathon 2019! Having held the IAAF Gold Label since 2014, boasting of a generally flat course that has allowed about 60% of the participants to set a personal best (PB) amidst generally favourable weather conditions, the Gold Coast Marathon (#GCM19) is arguably one of the most popular race spots in the region.

Which goes to also mean that if you are in town, enjoying the waves at Surfer’s Paradise or feasting at Cavil Mall, you might just #run into a couple of runners whom you might be familiar with.

RunONE takes a moment with 20 such personalities who have inspired us during the race weekend!

1. Lachlan barber (@lachiebarber)

(c) Gold Coast Marathon 2019 Media Team

In an enthralling men’s race, 800m and 1500m track specialist Lachlan Barber (00:29:58) put in a withering finish burst to claim his first Southern Cross University 10km Run (Men’s). He edged over Tim Vincent in the last 400m and won by five seconds. “I was very happy with my performance. I’ve never raced anything over 1500m, so yes, I was really stoked to get under 30 minutes in my first ever 10km,” said Barber.

Barber added that the conditions ‘weren’t ideal at the start line.’ He was referring to the very strong winds (and about 4-5km/h of headwind) and icy-cold rain shower that left everyone drenched when the skies open up just 2 minutes before the start of the 10km race at 6.30am.

2. leanne pompeani (@leannepomp)

(c) Gold Coast Marathon 2019 Media Team

Leanne Pompeani (00:33:00) won her second Southern Cross University 10km Run (Women’s), becoming only the second woman to win the race more than once in the event’s history. She had also represented Australia at the World Cross Country Championships in March and followed that up with a win in Canberra over 10km in April.

Looking back on the wet and cold conditions at the start, Leanne said, “A little bit unfortunate about the wind. It’s usually pretty good conditions here so I was kind of expecting that, but you just have to deal with whatever you get on race day.”

3. Yuki kawauchi (@yukikawauchiok)

One of Asia’s most famous and humble ‘citizen runner’, Japanese Yuki Kawauchi, had achieved 2:09:18 (2017) and 2:09:01 (2016), being the only athlete to have his name twice in the Top 10 All Time Performances honors.

He finished the race in 13th place at 02:15:32.

4. zane robertson (@zane_robertson_nzl)

Be careful that it’s Zane and not his twin brother Jake when you approach him! The 30-year old New Zealander brothers had moved to Iten, Kenya to train and further their running careers. ONEathlete Ashley was acquainted with Zane in Kenya during the former’s training stint in 2015.

Zane was actually selected to represent New Zealand in the Commonwealth Games Marathon Male event, but had to drop out due to a groin injury. About 15 months later, he is back in the game at #GCM19 !

The marathon debutant placed third in 2:08:19. He was very consistent throughout the race, staying in distance with the lead pack. He gives us a very detailed breakdown, “I was pretty conservative at the start. We knew the wind would be tough and it was but I kept the pacemakers in check by making sure the pace did not exceed 3:03min/km at the beginning.”

It was also an extra special moment for Zane as he had also set a new New Zealand record, bettering the previous mark set by his brother – Jake’s 02:08:26 set at Lake Biwa in 2018. It was no wonder then, that Zane seemed to be in high spirits at the finishing line – perhaps even ready for another run – as he was seen obliging quite a number of media interviews, including RunONE.

What’s even better was the sportsmanship he demonstrated, describing his race rivalry with great class and giving Shitara credit where due. “I think Yuta, the Japanese (runner), a world class athlete who played the game and played it smart. He expected to win and came through just when we were beginning to die. We had nothing left to go with him.”

5. Bernard lagat (@lagat1500)

Lagat, a Kenyan-American, is a five-time Olympian, having competed in the 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 games. He is also a thirteen-time medalist in World Championships and Olympics including five gold medals.

The Dual world champion over 1500m and 5000m on the track improved his marathon pb to 2:12:10 and finished seventh. The cool dude was seen focusing on recovery and getting a cold compression (as above), and enjoying a little muffin on one hand (while probably catching up on race updates on the other.)!

Do also check out his Instagram to spot his ‘deeply invested and impressive’ drink bottles for the #GCM19!

6. sinead diver (@Diversinead)

(c) Gold Coast Marathon 2019 Media Team

The first runner-up in 2018, Sinead Diver (01:09:46), beat 2-time champion, Sara Hall (01:1159) in the ASICS Women’s half-marathon race. This was also her first win, and fifth fastest performance in the race’s history. The 42-year-old from South Yarra, Melbourne was too strong for her rivals over the closing 5km. The Australians also had a clean podium sweep by claiming all top three positions in this race!

What was also envious to watch, was the level of sportsmanship that the champ exhibited. She said, “To race against Ellie and Sara and Lisa, it was such a tough race and anyone of us could’ve taken it out. It (just happened to be) my day today, so I was just lucky I think.” She has also qualified to represent Australia in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Marathon event.

7. jack rayner (@jackrayner7)

The Glen Iris, Melbourne native, Jack Rayner won his second ASICS Gold Coast Half-marathon race (Men’s). The 23-year-old with a personal best of 01:01:01 set in Oct 2018 at Cardiff, crossed the line in 1:02:30, bettering his winning time from last year (1:03:12).

The defending champion came away with the win after a good tussle with Japanese runners Yuki Sato (01:02:36, six seconds outside his personal best set in May 2019) and Yuma Hattori (01:02:39), making his winning break 1km before the finish. Japanese runners filled places second through to eighth in the men’s race.

Rayner was asked about his competitors, and he replied in the vein of good old sportsmanship. “I didn’t quite know what to expect going into it. There was a really strong field of Japanese this year. I had a race there (Japan) at the start of this year so I knew how they ran.”

Rayner will be meeting the Japanese again very soon, as he has also qualified to represent Australia in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Marathon event.

8. yuta shitara (@yutashitara1218)

(c) Gold Coast Marathon 2019 Media Team

Yuta Shitara. He is THE second fastest Japanese marathon runner in Japanese history. But now, with the win at the the IAAF Gold Label race in 2:07:50, Yuta has also laid claim to being the fastest runner in Gold Coast Marathon history! The previous record was set by Kenyan Kenneth Mungara (2:08:42) who won the race in 2018.

It was the eighth win by Japanese men in the event’s 41-year history. Yuta added “My training was really good. I think that the race really showed the quality of my training. It really brought out my performance today,” spoken by someone who clearly believes in the process!

This feat was despite a very visibly bloodied white vest, from what looks like a terrible case of chest fissures/abrasions. But without a single look of pain on his face and fully focused on the race ahead of him! “I didn’t have any race plan. I just wanted to go in and run the race that happened,” he says.

ONEathlete Giebert, in a once-in-a-lifetime moment with his idol, Yuta, So star-struck that he closed his eyes.

The 27-year-old champion who mostly carries a neutral expression, had an exciting duel with Kenyan, Barnabus Kiptum and New Zealander, Zane Robertson over the final 12km before making his final move in the last 2km. Shitara took home $20,000 in victory prize money and an additional $10,000 time bonus for his record-breaking effort.

9. shin kimura (@kimurunner)

With the likeliness of a K-pop star, a friendly and wide smile greets you from across the room, even though you are at least four meters apart. It turns out to be Shin Kimura, a rising marathon star from Honda Running Club in Tokyo, Japan.

He had spent a training stint in Boulder, Colorado to prepare for this marathon. Nike athletes, Shin Kimura and Bernard Lagat, took turns to pace each other and the former finished just 2 secs behind the latter at 02:12:12. Keep your eyes peeled for this star’s growth!

10. Milly clark (@millyjane14)

(c) Gold Coast Marathon 2019 Media Team

While Kenyan Rodah Jepkorir held off a strong finish from Milly Clark to win the Women’s Gold Coast Marathon Title, it was the latter who was received by the home crowd with a great loud roar! The Tasmanian sweetheart lost the lead at the 30km mark, but kept her rhythm and finished in 2:28:08 to claim the runner-up spot.

Despite being about two minutes and five seconds behind the Kenyan at the 30km mark, she finished just 12 secs behind the winner. She was clearly giving it all to catch up and edge in to try win the race!

The crowd probably helped too, she said as she reflected. “I had a lot of fun. There wasn’t a moment that I wasn’t loving it. I am just really stoked that I had the crowd and everyone around me cheering. You put in all the hard work in training and this is your prize. Instead of running alone and slugging it out on the roads, you can use the crowd. It gives you that extra burst.”

Clark had set off to do all that she wanted. She enjoyed the race. She recorded a personal best, lower than the Tokyo Olympics qualifier (2:29:30). She finished on the podium. The veteran at Gold Coast Marathon weekend, had won the Half-marathon in 2014, and second for 10km in 2013.

11. AGUS PRAYOGO (@agusprayogo21)

20th overall and South East Asia’s fastest in the Half-marathon Category, Agus Prayogo (01:06:27) broke Indonesia’s National Record to rewrite his own half marathon national record of 1:07:05, which he set at the Singapore Marathon in 2009.

The father and military personnel may seem like a young teenage man. But probably has collected more accolades than his age count. Enuf said, wait up for the SEA Games 2019 to see him shine!

The smile of a new Indonesian Half marathon National Record

12. Muhaizar Mohamad (@muhaizarmohamad)

Meanwhile, in the full marathon, Malaysian, Muhaizar Mohamad, finished in 35th place after recording 02:26:42. However, it was 15 secs slower than his personal best, 02:26:27 set at the 45th Berlin Marathon.

Muhaizar had became the first Malaysian to win a SEA Games medal in the marathon, after bagging a bronze in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur edition. His team mate Leo, finished fourth in the same race. The athlete in his early 30s, is now focusing on the SEA Games 2019 in Manila.

13. PRABUDASS KRISHNAN (@prabudassk)

29th overall and South East Asia’s second fastest in the Half-marathon Category – beating Singapore’s Half-marathon National Record Holder, Soh Rui Yong – was a 29 year old, young lad named Prabudass Krishnan, finishing at 01:07:29.

The feat saw the Royal Malaysian Navy member erase the 15-year-old Malaysian National Record. He has been training under Coach JP, who had also helped Malaysian National Marathoner Leo set a new Marathon National Record, earlier this year.

(c) Malaysian Photographer @fizsaid

Despite such a remarkable achievement, Prabu greets you a with a very unassuming and humble smile in the elite athletes room. Prabu is gunning to win the 5,000m Gold Medal at the SEA Games 2019. He had previously won the Silver Medal in 2017.

14. burton he (@burtonhe)

Burton He had won the Singapore Marathon 2018’s Half-marathon category in 01:20:11. But no fanfare, nothing pompous. The 29 year old, IT student in SIM University has become a regular at the podiums.

The relatively low profile athlete, was in Gold Coast with his Track Star Athletics team mates, ran his race, and left. He would have ‘escaped your eyes’ if you had blinked. He ran overall 53rd and emerged as the fastest Singaporean in the 10km Category.

Burton He (most extreme left) with his team members from Track Star Athletics. (c) Moonlake Lee.

15. melvin wong (@melvinwongyh)

Another Track Star Athletics athlete making his mark as the fastest Singaporean at the Gold Coast Marathon was Melvin Wong.

Melvin paced the race with his team mate Iskandar Mohamed and finished overall 69th in 02:37:28. The father of two, manages work, fatherhood and runs his life in great style! His team mate, Iskandar (who was also the runner-up at Singapore Marathon 2019) finished 92nd overall, at 02:42:36. Great camaraderie and working together as ONE to achieve goals are always worth mentioning!

16. shohib marican (@shibbylax)

We spotted him and congratulated on his overall 72nd position and emerging as the second fastest Singaporean in the Half-marathon category! Shohib Marican (01:13:14) was pleasantly surprised of course.

The ActiveSG athlete who is coached by Steven Quek, was initially filled with doubts and anxiety about his race. With a renewed mindset, he willed to go hard, focused on the pack ahead and finished with a personal best timing, no less. Go hard or go home, indeed!

Its always encouraging for those in the running circuit to see young athletes push the barriers, and achieve greater excellence!

17. ansgar cheng (@runningprof_dentist)

Speaking of young, the Master’s runner, Ansgar Cheng is more than just young at heart. He emerged 2nd overall in the marathon category, for Master’s Male with a personal best timing of 02:54:16.

The father of two teenage daughters, and dentist in his early 50s, is also awaiting ratification by Singapore Athletics for a new national record of his age group.

Among one of the core members of the Kampong Runners, Ansgar and his wife Moonlake Lee are an affable couple who makes the effort to connect with individuals from the various running groups. That in a sense, kinda depicts the essence of sports and affirms the spirit of the running community!

Ansgar (second from right, in white) seen at the finishing line with runners (L-R) from Hong Kong (David and Jeremy) and ONEathlete (Ashley and Giebert).

18. GIEBERT FOO (@gieberty)

The newly minted ONEathlete, Giebert Foo ran his first overseas marathon. He emerged 104th overall with a personal best of 02:44:15, 45 secs below his personal best that he had set after winning 3rd at Singapore Marathon 2018.

The civil servant had just completed his 9-month long stay-in training course recently. With the help of his partner, Esther (who was on wheels), Giebert paced his long runs and chased his training mileage over the weekends. On weekdays, he would also try to squeeze in some track tempo and intervals in the evening. Besides sticking to the discipline and controlling his diet, the 27 year old also read motivational quotes from Facebook page “Sweat Elite” to prepare for the race.

But during the race itself, Giebert remembered the prayers and encouragement of loved ones, absorbed the energy of the renowned Gold Coast crowd, and “High-fived” the kids along the way keep up the energy to the finish line. Crossing the line below his target, he said, “It is like a dream come true and has made me realise that i can go further in this marathon journey. I’m thankful for the support of the ONEathlete team which had made this PB a wonderful ONE!”

19. ashley liew

Running his 6th Gold Coast Marathon, and 33rd marathon since 2004, was ONEathlete Ashley Liew.

(c) Tsukasa Kawarai

The 32 year old – with a personal best of 02:32:12 (2015) – believed in the process and prepared like it was his first. Along the way, Ashley had to balance six-day work week at Family Health Chiropractic Clinic while training twice daily. His peak weekly mileage of 160km, not to mention solo 30+km long runs and treadmill speed workouts, amidst intensive wedding preparation, proves that Ashley was determined to make it work.

Spotted with bloodied socks from a burst blister, Ashley said “I’m grateful to still have the body responding well towards the end which was a positive difference from my last 3 marathons.” Finishing overall 175th in 02:51:42, Ashley was pleased to achieve his season best.

20. bonza, the mascot

He ain’t a frog tho he spots a green sleek body! Bonza is a bearded dragon, the mascot for the Gold Coast Marathon. He charmingly convinces that he loves to run, just like all his other bearded dragon friends. As a young lad, Bonza had run at Burleigh Head National Park,

Typically during a morning training run at Miami Beach, he tells us, “I was inspired by thousands from all over the world running up and down my beautiful coastline and thought ‘you little rippers!”.

Instead of hibernating in cooler months like July, Bonza decided that he wanted to be part of the good times, and for this one-of-a-kind race. He was determined to become the first bearded dragon to run at the Gold Coast Marathon, and took a break from chilling with his surfing buddies at Surfers’ Paradise to start training. “I’ve been clocking up plenty of kilo meters on the beautiful beachfront in perfect conditions along the marathon route.”

The 41 year old, is stoked that the race date for 2020 is scheduled to be on 4-5 July, and has already set his goals for the 42nd Gold Coast Marathon race! In good old gold coast fashion, he waves and high-fives to say, “See ya nex july mate!”

10 Reasons why you would feel like playing Tennis

1. Every goal, makes you feel like a Champ!

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – JUNE 29: Shaheed Alam of Singapore celebrates winning his mens singles play-off match against Hesam Esmail Yazdi of Iran during day four of the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group III at OCBC Arena on June 29, 2019 in Singapore. (Photo by Lionel Ng/Getty Images for Singapore Sports Hub)

2. Camaraderie

(c) Freddy ChewSportSG

3. demonstrate your inner federer/nadal

(c) Nicholas Tan

4. getting on point

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – JUNE 29: Shaheed Alam of Singapore plays a shot during his mens singles play-off match against Hesam Esmail Yazdi of Iran during day four of the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group III at OCBC Arena on June 29, 2019 in Singapore. (Photo by Lionel Ng/Getty Images for Singapore Sports Hub)

5. someone’s got your back

(c) CP Cheah

6. try out tactics & strategies

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – JUNE 29: Shaheed Alam and Roy Hobbs of Singapore in action during their mens doubles play-off match against Shahin Khaledan and Kiarash Souri of Iran during day four of the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group III at OCBC Arena on June 29, 2019 in Singapore. (Photo by Lionel Ng/Getty Images for Singapore Sports Hub)

7. you can fly .. well sort of.

(c) Philip Ang

8. great spectators

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – JUNE 29: Shaheed Alam of Singapore reacts during his mens doubles play-off match against Shahin Khaledan and Kiarash Souri of Iran during day four of the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group III at OCBC Arena on June 29, 2019 in Singapore. (Photo by Lionel Ng/Getty Images for Singapore Sports Hub)

9. amazing photographers getting the power shots!

(c) Philip Ang

10. your loved ones turn out in full force!

(c) Freddy ChewSportSG

Special shoutout and thanks to all the photographers who took these amazing shots above of Shaheed Alam, National Tennis Player and ONEathlete.

I Eat, Therefore I Am

Banjamin Quek – You may have heard your friends grumble: ‘A moment on the lips, forever on the hips.’ What this is really saying is that we are what we put into our mouth, consciously or otherwise.

Nutrition is especially important to one’s mental and physical wellbeing as food is the primary source of energy for us to go about our daily activities. It also provides us with much needed micro and macro nutrients that are essential to build a strong immune system. 

Even though Health Promotion Board has been actively promoting and advocating a healthier diet, there are still many who do not, or find it hard to, follow the guidelines for a healthy diet. In line with global trends, the prevalence of obesity and overweight in Singaporean adults has been increasing steadily over the years. On average, Singapore’s obesity rate increased 0.7% annually since 2004 to reach nearly 11% in 2010, just barely below the global average obesity prevalence of 12%. A recent report in 2017 also shows that the average Singaporean today is heavier, and more likely to overeat than our predecessors. It also warns that by 2024, Singapore’s obesity rate could reach a tipping point and exceed 15%.

To know how to eat well, we must first understand what is inside our food. Basically, all our intake can be broadly broken down into carbohydrates, proteins, fats, dietary fibre and vitamins. 

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are our primary source of quick and readily available energy. It supplies our body with glucose that allows for smooth day-to-day functions. Rice, pasta, bread and potatoes fall under the category of carbohydrate-rich food. 

Proteins

One of our main source of proteins comes from meat and dairy products such as cheese and milk. Proteins help to rebuild damaged muscle cells and promote tissue growth. Those who frequent the gym would normally prefer a high protein diet to bulk at a quicker rate and also to feel full for a longer time. 

Fats

Fats are made of glycerol and fatty acids and they are often found in fatty-rich food such as chicken skin and cooking oil. While fats can add to the satisfaction we get from our diet, it is definitely not recommended in excess. 

Dietary Fibre 

Fruits and vegetables contain dietary fibres. For example, the orange pulp is almost impossible to digest and therefore, passes through the digestive system undigested. Dietary fibres help to promote bowel movement. 

Vitamins 

Vitamins are important as it helps our body to defend itself against diseases and render us less susceptible to illnesses. Vitamins can be found in fruits and fish oil. Nowadays, readily-packaged vitamins can be purchased off the shelf. 

As an athlete, it goes without saying that I treat my body with as much care as I possibly can. After all, the purpose of training is to subject the body to optimal loads of stress before allowing it to recover and become stronger through this process. Naturally, consuming the right quantity and quality of food and nutrients is an integral part of this training equation.

To start off, an endurance athlete is definitely more likely to sustain himself on a carbohydrate-rich diet in order to fuel the demands of training and recovery. Bread and rice are my go-to staple and they take up to 60% of my daily diet.

Proteins are also a definite must-have to speed up the recovery proces. However, for a distance athlete who needs to stay lean and light, excessive intake of proteins might do more harm than good. I try to keep my daily protein intake to about 20%, although this might vary and increase slightly during certain periods of my training season, in line with training tempo.

The remaining 30% of my diet comprises fruits and vegetables. I take healthy doses of supplements too to boost my immune system. On rare occasions, I also have to ‘feed my soul’ by allowing myself the occasional guilty pleasures of cakes and fried chicken. 

image1

All said, I feel that one has to dedicate some thought to planning for the right kind of diet. While it is okay to enjoy the sumptuous spread of local dishes that are only available in Singapore (and especially now that I’m in Kenya), do remember to balance these out with regular exercise and a balanced healthy diet. After all, the key to everything is moderation.

Banjamin Quek is a ONEathlete and Under Armour Ambassador. The mid-distance runner majored in business, and is passionate about the environment.

For inspiring stories related to running and sports, as well as discounts to local races, subscribe to ‘RunONE’ by adding +6588347638 to your Whatsapp contacts. Then send us the words, “Run With Me.”

A Running Community Like No Other – adidas Runners Singapore

REBEKAH ONG – You may have seen them running around Singapore or other parts of the world with their distinctive logo tees – a circle encompassing an adidas logo at the top with the letters AR in the middle capping off with the wordings adidas runners.

AR Singapore Family

adidas Runners is an international community comprising runners and active individuals from different backgrounds and all walks of life. What unites them is a desire to become better – better runners, better athletes and, ultimately, better persons. Here in Singapore, the adidas Runners have a team which does just that!

THE SINGAPORE AR CREW

Led by Coach Jon Fong an athlete who used to compete at the elite level in both swimming and triathlon and has received many Singapore National Olympic Committee awards during his sporting career. Jon plans the training program for the team which includes lots of strength, endurance, and speed work.  He is supported by a team of captains (Eugene Lim and Sofie Chandra ), co-captains (Hubert Chen & Sherlynn Tan) and the AR Running Crew who will motivate and lead the group through these planned workouts/ runs.

AR Singapore Running Crew

I have been running with this group since last year April and I really enjoyed the guidance, support, motivation and inspiration this group offers.  Here are some other reasons why I enjoy running with the adidas Runners Singapore.

Running with AR Singapore

TRAINING PROGRAM

The adidas Runners programme is designed to help runners like you and me train smarter and take our fitness level up a notch or two. Through consistent training and supervision from AR’s experienced team of coaches and experts, you’ll see improvements in your fitness as well as timings by the end of the programme. 

DIFFERENT LOCATIONS

Weekly runs are held at different locations earmarked by adidas stores like Marina Bay Sands, Vivocity and Suntec City. These different venues and routes provide different kinds of experience for the training runs. The fact that we also get to explore different routes make the runs more varied and interesting!

THEMED RUN EVENTS

During new product launches, there would be a special events to promote the new product. This year I attended the launch of the adidas Ultraboost 19 where adidas teamed up with District to bring us the adidas Recode Running Festival. Participants got to race around the Marina Bay, Fort Canning and Singapore River with the District app aiming to score maximum points from a grid made up of 38 checkpoints and 21 challenges! You can read more about this event here. †

2019 adidas Recode Running Festival

One of their more recent events was just held on 9 June, 2019. Dubbed ‘Run for the Oceans’, the event is the product of a partnership between adidas and Parley (an environmental organization) which aims to raise the awareness of the threat of marine plastic by getting runners to track their runs and distance with the Runtastic running app.  The event was held at the Greek Theatre at the Singapore flyer. There, adidas also introduced the new AlphaBounce + Run PARLEY Shoes.

2019 Run for the Oceans

SPECIAL WORKOUT SESSIONS

Besides running, there are other special workshops that the group organizes like rhythm cycling, Pilates, gym sessions etc. These special sessions provide a variety of workouts which keeps things interesting for members of the group.

A special rhythm cycling class for participants of AR Singapore
Easter AR Pilates Session @ Core Collective

INFORMATION ON AR RUNS

adidas Runners sessions are held weekly. Registration for these sessions are compulsory and given that they are so popular, it is not uncommon for participants to ballot for a slot. More information can be found on their Facebook Group – adidas Runners Singapore.

Photo credits: adidas Runners Singapore

Rebekah Ong is a fitness junkie and F1 fanatic. The elegant foodie is almost at every run event! She presents all things in fours!

For inspiring stories related to running and sports, as well as discounts to local races, subscribe to ‘RunONE’ by adding +6588347638 to your Whatsapp contacts. Then send us the words, “Run With Me.”

Ashley Liew, ONEathlete

Media Response – Jun 2019

18 JUN 2019 – In October 2018, Soh Rui Yong alleged that Ashley Liew did not slow down during the 2015 SEA Games marathon race.

RECAPITULATE
SNOC has independently investigated and collated four statutory declarations, which Soh had not made any efforts to view, despite the option to do so. Soh has continued with his allegations , and  challenged Ashley to raise the issue before the courts.
– We responded on 21 Oct 2018 to media queries. In spite of this, Soh continued to maintain his allegations insinuating that Ashley had lied.
– Following SNOC’s ‘retract and withdraw’ letter to Soh, and Soh’s non-compliance, we responded on 02 Apr 2019 to media queries. We mentioned that we were examining all legal options available to ONEathlete, Ashley Liew in view of these developments.
– On 09 Apr 2019 to media queries, ONEathlete pointed out that Soh had ignored facts, material evidence and witnesses, but chose to make a fundamental and ‘safe’ shift in position.


SOH CONTINUES HIS ALLEGATIONS

Soh was given various opportunities to retract his repeated allegations and apologise. Even with a legal notice served by various parties, he still had several opportunities from October 2018 to June 2019. He has chosen not to retract his allegations, and in fact, had escalated his allegations on Ashley.


ASHLEY’S STATEMENT POST-COMMENCEMENT OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

There is nothing ideal about an athlete suing another. Ashley’s predisposition is to avoid conflict and controversy, but where it comes to allegations against his honour and integrity, he has no choice but to make a firm stand:

On 8 April 2019 I said to the press that “I cannot remain silent anymore”.

Since then, I had attempted to negotiate an amicable settlement with Soh with the assistance of my lawyer, Mr Mark Teng of That.Legal LLC. I am advised that I may not disclose the details of our without prejudice negotiations. However, I wish to say that it is regretful that Soh has adamantly maintained his position and refused to apologise and retract his defamatory statements.

Soh’s unwillingness to retract his statements is obvious from the series of social media posts that Soh had caused to be published about me and this incident. Some examples of what Soh posted on social media after my first cease and desist letter are as follows:
On 9 April 2019, Soh declared on his social media channels that he will “now battle [me] for the truth of the 2015 SEA Games Marathon”;
On 12 April 2019, Soh posted on his social media channels after receiving That.Legal LLC’s letter that he was “amount  to reply with a 1-page legal letter to say no” even before his lawyers had a chance to send their formal response;
On 10 May 2019, after receiving my lawyer’s letter Soh posted again on his social media channels that he would be responding to “say no” again before his lawyers had a chance to send their formal response;
On 26 May 2019, Soh made posts on his social media channels calling me an idiot who took the chance to make up a hero story in his post titled “42 Reasons why I HATE Running Marathons #21 to #30” [See page 20 of the SOC]:
When #23 happens you might have idiots who take the chance to make up a hero story about slowing down to wait for others as an excuse for that’s why they didn’t win, then send you lawyer’s letters when you call their bullshit and embarrass them publicly

I wake up every morning striving to be the best that I can be. I hold the values of honesty and integrity in high regard. Soh’s actions on social media have caused Singaporeans to question my integrity and that crosses the line. Soh’s false statements and aggravating comments have not only hurt my feelings but also disparaged my reputation.

In light of the foregoing, I feel that I have no choice but to ask the Court to vindicate my reputation.

– Ashley Liew, National Marathoner (ONEathlete)


FURTHER ACTION

ONEathlete supports Ashley Liew for the truth he deserves and legal options that were offered to him. The Statement of Claim (SOC) and a summary for the SOC will be made available to the members of the press, upon request.

ONEathlete also understands that SNOC has reserved all legal rights against Soh, unlike what the latter had claimed on his social media platforms.

Regards,
ONEathlete Team

Tales of a Triathlete #5 – Injuries, Recovery and Prevention

Often, injuries aren’t quite as straightforward to deal with…

Benjamin Ooi – Injuries. The bane of all athletes. One moment we could be riding a high after clocking a new PB, and before we know it, we are down, out of the game, and forced to re-evaluate all our sporting aspirations going forward. 

Injuries arise from a multitude of causes with the strain of overtraining being most common. It can also be due to an accumulation and manifestation of bad form, or simply from freak accidents completely unrelated to training. I’m definitely not an exception to this misfortune having had my share of them over the years in various sports, and I shan’t bore you with the endless details. But these setbacks have left me with 3 takeaways that I feel are broadly beneficial to most athletes, serious or recreational

Pay (a lot of) Attention To Form

Yes, quite often our motivation in sports is to go faster, get further, be fitter. There is a natural tendency to overlook fundamentals in our pursuit to achieve this. However, this would not be sustainable except for the most fortunate of athletes. Our human body is formed with natural imperfections and sometimes the simple preference of one arm/leg over the other contributes to an asymmetry which, when exacerbated, becomes an injury.

Good form in itself is also an essential component of performance. As a long-time swimmer, I feel a significant drop in form and efficiency whenever I’ve been away from the pool for a few weeks even though I’ve been keeping fit on land. And when it comes to running, simple as it may seem, the best runners don’t simply get that good by just running more and running faster. What goes on behind the scenes are the endless behind-the-scenes strengthening exercises, activation exercise, stretching, gait analysis etc. All this is done in the awareness that poor form is not only a limiter to performance but also a serious injury risk

Focus On The Rehab

So what happens then, when one suffers that inevitable injury? It will be a setback, certainly, but it definitely doesn’t quite entail a few weeks of couch-potato lifestyle. Take professional advice and then stay committed to your assigned treatment/rehab exercises. While this is easier said than done, recognise that injuries ranging from a strain to a ligament tear don’t generally just go away without help. Even when they do, one tends to be left in a weaker state and further prone to similar injuries.

In addition to rehab exercises, one should engage in other exercises that target other muscle groups. Being able to cross train in other sports is not a perk that applies to multi-sport athletes only! To varying extents, fitness is transferable across sports/training. Make full use of your time off to focus on other aspects of your performance. During the periods I had to stay off running, I was heading instead to the gym every other day for my rehab exercises. And while I was there, I managed additional strength and flexibility trainings without the burden of running.

Know Your Body

One of the senses we can develop as an athlete is knowledge over our body comprehensively. This awareness of form provides an acute intuition of our current fitness, abilities, and most importantly bodily limits. With experience, one learns how the body should feel after a hard workout, and also, what constitutes a strain that demands attention.

Stave off injuries with adequate complementary preventive measures such as foam-rolling, stretching, strengthening, progressive training etc. Even on race-day, having put in the months of sweat and tears (and necessary preparation). Even as you grit your teeth and push your boundaries, recognise promptly when your body signals its limits. Know that no race is worth potentially serious (and permanent) injury. 

Well if you do suffer an injury, then, look on the bright side— you’ve now joined a club that consists almost all your favourite elite athletes and heroes. So afford your body some time, patience and serious rehab. Get ready to fight another day 🙂

Ben Ooi is an Ironman Triathlete and younger sibling to two national water polo sisters. He qualified to compete in the World Ironman – World Championships 2017 in Kona, Hawaii. The SMU alumnus is currently working in the private sector and would love a South American holiday, anytime.

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What is a running gait?

BANJAMIN QUEK – You might ask, what exactly is running gait? While running seems to be the simplest sport to execute without much technique involved, it is interesting to see how each runners move from Point A to point B a little differently. Running gait, to put it simply, is the manner of moving on foot, and everyone has a unique gait to allow them to move over ground in an efficient pattern.

What types of running gaits are there?

Running gaits are usually broken down into three types of pronation. Pronation refers to how the foot strikes the ground.

  • Neutral pronation

Neutral pronation takes place when the foot comes in complete contact with the ground and rolls inward about 15 percent to absorb shock. Around 20 to 30 percent of runners have neutral pronation.

  • Underpronation

Underpronation is when the outer part of your heel hits the ground first, and your foot rolls inward at less than 15 percent. The foot naturally supinates during the toe-off stage of your stride as the heel first lifts off the ground, providing leverage to help roll off the toes. However, if supination continues through the toe-off, the weight isn’t transferred to the big toe. This results in all of the work being done by the outer edge of the foot and smaller toes, placing extra stress of the foot. Supination is seen more often in people with high, rigid arches that don’t flatten enough during a stride.

Supination may increase your risk of ankle injury, iliotibial band syndrome, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis.

  • Overpronation

Overpronation occurs when your foot rolls inward more than 15 percent, which can cause stability issues with your foot and ankle. In overpronation, the ankle rolls too far downward and inward with each step. It continues to roll when the toes should be starting to push off. As a result, the big toe and second toe do all of the push off and the foot twists more with each step. Overpronation is seen more often in people with flat feet, although not everyone with flat feet overpronates.

Overpronation leads to strain on the big toe and second toe and instability in the foot. The excessive rotation of the foot leads to more rotation of the tibia in the lower leg, with the result being a greater incidence of shin splints (also called medial tibial stress syndrome) and knee pain. An increased risk of injury and heel pain may also be the result of the stress on the ligaments and tendons of the foot due to overpronation.

How to check your running gait?

There are various ways to determine your running gait. You can:

  1. Get a friend to watch/film from behind when you are running. If the knees are turning inwards, it means you are overpronating. If the knees are turning slightly outwards, it means you are underpronating.
  • Keep track of your pains and aches. By identifying the source of pain, you are roughly able to deduce the type of pronation. For instance, if you are experiencing pain on the inside of your shins and knees, you are likely to overpronate, while if you feel aches in the ankles, it is likely that you are underpronating.
  • Make a wet footprint on a paper shopping bag or a piece of heavy paper and bend your knees significantly to exert the weight of the arch on the paper. This method helps to determine the shape of your arch. High arch means a natural gait and a low arch means an overpronated gait.

Why is analyzing your running gait important?

You do not have to change your running gait. However, it is still important to identify your running gait in order to prevent potential injuries derived from the way you pronate.

For neutral pronation, a pair of neutral shoes such as UA HOVR Sonic is recommended.

For under pronation, you should look for more well-cushioned shoes to absorb the shock of each stride. UA charged bandit 4 will be a good choice.

For over pronation, a runner will need motion control/stability shoes to guide the foot into a proper amount of pronation. UA speedform Europa is an example of such shoes.

Get your running gait analyzed today!

Banjamin Quek is a ONEathlete and Under Armour Ambassador. The mid-distance runner majored in business, and is passionate about the environment.

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Sundown Marathon 2019

On 1 June 2019, the 12th edition of the OSIM Sundown Marathon Singapore saw nearly 25,000 participants take to the streets of this iconic night race that has become a hallmark on Singapore’s running calendar over the years.

Understandably, there has been some speculation over its fate after Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon announced it will also be embarking on a night race format on 30 Nov 2019. However, most runners felt that the developments would ultimately benefit Singapore races as the cooling conditions at night would be more conducive and appealing to runners, in addition to the novelty appeal of hosting the first World Marathon Majors (WMM) night race should Singapore succeed in our bid.

While the 10km race got off to a clear and earlier start at 10pm, it was unfortunately not the case for the half and full marathon which was delayed by nearly an hour. The organisers have issued a public explanation for the delay, which was due to ‘unforeseen obstruction on route which had to be cleared to ensure the safety of the runners’.

Podium winners of the Sundown Marathon 10km Team of Four Challenge

Two members of ONEathlete participated in the team of four 10km challenge. Evan Chee and Giebert Foo, who finished 4th and 3rd at last year’s Singapore Marathon, were joined by Gordon and Desmond. They finished in a cumulative timing of 2:26:03 to win the champion’s trophy, edging ahead of the Singapore Shufflers by a slight margin of 10 seconds. It was understood that there was a point during the 10km race when the lead pack was wrongly directed by race marshals and had to back-track. While the technical issue is something the race directors and organisers have to address, it did not appear to dampen the post-race camaraderie as the top 3 teams were all smiles on stage.

Post-race team photo

Separately, in the Men’s Marathon race, Hillary Kipkering of Kenya cliched the Men’s title with a timing of 2:49:33, while Singapore’s Sharon Tan won the women’s category in a timing of 3:23:16. In the Half-Marathon race, Soh Rui Yong won the men’s race in 1:11:47 while Maki Inami of Japan took the women’s category win in 1:22:19.

For inspiring stories related to running and sports, as well as discounts to local races, subscribe to ‘RunONE’ by adding +6588347638 to your Whatsapp contacts. Then send us the words, “Run With Me.”