Monday, August 19, 2019

2019 Stanchart Marathon - Weather - Hot Versus Cold (Part 3)

By Rameshon

Bsc (Hons) PE and Sports Science, Loughborough University of Technology, 1992-1994
Masters in Education, University of Western Australia, 2005-2008


Picture 1- Jonathan Kang, due to dehydration had to stop in Stanchart Marathon, in the past, for safety reason due to hot weather. 

It is wise to know the difference between humidity and weather as it can help one in performing. In this essay, I shall explain, not on humidity, but on weather, in layman's term, so that one is focused in does the best from the understanding, and also being aware, such that one can manipulate a situation to help in one's running performance. 

If the weather is hot, we sweat even while standing. It is good to avoid exercising at a time between 10 30am and 3 30pm, as the sun sends harmful rays to earth plus make the weather more hot than usual. As such, it is good to hydrate ourselves with water such that our body does not get overheated. When we run, we lose a lot of water. Water forms as perspiration to cool the bodily system down and act as 'air condition' for our body, so that our body does not get overheated, and one can focus on performance. The fitter one is, the faster one will perspire to cool down the system of the body, in order such that speed is not compromised. Usually, in the morning, it is cooler, and it is easier to perform. In the evening, when the sun sets, it is also easier to perform, as it is cooler. 

So, weather,  in simple terms, means that the whether is cooler or hotter. Discounting humidity, the cooler the weather it is easier to run faster, as we do not lose much fluid. In hot climate, we lose a lot of water and sweat from blood that comes out as perspiration, and this in turn affects the oxygen transport system, as blood becomes constricted. So, it simple terms, when it comes to weather, it is good to run in cooler weather. 


Note : 
By Narayanan
Rameshon has taught in Hwa Chong Institution, plus several schools, and Republic Polytechnic as well. He has won many accolades and he was awarded Merit Award for 1991 marathon performance in breaking the national record of Singapore, at that time. He has made 22 male athletes to do sub - 3 hours do marathon in sub-3hrs. He has made 7 female runners to do sub-4 hours for marathon, as well. He was inducted to the 'Roll of Honour'  by the then College of Physical Education, organised by Singapore Olympic Academy, in 1998, for breaking the National record repeatedly 4 times, till he did 2hr 24min 22sec). 


He also has Coaching group and he trains them on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7pm at Botanic Gardens. Those interested can call him at 91004369 for coaching assistance, to improve performance. There is also personal training that he does for many in a week. You can e-mail him at m.rameshon@gmail.com or swift.rameshon@gmail.com.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

2019 Stanchart Marathon - Weather Plays a Role (Part 2)

By Rameshon

Bsc (Hons) PE and Sports Science, Loughborough University of Technology, 1992-1994
Masters in Education, University of Western Australia, 2005-2008

Picture 1 - One of the Most Prolific runner of Hwa Chong Institution. Still the Current National Schools 3000m record holder, 9min 21sec, for under 17, in 2003, who trained with me from 2001 - 2006). He used to train at 4pm. 




This is the first time, Stanchart Marathon 2019 will be held in the evening. As I have trained and done workouts in different time of the day, I would like to share with you on how weather plays an important role in running for the upcoming race. 


When I was a secondary school boy, I used to do time trials in MacRitchie Reservoir. Although the weather was hot, I found that my time trial timings were not affected. I used to wonder why is it that I feel reasonable okay during this time of the day, which is supposed to be hot. As opposed to this, although in the evening or night it seems cooler, surprisingly, I found out that I got to or had to sweat a lot. That means that I got to hydrate more in the evening rather than in the afternoon. Hydration depends on the loss of water from the body through sweat.  

I have, for the benefit of all marathoners, especially, put a link to show that in the afternoon, the humidity is much lower than in the evening or night. The drying ability of sweat is far more better than evening or night. However ,the weather at this time, at 4pm, can be hot. The sun's ray between 10am and 3 30pm is not good and it can be too hot for us, at that time of the day. Humidity can be as low as 56%. Evening the humidity can go to 80%.

For runners, it is good to take note that it is important to know the difference between humidity and weather. The homework for you now is to find for yourself, before I inform you in my next post, whether humidity plays a more important role than weather itself, on enhancing endurance sports performance.

Note : 
By Narayanan
Rameshon has taught in Hwa Chong Institution, plus several schools, and Republic Polytechnic as well. He has won many accolades and he was awarded Merit Award for 1991 marathon performance in breaking the national record of Singapore, at that time. He has made 22 male athletes to do sub - 3 hours do marathon in sub-3hrs. He has made 7 female runners to do sub-4 hours for marathon, as well. He was inducted to the 'Roll of Honour'  by the then College of Physical Education, organised by Singapore Olympic Academy, in 1998, for breaking the National record repeatedly 4 times, till he did 2hr 24min 22sec). 

He also has Coaching group and he trains them on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7pm at Botanic Gardens. Those interested can call him at 91004369 for coaching assistance, to improve performance. There is also personal training that he does for many in a week. You can e-mail him at m.rameshon@gmail.com or swift.rameshon@gmail.com.


https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/singapore/singapore

Marathon - Standard Chartered Marathon 2019

By Rameshon (Masters in Education, University of Western Australia, 2005 -2008)
Marathon Best Time in life : 2hr 24min 22sec (Chiengmai South East Asian Games, 1995)

A Comparison between Running Morning, Evening or Mid-night


Pic 1 :M.Rameshon with Wilson Kipketer (Former 800m world record holder)


As compared to running in the morning, evening and night, it is usually 4pm that one feels it is good to run. Why? Eventhough the weather is hot, the humidity is low. It is, in fact, one of the best time to run. However, after that, till mid-night, the humidity gets higher.

Hence, my stake is to run more in the evening or night, which is close to 7pm, as the sun sets. The weather gets cooler and it helps one not to lose bodily fluid and the need to have to hydrate too much water, while one has to focus on running performance itself. 

One thing many fail to do is to find out on how to cool down the body before the run and during the run that will help in running performance.

Note : 
By Narayanan
Rameshon has taught in Hwa Chong Institution, plus several schools, and Republic Polytechnic as well. He was awarded Merit Award for 1991 marathon performance in breaking the national record of Singapore, at that time. He has made 22 male athletes to do sub - 3 hours do marathon in sub-3hrs. He has made 7 female runners to do sub-4 hours for marathon, as well. He is also awarded 'Hall of Fame' by Singaore Olympic Academia). 

He also has Coaching group and he trains them on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7pm at Botanic Gardens. Those interested can call him at 91004369 for coaching assistance. You can e-mail him at m.rameshon@gmail.com or swift.rameshon@gmail.com


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Meditation – For Runners To Improve Performance

By Rameshon
In Loughborough University of Technology, we were taught to do meditation for enhancing performance in running. When it matters most, in high level performance, many choke when they are under pressure. It is said that stress can be catastrophic if not attended by coping strategies. 
Hence, it should be reiterated that high level competition has high level stress. All the more meditation becomes more important. Our former Psychology lecturer in Loughborough University Dr Jones, who worked with British Olympians, told us that meditation does increase cardiac output during an exercise bout and that it is also good for endurance. 
My experience in meditation is that it enables one to have a kind of feeling that anything can be accomplished by oneself if one put their heart, mind and soul in it. Impossible becomes possible. All religions say the same thing on one thing. They say that we are the soul, and not this body. When one identify oneself with the body, only limitation sets in. One becomes selfish as well. In the end, the outcome is unhappiness, as well. It is said that one can have everything in the world, but still will feel that there is something lacking within oneself, and one will keep searching outside for peace or contentment.
When one identifies oneself with the soul, they will feel that they boundless energy within themselves. One becomes selfless and have the ability to work from morning till night, not feeling tired. This is my experience. One will feel like a superman. One do not have to do 10 hours of meditation. Just 20min should be enough and the only thing one needs to do is to sit down on a comfortable chair, with spine erect,  and be in a quiet place, and do meditation. Take not that meditation is not sleeping, as one will feel good and will relax in to sleep. There are many meditation practises to one’s temperament and inclination. There is practise for it, and there are wide variety of them. 
A number of feats in running, I believe that I have achieved, comes not just from training but also from the practise of meditation as well. 
As such, in the coming post, please go to my blog post to do some of the meditation that I have done and have benefited. Do it if you feel it may help you.
Meditation is good as it makes us feel that we are not lacking anything, over a period of time. We lose our body consciousness and feel unlimited, and it is like a battery charger. It is easier to succeed in things. The reason is because when we have body consciousness, it makes us feel limited and we tend to feel something is missing from us throughout life, although we may have everything in this material world. Thus, we do not feel confident and it is translated to our performance outside. 
As for the practice of meditation, a commitment of 20min is not easy. People may say, “I am not free.” “I have to catch up with my friend” etc. Even running training of 3 to 4 times per week is quite difficult. Hence, it is even harder to complement meditation with running as well. It becomes a bigger challenge. 
During my intensive training days, I could sleep 3 hours per day as I was including meditation. Also, I always feel energetic all the time with meditation. 
Edited By Tan Mariviv!

Untold Stories of 10km, Half-Marathon Road Racing

By Tan Mariviv
Picture 1- In POSB Run 2018, the best time was by elite Kenyan athlete for 10km race in 32min 22sec. No Singaporean were near him. Mr Rameshon’s best time for 10km road race is also 32m 22sec, done in the past. 
After reading a number of past articles, local athletics books, websites, and also interviewing athletes, I realised that it will be good to share with people some of the untold stories, of our own Singapore distance runners, particularly in road racing. For instance, in POSB Race 2018, this year, an elite Kenyan runner ran and won the 10km race in 32min 22sec, for Men Open category, where the quality of the race was good. The second male winner was also a non Singaporean, a Gurkha.
Having interviewed Mr Rameshon, he showed me a diary with 1995 training book, and I saw his Singapore best time was 32min 22sec where he beat one of the most formidable Malaysian runner called Ramesh, personal best for 2.4km was 6min 56sec, who was undisputed in Singapore soil, in winning a race. Yvonne Danson, another top runner and current marathon national record holder for women open category, unsatisfied, remeasured the 10km route again  and told that actually distance was 10.3km. The story of the race was inspiring to hear and I shall write in detail in the upcoming blog post.     
Picture 2 – Balasundram did 2hr 33min in less than two year of of training with Mr Rameshon. He quit running as he was not able to break national record.
There are other past unknown heroes like Dr Bala, Khoo Chin Poo, Balasundram, Ernest Wong, and Tan Choon Ghee. It is good for people know, as the latter can trace back the history of distance running to have knowledge and also to make running more a worthwhile pursuit. 
Picture 3 – Tan Choon Ghee’s record was 2hr 34min and Mr Rameshon broke it to 2hr 31min in 1990 done in HK Marathon.  
It is, in fact, good to know the a summarised history of half-marathon best timing ever, especially in road racing, as people do need to know as they may get confused.
Picture 4 – Dr Bala (right) and Mr Rameshon (left) were the fastest and second fastest, respectively for in the history of 10km road racing 
It is only now that people know that Dr Bala is the fastest ever Singaporean for 10km for road and that Mr Rameshon is the second fastest ever. In half – marathon time Mr Rameshon time has done 1hr 04min in Johore, the best timing ever by a local until now for half marathon. I shall be writing a lot of these unsung heroes for the benefit of fellow Singaporeans. So, watch out for it!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Good Food – How to Increase Energy?

By Rameshon
Picture 1 – There is a vitality score for every food.
Spices and Fruits – A Summary
I can write on this topic and it can be lengthy. In short, take note that spices have the highest score for vitality, compared to fruits, which comes next. After an intensive study, it was noticed that tumeric has the highest vitality score. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told during talks that it is wise to put tumeric in food, at least a little quantity. There are many studies to show that tumeric can prevent cancer in a person. It can prevent innumerable sickness and diseases as well. 
Out of fruits, the family of berries are the best in vitality score. Blue berries have one the highest score for the berries family of fruits.  Studies prove this so. Having discussed on summary of Spices and Fruits, I will summarise below on how I come to know about Sattwic, Rajasic and Tamasic food and give some details on the meaning as well. After that, I will list out all the food items  for people to understand easily and on the classifications to enable people to choose food wisely. 
Picture 2 – Tumeric, not only adds flavour to food, it also adds value to the vitality score in having highest score out of any food. 
An Explanation on Sattwic, Rajasic and Tamasic Food : My Experiences on Food – The Super Food (Sattwic Food, The Yogic Diet)
In the past, I read a book on Dr Sivananda (1987-1961), who became a doctor by profession. He explained on the meaning of Sattwic, Rajasic and Tamasic, from his experience. Hence, I chose my food wisely during my competitive years. Dr Sivananda wrote more than 100, maybe even 200 books on health, diet, yoga, etc. Due to my strict regiment in my diet, I found abundant energy when I chose Sattwic as opposed to Rajasic and Tamasic food. Feeling of being strong will set in mind and body and there will be serenity of mind. One could do visualisation and mental training properly with clarity. I remember Dr Edgar Tham telling us in the 1995 SEA Games in Chiengmai, “CLARITY is POWER.” Also, I found that it was hard to get injury when you are consuming food like fruits everyday as anti-oxidants are found to be abundant in them. Anti-oxidants cause a person to recover faster and the immunity of the body will be very good. You will have an excellent health.
Hence, let me discuss the topic on the 3 types of food which will prevent us from falling sick and feeling devitalised.
The 3 Types of Food – Sattwic, Rajasic and Tamasic Food
There are altogether three kinds of food that a man consume – Sattwic, Rajasic and Tamasic. Moreover, according to the gunas or temperament, a man is controlled by Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas. Sattwic food makes you light, feel good and render the mind calm and serene. People who want to have a good meditation should take Sattwic types of food. If your mind is calm, you can meditate better. If your mind is not calm, it is difficult to meditate. Examples of sattwic food are fruits, barley, vegetables, etc. Rajasic food makes you feel energetic. Examples of Rajasic food are chilli, meat, fish, eggs, etc. Rajasic food excites passion and makes you lose the calmness. The last, but not least, is Tamasic. Tamasic food makes a person lazy and dull. Examples of Tamasic food is unripe fruits, over-ripe fruit, more than 3hour food, re-heated food, food kept for several days, etc.
Hence, to put it in a nutshell, all food has these three different characteristic. Different foods exercise different effects on different compartments of the brain or the mind. Thus, a man’s nature is greatly influenced by the food that he consumes. The fact that man feels a desire for certain foods are according to his guna or temperament.
A man achieves all his purposes in the world through the body. It is the vehicle that takes him towards his aim, purpose, target and goal. Therefore, it is advisable to keep it clean, strong and healthy. The body is a formed by the mind. The body and the mind are actually connected. The food that the body takes has a vital effect upon the mind and activities. Therefore, whatever we consume or foods that build the body and the mind should be pure, nutritious and wholesome.
Every food we see is of threefold. The food is either Sattwic, Rajasic or Tamasic according to its character and it has effect upon the body and the mind. You can find out the nature or temperament of a man from the nature of the food he takes. This can be seen in animals that take vegetarian food, for example, elephants, cows, horses and goat are usually calm. Animals like tiger and lion are usually not calm and are controlled by the nature of the Rajasic temperament that they derived from meat. You can find out your own nature, whether you are Sattwic, Rajasic or Tamasic from the food you take. It is wise if you can abandon the Rajasic and the Tamasic foodstuffs and take to the Sattwic diet.
Also, our daily life is controlled by these three mode of gunas Sattwic, Rajasic and Tamasic and they keep changing throughout the day. Only by sticking to Sattwic food, one can, over time, have more of the Sattwa qualities lightness and calmness and less of getting oneself irritated or feeling of being lazy.

Now, I shall enumerate the food that have these 3 qualities.
Sattwic Food – Added benefits are it increases vitality and strength in one’s body. A person will have cheerfulness, mental clarity and serenity by eating these type of food. Mental poise can be attained by eating this type of food. The body will be full of energy and one would feel energetic throughout the day. Hence, Sattwic foods are highly condusive and beneficial to health.
Examples of Sattwic Food
Fresh ripe fruits like papaya, mango, orange, apple, starfruit, honeydew, berries, etc
(most fruits)
Milk
Butter
Nuts like unsalted almonds, peanut, groundnut, hazelnut, walnut, etc (most nuts)
vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, spinach, various types of beans etc (most vegetables)
dates
barley
wheat 
cereal
oats
brown bread
vegetables
ugali (Kenyan staple food)
corn flakes
pasta
brown rice
brown sugar
wheetabix
macaroni
spaghetti
chapati (Indian bread made of wheat)
naan (Indian bread. Make sure it is made of wheat and not rice flour)
There are others as well. Take note that Fruits, vegetables, brown bread and rice form most part of our food.
Rajasic Food
Rajasic Food distracts the mind, excites passion and one gets disturbed by emotions. this causes restlessness of the mind. The mind will think about one thing and then quickly switch to another causing one to lose focus. In short, the mind is caused to have a cravings. The mind, thus, thinks about many things.
fish
meat 
liquor
egg
pungent codiments
sweets
onion
garlic 
lemon
tea
coffee
betel nut
black gram
clove
brinjal
fried bread
fried rice with chilli
food with curry
salty food
mustard
pungent pickles
ladies’ finger
Tamasic Food
Stale
dry 
without juice
putrid articles
cocaine
opium
ganga
unripe fruits
wine
garlic
onion
overripe fruits
liquor

The more complete food
Milk is the best food for yogis but it may not suit everyone. If one finds that one form of diet is not suitable, it would be advisable to change the diet and try some other Sattwic articles of food as this is a common sense approach.
Milk should be boiled as soon as the boiling point is reached. Too much boiling destroys the nutrition and makes the milk quite useless.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Enthusiasm – How To Increase it?

By Rameshon
(Masters In Education, UWA, 2005-2008)
(Bsc (Hons) PE and Sports Science, Loughborough University, 1992-1994)
In the past, I used to do several talks. The biggest project on running that I have ever done was the EKIN Project. I was doing for NIKE, who were formerly my sponsors. They were my first full fledged financial (cash) and non financial sponsor (in kind) for running and I was given a number of talks in the past. I have given talks just before Stanchart Marathons, a few years ago.  
Picture 2 – Food forms as one of the four sources of energy, choosing correct food is important for increasing one’s energy level, thereby increasing one’s enthusiasm.
In one of the talk, with a group of nurses, my topic was on running. I did this in year 2008. Of the questions raised, one of the male nurses asked me a very important question on running. He asked, “What goes into your mind when you run, what really motivates you to run.”
I asked him, “Why are you asking me this as you can ask me about how I train etc and so on”. He told me, “It is willpower to run. For us, we want to run, but we are lazy. I am wondering what thoughts go through your mind to continue running.” At that time, I was purely puzzled and I told that I am very motivated to run and it is very easy to run. I told him,” I feel like running, so I run and I do not feel bored to run.” For me, even now, I feel that the best answer is to see and hear a real life examplary. It can be elite runners etc. I told him, “If you read the autobiography of great runners you will be very motivated.” That was how I did it. 
Looking back, as time passes, I can see that sometimes we feel lazy. Even if we have goals, there is a possibility, as we may relent to indiscipline and try to laze around by meeting up friends or go for coffee or watch the television, instead of running and getting the stress of life out of us. Personally, to me, there is more to this when we talk about motivation and enthusiasm. 
Picture 3- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a good example of how to be enthusiastic throughout life.
Only after meeting Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of Art of Living, I realised that there is a thing called fatigue. There is also this thing called the four sources of energy. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told that we get energy from food (which has water as well), breathing, sleep and from inspiration (which includes meditation, positive words etc). All these four can increase one’s energy, and that energy is connected to enthusiasm.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “Enthusiasm is like the tip of the fire, it is always up, not down.” He also said that when one is joyful, one is able to counter tiredness and fatigue. 
I shall discuss on these four sources of energy in detail on another blog post, in order not to bore people reading who are reading on. In this section, I shall summarise on the benefits of breathing technique, which is the most important source of energy. 
Only in 1995, I realised that I was feeling burnout from running and nothing could help or save me. People encouraged and motivated me to continue training. They also told me to train with them as a group. To this I did not budge as I just did not feel like running. 
Then, I chanced upon a book on sports which told about breathing technique. Straightaway, I took a flight to India, Bangalore, Kanakapura Road, to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ashram. I did a basic breathing technique course and learned about Sudarshan Kriya. Immediately, after that, I did an advance course. After completion, in order to refresh myself, I did the advance course again, twice. My energy was up. I could feel it. I felt recharged instead of having this run down feeling. 
When I came back from the Ashram from India, I kept practising the Sudarshan Kriya, again and again, till I took part in Chiangmai 1995 SEA Games Marathon. I did 2hr 24min 22sec and broke the men’s open national record for marathon, while Yvonne Danson did 2hr 34min to break the women’s national record. Both of us were the only two from the track and field events to qualify for Olympics from the SEA Games performance. 
The training times before the SEA Games were all improving consistently all because of the positive things I have learnt from the Ashram plus the breathing technique as it is known that proper breathing technique normalises the emotion and enables one to perform well in sports and one can in fact perform better at peak performance. As such, I feel that breathing correctly and doing deep breathing technique do bring about increase in energy level of a person, which in a way increases enthusiasm also. My burnout feeling vanished after coming back from India to train for the SEA Games in 1995 and I did very well. I was overjoyed and I did not know how to express myself. I was on top of the world.
About the other three sources of energy, food, sleep, inspiration, I will discuss in my next blog post. Just take note that if a fish comes out of water, it cannot live without water. Likewise, in water, we cannot live without air, even for few minutes. That shows how important breathing compared to other sources energy is and it is good to attend to the breath to be centred to oneself and increase one’s enthusiasm. 
Edited By Tan Mariviv!