Friday, January 27, 2012

George Jacobs - On Why it is ok to be a vegetarian.

George Jacobs has written on why being a vegetarian is a healthy choice after all. I believe that vegetarians are not deprived of any form of deficiency that will make them unhealthy. 

Having said that I feel that vegetarian should eat a balanced diet and they will feel great. In Today's paper, George gave some salient points on how it is ok to be a vegetarian. As for me, being vegetarian has helped me in doing well in running and to the best out of me. Now, let us hear from George himself.

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 25, 2012, Page 13. 
By George Jacobs - President of Vegetarian Society.

I refer to the letter “Being vegetarian might not be the healthiest choice’ (Jan 10). The American Dietetic Association took a position in 2009 that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequately and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases”.

It said: “Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life-cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence and for athletes.” 

Our Health Promotion Board states that “a well-balanced and healthy vegetarian diet” is associated with a lower blood cholesterol levels and reduced risk of death from heart disease. 

One of the oldest persons in Singapore was Ms Teresa Hsu, a lifelong vegetarian, who died last year at the age of 113. 

Singapore’s record holder in the marathon, Mr M Rameshon, is a vegetarian. Another Singapore vegetarian, Mr Ang Hwee, has won medals in weight-lifting competitions overseas. One of our top blood donors, Mr Goh Joo Heng, who has donated whole blood or platelets more ahtn 100 times, is a vegetarian. Protein is probably people’s biggest concern when they begin to substitute animal food for plant food. However, many plant foods, including beans, other legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains, contain large quantities of protein.

Among plant foods, with iron are green leafy vegetables, lentils, legumes and dried fruit. There is calcium in soy products (including tempeh, tofu and soy milk), foods fortified with calcium, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, sesame seeds and almonds. Vegetarians obtain Omega 3 from flax seeds and walnuts.

Millions of people in India have been vegetarians for generations. How can that be if we need to eat fish?

Vegetarians can take vegetarian B12 supplements, which are available at reasonable cost, and some foods are fortified with B12. 

Health is complicated. Each person is different, and the same person differs at different times in their life, Consultation with a health professional is essential. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Exercise Works Out To Higher Pay :Study.

I always believe that exercise always help one to do well in studies, work and sports. Tudor Bomba, The Father of Periodisation in Sports says that people with stamina training can recover much faster than those who don't, after a bout of intense training which has taken place a day before. 

I also believe that VO2 max or maximum oxygen uptake will sure rise or double up with exercise as compared to the same person not doing exercise. 

People's mental function will be good and moreover one will be able to achieve many things with a fit and healthy body. This all comes from exercise. People who say 'no time, no time' are going to regret over time in not getting the advantages of exercise. Certain cancers, heart problems plus high blood pressure will be prevented. Various studies have documented this.

With evidence from the The Straits Times, Thursday, January 19 2012, we can see that it is true that exercise do help one in work. I have posted the news in this blog below. 

Picture 1 - Exercise 3 days per week will lead to higher pay : Study

London: Exercising not only trims the waistline but can bump up your pay packet too, scientists, said. 

Workers who go for a jog, swim or lift weights in the gym three times a week could increase their income by up to 9 per cent, a study has found. Even lighter forms of exercise such as regular walking can help boost salaries the Daily Mail reported. 

Bosses may regard employees who commit to regular activity as being more determined and dedicated personalities. Active and healthy staff members are also more likely to work harder because of the psychological and physical benefits of keeping fit. 

The study looked at two questionanaires in the United States involving more than 12,000 people, which outlined details about salaries and the amount of exercise participants engaged in. 

The results showed that people who exercised three times a week could expect a salary between 6 per cent higher than those who do not, the Daily Mail reported. Those who exercised between one and three times a month enjoyed wages that were 5 per cent higher. 

"In addition to the positive impact on heart health, weight and other medical issues, studies show that exercise leads to improved mental function, psychological condition and higher energy levels. 

"All three of these traits can translate into higher earnings," said the report's author, Dr Vasilios Kosteas from Cleveland State University in Ohio.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Flexifitness Wishes All A Happy Lunar New Year of the Dragon

The top four stories of the blog

From the statistics the top of the list for the most popular post was on 'Man Dies in Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon'. I believe that it is important to take care of ourselves when we compete in any race. There is a fine line to compete and to go beyond our capacity. If we feel disoriented when we run a race, at any point, it is important to stop during the race. 

Second position of most popular read article goes to 'How to improve Standing Broad Jump'. I think that basically people from all walks of life would like to improve in this item, especially between the age of 6 and 40 years. After 40, I would suggest one not to try Standing Broad Jump as one might injure ones menicus or tear a ligament. After 40, one goes through a geriatric stage where one's body is going through deterioration. One can retard aging process through exercise but jumping and hopping activity should be done with caution. 

The third most read article is on Ashley Liew's frustration as an aspiring runner. We just hope that one will run races where the distance marker is placed properly. Till now, races like Great Eastern in Singapore has been organised properly. Race organisers should treat this with carefully or an athlete is just wasting ones money through running a not measured race and run for fun instead of progressing oneself in running performance. A runner cannot pace set oneself because of this. 

The fourth most popular article was on 'How to train from scratch'. This shows that people are interested in marathon. At first this article was not top ten of the chart. Over a period, it landed in top 10 and now has attained fourth position. 

I would wish all Chinese readers a Happy and prosperous Lunar New Year of the Dragon. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

SAA Cross-Country 2012 :MR 25 Wins Men Open Team Championships

 Distance of Race

Boys and Men - 5km    
Girls and Lady Open - 4.3km.

Donald Ng, a veteran runner who is 52 years of age came in 1st in masters under 40 for men completing the 5km run in a time of 20min 22sec. Machael Craig came in second with a time of 20min 26sec. Harold Oh was third with a time of 20min 30sec.  JJ Shepard did a time of 19min 18sec and came in first in the race for Masters Open for women.

The first race started around 8am, it was for girls junior. At 9 10am, the boys junior race started. I was there with Ashley at the start. While the race was about to start, the junior boys have already run around the loop course in Bedok. The senior race was about to start and they were waiting for the junior boys to return. The race for men senior started such that there was confusion. The running crowd shouted to the officials that the a junior boy was just about 50 metres away. The race starter told the runners to go aside but then sound off the start of the race as well in a way that the running group complained the indecisive decision taken by SAA. We found that some runners sped at the start having a very advantageous start while others waited at the start and were still groping with the fact whether the race has started or not. Because of this I think the race could be fairer with all start together.

Ashley told me that the runners just took the chance and sped off. I believe that the race officials should make up their mind so that the race becomes a fair start. The race was run on a hot 9 : 35am time. 

In the race, MR 25 came in as the champions for men open team. Last year's individual men open winner the fastest time for year 2011, Jason Lawrence did 16min 53sec and came in 3rd, a second ahead of Ashley Liew and seven seconds ahead of Birjung Budha, Gurkha Police team runner. That means, four Singaporeans were top 4 runners ahead of the Police Gurkha runners. Soh Rui Yong was 1st with a time of 16min 11sec KarthicRagupathy coming in second. At the last 700m, Karthic was quite distant away from Jason and Ashley. Both runners caught up with him but were not able to overtake. The way Ashley and Jason ran, I believe that they are not used to the terrain. Ashley was very happy as the time for the day to be achieved was sub-17min and he did 16min 54sec, faster than 22sec from last year's race. 

Picture 1 - My advice to Ashley is to do a sub - 17min, that's all and the target was met.  He improved his personal best time by about 22sec. The race was a good preparation before Gold Coast Marathon 2012

The men open team was won by MR 25 with 22 points. Police came in second with 25 points and Raffles came in 3rd with 32points. 

In Under 20, Bryan Yong from RJC came in 1st with Jared Hui from CJC coming in 2nd. 3rd position went to Shawn Lim, from ACS (I). Chin  Joo Ern, from Hwa Chong came in 4th while Aldrich from CJC came in 5th position. Raffles came in 1st with 24 points while second and third went to Hwa Chong and ACS(I). ACS (I), however, was able to match up to Hwa Chong with similar points of 28points.

Heng Yu Jie from Catholic High came in as the champion for the under 18 with distance 5km for boys. Leroi Lee from Nanhua High School came in second with a time of 17min 50sec.

Tan Chong Qi from Raffles came in first in under 15 for boys with a time of 19min 10sec. Chester Lee from Catholic High was second with a time of 19min 32sec  Keith Yong from Sports School was third with a time of 19min 36sec.Hwa Chong Dylan Tan was fourth. 

In Women Open Renuka was first with a time of 16min 22sec. Women Open team event was won by MR 25 Club. Belle Tan of ACJC came in first with a time of 17min 18sec. Second to fifth position was dominated by Hwa Chong Instutition. Nena Fritz, from MR 25, an individual runner, came in first in under 18 for girls race. For the under 15 girls Valarai Lai from RV came in firs.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lin Run'er - Hoping to do a sub-3hr 33min at Gold Coast Marathon 2012

 Lin Run 'er - Gold Coast Marathon 2012 is where Run'er is setting her sights on.

I met Lin Run'er when I was teaching at Hwa Chong Institution (College), a few years back, around 2006. Later on, both of us left Hwa Chong. Apparently, Lin Run'er went to RJC to teach. 

I have written about Run'er in the past. Recently, Run'er is one of those who has done well in the Standard Chartered Marathon 2011. She is hoping to do a sub-3hr 33min for the coming Gold Coast Marathon 2012. 

Recently, I have seen her running and sometimes doing interval sessions at the CCAB track. I decided to give her an interview so that others are motivated by her in terms of trying to achieve a personal best time. She is really working hard to achieve a good time for the marathon. 

An Interview With Lin Run 'er

Picture 1 - On the extreme right of the photo is Lin Run'er

How was your preparation for this race?
I ran almost everyday, with 6 sessions of 30-35k long runs before the marathon. My training was not really structured, I just ran as I felt like it, and I ended up doing easy runs 90% of the time. For my next race, I'm intending to do more tempo runs during training.

How do you find the marathon route this year?

The route is exactly the same as last year so I kinda knew what to expect, but what I didn't expect was the massive overcrowding in the last few kms where runners of all categories merged. Also, there was a stretch at ECP which was pitch black, I had to tread gingerly for fear of stepping and tripping on something. Later on, I heard from my friend that one of the gel stations was stationed along that ECP stretch and that perhaps is why we didn't see it. The route was okay, in fact I loved running down orchard road under the christmas lightings, but I felt that organisation could be improved to ensure a smoother run for the masses like us. The congestion problem has been around since 2008 and it has continued since then despite feedback every year. I remember running the marathon in 2007 and there wasn't such a problem because the route back to padang for different categories was different.

What was your target for this year?

I wanted to do much better than last year (3:37) but didn't have a specific target. I felt that I was in shape to run at least 3:30.

Are you happy with your time?

I enjoyed the run a lot, probably because I increased my mileage this year so I didn't have to struggle at all. But I'm not really satisfied with my time (3:33:52), will aim to do better next time.

Are you happy with your position?

Yes, I'm very happy! I never aim for specific positions because I know I'm not 'elite' enough to run tactical races, so getting prizes is always a huge bonus for me. My mum was also very happy and she's gone around telling our relatives about it.

How was the weather?

I felt the weather was great by Singapore standards, cloudy and not too hot.

How was the crowd support?

The crowd support was excellent in the final 500metres, but before that, there were very few supporters along the route.

How was the distance markers, did it help you in your race?

I didn't see many of the distance markers in the first half, maybe because it was too dark in the morning, though I distinctly remember seeing distance markers for every km last year. I looked through the route and I roughly remembered the landmarks so I didn't really rely on the markers.

What is your next goal?

For now, I hope to acquire some speed for shorter distances, something I'm sorely lacking. And I'm planning to go for Gold Coast Marathon in July.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Samir Bhandari - 10kg Weight loss and Personal Best in Mumbai Marathon.

Samir Bandari - 10kg Weight Loss and 12 min Personal Best in Half Marathon in Mumbai.

Picture 1 - Samir,  our Flexifitness member , looking  more trim and slim as compared to the past, finishing the race strongly in Mumbai. 

Samir Bhandari, after running the half – marathon of Singapore Standard Chartered marathon quickly made a quick decision to run in the Mumbai Marathon 2012. 

His quick decision paid off as he did a 12 min improvement from the previous best time of 2hr 23min done in Singapore. 

He lamented earlier that while running in Singapore, he faced obstacles like drink points. He found that after running at some points there was a merger of 10km runners and the half – marathon runners. He told that about 3-4mins were off because of this problem.  Some hills during the run in Singapore made his last portion of the race to be affected.  There were also distance markers that he was not able to see properly that had affected the race in Singapore. That made his pacing to be affected to a great extent. 

Now, he feels a happy man after attaining this time. He was actually aiming for a 2hr 05min to 2hr 15min, after doing 55min in a 10km race 2 weeks ago in India. Not only he was able to bring his weight down from 84kg to 74kg, from Aug 9 to 4 Dec 2011, but also he feels a happier man with an improved time of 2hr 11min. It seems a double victory for him to achieve weight management feat and an improved running time feat.

Read Samir's 10kg Weight Loss Story

Mumbai Marathon 2012 -Yadav and Lalita Babbar win Men open and Women Open

 Mumbai Marathon - How the Indians fair?

It was a happy news for India as Ram Singh Yadav, the course record holder for Indians,  did 2hr 16min 59sec, fulfilling his dream of bettering his Olympics qualification timing of 2hr 18min for the London Games. Yadav did 2:18:03 in 2009. I wish Yadav all the best for the Olympics. He missed Beijing Olympics but now his dream has come true.

This reminds me of doing 2hr 24min 22sec in Chiengmai SEA Games 1995. It was very good to hear from Kerry Hill, the then Technical Director of Singapore Athletics Association, that I had qualified as the qualifying time for Olympics was at 2hr 25min, to be run at Atlanta. It was then that I realised that what I had set foot for was finally realised, although I was not selected for Olympics as SEA Games result was an important factor in being selected for the Olympics. I hope that there will be another qualifier in Olympics from Singapore in future.

Coming back to the India scene, Yadav was followed during the marathon by Elam Singh by 27 seconds (2:18:27), who narrowly missed qualification, and T A Rajesh came in third in 2:24:25..

In the Indian women's category, Lalita Babbar, who had switched to full marathon, finished first, completing the race in 2:53:35. Kiran Tiwari (2:53:56) and Preethi Rao (3:01:34) were placed second and third, respectively.

Ram Singh and Lalita won USD 7,500 each for their efforts.
Soji Matthew (1:05:29) and Priyanka Singh Patel (1:21:55) clinched the half-marathon titles in the male and female categories.

Ashish Singh (1:05:31) and Man Singh (1:06:27) were second and third in the men's category, while Vijaya Mala Patil (1:22:25) and Supriya Patil were the runners up in the women's category.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mumbai Marathon 2012 latest : Kenya's Laban wins men's title

Mumbai:  The prestigious StanChart Mumbai marathon concluded with Laban Moiben of Kenya finishing the race in a time of 2:10:48., winning the men's title and Netsanet Abeyo of Ethiopia clinching the women's crown. Fatuma Sado (2:30:20) and Makda Harun (2:30:47), followed Abeyo (2;26:12) to complete an all-Ethiopian sweep in the women's category.

India's Ram Singh Yadav attained the 'B' qualifying standard for the London Olympics at the Marathon.

The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2012 kicked off earlier today with around 38,000 people participating.

The event, which was held in phases, saw the amateurs take off at the starting blocks ahead of the serious competitors.

Many of the participants were running to raise funds for various causes.

Despite the absence of defending champions Girma Assefa and Koren Yal, both Ethiopians, the IAAF Gold Label status event, which is offering an enhanced prize money of US $3,40,000, attracted several top athletes like ex-world champion Luke Kibet (Kenya), Ethiopia's Siraj Gena and Kenya's Laban Moiben.

The also saw its glamour quotient with Bollywood actor John Abraham and former tennis player Vijay Amritraj as the two ambassadors for the Mumbai Marathon, the organisers said.

Samir, a bank manager, working in Singapore, who ran the half - marathon of Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon 2011 in 2hr 23min did 2hr 11min for the Mumbai Half-marathon challenge. He improved the time from 12mins. It was his personal best time.


Friday, January 13, 2012

DSTA official dies after a run.

 Report by Melissa Aw

 From Yahoo News

A Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) official collapsed after a run and died in his home on Wednesday night, reported The Straits Times.

Ng Tiong Lee, 47, a deputy director at DSTA, collapsed at his Sin Ming Walk condominium after his run, the same paper said.

He is remembered by his ex-colleague, Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Tan Chuan Jin on his Facebook page.

“I just got back home and my heart is very heavy… my old colleague has just passed away,” said Tan on his Facebook.

Comments from the public expressing their condolences have been pouring in on Tan’s page in response to his post.

Police said they received a call for help from Ng’s wife at 8:55pm on Wednesday night, reported ST. The paper added that at 9pm, Ng’s wife followed up with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) when Ng suffered a stroke.

SCDF arrived at the scene and diagnosed that Ng had suffered a heart attack, according to Asiaone. Ng was then rushed to Tan Tock Seng hospital where he passed away later in the night.

Ng leaves behind his 46-year-old wife, Tay Chay Wah and a son, Ng Yan Ming.

His death comes after an NSman fainted and died during his individual physical proficiency test (IPPT) at Kranji Camp on Tuesday morning.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dogs attacked jogger during a jog

 Dog - What to do when attacked?

My brother was bitten by a dog when he was nearby a car workshop area. The stray dog was not conditioned to meet people who are passing by.

I remember running in the England and a dog suddenly ran behind me and could have bitten and I escaped. 

I believe that all these can be solved if we train the dog properly or send the dogs for some form of external training. 

However, although, how much I do, I still meet stray dogs and one my friend told me to just act like I am picking up a stone. I don't know whether this works but I always keep away from the vicinity where dogs are running without being leased. 

 There is this report from Yahoo news on dog attack 5 days back and yesterday. I hope that this stops by the dogs being taken care of or to lease the dog. Let us read on how to avoid being attacked by stray dogs. 


A 35-year-old jogger became the latest victim of a dog attack at the new Punggol Waterway Park, five days after another jogger had been similarly attacked, according to The New Paper.

Bank executive Chow Cheok Kai told TNP he was attacked by a pack of nine stray dogs during one of his weekly jogs in the area on 19 December.

Despite trying to walk away from the pack, a few dogs bit him on the leg. He was later administered with a tetanus shot and given antibiotics, the paper reported.

Yahoo! Singapore has contacted the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) for comments but has yet to receive a reply. It is understood that AVA has been carrying out control operations in the park since September.

Meanwhile, president of Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) Ricky Yeo called for balance in tackling the issue of stray dogs. He said there should not be a knee jerk reaction and that the public should not go on a “witch hunt” based on recent reports of dog attacks.

He noted that some dogs are timid and usually shy away from the public. However, if public safety is compromised, dogs seemed threatening to residents should be removed, he added.

Yeo told Yahoo! Singapore that his group has been in talks with AVA over a framework to manage the stray dog population although nothing is concrete. But the authorities, he said, have been receptive to constructive feedback.

He also said that ASD has been working with stray feeders to help sterilize the dogs, which he said is a key long-term solution to tackle the problem. Yeo highlighted that as dogs grow in size, they form packs and develop more courage to approach the public.

The latest attack came five days after a female student suffered a similar fate. Alicia Tay, 20, said she was jogging on the evening of 14 December when a pack of strays hounded her, reported Channel NewsAsia. She managed to escape after her screams scared the dogs away, leaving her with a few scratches and bites.

Should members of the public encounter stray dogs, they are advised to remain calm, slow down and walk away in a different direction.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Summary of Singapore and World Running Events.

Flexifitness Website for Important Races 
We have already seen the Xiamen marathon 2012 course record being broken. Some of the races to be updated are in Flexifitness Website. I hope that this will help passionate runner to keep themselves updated in Singapore and the world over for those who want to run Singapore races, especially.

I realised that there are some important races for Singaporeans and around the world to consider or to be aware of. I have posted some

Figure 1- Mumbai Marathon 2012

MUMBAI: The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon to be held on Jan 15 in Mumbai, will be attracting top athletes from Kenya  and Ethiopia. Top among them will be Bernard Koskei of Kenya and Siraj Gena of Ethiopia.

But the fastest among them is William Kipsang who has a 2:05 to his name. Gena, though is in top form, having clocked 2:08 in Frankfurt in October. Race starts for marathoners at 5: 40am and 7:25am for Elite runners. Samir Bhandari who has lost 10kg for this race will be running in this race.

SAA Track and Field  Series
14th Saturday 2012

Please check SAA website for details.

SAA Cross-Country 
Please check SAA website for details.

Safari Zoo Run 2012 - 05/02/2012

Take note that Race Entry Pack will be held on 14 -15 Jan 2012 at Velocity@Novena Square. Participants are requested to bring their IC to speedy collection. Those who are not able to make are to bring a copy of ic for the person that they are collecting. We would suggest one to sign and endorse the signature before giving to those collecting on one's behalf. I am pondering whether to put Ashley in this run.

MR25 5km Time Trial - 05/02/2012

Hong Kong Marathon 2012 - 05/02/2012 Mok Ying Ren and Ang Chee Yong may be representing Singapore for this race, according to one SAA official. 

Figure 3 - Dubai Standard Chartered Marathon
27 January 2012