Thank you, Ali Momin, for asking me to participate in your weekly feature. Firstly, I would like to thank you for starting SJ Men’s Running Club. It was overdue in our community and it is clear to see there is lots of interest and participants.
- How did you get into running?
I started running back in 2016, and since then have completed 2 Marathons (3rd one cancelled due to Covid 19) Lost count of the number of half marathons. 10miles and 10km are just standard weekly runs. Each distance is a milestone and there is nothing like the feeling of achieving a distance for the first time.
The story of how I got into running is similar to many others. I needed a lifestyle change. I love good food and with that my weight was not staying in check. My wife Sakina helped me initially by walking with me. Little did I know she had more planned. She coached me through the couch to 5km programme. I still remember when we went and ran 5km non-stop for the first time. I was so proud of myself.
- What do you enjoy about running?
There are a few things I really enjoy about running. First, its being outside. I get bored in the gym after a while and that’s when laziness creeps in. With running outdoors, you are with the elements, cold, hot, sunny and rainy. Sometimes you can experience it all in the same run. This makes me feel fresh, calm and gives me time with my thoughts and stress. Each run will always feel different. It may be the same route, but some days its tougher than other days.
Another major part I enjoy about running is the social side to it. More often that not, I run with running buddies who have become really good friends of mine. Its always nice to stop afterwards for a coffee and bit of cake. We do have one motto though. What gets said on a run stays on run.
- What is your proudest running moment?
I would like to say there are many, but to shrink it down to 2 would be my first half marathon and full marathon. Remembering the pain towards the last miles and wanting to just stop right there. Then the inner self saying you’ve got this far, no way I’m stopping now. I ‘ve got to finish this. Finally, the euphoria when hitting the finish straight and that burst of energy to get you over the line. I would say I was high on that for a week after.
- Your running tips
I would say keep it simple. Nothing will happen overnight. Build up time and miles slowly. Only compete with yourself and challenge yourself. I always see runners faster than me. I don’t let it put me off and you shouldn’t either. Listen to your body and definitely get running shoes that suit your running style.
- Advice for aspiring runners
To people that want to get into running but are on the fence, just give it a go. Run a bit then walk a bit then run again. That’s how we all started. Do it with friends or run solo, just give it a go. I would say it’s the perfect time to join SJ Running. This will give you the perfect platform to get moving. Most of ‘it’s not for me’ or ‘it’s too hard’ that’s all mind games, once your outside you’re half-way there. Run, Walk or Jog you will cover the same distance.
by Ariff Sidik