Training

How does a woman complete a marathon safely during the pandemic?

by On Jun 7, 2020

The stronger version comes within you in any situation.

Floral Women Online Race: Strong is the new beauty

As more countries around the world get the COVID-19 pandemic under control, people are slowly intensifying their exercise training. Although marathon races may not resume immediately, running a marathon on your own can be interesting too.

To celebrate women in running, Spacebib has launched the first woman-focused online race—Floral Women Online Race this year with a 10km, half marathon and full marathon distance. You can choose to complete the distance in multiple runs, anywhere, anytime during the race period.

We are pleased to speak to a few talented female runners who will be joining the Floral Women Online Race. They will also be sharing their tips and advice on how to start and finish strong in running a marathon.

Let’s meet them.

1. Nurul Fadzlin Amirah Bt Mohamad Fauzi

Bio: Malaysia, 28-years-old, Aircraft Maintenance Technician

Fadzlin has been doing sports socially since school and currently keeps up with running as her main sport. She has been into marathon running since 2011.

An endurance junkie, who loves to travel and is keen to try something new, she is also working full-time in the private sector and is a part-time baker that bakes homemade cakes for OLLA BAKES.

Floral Women Online Race: Strong is the new beauty
Runner: Nurul Fadzlin Amirah Bt Mohamad Fauzi

RS: Why do you want to run a marathon?

Fadzlin: For me, time and dedication towards running a marathon have not been a waste, no matter what happens. This sport has made me happy beyond measure every time I hit my goals. Running a marathon is one of the best platforms for self-reflection.

RS: How do you train for a marathon?

Fadzlin: Climb the ladder of standard road race distance slowly instead of going straight from zero to 42km. Keep a training log, run three to four days a week while alternating a hard training day with an easy day. Don’t forget to always take at least one to two days completely off running per week. Take care of your body by stretching, rolling out and making sure that you feel good.

RS: How can you inspire others to get started on running, and why do you think it’s important?

Fadzlin: Social accountability is one of the most effective motivators there is. Try to mingle with the people who run, as it will make your runs far easier and encourage you to stick with it. Plan your life around your run and form a new habit out of it.

RS: What advice would you give to newcomer female runners when they first started running?

Fadzlin: Most females are quite afraid of trying something new, especially things regarding sports. Hey Ladies, don’t be afraid! Be brave to challenge yourself. Say to yourself, ‘I am strong, capable of doing hard things well, worthy and unconditionally!’

It is okay to feel like you didn’t do a good job, so long as you can acknowledge it and start again. One step at a time, slowly but surely. You can always do better. How beautiful.

Floral Women Online Race: Strong is the new beauty
Runner: Nurul Fadzlin Amirah Bt Mohamad Fauzi

Running a marathon is one of the best platforms for self-reflection.

RS: Why do you think it’s important for women to lead a healthy lifestyle with running?

Fadzlin: It is extremely important to implement a healthy diet and do adequate exercises in your daily life as it helps to improve your self-esteem and self-image. A positive attitude can boost your energy, heighten your inner strength and reduce the possibility of developing any health problems.

RS: If you were to choose a flower to represent you, what will it be? Why?

Fadzlin: Rose. For me, a rose has always been a timeless symbol of beauty and balance. Sweet, soft yet stern outside with its thorny stem, and it also resembles my mother’s name, Rosie.

RS: What character trait do you think is the most important for a woman?

Fadzlin: A strong woman is someone that is very self-aware of herself. She knows who she is, what she wants, and where she needs to work on herself. Best to say, ‘she knows her worth.’

RS: How do you get through when you are at your lowest point of life?

Fadzlin: I’m a human, I get shaken, unsure, tired too. The most basic thing that I will do when I am at the lowest point is to spend more time with my family. Listening to wise words and comforting consolations from family members really helps a lot to lift up my mood.

You can follow Fadzlin on Instagram: @nfadzlinmf

2. Cai Abbass

Bio: Filipino, 32-years-old, Head Coach & Founder at Crazy Strong

Last year, Cai quit the corporate world to focus on building her brand, Crazy Strong. She has more than 12 years of IT experience, and that life hasn’t brought her fulfilment and purpose. So, she took a very brave leap and focused on being an elite spartan athlete and becoming a full-time coach.

Floral Women Online Race: Strong is the new beauty
Runner: Cai Abbass

RS: Why do you want to run a marathon?

Cai: I’ve never run a full road marathon yet, but I’ve already done a 50km ultra in obstacle racing (Spartan Race) and placed 5th in the elite women. I want to see how my performance will be in a road race with just pure running and no obstacles. I want to test my physical and mental toughness.

RS: How do you train for a marathon?

Cai: I make sure I have at least 16 weeks to prepare if I haven’t been running 20km-30km consistently before a race. I have 2 sessions of strength training, 1 long run (LSD),  and 2-3 strength runs (which includes hill repeats and tempo). Some days, I will split the training sessions into morning and evening runs to maintain the quality of my runs.

RS: How can you inspire others to get started on running, and why do you think it's important?

Cai: Running is for everyone. Get yourself a nice pair of running shoes and take it one run at a time. Don’t overthink it. I ran my first 5km fun run in 2009 on a whim. I did not have any running background at the time, and I just did it because a colleague invited me, and I was up for a challenge.

It left me super sore the following morning, and I couldn’t move for the next two days. Yet, it was an amazing experience. I would have never thought I’d be running 50Km 10 years later.

RS: What advice would you give to newcomer female runners when they first started running?

Cai: Always go for an easy run— how you feel about a run is more important than the numbers in your GPS watch. Eventually, the numbers will improve. And the way you feel about any run you do should feel amazing to you.

Floral Women Online Race: Strong is the new beauty
Runner: Cai Abbass

Women have this wonderful inner strength that make them show up in difficult situations with grace.

RS: Why do you think it’s important for women lead to a healthy lifestyle with running?

Cai: Women thrive in communities. That’s how we are programmed. Creating communities and events specifically designed for women allows women to thrive, to be supportive of each other, to make better choices, to take ownership, to show up.

RS: If you were to choose a flower to represent you, what will it be? Why?

Cai: A black tulip— it represents power and strength. Very delicate, yet it brings life and power and beauty.

RS: What character trait do you think is the most important for a woman?

Cai: Women have this wonderful inner strength within them that make them show up in difficult situations with grace.

RS: How do you get through when you are at your lowest point of life?

Cai: I tell myself that this too shall pass. Every situation has a way out. And the only way is through. At this point, we have all survived the bad days in our life. Isn’t that amazing?

You can follow Cai on Instagram: @caiabbass

3. Syazana Alia Binti Sabrudin

Bio: Malaysia, 34-years-old, Doctor

The eldest among three sisters and grew up in Shah Alam. Syazana did her medical degree in Indonesia under a MARA scholarship for five years and started running in university to release the stress of studying medicine. She worked in Klang General Hospital for two years, Klinik Kesihatan Kuala Berang for one and a half years and Klinik Kesihatan Seksyen 19 till the present.

She is passionate about primary healthcare, which focuses on lifestyle modification (healthy and active lifestyle) to prevent chronic diseases. She started exercising regularly in September 2018 after joining CrossFit aka functional fitness and developed improvement in her fitness level as a result of her consistency in training.

She started running competitively just recently in 2019 and won a few places on the podium. She is part of the Shah Alam Running Club, a pacer from ASICS Running Club and CrossFit Pahlawan member. She was diagnosed with adrenal cancer and had a major operation on 14th January 2020 but ran a half marathon five weeks after her operation. She has a certification in Exercise Medicine and plans to pursue her career in Sports Medical Rehabilitation. Her current goal is to run a full marathon in less than four hours in 2021. 

Floral Women Online Race: Strong is the new beauty
Runner: Syazana Alia Binti Sabrudin

RS: Why do you want to run a marathon?

Syazana: I run marathons to improve my physical and mental health. A lot of studies have shown that running regularly will prevent you from getting chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke and obesity.

It also induces the "happy" hormone called endorphins to help us to release stress, improves our mood and focus. It also encourages the community to develop healthy activity while building a strong and good relationship by running together.

RS: How do you train for a marathon?

Syazana: I do speed training 2-3 times a week and a long run on the weekends. I also do strengthening and conditioning exercises 3-4 times a week.

I have 1 rest day per week and make sure I have enough quality sleep. I also make sure I consume enough protein, carbohydrate and other micronutrients to help me to fuel up and recover to train continuously. 

RS: How can you inspire others to get started on running, and why do you think it's important?

Syazana: I started by watching a lot of inspirational videos and read inspirational stories. At some point in life, we will feel that we want to progress and do something to change, but there are so many challenges; life commitments, such as family, career, hence we have very limited time.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of successful people out there who could still manage to have a work-life balance while indulging in the running sport. If they could do it with the same if not bigger limitations, and they are so successful and happy with their life, then we could do it too.

It's never too late to start running for your health; don't wait until you get too sick to run. Health is the real wealth. 

RS: What advice would you give to newcomer female runners when they first started running?

Syazana: Being a female runner facing challenges like managing a family for those who're married and dealing with our hormones that could affect us physically and mentally could be quite demanding. Nevertheless, we need to take care of ourselves so that we can take of others and not become a liability if we get sick in the future due to our inactive lifestyle.

I've seen a lot of patients who could have done something with their lifestyle to prevent them from getting diseases and not burdening their family and close friends. We are not running to improve our health just for ourselves but also for our loved ones. 

Floral Women Online Race: Strong is the new beauty
Runner: Syazana Alia Binti Sabrudin

Passionate, driven, ambitious, disciplined and composed is who we are.

RS: Why do you think it’s important for women to lead a healthy lifestyle with running?

Syazana: We represent a character that could perform a multitask role: a daughter, a mother, a friend. Despite our unique challenges as women, we could still live an active lifestyle to maintain our health and encourage other women to run and stay healthy together to build a strong women's community. 

RS: If you were to choose a flower to represent you, what will it be? Why?

Syazana: Hibiscus, as it is the national flower of Malaysia and I am proud to be a Malaysian.

RS: What character trait do you think is the most important for a woman?

Syazana: Passionate, driven, ambitious, disciplined and composed.

RS: How do you get through when you are at your lowest point of life?

Syazana: I reach out to my supportive group of friends and family. I am blessed to have a positive and helpful circle of friends and family. Despite my life challenges I stand by my life quote; I am stronger than my excuses.

You can follow Syazana on Instagram: @syazana_alia 

4. Patrice Anne Quiday

Bio: Filipino, 25-years-old, Customer Service Executive

Started running in 2013. Patrice thought of running as a way to lose weight, but after some time, she fell in love with it. It helped to improve her mental and physical health and eventually became her detox and outlet. She is a competitive person, and now she takes running as a serious sport.

Like any other runner, she trains hard for every race, investing much time and effort in it. Running is the best part of her. When she found running, she also found strength in herself.

Floral Women Online Race: Strong is the new beauty
Runner: Patrice Anne Quida

RS: Why do you want to run a marathon?

Patrice: Running a marathon may be an extremely physically exhausting sport, but it’s truly fulfilling and elating. It tests your spirit, grit and determination to achieve a goal. 

RS: How do you train for a marathon? / What is your training plan like?

Patrice: I typically run 5-6 days a week for 12-16 weeks with varying work and intensities. I do a structured training program which helps me attain my goal time.  

RS: How can you inspire others to get started on running, and why do you think it is important?

Patrice: Running is more than just a sport. Other people think running is just another way to burn calories when, in fact, it can help you build confidence and improve self-esteem.

If given the chance, I will share with others how running made me become the best version of myself, and I hope it would inspire them to do the same. 

RS: What advice would you give to newcomer female runners when they first started running? 

Patrice: As cliché as this sounds, start off slow and steady. The run-walk method is the most effective for starters. This will help you gradually build up your aerobic endurance. Many will fall into the trap of going too soon too fast, which eventually leads to injuries. I would also like to highlight how important recovery is. Basically, my point is to never rush and just trust the process. 

Running is truly fulfilling and elating. It tests your spirit, grit and determination to achieve a goal. 

Floral Women Online Race: Strong is the new beauty
Runner: Patrice Anne Quida

Running truly is fulfilling and elating. It tests your spirit and grit and determination to achieve a goal. 

RS: Why do you think it’s important for women to lead a healthy lifestyle with running?

Patrice: For women, taking care of our bodies is the most important thing. When we live a healthy lifestyle, we are happier, and from there, we learn to improve our self-esteem. Taking care of our bodies will also help improve self-confidence and will allow us to live the life we want.  

RS: If you were to choose a flower to represent you, what will it be? Why?

Patrice: Tulip can represent my personality. Tulip represents love and confidence. I am a loving person, I can love other people without asking for anything in return. At the same time, I am also a confident person, I always believe in myself, and whenever I fail at doing something, I am not afraid to try again. 

RS: What character trait do you think is the most important for a woman?

Patrice: Women can acquire many admirable qualities, but the most important one for me is inner strength. We go through the toughest of things, and we emerge from them even stronger and better than we ever could be.  

RS: How do you get through when you are at your lowest point of life?

Patrice: Tough times make us stronger. When things go wrong, I stay tough and positive and believe that I can overcome it. I look at it as an opportunity to learn and to grow. 

You can follow Patrice on Instagram: @patricequiday

What are you waiting for? Call out your female friends to join this Floral Women Online Race together with these talented ladies.

In these stressful and uncertain times, getting updated with accurate and useful information has never been so critical. No matter how unsettled the future feels, RunSociety will remain with you, delivering high quality news for free so we can all make critical decisions about our lives and health. Together we can overcome.

What we can do to help the situation is to keep our body and immune system in peak condition. If you are allowed or able to run outdoors, please do so cautiously but not panicky. Join our free online race to motivate you and pay tribute to our frontline heroes.

Samantha is an editor at RunSociety. A digital expert with a focus on the research and development of thought provoking and resourceful content, Samantha love Yoga and incorporate running in her weekly workout whenever she can.

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