Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Q8 Foot Soldiers

(Special thanks goes to my anonymous friend in charge of picturising my ideas and bringing them to fruition, giving a whole new dimension to my writing)

Get your move on and Join the ranks.

We live in a health conscientious world, where people are counting calories and weighting ingredients to get the exact amount of calories/ energy out of their nutrition.

Truth be told, I do not believe in that; I do not check the Nutritional Information on food packets, I do not count calories. I try as much as possible to avoid excessive carbohydrates, such as rice, pasta, white bread etc. opting to substitute whole wheat bread, oatmeal and tuna whenever I can. I drink green tea for its perceived benefits, not out of want of its bland taste.

And also, I run. I Love Running. 9 years ago my uncle called me up early morning once and said, do you want to join me for a run around the park? At first I did for the sake of being with my uncle, but then, the rest as they say, is history. I had a new-found love in my life, ofcourse, I never calculated that the calories I burnt running were added back after going for breakfast with my uncle, but still, it was the beginning of a blossoming romance that has lasted to date.

Kuwait has a running warrior, the only person in Kuwait who can stake claim to that title, Yousef Al-Qanai of Aymstrong.com whom I had referenced previously in past posts. In the span of one race, he ran more miles than I have clocked since I started using Sports-Tracker (here) in January!


my longest run, done as training for the 21K run earlier this year

There is a link to how the application, available for android, apple and symbian phones, works. It is my key motivator now, to record my distance, top speed etc.

I live in Hawalli, and one day, it just came to me to get my shoes on and go running, and ever since that fateful day 4 years ago, I have been tweaking my route till I can accomplish an 18KM run from my doorstep, around Hawalli's outer edges, and back again.

I doubt I can find anyone willing to join me for such a run, but the idea of Q8 Foot Soldiers is to get the youths here interested in running again.

Honestly, when I was in highschool, running was the farthest thing on my mind, I was most likely to be found sitting in the stands munching away on small Pizza's on sports day, I never participated in any race except the novelty race in elementary school!

So this initiative is meant to get people running again. To break away from the couch, the internet, and get moving. I found that the best times to run are the early morning hours on a fri-sat, where the air is crisp and cool, and the sun is beginning to rise over the horizon, with traffic at a bear minimum.

The most important item you will need for running is a decent pair of running shoes. With a budget of 10~20KD you can get a decent pair, I have yet to try out the 50KD ones and see if they do make a difference. However, quite honestly, running shoes do make a difference, and it is always prudent to know when to toss an old pair out. Micoach on the android market or iTunes store also has the functionality of tracking your shoes wear and tear for you.

Running shoes are meant to be used for a period no longer than 6 months. Trust me, you will feel the difference when you buy new shoes, I used to end my runs in severe pain as I was donning a pair of old shoes. To me, so long as they were not torn, they were "road-worthy", however that was not the case. The cushioning is extremely important if you wish to maintain a good pace, and not have any difficulties later in life.

I have a pair of shoes that I used to go running in (9 years ago) and I still have them to date! They have fallen apart numerous times and I take them to a guy to stick it back together, I do not run in them anymore, they are merely the reminder of my jogging days, as they were the first pair I wore to run.

They say walking/ running makes us live longer, I say life is in god's hands, but we can take the active steps to better ourselves.

This blog shall be the launching pad for Q8 Foot Soldiers - Runners of Tomorrow, Today. We do not have to run in groups, but a synchronised run around Kuwait by members in different areas would be awesome. I know I am looking forward to expanding my horizon and running a different 18K route, or more, hoping to one day clock a perfect Marathon.

So ladies and gentlemen, lace 'em up and hit the ground running.

And for those dwellers of Hawally who want to join me, we can start small by running around the North Campus of GUST near Beirut St.

PS for those like me who tire easily when running around a track and prefer "street running" (not parkour, altho I am interested in that as well!), please take the necessary precautions such as:

- Running AGAINST traffic, not with it, so that cars are always coming at you, not up from behind you.

- Always look Ahead when running.

- Do not wear anything heaving on your hands, and keep your elbows bent.

- When sprinting, employ the full use of your arms.

- Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth.

- Pace yourself.

- Hydrate properly, before and after running.

- Stretch properly before running, and warm down afterward.

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