Category Archives: Running

Extended fasting and staying active

Excited and inspired by my weight loss progress during the fasting month. From 90.7kg down to 82.4kg. A net loss of 8.3kg in 25 days.

7 Jan 2020, weight went up to 94.2kg due to not much activity due to recovery from ironman langkawi in October 2019 (when i was 90kg), where sprained/fractured a toe.
Decided to go back to running, mostly 5-10km runs around the stadium. 4-5 times a week. Did a 2 weeks lifesaver training in Australia, lost 1 kg there.

22 April 2020, got weight down to 90.7 kg. A 3.5kg net loss in 4 months. Did a few ironman virtual races during the covid “lock down”. This day was the start of the fasting month. Planned to do a few extended fasts, while still staying active.

17 May 2020, weight down to 82.4kg. 8.3kg loss in 25 days. I have lost 2x more weight this month compared to rest of the year. Did 2x 5 days extended fasts, while still keeping active, did a few ironman virtual races, including a half ironman distance.

Motivated by the speedy weight loss, but still wary of the possible health consequences of doing extended fast. To be clear, thats when I only break my fast with water but no food. So far so good. Learned from previous years doing extended fasting. Putting notes here for future referrals.

Main lessons were:
1. Not doing the extended fasts any more days when it hurts, previously did 6-7 days. Day 6 or 7 was usually a painful experience, that I only did it that one week in the whole month. So this year to do just 5 days.
2. Keep active, specifically before breaking fast. Contrary to expectation, a sedentary fast was more painful and problematic then an active one. So decided to run or ride before the break fast.
3. Stay hydrated. During extended fasts  I made sure I drank enough water, more than 2 litres, but not in one go, last year that gave me diarrhoea. So spread the water consumption by minutes. Cold water is absorbed by the stomach better then warm water. Warm water will go to the intestines, and might cause the diarrhoea. Sometimes added salt. One symptom i notice if still dehydrated is getting dizzy if i stood up to fast. But I know I am well hydrated when my urine is clear.

BUKUM 2019 ROUTE MAPS

Last minute preparation for BUKUM 2019 115km. I downloaded and set up the route maps for 30km, 60km and 115km as a public course on garmin. So anyone with a garmin device should be able to access it and add to their device easily. Links are at the end of this post

The map shown in the BUKUM Intagram at instagram.com/BruneiUltraMarathon and facebook on facebook.com/bruneiultramarathon is not so clear.

Thankfully they also posted on their social media a QR code and a link to the png picture files and route gpx files on bit.do/BUKUM19-MAP but I had a few issues…

  • On instagram I can’t click the link (because thats not how IG works)
  • On both IG and facebook I don’t know how I can scan a QR code on my screen other than using another phone, (maybe I have to download another app).
  • On IG, the file is compressed and pixelated, on FB its a bit tricky to get, to save and share the picture.
  • On both, the issue is with all the posts, you have to search through it to get to it. It is unfortunate the organizer doesn’t have a proper website to post the information in a more organized way.

Thankfully, the facebook post (once you found it) you can click to the link and access the high resolution pictures and the route map files. The files are hosted on a google drive, so you might need to have a Google account.

It was tricky but information on how create a course from a gpx file is available on the garmin website at https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=tWx3JQyjlU474jqa91EJs8

Difference is, the help files tells you to use the desktop garmin express and connect using the charger/data cable. But I found that I could do it all on the phone, using a “desktop” browser to access the garmin connect website, import the gpx file, edit as necessary (like the name), save it as a course, and then send it to device, and then using the mobile garmin connect app to check and sync.

Finally, the moment you have been waiting for (thank you for reading through and not skipping)

Below I post and share the garmin course link, the hi-res png files.

BUKUM 2019 10KM, (sorry no gpx file provided by the organizer, just png pic of map)

BUKUM 2019 30KM
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/29240040

BUKUM 2019 60km
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/29240101

BUKUM 2019 115KM
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/29236344

Watch “Why do animals have such different lifespans? – Joao Pedro de Magalhaes” on YouTube

I know its comparing animals but tempted to think these life extending factors can apply to human lifespan.

External factors

  • frigid cold environments causes lower heartbeat and metabolism, can be achieved by living in cold places and doing not too much activities. Not sure if I am willing to move and live in a colder environment. Although I do love swimming relaxed in the cold water like a whale.
  • As much low activities may be low heartbeat and low metabolism. Studies have shown that people who exercise tend to get lower resting heart rates than those who are sedentary. High intensity exercises may increase metabolism. I guess I can focus on long slow endurance when I do swimming, cycling and running.
  • Fasting does lower metabolism. I don’t eat as frequent anymore. Fasting during the month of ramadhan may help once a year, but I practice intermittent and water fasting more often on other months throughout the year as well. Although I may lose weight on this and negate the size factor later…

Internal factors

  • Evolution and Genetics, these is unfortunately the luck of the draw, interestingly, there are genetic therapies being developed, potentially we can identify the genes that are responsible for ageing and extend our life by altering them. Lets see if this happens in our life time.
  • healthy immune system, these is also partly genetic, but also on how well we avoid getting sick and in addition recover from them. Medicine has come a long way in assisting us to these very well. Let’s just hope the germs don’t win the biological war against us.
  • bigger size, partly genetic, partly nutrition. The bigger the organism the less predator they have, in addition, metabolism can be lower as the body does not need to produce heat too much to maintain body temperature. May also allow bigger animals to eat less per body weight, which lowers the metabolism again. Although my fasting might reduce my weight and thus reduce the size effect.

day 24 – khatamalquran, postal packages, triathlon day

Attended a khatamalquran funtion by Jabatan Penjara in the morning. (I was invited as I was involved conducting a workshop for the released) This is a ceremony usually done after 2 to 3 weeks of reading the quran by its section or juz. I haven’t attended one in a long time. unfotunately for me, I came in so early that they placed me next to the VIPs, which were next to the Imam, ustaz, and the officers. I was unsure of what I needed to do. Thankfully, there was a guidebook that was given, so it was just a matter of reading through it, and following cues by the imam or ustaz. being able to read fluently is an advantage of course. thankfully,  that is a skill that stuck to me from arabic school. I went to the office after that to do some work. there I found there was a postal card to pick up some parcels. I have recently used my office address instead of my home, as I found it more convenient. 

went home and my wife was ready to do an afternoon bike ride. Despite the windy and cloudy weatger, and some sporadic rain, we did. Thankfully it did not rain on our ride. She fared better this time around. What worked last time was we cycled out relaxed as a warm up, and cycled back fast. We did the same, and gps tracked she did her fastest 10km ride yet.

We broke fast with mostly food that my wife prepared before we cycled. Tortilla chicken with salad, we bought satay urat (ligament tendon on a stick) for the chondroitin supplement. 

The night I also had a swim class, I was half expecting the pool to be closed because of the rain. But pushed on anyway, went to the pool waited in line, waited for a few minutes for the pool guard to arrive, and went in. It was a productive class, as they students were able to swim the width of the pool.

After the swim class, I went out for a run. I realized this makes today a triathlon training day, as I swim 🏊 , biked 🚲 and ran 🏃 in one day, just not in that order. I learned from last time that I may need to start of slow as a warm up, to avoid my cold joints from being in pain and getting injured. So I warmed up for the first 2km at pace 8, but for the last 3km, I went fast, with a 5.5pace in some instances. MY GPS watch ⌚ was low battery 🔋 at this point, so I turned off the metronome, hoping that it would last longer, thankfully it did. And then at the end, I didn’t pack up and go in a hurry, and I did a few stretches. Targetting my foot and calves with lunges, and downward facing dog, and reaching my toes. I also stood on a ledge to massage the bottom of my foot.

On the way home, My car fuel was low, thankfully I knew a fuel station that was opened up till midnight at kilanas. At home  before sleep, I made sure I drank 750mL of water to hydrate myself. As well as to prepare for the fast the next day.

Day 21 – self control, another swim class and a late night run

Friday morning I had a workshop,  it went kinda faster than expected, considering the last session was dragging a bit. Not sure if I skipped a few things. 

During the break, I was mindfully being aware of what I ate. Remembering last time I ate and ran at night, I felt a bit bloated, and was having side stitches during my run. Looked up again a scishow video on side stitches. Its possible that either my stomache wasn’t used to running with food anymore, or there is too much fibre. My fibre mostly coming from the juice my wife made. I don’t think that is the culprit. 


At night had a swim class, this time I didn’t forget to take a selfie at the end of the class. Saw a fee triathletes with some ironman finishers training again at the pool, but this time they trained at the lap pool.

Then I went out on a run, but kept in mind the foot pain I had last time. It was either due to factors such as cold night mixed in with my wet shorts from swimming, and the swimming itself, (not much of a swim, mostly being immersed while teaching), causing the muscles and tendons to be tight and cold, and/or my running was too fast to soon, considering I haven’t been frequently running as I used to. So I went at a very relaxed pace of 8 mins/km. It was tempting to run at a faster pace whenever there were other people around, either them passing me by, or when crossing paths, but my slightly bloated stomache reminded me to slow down (apparently I still ate or drank a bit too much).  but at least the side stitches was only at the beginning. And the foot pain was almost negligible. 

Ended the run with a significantly long stretching session targeting my back muscles, hamstring and calves, mostly lunges and the downward facing dog pose. And a bit of stepping on a low ledge, pressing on the middle of my soles. Its what I used to do to fix my plantar fasciitis a few years back. Hopefully at this early stage I can stave off further injuries with stretches. Something I need to remind myself to do more at this age.