The Marathon Runners
The Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon 2019 successfully ended last Sunday Sept 29 marred only by an accident when a car ploughed into and injured three runners at the MRR2.
It had attracted more than 35 thousand runners from all over the world who ran in different categories from the full marathon of 42 km, half marathon down to the 5 km fun runs.
For the full marathon, more than 5000 runners completed with the winners in both the male and female categories dominated by the Kenyan runners. Nevertheless all had a great time, mostly satisfied that they participated and completed this iconic racing event on a haze free Sunday morning.
Halfway across the world the Berlin Marathon was also about to take place attracting double the numbers with world records broken also by the African runners.
Why do they keep running? According to research, running long distances actually give them a high that is equivalent to a cannabis high.
Many people claim they experience a happy, invincible feeling like floating through the air at the peak of their workout in a gym and the same happens when running long distances . No wonder they keep coming back for more.
Researchers believed that it is something to do with the endorphins that your body produce during long exercises.
These chemicals interact with receptors in the brain to reduce the perception of pain and some thought it may also give them that euphoric boost.
Subsequent studies were conducted which four years ago challenged that notion with a different theory. That “high” could be due to a different substance called endocannabinoids.
It can basically be thought as the body’s self-produced marijuana and, like cannabis, can impact a wide range of physiological processes, including appetite, pain, memory and mood.
My 62-year old brother has been running 10km quarter marathons for years and every time his timing gets better which also earned him a medal at the recent and previous Kuala Lumpur events.
His main goal was to sustain his fitness level as his doctor (and endorsed by the number one doctor running the country) had advised that running actually helps to reduce any signs of arthritis or knee pains. Together with a regular dose of cod liver oil, sensible eating to live, he has managed to maintain his weight and does not suffer any of those non communicable diseases plaguing the nation.
One key technique of his running is ‘slow jog’ which eliminates tiredness allowing him to finish the race within the time limit to qualify for a medal.
There is really no excuse for anyone not to take up running to build muscles on the knees, essential to carry your body weight for years on. Besides it is also a mental test of your own endurance which builds character.
Really, age is just a number as now everyone can run. — The Health
Adi Satria is a veteran of marketing communications who is more into swimming and cycling. He believes that while the health ministry advises that one should take ten thousand steps daily to stay fit, any form of exercise can take you further on the journey to better health maintenance.