Final chance for athletes to enter the Reebok Wadi Bih Run

Nick Watkins 18/01/2018
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Tough: Mountain track

Athletes have been given a bonus chance to compete in this year’s Reebok Wadi Bih Run with the registration deadline being extended until January 25.

The event, which is the oldest trail run in the region, consists of five relay races, along with a number of challenging solo categories.

Solo runners have three options – tackling either the gruelling 72km Mountain Route, with over 1,000km of ascent up to a high point with a view in Wadi Bih.

Team runners can take part in the Team 72km, the original classic relay race that has been running since 1993 or the Team 50km, a shortened relay race aimed at families and younger runners, which skips the steeper hills and is easier on the knees.

Teams of five will compete in the Team 72km and Relay 50km races, along routes which are divided into stages ranging from 1.5km to 4.2 km.

Individual runners must take turns to run each stage while their support vehicle transports the other team members along the course.

Four members of the team are required to run together in the first and last stages however.

All categories will start and finish at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Dibba where a race village at the hotel will provide amenities, food and a number of entertainment options for the whole family throughout both days.

Race Director Neil Young said: “The Reebok Wadi Bih Run continues to be a hugely popular highlight on the running calendar due to its dramatic off-road routes. The solo races have grown from a few extreme athletes attempting ‘something different’, to becoming the ultimate regional long-distance running challenge with stiff competition. We urge entrants to register soon to avoid disappointment for this fantastic weekend.”

All solo races and the Relay 50km will take place on Friday 2nd February with the original Relay 72km race will take place on Saturday 3rd February.

Runners must submit their passport and visa details online at register.wadibih.com before 25th January 2018 to register.

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Transform your life with eight-week online Body Challenge for chance to win Dh10,000

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Workout: The Body Challenge

Now is the testing time for those of us trying to keep up that New Year’s resolution of going to the gym more, getting fitter and eating healthier.

It’s midway through January and the temptation to have that cheeseburger, skip that gym session and slip back into your old ways, is creeping in.

To keep the mind and body active for the next eight weeks is The Body Challenge, designed to transform your body and mind is the online eight-week plan to get you stronger and fitter, using meal plans and exercises. All you need to do is commit and dedicate yourself for the duration of the challenge.

What’s the plan?

The Body Challenge is suitable for anyone, of any shape and size, with a goal of losing weight or gaining muscle. The point of the challenge is to change your body and mind, and with weeks of dedication that’s achievable, no matter what your starting point is.

How do I get involved?

The first step is to register yourself via the website – thebodychallenge.me to select your preferred meal plan and exercise options. These range from home workouts, personal trainer contacts and gym locations near you. There’s a one-off fee of 250 AED to join, which includes the The Body Challenge online kit, participant support during the entire 8 weeks and access to the participant forum.

What is required from me?

Upload a current ‘before’ photo holding a newspaper dated within the registration dates.

Men should preferably be shirtless, facing the camera or standing sideways in front of a wall holding the newspaper. Women should be in attire that shows the shape of their body, facing the camera or standing sideways in front of a wall while holding the newspaper.

If you’re not comfortable being shirtless or wearing gym attire, it’s okay to wear something form-fitting so your transformation in the ‘after’ photo will be visible to judges (for your chance to win the Dh10,000).

To maximise your chances of taking home the prize money, ideally your ‘after’ photo should be taken in the same location, using the same angle as your ‘before’ photo. If you’re not comfortable showing your face, it’s acceptable to crop it and send us the one from your neck down to your feet (make sure to keep the original with your face in however, should you win the prize money as it’ll be required for validation purposes). Do not suck in your stomach or act unnatural, just stand relaxed and enjoy the fact that this is the last photo of the old you.

If you are not comfortable at all uploading a photo and are doing The Body Challenge, that’s fine but you will only be eligible to win an iPad just for registering. The grand prize will only be awarded to those who uploaded their ‘before’ photo and within the registration dates – between January 17 and ends March 13 2018.

Those who register within this time with a full body ‘before’ photo will be eligible for the Dh10,000 cash prize. Uninvolved trainers will pick the top 10 transformations, before an online vote will narrow it down to the final 10. We will then hold a final vote to choose our 3 winners. The winners will consist of the overall grand prize money winner as well as the most inspirational man and woman.

Register now thebodychallenge.me and transform your life.

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Prep your body and mind for the Standard Chartered Dubai marathon with Essa Al Ansari

Nick Watkins 16/01/2018
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The Dubai winter is perfect for long runs, which can require both physical and mental training.

With these tips you’ll be best prepared for the 2018 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

By following the steps you’ll get the most out of your preparation, ensuring you’re at your peak on January 26.

Building strength and endurance

The most important part of your training is a run at an easy pace that gradually increases in distance week by week, to build your strength and endurance.

During training you don’t need to complete a full marathon distance, but you should build up to an 18-to-20 mile run. You should also feature weekly or bi-weekly speed and tempo runs to increase your aerobic capacity, make the marathon a lot easier on the day.

Intervals are a set of repetitions of a specific, short distance, run at a substantially faster pace than usual, with slow recovery jogs in between. Try running four one-mile repeats at a hard pace, with five minutes of slow jogging in between.

Tempo runs are longer than an interval generally in the range of four to ten miles, depending on how far into training you are. This trains your body, as well as your brain, to sustain challenging work over long periods.

Cardio workout: On the treadmil

Cardio workout: On the treadmil

Recovery during training

Rest days allow your muscles to recover, so take a day off from running. The greatest enemy of any aspiring marathoners is injury, and the best protection is rest.

If you’re itching to do something active on your rest days, low-impact cross training is a great option. Try walking, hiking, cycling, swimming, yoga or weight lifting.

In the two or three weeks leading up to your marathon, scale back significantly on overall mileage and difficulty of your runs to let your body rest up for race day.

Active recovery: Low impact work

Active recovery: Low impact work

Before the race

Hydrate well for several days leading up to your marathon and drink a large glass of water before you go to bed the night before race day. Drink another one first thing in the morning.

Eat a simple, high-carbohydrate breakfast, such as bagels, oatmeal and fruit several hours before the start of the race.

Pre-race: Stretch it out

Pre-race: Stretch it out

During the race

Start slowly, it’s easy to get caught up in race-day adrenaline, but starting too fast is a common mistake. There will be plenty of miles over which to pick up your pace and your training means you’ll have the stamina to pick up the pace later on.

After the race

In the immediate moments after your finish drink several cups of water to nourish your tired muscles. It’s important to keep moving so walk around to let your muscles cool down. Also, do gentle stretching and eat some simple carbohydrates, whether you feel like it or not.

Essa Al Ansari (@fitnesswithessa) is an Emirati trainer and motivational speaker. Let us know your reason for running. Upload a picture on your social media with #RunForAReason and explain why you want to join the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

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