Inspiring the Future
Azwan Bunjing, also known as Awanrun on Instagram is an amateur athlete juggling between work and training on a daily basis.
Azwan started running seriously while studying his undergraduate at the University of Malaya. He now leads runs regularly as Captain of the Adidas Runners Kuala Lumpur team. Azwan is also a coach with The Running Plan and conducts classes for runners of all ages and abilities.
1. How did you get involved in running?
I wasn’t really a runner during my school days. The only runs I did were the yearly cross country runs, which I would end up with vomits and having side stitches. In my school’s final year, I was given a chance to represent school but it was almost too late for me to grow further in my running in a school environment. After enrolling myself as student at the University of Malaya, I picked up running again. With the guidance of my good friend Amirul and Coach Din, I started to get better in running.
2. Do you have an athlete role model who inspired you?
Steve Prefontaine. Prefontaine was an American middle and long-distance runner who competed in the 1972 Olympics. He died at the age of 24 in an automobile accident. I learned mostly about him from his life story movie “Without Limits” and his biography “Pre”. He was best known for his front running style.
3. What advice would you consider someone taking up running?
When I just started, I didn’t have a proper training plan. I just ran without any guidance and I think that’s the reason why I had many injuries in my early days of running. After being introduced to a proper training plan by my friend Amirul, my running improved. For someone new to running, I would recommend checking on google for a beginner’s training plan and to choose one that you can commit to.
4. What’s your best running achievement so far?
Winning SCKLM (Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon) 10km 2016 & Malaysia Open 10,000m 2018. However, nothing beats the satisfaction of having people coming to me and telling me that they started running because of me. That’s my main goal, to encourage people to run and to discover the best version of themselves.
5. What’s your aspirations in running for 2018 and beyond?
I hope to improve my time in 5km & 10km runs, and if possible in 21km as well. Other than that, as Co-Captain, l would like to see Adidas Runners KL and the students that I coach under The Running Plan see improvements in their running quality.
6. What are your top three sport nutrition tips?
- Choose natural as much as you can.
- Hydrate adequately.
- Always stay up to date with current research findings (or else how would I have known that Beet Root is a power food for me ).
7. What are your top three training tips?
- Get adequate rest prior and after the training.
- Get the right gears.
- You must know the purpose of the training to ensure you fulfill the objective of it.
8. Can you give us an insight into your pre-event routine – nutrition fuelling, hydration management?
- Beetroot juices throughout race week but stop a day before. Beet It Sport’s concentrated beet juice shots are super convenient as the juices are already bottled and are easy to carry anywhere.
- My breakfast usually consists of high calorie complex carbs such as a peanut butter whole meal sandwich, at least two hours before a race.
- I also make sure I drink adequate plain water a day before and a few hours before the event. However, to avoid bloating and toilet trips, I will stop drinking 20-30 minutes before the race.
- After the race, I will have some quick snacks such as a banana and a recovery drink with the ratio of 3:1 Carbs Protein within 30mins to refuel my body glycogen. Within 2-3 hours, I’ll try to have a heavy meal with good quality protein and carbs.
9. Why do you use Beet It Sport and how has it helped you?
After listening to Andy Beetroot’s podcast on an online running portal, I started to read up about beet root and was amused at how it helped endurance athletes. I used to hate beet root when my mom cooked it at home, but after knowing its benefits, I started to drink beet juice. It’s not like I’m seeing a big jump in my running – it would help me improve by 5-10%, which is already a lot for someone like me who has almost max out of my potential.
10. When you aren’t training, what are you doing?
Watching comedies or listening to podcasts related to running.
11. Any other hobbies?
Running all the time! No other hobbies.