Raj Ahmed

Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) athlete

We’re excited to have Raj Ahmed on board as our March 2020 brand ambassador! Raj is very well known in the South East Asian OCR scene and is also a Spartan Race ambassador. As a certified National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) trainer, he has helped numerous race participants prepare for various obstacle races in Malaysia from 2012 until now. Despite his busy schedule as a full time corporate worker, family man and part time OCR coach, Raj still manages to find time to train and is often found on the podium of OCR races.
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"After a week of regular intake, I genuinely found a difference in my ability to perform workouts. So I started to take it more regularly around tough workouts and then pre-races. Honestly speaking, with the lack of training I did last year, if it wasn’t for Beet It Sport, I don’t think I would have podiumed as much as I did."
Raj Ahmed
OCR Athlete

Q&A With Raj Ahmed

1. How did you get involved in obstacle course racing?

I was a huge fan of a show called Ninja Warrior (Sasuke) when I was younger and always aspired to take part in that. Sadly no opportunities came up but when I came to Asia, I was invited to join my friends taking part in an Obstacle race in Australia, I leapt at that chance and from then on I have been hooked ever since. I just love the different fitness elements that make up a good obstacle racer, basically one has to be a good all-rounder when it comes to endurance, strength, speed, skill and agility.

2. What are your best sporting achievements so far?

Came 2nd on a 24hr Team OCR competition (as many rounds of a 10km Obstacle course as possible), as well as consistently hitting the podium in my Age Category at Spartan Races in 2019.

3. What challenges did you come across in getting to where you are at today?

Biggest challenge I would definitely have to say is finding the time to train as much as I need to improve my athletic ability. Having a full time corporate job as well as being a very hands on father to an energetic young son, means training would always came last … but having a supportive wife has helped me train more consistently. 

4. What drives you to get up in the morning and go training every day?

I am in my 40s now and realise that I only have so many “good years” left where I can still try and mix it with the best in Malaysia. I have to take the opportunity to ensure I am ready while I still can.

5. What are your sporting aspirations for 2020 and beyond?

This year my goal is to qualify for the Spartan Race World Championships which will be held in Abu Dhabi at the end of the year. This would be a dream for me and to test out my abilities against my age group of athletes around the world.

6. As a trainer and coach, what advice would you give to someone considering taking up obstacle course racing?

I would say definitely give it a go! BUT make sure you do homework first, train properly! Either go and play in the park, hang about on the monkey bars, climb ropes, run up hills etc or come and train at The Obstacle Lab, which is the first and only Spartan Race endorsed Training Centre in KL, where you can train safely and learn all the relevant techniques to crush any OCR obstacle.

7. What are your top training tips?

  • Plan your training, do not do things ad hoc otherwise you will see results. Have a goal in mind, ie a 10K Spartan Super race and plan your training to make sure you nail it.
  • Make sure you hydrate, rest and recover well. Overtraining is just as bad as lack of training.
  • Find either like-minded people or join a group of people training for something similar. The motivation and confidence you get when training with others is priceless and can drag you out of bed on those dark mornings or can keep you grinding through those killer workouts.

8. What are your top nutrition tips?

  • Hydrate hydrate hydrate – whatever you are currently drinking now – drink more! Malaysia is an extremely hot and humid country, you literally lose water by sitting there and doing nothing. Lack of water in the system can really hamper training, recovery, rest and not to mention race day fatigue.
  • Ensure you fuel up properly for any workout, sure there are benefits to fasted workouts but if you are looking to improve performance, you need to ensure your body has enough energy to achieve your training goal.

9. Why do you use Beet It Sport and how has it helped you?

When I first read up about Beet It Sport, I was a bit sceptical as it just sounded too good to be true. How can this juice improve my performance that much? So I decided to try it out for myself and find out what the hype was about. 

After a week of regular intake, I genuinely found a difference in my ability to perform workouts (especially hard runs that demand the heart to work a bit harder). So I started to take it more regularly around tough workouts and then pre-races. Honestly speaking, with the lack of training I did last year, if it wasn’t for Beet It Sport, I don’t think I would have podiumed as much as I did.

The idea that the volume of nitrates in our body has a direct impact on blood flow and greatly improved the endothelium process fascinated me so much that I wanted to add on to whatever improvements I was seeing from Beet It Sport on a more regular basis. I wanted everything I ate to be able to increase the Nitric Oxide levels in my body as much as possible, so I became vegan.

Five months on, I can tell you the amount of vegetables you have to eat to get the same amount of Nitrate in a Beet It Sport shot is no joke and is almost impossible to consistently do. With Beet It Sport, the work has been done for you! The liquid form helps your system easily absorb it and allows you to fuel up on nitrates right up to The Start Line.

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