Just when you think you're tough enough


Ris Haris Swears By Maffetone Method To Run Better

Mohd Haris Rahmat – also known as Ris Haris on Facebook – has gone from a 125kg obese Special Education teacher with no running experience to completing a 58km run in under 18 months.

The 39-year Air Hitam, Johor native who is currently based at the Petaling Perdana District Education Office in Shah Alam, credits his fitness improvements to the Maffetone (MAF) method by Phil Maffetone. His family has been very supportive of his fitness transformative, with a niece and nephew joining him in this MAF methodology too.

ToughASIA: When did you start running?
Ris: My running journey is rather new. I started only in July 2020. Why? It is because I was overweight then at 125kg.

ToughASIA: What keeps you motivated to train now, even when there are no races?
Ris: I have a simple motivation – that I want to just keep fit and be better than my “previous” self. My training schedule is not fixed but usually, it is about 3 to 5 times per week.

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ToughASIA: Where are your favourite running locations?
Ris: My favourite routes are around my housing area in Putra Permai, Seri Kembangan and of course, Putrajaya Lake route. Frankly, I do not quite give much consideration about the route. What is most important is that it is safe and accessible. That will be fine for me.

ToughASIA: What is the most memorable running race you have competed in?
Ris: It was the RunLiga Malaysia (RMC) competition with team MAFKelongkang. All members loved to motivate one another even though some of us were newbies in such running competitions.

ToughASIA: What is your proudest moment in running?

Ris: Coming from my background, I still cannot believe that I can run in 5km, 10km, half marathon and full marathon distances. The most memorable distance was the 58km tha I ran during Malaysia Day last year. It is something I had never done previously.

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ToughASIA: What i the most difficult part about running and how do you overcome it?
Ris: It has to do with the mental preparation as I have never been active in running. Well, I do fight and overcome this obstacle by bringing my running gear everywhere I go, so I will always be prepared.

ToughASIA: How does the MAF method play a role in your running journey? 
Ris: Seriously, MAF is the best method that I have applied. It helped me a lot to build my running character as I learn how to control and manage myself in my runs. I think there is more MAF beyond just managing the heart rate. It also teaches me to be calm and relaxed while doing an activity.

ToughASIA: Are you looking forward to racing again?
Ris: Yes, if possible. My main goal is only to perform better today than yesterday.