Amer Hamzah Arshad
Lawyer | Marathon Runner | Metalhead
It's never too late to kickstart your fitness journey! We speak to Amer, a passionate criminal litigator at Amer Bon Advocates, who started running in 2013 when he just turned 40, was unhappy with his lifestyle, weight and fitness. Shaving off more than 30 minutes off his 10km running time, this dedicated runner now clocks an impressive 43:40 minutes, compared to his first attempt at 1 hour 14 minutes, and looks amazing! We love that Amer is passionate in everything that he does and goes the extra mile whether it pursuit of a faster marathon, metal band camp to develop young music talent, or advocating for fairer and just sentences for the people he represents in the court rooms of Malaysia. Follow his journey as he guns for the Berlin Marathon 2017 next weekend (24 September 2017) on instagram: @amerwolverine
Q: How did you get into running?
A: Back in 2013 I was turning forty and was quite ‘prosperous’. My weight was somewhere between 75-80kg. I wasn’t quite happy with my unhealthy lifestyle: work, listen to metal, eat and sleep. So when a few of my friends from college days wanted to do the 10km run at SCKLM, I decided to give it a shot. That’s how it all started. I still remember that day when I clocked in 1:14:27 to complete that 10km, needed several days to recover from that run. Now I can do it within 43:40.
Since that 10km race I started to enjoy running. What started as reason to stay fit has now become part of my life.
Q: What do you do apart from running?
A: Apart from running I love listening to music and watch movies. When I’m resting or recovering I listen to metal songs from my wide range of metal vinyls and cds. Occasionally, if there are metal gigs during the weekends, I would go and check them out.
Q: What is your biggest running achievement?
A: It would be racing and completing Cameron Trail (30km) without any injury. Personally, that is the toughest race that I have done so far. To complete it was an achievement by itself and to be able to come in 4th place in the men's veteran category was a bonus.
Q: What are you training for at the moment?
A: At the moment I am training for Berlin. I am hoping to improve my timing from last year’s Sydney marathon (which was my 3rd and my first sub4 marathon).
Q: What does your training routine look like?
A: My training involves a series of easy runs, long runs and hard sessions (which include intervals, tempo runs, hill repeats and yasso800s). I also incorporate strength workout sessions as part of my training programme.
On weekdays, most of the times, my training starts very early in the morning. I would start around 4ish or 5ish in the morning for my runs or workout. I would then go to the office or courts. On days where I can’t run in the morning I run either after work or at night. On weekends, I start my morning runs slightly later around (6ish onwards). After that I would visit my parents, spend times with family, or meet up with friends, and have my own personal time.
Q: Do you have any nutrition tips or regiments you follow?
A: Nutrition is equally important for my training, so I do my best to eat real food and avoid processed food. Lately, I have started to adopt a vegan diet.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: As for inspiration, I would say that individuals who could overcome challenges in life inspire me the most. I love to read or hear about people who could overcome the adversities and hardships in life, and achieve the unthinkable.
Q: What do you think about when you run?
A: When I run I always tell my myself to be positive and think about things that motivate me. I would repeatedly chant this mantra - “kill the negativity and see what you are capable of achieving”. It’s all about being positive and having positive mental attitude. When I’m doing longer distance, I would also sing Iron Maiden’s ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’ to myself ☺
Q: If you could be Malaysia's PM for a day, what would you do?
A: If I could be PM for a day, I would abolish policies that create disunity among Malaysians, improve our legal aid system, abolish draconian laws, ensure that there would be free education for all up to tertiary level, provide affordable houses for the lower income group, and last but not least to encourage all Malaysians to lead a healthy lifestyle – get up from the couch and run!