Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Sunday Workout

We have a group of runners on facebook—comprising mainly KK folks—who'd run together on Saturdays or Sundays; and as one of the Admins of that group, I have the habit of posting a summarized Activity Report on Sundays. The reports are mainly focused on our weekend activities, since we hardly ever organised any during the weekdays as a group.

However, this lately, my so-called "summarized" reports are becoming increasingly longer as I've been having a bit of trouble controlling myself from giving too much info in my reports. Besides, I sometimes would like to throw in some photos in between the paragraphs to complement my reports, but for the life of me, I just don't know how to do it through facebook! You see, I'm one of those creatures who are too lazy to learn new stuff unless if I'm really forced to! That is why I've decided to post this week's report here—since I'm a little more well-versed with my own blog—and then I will provide a link from that facebook account to this blog. I hope this is not too complicated for the members.

So here goes nothing!

I've been doing quite some long workouts over the past few weekends as my preparation for the Sundown Ultra in Singapore, so it was quite a relief that this morning we only ran a mild 21km. When I arrived at the Likas Sports Complex at 5am, I was quite surprised to see a big crowd. And not to forget that there were other smaller groups which had started even earlier than 5am.

Although we started at the same time, the front pack quickly left some of us behind, and we lost sight of them within a few minutes. Peter and I kept a steady 7 mins' pace, and some of the ladies were tagging along behind us. It was a mainly pleasant run and it felt like we could continue running that pace forever!

Upon reaching the Shell station, however, Marilyn and Ndutt (why.... oh why she had to choose that nickname of all the names out there in the world?), crossed the road. The rest of us continued running. It was just about daylight as we were entering UMS. We reckoned that it's already quite safe for the ladies then; so Peter and I decided to run a tad faster. Up the hill we went (though thankfully not to fetch a pail of water) and then the familiar long downhill after that. One big loop before climbing the hill from the other side.

We saw several other runners on our way back. But we stopped at the Shell station for hydration. Now just to be very sure that you won't get the wrong idea, we run on sports drinks, not petrol or diesel. We bought out drinks inside the convenient store, not filled up at the pumps like all those motor vehicles. Some people may get it wrong because of the mention of Shell station, you see.

It was a beautiful morning. KK has the potential to be hot as early as 7am, but today the sky was cloudy; so much so, Peter and I had to run a little faster those last few kilometres to get a decent workout. It must have been about half an hour later when we arrived back at the sports complex. Most of them had long finished their runs. One by one the rest arrived. And then Tau Sama Tau arrived in his car from who knows where, having run over 30km earlier. He had in his car a coolbox filled with much welcomed drinks.

As usual, we mingled around, chatting about running in general. I had the opportunity to share the little that I know about heart rate monitors.

It's nice to see Sarah Burns back to running again after several weeks' break due to a knee injury. She was all smiles after her run.

And as you've probably noticed, Marilyn and Jiki was up to their weird stretching routine in the background, which looked a lot like a murder was in progress. Here's a better view; see for yourself.

I'm not sure where these people got the ideas for all these fancy stretching rituals, but in this particular case, perhaps Jiki was just trying to outdo John Chin's obscene stretching routine?

Well, the fasting month will be over by next weekend, and incidentally it would be about 2 weeks to the Borneo International Marathon. Some of us will be running the "peak" long run then (but some ran it this morning). I'm guessing perhaps we will be seeing a bigger crowd next Sunday, all eager to burn off the Raya calories!


Anonymous said...

Hi, do you have any personal tips for runners who experienced tight hamstrings after a long run? Should I let them rest or overcome it with more but slower runs? Massage? Thanks! - a shy KKRC member

Cornelius said...

Hello Anonymous friend,

I'm not going to pretend that I'm an expert, but of course I've experienced problems with my hamstrings before. However, that is not to say just because I've experienced it, I can assume that your problem is the same as mine.

I think the right place to start is to find out what caused the problem in the first place. Was it caused by a sudden increase in workload, i.e. speed or distance or both? Because if that's the cause, then that's where your solution lies - try to increase your workload GRADUALLY. A good guide is to increase by a margin of say 10% per week, and allow a "step back" on every third week when you drop mileage to allow your body a bit of leeway before the next push to a higher level.

I can only share what I did when I experienced pain in my hamstring. If it's not a major injury, i.e. I can still walk and run with only mild discomfort, then I would continue my runs, although I would reduce the distance and intensity/speed. But if it's a major injury, i.e. one that causes a lot of pain even to walk, I would immediately seek professional help; and take total break from running for a week or two.

However, I must say that I very rarely reach a point of "major injury", because I always make it a point to listen to my body. Whenever I have any discomfort at all, I would "slow down"...and I have no guilt of missing a few days' workout. I don't normally take chances when it comes to my body. I'm known as being "too conservation and too careful" in my training. That's because I join many events and I can't afford to become seriously injured.

If you only have tight hamstrings after a long run, that's probably because you haven't had very many long runs yet. Try to run it slower. Or if you have had many, many long runs already, then maybe it has something to do with your running technique. Don't be shy, the next time we run again, let's discuss about it after the run. We have several doctors in our group. I'm sure they can offer some advice too.