ST: You have done it!

This article was first published in The Straits Times on 25 Sep 2018, post-race of Straits Times Run 2018. 

MOK YING REN – Congratulations on completing your race! 

I hope you have all managed to achieve your goals! Now, it is time to treat your bodies to some well-deserved rest. 

Back in 2013, right after my SEA Games marathon race, I remember having to catch the first flight back to Singapore to return to my Medical Officer Cadet Course. Within a matter of days, I was back to carrying field packs and simulating casualty evacuation casualties with an incredibly sore body. It was definitely not an ideal recovery plan, but inevitable as I was still serving my national service then. 

Unlike what I had gone through, you need not, and should not, undertake physical stress so soon after a long and intense race.

3
Mok Ying Ren running past the Sports Hub, where the Straits Times Run 2018 finishing point and festival village was held. He recommends that the participants take a break to recover and catch up on other commitments. Photo credits: ONEATHLETE

Recovery 

It is key to recover well from any bout of strenuous activity. 

I know that some of you may be feeling great now and you may even be tempted to think: what is there to recover from? Well, the bad news is that any soreness which you may experience will only come to bear, much later! (my guess is probably Tuesday)! 

If you recall the supercompensation theory which we had introduced earlier, you would be aware that your body is currently undergoing a major overhaul to bring you to the next fitness level. However, this can only happen with sufficient rest and recovery. 

Sleep plays a huge role in this process of supercompensation. It should not be a problem for you to sleep a little more now since you no longer have to wake up for early morning runs (for a while at least)! 

Once the soreness wears off, you may feel a natural urge to get back to running. Instead of falling into that temptation, do some other non-weight-bearing activities, such as swimming or cycling for another week (or two).  This will help to enhance your recovery and reduce the risk of injury. 

Even when returning to running, always err on the side of caution, and keep your initial runs to 20 to 30 minutes long at a conversational pace.

DSC00319.JPG
Remember to stretch all the aches on your body! 

Work out niggles 

During the training season, you may also have suffered from various aches and pains which were simply ignored. Now is the best time for you to sort out all these issues and allow your body to heal. 

If necessary, you may also wish to visit a physical therapist and have a biomechanical assessment to identify specific areas of weakness. You may then work on these specific areas to prevent recurrence of pain or injury. From my experience, small deposits of therapy and pre-rehabilitation work on a regular basis can bring you huge gains, in terms of the number of your “running years”.

2

Show appreciation

I am sure that you have spent countless hours training in preparation for your race. But I am also sure that it would not have been possible without the support of your loved ones – it is time to reciprocate their support for you. 

Too often, we take many things, like having a warm meal waiting for us at home after a long day of work and training, for granted. Show your appreciation to those who have cared for and supported you.

View this post on Instagram

Happy to take overall 7th (local 3rd) at my maiden @straits_times Run 10km yesterday. It was a great outing with fellow #ONEathlete @evanchee also placing well in the 10km and @ben_moreau on fire with his overall win in the 18.45km! 🔥 Thanks to the @onemanagementsg family including manager @jedsent (also ran the 10km) for the race opportunity and Dr @mokyingren for the support, as well as @runningtan for the write-up (see https://runone.co/2018/09/23/runone-wins-one-at-straits-times-run-2018/). Massive shoutouts to fiancée @sandrafaustinalee for now being able to keep up with me on my final 100m sprint, fellow #KampongRunners who just conquered respective marathons, sponsor @asicssg, and Dr Kelvin Ng of Family Health Chiropractic Clinic for actively checking and adjusting my spine to keep me performing optimally! Last but not least, it was an honour reconnecting with Minister @gracefu.hy, the last time being after the 2015 Southeast Asian Games Marathon when I was still a chiropractic intern at @shermancollege. Next up, starting the season towards the @sgmarathon! #STrun2018 #STrun #TheStraitsTimes #RunONE #TeamASICS #ASICSSG #IMoveMe #FamilyHealthChiroSG #SingaporeAthletics #OneTeamSG #MCCYSG #SGsportsHub #ShermanPride #SCSM2018 #OakleySG

A post shared by Ashley Dominic Liew, DC, CACCP (@ashleyliewchiro) on

Length of recovery

How long should you be engaged in the above recovery process? That really depends on each individual.

I would generally recommend a recovery period of between 1 to 2 weeks for a half marathon and between 2 to 4 weeks for a marathon. However, what is most essential is for you to listen to your body – do not be afraid to adjust your recovery plan according to how your body feels and responds.

As my then-deputy headmaster in Raffles Institution, Mr. S Magendrian had always emphasized, “there is a season for everything”. Now is the season for recovery.

Mok Byline
@mokyingren

Read more about the ST Run 2018 race event HERE 

Read more about the STRun Festival & Mok Ying Ren’s Race Clinic HERE