This morning I went to Lake Garden for a recovery run and to attend the SCKLM 2009 Runner Clinic. Initially I planned to do about 10 km but I got lazy in the morning and woke up late. When I arrived at about 7:00am in Bukit Aman, the car park was already quite full. I could only squeeze my little car to a space that was legal.
I decided to run around Bird Park for two laps. That was about 5 km. Then I ended my run at Tapak A. It was still early but the organiser already set up the banner and equipment there.
There were about 80 runners turned up for this clinic. Elite runner and coach Mark Williams (pictured below in orange-coloured shirt) was there also to share his tips on injury prevention.
The clinic started with Dr. Samsudin Osman Cassim (pictured above on the right), an Orthopaedic Surgeon from Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre, giving a talk on common injuries faced by runners.
A handout notes were given out to the audience before that. It contained information on common injuries associated with running and how to prevent and minimise them. I will see how I can share that.
The talk session lasted only about 30 minutes. Then the runners were asked to run around Lake Garden for a 60 minutes before Q & A. I was wondering why 60 minutes. Some more most of the runners had already finished their morning runs. We could have just have the Q & A then.
While some people started running, I went straight to Dr Samsudin and asked him some questions on my bone structure, particularly both my tibia and fibula which are not exactly straight or aligned with my femur (thigh bone, largest bone in human body). I have concern when I started running, this would cause injury to my knees or other parts of the body. Dr Samsudin said it was not too bad and asked if I had major problems after running. I told him I did have tendon soreness (not sure it was major) around the knees, but it would recover eventually. He said if it recovered naturally, then I should not worry too much. I was kind of relieved hearing that. But I know I must be careful and not to over-train.
Anyway, the event organiser provided the runners with bananas, mineral water and isotonic drinks after the run. Then the proper Q & A started. The runners posted many questions to Mark and Dr. Samsudin during the session. Dr. Samsudin had earlier asked the crowd to see who ran a marathon before. Only a handful of people raised their hands. I guess majority of the audience were beginners, just like me. Therefore it was natural for beginners to ask more.
I also asked other questions concerning good shoes and hitting the "wall". Mark replied that you should alternate two pairs of training shoes, never wear an unfamiliar pair on race day, and get a comfortable pair according to your needs.
On hitting the "wall", he said runner should eat a lot of carbohydrate before the race. Typically, between 450g to 500g per day, three days in a row before the race. It was easier said than done, according to him. But he noted cereal was a good source of carbohydrate for him. Hydration was also a key according to Mark. The other being training. Runners who trained correctly could burn fat (which is another source of fuel for the muscle) more efficiently, possibly using the fat before carbohydrate. The "wall" was actually a term used to describe a fatigue condition when your body underwent long and extreme exercise. Basically, your muscles seem to be out of fuel and painful, your legs and hands felt extremely heavy and you just want to give up. Most people said, marathoners will experience this at around the 30-35km mark. But Mark said this (quitting) is all in the mind. He said, he had ran 25 marathons before, and every time, the thinking of quitting did popped up. But every time he managed to overcome it. He said Haile Gebrselassie broke the world marathon record with a lot of pain in the body, but his mental toughness was stronger to enable him to last the whole race with world record speed. He said the Kenyans made it looked easy, but they also suffered a lot.
He said, it is all in the mind.