Recovery and Reset- Season Plans


Whether your last race of the season is coming close or you have a long break between races, to take some time to recover and rest is important to make sure your body, hormones and cells recover from many races and long-distance training. The ideal plan to reset your body is to first take a break from running 1-4 weeks, depending on your racing season distances and intensity, and second use the off-season as a reset season. For runners who stop training completely during the race break, it can be challenging to get going again once you need to start training. The ideal plan is to use it as a rejuvenating training which you can keep a good fitness base without overtraining. How you structure your reset-season goes according to your goals and fitness level background. 

  1. Cross-Train:For runners who have been training and racing hard, pushing to their limits non-stop, with their body and mind feeling worn out, enjoying different types of aerobic activities after taking some rest could be enjoyable and efficient.  Planning different activities for training such as cycling, swimming, hiking and running at a nice comfortable pace can provide your body with long-term recovery. The hormone levels return to healthy levels, small injuries heal, your body goes back to feeling stronger and more durable. Cross-training can also provide a good psychological break to recover from heavy training and racing schedules. Enjoy a few weekly nice and easy runs to keep moving.
  2. Trial of More Kms:For runners who couldn’t reach their distance goals during races, and don’t have any scheduled races for quite a while, after taking a running break for at least 1-2 weeks, then you can start training for longer distances slowly, easily and gradually. Once you start running again, begin each run at a nice easy pace, and lower aerobic levels. This way of training will allow to finish some runs a bit faster on days that you feel stronger. With no races planned for a while, runners will be able to train and increase their distance gradually without the enhanced stress from hard training sessions.
  3. Speed Training: For runners who went through a racing season including only long-distance races and runs, after taking a break for 1-3 weeks, you can use the reset-season to develop more speed. Include some fast, short distance runs, and speedwork to improve your running economy, which will make every pace feel easier, even long-distance runs, once you improve your speed level every distance feels easier and stronger. Use speedwork, interval or fast strides training twice/week, you can add the speedwork sessions to the last part of an easy run. It is important to focus on controlled, smooth speed, and proper running form, which is more sustainable than just pushing hard, which can increase the risk of injury.
  4. Go with the Flow:For runners who are still progressing in their distance training or coming back from an injury, the reset-season can be used to start getting back into proper training. After 1-2 weeks of race season recovery, or injury recovery, combine cross-training, easy runs, increasing the mileage progressively and adding some speedwork which will increase your endurance and strength level. 
  5. Take a Break from GPS Devices:Any runner should use the reset season to take a break from any GPS devices, watch, phone. Running is a simple and joyful sport, but one of the easiest way to add some stress to our runs is an over-reliance on GPS watches. These devices can be excellent tools to help us improve our speed, and help us push more and more, and can be very valuable, but to take a break from your GPS watches, will allow you to enjoy your run, nature, and follow your pace and listen to your body. Running once a week without a GPS device will help you focus more on internal feedback, which will make you not only a better runner, but also will help you run and feel your heart rate and pace without needing a GPS device. 

Use the recovery and reset-season to enjoy the type of training or runs your body and mind want.

Rest Well, Recover Well, Enjoy Nice Runs!

KATIA

Seven Young Local Runners are selected for the MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program

Seven Young Local Runners are selected for the MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program

Posted on 

Press release and high-resolution images can be downloaded via the following link: http://bit.ly/msigyouthtra

For Immediate Release

[Hong Kong, 23 May 2019] MSIG Hong Kong and GreenRace are proud to announce that seven of Hong Kong’s brightest youth trail runners have been selected for the MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program. The selected runners are: NG Wai Hei, 19; Nicole LEE, 21; Tony YUNG Tsz Chun, 24; WONG Mei Yan, 25; Lodewijk Adriaan VRIENS, 26; Plato LUK, 27; and Leanne SZETO, 28. The four men and three women, all Hong Kong-born under-30s, have qualified based on their rankings after the first two races of the 2019 MSIG Trail Running Series — the 15km MSIG Trail @ Braemar Hill in January, and the 18km MSIG Ultra @ Tai Po in March.

The athletes have embarked on a 12-month training plan from May 2019 to April 2020, a unique program that includes physiotherapy sessions and physiological testing by Joint Dynamics, weekly dietary consultations by Katia Kucher of D.BeFit, training plans by Vlad Ixel of The North Face team, sponsored training gear and race nutrition by Gone Running and T8, and access to GreenRace and Fields Japan trail running events, plus support from Racing The Planet’s 4 Deserts ultra marathon series.

At the culmination of the year-long program, the top two athletes of the MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program will be sponsored by MSIG for a chance to compete in one of the five UTMB Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc trail races in August 2020.

NG Wai Hei, the youngest of the group, has established himself in Hong Kong trail races in the past couple of years, frequently making the podium. Last year, he represented Hong Kong at the 2018 Skyrunning World Championships in Scotland. For the first two races of the 2019 MSIG Trail Running Series, Ng was the third overall of 15 KM at the MSIG Trail @ Braemar Hill and overall champion of 18 KM at the MSIG Ultra @ Tai Po.

“I am very happy and excited to be part of the MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program,” said Ng, who studies environmentalscience at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education. “I hope to strengthen my fitness and improve my skills. I hope that I can perform much better in trail running after joining the program. Also, I hope to take part in overseas trail running races.”

Among the women, Leanne SZETO is one of the most recognised names. A successful Hong Kong national triathlete turned trail runner, her raw running talent has helped her achieve numerous podiums in local trail races. Szeto was the overall champion at the MSIG Trail @ Braemar Hill and second overall at the MSIG Ultra @ Tai Po. Szeto, a full-time engineer, shared her thoughts on being selected for the program. “It feels like it’s going to be a very long journey, and a very challenging one, firstly because it’s a full year ahead,” she said. “Secondly, it’s something completely new to me, after being a triathlete for 15 years. I have to find a new way to train for a new target”. Leanne still enjoys triathlons more than trail running but hopes this programme changes that and allows her to step out of her comfort zone and achieve new heights with this sport.

A typical month of the training program will see the athletes not only going through an individually-tailored training and nutrition regimen, but also strength conditioning sessions and injury prevention. They will get involved in community events, attend trail running workshops and, where possible, participate in a race each month.

Races already on the cards include the Tigershead GreenRace (Aug 24) and Double Nine GreenRace (Oct 7), and of course the final two races of the 2019 MSIG Trail Running Series, the MSIG Immortals @ Pat Sin Leng (Sep 21) and MSIG Summits @ Mui Wo (Nov 3). The athletes’ weekly progress will be monitored with intermittent monthly follow-up sessions by Joint Dynamics, Katia Kucher, Vlad Ixel and GreenRace. Further, the athletes will also be encouraged to participate in optional events such as plogging, beach clean-up, and community talks and events.

Martin Cai, Race Director, GreenRace, said, “We are very pleased to support the next generation of trail runners coming out of Hong Kong. We are excited to be a part of these athletes’ journey of growing and developing their skills individually and as a team. The MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program aims to increase the spotlight on this magnificent fledgling sport and encourage more corporates and educational institutions to support the Hong Kong trail running community.”

For more information on the MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program, please see https://msig.tgr.run/youthseries/.

The MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program has officially started, seven young local talented trail runners attended the first kick-start meeting to receive details of the 12-month programme

The MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program has officially started, seven young local talented trail runners attended the first kick-start meeting to receive details of the 12-month programme

The athletes will receive an individually-tailored comprehensive training plans, dietary consultations, free training gear, and access to GreenRace and Fields Japan trail running events.

This press release is released on behalf of TGR International Limited by Action House International Limited.

For event enquiries related to MSIG Trail Running Series 2019, please contact TGR International Limited:
Martin Cai
Race Director Tel: +852 9133 5415
Email: team@tgr.run

For media enquiries related to MSIG Trail Running Series 2019, please contact Action House International Limited:
Anthea Look
Tel: +852 3102 8117/ 9512 5685
Email: alook@actionhouseintl.com

About MSIG Insurance (Hong Kong) Limited
With a network of operations dating as far back as 1855, MSIG Insurance (Hong Kong) Limited (“MSIG”) has been providing general insurance solutions and productsto customers in Hong Kong for more than 150 years. MSIG is backed by the solid foundation and rich heritage of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Limited, an established insurer that has received strong financial ratings from leading rating agencies, including Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. Today, MSIG is one of the few foreign-based general insurers to have representation in every ASEAN country, a testament to its strength and reach. MSIG also benefits from being a member of the MS&AD Insurance Group – one of the largest general insurance groups in the world. Leveraging their multi-channel distribution, their strong partnerships with intermediaries and an extensive geographical network, MSIG offers a wide range of insurance solutions across personal and commercial lines.

About TGR International Ltd (The GreenRace)
The GreenRace is an event organiser specialising in sustainable and all-inclusive trail running races, with a diverse catalogue of events ranging across the Asia-Pacific region. Many hosted independently and others with partners, the majority of their races take place in Hong Kong and Japan. The driving mission of The GreenRace is to ignite passion in their community of runners, designing trail running events that participants and volunteers of all ages and abilities will love. The GreenRace remains vigilant in honouring its responsibility to the greater community and to the environment by striving for zero waste events. With every trail race created, they focus continually on quality, sustainability and total runner satisfaction for people from all walks of life. The GreenRace has earned the loyalty of the Asian trail running community, and thrives thanks to the vital support of dedicated and like-minded volunteers.

Appendix
MSIG Youth Trail Running Development Program 2019/2020 — Athlete biographies

Leanne SZETO
Birthdate: January 24, 1991
Occupation: Full-time engineer
Hobbies: Triathlon
Trail running background: Started trailrunning two years ago in 2017, as she was trying to find something new apart from triathlon. Started out in small local trail running races of between 10-20km.
Trail running highlights: 2017 TNF50 Hong Kong, 3rd female (her first ever trail running achievement). Personal motto: “It makes it more natural to train like an absolute beast, when that’s the standard inside you.”

NG Wai Hei
Birthdate: September 29, 1999
Occupation: Student, Environmental Sciences, Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education, Sha Tin campus
Hobbies: Hiking
Trail running background: Started trail running in secondary school. Before that, his parents often took him hiking, instilling in him a love for the trails. Soon, he was running up to the hills alone after school, more and more frequently.
Trail running highlights: Overall Champion of MSIG Ultra @ Tai Po and 3rd Overall of MSIG Trail @ Braemar Hill 15km.
Personal motto: “Never give up and be positive.”

Nicole LEE
Birthdate: August 29, 1997
Occupation: Year 4 student majoring in Applied Psychology at Tung Wah College
Hobbies: Ballet and landscape photography
Trail running background: Started trail running in December 2017, with an outdoor adventure race called Team Challenge 36. There she made a new friend who encouraged her to try trailrunning on its own.
Trail running highlights: 2017 Shatin Twin Peaks 26km, Female Junior champion (her first individual trail race); 2018 New Year NE Mountain Race 32km, Female Junior champion
Personal motto: “Enjoy the race, learn, and respect every
competitor.”

Tony YUNG Tsz Chun
Birthdate: March 19, 1995
Occupation: Salesman at trail running gear shop in Mongkok
Hobbies: Football and cycling
Trail running background: Started trail running 3-4 years ago.
Trail running highlights: 2018 Ultra Maokong 50km; 2018 Mountain Range 50km; 2018 The Beast Trail 50km.
Personal motto: “Keep smiling and keep moving.”

WONG Mei Yan
Birthdate: May 25, 1993
Occupation: Works in disciplinary services
Hobbies: Dragon boating
Trail running background: Started trail running 4-5 years ago. Has a solid road running background — clocked 3hr 03min at the 2019 Hong Kong Marathon and 2hr 57min at the 2019 Seoul International Marathon.
Trail running highlights: 2019 MSIG Ultra @ Tai Po, 3rd overall; 2019 MSIG Trail @ Braemar Hill, 2nd overall; Oxfam Trail walker 14hr 50min.
Why I run: “To explore the world — road and trail running gives me the opportunity to run all over the world and broaden my horizons.”

Lodewijk Adriaan VRIENS
Birthdate: December 30, 1992
Occupation: Management trainee of Swire Properties
Hobbies: CrossFit 4-5 times a week and surfing at Big  Wave Bay
Trail running background: Ran cross-country through most of secondary school, but only started trail running properly while doing his Masters in Beijing. In Beijing, he feels the running community was very tight knit and the great trails north of the Chinese capital made for some very exciting races. Moving back to Hong Kong got him more involved in the sport.
Trail running highlights: Running the HK100 three times
Personal motto: “Just get going, the rest will follow.”

Plato LUK
Birthdate: February 9, 1992
Occupation: Freelance
Hobbies: N.A.
Trail running background: Started trail running more than 5 years ago.
Trail running highlights: 2019 MSIG Ultra @ Tai Po, 3rd overall.
Why I run: “I love the downhill speed and the feeling of my heart exploding over short distances.”

MSIG 青年越野跑培育計劃 7 位年輕本地越野跑手成功獲選,展開為期一年的訓練計劃 爭奪 2020 年歐洲「環勃朗峰超級越野耐力賽」(UTMB) 越野賽保送資格

新聞稿及高清圖片可於以下網頁下載: http://bit.ly/msigyouthtrail

【即時發佈】│新聞稿

【香港 ‧ 2019 年 5 月 23 日】三井住友海上火災保險 (香港) 有限公司 (簡稱「MSIG」) 與 GreenRace 宣布 MSIG 青年越野跑培育計劃於 5 月展開,七位具潛質的本地年輕越野跑手被獲選為計劃的一員。

七位於香港土生土長的越野跑手包括吳瑋曦 (19 歲) 、李卓瑜 (21 歲) 、翁梓進 (24 歲) 、黃美欣  (25 歲) 、Lodewijk Adriaan VRIENS 羅德偉 (26 歲) 、陸卓廷 (27 歲) 以及司徒兆殷 (28 歲),皆透過  參與 MSIG 越野跑系列賽本年度首兩項計分賽事,包括 1 月份的 寶馬山越野賽 15 公里及 3 月份的

MSIG 大埔超級越野跑 18 公里,獲得累計最高分數並合乎資格而獲選。

從今年 5 月起到明年 (2020 年) 4 月,這七位運動員將展開為期 12 個月的訓練計劃,內容包括由 Joint Dynamics 提供的物理治療課程及生理測試、由 D. BeFit  的 Katia Kucher 設計的每週飲食咨詢、由 Gone Running 及 T8 贊助訓練裝備及營養品,及 GreenRace 和 Fields Japan 提供的賽事名額。在計劃過程中,參加者將接受每星期訓練進度的評估,並由各單位每兩個月跟進其進度。結束為期一年的訓練後,於 MSIG 越野跑系列賽中排名前列的兩位運動員將獲得由 MSIG 贊助參加 2020 年 8 月在歐洲舉行的「環勃朗峰超級越野耐力賽」(Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc) 五場賽事的其中一場比賽。

其中年紀最輕的小將吳瑋曦,去年曾代表香港參加蘇格蘭的 2018 年 Skyrunning 世界錦標賽。除此之外,在今年 MSIG 越野跑系列賽的前兩項賽事中,瑋曦分別取得寶馬山越野賽 15 公里的總季軍及 MSIG 大埔超級越野跑 18 公里的總冠軍。

現於香港專業教育學院就讀研究環境科學系的瑋曦說:「我很高興及榮幸能夠成為 MSIG 青年越野跑培育計劃的一員。我希望可以透過這個計劃,提升跑步技巧並令體能變得更強壯,使我在日後比賽中可表現更好。另外,我亦希望可以參加海外的越野跑比賽。」

在芸芸眾多越野跑女將中,司徒兆殷可說是最高知名度的一位。從一名成功的香港三項鐵人運動員轉型到一名越野賽跑手,憑藉在跑步上的天賦幫助她在本地的越野賽中獲獎無數。 司徒兆殷同時是寶馬山越野賽 15 公里總冠軍及 MSIG 大埔超級越野跑 18 公里的總亞軍。作為一名全職工程師,司徒兆殷分享了自己被選中參加該計劃的感想:「感覺這將會是一個非常具有挑戰性的一年。對於作為 15 年三項鐵人運動員的我來說,參加 MSIG 青年越野跑培育計劃是一個全新的體驗。我必須要訂立新的目標,並找到一種新方法來訓練。三項鐵人及越野跑,兩項運動相對之下,我仍然比較喜歡三項鐵人。我希望透過參加這個計劃後會有所改變,令我踏出我的舒適區,讓我體驗到越野跑的魅力及作出突破!」。

在每月的訓練計劃裡,各運動員不但會接受為他們度身訂造的訓練課程和營養咨詢,還有肌力與體能訓練及受傷預防工作坊。計劃並鼓勵各運動員積極參與各種社區活動,例如環保慢跑、海灘清理、社區會談等。比賽方面,成員亦會定期參與本地越野跑賽事,包括 Tigershead GreenRace (8 月 24 日)和 Double Nine GreenRace(10 月 7 日)。當然少不了 2019 年 MSIG 越野跑系列賽的最後兩場賽事,分別是 9 月 21 日的 MSIG 八仙嶺越野賽和 11 月 3 日的 MSIG 梅窩頂峰賽。

GreenRace 賽事總監 Martin Cai 先生表示:「我們非常樂意支持年輕一代的香港越野跑運動員。 GreenRace 很榮幸能夠參與培育這七位年輕本地越野跑新星,幫助他們於個人成長及團隊合作層面上都得到提升及得著。MSIG 青年越野跑培育計劃旨在加強香港社區對越野跑這項運動的關注,並鼓勵更多企業和教育機構支持香港越野跑持續性發展。」

有關 MSIG 青年越野跑培育計劃的詳細資料,請瀏覽計劃網站 https://msig.tgr.run/youthseries/圖片說明圖片一甲及乙

MSIG 青年越野跑培育計劃正式展開,獲選本地年輕越野跑手早前參與第一次會面,了解來年計劃詳情。

MSIG 青年越野跑培育計劃正式展開,獲選本地年輕越野跑手早前參與第一次會面,了解來年計劃詳情。

MSIG 青年越野跑培育計劃的每月訓練計劃裡,各運動員不但獲得為他們度身訂造的全面訓練課程、營養咨詢及訓練裝備,亦會得到 GreenRace 和 Fields Japan 提供的賽事名額。

此新聞稿由動力國際體育商業顧問公司代表 TGR International Limited 發佈。

活動查詢:TGR International Limited

Martin Cai 賽事總監
電話:+852 9133 5415                          電郵:team@tgr.run

 

傳媒查詢:動力國際 ActionHouse International Limited

陸嘉裕 (Anthea)
電話:+852 3102 8117/ 9512 5685
電郵:alook@actionhouseintl.com

關於三井住友海上火災保險(香港)有限公司三井住友海上火災保險(香港)有限公司(簡稱「MSIG」) 早於 1855 年開展業務網絡,在香港已有逾一百五十年歷史,一直為客戶提供多元化的一般保險方案及產品。MSIG 的母公司 Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Limited 根基雄厚,擁有豐富的保險市場經驗,並獲得標準普爾、穆迪投資等國際權威評級機構給予極高信貸評級。Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Limited 是少數業務遍佈每個東盟國家的外資一般保險公司,見證其雄厚實力和市場網絡。MSIG 亦因全球其中一個最大的一般保險集團 MS&AD 保險集團而享有業務優勢。透過多元化的銷售渠道、與中介公司的緊密伙伴關係,及遍佈全球的業務版圖, MSIG 致力為客戶提供全面的個人及商業保險產品,並繼續緊守其一貫信念,與客人維繫持久的關係,推動更緊密的合作。

關於 TGR International Ltd (GreenRace)

GreenRace 專門舉辦可持續發展和全方位的越野跑比賽,在亞太區各地舉行不同特色的賽事。賽事大部分為獨立舉辦,部分則與其他夥伴合辦,主要在香港和日本進行。GreenRace 的使命是燃點所在社區中跑手的熱情,設計各年齡層和能力的跑手和義工都喜歡的越野跑路線。GreenRace 高度關注履行對社會和環境的責任,致力舉辦以推廣零垃圾理念為目標的賽事。在構思每項越野跑賽事時,GreenRace 都會以質素、可持續性,及為不同社會階層的跑手提供稱心體驗為重點。

GreenRace 獲得亞洲越野跑社群的忠實擁護,並在義工們同心協力的協助下日漸壯大。

附件-運動員簡歷
MSIG 青年越野跑培育計劃

司徒兆殷
出生日期
:1991 年 1 月 24 日
職業:全職工程師
愛好:三項鐵人越野跑背景:兩年前(2017 年)因為想嘗試接觸三項鐵人以外的運動而開始參與越野跑,主要參加 10-20 公里距離的本地越野跑比賽。
越野賽經驗/成績: MSIG 寶馬山越野賽 15 公里總冠軍、MSIG 大埔超級越野跑 18 公里總亞軍、2017 年 TNF50 香港女子組季軍
個人座右銘:「當你為自己訂立一定的標準,就算訓練有多艱辛 ,一切都會變得自然。」

吳瑋曦
出生日期:1999 年 9 月 29 日
職業: 香港專業教育學院沙田分校學生(主修環境科學)。
愛好:行山越野跑背景: 他的父母從小經常帶他去遠足,逐漸培養他對山徑的熱愛。自中學起他開始參與越野跑,放學後會獨自到山徑跑步。
越野賽經驗/成績:MSIG 寶馬山越野賽 15 公里第三名及 MSIG 大埔超級越野跑 18 公里總冠軍。
個人座右銘:「永不放棄,積極向上」。

李卓瑜
出生日期:1997 年 8 月 29 日
職業:東華學院應用心理學專業四年級生
愛好:芭蕾舞和攝影
越野跑背景:2017 年 12 月第一次參加越野跑賽事,在比賽中結識了一位新朋友,這位朋友鼓勵她投入越野跑運動。
越野賽經驗/成績:2017 年沙田雙峰賽 26 公里女子青少年冠軍、2018 元旦東北縱走 32 公里女子青少年冠軍
個人座右銘:「享受比賽,學習並尊重每一位競爭對手。」

翁梓進
出生日期:1995 年 3 月 19 日
職業:旺角越野跑步裝備店的推銷
愛好:足球和單車
越野跑背景: 3 – 4 年前開始參與越野跑
越野賽經驗/成績:2018 年 Ultra 貓空 50 公里、2018 年越嶺系列賽沙田 50 公里、2018 年跑山獸 50 公里。
個人座右銘:「保持微笑,繼續前進。」

黃美妍
出生日期:1993 年 5 月 25 日
職業:紀律部隊
愛好:龍舟
越野跑背景:4 – 5 年前開始接觸越野跑。擁有多年公路賽跑步經驗 — 2019 年香港馬拉松賽時間為 3 小時 03 分鐘,2019 年首爾國際馬拉松賽時間為 2 小時 57 分鐘。
越野賽經驗/成績:2019 年寶馬山越野賽 15 公里總亞軍、2019年 MSIG 大埔超級越野跑 18 公里總季軍、毅行者完成時間為 14小時 50 分鐘。
喜歡越野跑的原因:「為了探索世界—越野跑讓我有機會跑遍世界,開闊視野。」

羅德偉
出生日期:1992 年 12 月 30 日
職業:太古集團的管理培訓生,目前在太古地產工作
愛好: 健身、衝浪
越野跑背景:中學生涯的大部分時間都有參與越野跑,但要到北京攻讀碩士學位時才算開始正式投入這項運動。他說感受到北京跑步社群的團結,及參加了幾項非常刺激的比賽,令他回到香港後更熱衷參與越野跑。
越野賽經驗/成績:參與過三次香港 100。
個人座右銘:「放膽邁步吧,一切都會踏上正軌的。」

陸卓
出生日期
:1992 年 2 月 9 日職業:自由工作者
越野跑背景:5 年多前開始參與越野跑。
越野賽經驗/成績:2019 年 MSIG 大埔超級越野跑總季軍
喜歡越野跑的原因:「我喜歡下坡時的速度和心臟在短時間內澎湃的感覺。」

Breathing Technique for Runners

As a runner, finding the proper breathing technique will help improve your running performance and even prevent some injuries. While we run, our body needs oxygen to support our energy, blood flow, muscle energy and strength. The more air you inhale, the more oxygen is available to be transferred through your circulatory system to your working muscles. Rhythmic breathing can play an important role in staying injury-free. 

What is Rhythmic Breathing

To understand how rhythmic breathing can help avoid injuries and increase the energy, you have to consider some of the stresses of running. When your foot hits the ground, the force of impact equals two or three times your body weight, and the impact stress is more intense when your foot strikes the ground at the beginning of an exhalation. When you exhale, your diaphragm and the muscles linked to the diaphragm relax, creating less stability in your core. Less stability at the time of intense impact increases the chances of injury. The reason why not following the correct rhythmic breathing while running can cause some side effects, is due to the greatest impact stress of running which happens when your footstrike coincides with the beginning of an exhalation. That means that if you begin to exhale every time your left foot hits the ground, the left side of your body will always suffer from the running stress. Always landing on the same foot at the beginning of exhalation compounds the problem. It causes one side of your body to constantly absorb the greatest impact of running, which causes it to become increasingly worn down and vulnerable to injury. Rhythmic breathing coordinates footstrike with inhalation and exhalation in an odd/even pattern so that your land alternately on your right and left foot at the beginning of every exhalation. The impact stress of running will be shared equally across both sides of your body.

Benefits of Rhythmic Breathing

Learning how to breathe properly through rhythmic breathing is essential. The same as in yoga, which teaches pranayama- breath work means the work of breathing draws life-giving force in the body. The proper breathing technique is accomplished through diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing, which means that as you inhale, you contract the diaphragm fully to allow maximum volume in the chest cavity for maximum expansion of the lungs and maximum intake of air. Rhythmic breathing creates a pathway to a deep centeredness. While running, you achieve centeredness first by focusing your mind on fitting your breathing to an optimal footstrike pattern. Your awareness of breathing links the mind and body which helps you feel your running, and that ability to feel your running allows you quick and precise control. Rhythmic breathing is calming, it allows you to stay as relaxed as possible, quieting any stress in the body that could inhibit performance. When you feel some tension or discomfort, you can mentally “push” it out of the body as you exhale. 

How to Breathe

Before starting the rhythmic breathing pattern, you must learn to breathe from your diaphragm. When you inhale, your diaphragm contracts and moves downward, while muscles in your chest contract to expand your rib cage, which increases the volume in your chest cavity and draws air into your lungs. Working your diaphragm to its fullest potential allows your lungs to expand to their greatest volume and fill the largest amount of air, which you need for your running. Many runners underuse their diaphragm, relying too much on their chest muscles and taking in less oxygen, which is so important for energy production. Also, breathing from your chest, these muscles are smaller and will fatigue more quickly than your diaphragm will. 

How to Train for the Breathing Technique

  • Lie on your back
  • Keep your upper chest and shoulders still
  • Focus on raising your belly as you inhale (belly out)
  • Lower your belly as you exhale (belly in)
  • Inhale and exhale through both your nose and mouth

Rhythmic Breathing Pattern for Running

Many runners develop a 2:2 pattern of breathing, meaning they inhale for two footstrikes and exhale for two footstrikes. That causes to exhale always on the same side, and can cause the greatest running stress always on the same foot side. The benefit of rhythmic breathing is that you will exhale on alternate footstrikes as you run. The proper rhythmic breathing patterns include a longer inhale than exhale. The reason why you need longer inhalation is that your diaphragm and other breathing muscles contract during inhalation, which brings stability to your core. These same muscles relax during exhalation, decreasing stability. So, it is best to hit the ground more often when your core is more stable- during inhalation.

Rhythmic Breathing Technique

  1. For steady pace runs, easy or moderate effort or long-distance runs- 3:2 breathing pattern. Inhale for 3 steps and exhale for 2 steps.
  2. For faster pace run, speedwork, or uphill running- 2:1 breathing pattern. Inhale for 2 steps and exhale for 1 step. 
  3. For intense runs or races when you are not able to talk and have to breathe fast. 2:1:1:1 breathing pattern. Inhale for 2 steps, exhale for 1 step, inhale for 1 step, exhale for 1 step and repeat. 

As you train your rhythmic breathing and tune in to your breathing efforts and paces, you will learn to run from within in complete harmony with your body. You will discover your natural rhythms, which will lead to improved performances, but mostly experience the pure joy of running.

Train Well, Breathe Well, Enjoy Running!

KATIA

Easy Tips to Fix your Running Form


It is important to focus on our running technique to make our runs are as smooth and efficient as possible. Often, we don’t realize that our running form is not accurate as it should be to increase our performance, even our endurance by saving some muscle soreness, fatigue or injuries due to the imbalanced running form. Focusing on all the different parts of our body to fix our running form and technique will make it much easier and provide a great difference in how you feel.

Running Technique Tips- Body Parts

Eyes
Do not run with your eyes looking down at your feet. Your eyes should focus 10-15 meters in front of you to achieve a good running technique. On the technical trail, you should focus on shorter distances but without bending your head completely down.

Face
Try to keep your face relaxed. Do not clench your jaw, when the jaw is clenched, neural signals are sent to the spinal cord, causing the whole body to tense up.

Head
The average head weights about 3-4.5kg, so it is important to support it properly to avoid undue strain. Make sure you don’t drop your head forward, sideways or don’t pull it back. It is also important not to extend your head forward on your neck (like we do when we are on our computer).

Shoulders
Our shoulders should be relaxed when we run. To help the relaxation, avoid clenching the fists. Also, doing some upper body strength workouts, and stretches can help reduce the shoulder tightness during the runs. If you feel any shoulder or neck tightness while you run, perform a few arm circles backwards on both sides to feel the release of the tightness.

Arms
Our arms act as pistons to help propel forward when you are working on your running technique. Elbows should be bent, close to 90 degrees. Drive the arms forward, and they will naturally come back on their own. Moving your arms faster makes your legs move faster, so you use more arm power when you’re putting more effort. You can see that strong runners have lean, strong arm muscles, from using the arms to power up.

Hands
Hands should not be clenched, but they should not be left dangling too loose. The best recommendation is to imagine you are holding a tiny paper piece between each thumb and forefinger, to keep your hands in proper form but not too tight.

Back
Your torso should be perpendicular to the ground, keeping your back straight and pulling in your abdominals to straighten your spine. Do not arch your back or lean forward, which will affect your alignment and restrict your breathing.

Hips
When running, you need to engage your full core to help avoid your pelvis to be off stance. Without engaging our core, to support our running form other muscles will have to take over which can cause some injuries. Make sure that your hips are not weak, if you feel one side of your hip drop on the foot impact, that means your glutes are weak and not engaged. While running, your hips should be balanced.

Knees
Aim to include some reasonable knee lift with each stride, not too high, this will provide a better running technique. When lifting your knees, use your core and abdominals for the lift, not only the hip flexors, otherwise they will get very tight.

Ankles
Don’t put all the pressure on the front of the ankle, especially on the hills. Most runners have a tendency to run with rigid ankles, which doesn’t help with shock dissipation and smooth stride. Keeping our ankles very tight can also affect our shins and Achilles. We have to make sure our ankles are strong and flexible.

Feet
Land midfoot and roll smoothly through the forefoot, don’t push off the toes too hard, try to relax your toes in the range of motion. Make sure you don’t constantly heel strike. 

To fix your running technique, try to keep it in mind when running. A good recommendation, is to perform a body scan every ten minutes, so that you keep your proper running form. Especially once our body starts to feel tired, we need to assess our running form regularly to avoid more fatigue or injuries. 

Body Scanning Reminder:

  • Can you feel tightness in your jaw or shoulders? 
  • Are you clenching your hands, or keeping your ankles rigid?
  • Are your spine and back aligned?
  • Are your hips balanced?
  • Are you landing on your feet properly?

Relax your body regularly, breathe properly and enjoy and nice run with a great running form!

Train Well, Eat Well, Feel Great!

KATIA

Kinesiology Tape for Runners


Sports kinesiology tape was developed in the 1970’s by a Japanese chiropractor Dr Kenso Kase, a very famous and professional chiropractor. Kinesiology tape is a strong but flexible tape that moves with your body, it has been proven to have positive physiological effects on the skin, lymphatic and circulatory system, fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. Kinesiology tape is a natural rehabilitative taping technique that helps to stabilize an injured area of the body, allowing it to heal without completely reducing its range of motion. The most common areas of the body where the tape is used are: knees, shoulders, calves, shins, elbows, wrists and back. The tape can be applied over and around an injured joint, muscle or tendon to reduce swelling, pain and prevent more complications and side effects.

How does kinesiology tape work

Kinesiology tape works by lifting the skin slightly away from the underlying tissue, due to the adhesion between the skin and tape. It creates a small space between the muscle and dermis of the skin where fluid can be drained from. Kinesiology tape can be used for a longer period than stiff athletic tape as it doesn’t severely limit the circulation.

Benefits of kinesiology tape

  1. Decreased pain– Kinesiology tape can help reduce pain. The presence of tape on the skin creates a free stimulus, which makes it more difficult for the nervous system to detect pain in the injured area. The lifting effect from the tape on the skin reduces the pressure on the body’s pain receptors in that area so that fewer signals are sent to the brain.
  2. Faster healing– Kinesiology tape is more flexible which provides a vertical lift to the skin. It decompresses the space between the skin and the muscles, which improves blood flow to the area and allows the body’s lymphatic and venous drainage systems to drain the waste products at a quicker rate, providing faster healing.
  3. Increased muscle strength– The tape has shown to help small increases in muscle strength, which can be very helpful for body parts that may be affected by muscle inhibition. Kinesiology tape works by producing a pull on the fascia (connective tissue), which helps stimulate increased muscle contraction. Combined with improved muscle alignment may contribute to small increases in muscle strength. 
  4. Improved proprioception– Proprioception is the ability to sense the relative position and movement of your body parts, which plays an important role in the prevention of acute injuries. The presence and stretching effect of the tape on the skin stimulates tiny receptors in the skin that detect changes in movement within the body. These receptors send information to the brain about the body’s movement and position which in theory enhances proprioception.
  5. Useful for running injuries– Kinesiology tape is very helpful for running injuries including:
  • Knee pains
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Shin splits
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee)
  • Hamstring pull
  • IT Band
  1. Improved posture– For runners dealing with running form issues, kinesiology tape can help counteract bad posture. The tape improves muscle alignment, combined with proprioception (better feedback from your brain to your body’s position), helps to be more aware of and hold a better posture to fix your running form.

How to use kinesiology tape

  • Apply the tape 30-60 mins before starting any physical activity.
  • Prepare your skin by cleaning it to remove dirt, lotion or excess hair. Tape is more efficient applied on bare skin.
  • Cut and round the edges of the tape so it doesn’t peel back and unstick.
  • Before applying the tape, properly align and stretch it, but don’t stretch the end of the tape. The ends should lay flat and unstretched on your skin so it doesn’t pull it.
  • To help activate the adhesive, which works by being activated with the body heat, rub your hands over the tape gently. 

Kinesiology tape can help runners with injury prevention and rehabilitation. The tape helps decrease pain, swelling and stiffness, while improving blood flow, range of motion, strength and healing.

Train Well, Listen to your Body, Feel Great!

Katia