Last Saturday, the ActiveSG Running Clinic x Runners Convention 2018 took place at the Festive Square of Our Tampines Hub. The event saw ActiveSG Athletics Club head coach Steven Quek and lead Active Health expert Kenneth Mc Geough share insightful training tips with the audience, who comprised mainly of running enthusiasts.
Active Health expert Kenneth Mc Geough sharing insightful training tips with the audience. Photo: Sport Singapore
The event aimed to equip attendees with knowledge on topics like training, nutrition, recovery, and injury prevention, in order to better their running performances.
“I wanted to share some very general principles that [the participants could] approach in their own training, [rather than] telling them what to do,” Quek, an elite distance coach, shared.
The veteran coach, who has national marathoners such as Neo Jie Shi under his wing, gave participants advice on how best to adjust their training frequency, intensity, and duration, as well as the types of exercises they should carry out in order to see improvements in their runs. He also emphasised the importance of nutrition and recovery, adding that the two could affect training progress.
39-year-old Chia Kiang Kheat, who registered to attend Quek’s sharing session, said the presentation provided a good reminder of factors people often overlook.
“There are some things like nutrition and sleep that we [often cast aside] and probably never think about.[Quek gave us] a wake-up call to get these basics right,” Chia said.
Runners looking to learn more in the areas that Quek discussed were advised to join his distance running group at the ActiveSG Athletics Club.
“They get to learn the same things. It’s just that over in the club, we follow up the explanation with actual practical [sessions],” Quek expressed, adding that members will benefit from having a regular group to train with as well.
Following Quek’s segment, clinical exercise physiologist Mc Geough spoke about potential disruptors for long-distance runners looking to perform better, and his session was based on the four pillars of the Active Health programme, such as sleep deficiency and poor nutrition.
“Recreational athletes [are often] at risk of injury and [can suffer] actual negative health outcomes. But simple sleep, nutrition, and activity tips are really easy to implement and it can be really helpful,” said Mc Geough.
Participants taking part in a simple warm-up routine. Photo: Sport Singapore
He also got participants to get on their feet to try out some exercises like hip and ankle extensions to prevent injuries, as well as a simple warm-up routine.
Although he acknowledged that most participants at the convention would be considered fairly active, Mc Geough stressed that physical activity alone was not an indicator of a healthy lifestyle.
“The great thing about Active Health is that there are four domains we focus on, [which] means that there is some wiggle room to still improve your overall health, even if physical activity is something you’re very strong at,” he explained.
This was something that the event’s guest speaker, international trail runner, Mira Rai, resonated with.
International trail runner, Mira Rai, in the Active Health Lab. Photo: Sport Singapore
Coming from an impoverished background in Nepal, she stumbled into her first trail-running race only three years ago. Having won several races since, Rai was recently voted the National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year in 2017.
With the help of a translator, she expressed: “It’s important to keep on learning and improve yourself. Motivate yourself to help you reach higher!”
After going through a tour of the Active Health Lab, and attending an onboarding session, Rai was incredibly impressed with the facilities, and urged all Singaporeans to make use of what was available.
“In Nepal, we don’t have these kinds of facilities. This [the Active Health lab] was just amazing! You guys are very lucky,” she exclaimed.
For a free body assessment at the Active Health Lab, sign up for your own onboarding session here. Additionally, if you’re interested in improving your running techniques, sign up for the ActiveSG Athletics Club here.