Saturday, July 22, 2017

Injury - When in doubt, consult or pull out.

By Rameshon

Picture 1 - When in doubt, consult or don't do it1

I wrote about the 2008 Stanchart Marathon, held in Singapore, in website. It was a year that Dr Ben Tan, Daniel Ling and i came in 3rd, 2nd and first in men open category, respectively. 

My progress was very good for that year, but I knew that I would not be able to do a 2hr 34min 02sec, which I did in Singapore International Marathon 1994. Daniel Ling, my former colleague that I was training, was sometimes getting injury and he was visiting Dr Ben Tan at that time. While training, as training mates, we did not know who is going to be first, second and third for Stanchart Marathon 2008.  Here, I feel that it is good for me to share something that I did that enabled me to get the 2hr 49min for 2008 Stanchart Marathon.

I am sharing this as there is lesson to learn still, especially on the art of not getting injury. I had planned for 6 workouts for the Stanchart Marathon 2008. All went well and there was no injury. However, I had some sensation coming from my achilles tendon for the very last workout, 10 days just before the race itself. The good thing is that the achilles tendon problem came at the very last minute and I had sensation and I was pondering on what to do. Finally, I told myself that it is good to stretch and warm up and see how the pain in the achilles tendon is going to be. 

Just before the last workout of Stanchart Marathon, I decided to back out. I believe that it is advisable to follow this and if one is in doubt, it is wise to do away with the workout, and do other form of training which can alternate the training, without compromising getting injured. 

The fortunate thing was that I was able to converse with Dr Ben Tan, as he was himself an orthopaedic surgeon. I asked him," Is it good to miss the last workout." I thought he will say a no. Opposite to what I was thinking, he told me that what I could do is to look at the sensation. If the sensation is same during the steady run, it is all right to run. But if the sensation keeps going up, he told me to pull out during the run itself. 

Taking his suggestion, I ran the tempo 15km and I did about a 55min plus, while Daniel did 56min. Dr Ben Tan did 59min, which was a personal best for him. Miraculously, I found that the sensation was not there after 2km. It vanished during the run and even after the run. I got only Dr Ben Tan to thank as I could not have done the 15km tempo without his advice. 

As some of us have no advisors, it is wise to pull out from injury. Else, one might not be able to run on the day itself. My two cents worth to 'when in doubt' is to pull out of the workout or not to do the training, but find alternative ways to train, which may prevent an impending injury which is about to appear shortly. One can do the workout on another day, instead, when one finds that it is safe to do the tempo, by ensuring that there is no gradual increase in the sensation during the run.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

An Interview With Coach Rameshon -Sub - 2hours 24min 22 sec (Part 1)

By Saranniya

Sub - 2hr 24min 22sec mission starts now. 

(Left to Right) Evan Chee (3rd), Ruben (2nd) Coach Rameshon, Coach Saravanan and Dr Ansgar Cheng (Champion) for POSB Run 2016

All along, when Coach Rameshon starts to train hard, I used to tell him that he has already achieved everything that he wanted, especially breaking the national record in Singapore and also in qualifying for the Olympics. It is for the youngsters to go for it!

On top of that, he also have a Bachelor of Science Degree from the famed Loughborough University of Technology, where he studied Physical Education and Sports Science (1992-1994). In Year 2008, he finally finished his Masters in Education in the reputed University of Western Australia. In that year, as a teacher-coach, he was instrumental in winning the National Schools Cross - Country and Track and Field 'A' Division, for under 18 years of age for Hwa Chong Institution (College Section)in his lifetime. Overall, he has 12 National Schools' Cross - Country Titles. He was instrumental in getting 10 titles for National Track and Field Championships for Hwa Chong Institution.

Having said that, I felt that there is no need to prove oneself if one has achieved. He told me that it is important to keep oneself fit and healthy throughout in life. Hence, he kept fit all the way until now, and I have evidenced this all the time. During his own time, he will independently do fitness work when needed. Moreover, I have seen him really running and exercising during the personal training sessions. 

At the same time, I was able to come down in weight from 60kg to 42kg by four years, which enabled me to win second overall position in National School Cross - Country Race for under 17 years of age for girls, last year. our fellow Flexifitness athlete Mariviv Tan came in fourth overall in the 3.5km race. 

Flexifitness Athletes in POSB Run 2016

Recently, few months back, Coach Rameshon told me that without Ashley Liew (who has a personal best of 2hour 32min for New Orleans Marathon 2015) here, we do not have anyone doing a real sub-40min for 10km. Knowing this, with a team of dedicated athletes like Dr Benny Goh, Jensen, Thow Wee, Andreas, Brian Ye, Ruben, Evan, Yogaraj, Darren, and not forgetting the Dr Ansgar, he worked hard to enable them to do a sub-40min. It was because of this that Coach Rameshon stopped serious running for some time. Currently, as the dream has been realised, when Evan Chee won third position in Stanchart Marathon 2015 and when Colin came in 4th overall for men open category, he is rethinking again to train hard. Recently, five of our runners ran and did sub - 39min for POSB 10km Run. All top five individual athletes in the race were from Flexifitness. In the race, Dr Ansgar Cheng, 50, from Specialist Dental Group, came in first with a net time of 37min 00sec. It was a very big achievement for us. 

That marked the day of there are many who can do sub-40min easily. As such, Coach Rameshon has finally decided to run not for fitness alone but for performance as well. However,  this time it is not to win anything but to challenge himself with his own time - the 2hr 24min 22sec. After winning the 2008 Stanchart Marathon in Singapore, he was going for the 2hr 24min 22sec time. He did 52min 30sec in Singapore for 15km, one month before the Stanchart Marathon 2009, but he got injured in the process, and took three years to get out of it. 

After the successful POSB race, where our top 8 runners were positioned in top 14, with four ladies coming in top 13 in the women open category, plus five kids getting overall top 8 position in the POSB Run 2016, Coach Rameshon told me that it is fun to challenge the 2hr 24min 22sec which he missed out earlier on. 

I have given an interview and have got his exhaustive and detailed answers. For the benefit of readers, I will put it up soon. So, watch for it!

Coach Rameshon And His Revisit of Sub-2hr 24min 22sec Marathon Challenge.

By Saranniya

Team Flexifitness - Cheering Group for Dr Ansgar Cheng's Prize Giving Ceremony for coming in as the champion in 5km Men Masters in 17min 39sec. 

"Why can't" - A favourite saying of Dr Ansgar Cheng

Revisit of aiming for sub-2hour 24min 22sec, challenging with own time. 

My intention of writing this is to state my wonder whether Coach Rameshon, 51, has ever tried thinking of doing a time of 2hr 24min 22sec, still currently the Singapore National Record, again.

The first time he broke the record was in year 1990, in Hong Kong Marathon, where he came in 5th overall, with a time of 2hr 31min and won a cash prize of $3000.

Coach Rameshon has ran 2hours and 30min and below, five times- 2hr 30min (California Rim Marathon 1990), 2hr 29min (Flora London International Marathon 1993, April). 2hr 28min (Berlin International Marathon, 1993, Sept), 2hr 29min (SEA Games first qualifier,1995, Feb, and the SEA Games route was verified by the Thailand officials to go ahead to use it for SEA Games) and in the same Chiangmai, Thailand, he did a time of 2hr 24min 22sec, smashing the national record, yet again.

After seeing this, I have asked him of any future running pursuits. He said," Many have asked me to run again and they are keen to see me run, to the point that they want to see how fast I can run". He told me that at forty, in the past, he wanted to win the Stanchart Marathon, but it evaded him. In year 2007, his runner by the name of Daniel Ling won the Stanchart Marathon in 2hr 46min, defeating triple year winner Elangovan Ganesan. Mr Rameshon ended second position.

In year 2008, Mr Rameshon ran and did 2hr 49min in Stanchart Marathon in Singapore and came in as the champion of the race. His runner Daniel Ling was second and Dr Ben Tan, whom he was training was third (2hr 56min), the first Singaporean Doctor to run sub-3hour for a marathon. 

Coach Rameshon told me that in year 2009, he wanted to do a sub-2hr 40min, and then attempt to do a sub - 2hr 30min and aim to do a sub- 2hr 24min, but this evaded him as he got injured due to an injury related to the knee. In that year, Dr Benny Goh was third while Ashley Liew was first runner up for the Stanchart race that year.

"Adidas was supporting me to do a sub-2hr 24min 22sec and I was hoping to do in year 2010 to 2012. My plan failed as I kept getting injuries. "

To my question, recently on," Is there any possibility of going near or even breaking the time of 2hr 24min 22sec again" , He said, " Why not!" "Anything is possible". "One must believe in miracles and it is ok to go for it." " If one can get it is good, if I don't, it is ok and the challenge is not with the youngsters but with myself." I just need to keep away from injuries."

To the question of when he is going to attempt, he said, it starts now. "It is me against myself, I have done it in the past and with the empowered present informed knowledge of preventing injuries, diet and being aware of the new training methodology and training techniques to get faster, I may get it and it is always a thrill to challenge oneself". "Infact, the challenge starts from today."

Picture 1 - (Left to Right) It was Teamwork - Daniel Ling(2nd), Rameshon (1st) and Dr Benedict Tan (3rd) for Stanchart Marathon 2008, in Singapore

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Dr Ansgar Cheng - POSB RUN 2016 MEN OPEN 10km Champion

By Saranniya

(Left to Right) Evan Chee, Ruben, Dr Ansgar Cheng, our heroes of the day coming in 1-2-3 for Men Open Category. 

I was near the start/finish point of POSB RUN as early as 5am. It is a day that we were proud to don our new Flexifitness singlet and t-shirt. The brand of our singlet/t-shirt was changed from AGT to Adidas, as many of our runners preferred it. Today, there were not only races for adults, but also, there were races for kids as well. Coach Rameshon and other coaches were there to support our Flexifitness runners, so that they do their best in the race. 

Many of our runners and other strong competitors were there at the staring point, both young and old. As expected, I saw a number of our Flexifitness young athletes running very strongly towards the last part of the race, coming in top 6, for male and female section. Moreover, a few of them came in top 20. This year, was the year to show that Flexifitness has progressed a lot, in terms of better run times, comparatively. Our boys and girls, who thought that they will do a mediocre time really did well, as, if they had run the school's 2.4km test, they will definitely get a minimum gold award, although our idea is to enable one to go for a personal best time.

Flexifitness Athletes with new vest and -t -shirt

The climax of the race came when Dr Ansgar, 50, from Specialist Dental Group, and our Flexifitness athlete, came in as the champion with the fastest time for the event. He did a time of 37min 02sec, according to his hand watch. Although, his wish of sub-36min did not manifest, which he could have got it if someone had pushed him towards the last part, he proved to Singaporeans, at large, that old is gold.

(Left to Right) At prize giving, Evan Chee, Ruben, Coach Rameshon, Coach Saravanan and Dr Ansgar Cheng. 

Dr Ansgar is not a fly by night athlete as he has constantly produced fantastic performance like coming in champion in the Asian Masters Championships 2016 held in Singapore, plus doing very well in men open half-marathon races, coming in top 10 usually. He did a 17min 39sec to outrun a Chinese runner. Earlier on, Dr Ansgar was doing a time between 18min 20sec to 18min 30sec for 6 month. Earlier, when he joined us in year 2014, his time was about 20min plus for 5km. Dr Ansgar is also a teamworker as our athletes always looks up to him as an inspiration.

Hence, we can see that the second position for men open category for POSB Run went to Ruben and third position to Evan Chee, who are both Flexifitness. It was not only a 1-2-3, but it was a 1-2-3-4-5 by Flexifitness athletes.

A number of our athletes also came in top 20, not only in men open but also in women open as well.

We will post the result soon in our running blog/website.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Safra Army Marathon 2016

By Rameshon

Firstly, we would like to, proudly, say that our marathoner, Ashley Liew, who has a personal best of 2hr 32min 12sec for New Orleans Marathon 2015, is about to run in 25th September, Berlin International Marathon 2016. I myself have ran thrice in Berlin Marathon and my best time to date is still 2hr 29min (1993). My true and inner recommendation to many aspiring athletes in Singapore is to run there as it is one of the best marathon races in the world. We would like to wish Ashley all the best for the race. 

As for some of the other runners in our group, ti was found that a number of them are aiming to take part in different races overseas, in order to do a personal best timing, as it is not easy to do in Singapore.

As for today, the event Safra Half - Marathon took place and, some of our runners ran and did us proud by doing credible and commendable timing for the race. As for me, I have told the runners to take this as a conditioning race for the Standard Chartered Marathon 2016 race, this year, if they are running. The undermentioned are Flexifitness results. 

Evan Chee - Supported by Adidas

Name of our runners and their respective timing
Evan Chee - 1hr 21min 12sec 
Erich - 1hr 27min 11sec (Personal Best)
Jensen - 1hr 32min 
Whye Mun - 1hr 42min
Kelvin Wong - 1hr 45min (Big Personal Best)
Jennifer Quek - 1hr 54min (even though she was not able to train for a month)
Shireena - 2hr 02min 
Jason Tee - 2hr 17min 52sec (Big Personal Best)

Flexifitness would like to say well done to these runners. Congrats!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ashley Liew Excels in Both Running and Academic Pursuits

Ashley Liew - Showing academic excellence can be attained while balancing Sports

Ashley Liew, at last night Boards Busters' Bash, was awarded highest individual score among Sherman College of Chiropractic for the National Chiropractic Boards Part III and Part II (Principles of Chiropractic section). 

The intense testing weekend took place in the midst of serving chiropractic patients, juggling classes, and running 100+ mile weeks. This is what I call "real" balance. I was amazed, in the past, and am amazed, even now,  with Ashley's achievement in academics as well, not discounting running at the same time, in the midst of a hectic week. 

As, he has given talks on balance on studies and sports, I believe that Ashley also proves himself as well on whatever he says. 

Moreover, exactly one month from today Ashley is going to run in the 2016 Berlin Marathon. Flexifitness would like to wish Ashley all the best for the race in his training and the race as well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Kenyan Consesius Kipruto breaks Olympic Record in 3000m Steeplechase Final in Men 's race

By Rameshon

Consesius Kipruto, from Kenya, surged around the last 250m to break away from Evan Jager from USA. 

From the start, 30-year old Kipruto Consesius from Kenya, ran a splendid race by racing from the front all the way until Evan Jager, who has a personal best of 8min 00.45sec, from USA over took him around the mid-way of the race. At the 5min 00sec mark, the race controlled by Evan Jager. At the 2200m, the time stood at 6min 00sec. Jager kept up his challenge by continued leading and this went all the way until the last 400m as Kipruto and Ezekiel Kemboi (Kenyan) surged forward to lead the race till the end of the race. After the last water jump, Jager over took Kemboi to come in second, and as for Kipruto, he had an approximate distance of 15m gap to win the race with a time of 8min 03. 28sec, which is a new Olympic record. Evan Jager was second with a time of 8min 04. 28sec and Ezekiel Kemboi did 8min 08. 47sec. It is interesting to note that it is the 9th straight victory for Kenya 3000m steeplechase race for men in Olympics,  since 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.