21 Jul How not to get injured in Running? Dr Benedict Tan’s Answer
If you keen and have queries, please contact Coach Rameshon at 9100 4369 or you can email him at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please refer to website http://flexifitness.com.sg (for more information on him and his programmes)
Written By Rameshon
Bsc (Hons) Degree in Physical Education, Loughborough University (1992-1994)
Masters in Education (University of Western Australia, 2005-2008)
In the year 2008, I got to know Dr Benedict Tan (Dr Ben Tan in short), who was Sportsman of the Year Award winner three times, and at present a Nominated MP, and President of Singapore Sailing Federation, through, Daniel Ling, my former colleague of Hwa Chong Institution. At that time, I did 3hr 31min for the Berlin Marathon in September, 2008, while Daniel did 2hr 49min. Dr Benedict Tan did 3hr 01min. At that time, I was coaching Daniel Ling, who did a personal best there.
Picture 1 – Despite a very busy schedule, Dr Ben Tan (on the right) got his 2hr 56min in the year 2008.
Dr Ben Tan asked Daniel Ling whether I am also coming for the post-marathon dinner. I decided to go and meet him as we were a small group there at Berlin, from Singapore, having run the Berlin Marathon.
Picture 2 – Dr Ben Tan had requested me to contribute 3 chapters of his book.
While having dinner, we had discussed many topics, ranging on all other things, except training. Then, subsequently, the topic went to training and performance. Dr Ben Tan told me that he aimed for a sub-3hours in Berlin Marathon and that he missed it. At the last part of the last 10km, he kept reminding himself, ” No pain, no pain, no pain!” This mantra kept playing again and again. Finally, when he got 3hr 01min. Although it was his lifetime best, something to cheer for the night, he told me that he has missed the sub-3hr many times and it has not manifest yet.
Pic 3 – Podium finish, Daniel Ling (2nd), Rameshon (1st) and Dr Ben Tan (3rd)
After my discussion with him, he told me of people who have given him advice. He told me the advice given by me seemed the same. I told him, ” I am here to confirm to you that the thing they have spoken to you is correct and it is consistent with me”. He told about a runner who specifically advised him, and he was well known to many top local runners, who was by the name of Sandrasegaran, who was a model for me to follow when I was young to train hard.” I proposed to Dr Ben Tan we would like to invite him to join us for all the intensive training. During the period, I realised that he picked up the knowledge of training very fast as he was also an inquisitive person. He was also humble during training and has never boasted about his winning in the past, not even once.
Carefully considering, his busy schedule as a doctor, he came for once a week for 5 times and train by himself, independently. That year, while I came in as the champion, Daniel Ling was second and Dr Ben Tan got his 2hr 56min, eventually. If I am not wrong, he was the first medical doctor, to my mind, that I have known, to get the first sub-3hr for the marathon as a local. Over time, other doctors followed his footsteps.
Dr Benedict Tan wrote a book on ‘Run For Your Life’ and included my inputs for 3 chapters in his book. It would be a good thing for one to possess this book if one want to do well in running, as he has spoken about future of run performance time, and has given 4 major points that will make one excel in running. One of the factor that I will just mention, that was proposed by him, is in the book and it is about gait analysis, where posture and technique in running becomes important, for further improvement. This will improve running economy directly by changing posture and technique, not just keep running very long distance for a number of years to attain a good running economy.
After achieving his 2hr 56min, we were given a post-marathon dinner by Dr Benedict Tan at Miao Yi Vegetarian restaurant, which was at Coronation Plaza at that time. We were discussing about a number of topics and the topic went to Injury. It was a two-way communication between him and me, which did not involve anyone.
I was curious to ask him a very pertinent question that kept haunting me time and again. It was, ” Why is it that some runners get injured, and we do not get injured as often.” To this he gave a very good answer. He told me, ” We know the fine line where it is better not to cross.” He was explaining that some runners take high risk even though they are about to get injured seriously where sensation will indicate to them to ‘cut down’ ‘cut down’ or ‘slow down’ ‘slow down’ in training or to rest. (For me, immediately, I will half the mileage for the week to 50% and recover quickly from any impending injury which is about to set in).
Both of us felt that this skill comes after some experience over time. When one gets injury, the problem is we do not know when we will come out of it. Hence injury is not an option. Prevention is better than cure. The answer given by Dr Ben Tan is to not cross the boundary where one will get injured. Sensation will come to knock your door to stop or lower the mileage. Failing to heed the advice, by the emotion called greed, one may continue, using, “Like that, all my hard-earned mileage will get wasted.”
In short, look for the fine line that tells one to back off and adhere to your feeling that high risk is not worth it after all. Continuity and consistency in training is the answer. Between overtraining and undertraining, undertraining has the tendency to keep one out of injury.
Rameshon has taught in Hwa Chong Institution, plus several schools, and Republic Polytechnic as well. He has won many accolades and he was awarded Merit Award for 1991 marathon performance in breaking the national record of Singapore, at that time. He has made 22 male athletes do the marathon in sub-3hrs. He has made 7 female runners do sub-4 hours for the marathon, as well. He was inducted to the ‘Roll of Honour’ by the then College of Physical Education, organised by Singapore Olympic Academy, in 1998, for breaking the National record repeatedly 4 times, till he did 2hr 24min 22sec).
He also has a Coaching group and he trains them on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7pm at Botanic Gardens. Those interested can call him at 91004369 for coaching assistance, to improve performance. There is also personal training that he does for many in a week. You can e-mail him at email@example.com.