Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My New Sony Walkman

A big thank you to the 2 staff from Hill & Knowlton for selecting me to be a part of their Sony Walkman Runners Program. As a result, I've been given a brand new water resistant MP3 player by Sony - NWZ W252 to run with.

Am definitely delighted to be involved since I do run with music and having written on the topic before.

Please see here and here.

Besides being water resistant, the best part is that it's got no wires dangling.

This is way different and much much smaller than the Sony "Walkman" I grew up with ( the 1st generation of Sony Walkman needed 4 AA batteries). Some of you reading this will remember what I'm talking about.

Well, we all know Sony have come a long way since. Stay tune as I run a few more times with it before I do it justice with a longer write up on it.

* Picture from Sony

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Should You Run On Grass Or On The Road?

After my 3 knee operations, I was paranoid about running on any other other surface other than grass. Virtually all my run training was done on grass. Yes, you read correctly, even when it meant I had to do multiple rounds/ loops around any field I could find. Some of you reading this could probably recall seeing me going round and round the patch of grass while I was running. I thought that running on grass and its softer surface will be more gentle on my joints.

And I guess I wasn't alone thinking like this. I'm sure many of you runners out there would have met some runners, coaches etc who will swear that grass and soft running surfaces are much better. So here's a topic most runners will be keen to know. Is running on grass better than running on the road. I saw an article on this topic by some Australian researchers last week. Please read on if you wanna know more.

The runners studied did 2 runs, a 10km run at 75-80% V02 max and a 10 x 1km interval session at 90-95% V02 max. The 2 runs were done on both grass and a bitumen road surface (road). The researchers measured blood & urine samples collected before, immediately after and at 3 and 24 hours after exercise.

Here's what the researchers found. There was no difference between road & grass in terms of leg inflammation and other effects measured (if you wanna know, they measured IL-6, hemoglobin & haptoglobin levels, iron and ferritin to analyze hemolysis and hepcidin).

Hard interval training on the other hand produced more inflammation than lower intensity training.

So now you know, running surface doesn't really matter. I still prefer to run on grass or sand when I can. It definitely feels softer despite what the evidence says. 


Peeling P, Dawson B et al (2009). Training Surface and Intensity: Inflammation, Hemolysis, And Hepicidin Expression. J of Med Sci Sports Ex. 41(5) : 1138-45.

*Picture from Flickr

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Tour De France Beckons

Despite all the sporting attention & focus on the World Cup going on in South Africa currently this year's Tour De France starts in Rotterdam, Holland this coming Saturday for the prologue before making its way around France for the next 3 weeks.

The tour is usually described as one of the most difficult tests of sporting performance in the world and 20 teams of 9 riders each will start.

This year's Tour has been designed to be filled with drama. Lance Armstrong has recently announced that this will be his last tour. Every stage will be vital, but with the cobbles of Arenberg awaiting on only the third stage, plus two trips up the Col du Tormalet, numerous mountain top finishes, only one individual time-trial (excluding Saturday's 8.9km prologue), and numerous other challenges, 2010 should produce GC drama throughout.

No team time trial though and Alberto Contador should be happy about this given that his Astana team is not as strong as Armstrong's Radioshack team and Contador has said in a interview today that carrying the favourite's tag isn't easy for him.

The other reason why the Tour is so great to follow is that you can study and appreciate the science and analysis of the riders' strategy, physiology and performance.

Who knows how the next three weeks will pan out? But wherever it is, I'll be watching. For now, Wimbledon and the World Cup will take up my TV time.