Monday, August 30, 2010

The Correct Way To Warm Up ST 300810

This week's topic in the marathon Sweet 16 training plan is on warming up. It is in today's StraitsTimes under the Sports section on page B13.

We've written on the topic before, please take a look at this and also this

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Times 290810

Have a look at the Lifestyle section in today's Sunday Times paper (290810) under Pulse page 10 and you'll see Sports Solutions quoted in an article called "Wrist Management". Go take a look.

Monday, August 23, 2010

ST 230810

Sports Solutions in the papers today on choosing running shoes for your marathon. Go take a look in today's Straits Times under the Sports section page B15.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Runners Toes Not Harmed By Running

Yet more evidence that distance running in humans is an activity that is natural and well-evolved that we perform with great skill.

In their published article, British radiologists were interested to determine if running is harmful to our metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints. 

Here is what they found. There is no extra synovial fluid (this is the fluid in our joints) in the MTP joints showing that running is not injurious to our joints. The MTP joints are at the base of our toes.

Measurements of the volume of synovial fluid in the MTP joints were taken after a 30 minute run and after 24 hours of rest. And the researchers found no association between moderate distance running and any increases in the volume of synovial fluid.


Kingston AR, Toms AP et al (2008). Does Running Cause Metatarsophalangeal Joint Effusions? A Comparison of Synovial Fluid Volumes On MRI In Athletes Before And After Running. Skeletal Radiology. 38(5): 499-504.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oakley Split Jacket

Here's a nice surprise from Oakley (thanks to Joey) today, I was given their latest Split Jacket sunglasses. It looks like the Jawbone, has the same features, just a little smaller which I guess will suit those with smaller faces well.

The polycarbonate Plutonite HDO lenses as usual have superb visual clarity with excellent peripheral vision, in fact just as good as the Jawbone.

From the first picture , you can see that the main difference is that the larger Jawbone (white) provides more coverage, especially for the lower field of version. It also has the same switchlock hinge frame which makes changing lenses real easy.

Please also see this.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Today's Straits Times 160810 - We Are Built To Run

Go take a look at today's Straits Times under the Sports section page B15 and you'll see that humans are meant to run.
The quoted article in the papers by Lieberman and Bramble (2007) points out that we humans have an exceptional cooling system, can adapt really well to hot weather and we also have spring like ligaments and tendons in our legs and feet as well as very good balance. These traits were definitely all needed by our caveman ancestors as they had to hunt and look for food.
Please also have a look at this.
Email me if you want a copy of the article.

Lieberman DE and Bramble DM (2007). The Evolution Of Marathon Running Capabilities In Humans. Sports Med 37(4-5) : 288-290.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Today's Straits Times

Go have a look at today's Straits Times (090810) under Sport page B15, especially if you are one of those who signed up for the marathon at the end of this year.

Sports Solutions will be one of the Straits Times panel of experts in the 4 month countdown as you gear yourself up for race day.

Yes, there will be a Sweet 16 plan where weekly instalments will offer a different topic each week. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Do Your Running Shoes Prevent Injuries?

How do you choose your running shoes? I've been asked that question many times over. I've even compiled a shoe list regularly over the years since the 90's and yes many other physios, health professionals etc have conveniently/ blantantly taken out my name and passed the list off as their own (picture below).

One of my often copied shoe lis
For years, podiatrists, coaches and shoe salesmen etc have looked at your foot type (to see if you have a normal, low or high arches) and then recommended that you have stability, motion control and cushioned shoes respectively. The rationale being that if you had high arches, you did not pronate enough and needed softer, well cushioned shoes while if you had low arches, you tend to overpronate and needed sturdy motion control shoes to control that overpronation. Runners with normal arches needed neutral shoes and were prescribed stability shoes. This method was deeply rooted in athletic circles and widely accepted.

The above mentioned method was exactly what the US military did in terms in handing out shoes to their recruits as injuries were rampant during basic military training. Military authorities hoped that injury rates will drop by ensuring their recruits were fitted with the correct shoes according to their foot type.In order to determine whether fitting correct shoes help in lowering injury rates, military researchers found no scientific literature in support of what they were doing and decided to do their own research.

And you know what, they found almost no correlation at all between wearing proper running shoes and avoiding injuries (this is published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine recently). Injury rates were actually highest amongst soldiers who had received shoes fitted according to their foot types. Wearing the so called "correct" shoes for their type of feet had actually increased the recruits' chances of getting injured.

If you have been following our blog, you would have read that Sports Solutions first wrote about this last year when researchers in another published article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that sports medicine specialists should stop recommending running shoes based on a person's foot type as there was no evidence supporting it. Please have a look at one of our our more popular post last year

And just in case you decided that published studies on military recruits were of a lower quality, another study done on experienced runners was published more recently in support of the military subjects paper. In this study, 81 runners were classified according to their foot postures (a more detailed measure of foot type than just arch shape). Runners in each category were then randomly assigned one of 3 footwear conditions, neutral (Nike Pegasus), stability (Nike Structure Triax) and motion control (Nike Nucleus).

All the women embarked on a 13 week half marathon training program. How did they fare? Nearly a third of the women had to miss some training days because of pain, with a majority of the injured runners wearing (yes you guessed correctly) shoes specifically designed for their foot postures. What's more, also of note was that motion control shoes were the shoes across the board that "caused" the most injuries.

Now in theory, overpronators should benefit from motion control shoes to limit their overpronation. However, these runners who overpronated actually complained of pain and missed training after wearing them as did a number of runners with normal feet and every single underpronating (or high arched) runner randomly assigned to a pair of motion control shoes.

This is despite that fact that motion control shoes do limit over pronation as numerous biomechanical studies of runners running on treadmills have repeatedly proved that runners who wear motion control shoes have significantly reduced pronation.

There you go, not quite what you may expect I imagine. Please email this to your friends who are planning to invest in new running shoes.

I have all 3 articles, email me if you want a copy.


Knapik JJ, Trone DW, Swedler DI et al (2010). Injury Reduction Effectiveness Of Assigning Running Shoes Based On Plantar Shape In Marine Corps Basic Training. AJSM published online before print June 24, 2010.

Richards CE, Magnin, PJ and Callister R (2009). Is Your Prescription Of Distance Running Shoes Evidenced Based. BJSM. 43(3) : 159-162.

Ryan MB, Valiant GA, McDonald K et al (2011). The Effect Of Footwear Stability Levels On Pain Outcomes In Women Runners: A Randomised Control Trial. BJSM. 45:715-721. DOI:10.1136/bjsm.2009.069849.