Saturday, September 25, 2010

More on Glucosamine ST 250910

Have a look in Today's Straits Times under the Review section on page A35, the author writes about the fact that many elderly folks are still popping glucosamine pills despite the lack of evidence. We've actually written on this topic before on November 9 last year, here.

As mentioned, the older studies tend to have some evidence supporting the use of glucosamine, perhaps due to the studies funded by the drug companies. Current studies show a lot less evidence supporting it's (glucosamine) use on osteoarthritis as studies are a lot more stringent and require clinic trials to be registered before trials can be commenced.

While glucosamine has never proven to have any dangerous side effects, there is also no evidence to suggest that it works,. Evidence suggest that it works mainly by placebo effect.

For my patients who have been asking me on this topic, you now have more evidence.


Wandel S,  Junni P et al (2010). Effects Of Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Or Placebo In Patients With Osteoarthritis Of Hip Or Knee: Network Meta-Analysis. BMJ. 342:c4675 (Epub 16 Sep 2010).

Please email me if you want the Straits Times article or the research paper.

*Picture from Flickr

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sony Walkman NWZ W252

You've just read this week's article (in the post before this) in the Straits Times Sweet 16 Marathon plan on how you can run faster with music, so its a good time for me to do my review on the MP3 player from Sony as promised earlier.

Quite a few of my friends and even runners I don't know have come up to me and asked me about it when they see me using it, so here it is.

Weighing just 43g and wireless, it's light and not cumbersome at all. I always inevitably catch the wires of my earphones of my 1st generation iPod shuffle while running previously so having no wires dangling is really a nice change. The ear pieces are fairly comfortable and the bass is pretty good, much better than my current earphones in fact. Control of the headset is done by 3 buttons on the right, which is easily accessed. You can increase or decrease volume and switch your songs here. One complaint though is you can't rewind or fast forward within a song.

Another thing I wasn't fond of was the "Zappin" mode which plays 4 or 15 seconds bits of each song. I guess this is to allow you to scroll through your playlist until you find the song you wanna run to. Me, I just fill the entire 2G capacity with all my favorite running songs and put it on shuffle mode.

One other favorite feature of mine Sony W252 is you can get 90 mins of play time on a quick 3 minutes charge. So those of you who like me wanna squeeze in a run when your baby is sleeping and find that there is no battery will really appreciate this. Those who run longer than 90 minutes, well, you gotta make sure the battery is not flat then.

Once again, a big thank you to the 2 Hill & Knowlton staff for this great MP3 player.

*Pictures from Sony

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tuning In ST 200910

No, you were right, Sports Solutions was not quoted in today's Straits Times (under the Sports Section on page B13) Sweet 16 marathon training plan with 11 weeks to go before your big race.

But we did write on this topic before last year on July 28.

Go take a look here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What's The Best Way To Do An Interval Workout

As you've read in this week's Sweet 16 Marathon training plans, wanting to run  faster almost always mean having to do interval training. And all of the research published on interval training have pointed to increased fitness and running faster running times.

That doesn't mean you can run intervals 4 to 5 times a week though coz' that will be like taking an express train to over training and injury occurring. So here's the catch with interval training, it looks like it's purely a science - do the work and improvement follows correct? Well, it's actually just as much an art according to this research paper from Australian researchers I chanced upon recently. 

Instead of following a fixed formula like waiting until your heart rate (HR) drops to a certain number before your next interval or resting as long as the time taken for your previous interval ran, the researchers suggested that listening to your body might be the best way after all. They coined the termed "teleoanticipation" or what they say is perceived readiness to run your next interval.

Here's what the researchers asked a group of competitive runners do during a standard interval session of 5 x 1 km at 90% of their tested all out 1 km time. For recovery, the runners A) waited for their HR to return to 130 beats; B) rest as long as their interval time - about 3:18 min; C) rest until they "felt" they can run at 90% effort.

When they followed their HR, the runners did not recover enough, and they slowed dramatically on the last three repeats. Methods B and C had similar outcomes with one highly interesting difference - when the runners were recovering by "feel", the runners chose shorter recoveries than those assigned by method B. That is, they were able to maintain their times in the 1km repeats, but in less total workout time. This probably means that the C workouts were  more efficient (or productive) than the B workouts. As you see, interval training can be more of an art than a science.

The researchers suggested that this way of running intervals should not replace all other training principles that you have used previously but to keep this in mind while considering the whole training process. 

Personally I guess this is a good and practical way of training as it may mean you do not need to shell out extra money to get a HR monitor. This also gives athletes a systematic approach to train at their own pace (especially in a group setting) given that they will need to rely on their own pacing during a race so this makes good sense to practice pacing in training as well.


Edwards AM, Bentley MB et al (2010). Self-pacing In Interval Training: A Teleoanticipatory Approach. Psychophysiology. 28 June Epub. DOI: 1111/j. 1469-8986.2020.01034.x

* Picture by RS

Monday, September 13, 2010

12 Weeks To Your Race ST 130910

As we count down the weeks to your marathon, have a read on how to get faster as today's Straits Times (130910) continues its Sweet 16 Marathon plan.

Have a look at the Sports section page B11 and you see Sports Solutions quoted.

In our weekly running club sessions, we teach you how to run pain free with good running form, just ask other regular runners who come. Give us a ring to let us know you are coming.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nike City 10k

This this a brand new race from Nike this year on 24/10/10, replacing the extremely popular Human Race which was held for the past 2 years. Singapore is amongst 22 other cities hosting this event.

What's unique about this particular race? Besides the physical race, runners from Singapore will be competing against fellow runners from Kuala Lumpur (KL) to see who can clock more mileage from now til October 31st. And here's the deal, the winning city gets USD$30,000 donated to a charity of their choice, for Singapore it will be the Singapore Children's Society.

In order for you to do  your bit for charity, runners who sign up for the race will get 50% off the purchase of a Nike+ SportBand so you can log your mileage and play your part  by participating in the online challenge versus KL. 

Staff from Physio and Sports Solutions will be taking part in the race to do our bit for the Singapore Children's Society.