Monday, September 30, 2013

New Marathon World Record 2:03:23 Hours

Once again, the Berlin marathon has lived up to its name as the fastest marathon in the world. This is the 9th world record ran in Berlin so far, with eight coming in the last 15 years.

The man who beat the world record this year is Wilson Kipsang, from Kenya of course. Kipsang won the bronze medal at the London Olympics last year after winning the 2012 London marathon. His previous claim to fame was missing the world record by 4 seconds when he won Frankfurt marathon in 2:03:42 hours. This was less than a month after Patrick Makau set Berlin's seventh world record after running 2:03:38 hours in 2011.

Kipsang ran Berlin in 2:03:23 hours to best Makau's time by 15 seconds. He is 31 years old, in only his fourth year of racing marathons. Berlin was his 7th race.

It was a well controlled race overall. The pace makers did a good job running the first 30 km well. Kipsang's 10 km splits were 29:16, 29:03, 29:42 and 29:11. He ran an amazing 2:49 min / km for the final 2 km.

Will we see a sub 2 hour marathon soon? Exercise physiologists say it's not possible yet. We await and see what the Kenyans can do.

*Picture from

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Laughter Is The Best Medicine?

Have a look at pages 10-11 in today's Mind Your Body section of the Straits Times and you will see our staff being quoted as being a skeptic when asked if laughter yoga can help with improving your aerobic fitness.

Can laughing yoga really improve your aerobic fitness? Please read on to find out. It's posted in our other blog.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What Do You Do When Your Child Tears His ACL

I was at the supermarket yesterday when I met a patient of mine and his wife. After we exchanged greetings they informed me that their teenage child had just tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during football training at the Singapore Sports School recently. 

A MRI scan taken confirmed that the ACL was torn. In addition, to complicate matters,the MCL and meniscus was also damaged and there was some bone bruising as well. They then asked for my opinion on what he should do. 

I thought writing about our chance encounter would be really helpful for other parents too and so this is how today's post came about.
My immediate suggestions were to settle the inflammation, regain pain-free full range followed by strengthening the muscles around the knee joint before deciding whether he needs to reconstruct his ligament. All of which are covered in this post in our other blog.
Concurrently, they probably needed to consult a surgeon or two as to whether he needed surgery. In an earlier post, we discussed a published study in which active adults who opted for specialized rehabilitation  after tearing their ACL may not need the operation as their knees were found to be clinically stable and had no real loss in function even five years later. 
However, their teenage son is definitely different from the active adults studied. Evidence suggests that athletes definitely perform better with a reconstructed knee. They definitely needed to discuss at length with their surgeon and their son as well whether he wants to resume competitive sports. I suggested that their son be present at these discussions as he may need to explain his own medical history to his future coaches and subsequently when he reports for national service in the army as well.
One important consideration would be the graft the surgeon chooses to use. Some studies suggest that using the hamstring graft means the hamstring muscle remains weakened even up to five years after the operation despite rehabilitation. There are also cadaver ligaments although a number of studies show that these frozen and sterilized tissues may not be as strong as the bone patella tendon or hamstring option.
One final suggestion was for their child to remain in close touch with his team. He should attend training sessions and games still and help with the coaching staff if necessary. this ensures he feels he's still part of the team and keep his spirits up.
* Picture from richseow - Raffles vs ACJC  'A' Division semi finals match, 2013.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Want To Run As Fast As The Kenyans?

Want to run as fast as the Kenyans? You may need to lose some more weight. A new study suggests that Kenyan runners are fast because of their extreme thinness (and not just due to living / training from young at altitude).

For a long time it was thought that the success of Kenyan runners were due to their walking/ running long distances on their way to school while growing up. In comparison, our kids now get a ride in fancy cars from their parents or the school bus to school and play computer games after. And, of course struggle to keep up in major marathons and get their behinds kicked.

Renown scientists Yiannis Pitsiladis and Daniel Lieberman were among the group of researchers who tested the early training theory and to their (and mine) surprise found that there was not sufficient evidence supporting that. These mostly thirteen year old Kenyan kids were really active and they covered around 7.5km to and fro in their daily trips to school and back. They also did not eat any junk food. The kids who ran and walked the most to school did not actually have the highest Vo2 max scores.

Rather, what actually stood out in their research was that the kids had a really low BMI (body mass index), i.e. they were really thin. Being fit and skinny means you'll have a high Vo2 max. These "untrained" kids were found to have the potential to run a 2:18 marathon for the boys and 2:39 hrs for the girls! And these are just the groups' averages.

So bad news for the rest of the world as Kenyan runners will probably continue to dominate distance running for a while yet.


Gibson AR, Ojiambo R, Konstabel K, Lieberman DE et al (2013). Aerobic Capacity, Activity Levels and Daily Energy Expenditure in Male and Female Adolescents of the Kenyan Nandi Sub-Group. PLoS One. 8(6) : e66552. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066552.

*Picture from

Sunday, September 1, 2013

How Can the Imitation/ Copy Cat Tapes Compete?

The participants had a lot of fun on the second day of the Kinesio Taping course today. Unlike KT 1 on day one, which covered different muscle facilitation and inhibitory techniques, they learnt six different corrective techniques in KT 2

Janell in action
Hey, is that Superman's knee?
Fabian William deciding if Vanessa or Lisa can tape better
Like some of our previous participants, some of the current participants have actually attended other imitation/ copy cat tape such as Acti-tape. Kinesiology and Rock tape etc courses. Of course they were not impressed and were advised to attend Kinesio Taping courses - the original tape founded since 1979 and the real deal.

Kinesio Taping's KT 1,2 courses are held over 2 full days or 16 hours of contact time. Imitation/ copy cat tape courses are usually just half a day long. 4 hours versus 16, there is no comparison at all.

Kinesio Taping KT Level 1,2 and 3 course are the only taping courses that award recognized CME (continuing medical education) points for medical professionals who must attain a certain number of points to allow them to work with a valid license in Singapore. None of the other imitation /copy cat tape courses award CME points.

Now you know. So make sure the person treating you is trained and not using imitation or copy cat tapes.

Here are more pictures from Day 2 of the course.

Wileen under pressure
Dalong caught trying to take upskirt pictures

Class picture

Another Pregnant Mummy Attends Kinesio Taping Course

Yes, we have another pregnant mummy coming to the Kinesio Taping Level 1 and 2 course held over the last 2 days at Progress Healthcare (the Singapore Kinesio Tape distributor).

Pregnant mummy Wang Ran, a Hong Kong trained physiotherapist is 8 months pregnant and still came for the course paying her own way as the hospital she works in did not set aside any budget for her to do the course. Previously we had another pregnant mummy coming to the course too.

Besides the locals, there was a participant from Abu Dhabi, 2 Indonesians, and an English physio as well. Local running coach Fabian Williams was one of the local participants who attended. This course is definitely attracting more and more people via word of mouth thanks to our previous participants.

Here are some pictures from the day one of the course.

Dalong telling everyone to buy more tapes
Locating Evan's symphysis pubis
Some of the boys practice their taping
Lisa and Vanessa in action
Stay tuned for more pictures from day two. Also have a look here for my pictures.