In view of the current COVID-19 situation and measures implemented by the governments, we have asked some of the running clubs to share some tips with our running and sports community on how to stay physically, mentally and/or nutritionally healthy during this period.
1. How do we stay active or physically healthy during this period, considering that we are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible?
I believe there are many ways which we as runners can also benefit from other forms of exercises to maintain fitness and become stronger. In fact, now is the time for you to review what you lack and need to improve on other areas in terms of strength to build on power and endurance and flexibility for injury prevention and longer stride length. Doing housework chores and cleaning up the house is also good and help keep everyone at home healthy too.
i. Key strengthening exercises you can do at home
Pushups, Planking (less than 1min), leg raises, squats & hip lunges are just examples of some simple exercises you can do. You can do each exercise in sets of 10 reps and do as many sets within 30mins or an hr.
If you have free weights or kettlebells, you can also do the squats variations and hip lunges with it.
Maintain the routine daily and you can see much improvements in recovery and performance too.
ii. Stairs climbing
This is another good way to train your cardio without any crowd and easily accessible without going far away from home. Hilly intervals are speedwork in disguise. You can target a certain timing for each set and repeat/maintain the same timing for each set. Min. 3 sets of 10-12 storeys will be good.
iii. Deep Stretch & Strengthening Yoga exercises
There are many youtube resources you can see online for free to learn and stretch many areas which may have been giving you grief & pain for so long without knowing the cause.
As the whole chain is connected, your PF or ITB pain might be due to tightness in areas you are not aware of or you may have muscle imbalance causing 1 leg to overstrain.
If you really must go out for a run and avoid the crowd, try the hot hours. Heat training is also an effective method to stress our body and improve performance. We live in Singapore after all. You need to embrace the sun and still perform during races while the sun is smiling brightly at you. Do rehydrate well.
iv. Sleep more
With travelling time and meal time saved, sleep early as much as possible to improve your metabolism rate and prepare a hearty breakfast to supply the best nutrients to the deprived body. Sleep is the best recovery method for whatever physical exercises you push your body on.
2. How do we stay calm during this stressful period?
Remember the reason why we run. Ultimately to be strong, happy and healthy. Running is only a means to the end and if you plan to run for the next 40-50 yrs, think long term. Your fitness level is not going to drop drastically unless you are training at the elite level.
So enjoy the downtime you have to try new things and experiment what can help you become a fitter & better you.
3. Are there any simple nutrition plans, tips or recipes that we can follow?
One experiment you can do during this period is to learn how to improve your body fat burning capability especially if you plan to run long distances in future. NLB has free ebook library app so check out The Endurance Handbook by Dr Phil Maffetone.
Or maybe you want to try if plant-based diet really works for you. You can read Eat & Run by Scott Jurex.
A big change in diet will take time to adapt to and your body may even feel weak for a short period. You need to know what nutrients you may not be taking enough for proper recovery and muscle building.
4. Are there any recommendations on resources (youtube channel/video, social media pages, blogs, books, podcasts etc) to refer to?
Some useful podcast channels to learn more about our body and how to train effectively: Science of Ultra, TrainRight, KoopCast.
ABOUT PEIRCE RESERVOIR
This group was founded on 2 Jan 2013 by See Chun Yan. As there is no FB group for runners at Peirce Reservoir, it was created for any runners to join. This is for regular runners who love to run everywhere and can run the hilly intervals at Peirce Reservoirs together. It will be great for more runners to know more friends too! The group has created running events for our members to join races together. Now there is even a recreation team who plans fun and family activities too!
They do their regular runs at Peirce Reservoirs but they do alternate Sat or Sun morning every weekend to cater for different groups. They will try different routes now and then. They usually run in the morning so that everyone can continue with their activities after that. As some runners live far away, they start not later than 7:30am. Also every Tue night, they conduct speedwork + strength-building sessions.