Rest well before setting out on next challenge

Mok Ying Ren, third in the male category of the 18.45km event at the ST Run, usually stops training for up to two weeks after a race to recharge physically and emotionally.
Mok Ying Ren, third in the male category of the 18.45km event at the ST Run, usually stops training for up to two weeks after a race to recharge physically and emotionally.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

A huge congratulations to you for completing The Straits Times Run in the City!

Whether you participated in the 5km, 10km or 18.45km event, I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did.

My favourite part of the race was running through the city - it was exhilarating to pound down those roads which are typically filled with vehicles.

Such opportunities to run on a car-free road are indeed infrequent, especially in Singapore where cars are aplenty.

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SORENESS

I am pretty sure you experienced some soreness in your legs after the race, which only worsened on Tuesday and Wednesday, before resolving gradually. Even till today, you may still experience some residual aches in your legs after standing for an extended period.

Let me assure you that it is totally normal to experience this. The term for this sensation which you experienced is "delayed onset of muscle soreness", or Doms, for short.

This occurs in part due to the micro trauma that your muscles sustained during the race, and classically gets worse in the days after the race.

If you are experiencing any soreness, avoid engaging in intensive physical activities so that your body may rest and recover well. Some light walking and swimming can help to ease the soreness, but it will take about a week or so for the soreness to completely dissipate.

SENSE OF LOSS

Emotionally, you may experience a sense of loss of direction or purpose.

You have devoted a great part of your time and energy into training for this race - this has become your new way of life. But now, instead of having to wake up at the crack of dawn to put in a two-hour long run, you can sleep in and wake up with sunlight pouring through your windows.

This may be great news to some. But, for others, the sudden change in routine may be difficult to adjust to, as they search for yet another meaningful activity to take part in.

RECOVERY

How then can you cope with this?

It is usually recommended that you take some downtime to recover and to relax with your family and friends.

I personally lay off intense training for a week or two following a race. This enables me to recharge physically and mentally, and gives time for small niggles which may have been bothering me to recover.

I trust that many of you will be taking part in the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon come December.

You can look forward to our weekly #RunWithMok column & #RunONE 16-week training programme launching on Aug 12, which is targeted to prepare you for the year-end race.

In the meantime, rest well and stay healthy!

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2017, with the headline 'Rest well before setting out on next challenge'. Print Edition | Subscribe