Expert: -- Dr Wong Bun Lap, Bernard – Cardiologist, Council member of the Hong Kong Doctors Union, Council member of the Hong Kong Medical Association
All-rounded training to enhance your body condition
It is common that every year in the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, there are runners who want to compete with others, or challenge their personal best. Actively keeping track of your heart rate is the indicator of setting the intensity of a runner’s training. Runners should first calculate their maximum heart rate (i.e.220 – your age). It is suggested that beginners should keep the intensity of training at a level which your heart rate equals to 80% of their maximum heart rate during training, and gradually increase the intensity at a later phase. For amateur runners who train three to four days a week, it would be very good for their bodies if their heart rates reach 65-80% of the maximum. This could lower the chance of having heart diseases and strokes by 20-30% and the chance of having cancer by 40-50% respectively.
Rest and Recovery Run
Although rest is essential to training, runners should not sit down and rest immediately after finishing a long distance run or speed training. Leg and core muscles still remain in an intense state which could lead to the accumulation of lactic acid. Runners can do some stretching or even have a slow-walk of about 1-2km to warm down. This will also help to remove the toxins in your muscles, and regulate your heart rate from a high level (80% of our maximum heart rate or above) to an aerobic level (65%), until it further drops to the resting heart rate.
The best time to go for a recovery run would be one to two days after your long distance run; the ideal distance being less than 10km. While on a recovery run, jog at a speed that you feel comfortable with. The aim of the recovery run is to remove the lactic acid accumulated in your body and restore the normal mechanisms of your muscles.
Recovery of Your Achilles Tendon
Runners who have joined the full marathon race could likely accumulate a total mileage of up to 80km of training per week. It is normal that muscle pain could appear as a post-training symptom. As a result, runners should not ignore the warning signals from their ligaments and leg muscles. After running, ligaments and muscles could be torn or damaged to a certain extent after each long distance run. Therefore the speed of recovery for the torn ligament takes approximately one week, if collaborated with the appropriate stretching and recovery training. Once used to the intensity, runners can gradually adapt to higher intensity training and manage to deal with a longer distance at a faster speed. If you still feel difficulty walking and the pain becomes unbearable it also could be a sign of muscle strain. In this case, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible for medical treatment.