June 8th, 2010


Ramen quick fix

We found this at the minimart a few months back and have been searching for it all over! Finally found it at Carrefour.

This ready-to-cook ramen comes in 3 flavors (miso, tonkotsu and shoyu) and is good for a quick ramen fix! Our favorite is the tonkotsu version. Add an egg, some char siew and you are ready to go. The consistency of the ramen is quite good for an instant package!

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OSIM mini run finishing

Running tips

From time to time I get questions on running. I figured that sometimes, it's good to be able to share some tips or guidelines that I myself follow as a runner. Hope that you will find it useful :)

Get the right type of shoe for your feet.
Whatever brand that you fancy, ensure that you get a pair of runners that are suitable for your foot type. This simple test can help. If you plan to run seriously, I do encourage you to do a gait analysis. Another point to note is that as you run more frequently and further, your gait might shift. This means that the shoe that you have been first running in, might not longer be suitable. So do get a gait test done in every one or two years.

Two pairs of shoes
If you plan to run a couple of times a week and do longer distances, two pairs of runners is recommended. Your shoe, like your body, needs time to 'recover'. I'm not kidding. So I alternate my runners especially if I am running on consecutive days.

Pre-run. To stretch or not to stretch? It is recommended that you do, but personally, I don't stretch before a run. I warm-up by starting off at a slower pace. Many tend to over-stretch before a run.

Post-run. A stretch is definitely needed. Calves, glutes, quads, hamstrings, ITBs, abs. On top of stretching, I use a foam roller and a handheld portable roller.

Pre-run nutrition
If you plan to have a small snack before your run, try to avoid one that is high in protein as it takes a longer time to digest. For example, if I eat chicken/fish for dinner, I will have to wait at least 2 hours to digest otherwise I will feel bloated during my run. For a small snack, try a peanut butter sandwich, or peanut butter with apple slices, or a banana.

Most tend to forget about hydration. If you feel thirsty, it's too late. If you are licking your lips, it's an indication that you need a drink. I carry a bottle of water on my longer runs. Or you can plan your route such that you will pass by a washroom or bring money to buy a drink along the way.

Dealing with injuries
This time, I will mention about ITB (Iliotibial band) as it is a common injury amongst runners and I have ITB issues. My biggest mistake was not stretching after a run. My tight ITB resulted in shin splints and a displaced knee. This is one way to stretch your ITB on roll on your side (roller underneath side of thigh). Google to find numerous ways of stretching your ITB. Protect and take good care of your ITB. Once your ITB gets injured, chances are, it'll remain problematic for the rest of your running.

If you get injured, this is a good method -
Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
I ice my knees after each run. I'll also add the stretching portion. If you experience pain and need temporary pain relief, try Artrex which can be obtain at pharmacies without prescription. However, if you continue to experience the pain, please see a sports doctor.

I take glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM. It's sometimes known as 'Triflex'. Some take it without MSM - MSN is good if you are already experiencing pain. Glucosamine is apparently best taken together with chondroitin.

Running is not all about gaining strength in your legs but more importantly, in your core. A strong core ensures that you maintain a good posture and when you are tired, your abs will hold your posture up and prevent you from slouching. It sounds strange but I use my abs to run especially up slopes. A good core exercise that I do perhaps 2-3 times weekly aside from my other strength training, is the classic plank. There are many variations but you can start off with this -

Lie face down on the floor, prop yourself up using your forearms.
Keep elbows directly below shoulders and clench fists.
Pull naval/belly button towards your spine, hold your muscles tight.
Raise hips until body forms a straight line from the shoulders, hips and ankles (like the photo in the link above)
Hold for 30 -90 seconds. I challenge myself to do longer these days, up to 2 minutes. However, never compromise your form. It is better to do a good 30 seconds of plank position versus a poor one for 60 seconds.

That's all for now. Happy running :) I'm off for mine now!

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drinking iced tea

Konnyaku jelly

Konnyaku mango jelly with fresh strawberries and blueberries

I love jello. Or jelly or agar agar as we call it here.

I love the ones from Marigold - the mix of firm and jiggly jelly with fruit or nato is yummy. But I think one of my favorites has to be the Japanese Konnyaku jelly. The texture is slightly chewy but soft? It is low in fat, high in fibre - what is there not to love?

I saw the jelly powder at the supermarket and couldn't resist. The mango flavor is scrumptious! I don't care if it is just flavoring but it's a great treat especially in this hot weather :)

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