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#HKTRP #49 – A conversation with experienced physiotherapist Helen Real (1/2)

Today on the podcast, we’re going to talk to Helen Real, an experienced physio who works for a company called posture plus which specializes in sports physiotherapy. We’re going to talk to her from an ultra perspective, i.e. ask her about common injuries that she sees ultra runners suffer from and what runners can do to take proactive action against potential future injury. So, let me welcome Helen Real to the show.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this podcast are Helen’s personal opinion only
We’re going to divide the podcast into two parts. In the first part, we’ll focus on the importance of maintaining a good posture plus what can one do before ultras and after ultras to recover quickly and prevent potential injury. In the second part of the podcast, we’ll talk about common running injuries and treatment.

Part 1:
Let me welcome Helen Real to the show and also congratulate her! She got married a couple of weeks back. Also, we’ll start off with the usual trivia questions for Helen
Trivia:
  • Helen, could you please give us an introduction of yourself
  • How did she get into physiotherapy
  • Her realm of expertise. What kind of injuries does she deal with
  • Is she a runner herself?
  • How long has she been running for?
  • How long has she been in HK for and what’s her favorite trail?
  • What’s her best “running” accomplishment in her opinion?
  • Does she have any role models in Hong Kong or outside of Hong Kong?
Posture and ultra running:
  • Why is it important to have a good posture
  • Should one work on a good posture before getting into running or can it be a “refine as you run” experience
  • Does the posture change for sprinters / ultramarathoners ?
  • How will one know that they have a good posture
  • Any views on shoes like Hokas? What would be a good pair of shoes in her opinion?
  • How important is stretching before running and what’s the science behind it?
  • How important is post run stretching and why is that important (if it is)

To subscribe to this podcast, please go to iTunes and search for The Hong Kong Trail Rockers Podcast (https://itunes.apple.com/hk/podcast/hong-kong-trail-rockers-podcast!/id994423166)

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#HKTRP #48 – Talking to Mr. Sin (one of the first Hong Kongers to complete the RTP Desert Series)

Today on the podcast, we’ve got Mr. Sin Shui Fuk.
Most people will know Mr Sin as one of the first local Hongkongers to have completed the four Deserts Race Series – four 250-kilometre races across deserts around the world. Mr Sin suffers from Hepatitis B and has used running as a tool to help him beat the disease as much as possible. Also, during his illness, he noticed that whilst women would devote a lot of love and care towards their other halves, women received much less attention when they were sick, as he saw while caring for his wife when she was hospitalised. Mr Sin thinks that women and men should not only have equal opportunities in society, but there should be reciprocity in terms of the expression and sharing of love and care, especially during times of illness.
Also, as a co-host, let me welcome Agnes Cheng who is an active trail runner in Hong Kong. She is Mr. Sin’s campaign manager.
Introducing Agnes. It’s time for our 3 trivia questions:
  • What’s your favorite trail in Hong Kong and why?
  • What’s your best accomplishment in the field of running / hiking and why?
  • Who are your role models if any?
Questions for Mr. Sin
  • Self introduction
  • Background questions
    • How old is he now?
    • When did he get into hiking and how did it evolve?
    • When did it occur to him to do the 4 Deserts Race Series?
    • What were his family’s thoughts on his idea? Did they object to it?
    • Why did he want to do it? And, why this challenge?
  • Talk about ups and downs of the Desert Series
  • Talk about future goals
  • What’s the best place to reach him?
    • https://www.facebook.com/walktocare/

To subscribe to this podcast, please go to iTunes and search for The Hong Kong Trail Rockers Podcast (https://itunes.apple.com/hk/podcast/hong-kong-trail-rockers-podcast!/id994423166)

Kick Ass vacation to Annapurna Base Camp (April 2016)

The prelude:
  • Switch on the news and you would hear *THOSE* times being mentioned over and over again. What times? Bad markets, bad economy, etc, etc, etc. All this pointed to one thing. It was time to climb a mountain
  • Enter my friend Milos. We sat down for hours together and plan. (Read: have two Tsing Taos by Mui Wo Ferry Pier)
  • The Annapurna idea is born
  • We immediately call in a favour and found ourselves a CPO (Chief Planning Officer). Enter Ramesh.
  • We created a whatsapp group where millions and millions of messages are exchanged. (Most of them irrelevant and junk, especially the ones from Roger)
  • Enter the final list of participants. Roger, Hannes, Dominic, Milos, Tilly and yours truly
Ramesh sends us the itinerary: 
 
  • 15 Apr – Arrive Kathmandu
  • 16 Apr – Depart for Pokhara By Road 7 hrs Tourist Bus or By Air 25 mins Flt and Arrange Trekking Permits
  • 17 Apr – Trek to Banthati 2000m
  • 18 Apr – Trek to Ghorepani 3500m
  • 19 Apr – Short Trek to Poon Hill Sunrise Breakfast and Trek to Chomrong 2500m
  • 20 Apr – Trek to Dovan 2700m
  • 21 Apr – Trek  to Annapurna Base Camp 4000m
  • 22 Apr – Trek back to Chhomrong
  • 23 Apr – Trek Back to Ghandruk Base and By Road to Pokhara
  • 24 Apr – By Road or Air To Kathmandu
  • 25 Apr – Sightseeing in Kathmandu morning and afternoon . Depart Kathmandu for Hong Kong
 
RECOMMENDED KIT :
  • 1.   Trekking Shoes
  • 2.   Walking poles
  • 3.   Light Down and Light Jacket
  • 4.   Track Suit – 1 pr
  • 5.   Thermo T Shirt/Inner
  • 6.   Basic medicines
  • 7.   Camera
  • 8.   Medium Thick Socks
  • 9.  Medium Carry Pack
  • 10.  Water Bottle
  • 11.  Energy Bar
 
RECOMMENDED START/END TREK TIMINGS :
 
  • 0600-0630 – Breakfast
  • 0700 – Trek Start
  • 1100-1200 – Stop for Lunch
  • 1300-1700 – Afternoon Trek
 
  • Trek to Ghorepani/Poon Hill Upfhill
  • Trek to Chomrong Uphill/Downhill
  • Trek to Annapurna Base Camp Uphill
  • Trek from Base Camp – Downhill
 
SCENERY :
  • From Ghorepani Poon Hill – Mount Dhaulagiri-Annapurna Ranges
  • From Chhomrong – Annapurna Ranges and Fish Tail
  • You will also see the national flower of Nepal Rhododendron blooming
As you can see from the strict schedule, Ramesh is an ex military guy. After we agreed on this itinerary, a million more of whatsapp messages were exchanged. Most of them (again) are useless and irrelevant. And, yes, many of them from Roger. (History repeated itself). Suddenly, we were there and it was April 15th 2016.

 
15th April 2016
  • I got a text from Milos: “Vince, I checked the bags from John, you want the bag with bras or the bag with bras ? your pick :-)“. Our man John Ellis form Gone Running sent us a bunch of used sports gear to carry to Nepal to donate to the community there. I got handed the bag with the most bras
  • Meanwhile we had news from Ramesh that our 5th member in our Nepal expedition, Tilly had successfully arrived in Kathmandu from Geneva. “TILLY COLLECTION” read the subject of the email. With Dominic already in Nepal on a “pre-vacation” vacation, our team was complete
  • Kathmandu airport was crowded and it took us almost 90 minutes just to get our luggage. The conveyor belt started and stopped and looked like a meandering river. Eager passengers starting crowding around every visible edge of the belt in keen anticipation of their luggage
  • Kiran, our guide and Ramesh’s tail running student, waited for us outside the airport to take us to our hotel. Unwanted helpers carried our luggage to the van and demanded a tip. We mistakenly thought they were Kiran’s friends. We departed with 120 HKD. Roger giving away 100 and I gave away 20
  • Ramesh called Kiran who passed the phone onto Milos. He made sure we had arrived safely
My artistic photo of the wing

My artistic photo of the wing

4 clowns leaving Hong Kong for ABC

4 clowns leaving Hong Kong for ABC

Kathmandu airport baggage carousel

Kathmandu airport baggage carousel

16th April 2016
  • 0540 was the assembly time at the hotel reception
  • Tilly bought some bananas and apples on the way to the bus stop and got ripped off. 50 HKD for some bananas and oranges. Even more expensive than Hong Kong. She really amazed me when she went back to the vendor after realizing this and got her money back after returning the apples and oranges. I would have been too scared to do that!
  • Bus journey was spent yapping a lot and boring Tilly. We saw a gruesome sight of an accident which made me recall how fickle life can be. One really needs to cherish every moment of it
  • Upon reaching Pokhara, we met Ramesh who took us to Hotel Pokhara where we were briefed. We got permits done for the upcoming Annpurna trek and enjoyed a warm dinner reception which Ramesh hosted for us
Taking an evening walk in Pokhara to the park

Taking an evening walk in Pokhara to the park

We are smarter than we look

We are smarter than we look

17th April 2016
  • We assembled for breakfast at 7am after a good night’s sleep – well, all except for Milos, who inadvertently happened to volunteer to be dinner for mosquitoes. He woke up with many mosquito bites on his hand and face
  • We bid a temporary goodbye to Ramesh and boarded our team jeep at 7.30am to get on our way to Birethanti (1050m)
  • Then came a steep stair climb all the way to Banthanti. Hannes, despite experiencing hip pain, converted some of his Swiss pride into muscle power and made it all the way to our humble abode for the night – The Green Hill View lodge. Which by the way isn’t a misnomer. Not like our Hong Kong style naming of buildings. Think “Chung King Mansion”. Mansion?
  • Hannes’ pain dwindled to the point where he even enjoyed locking me out in the bathroom
  • The view from our lodge was scenic. Very green and soothing
  • We had a sumptuous dinner in the lodge with ample servings of ginger tea. There was even an intense (and heated) debate about Hong Kong politics which took our sleeping time to 1030pm
Mint plant in Banthanti

Mint plant in Banthanti

Milos has some biting friends

Milos has some biting friends

Met Mr. Horsey in Banthanthi

Met Mr. Horsey in Banthanthi

18th April 2016
  • Ghorepani, I.e., “white water” at 2820m was the destination for the day. It took us less than 3 hours to reach this place. Our residence for the place was a cleverly named guesthouse called “See You” guesthouse
  • Having reached Ghorepani as early as 10am we took a little side trip upto Poon Hill at 3100m. It took less than an hour to reach
  • We saw a sign that read “Poon Hill” which reminded Roger of his most favorite topic – “poo”. Springing into action, he immediately hid the ‘N’ in “Poon Hill” to satisfy himself
  • We were back at our guesthouse at around 12pm and decided to order food from the menu. Roger had to warn Tilly about refraining from “outward expression of affection” as instructed by the last page of our menu
  • Dom and Tilly went for a bit of a walk afterwards while the rest of us decided to spend the afternoon taking it easy and relaxing. Their timing was a bit off because a thunderstorm wasn’t too far behind them! Fortunately, they made it back before the skies exploded
  • After yet another sumptuous high altitude dinner (I had rosti but Hannes told me with great conviction that his homemade version of it would put this one to shame), I went to bed while the rest of the gang played cards. The clouds cleared up revealing the bright moon and stars which meant that our 6am sunrise viewing plan from Poon Hill was back on
Nice tree in Ghorepani

Nice tree in Ghorepani

Our Ghorepani hut

Our Ghorepani hut

Hannes' suffers toe issues

Hannes’ suffers toe issues

Tilly has a new friend - Srijana (guesthouse lady's daughter)

Tilly has a new friend – Srijana (guesthouse lady’s daughter)

Started raining all of a sudden

Started raining all of a sudden

Beautiful rhododendrons on the way to Poon Hill

Beautiful rhododendrons on the way to Poon Hill

Met this guide on the way to Ghorepani

Met this guide on the way to Ghorepani

View from Poon Hill

View from Poon Hill

Swiss lady brought this Alphorn to Poon Hill

Swiss lady brought this Alphorn to Poon Hill

Group Pic on Poon Hill

Group Pic on Poon Hill

19th April 2016
  • Got up at 5am after close to 8-something hours of sleep. Felt like I was back in boarding school – the sound of someone yawning in another room, creaking of beds, shuffling of plastic bags and so on
  • I switched to military precision for my upcoming dump sequence. I was expecting a dirty toilet but it was surprisingly clean so I could put down my guard. I’ll stop describing the rest of the processes here
  • We went up race pace to the top of Poon Hill. The views were majestic – Annapurna 1/2/3, Daulagiri, Fish Mountain (Macchapuchhere). Spectacular
  • After a heavy breakfast (pancake with peanut butter), it was time to walk to Tadapani. Initially, it was a downhill course but boy did that change. The stairs we climbed put Lantau Peak and Sunset Peak to shame
  • Our lunch spot was another spectacular scene. And the lunch (macaroni with cheese) was yummy
  • Then came a longish walk to Chumrong. “Five minutes” was the theme of the day. Our next stop was always “five minutes” away. We left at 8am in the morning, reached Tadapani at about 12pm and it took us until 5pm to reach Chumrong which was at 2050m. Kiran suggested that we add another “5 minutes” to our day which meant that our stop was at Sinuwa, also at 2050mhumrong. “Five minutes” was the theme of the day. Our next stop was always “five minutes” away. We left at 8am in the morning, reached Tadapani at about 12pm and it took us until 5pm to reach Chumrong which was at 2050m. Kiran suggested that we add another “5 minutes” to our day which meant that our stop was at Sinuwa, also at 2050m
  • On the way to Sinuwa

    On the way to Sinuwa

    Flowers everywhere!

    Flowers everywhere!

    Roger suddenly borrowed my camera to take this great selfie

    Roger suddenly borrowed my camera to take this great selfie

    Want a hit man?

    Want a hit man?

    Poon Hill becomes POO HILL

    Poon Hill becomes POO HILL

    Walking through many green villages

    Walking through many green villages

    Our scenic lunch spot in Tadapani

    Our scenic lunch spot in Tadapani

    More beautiful rhododendron trees

    More beautiful rhododendron trees

  • Hannes’ pain got worse but he still managed to do the whole route without  any external help
  • During dinner, the conversation mainly revolved around Roger’s favorite topic again – poo. Tilly tried desperately to have the topic changed many times but invariably, as Milos put it, “all topics lead to s**t”. Roger’s need for a clean toilet outweighed his urgency to go for a dump
 
20th April 2016
  • The original plan was to hike up to Duerali (3100m) but Kiran was told that they had no rooms there. So, insead, we decided to go to Himalayan (2800m)
  • After a 7am breakfast (Muesli with fruits), we started making our 4-hour journey to Himalayan
  • The poo experience that Roger was after continued to ellude him until the afternoon, but soon after an intense hailstorm, Roger proudly announced that he had successfully relieved himself of some unnecessary cargo
  • We played poker in the afternoon and watched out the window as the rain continued its onslaught
  • After a heavy dinner (macaroni with cheese) it was time to retire for the day
Carpet of leaves

Carpet of leaves

We crossed many of these suspension bridges

We crossed many of these suspension bridges

While Hannes was stretching, bad boy Roger tripped him

While Hannes was stretching, bad boy Roger tripped him

Our humble abode

Our humble abode

Express mule

Express mule

Mary had a little lamb...

Mary had a little lamb…

Taking a pitstop

Taking a pitstop

First sight of snow

First sight of snow

21st April 2016
  • We were hoping for some bright skies after the intense rainfall the previous day
  • I woke up at around 5.30am and went outside. Fortunately, the skies were an azure blue. Roger woke up shortly after and greeted us with a morning fart. (When Milos farts he fondly refers to it as his “jet fuel exhaust”)
  • Today was the highlight of our ABC base camp expedition. The scenery was simply mind blowing. We left around 7.30am and reached Machupuchere Base Camp (MBC – 3700m) around 10.30am
  • The skies continued to be blue so we made the 1.5 hour trip to Annapurna Base Camp (4130m). Awesome. Magnificent.  Pick your adjective
  • On the way back to MBC (Fishtail Mountain), it looked like it was going to pour down but we luckily avoided the rain. At around 2.30pm, it rained cats and dogs. Great escape!
  • Lunch was a heavy rosti and post lunch it was time to play poker again and retire for the day
Wild flowers on the way to ABC

Wild flowers on the way to ABC

The beauty was amazing

The beauty was amazing

Stunning

Stunning

Had to cross this glacier on the way to ABC

Had to cross this glacier on the way to ABC

The view was spectacular

The view was spectacular

Majestic mountains

Majestic mountains

Dark side of mountaineering - Anatoli Boukreev is remembered

Dark side of mountaineering – Anatoli Boukreev is remembered

On ABC. Japanese expedition attempt to climb the south face of Annapurna

On ABC. Japanese expedition attempt to climb the south face of Annapurna

The high altitude hut

The high altitude hut

Unbelievable landscape

Unbelievable landscape

The remote hut

The remote hut

22nd April 2016
  • The plan was to descend all the way to Chumrong at 2800m
  • The mountains were beautifully illuminated by the sun as I woke up and stepped out at 5.30am. Part of me wished I had gotten up at 4am and made it back up to ABC for the view
  • We made the 24km walk back to Chhumrong beginning 7.30am
  • As we made our way, the skies behind us blackened. We got lucky again with the weather. It felt like we were taking the sunshine with us wherever we were going
  • Roger, while talking about an Australian guy who had fallen off Annapurna while attempting to change his camera battery, ironically, also fell down a slope when attempting to change his camera battery. Luckily, all he had was a minor scratch
  • The final stage from Sinuwa to Chhumrong was a tough stair climb but otherwise, it felt like a pretty easy day – especially as we are going from a freezing 3700m in elevation to a balmy and green Chhumrong at 2100m
  • The view from our guesthouse “Kalpana guesthouse” was lush and green! Cabbage plantations grew below and potato farms were planted all around
  • It felt amazing to note how a mere 20km of waking changed everything. From the views of tall, towering mountains to that of green and lush valleys, from frigid temperatures where you need several layers of clothing to that of balmy weather where a tee shirt and a pair of shorts would suffice. It felt like a journey from survival mode to living comfortably. Mountains are majestic but living there is another cold matter!
  • I thought about those guys attempting to climb Annapurna (apparently one in ten die). They must feel like what we just did (the hike to ABC camp) was pure baby stuff
  • Milos came out of the squat toilet (the only option we had) and declared that “he wasn’t sure where he was aiming”. Which made me conclude that I would defer jetissoning my excess cargo by one more day until we would reach Pokhara
  • The rest of the day was spent in a Swiss bakery shop and playing poker. Hannes was close to winning the game in the MBC hut but we found an excuse to stop the game before he could win it all
Morning view from MBC

Morning view from MBC

Eating at a bakery in Chhumrong

Eating at a bakery in Chhumrong

Mountains are beautiful but hostile terittory

Mountains are beautiful but hostile terittory

Great green views (and Roger)

Great green views (and Roger)

Chhumrong valley

Butterfly hovers around

Butterfly hovers around

From 3700m to 2500m in Chhumrong

From 3700m to 2500m in Chhumrong

23rd April 2016
  • Woke up to the sight of the beautiful Machapuchare (Fishtail mountain) at about 5.45am for our last 4-hour day of walking. Thought to myself how magnificent it looked from the comfort of our guesthouse in Chhumrong but as you go near it, the discomfort of being there rises with the altitude
  • We left the green Chhumrong at about 7.30am and reached Birethanti at about 11am, just in time for our taxi pick up back to Pokhara
  • Leaving Chhumrong and arriving at Pokhara felt very different. Difference between heaven and earth! It all meant one thing – our holiday was coming to a close!
  • The afternoon was spent eating and shopping. We went to a Tibetan market where Milos was pointing at a photo of the Dalai Lama and said that he had many interesting things to say. Then, all of a sudden from behind, a small Tibetan lady approached and said “he’s cool, right?” We nodded
Walking back to the jeep to get back to Birethanti

Walking back to the jeep to get back to Birethanti

Leaving gardens for Kathamandu city

Leaving gardens for Kathamandu city

About 40 mins away from our finiish

About 40 mins away from our finiish

This guy is a pro

This guy is a pro

24th April 2016
  • Headed back to Kathmandu by bus after a 6.30am breakfast
  • Some more shopping and plenty of eating ensued after an 8-hour bus drive that featured many close traffic accidents
Monkey Swayambhu Temple, Kathmandu

Monkey Swayambhu Temple, Kathmandu

Not every day may be good but there is something good in every day

Not every day may be good but there is something good in every day

A "cross" spider

A “cross” spider

Dom gets a cheap shave

Dom gets a cheap shave

Where's the wire? There is a method in maddness

Where’s the wire? There is a method in maddness

Spot a pigeon - Durbar square

Spot a pigeon – Durbar square

I'm buyin' one of these babies

I’m buyin’ one of these babies

25th April 2016
  • It was time to return to the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong for us and to Geneva for Tilly
Goodbye Kathmandu

Goodbye Kathmandu

When in doubt, have a burgur

When in doubt, have a burgur

What about 'em Taliban Soups?

What about ’em Taliban Soups?

Interesting things we observed in Nepal:
  • Villages were very, very clean. I was expecting some garbage near the villages but there was none. Most villages in the mountains were spic and span
  • Prices in guesthouses were fixed and controlled. No matter which guesthouse  you go to, the prices were the same for guesthouses at that altitude
  • People were nice and friendly. Largely,  there was no real attempt to ripoff tourists. This was more true after Banthati
 
Trip rating: 
  • Truly kick ass style. Great place, great company and a truly kick ass break
  • Learning lessons:
    • One week in the Annapurna region and another in the Everest region would have had more kick ass power
    • Never carry more than you need. 7 tee shirts weren’t necessary. Light but good rain gear and winter gear are necessary. Most other things are dispensable
    • A private car for 6 people would have saved time instead of the long bus ride to Pokhara
    • A small day pack and a normal rucksack would have helped to carry ad hoc stuff instead of just a big rucksack

Overall, another great adventure in another great place! Our planet is really beautiful!

 
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#HKTRP #47 – Talking to Nutrition Specialist Katia Kucher and Nic Tinworth aka “Tinny” from Trail running Hong Kong (Part 3 / 3)

Part 3/3:

Today, our guest is Katia Kutcher, the owner of d.BeFit (www.dbefit.com), is a NASM certified personal trainer, a NASM Sports Nutrition Specialist. She is also TRX certified. She did the Translantau 100 in 2015 and finished 3rd in her category (21.19).

In the first part of the podcast, we spoke about Trail Running and Nutrition, in the second part of the podcast, we spoke about Post-Run Recovery and its importance. In the final port of the podcast, we are joined by Nic Tinworth (aka “Tinny”) who is an active blogger and founder of the 3800+ member strong Trail Running HK Page on Facebook.

Big thank you to Nic Tinworth for helping produce this 3-part podcast. Excerpts in the show notes are from Katia’s articles in her newsletter and on her website which we highly recommend you check out. We also have excerpts from Nic Tinworth’s blog. Link is below. You should definitely check that out for some knowledge bombs. Please leave comments on his blog, we would love some feedback.


  • Mental aspects of running (Topics we will try to touch open)

 

      • My piece on it: http://hktrailrunner.blogspot.hk/2014/06/mind-over-body-central-governor-theory.html
      • Timothy Noakes – Central Governor Theory
      • Is it your body or your mind limiting race day performance?
      • What is the Governor? How do you tame it? Why is it important?
      • Obviously not wishing to belittle the physiological demands of a race, or try to say that the mind is more important, the theory as Noakes explains it is that successful racing is a balance between being physically prepared, emotionally ready (motivated, with a good tolerance for pain) and the self-preservation. The exact combination of these factors is what leads to how hard you are able to push during a race.
      • Matt Fitzgerald – Train the brain and the rest will follow.
      • Your race performance is ultimately determined by how fast your mind/brain feels your body can go, and that, in turn, is determined primarily by how fast you have proved to your mind/brain that you can go in training.
      • What part does confidence play? Getting to the start line knowing you have done what you can to meet your race goal.
      • Six-time Ironman champion Dave Scott: I knew going into each race that my confidence would help to support a fast day and a successful outcome. After transitioning from coaching myself to coaching others, I knew the best place to start was to establish and build upon an athlete’s confidence level. The technical stuff is secondary if you don’t have the inner-drive, mental edge and physical foundation to take the leap.
      • teleoanticipation,” which Fitzgerald describes as “knowing intuitively just how much to hold back at the beginning of a maximal running effort to complete the effort without anything left in the tank, yet also without any decline in performance.” I was making a conscious evaluation of my abilities as a runner on that given day with what Fitzgerald calls “subconscious brain calculation.” Essentially, I was convincing my brain to allow me to sustain my goal pace for the entire duration of the race.
      • Andy DuBois (Mile27.com.au) – The role of motivation!

 

  • One study(1) timed how long people could hold a wall sit for. Without fail when they were offered money they could hold the sit position for longer. The more money they were offered the longer they could hold the position for. How can muscle fatigue be the reason for the length of their wall sit when they were able to hold for longer when offered more money? Motivation must be a factor. The mind was able to override the fatigue from the legs in order to obtain something valuable, in this case money, and the more money offered the greater the motivation.

 

      • 1. The more highly motivated you are the harder you can push yourself. Think about why you are doing the race and why it’s important to you. Remember all the hard work you have put in.
      • 2. If you feel like you are running well then your rate of psychological perceived exertion is lower and the brain allows you to work harder. Connect in with how you are feeling and flood your brain with as many positive thoughts as possible. Even if you don’t feel that great find something positive to think about and it will feel easier and you may even be able to run faster. Practise doing this in training so come race day it comes easy to you.

 

  • 3. Mentally resting before a big event.

 

    • Resist running fatigue
    • Use cross-training as brain training
    • Mastering the art of pacing
    • Learning to run “in the zone”
    • Outsmarting injuries
    • Fuel the brain for maximum performance

Big thank you to Katia and Nic.


To subscribe to this podcast, please go to iTunes and search for The Hong Kong Trail Rockers Podcast (https://itunes.apple.com/hk/podcast/hong-kong-trail-rockers-podcast!/id994423166)

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#HKTRP #46 – Talking to Nutrition Specialist Katia Kucher (Part 2 / 3)

Part 2/3:

Today, our guest is Katia Kutcher, the owner of d.BeFit (www.dbefit.com), is a NASM certified personal trainer, a NASM Sports Nutrition Specialist. She is also TRX certified. She did the Translantau 100 in 2015 and finished 3rd in her category (21.19).

In the first part of the podcast, we spoke about Trail Running and Nutrition, in this part of the podcast, we are going to talk about Post-Run Recovery and its importance.

Big thank you to Nic Tinworth for helping produce this 3-part podcast. Excerpts in the show notes are from Katia’s articles in her newsletter and on her website which we highly recommend you check out.


 

  • Recovery post running

 

    • “A lot of runners will experience different symptoms once the running season is over; inflammation and soreness, ruptured muscle fibre, stress hormone elevation and disruption, a suppressed immune system, connective tissue wear and tear, fatigue, irritability, weight loss, increased resting heart rate, loss of sleep and heavy legs” – from her newsletter
      • Talk about that.
    • Tips for optimal recovery
      • 1.Know the rules:
        • -Our physical capacity has limits
        • -Life stress is body stress
        • -High volume, year round training is unsustainable
        • -Regular, prolonged rest is required
        • -Limit the # of races
      • 2. Don’t Run:
        • -For every 15km raced you need to take one day off. If you used the race as training then this rule might not apply, it depends on how hard you pushed and the elevation as well.
      • 3.Commit to recovery:
        • -Your joints and muscles might feel ok after a few days rest, but our mechanical systems are rarely the most stressed. It’s our internal systems such as the nervous, endocrine and metabolic systems that are highly affected by running an ultra marathon, and those systems have invisible wounds that are a lot greater than those in our muscles and legs. Share your commitment to recovery with friends and family to make sure you stick to your goals.
      • 4.Refuel:
        • -The average calories burned during an ultra marathon is between 600-1,000 calories/hr. One of the symptoms after an ultra marathon is a loss of appetite. It is important to refuel early and often. It actually takes days even weeks to replace all the nutrients lost during an ultra.
      • -Listen to your body. Your body requires a lot of calories for both healing and repair. It is important to refuel with a healthy diet to make sure you provide your body with all the essential nutrients.
        • -Post-race nutrition requirement breakdown;
        • 100gr of protein/day
        • Avoid simple carbs (can increase inflammation) focus on eating healthy carbs and limit simple sugars.
        • Hydration is crucial for days following the race. Proper hydration will help dispose of metabolic waste, digestion, and repair of the whole body.
        • Eat healthy fats, which helps in nutrient absorption.
        • Listen to your cravings.
      • 5.Keep moving:
        • Active recovery is very important post-race to help with restoring motion to the muscles, joints, and everything else. While you should take a break from running, you need to keep moving. Include stretching, walking, yoga, massage. Key areas to stretch include; hip flexors, hamstrings, quadriceps, calfs, shins, back and trunk flexion rotation and extension. After a few days, cross training can be very beneficial to get the blood flowing to the leg muscles and speed up recovery. Include short sessions of swimming, cycling, walking, or elliptical training, but keep it low impact.
      • 6. Sleep:
        • The primary purpose of sleep is to rest, restore, and repair the nervous system. The average recommendation is 8hrs of sleep per night, nothing below 6hrs. For the first week after running an ultra marathon, you should add 1hr of sleep/ day. Whether it is a nap or going to bed an hour earlier, that extra rest will make a huge difference.
      • 7. Find different ways to keep busy:
        • After training for hours and hours a week, recovery can be a challenge when we are used to running for hours regularly. Spend more time with family and friends, enjoy life outside of running for a while, before you know it the next racing season will be right around the corner!
      • 8. Turn off your brain:
        • Often our brain takes over our body, it can be challenging to avoid the temptation to train or sign up for another race because a friend is asking you to join, or seeing some running mates still running or racing. Limit your time on social media for a bit in order to get a real brake.
      • 9. Assess you body:
        • When you feel like it’s time to start running again focus on your running mechanics. After a long race and taking a break you have to reassess  your running form to make sure everything is in line. You might have to include a few physio sessions to make sure everything is released and uninjured.
      • 10. Start running:
        • When you feel ready to go again, ease back into training. Take it as a reverse tapering, don’t start with speedwork or long distance, build up the mileage, speed and strength.

We continue in Part 3 where we will talk about Mental Strategies for Running with Nic Tinworth and Katia


To subscribe to this podcast, please go to iTunes and search for The Hong Kong Trail Rockers Podcast (https://itunes.apple.com/hk/podcast/hong-kong-trail-rockers-podcast!/id994423166)

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#HKTRP #49 – A conversation with experienced physiotherapist Helen Real (1/2)

Today on the podcast, we’re going to talk to Helen Real, an experienced physio who works for a company called posture plus which specializes in sports physiotherapy. We’re going to talk to her from an ultra perspective, i.e. ask her about common injuries that she sees ultra runners suffer from and what runners can do to take proactive action against potential future injury. So, let me welcome Helen Real to the show.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this podcast are Helen’s personal opinion only
We’re going to divide the podcast into two parts. In the first part, we’ll focus on the importance of maintaining a good posture plus what can one do before ultras and after ultras to recover quickly and prevent potential injury. In the second part of the podcast, we’ll talk about common running injuries and treatment.

Part 1:
Let me welcome Helen Real to the show and also congratulate her! She got married a couple of weeks back. Also, we’ll start off with the usual trivia questions for Helen
Trivia:
  • Helen, could you please give us an introduction of yourself
  • How did she get into physiotherapy
  • Her realm of expertise. What kind of injuries does she deal with
  • Is she a runner herself?
  • How long has she been running for?
  • How long has she been in HK for and what’s her favorite trail?
  • What’s her best “running” accomplishment in her opinion?
  • Does she have any role models in Hong Kong or outside of Hong Kong?
Posture and ultra running:
  • Why is it important to have a good posture
  • Should one work on a good posture before getting into running or can it be a “refine as you run” experience
  • Does the posture change for sprinters / ultramarathoners ?
  • How will one know that they have a good posture
  • Any views on shoes like Hokas? What would be a good pair of shoes in her opinion?
  • How important is stretching before running and what’s the science behind it?
  • How important is post run stretching and why is that important (if it is)

To subscribe to this podcast, please go to iTunes and search for The Hong Kong Trail Rockers Podcast (https://itunes.apple.com/hk/podcast/hong-kong-trail-rockers-podcast!/id994423166)

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#HKTRP #48 – Talking to Mr. Sin (one of the first Hong Kongers to complete the RTP Desert Series)

Today on the podcast, we’ve got Mr. Sin Shui Fuk.
Most people will know Mr Sin as one of the first local Hongkongers to have completed the four Deserts Race Series – four 250-kilometre races across deserts around the world. Mr Sin suffers from Hepatitis B and has used running as a tool to help him beat the disease as much as possible. Also, during his illness, he noticed that whilst women would devote a lot of love and care towards their other halves, women received much less attention when they were sick, as he saw while caring for his wife when she was hospitalised. Mr Sin thinks that women and men should not only have equal opportunities in society, but there should be reciprocity in terms of the expression and sharing of love and care, especially during times of illness.
Also, as a co-host, let me welcome Agnes Cheng who is an active trail runner in Hong Kong. She is Mr. Sin’s campaign manager.
Introducing Agnes. It’s time for our 3 trivia questions:
  • What’s your favorite trail in Hong Kong and why?
  • What’s your best accomplishment in the field of running / hiking and why?
  • Who are your role models if any?
Questions for Mr. Sin
  • Self introduction
  • Background questions
    • How old is he now?
    • When did he get into hiking and how did it evolve?
    • When did it occur to him to do the 4 Deserts Race Series?
    • What were his family’s thoughts on his idea? Did they object to it?
    • Why did he want to do it? And, why this challenge?
  • Talk about ups and downs of the Desert Series
  • Talk about future goals
  • What’s the best place to reach him?
    • https://www.facebook.com/walktocare/

To subscribe to this podcast, please go to iTunes and search for The Hong Kong Trail Rockers Podcast (https://itunes.apple.com/hk/podcast/hong-kong-trail-rockers-podcast!/id994423166)

Kick Ass vacation to Annapurna Base Camp (April 2016)

The prelude:
  • Switch on the news and you would hear *THOSE* times being mentioned over and over again. What times? Bad markets, bad economy, etc, etc, etc. All this pointed to one thing. It was time to climb a mountain
  • Enter my friend Milos. We sat down for hours together and plan. (Read: have two Tsing Taos by Mui Wo Ferry Pier)
  • The Annapurna idea is born
  • We immediately call in a favour and found ourselves a CPO (Chief Planning Officer). Enter Ramesh.
  • We created a whatsapp group where millions and millions of messages are exchanged. (Most of them irrelevant and junk, especially the ones from Roger)
  • Enter the final list of participants. Roger, Hannes, Dominic, Milos, Tilly and yours truly
Ramesh sends us the itinerary: 
 
  • 15 Apr – Arrive Kathmandu
  • 16 Apr – Depart for Pokhara By Road 7 hrs Tourist Bus or By Air 25 mins Flt and Arrange Trekking Permits
  • 17 Apr – Trek to Banthati 2000m
  • 18 Apr – Trek to Ghorepani 3500m
  • 19 Apr – Short Trek to Poon Hill Sunrise Breakfast and Trek to Chomrong 2500m
  • 20 Apr – Trek to Dovan 2700m
  • 21 Apr – Trek  to Annapurna Base Camp 4000m
  • 22 Apr – Trek back to Chhomrong
  • 23 Apr – Trek Back to Ghandruk Base and By Road to Pokhara
  • 24 Apr – By Road or Air To Kathmandu
  • 25 Apr – Sightseeing in Kathmandu morning and afternoon . Depart Kathmandu for Hong Kong
 
RECOMMENDED KIT :
  • 1.   Trekking Shoes
  • 2.   Walking poles
  • 3.   Light Down and Light Jacket
  • 4.   Track Suit – 1 pr
  • 5.   Thermo T Shirt/Inner
  • 6.   Basic medicines
  • 7.   Camera
  • 8.   Medium Thick Socks
  • 9.  Medium Carry Pack
  • 10.  Water Bottle
  • 11.  Energy Bar
 
RECOMMENDED START/END TREK TIMINGS :
 
  • 0600-0630 – Breakfast
  • 0700 – Trek Start
  • 1100-1200 – Stop for Lunch
  • 1300-1700 – Afternoon Trek
 
  • Trek to Ghorepani/Poon Hill Upfhill
  • Trek to Chomrong Uphill/Downhill
  • Trek to Annapurna Base Camp Uphill
  • Trek from Base Camp – Downhill
 
SCENERY :
  • From Ghorepani Poon Hill – Mount Dhaulagiri-Annapurna Ranges
  • From Chhomrong – Annapurna Ranges and Fish Tail
  • You will also see the national flower of Nepal Rhododendron blooming
As you can see from the strict schedule, Ramesh is an ex military guy. After we agreed on this itinerary, a million more of whatsapp messages were exchanged. Most of them (again) are useless and irrelevant. And, yes, many of them from Roger. (History repeated itself). Suddenly, we were there and it was April 15th 2016.

 
15th April 2016
  • I got a text from Milos: “Vince, I checked the bags from John, you want the bag with bras or the bag with bras ? your pick :-)“. Our man John Ellis form Gone Running sent us a bunch of used sports gear to carry to Nepal to donate to the community there. I got handed the bag with the most bras
  • Meanwhile we had news from Ramesh that our 5th member in our Nepal expedition, Tilly had successfully arrived in Kathmandu from Geneva. “TILLY COLLECTION” read the subject of the email. With Dominic already in Nepal on a “pre-vacation” vacation, our team was complete
  • Kathmandu airport was crowded and it took us almost 90 minutes just to get our luggage. The conveyor belt started and stopped and looked like a meandering river. Eager passengers starting crowding around every visible edge of the belt in keen anticipation of their luggage
  • Kiran, our guide and Ramesh’s tail running student, waited for us outside the airport to take us to our hotel. Unwanted helpers carried our luggage to the van and demanded a tip. We mistakenly thought they were Kiran’s friends. We departed with 120 HKD. Roger giving away 100 and I gave away 20
  • Ramesh called Kiran who passed the phone onto Milos. He made sure we had arrived safely
My artistic photo of the wing

My artistic photo of the wing

4 clowns leaving Hong Kong for ABC

4 clowns leaving Hong Kong for ABC

Kathmandu airport baggage carousel

Kathmandu airport baggage carousel

16th April 2016
  • 0540 was the assembly time at the hotel reception
  • Tilly bought some bananas and apples on the way to the bus stop and got ripped off. 50 HKD for some bananas and oranges. Even more expensive than Hong Kong. She really amazed me when she went back to the vendor after realizing this and got her money back after returning the apples and oranges. I would have been too scared to do that!
  • Bus journey was spent yapping a lot and boring Tilly. We saw a gruesome sight of an accident which made me recall how fickle life can be. One really needs to cherish every moment of it
  • Upon reaching Pokhara, we met Ramesh who took us to Hotel Pokhara where we were briefed. We got permits done for the upcoming Annpurna trek and enjoyed a warm dinner reception which Ramesh hosted for us
Taking an evening walk in Pokhara to the park

Taking an evening walk in Pokhara to the park

We are smarter than we look

We are smarter than we look

17th April 2016
  • We assembled for breakfast at 7am after a good night’s sleep – well, all except for Milos, who inadvertently happened to volunteer to be dinner for mosquitoes. He woke up with many mosquito bites on his hand and face
  • We bid a temporary goodbye to Ramesh and boarded our team jeep at 7.30am to get on our way to Birethanti (1050m)
  • Then came a steep stair climb all the way to Banthanti. Hannes, despite experiencing hip pain, converted some of his Swiss pride into muscle power and made it all the way to our humble abode for the night – The Green Hill View lodge. Which by the way isn’t a misnomer. Not like our Hong Kong style naming of buildings. Think “Chung King Mansion”. Mansion?
  • Hannes’ pain dwindled to the point where he even enjoyed locking me out in the bathroom
  • The view from our lodge was scenic. Very green and soothing
  • We had a sumptuous dinner in the lodge with ample servings of ginger tea. There was even an intense (and heated) debate about Hong Kong politics which took our sleeping time to 1030pm
Mint plant in Banthanti

Mint plant in Banthanti

Milos has some biting friends

Milos has some biting friends

Met Mr. Horsey in Banthanthi

Met Mr. Horsey in Banthanthi

18th April 2016
  • Ghorepani, I.e., “white water” at 2820m was the destination for the day. It took us less than 3 hours to reach this place. Our residence for the place was a cleverly named guesthouse called “See You” guesthouse
  • Having reached Ghorepani as early as 10am we took a little side trip upto Poon Hill at 3100m. It took less than an hour to reach
  • We saw a sign that read “Poon Hill” which reminded Roger of his most favorite topic – “poo”. Springing into action, he immediately hid the ‘N’ in “Poon Hill” to satisfy himself
  • We were back at our guesthouse at around 12pm and decided to order food from the menu. Roger had to warn Tilly about refraining from “outward expression of affection” as instructed by the last page of our menu
  • Dom and Tilly went for a bit of a walk afterwards while the rest of us decided to spend the afternoon taking it easy and relaxing. Their timing was a bit off because a thunderstorm wasn’t too far behind them! Fortunately, they made it back before the skies exploded
  • After yet another sumptuous high altitude dinner (I had rosti but Hannes told me with great conviction that his homemade version of it would put this one to shame), I went to bed while the rest of the gang played cards. The clouds cleared up revealing the bright moon and stars which meant that our 6am sunrise viewing plan from Poon Hill was back on
Nice tree in Ghorepani

Nice tree in Ghorepani

Our Ghorepani hut

Our Ghorepani hut

Hannes' suffers toe issues

Hannes’ suffers toe issues

Tilly has a new friend - Srijana (guesthouse lady's daughter)

Tilly has a new friend – Srijana (guesthouse lady’s daughter)

Started raining all of a sudden

Started raining all of a sudden

Beautiful rhododendrons on the way to Poon Hill

Beautiful rhododendrons on the way to Poon Hill

Met this guide on the way to Ghorepani

Met this guide on the way to Ghorepani

View from Poon Hill

View from Poon Hill

Swiss lady brought this Alphorn to Poon Hill

Swiss lady brought this Alphorn to Poon Hill

Group Pic on Poon Hill

Group Pic on Poon Hill

19th April 2016
  • Got up at 5am after close to 8-something hours of sleep. Felt like I was back in boarding school – the sound of someone yawning in another room, creaking of beds, shuffling of plastic bags and so on
  • I switched to military precision for my upcoming dump sequence. I was expecting a dirty toilet but it was surprisingly clean so I could put down my guard. I’ll stop describing the rest of the processes here
  • We went up race pace to the top of Poon Hill. The views were majestic – Annapurna 1/2/3, Daulagiri, Fish Mountain (Macchapuchhere). Spectacular
  • After a heavy breakfast (pancake with peanut butter), it was time to walk to Tadapani. Initially, it was a downhill course but boy did that change. The stairs we climbed put Lantau Peak and Sunset Peak to shame
  • Our lunch spot was another spectacular scene. And the lunch (macaroni with cheese) was yummy
  • Then came a longish walk to Chumrong. “Five minutes” was the theme of the day. Our next stop was always “five minutes” away. We left at 8am in the morning, reached Tadapani at about 12pm and it took us until 5pm to reach Chumrong which was at 2050m. Kiran suggested that we add another “5 minutes” to our day which meant that our stop was at Sinuwa, also at 2050mhumrong. “Five minutes” was the theme of the day. Our next stop was always “five minutes” away. We left at 8am in the morning, reached Tadapani at about 12pm and it took us until 5pm to reach Chumrong which was at 2050m. Kiran suggested that we add another “5 minutes” to our day which meant that our stop was at Sinuwa, also at 2050m
  • On the way to Sinuwa

    On the way to Sinuwa

    Flowers everywhere!

    Flowers everywhere!

    Roger suddenly borrowed my camera to take this great selfie

    Roger suddenly borrowed my camera to take this great selfie

    Want a hit man?

    Want a hit man?

    Poon Hill becomes POO HILL

    Poon Hill becomes POO HILL

    Walking through many green villages

    Walking through many green villages

    Our scenic lunch spot in Tadapani

    Our scenic lunch spot in Tadapani

    More beautiful rhododendron trees

    More beautiful rhododendron trees

  • Hannes’ pain got worse but he still managed to do the whole route without  any external help
  • During dinner, the conversation mainly revolved around Roger’s favorite topic again – poo. Tilly tried desperately to have the topic changed many times but invariably, as Milos put it, “all topics lead to s**t”. Roger’s need for a clean toilet outweighed his urgency to go for a dump
 
20th April 2016
  • The original plan was to hike up to Duerali (3100m) but Kiran was told that they had no rooms there. So, insead, we decided to go to Himalayan (2800m)
  • After a 7am breakfast (Muesli with fruits), we started making our 4-hour journey to Himalayan
  • The poo experience that Roger was after continued to ellude him until the afternoon, but soon after an intense hailstorm, Roger proudly announced that he had successfully relieved himself of some unnecessary cargo
  • We played poker in the afternoon and watched out the window as the rain continued its onslaught
  • After a heavy dinner (macaroni with cheese) it was time to retire for the day
Carpet of leaves

Carpet of leaves

We crossed many of these suspension bridges

We crossed many of these suspension bridges

While Hannes was stretching, bad boy Roger tripped him

While Hannes was stretching, bad boy Roger tripped him

Our humble abode

Our humble abode

Express mule

Express mule

Mary had a little lamb...

Mary had a little lamb…

Taking a pitstop

Taking a pitstop

First sight of snow

First sight of snow

21st April 2016
  • We were hoping for some bright skies after the intense rainfall the previous day
  • I woke up at around 5.30am and went outside. Fortunately, the skies were an azure blue. Roger woke up shortly after and greeted us with a morning fart. (When Milos farts he fondly refers to it as his “jet fuel exhaust”)
  • Today was the highlight of our ABC base camp expedition. The scenery was simply mind blowing. We left around 7.30am and reached Machupuchere Base Camp (MBC – 3700m) around 10.30am
  • The skies continued to be blue so we made the 1.5 hour trip to Annapurna Base Camp (4130m). Awesome. Magnificent.  Pick your adjective
  • On the way back to MBC (Fishtail Mountain), it looked like it was going to pour down but we luckily avoided the rain. At around 2.30pm, it rained cats and dogs. Great escape!
  • Lunch was a heavy rosti and post lunch it was time to play poker again and retire for the day
Wild flowers on the way to ABC

Wild flowers on the way to ABC

The beauty was amazing

The beauty was amazing

Stunning

Stunning

Had to cross this glacier on the way to ABC

Had to cross this glacier on the way to ABC

The view was spectacular

The view was spectacular

Majestic mountains

Majestic mountains

Dark side of mountaineering - Anatoli Boukreev is remembered

Dark side of mountaineering – Anatoli Boukreev is remembered

On ABC. Japanese expedition attempt to climb the south face of Annapurna

On ABC. Japanese expedition attempt to climb the south face of Annapurna

The high altitude hut

The high altitude hut

Unbelievable landscape

Unbelievable landscape

The remote hut

The remote hut

22nd April 2016
  • The plan was to descend all the way to Chumrong at 2800m
  • The mountains were beautifully illuminated by the sun as I woke up and stepped out at 5.30am. Part of me wished I had gotten up at 4am and made it back up to ABC for the view
  • We made the 24km walk back to Chhumrong beginning 7.30am
  • As we made our way, the skies behind us blackened. We got lucky again with the weather. It felt like we were taking the sunshine with us wherever we were going
  • Roger, while talking about an Australian guy who had fallen off Annapurna while attempting to change his camera battery, ironically, also fell down a slope when attempting to change his camera battery. Luckily, all he had was a minor scratch
  • The final stage from Sinuwa to Chhumrong was a tough stair climb but otherwise, it felt like a pretty easy day – especially as we are going from a freezing 3700m in elevation to a balmy and green Chhumrong at 2100m
  • The view from our guesthouse “Kalpana guesthouse” was lush and green! Cabbage plantations grew below and potato farms were planted all around
  • It felt amazing to note how a mere 20km of waking changed everything. From the views of tall, towering mountains to that of green and lush valleys, from frigid temperatures where you need several layers of clothing to that of balmy weather where a tee shirt and a pair of shorts would suffice. It felt like a journey from survival mode to living comfortably. Mountains are majestic but living there is another cold matter!
  • I thought about those guys attempting to climb Annapurna (apparently one in ten die). They must feel like what we just did (the hike to ABC camp) was pure baby stuff
  • Milos came out of the squat toilet (the only option we had) and declared that “he wasn’t sure where he was aiming”. Which made me conclude that I would defer jetissoning my excess cargo by one more day until we would reach Pokhara
  • The rest of the day was spent in a Swiss bakery shop and playing poker. Hannes was close to winning the game in the MBC hut but we found an excuse to stop the game before he could win it all
Morning view from MBC

Morning view from MBC

Eating at a bakery in Chhumrong

Eating at a bakery in Chhumrong

Mountains are beautiful but hostile terittory

Mountains are beautiful but hostile terittory

Great green views (and Roger)

Great green views (and Roger)

Chhumrong valley

Butterfly hovers around

Butterfly hovers around

From 3700m to 2500m in Chhumrong

From 3700m to 2500m in Chhumrong

23rd April 2016
  • Woke up to the sight of the beautiful Machapuchare (Fishtail mountain) at about 5.45am for our last 4-hour day of walking. Thought to myself how magnificent it looked from the comfort of our guesthouse in Chhumrong but as you go near it, the discomfort of being there rises with the altitude
  • We left the green Chhumrong at about 7.30am and reached Birethanti at about 11am, just in time for our taxi pick up back to Pokhara
  • Leaving Chhumrong and arriving at Pokhara felt very different. Difference between heaven and earth! It all meant one thing – our holiday was coming to a close!
  • The afternoon was spent eating and shopping. We went to a Tibetan market where Milos was pointing at a photo of the Dalai Lama and said that he had many interesting things to say. Then, all of a sudden from behind, a small Tibetan lady approached and said “he’s cool, right?” We nodded
Walking back to the jeep to get back to Birethanti

Walking back to the jeep to get back to Birethanti

Leaving gardens for Kathamandu city

Leaving gardens for Kathamandu city

About 40 mins away from our finiish

About 40 mins away from our finiish

This guy is a pro

This guy is a pro

24th April 2016
  • Headed back to Kathmandu by bus after a 6.30am breakfast
  • Some more shopping and plenty of eating ensued after an 8-hour bus drive that featured many close traffic accidents
Monkey Swayambhu Temple, Kathmandu

Monkey Swayambhu Temple, Kathmandu

Not every day may be good but there is something good in every day

Not every day may be good but there is something good in every day

A "cross" spider

A “cross” spider

Dom gets a cheap shave

Dom gets a cheap shave

Where's the wire? There is a method in maddness

Where’s the wire? There is a method in maddness

Spot a pigeon - Durbar square

Spot a pigeon – Durbar square

I'm buyin' one of these babies

I’m buyin’ one of these babies

25th April 2016
  • It was time to return to the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong for us and to Geneva for Tilly
Goodbye Kathmandu

Goodbye Kathmandu

When in doubt, have a burgur

When in doubt, have a burgur

What about 'em Taliban Soups?

What about ’em Taliban Soups?

Interesting things we observed in Nepal:
  • Villages were very, very clean. I was expecting some garbage near the villages but there was none. Most villages in the mountains were spic and span
  • Prices in guesthouses were fixed and controlled. No matter which guesthouse  you go to, the prices were the same for guesthouses at that altitude
  • People were nice and friendly. Largely,  there was no real attempt to ripoff tourists. This was more true after Banthati
 
Trip rating: 
  • Truly kick ass style. Great place, great company and a truly kick ass break
  • Learning lessons:
    • One week in the Annapurna region and another in the Everest region would have had more kick ass power
    • Never carry more than you need. 7 tee shirts weren’t necessary. Light but good rain gear and winter gear are necessary. Most other things are dispensable
    • A private car for 6 people would have saved time instead of the long bus ride to Pokhara
    • A small day pack and a normal rucksack would have helped to carry ad hoc stuff instead of just a big rucksack

Overall, another great adventure in another great place! Our planet is really beautiful!

 
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#HKTRP #47 – Talking to Nutrition Specialist Katia Kucher and Nic Tinworth aka “Tinny” from Trail running Hong Kong (Part 3 / 3)

Part 3/3:

Today, our guest is Katia Kutcher, the owner of d.BeFit (www.dbefit.com), is a NASM certified personal trainer, a NASM Sports Nutrition Specialist. She is also TRX certified. She did the Translantau 100 in 2015 and finished 3rd in her category (21.19).

In the first part of the podcast, we spoke about Trail Running and Nutrition, in the second part of the podcast, we spoke about Post-Run Recovery and its importance. In the final port of the podcast, we are joined by Nic Tinworth (aka “Tinny”) who is an active blogger and founder of the 3800+ member strong Trail Running HK Page on Facebook.

Big thank you to Nic Tinworth for helping produce this 3-part podcast. Excerpts in the show notes are from Katia’s articles in her newsletter and on her website which we highly recommend you check out. We also have excerpts from Nic Tinworth’s blog. Link is below. You should definitely check that out for some knowledge bombs. Please leave comments on his blog, we would love some feedback.


  • Mental aspects of running (Topics we will try to touch open)

 

      • My piece on it: http://hktrailrunner.blogspot.hk/2014/06/mind-over-body-central-governor-theory.html
      • Timothy Noakes – Central Governor Theory
      • Is it your body or your mind limiting race day performance?
      • What is the Governor? How do you tame it? Why is it important?
      • Obviously not wishing to belittle the physiological demands of a race, or try to say that the mind is more important, the theory as Noakes explains it is that successful racing is a balance between being physically prepared, emotionally ready (motivated, with a good tolerance for pain) and the self-preservation. The exact combination of these factors is what leads to how hard you are able to push during a race.
      • Matt Fitzgerald – Train the brain and the rest will follow.
      • Your race performance is ultimately determined by how fast your mind/brain feels your body can go, and that, in turn, is determined primarily by how fast you have proved to your mind/brain that you can go in training.
      • What part does confidence play? Getting to the start line knowing you have done what you can to meet your race goal.
      • Six-time Ironman champion Dave Scott: I knew going into each race that my confidence would help to support a fast day and a successful outcome. After transitioning from coaching myself to coaching others, I knew the best place to start was to establish and build upon an athlete’s confidence level. The technical stuff is secondary if you don’t have the inner-drive, mental edge and physical foundation to take the leap.
      • teleoanticipation,” which Fitzgerald describes as “knowing intuitively just how much to hold back at the beginning of a maximal running effort to complete the effort without anything left in the tank, yet also without any decline in performance.” I was making a conscious evaluation of my abilities as a runner on that given day with what Fitzgerald calls “subconscious brain calculation.” Essentially, I was convincing my brain to allow me to sustain my goal pace for the entire duration of the race.
      • Andy DuBois (Mile27.com.au) – The role of motivation!

 

  • One study(1) timed how long people could hold a wall sit for. Without fail when they were offered money they could hold the sit position for longer. The more money they were offered the longer they could hold the position for. How can muscle fatigue be the reason for the length of their wall sit when they were able to hold for longer when offered more money? Motivation must be a factor. The mind was able to override the fatigue from the legs in order to obtain something valuable, in this case money, and the more money offered the greater the motivation.

 

      • 1. The more highly motivated you are the harder you can push yourself. Think about why you are doing the race and why it’s important to you. Remember all the hard work you have put in.
      • 2. If you feel like you are running well then your rate of psychological perceived exertion is lower and the brain allows you to work harder. Connect in with how you are feeling and flood your brain with as many positive thoughts as possible. Even if you don’t feel that great find something positive to think about and it will feel easier and you may even be able to run faster. Practise doing this in training so come race day it comes easy to you.

 

  • 3. Mentally resting before a big event.

 

    • Resist running fatigue
    • Use cross-training as brain training
    • Mastering the art of pacing
    • Learning to run “in the zone”
    • Outsmarting injuries
    • Fuel the brain for maximum performance

Big thank you to Katia and Nic.


To subscribe to this podcast, please go to iTunes and search for The Hong Kong Trail Rockers Podcast (https://itunes.apple.com/hk/podcast/hong-kong-trail-rockers-podcast!/id994423166)

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#HKTRP #46 – Talking to Nutrition Specialist Katia Kucher (Part 2 / 3)

Part 2/3:

Today, our guest is Katia Kutcher, the owner of d.BeFit (www.dbefit.com), is a NASM certified personal trainer, a NASM Sports Nutrition Specialist. She is also TRX certified. She did the Translantau 100 in 2015 and finished 3rd in her category (21.19).

In the first part of the podcast, we spoke about Trail Running and Nutrition, in this part of the podcast, we are going to talk about Post-Run Recovery and its importance.

Big thank you to Nic Tinworth for helping produce this 3-part podcast. Excerpts in the show notes are from Katia’s articles in her newsletter and on her website which we highly recommend you check out.


 

  • Recovery post running

 

    • “A lot of runners will experience different symptoms once the running season is over; inflammation and soreness, ruptured muscle fibre, stress hormone elevation and disruption, a suppressed immune system, connective tissue wear and tear, fatigue, irritability, weight loss, increased resting heart rate, loss of sleep and heavy legs” – from her newsletter
      • Talk about that.
    • Tips for optimal recovery
      • 1.Know the rules:
        • -Our physical capacity has limits
        • -Life stress is body stress
        • -High volume, year round training is unsustainable
        • -Regular, prolonged rest is required
        • -Limit the # of races
      • 2. Don’t Run:
        • -For every 15km raced you need to take one day off. If you used the race as training then this rule might not apply, it depends on how hard you pushed and the elevation as well.
      • 3.Commit to recovery:
        • -Your joints and muscles might feel ok after a few days rest, but our mechanical systems are rarely the most stressed. It’s our internal systems such as the nervous, endocrine and metabolic systems that are highly affected by running an ultra marathon, and those systems have invisible wounds that are a lot greater than those in our muscles and legs. Share your commitment to recovery with friends and family to make sure you stick to your goals.
      • 4.Refuel:
        • -The average calories burned during an ultra marathon is between 600-1,000 calories/hr. One of the symptoms after an ultra marathon is a loss of appetite. It is important to refuel early and often. It actually takes days even weeks to replace all the nutrients lost during an ultra.
      • -Listen to your body. Your body requires a lot of calories for both healing and repair. It is important to refuel with a healthy diet to make sure you provide your body with all the essential nutrients.
        • -Post-race nutrition requirement breakdown;
        • 100gr of protein/day
        • Avoid simple carbs (can increase inflammation) focus on eating healthy carbs and limit simple sugars.
        • Hydration is crucial for days following the race. Proper hydration will help dispose of metabolic waste, digestion, and repair of the whole body.
        • Eat healthy fats, which helps in nutrient absorption.
        • Listen to your cravings.
      • 5.Keep moving:
        • Active recovery is very important post-race to help with restoring motion to the muscles, joints, and everything else. While you should take a break from running, you need to keep moving. Include stretching, walking, yoga, massage. Key areas to stretch include; hip flexors, hamstrings, quadriceps, calfs, shins, back and trunk flexion rotation and extension. After a few days, cross training can be very beneficial to get the blood flowing to the leg muscles and speed up recovery. Include short sessions of swimming, cycling, walking, or elliptical training, but keep it low impact.
      • 6. Sleep:
        • The primary purpose of sleep is to rest, restore, and repair the nervous system. The average recommendation is 8hrs of sleep per night, nothing below 6hrs. For the first week after running an ultra marathon, you should add 1hr of sleep/ day. Whether it is a nap or going to bed an hour earlier, that extra rest will make a huge difference.
      • 7. Find different ways to keep busy:
        • After training for hours and hours a week, recovery can be a challenge when we are used to running for hours regularly. Spend more time with family and friends, enjoy life outside of running for a while, before you know it the next racing season will be right around the corner!
      • 8. Turn off your brain:
        • Often our brain takes over our body, it can be challenging to avoid the temptation to train or sign up for another race because a friend is asking you to join, or seeing some running mates still running or racing. Limit your time on social media for a bit in order to get a real brake.
      • 9. Assess you body:
        • When you feel like it’s time to start running again focus on your running mechanics. After a long race and taking a break you have to reassess  your running form to make sure everything is in line. You might have to include a few physio sessions to make sure everything is released and uninjured.
      • 10. Start running:
        • When you feel ready to go again, ease back into training. Take it as a reverse tapering, don’t start with speedwork or long distance, build up the mileage, speed and strength.

We continue in Part 3 where we will talk about Mental Strategies for Running with Nic Tinworth and Katia


To subscribe to this podcast, please go to iTunes and search for The Hong Kong Trail Rockers Podcast (https://itunes.apple.com/hk/podcast/hong-kong-trail-rockers-podcast!/id994423166)