Knee Support

I been running much lesser in recent years and doing more hiking and trekking. The latter usually involves some form of climbing up and down stairs, hills and mountain. And with a cranky worn out knees,  it can be quite painful and I end up with either a swollen or locked knees for the next few days.

Some friends have suggested that a knee support can be useful. I generally don’t believe in pseudo medical aid and I am old school that if there is an injury, it is better not to run through it but rest. But in my case, it is not exactly an injury so recently since I am intensifying my climbs, I decided to get a knee support to try. So while I was at a mall one evening, I walked into a World of Sports outlet and just picked the coolest looking knee support there is. And volia – 

According to the product specs, 3D shaping of the fabric, contours to your knee area, providing optimum support. Recommended use for indications of tendinitis, patellar (knee cap) pain/tracking, arthritis, minor soft tissue tears/strains, general knee pain. It is breathable, multi-directional stretch and non-slip gel prevents migrations, allows full range of motion while maintaining high level support. 

I put it on my more troublesome right knee when I went Bukit Timah Hill last week. And immediately up the first flight of stairs and I can feel the difference. Which left me pretty amazed. Gone was the sharp stab of pain when descending and there was a noticeable improvement in the joint movement.

One week later I am back at Bukit Timah Hill. This time the knee guard goes onto the left knee. And again it works! 

Not too sure whether it is this particular product or all knee support in general but I am pretty pleased and impressed. But while it works for climbing, I wonder does it work for running?

Review – Puma Ignite Dual Bolt

So I finally got some mileage into the shoe. To be precise, slightly over 40 km in 1 week of running and in 4 different circumstances putting the shoes through its pace comprehensively.
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But before going into that, the mumbo jumbo or the technical specs from Puma:
  • ENERGY RETURN: IGNITE Foam midsole has exceptionally responsive, energy-returning qualities to help make you faster
  • FLEXIBILITY: Mesh upper and deep flex grooves at the forefoot provide flexibility
  • CUSHIONING: IGNITE Foam provides step-in comfort and an extremely comfortable feel
  • Breathable and flexible mesh upper
  • Gold upper with Usain Bolt signature
  • Reflective detailing for visibility
  • Lace closure for a snug fit
  • Articulated chevron grooves at midsole sides compress and rebound for extra power
  • Carbon rubber outsole at toe and heel for extra durability
 Of course one always learn to take all these specs with a pinch of salt. As they say, the taste is in the pudding. Ok I not going to eat the shoe but put it through the grinder.
Design & Fit: The shoe is very stylish although the gold top is too outlandish for me especially with the size 12 which makes it very loud and visible. And not having the speed to match the name on it, I feel a bit paiseh when wearing it. But it is really a very stylish shoe and looks more like those limited edition sneakers than a proper pair of trainer.dsc_1785
Like the 2 previous Puma shoes that I had and still have one of them, the heel counter was also just the right size. Not too long to snag on anything and not too low to cause abrasion even with sock liner on only. dsc_1786 The only issue I have so far is that somehow my right ankle bone rubs against the edge of the shoe and cause a hot spot. But is fine on the left foot which probably means either my foot are of unequal height or the outer edge of the shoes are not of equal height.
Other than this, the shoe fits really well. Snug. There was good toe width even for me with my Morton’s toe.
Weight: Coming in at about 500 gm for my size 12, I must say this is probably the heaviest shoes I have in a long long while. And the weight did affect my running although it wasn’t as bad as I initially thought it could.
Cushioning: As this is a traditional shoe meant for heel striker, it has real good cushioning. In fact I will go so far as to say I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed so much cushioning in a pair of shoes. Of course to be fair, I ran mostly in semi-minimalist shoes nowadays so the difference was very apparent.
Traction: So far I did about 40 km in this shoe covering a fairly wide range of surfaces covering asphalt, tarmac, pavement and light sandy road.  Grip is good all round. dsc_1787
Flexibility: Unfortunately the thick cushion sole means the shoe is not as flexible as I like. Understandably as this is a heel strike shoe, it is rather stiff in the middle but there is some sort of groving system between the toes and mid foot which provides for good toe off.
Water Proofing: The upper is covered by the painted gold upper which means that water will probably run off it and not go into the shoe. There are breathable mesh at the side below the gold upper though so that could be entry point for water if running through puddles. Unfortunately for the 4 runs that I did, although it did rained once, it was only for less than 5 minutes, hardly enough to even make the shoe or me wet. So no chance to test this out.

It has been a long long time since I worn a pair of 12 mm drop traditional shoe. For all the runs, I worn it in its original condition – no lock laces and with the original Puma insole. My first run in it was a 15 km easy run in the morning paired with a pair of double layer Karimmor socks. Other than the discomfort on the right ankle bone, the shoe felt fine except that I was always conscious of its heavier weight.

The second run was a relatively short 5 km interval of 8 x 400 metres. This time I pared it with a pair of Adidas sock liner.  The test was to see how responsive it was for higher impact run. I actually quite like the rebound that I get from the shoe. I think this is something that Puma has actively built into the shoe with the Ignite foam and the mid foot grove which gives it the push when toe off. However, me being used to flats or bare minimum for faster training runs, the weight of the shoes dragged me down and overall I clocked almost 3 – 5 seconds slower per interval set.

The 3rd run was again in the evening. This time I have on a pair of Reebok Zig Zag socks. But barely 2 km into the 8 km tempo run, the sole started to burn up. Was it the shoes or the socks?

I switched back to the Karimmor socks for the next 15km hill run and I had absolutely no problem with the foot. So it has to be the socks then. Anyway, the shoes felt really good with the extra bit of cushioning while going down the hill.

One thing I noticed about the Puma Ignite is that it does not have a final eyelets which allow one to do a butterfly lacing to prevent heel slipage,  I suppose the Puma people think that with its snug fit, there is no need for such a feature but it actually can help for those who tend to run with the foot almost vertical when striding.

Overall, due to the 12 mm heel to toe drop and weight, I wouldn’t wear it for long runs or marathons but like my 2 previous pair of Puma, this will be a good reliable training shoes which will probably last me a long long time. By the way, my Puma Fass has clocked more than 800 km and it is still as good as new. The Puma Mobium lasted 734 km so by that logic, I expect this pair of Puma Ignite Gold to last at least 900 km if not more!

Pro: Responsive. Well Cushioned. Snug Fit.

Con: Heavy. 12 mm heel to toe drop. Lack of last eyelet

This shoe review is made possible by the people from Puma Singapore

Date of Purchase: 9 September 2016

From: Puma Singapore

Price: Review Shoes

Races:

Total Mileage:

Retired:

 

Zenash Compression

Ever since Key Power first brought in 2XU compression tights to the Singapore market, the number of runners seen wearing compression tights at races and even just for daily runs have increased tremendously. All the major apparel brands have come up with their own version of compression wears and some have even set up physical shops here even though the market appears to be over saturated with incumbent 2XU still leading the sales.

One of the latest to jump on the bandwagon here is Itai Sports with its line of Zenash Compression products ranging from calf sleeves to full tights and at much affordable prices.ScreenHunter_120 Nov. 09 16.10

According to the press release:

“Zensah is the #1 selling compression leg sleeves in the USA for the Running Specialty.”  Leisure Trends Group 2009 – 2015, YTD Data,

Zensah, the pioneer of graduated compression apparel will have four of its products, namely, compression leg sleeves, compression knee sleeves, compression shorts and compression tights, made available on the e-commerce platform for both men and women. Introducing Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves The e-commerce platform introduced Zensah’s Compression Leg Sleeves, which is their bestselling apparel. Presently, the compression leg sleeves are the only ones on the market that are designed to prevent and relieve shin splints. The leg sleeves feature pinpoint compression and chevron ribbing to provide targeted muscle support. There are no other compression brand that offers 3D ribbing specifically for shin splints.

Zensah prides itself on creating products using their cutting edge seamless technology made using high-quality computers and machines that do all the precision engineering, providing athletes with the following unique features of their products: • Seamless construction – Eliminates abrasion • Zensah® Silver Ions- Reduces bacteria growth & odour • Soft Hand – Provides the most comfortable workout experience • Pinpoint compression- Provides compression at the exact problem areas • Moisture Wicking- Enhances quicker evaporation of moisture.

Product price ranges from $39 to $149.

It will have been great if Itai had given me some samples to test out but unfortunately they did not so I cannot comment on how effective they are.

Zensah compression products can be purchase online at http://www.itaisports.com/

Puma Ignite

Puma launches its latest shoe, Ignite and had a big bash here in Singapore at the Singapore Flyer. There was a “light up” the Flyer treadmill run where runners from Puma Running Club, local celebrities and member of the public take turns to run on the treadmill and when the “energy” output reaches 100%, the Flyer will be lighted up.

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Despite the presence of several Mediacorp celebrities, the star of the night was still the new Puma Ignite shoe.

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Now ain’t that a beauty. Although the shoes were available for those who wish to join the treadmill run, I didn’t took up the offer as I had just finished my own run before dropping by. But upon first touch of the shoe, I was pretty impressed. It was light, soft, flexible and feel very comfortable. Sham, from the Puma Running Club mentioned to me that it was very similar to the Nike Lunar. Now I could really love to get my hand on one of this to test it out (hint hint) 🙂

For a more precise technical specifications of the shoe and a video of Usain Bolt click here.

This launch event also kick-starts the #IGNITEsg campaign as part of PUMA’s IGNITE YOUR CITY campaign globally. #IGNITEsg will see personalities from Singapore commit to running for 21 consecutive days and share their IGNITE story via their social media channels, igniting runners in Singapore and inspiring them to run. As part of this campaign, runners can also join in the 21 days challenge, where they are encouraged to chronicle their runs on Instagram with #IGNITEsg. To reward the challengers’ commitment, PUMA will select 3 winners based on originality and creativity of their posts. Each winner will walk away with $200 PUMA voucher. More details about #IGNITEsg campaign will be shared after the launch on 12 March 2015 so do look out for Puma’s announcement.

#IGNITEsg #puma

 

Light up your Runs

I talked about running safe in an earlier post. And I not talking about being attacked but being visible to motorists and other people. One of the way is to wear bright apparel. Black, dark blue are not bright colours and yet it is so common to see people here wearing dark coloured apparel and running in the night. And event organiser adds to this by issuing running and event tops that comes in black colour. I know black is a great solid colour that speaks of power and might and command respect it is not suitable for night running, not unless one is thinking of doing a stealth run and need the cover of darkness.
But good news for those who really want to wear dark coloured apparels at night. In the past, most major apparel manufacturers will incorporate some reflective strips (usually the logo or some lining) that will reflect lights from vehicles and torches. The problem with this strips of reflective lighting is that they works only when a light is shine on them otherwise they are not useful at all. And they tend to drop off after several wash.
Lately, apparel manufacturers have come up with more innovations to make night running safe. Like Puma NightCat Powered apparels which comes with built in led light strip. And the light can be turn on and off or set to blinking. Cool!
Photo: Puma
And Skechers have come up with a Night Owl running shoes which incorporates photoluminescent technology which produces an intense glow in low light or darkness. And no battery required!
Photo: Skechers
Not to be outdone, Asics has a Lite Show apparel with built in reflective material in the shoe shoe and design.
Photo from Asics
But if spending hundred of dollars is not your idea of running safe, just wear a white top and maybe carry one of those tiny blinking lights.Cheap and good light include those from Nathan and many many others which you can get from those cheap perpetual clearance shops in HDB estates.
Photo from Nathan
Happy Running. 

Pernaton Gel

There has been studies out there claiming that glucosamine is not really effective for joint pain and treatment. But I have been using a combination of pills and cream since 2006 and I am a firm believer that even if it doesn’t heal, at least it is effective in warding off knee pain. I have been running and now more than 8 years after my knee problems, I am still running without any major problems. Sure there are the occasional aches and pains but nothing really problematic like runner knees and I attribute this to my constant use of glucosamine.
Usually I am game to try new products and so when I was given a tube of Pernaton Gel to try, I was most happy to do so.

What exactly is Pernaton Gel. 

“Pernaton Gel is an unique massage gel, contains the original Perna extract and the vital GAGs extracted from Green Lipped Mussels. GAGs consists of naturally occurring glucosamine and other amino sugars”

In another word, Pernaton Gel is actually glucosamine and therefore suitable for the elderly to maintain joints mobility, sports people for joint maintenance and generally anybody with joint problems caused by osteoarthritis.

Most glucosamine extracts are from shellfish while a minority are from grains. According to the manufacturer, what set Pernaton gel apart from other in the market is that it is made in Switzerland and from mussels farmed off the coast of uncontaminated water of New Zealand and not manufactured in some “Asian” country with shellfish of unknown background! (My words – not the manufacturer)
According to the local distributor, many of her clients have expressed satisfaction with the result. This was especially evidenced in the elderly who suffered from osteoarthritis of the finger joints.
But the prove of the pudding must of course comes from the eating and after using it for the past 3 weeks (no I didn’t eat it), did I see any results? Unfortunately to be honest, since I have not been experiencing knee pain, I really cannot tell. For sure, I like the nice smell and the non-greasy gel. I especially like that it does not have the strong menthol/campor  smell which a lot of other brands put in as a pain reliever. Another plus point for this product is that it is very reasonably priced if you buy it online from qoo10.sg/shop/pernaton. It cost more at the retail outlets though. 
For those who are experiencing knee pain or suffering from joint pains due to osteoarthritis, I highly recommend trying this out. After all, there is really no harm. It is cheaper than most other brands in the market costing less than the price of a dinner at a mid priced restaurant and if there is no improvement after using a tube, just move on to the next available brand. What do you got to lose?
Likes:
Non greasy, Nice smell, Handy size
Dislikes: Errr nil so far but a word of caution – it may not be suitable for those with seafood allergies since it contains extracts from mussels