Two weeks ago we announced our Coached advisory board, a group of specialists who have joined our team to help us provide more holistic training programmes and support to our athletes.
Gino is the next of these advisors and he is on the team to help our athletes prevent and manage injuries. Without further ado ..
Meet Gino Ng
Gino, you’re an accomplished athlete here in Singapore and have a long history in running and triathlon. Tell us about your sporting background and how you keep fit nowadays.
I started running x-country and track and field in school and did my first triathlon when I was 16. I began training seriously for triathlon when I was 25 and working as a physiotherapist at the same time. I became a 2 time Singapore National Triathlon Champion and represented Singapore in various events before stopping training seriously in March 2008.
I still swim 1-2 times, bike once and run 2-3 times a week now - so I don’t put on too much weight and manage my health.
You hold double masters in Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy, tell us what interested you to pursue a career in physiotherapy.
It started with me thinking that I could treat myself and better manage my training and racing. Later I realised it would be nice and also useful for me to be able to treat others too.
You work with many athletes from amateur through to professional. What are some of the most common injuries you see affecting runners and triathletes?
Running and triathlon are demanding sports and place a lot of stress on the body. I treat many injuries as a result of this but the most common complaints I see are knee pain, lower back pain and ankle sprains.
Endurance sport places a lot of stress on the body. What are some best practices that athletes can employ to lower their chances of getting injured?
Always focus on proper form and technique, quality over quantity, and have at least one rest day a week. Coached includes drills and is carefully structured to address each of these points so you're giving yourself a good chance of limiting your injury rate by following their programme.
Many athletes don’t give a lot of thought to the structure of their training and do too much before their body is ready to handle the load. How important is having a good quality training plan in the prevention of injury?
Very important as it helps to keep you focussed on the big picture. Have a good plan but don’t be afraid to rest if you’re tired on a day where you obviously need to rest even though the training plan says do a certain workout.
Is physiotherapy only for a person who is injured? Or is it something that can help in the prevention of injury too?
Most patients come only when they are injured but there is also benefit to seeing a physio for prevention. While I was at the Sports Council (now Singapore Sports Institute) we did musculoskeletal screening for the athletes at the start and halfway through the season to screen for potential discrepancies like muscle imbalances, stiff joints etc to hopefully prevent athletes from getting injured by teaching them what to do to correct it.
Each person and injury is different, how do you determine a treatment plan and get your athletes back to training as fast as possible?
I always to try to find and treat the cause of the problem instead of treating the pain. E.g. if a runner comes in with heel pain and the cause of the pain is in the hip, I’ll treat the hip first before addressing the rest.
Please tell us what you like about the Coached approach to coaching and why you’re excited to now be involved as a team advisor.
I like the approach that training slow makes you able to race fast. Training “slower” also means less likely to get injured. We live in an instantaneous society now where you snap your fingers and expect results to come straight away. You don’t become a good athlete overnight and likewise if you are good you don’t turn into a bad athlete overnight.
If our Singapore based athletes need to come and see you, how can they make an appointment?
Please call either of our clinics at 64751218 / 63331211