Sundown Marathon: Injury Prevention Tips by National Runner, Mok Ying Rong

Mok Ying Rong, 21, is a national runner and a physiotherapist. She is a strong contender to represent Singapore at the 10,000m event in the SEA Games – come June this year.

With Miss Mok Ying Rong.

With Miss Mok Ying Rong.

Last weekend, at the launch event of the OSIM Sundown Marathon, Miss Mok shared some tips on exercises to do, to prevent injuries amongst runners – and spoke about the main muscle groups that needed to be strengthened and loosened, in order to reduce injuries.

Here are some of the highlights of her talk.

Calf Muscles

According to Miss Mok, if your calves are tight, this will put you at a higher risk of Plantar Fasciitis (a painful injury affecting the heel and underside of the foot and is often caused by overuse of the foot) and Achilles Tendonitis (This occurs when the largest tendon in the body, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone, is inflamed).

Here is a video of Miss Mok performing a calf muscle release exercise on the Soleus muscle, with a rolling pin. (See video).

Check out this video of Miss Mok demonstrating a calf muscle release on the same muscle, using a foam roller. (See video).

Intrinsic Foot Muscles

If the muscles in your foot are weak, this will put you at a higher risk of shin splints according to the national runner because the shin muscles are connected to the muscles at the base of the foot. So by working on your foot muscles, you are actually helping to release your shin muscles at the same time.

An exercise from Miss Mok on how to release your intrinsic foot muscles is shown in the video. (See video).


If your quad muscles – that is, the large muscle group on the front of the thigh – are weak, it will put you at a high risk of Iliotibial band (ITB)  syndrome. This is a common knee injury amongst runners, according to the elite runner.

An exercise on how you can release your quad muscles and keep ITB syndrome at bay, can be seen in the video. (See video).


The hamstrings are the three muscles that run along the back of your thigh. If your hamstrings are weak or too tight, this affects the gait cycle and your ability to stride while running. As such, you can suffer from lower back pains, hip tightness or knee pains.

Here is an exercise on how to strengthen and loosen your hamstrings – for optimum running performance. (See video).


The Glutes are the three muscles that make up the buttocks – and they are very important muscles in propelling us forward when we run. If these are weak, it can cause several types of lower back and lower limb injuries such as plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis and shin splints.

Take a look at this video for an exercise that will help you loosen and strengthen your glutes. (See video).


The pecs are the muscles in the top half of your chest and they help to move your arms. Their main role is to pull and rotate your arms towards the centre of your body. These muscles can get tight when you are typing on the computer for long periods of time. And during running, tight pecs muscles can cause you to adopt an unnatural sinking posture – which can result in shoulder injuries.

Here is an exercise to help you loosen your pecs muscles. (See video).

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