25 August 2013


Havent posted for a while.

Not much running since GC half….Straight after holiday, I devised a plan to lose a few kilos in the hope to improve my running. My weight ballooned to 71kg and I was feeling 'meh' with my race performances.

I decided to eat heathly. Changes made were:
  • 1/3 of main meals (out of 14 lunch/dinner weekly) are vegetari
  • More wholegrain (brown rice/bread/pasta). No more white stuffs (white rice/bread) unless eating out
  •  Soy milk instead of cow milk
  •   Smaller meat portions
  •  Drinking natural remedies such as lemon water, apple cider vinegar, green teas

After a month, I’ve dropped my weight by 4kg to roughly 67kg +.

Didn’t run much during the period of weight loss because I was feeling sluggish and lacking of energy.

My weight has now stabilized for 2 weeks and I think I am ready to re-kick start my training again. Hopefully, with increased mileage, I can lose another couple more kgs

Week of 18-24 August

Sun, 6.30am
24km long run incl 2 x 7km tempo
28:48, 4mins rest, 28:40
av pace &HR: 4.07/169, 4.06/177
Tough workout for my current fitness level
Route: home to Gardens by the Bay to Tanjung Rhu and back
Weight: 67.4kg


Tues, 6.30am
Track workout 6 x 800m (total 9km)
2:55, 2:54, 2:57, 2:56, 2:55, 2:49 (200 jog)
HR reached  187 bpm last rep
Good workout, pushed hard in the last 400 (81s)
Weather: 27c, 82% rh (32c real feel)

Wed, 6.30am
9km very easy (av  pace5.40)
Weather: 27c, 88% rh (34c real feel)
Weight: 67.3kg

Thu, 4.pm
7km easy (av  pace 5.18),
On grass

Fri, 6.30am
9km easy (av  pace 5.18), with 4 x 30secs hill reps
Weather: 27c, 86% rh (31c real feel)
Weight: 66.8kg

Sat, 6.30am
25km long run with tempo
4k wu, 2*1k (3.55), 10k MP (4.15), 2*1k (3.55), 6k cd
HR averaged 170 during thr 10k MP
Weather: 27c, 86% rh (31c real feel)
Weight: 67.3kg (post run sub 65 due to dehydration)

13 July 2013


Ran 1.26.09 at Gold Coast HM, a soft PB

Target was to run 4.00 flat pace and followed the 1h24m pacer, but I felt extremely FLAT on the day. Could only keep up with the bus only for 5km, before letting the bandwagon went off. Slowed down the pace a bit but still did not fell good. Legs were stiff and breathing wasnt smooth. Ran the remainder of the race at not so painful pace to finish in 86 minute and change.

Not sure what went wrong. One possible reason is that I might run too hard leading up to the race. As usual when I went to cooler climate countries, I sometimes went overboard due to the easier running conditions. Did 20k of 5k ez, 5k tempo, 5k ez, 5k tempo on the Noosa Triathlon Route and National Park 7 days before and also ran 4*1km hard against strong headwind 5 days before. Didnt take any rest days, and on other days, ran on beautiful  trails in Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast which were occasionally hilly.

The strange thing, two days after the race, I ran 20km along Brisbane river and did a good progression run (1/3 at 5.00 pace, 4.30 pace, and sub 4.00 pace), with the last 1/3 at pace faster than Sunday's race despite limited recovery period. It seems that the Sunday race wasn't my day and I probably mis-timed the peak.

I was also tired from driving the day before. Went to the Natural Arch National Park and Tambourine Mountain on Saturday (~160km return trip). While the distance is not too far, but the driving was a bit stressful due to twists and turns as well as uphills and downhills, which required full concentration. The next time we go on holiday/racing trip, probably I'd try to arrive only a day or two before the race and then start the vacation/sightseeing after the race.

Anyway, what's done is done. My sessions in Oz were:

Sun: 20k in Noosa (5k ez, 5k tempo, 5k ez, 5k tempo)
Mon:  walked in Australia Zoo and Glasshouse mountain
Tue: 10k incl 4*1k intervals in Noosa
Wed: 10k in Noosa National Park trails
Thu: 8k on Federation Trail, Gold Coast
Fri: 8k in Burleigh Heads Natioanl park (including 2 climbs of Tumgun lookout)
Sat: 5k on Surfers
Sun: Gold Coast HM race in 86.09 (soft PB)
Mon: off
Tue: 20k in Brisbane (6k ez, 6k mod, 6k tempo)

24 June 2013

The smog, the haze, and the ugly….. (Week 2-3 of 5)

Due to the forest burning in Sumatra, Singapore experienced its worst haze in the history, with the PSI at 400+ levels or ‘hazardous’ levels’ (see picture below). Running is unhealthy in these conditions, with burning smell and bad air quality plus the added risk of inhaling dangerous small particles (pm 2.5) that can go into the lungs. For a couple of days, the country was in panic mode, with people queuing up for hours to buy masks, as well as stocking up on groceries/necessities.  Fortunately, the wind directions changed in the last couple of days and the air condition has improved significantly. However, a couple of states/province in Indonesia and Malaysia have declared a state of emergency by shutting down schools, work etc.

Despite the adversity, I managed to do a few runs by checking the hourly PSI data issued by the government. The good thing is that I do my runs pretty early in the morning and that’s when the smoke is lesser. While the wind may change its direction again and the heavy haze might come back in near term, however, I only have a few days left in Singapore before flying to Oz. Can’t wait to see the blue sky and smell the clean oxygen air !!!

Anyways, on the Gold Coast front, there is a very high likelihood that I will downgrade from the full mary to half mary. With ‘only’ 5 days of training and 1 long run over 30km, I don’t think I will be in good shape to run 42k. Another issue is that I am about 5kg above my marathon racing weight, which means higher energy cost of running at a given speed. The last time I went to a marathon with weights in the 70s, I bonked badly and ran 3.25 (Osaka). In HM, fuel is less of a limiting factor, so it should be less painful.

In addition, I’d like to enjoy my holidays by running on Noosa National Park,  running uphill to Mt Cootha, and these things wont be done if I am preparing for a marathon. In fact, I am contemplating to run a Parkrun 5k race the day before the event lol

I’d reckon I am about 90% sure to do the HM and the good thing is that race downgrade is allowed even up to the Friday before the race.

Week 2
Mon – off
Tue – 10km easy along the river (av 5.17)
Wed – 2km w/u, 35mins fartlek av 4.10 min/km by alternating 2mins @10k pace , 4mins @ MP, 3k c/d, total 14km
Thu – 15km easy with strides (av 5.03)
Fri – 8km easy (av 5.10) in Jakarta
Sat –  23km long run in 1h50m (av 4.48) - aborted
Sun – 6k very easy run (av 5.30)
Total 76 km for the week

Week 3
Mon – 4km w/u, 6km tempo av 4.10, 5mins rec, 3*1200m at 3.50-55 min/km, 2km c/d, total 17km
Tue – 6km very easy run (av 5.30)
Wed – Yasso 8*800s,  av 2.58 with 2.10-2.30 rec jog, total 12km
Thu – off, PSI at hazardous levels
Fri – 20km progression run (4km at 5.15, 5.00, 4.45, 4.30, 4.15 min/km) – ran at PSI 100-150, PSI hit 400 by 11am
Sat – 9km easy treadmill (5.32)
Sun – 24km easy long run (5.03), things cleared up

Total 88km for the week

10 June 2013

Week 1 of 5 to GCM

Did very little running in last few months…….losing motivation, recovering from injury, fantasy football season, busy at work…

Feb, March, April mileage averages were 40k per week. I ran mainly to avoid additional kilos to this already flabby guy. But now that fantasy football season is over and won’t start again until August, it’s a good excuse to lift my fat arse from the couch and start running again

Another good thing that after 3 months of chiropractic work, I am starting to run pain-free again

Last week jumped into a HM race and ran 91 minutes. For me, it’s not a bad result given how little I trained in last few months

Always had one eye on going to Australia for a holiday to escape the summer heat in Asia. Looking at the calendar, there is Gold Coast marathon in 5 weeks time…

With no long runs under my belt and super low mileage, I can expect to suffer big time in the marathon, but if I don’t do a marathon this year (not many race options in the region), I am concerned that my passion in running will evaporate rapidly

So I might just take a bullet, ready to be humbled and do a quick and abbreviated marathon training in 5 weeks.

The weakening Aussie dollar also makes the holiday affordable

Based on my HM result, a 3.10-3.15 marathon looks feasible assuming my endurance is at good levels. Due to short training period, training focus will be on 'tired legs running', for example running a tempo session, followed by a long run the following day or do a medium long run with intervals/tempo in the middle.

Plan is to do 90km weeks for Week 1-3, 70-80km in Week 4, then 1 week taper in the Sunshine Coast !

Week 1
Mon -  9km easy at 5:00ish pace from home to CCAB track, then 5*1000m  averaging 3.53, 2mins walking for recovery, 6km cool down to home, total 20km
Tue – 33mins very easy along the river
Wed – 2km easy warm up, 6km fartlek alternating 2mins at 3.50s and 4mins at 4.20s, 2k cool down, total 10+km
Thu – 12km easy along the river + Padang grass (av 5.18)
Fri – off, massage
Sat – 1k up, 6 miles race done at tempo effort (av 4.12), 3km cool down, total 14km. Plan is to tempo the race to put fatique in the legs before doing a long run next day
Sun – 33km long run in 2h50mins (av 5.10) - 1 gel for almost 3 hours of running to burn fats and put the body in glycogen depleted state

Total 95km

22 February 2013

The Hobby Jogger

A belated update….. after a couple of months without a post !

Training has not been going as good as I wanted. After finishing Osaka last November, I had one eye on doing Seoul in March. But due to a myriad of factors, I wasn’t capable to train to a level that I aspired to.

My shin/post-tib issues are still giving me a grief. Started chiropractic treatment in order to align the body and hip, but the pain never entirely goes away. Every time I try to up the ante, it always comes back and produces sequels of pain.

I also have lost my way a bit in terms of focus/motivation. Another (newer) passion of mine is playing Fantasy Football and I consider myself to be very good at it (ranked top 10 nationally and in top 200 globally, won a trip to Spain two years ago from winning the game etc). Between August and May are EPL football season and with the games being telecast late night or early morning local time, I am struggling to get up early to run, hence cutting short my sessions and long runs. The competition also requires lots of brain work. If you have watched/read the movie/book called ‘Moneyball’, you will know what I mean…

In addition, I found my body took more time to recover nowadays (life after 40 haha). On some days, I could not be bothered to get up to run and prefer to sleep in.

At the moment, I am quite happy to run as a hobby, doing about 60km per week. I am keeping an eye on doing Gold Coast Marathon in July, since it is a few months away and hopefully, my injury will heal and passion for running will come back by then. Football session will end in May, so it could help to resurrect my motivation to train.

Any tips to regain passion/motivation to train hard? Maybe I should start registering for races again lol

05 December 2012


3.25.56 :(

Not a great timing, but since I was running through an injury and the fact the race was part of holiday, I guess have nothing to complain !!

Shin and calves were sore throughout the run and never dissipated, but the slow timing was definitely due to lack of training.

Only did a single (yes, ONE) run over 20km over the last 2 months, and I duly paid for it. Hit the wall after 30km as the body was not used to run beyond 2 hours and accustomed to the pounding.

Never treated the race seriously since I knew I’d run a slow timing anyway. Even made a 800km round trip to Miyajima on Saturday (the day before marathon !!).

Started at 3h:10-15m marathon pace, but pace slowed down dramatically in the second half, with a positive split of 15mins. This is my slowest marathon since 2004 and about 25mins slower than my last marathon 6 months ago.

0-5k 23.17
5-15k: 44.35
15-20k: 22.47
HM: 1:35:48
20-25k: 23.04
25-30k: 23.33
30-35k: 24:21 (started to feel it)
35-40k: 32.16 (ouch !!)
Last 2.2k: 12:02
2nd HM: 1:50:17 (a massive 15mins positive split)

My plan is to take a 2-3 weeks break off running and hopefully I will recover by then and able to resume training.

06 November 2012


Too depressed to write any blog posts….

About 7 weeks out when I first had the shin splint/MTSS issues, I was still feeling optimistic. Perhaps 2-3 weeks of very light weeks would help me to recover and allow me to do some training for the last 4 weeks or so.

7 weeks became 6 weeks remaining, then 5 weeks remaining…and before I know it’s just 2 weeks to go before we go to Japan.

Have been averaging around 30 kmpw in last 5 weeks, with longest run being 20km.

Tried various things: physio visits, Vitamin I (ibuprofen), 4 sets of new shoes, 3 different shin sleeves, shoe insoles, taping etc…all to no avail.

Plan is to do Osaka Marathon as a glorified, long training run (ie a downgrade from sub-3 goal to a sub-4 survival mission). Not planning to do any more training, because I need to start recovery process now in order to have any chance of running Seoul in March.

On the positive side, looking forward to a cool temperature run, as well as 2 weeks of great holiday and eating marathon in Japan :)

14 October 2012

Marked down

Have marked-down my goal for Osaka to be on the starting line in healthy state

Had one very light week in order to rest the posterior muscle stress. Also had a couple of physio visits, but that again proved to be a waste of money. It seems the only cure for this type of mechanical over-loading injuries is plai and simple, a lengthy rest period.

Thanks to Ewen for tips on Hoka shoes, which have soles thicker than Dr Marten’s boots. Running on concrete felt like running on grass now due to the humungus cushioning. Have ran 17k and 30k in them, with ‘less pain’ compared to other shoes. The only issue with the shoes is that I can’t do faster stuff in them due to its high profile (not low on the ground) and weight.

Since the combination of light week and physio do not generate a marked improvement, I then decided to resume training, albeit at much lower levels than previously. This week, ran 81km over 4 days, but all at intensity much lower than pre-injury periods.

My plan for the next 6 weeks is to train at comfortable level, a level which is just enough to allow me to survive and complete the marathon in one piece. Also, our 2 week holiday will not be fun if I am gonna be limping around !

Anyway, Osaka should be a good practice marathon for my (hopefully) next marathon, Seoul 2013
Week of 1-7 Oct
Mon – off
Tue – 12km easy (5.10) with strides
Wed – off
Thu – 9k easy (5.17)
Fri – 12k easy (5.10)
Sat – off
Sun – 10k tempo (4.10)
Total 43km for the week

Week of 8-14 Oct
Mon – off
Tue – AM 17km moderate (4.48), PM 8k easy (5.15)
Wed – off
Thu – 14k easy (5.00), with strides
Fri – 12k easy-moderate (4.55)
Sat – 30km long run (5.00)
Sun – off
Total 81km for the week

01 October 2012

The Return of Posterior Shin Splint

They are back !!! (poltergeist catchphrase)

The posterior medial shin split has returned. For some reasons, they never completely go away and always come back to haunt me during marathon training !!!

Usual culprits include shitty biomechanics, over-weight issues, too much training on hard surfaces (the Padang grass field unfortunately was shut because of Formula 1 race), and maybe just my ageing body…

Couldn’t train as hard as I wanted too….typical week includes one workout and one long run. Only did 1 long run of 30k during this cycle, rest were in 20-27k range. No long MP run yet, longest was 21k at 90% MP (or 4.30 min/km), which is only 3h10m pace.

Wouldn't say the injury is extremely painful (maybe not yet??) Have been dilligently managing the issue through icing, voltaren/arnica gels, once a week deep tissue massage, use of orthotics & stability shoes etc

8 weeks left to Osaka…currently pondering whether I should take 1-2 weeks of rest which will leave me about 6 weeks to train (assuming it goes away). Or should I continue to run through the injury?

Anyway, last 3 weeks training below.....

Week of 10-16 Sep

Monday 16km easy run (av 5.05);

Tuesday 9km easy (av 5.15) with 6*15secs hill sprint; 10mins weights

Wednesday 23km run consisting of 5k warm-up, 4 x 3km MP/tempo intervals, with 1km float recovery, splits 12.40, 4.35, 12.32, 4.40, 12.26, 4.48, 12.22 amounting to 15k of work in 64.03 (av 4.16) excluding drink stops, 3k cool down; found the session to be challenging as indicated by the slowing floats

Thursday 7.5km easy run (av 5.22); 10mins weights

Friday AM 10km easy (av 4.59); started slow pace before finishing last couple miles at moderate pace.

PM 7km treadmill run (av 5.35)

Saturday 9km easy with strides (av 5.15)

Sunday 30km long run (av 4.45) consisting of 5km warm up, 20km at 4.30min/km (90% MP), 5km cool down; humid with no wind, so it felt like being inside a steam room, sweated like crazy and had drink stops every 15-20mins.

Total 112km for the week

Week of 17-23 Sep

Monday OFF; but did 20mins elliptical to get junk out of the leg, plus 10mins weights

Tuesday 11km easy (av 5.20) with 5*15secs hill sprint; uber hot day with heat index of 40c, very sore legs

Wednesday 17km run consisting of 4km warm up with drills/strides, 5*1200m @ 3.55-3.57 pace, 2mins jog rec, 7km cool down; original plan was 5*1600 but leg felt shin splinty so I adjusted the reps to 1200m; massage in the arvo

Thursday 8km recovery run (av 5.35)

Friday 21km easy-moderate run (av 4.53), upping the pace every 5k - 70%, 80%, 85%, 90% MP

Saturday 8km recovery run (av 5.27)

Sunday 25km long run (av 4.53), the plan is to do 32k+ long run, very sore shin split and stress on media/tibia was too

Total 95km for the week

Week of 24-30 Sep

Monday 8km recovery treadmill (av 5.35), plus 10mins weights

Tuesday 12km easy with 4 strides (av 5.00), dusted off and wore my old orthotics

Wednesday 21km run consisting of 4km warm up with drills/strides, Tempo Fartlek session - 12mins (4.06), 3mins (3.58), 9mins (4.05), 3mins (3.56), 6mins (4.03), 3mins (3.52), 3mins (4.02), 3mins (3.53), all with 2mins jog in between, total 42mins worth of tempo work, 4k cool down; wanted a workout which wasn’t too stressful on the legs, ran in heavy rain, so quite pleased with the workout

Thursday 12km easy run (av 5.14), torturing massage in arvo

Friday 8km easy run (av 5.28)

Saturday 9km easy run (av 5.00)

Sunday 28km long run (av 4.57); shin split didn’t feel too bad, but hammy and calves were tight

Total 98km for the week

10 September 2012

Stick or Twist?

Struggling to follow the Pfitz plan (which served me well last time around)

The plan requires waking up early 4 times a week to do 1 faster workout, 2 medium long runs, and 1 long run. And presently work/life commitments do not provide such luxury….

My medium long runs are around 12k-15k at the moment versus 18-24km in the program. To do the latter I need an extra hour, which essentially means getting up around 4.30am. Tried to add some doubles (short 2nd run), but pretty sure the training effects is incrementally not as good as a longer medium run in singles.

Last 2 weeks of training did not resemble the program, but more akin to an impromptu one. I’ll decide which sessions to do on the fly, depending what time I get up or how much time I have…

Have missed 3 medium long runs + 1 long MP session in last 2 weeks... Perhaps need to think about other programs which put less emphasis on mileage/medium long runs (e.g. Marius B program, Canova 101 etc)

11 weeks to go to Osaka…needs to decide soonest whether should I stick or twist?

Week of 27 Aug – 2 Sep

Monday 8km easy on treadmill (av 5.30); very hazy from forest fire in Sumatera so decided to run indoor

Tuesday AM 3km warm up with drills/strides to the Canal, 7km continuous tempo in 27.45 (av 3.58), 3k back home, total distance 13km; cool but very humid, hamstring tight and sore but quite pleased to average below 4 min/km for the tempo.

PM 7km easy around marina (av 5.26);

Wednesday 8km easy around Labrador (av 5.27), hamstring felt looser today

Thursday 12km easy on treadmill (av 5.15)

Friday 5k warm up to Gardens by The Bay, then 3*4k tempo with 7mins recovery in between – splits 16.15 (tailwind), 16.40, 16.56 (headwind, downpour), 15mins wait for the heavy rain to subside, 8k back home, total distance 27km; the slowing tempo splits were indicator that my fitness is still not there yet…

Saturday 6km very easy around the river (av 5.27); posterior tibia was sore

Sunday 19km medium long run (av 4.53), of which 12k was run circling 750m grass field, ran the last couple miles at 90% MP

Total 100km for the week

Week of 3-9 Sep

Monday 10km easy around Labrador (av 5.10), incl 6*20secs hill sprints

Tuesday 3k warm up with drills/strides to the Canal, 5*1k interval (av 3.48) with 90secs rec, 4k cool down, total distance 13km; pretty spent

Wednesday AM 15km easy (av 5.05), of which half was done on grass; couldn’t wake up early enough to do medium length run

PM 10mins weights + 25mins very easy on treadmill (5.48); tried to make up a bit of mileage

Thursday 7.5km easy on treadmill (av 5.35)

Friday 25km easy around District 9 (av 5.15); planned for 32k but too tired

Saturday & Sunday – off (travel)

Total 75km for the week

28 August 2012

Lil' Update

Completed my Base Building phase this week and will move to Marathon Training Phase, 13 weeks out from Osaka Marathon.

Generally, I am feeling ok with the how the training went over the last month or so. After 2 months of inactivity where my body weight balooned by 10%, I've done 78, 65, 81, 67, 85, 82, and 106 kms, for an average of 80km per week. Training compositions were mostly easy runs, with some intensity being sprinkled here and there.

The plan is to average around 95-100km for the next 10 weeks before a 3-week taper. Hopefully, this will be achievable.

Anyway, here is my training from last couple of weeks:

Week of 13-19 Aug
Mon – OFF. But did 30mins elliptical + weights in the gym
Tue – am 10k easy around the river (5.07), pm 5k very easy on treadmill (5.45)
Wed - 13km at the Canal, including 6*1k intervals (av 3.50 per rep)
Thur – 15km easy along the river & Padang grass (5.05)
Fri - 9km easy in Labrador Park (av 5.23)
Sat - 22km medium long run around Tanglin, incl fartlek (av 4.55)
Sun – 8km easy around the river (5.20)
Total 82km for the week

Week of 20-26 Aug
Mon – 30km long run around Botanic/Tanglin (5.05)
Tue - OFF
Wed - 13km easy along the river & Padang grass (av 4.55)
Thu – 12km at the Canal, incl 6k tempo (4.02)
Fri – 8k very easy on treadmill (5.30)
Sat – 11km easy along the river & Padang grass (4.53)
Sun – 25km to Gardens by the Bay/Kallang and back, including 10miles at 90% MP (av 4.48)
Total 106km for the week

12 August 2012


Spent the last 3 weeks building up mileage and workouts….

In general, training quality was slightly on the mediocre side. Energy levels were fluctuating and on some days, I just found it difficult to get up and run.

After foolishly super-sized myself during the off-season with a 8kg weight gain (overweight BMI zone), I had dropped 3.5kg in 4 weeks. Hence, I still have about 5kg to lose to get back to a more normal weight (or another 8kg if I want to have a runner’s weight).

Also had calf strain issues (soleus) which hampered the training. The good thing is that the pain started to dissipate after a couple of weeks thanks to a combo of anti-inflamatories and ‘the stick (to massage the calf)’. Dumping my lightweight shoes for a more cushioned, stability type also helped to resolve the issue.

The plan is to spend the next 3 weeks ramping up the training before starting Pfitz 12-weeks plan.

15 weeks to go. Hopefully we’ll see an improvement in fitness and workouts minus the pounds.

Week of 23-28 July
Mon - AM 13km(av 4.40) with 4 miles tempo (4.05); PM 5km easy (av 5.48)
Tue - 8km easy (no watch) + weights
Wed - 15km easy (av 5.03 min/km)
Thur - 9km easy (av 5.07) with 6*30secs hills
Fri - 8km easy (av 5.10)
Sat - 23km long run (av 4.57)
Sun - off
Total 81km for the week

Week of 29 Jul – 5 Aug
Mon - 10km easy (av 5:24) – calf strain
Tue - OFF. 30mins elliptical + weights
Wed - 10km easy (av 5.08)
Thu – 11km easy (av 4.58)
Fri – 10km with light fartlek (av 4.45)
Sat – off
Sun – 26km long run (av 4.50)
Total 67km for the week

Week of 6–12 Aug
Mon – 6km easy (av 5.14)
Tue – 12km incl 15mins @ 4.07, 10mins @ 4.04, 5mins @ 3.56
Wed – 9km easy (av 5.15)
Thu – 24km easy (av 5.05)
Fri – off
Sat – 12k easy (av 5.02) with 7*50secs hills
Sun – 22km (av 4.45) with 8miles progression (2miles @ 4.37, 4.27, 4.17, 4.07)
Total 85km for the week

23 July 2012

PH :(

Achieved an all-time PH (personal heavy) !!!

When I ran Seoul Marathon in March, I was 67kg. Not exactly light and lean, but I ran a pretty solid race. Three months has gone past without much running, coupled with long trips to London and Hong Kong/Macau. And my weight has ballooned to 74 kg!!!!

Yes, 74 kg !!!! That’s a BMI of 25+….which is in the Overweight zone.

My fitness has eroded materially too….driven by an unwanted combo of excess fatty baggage and limited training.

Have resumed training again in the last 3 weeks. Trying to get myself re-familiarized with running on daily basis again. Similar to my previous experiences after having an off-season, the most difficult sessions were medium long runs and long runs. Still struggled big time to force myself to wake up early in the morning, hence weekday runs were mostly around 40-50mins max. Fitness level is very low at the moment, I simply had no endurance to run more than 75mins.

18 weeks left to go to Osaka Marathon. Hoping to kick-off my marathon training next week, which will be loosely based on the Pfitz plan. Although I am not sure I will be able to handle the prescribed workouts and mileage due to shitty fitness, I shall give it a try :(

Anyway, below is my 3 weeks of introductory training:

Week of 2-8 July:
Mon - off (travel from HK)
Tues - AM 8k easy (5.10) with 5 x hill strides; PM 6k very easy (5.45)
Wed - 13k easy (5.00)
Thu - 8k easy (5.15)
Fri - 8k fartlek (4.40) incl 18 * 45secs on, 15secs off
Sat - 18k easy (5.10)
Sun - Off
Total 60km

Week of 9-15 July:
Mon - 8k easy (5.10) with 4 x hill strides
Tue - AM 10k fartlek (4.40) incl 3 sets (3-2-1 mins), rec 60-90secs in between; PM 6k very easy (5.45)
Wed – 8k easy (5.10)
Thu – AM 13k moderate (4.40); PM 5k very easy (5.48)
Fri – 8k easy (5.00) with 8 strides
Sat – 20k easy (5.10)
Sun – off
Total 78km

Week of 16-22 July:
Mon – 9k fartlek (4.40) with 15-60secs pick ups
Tue – 12k easy (5.00)
Wed – 8k easy (5.15)
Thu – 11.5k incl 5k tempo (4.05) + 3*20secs hills
Fri – 9k easy (5.15)
Sat – off (flu)
Sun – 14k easy (5.10)
Total 65km

18 June 2012

Nothin' interestin'

A belated blog entry.

Haven’t been training well since the marathon. Had pain and niggles here and there: hamstring, ITB, tibialis tendon etc. In terms of mileage, I averaged about 50k a week, with very little quality sessions.

Went to London for work last week. After 13 hours flight, I jumped straight into a local 10k race in Heathrow area and ran miserably. Finished just over 40mins, which disappointingly was slower than my 10k times in hot and humid Singapore. The legs felt numb and the body was not primed to race, possibly due to jet lag and dehydration (too much wine and only drank limited water during the 13 hour flight).

Didn’t run much in London because of work and too much alcohol in the pubs watching the Euro football championships every night. Had a great run in the scenic Hyde Park once, but other than that, rest of the runs were 30-40mins jog pounding the concrete along the Thames.

My original plan was to race a 5k on the Saturday, but decided to fly back to Singapore on Friday night so I can spend Fathers Day at home.

So, what’s next? Assuming that I run Osaka marathon in late November, I will start the Pfitz 18-week program in mid-July. This means I have about a month from now before starting the training cycle. Probably will do easy training for the next 1 month to freshen the system to get ready for the task ahead.

Congrats to Craig for a big marathon PB in 2h50m !!

14 May 2012


Down and (hoping not to be) out

Pulled a hamstring during SIS cross country race. Legs were just not accustomed to cross country terrain, such as wet grass field with mud up to calf high.

Visited physio, masseur and had RICE (both the acronym and food staple!) in the last 2 weeks, but I am still hamstrung !!

Accordingly, training was negatively affected. Most runs are only in 30-40mins in duration, so my fitness level is evaporating rapidly. Still trying to run with a bit of intensity here and there up to the point where my hammy said no.

Unless the injury heals up, I don’t think I will be in shape to attack my 5k/10k PB in London. With only 3 weeks left, not sure how much training I can do until then. Most likely, I’ll run the races purely for sightseeing.

Anyone got any tips for hamstring injury? I think it’s still a grade 1 since it doesn’t hurt whilst walking or jogging.

Mon 30/04: 40mins easy + strides
Tue 01/05: XC race. Quit after 3km due to injury (see above)
Wed 02/05: Off
Thu 03/05: 45mins with 6*400m (82-87 secs), 1min rec
Fri 04/05: 45mins easy
Sat 05/05: 48mins with 2*10mins tempo, 3mins rec
Sun 06/05: 78mins easy

Total 54 km for the week

Mon 07/05: Off
Tue 08/05: 40mins easy
Wed 09/05: Off
Thu 10/05: 36mins easy + hill strides
Fri 11/05: off
Sat 12/05: 55mins with 5*1k (av 3.51), 90secs rec
Sun 13/05: off

Total 27 km for the week

29 April 2012

Week 1 of 8 to Bushy 5K

Five weeks passed since Seoul and I think I have recovered…..

Did 20, 40, 57, 64, 50 km during the 5 weeks. Ran one race, JP Morgan 5.6km Corporate Challenge in 21.03 (about 3.48 min/km), which I think it’s not too shabby given I have done no speed workouts since the marathon.

Looks like that my work trip in June to London is on. Been browsing the UK race calendar, and in terms of location convenience, the Bushy Park 5k seems to suit best. It is basically a free of charge race organized by parkrun every Saturday. The course is a mix of road, grass, trail etc and certified by AIMS. Buster Mottram and Mo Farah have ran the course with timings of 14:00 and 15.00 respectively. The timings sound a tad on the slow side, but maybe they did it as tempo because of no prize money.

My meetings in the UK run from Mon-Thu. Now I need to find work-related reasons to stay on Friday, so I can do the race on Saturday morning…

So, the Bushy Park 5k race will be just the kick in the butt to lift me up from the current motivational doldrums.

The training plan is to focus on 10k/threshold training for the first 3-4 weeks, then 5k paced stuffs for the last 4.

Let’s hope London is not gonna be too warm in June.


Mon 23/04 (intervals):
4*1600m with 2mins rec
splits: 6.05, 6.10, 6.12, 6.13 (av 3.52 min/km)
4*300m with 90secs rec
splits: 65-67 secs (av 3.35-40 min/km)
Total 13.4km in 62mins

Tue 24/04 (easy):
8km easy treadmill run in 44mins (av 5.33)
10mins gym work

Wed 25/04 (tempo):
15mins tempo @ 4.07 min/km
10mins tempo @ 4.02 + 5mins of 30secs ON/OFF
Total 12km in 55mins

Thu 26/04 (easy):
9.6km easy in 49mins (av 5.08)
10mins gym work

Fri 27/04 (long):
18km long run in 89mins (av 4.56)

Sat 28/04 (hills)
9km easy including 4*30secs, 20secs hill repeats

Total 70 km for the week

09 April 2012


Haven’t done much running since Seoul. Did 20k in the first week (2 runs), 40k the second week (3 runs), and 57k in the following week (4 runs).

As usual, recovery has been slow for me.

Tried to do a couple of workouts, but the body seems to rebel and reject any fast stuff. Last week, went to the track and could only do 3*800m before dying – that’s less than half of my yasso reps before Seoul. I suspect this got to do with muscle trauma and micro tears post marathon.

Surprisingly, I am okay with the longer stuffs. Have done a couple of 20k+ weekend runs and no issues. Still I think my overall fitness has fallen a notch due to some inactivity.

Have 2 races next week (3.5 miles and a HM) which I wouldn’t have entered if they were not free of charge (my company sends staffs to races). Given I’ve done almost zero workouts and am still recovering, my plan is to do these 2 races as tempo-ish runs.
My next key goal is probably a 5k/10k sometime in June. I might go on a worktrip to the UK mid-June, but this is not confirmed yet. Might try to find a 5k/10k whilst I am there. If the trip doesn’t eventuate, then I’ll try to find a local race here.

After this, I will have 3-4 months to prepare for a marathon later this year. Currently thinking of Osaka in late November (second choice would be Melbourne). Was flirting with the idea of doing GCM about 10 weeks from now, but not sure whether I can get an incremental improvement from Seoul. Hoping to target sub-2.58 for my next marathon (which was my projected finishing pace at 30km mark in Seoul), to allow for a stumble into sub-3 if I fade. Osaka would be ideal since it will give me a full 18 weeks prep period should I decide to re-do Pfitz program again.

23 March 2012

Seoul International Marathon 2012 Race Report

I am a man of no talent. I don't have big dreams in running and my lifetime running goal is simply a sub-3 marathon. All of the mileage, the workouts, the pain and thesoreness, the 5am early morning runs - everything that I do are all geared towards that single goal.

And on that bloody Sunday, I ran 3.00.17 !!!!!!!!!!!!

Missed the target by running 0.3 secs/km too slow over 42km. Was on track at 40 km with 2.50.35. I needed <9m25s to cover the last 2.195 km, but I hit the wall and it took me 9m42s

I took a chunky 3m30s off my PB. But for sure, this is one PB that I am not happy with !

The Taper:

Legs felt good during taper. Ran 9km easy on Monday, 11km with 4km MP and some hill strides on Tuesday, then 9km easy Wednesday. Flew out on a red eye flight on Wed midnight, arriving in Seoul on Thursday morning. Had a good nap at the hotel (JW Marriott) before heading out for 11km run with some pick-ups along the Han River bike path. Took Friday off but walked for about 5-6 hours. On Saturday, I jogged for 25mins and also walked around town for a couple of hours. Not sure if these walking around had any impact on that 17 seconds. Only God knows.

Carbo-loading wise, I actually changed my approach a little bit. I ate normal quantity of carbs (rice, bread, buckwheat noodle), but I drank more carbs. To avoid digesting junks that come with food, I drank litres of gatorade, juices, and soft drinks. I believe this hits two birds in one stone, it hydrates you and at the same time it loads clean carbs without junks/fats.

Weather was fantastic during the trip. A week before we arrived, temperature was around -5c min and about 0 max. When we were there, the weather turned nicely into a pleasant 5-10c.

The Race:

Left the hotel at 6am and took the subway to the start point. Had about 90mins to wander around, pee (twice), and do warm up. Weather was a pleasant 6c, which was perfect for me. When I ran the same marathon in 2010, it was 0c, which was too freezing to my liking, especially with the wind chill. The elites started at 8am (course record was eventually broken with a time of 2h05m) and us in the 'A' (<3.30 marathon) corral began 5mins later.

My strategy is to ran a bit faster than goal MP in the first half, as the route is much easier. In the second half, there were 2-3 climbs, although ain't steep, but they are placed near the end when you feel the most tired. The first k was downhill and I had to hold myself back so that I splitted 'only' at 3.50 (that's my 10k pace, by the way). After that I began to ease into goal pace and crossed the 5k timing mat in 20.42 and the 10k in 41.38 (second 5k in 20.56). My average pace for the first 10k was 4.10 min/km.

I felt like a transformer robot in the second 10k, clicking km by km at a very narrow range between 4.10-4.14 min/km. The first half of the course is easy and very much wind protected due to buildings and this allowed for consistent effort. On the flip side, the second half had several stretches which are open to elements, so my strategy is always to bank a bit of time. Passed the second 10k in 42.25 (21.16 and 21.09 for the 5k segments). Split at 20k was 84.03 or an average pace of 4.12 min/km.

Halfway split was 88.41 (av 4.12 min/km). At this point, my Garmin was overstating the official distance by about 150 meters.

Felt tired slightly, but in general, legs were still holding up. My 5km splits between 20-25km and 25-30k were 21.22 and 21.13, so a tad slower but still right at the goal pace. The third 10k was covered in 42.35. Cumulatively at 30k mark, my elapsed running time was 2.06.38, an average pace of 4.13 min/km. This still gave a projected finishing time of 2.58.07 assuming I could maintain the same pace. I cautiously felt confident that this could be 'the day', but as they said, marathon usually only starts at 20 miles. Garmin was now ahead of the official markers by around 200-250m.

My pace began to slow due to tiredness. At the same time, there were a couple of spots where the wind affected my pace. We crossed a long bridge towards the south part of the city and this spot was open to elements. There were also a couple of places near the end where wind tunnels existed. I took my last caffeinated gel at km 31 and then an isogel (a pre-mix gel and water inside a satchet) at km 35 as mitigants to avoid the probable slow down. 5km splits between km 30-35 and 35-40 were 21.54 and 22.03 respectively, so I was fading big time. The fourth 10k was covered in 43.57 or an average of 4.24 min/km. However, due to the time in the bank from the first half, I crossed the 40k mark in 2.50.35. This gave a projected 2.59.57 finishing time assuming a constant pace. I told myself that I needed around < 9.25 to shower myself in glory. I smelled blood and began to close in for the kill and pick up the ante.

Last 2.2 km (whichfelt like forever)
Yes, I duly picked up the ante but unfortunately, the increased effort didn't translate to an increased pace. My tank was almost empty. My stride length got shorter. My cadence was lower. My muscles were burning like hell. I felt dizzy and disoriented and on a couple of occasions, I felt that I almost fainted. I was akin to being in a hypnotized, trance zone where everything around me moved in slow motion. But suddenly, I was awaken when I saw a herd of runners began to sprint like being chased by lions. I recovered from the groggy-ness and saw a 2.58 on my watch and started to make one last push as we approached the 1989 Olympic Stadium. I began to look at my watch anxiously every few seconds and saw a 2.59 when I entered the stadium tunnel. Is this it? Could this be the day that I've been looking forward to?

Although, I ran the same race 2 years ago, but I couldn't exactly recall how far we had to run inside the stadium. When I saw the 2.59.15 on my watch and I seriously thought that marked the official 42 km mark (my garmin was already showing 42.2 km), meaning we only had to run the last 200m on the track. Woohoo! 200m in about 45 secs? Yesss, baby !!!
I left the stadium tunnel which was almost pitch dark and began to plant my jelly footsteps on the rubber athletic track. Now I was bathed in a daylight and I could clearly see everything inside the stadium.

To my horror, the finish line was not 200m from the tunnel as I envisaged. It was located 3/4 lap from the stadium entrance tunnel. My heart sunked and I said "I am fooked".

Whoever the Greek or spartan guy who first ran the marathon distance should have stopped at 42.095 km. To me, that 100m is worth 17secs….

The Aftermath:

During a ride back to the hotel, my mind was full of IF, IF, IF. What would happen IF I started the first half a tad slower, will this help me to avoid that 17secs? What would happen IF I rested my legs more instead of walking around the town before the race? What would happen if I take a cup of sport drink at km 40, will this keep my glucose level high and wake me up from my trance mode 17secs earlier? What would happen IF I do 18-week training plan and not the 12-week plan?

Perfect weather (except for the wind tunnels) and a good marathon prep. Will I ever get a chance like this again in the future?

In terms of marathon prep, I feel that the Pfitz plan suits me well. Although, the plan is very minimalist in terms of workouts (only once a week of tempo/speed session), but for a runner like me, this seems to be outweight by the endurance benefits from doing 2 medium long runs plus 1 long run plus 10-12km 'filler' recovery runs. Plus I didn't get injured at all during this cycle ! I also modified the plan a bit by incorporating workouts from other sources, such as Jack Daniels' infamous threshold-long run-threshold workout, Hanson's 2*6miles at sub-MP effort two weeks out, and an Aussie style fartlek (alternating fast & float recovery) and the combination of all these at least kept me in the hunt until the 40km mark.

So damn close to my lifetime running goal. Hmmm….maybe it's now time to move the 'post' to 2.55 ?

That's it for now! Time to head for a run, the road is waiting for me....

11 March 2012

Week 11 of 12

One week to go !!!
In previous years, I always felt that I wasn't training enough and still doing workouts close to the race in order to capture that last-minute fitness gain. But this time around, I felt that I have done enough !

For this cycle, my mileage is higher - last 10 weeks were 89, 88, 98, 105, 91,100, 109, 108, 84, 98 = avg 97 km. In previous training cycles, my average mileage is probably 10% lower but I did more intense speed and tempo sessions. This time I loosely followed the Pfitz program, which focused more on endurance, ie 1 long run, 2 medium long runs, and 1 workout; as compared to my normal structure of 1 long run, 1 medium long run, and 2 workouts. We'll find out whether this one works.

We will fly to Seoul on a red-eye flight Wednesday midnight, arriving in Seoul on Thursday morning. This leaves me a good 2.5 days to catch up on some sleep and acclimatize to the weather. Today's weather in Seoul is bloody COLD at between -5c and 2c with a windchill of -6c and windgust of 35 km/h. !!! Accordding to weather.com, this feels like -9c. The long-range forecast suggests it will be around -1c and 10c but with 60% chance of rain !!!!
Makes me think that maybe I should do marathons more frequently such as 3-4x a year. Waiting for that 'one fine day' with perfect conditions is like winning a lottery !

Mon 05-03-12
36mins easy run (av 5.20)
Easy run at Padang grass field.

Tue 06-03-12
10.5 km in 50mins, including Deek Quarters session
The program calls for 3*1600 at 5k pace, but I decided to do a Deek Quarter session instead. Rationale is that the program includes 2 tune-up races, but I didn't do any due to races inavailability and I thought a continuous session like this will bring a bit of pain Splits for 400m fast/200m floats: 86, 48, 86, 55, 85, 52, 88, 54, 88, 54, 87, 55, 90, 54, 89, 53, 43 = total 5k in 19:25. Paid the price for doing the first few 400s at 85s, resulting in a surival mode in the second half (slowed to just under 90 per 400). Anyway, it was a good practice since I haven't raced for 4 months. HR wasn't high at 171 with a high of 182 bpm (my Max is still in 190s, I think)

Wed 07-03-12
8+ km recovery run in 45mins (av 5.25)
Easy run around the river. Went for massage in the afternoon.

Thu 08-03-12
15 km in 69mins (av 4.36), including 2*3 miles tempo
This is outside the program, but just something that I normally did before some of my better marathons, a good MP-HMP tempo about 10 days before the race. In the past, I used to be too aggressive by doing 10-13km continuous tempo, but this time I decided for something more moderate. Did the first 3miles in 20.21 (av 4.14/km), 3.30 recovery, then the second in 19.19 (av 4.01 min/km, last 1k faster at 3.50s). All up, 9.6km worth of work in 39:40 (av 4.08). Felt quite OK throughout, helped by the decent weather right after the rain.

Fri 09-03-12
9+ km recovery in 52mins (av 5.30)
Easy run around the river.

Sat 10-03-12
20 km medium long run in 98mins (av 4.55)
Surprisingly legs aren't still that snappy even with taper. Maybe because I did 2 workouts this week, instead of 1 as envisaged in the program. Started with couple of slow ks (5.30-6.00 min/km), the moved to 5.00s for most of the run and finally picked up the pace to around 4.40 in the last 30mins

Total 70k in 5h49m (av 5.00)

04 March 2012

Week 9-10 of 12

Lots of workouts re-shuffling in the last 2 weeks due to a combination of work trip, family matters, and a couple of missed/failed workouts.

In the first 8 weeks, I'd say that I have followed the Pfitz program to the tune of around 90-95%. Missed some mileage here and there (e.g. my highest mileage was 108 km versus 113 in the plan), but I did all the scheduled workouts.

However, nothing resembled the program in the last 2 weeks. Essentially, my aim for Week 9-10 was to do a 'salvation job', i.e. 1) to minimize missed workouts/mileage as scheduled in the program; 2) doing make-up sessions on a couple of missed/deferred workouts; and 3) find the balance to achieve #1 and #2 while simulatenously trying to not over-tax the body.

I want to have a proper taper in Week 11 and 12, so Week 10 is essentially the last drop dead date for making training adjustments. The changes as follows:

- The deferred Race (10-15k) from Week 8 was replaced by 8*1300m @ Threshold in Week 9 (no race available, too lazy to do TT)
- Due to the above adjustment, Intervals (6*1000) scheduled in Week 9 was replaced by Yasso 8*800m in Week 10
- For the final long run of 32km in Week 9 which was cut short to 20k, I decided to leave as it is.
- Week 9 actual mileage is 25% lower than Pfitz program due to travel/family reasons. I decided not to chase the shortfall, but I did slightly did more kms Week 10
- The scheduled Race (8-10k) and 21km medium long run in Week 10 were 'integrated' into a single run which included 2*9km at MP

Sorry Mr Pfitz for being a bad boy….will try my best to follow the last 2 weeks schedules to the T :)

Two weeks left to Seoul…..

Mon 20-02-12
8 km recovery run in 42mins (av 5.22)
Went on a work trip to Aceh, a site of the tsunami disaster in 2004 and decades of civil wars. The good thing is that we stayed in a staff housing compound, so the place is safe and has less traffic. Tired legs from yesterday's 37km run.

Tue 21-02-12
13 km easy run in 67mins (av 5.10)
Found a quiet 2k loop around the complex and ran it 8 times. Also did 6*15secs hill strides on gentle hills
Wed 22-02-12
22 km in 102mins (av 4.37) - including 8*5mins tempo intervals (3.52 min/km)
Since I missed the schedule TT last week, I decided to do a replacement workout that slightly mimicked a TT intensity but with less stress. Found a 650m loop around the circumference of Arun football stadium which has a long gentle decline and then a short uphill to bring back the elevation drop to 0. After 3k warm up, did 5*1300m (2 laps) with recovery between 1.5-2.00 minutes. Splits 5.05, 5.02. 5.03, 5.02. 5.02, 5.00, 5.02. 4.54, total 10.4k worth of work in 40.10 (av 3.52 min/km). Surprisingly the effort didn't feel too hard. Hmm…perhaps the GPS overshoot the loop distance because it was akin to running round and round the track? Did 7km cool down to make it 22k for the day.

Thu 23-02-12
8 km recovery in 43mins (av 5.26)
Tired, heavy legs.

Fri 24-02-12
13 km easy in 66mins (av 5.07)
Felt a bit sluggish.

Sat 25-02-12
20 km medium long run in 96mins (av 4.50)
The schedule calls for 32km as final long run before entering the Taper phase. Ideally, I would like embed some MP running into the run, but today I was really off-form. About 5km into MP, I felt crap and shitty. My quads were on fire, presumably from the DOMS due to doing the Wed session in a course which had some downhills. The body also felt tired in general, as the work trip probably took a bit out of me. To make things worse, I was running at ECP which is about 10km long from end to end. Hence, after going out, I had to run back 10k to the place where I parked my car

Sun 26-02-12
OFF. I was hoping to do a slow 30km long run today to meet Pfitz target mileage of 70 miles (113km). But my son was unwell due to fever.

Total 84k in 6h58m (av 4.59)

Mon 27-02-12
17 km in 80mins - including Yasso 800s (av 2.54 per 800)
A deferred session from last week's scheduled intervals (Pfitz 6*1k at 5k pace). Decided for a Yasso because I thought 800s would be less painful than 1000s. A hot day with 35c heat index. Splits: 2.54.3, 2.55.2, 2.56.3, 2.55.2, 2.56.4, 2.56.9, 2.55.0, 2.48.8 = average 2.54 (or 2.56 excluding the last rep). Recovery was 2mins jog around the inner football field, except after reps #3 and #6 where I took a full ~3mins recovery

Tue 28-02-12
8.4 km recovery in 45mins (av 5.25)
Stiff leg from yesterday's workout, ran mostly on grass.

Wed 29-02-12
11.2 km in 60mins (av 5.23)
Easy run around the river.

Thu 01-03-12
22.4 km in 100mins - including 2*9 km @ sub-MP (av 4.11)
A substitute workout for the 8-10k TT in the Pfitz program. Went to East Coast Park and ran a 9km stretch between Big Splash and the water tap at the Country Club. Covered the first 9km in 37.39 (av 4.11 min/km) with splits 4.03, 4.10, 4.11, 4.11, 4.12, 4.10, 4.13, 4.14, 4.12 (av HR 163 bpm, cadence 192 per minute). Then I had 3mins rest for gel + drinks. The second 9 km was completed in 37.35 (av 4.10.5 min/km) with splits 4.12, 4.13, 4.15, 4.14, 4.13, 4.12, 4.13, 4.05, 3.55 (av HR 170 bpm, cadence 192 per minute). Looking from a different angle, in the first segment, my heart had to beat 680 times to cover 1km. The efficiency worsened by 5% to 710 bpm in the second segment, but I am not too concerned given I went for a kick in the last mile and there was of course, the dehydration element. Was hoping to run more at MP, but had to go home to drop my son at school.

Fri 02-03-12
9 km recovery in 49mins (av 5.27)
Ran back and forth a 500m wooden boardwalk

Sat 03-03-12
30 km easy long run in 150mins (av 5.00)
Final long run before 2-weeks taper. Tired legs and felt sluggish.

Total 98k in 8h04m (av 4.58)

19 February 2012

Week 8 of 12

Week 8 of 12, 55-70 miles modified Pfitz program

Pfitz program: 14 (intervals), 24, 10, 13, 22 (race/time trial), 29= 113 km
Actual: 21, 17 (intervals), 10, 8, 14, 0, 37 = 108 km

It seems the cumulative training load has finally caught up with me. Legs haven been heavy and tight around the calves. Also, the lack of sleep day after day caused me to feel very tired and lethargic. This results is a a training week without much quality. In fact, I only ran a total of 4km at a pace faster than MP.

Pfitz plan calls for a short interval session midweek and then a 10-15k tune up race in the weekend. There is no road race available except an aquathlon and an urbanthlon. Alternatively, I could do a solo time trial, but given my conditions (heavy legs, tiredness), I wasn't in a position to do a good, meaningful TT anyway. I tried to get a masage this week to solve the legs issue, but he wasn't available. Therefore, the reason for a week without any 'intensity'.

The only plus point for the week is that a (close to) 3-hour long run was done and dusted. Since I canned the race/TT and my legs were not primed to do a workout, I decided to do the long run at steady pace. Did 32k over undulanting terrain at av 4.35 min/km or around 8-10% slower than goal MP. While this pace is not as hard as goal MP, but hopefully there will be some benefits in terms of 'fuel-burning mix' (carb/fat ratio), because the pace is closer to MP than a typical LSD pace where more fat is burned. With warm up and cool down, I totalled 37k in 2h52m (av 4.40)

Next week I will be traveling for work to Aceh for three days. Not sure if there are safe and suitable places to run there. So, maybe my mileage/training will be slightly derailed. The trip also means that I won’t be able to get in a mssage until later next week. My plan is to do a final long MP tempo next weekend, before entering 3-week taper.

Mon 13-02-12
21 km medium long run in 104mins (av 4.56)
Just didn't have enough time to run 24km as envisaged in the program. Still a bit tired from Saturday's long run. Ran the first 13k at 5.00-5.05 min/km, then last 8k between 4.40-4.50 min/km.

Tue 14-02-12
17 km with 5*800 in 82mins (av 4.52)
Warmed up 4km including strides to F1 track and ran 5*800m, with 90-110 secs jog in between. Splits: 2.58. 2.58. 2.58. 2.58. 2.57. Just realized that intervals have become a real chore for me now. In the past, my legs always felt good and I was up for doing track work, but with Pfitz program which is more endurance-based, I am struggling with speedier stuff. Did 7k easy cool down for 17km total.

Wed 15-02-12
10 km recovery run in 54mins (av 5.25)
Easy run on grass, plus return trip by bike to Padang field.

Thu 16-02-12
8.5 km recovery in 48mins (av 5.45)
Tired, heavy legs.

Fri 17-02-12
14.5 km easy in 76mins (av 5.15)
Sleep deprived. Very tired. I think I need to back off.

Sat 18-02-12
OFF. A good 8 hours sleep + 3 hours afternoon nap

Sun 19-02-12
37 km long run in 172mins (av 4.40)
Since I canned the race/TT and my legs were not primed to do a workout, I decided to do the long run at steady pace. Did 32k over undulanting terrain at av 4.35 min/km or around 8-10% slower than goal MP (or 3h13m marathon pace). Great weather for running. Route was Alexandra Canal-Margaret Drive-Ridout Tea Garden hill-Holland Road-twin hills of Nasseem Road-outer Botanic Garden via Cluny-Minden hill-Loewen-Orchard Boulevard-Elber Road hill-Clemenceau-River Valley Close hill-Nathan Road-Dempsey loop-Jervois, and back to the Canal. With 2k warm up and 3k cool down, total run was 37k in 2h52m (av 4.40 min/km), excluding about 10mins of drink/rest breaks.

Total 108k in 8h59m (av 4.59)
(last 8 weeks mileage 89, 88, 98, 105, 91,100, 109, 108 = avg 97.7)

11 February 2012

Week 6-7 of 12

Week 6-7 of 12, 55-70 miles modified program

Last 2 weeks have been a roller coaster…

Week 6 training went okay, until I bombed the Saturday (4 Feb) session, which was 12 miles MP. With Seoul Marathon registration closing on 9 Feb, that session was meant to be some sort of 'an exam'. It turned out that I managed only to do half of the scheduled distance (reasons below), and consequently I had doubts whether it is worth going. I was a bit down and decided to re-do the session a few days later just before the registration deadline. This time, I managed to run 13 miles at MP successfully.. While running half-marathon distance in sub-90 mins un-tapered doesn't give guarantee that I could run 2 x half-marathon at the same pace, but at least, it gives me a good indication that I could run at least a sub 3.10 for the full. My plan is to do another 21-25 km MP run in couple of weeks time to gauge the goal pace.

However….right after the MP run, I felt a sharp pain in my arch and inner foot bone. I was limping in pain for the next few hours, before the pain subsided. I was guessing that it might be a PF issue. I felt down and wondering why the injury jinx always stikes everytime I have a good block of marathon training. I decided to hold-off my marathon entry and see what happens with the plantar pain.

The next day, I did an easy run on grass and the foot was holding up. The following day being the D-day for the race registration, I decided to test the plantar by running a 10 miler on hard surface and yay..there was no pain. I duly entered and paid the registration.

Now I just need to persuade wifey to go and check my savings account ;)

Week 6
Pfitz program: 10+6, 18 (intervals), 24, 16, 11, 29 (12 miles MP) = 113 km
Actual: 11(intervals) + 7, 21, 11, 17, 9, 24 (6 miles MP) = 100 km

Week 7
Pfitz program: 14, 24, 10, 19 (7 miles tempo), 10, 34= 113 km
Actual: 9, 24 (13 miles MP), 10, 16+8, 8, 34 (with tempo) = 109 km

Mon 30-01-12
AM 10.7 km in 51mins with 5*1000m intervals
First intervals in the program, drove to CCAB track for the session. Today's splits were a tad slow that I would have liked - 3.45, 3.46, 3.44, 3.45, 3.43 = avg 3.44 with recovery being a lap of grass field inside the track (approx 2.10). My best 5*1k were av 3.37 back in November, so av 3.44 was maybe not very surprising given the tired legs (did 30k long run just 48 hours before). It was a grind, but intrestingly, HR didn't (or couldn't) go above 180 bpm. Perhaps a sign that my body/legs just can't move fast enough. Did 4*200m afterwards in 39-41secs with NO cool down. In retrospective, I probably should have done the intervals on the road in lieu of the track. With 90mins, all I could afford was 50mins of running + 2*15mins of driving/parking. The 30mins driving time can equal to 6k of extra mileage.

PM 7.3 km recovery run in 39mins
Belated cool down from earlier session. Entirely on grass at Padang.

Tue 31-01-12
21 km medium long run in 103mins (av 4.55)
The schedule calls for 24km medium long run today, but I felt a bit knackered and was slow in getting out of the bed. Only managed to do 21 km, route was home-outer Botanic loop-Dempsey loop-home. Ran the first few ks at 5.00s pace, then switched on a cruise control mode at 4.50 min/km to the end.

Wed 01-02-12
11 km recovery run in 60mins (av 5.28)
Easy run around home and the river. Massage in the arvo.

Thu 02-02-12
17 km medium long run in 84mins with strides (av 4.57)
Ran the first hour at 5.00-5.10 min/km including 6 strides, then closed the last 6km at 4.40 min/km

Fri 03-02-12
9 km recovery in 50mins (av 5.33)
Felt very sluggish and lacking energy.

Sat 04-02-12
24 km in 116mins (av 4.50)
The program calls for 29km with 19k @ MP today, however, I wasn't really up for it. Had an office D&D on Friday night and finished until late. Dinner was an 8-course Chinese meal, but the only carbs were a small bowl of fried rice at the end. Not sure if the red wine count as carbs, but generally I felt weak and lacking energy. To make things worse, the GPS battery was flat and I had to waste 30mins recharging before heading out. By then, the temperature had already risen. After 10k @ MP in 42.20 (av 4.14), I felt that I've had enough. Punished myself to do a 10k cool down, so that today's run lasted for 2 hours. Will re-do and push this session to another day.

Sun 05-02-12
OFF. Had a buffet lunch and ate like crazy.

Total 100k in 8h22m (av 5.02)

Mon 06-02-12
9 km easy in 46mins (5.09)
Woke up late, only had about 45mins to run.

Tue 07-02-12
24 km with 21 km MP tempo in 1:28:47 (av 4.14)
Essentially, a re-dux of Saturday's failed session. Really had to do the session in order to justify the trip to Seoul. Woke up at 4am and drove to East Coast Park so I could run without any traffic interruptions. Splits per 5k: 21.08, 21.07, 21.15, 21.18, with last 1k @ 3.58. 'Cheated' a bit by having 3*30secs break during the run for drinks + quick pee. The effort was tiring, but I din't feel that wiped out. Overall, I was pretty happy with the workout. However, my arch and the bone in the inside border of the left leg was very painful after the run. Perhaps a sign of PF? Was limping badly for the next couple of hours, before the pain subsided. Took anti-inflamatory and ordered night splint from the US as a pre-emptive measure.

Wed 08-02-12
10 km recovery in 51mins (av 5.08) + 5k bike
Strangely, my foot didnt hurt first thing in the morning, so maybe it wasn't a PF or perhaps a mild case. Decided to ride my bike to Padang and skip the concrete, so I could run entirely on grass. Some discomfort, but no negative impact.

Thu 09-02-12
AM 16 km easy moderate in 77mins (av 4.50)
Today's program calls for 11km tempo run, but due to the MP workout on Tuesday, I decided to shift it to the weekend. Foot didn’t hurt when I woke up and with today being the deadline to register for Seoul, I decided to test the foot by running on the road. Used my old orthotics for an added protection. It turned out to be OK. Ran the first 30mins at 5.05 pace, the next 30mins at 4.45 pace, and last 15mins+ at 4.30 min/km.

PM 7.6 km recovery run in 40mins (av 5.20)
A second run to get closer to the week's target mileage.

Fri 10-02-12
7.8 km recovery run in 44mins (av 5.40)
Easy run around home and the river.

Sat 11-02-12
34km long run with tempo in 164mins (av 4.50)
As part of program reshuffling, I decided to combine the 11 miles tempo with a long run. This means that I will not miss any of this week's workouts, eventhough last week's MP workout was pushed to this week. Did Daniels' style workout of tempo, long-ish easy run, then tempo again. After 4k warm up, ran 2* 2 miles tempo in 13.15 each (.05 min/km) with 3mins jog. This was followed by 65mins of easy running at around 5.10 min/km. I then did 1* 2 mile + 2*1 mile tempo with splits 13.00 (4.03 min/km), 6.31 (4.05) and 6.26 (4.00 min/km). Total 8 miles of work in intermittent form vs 7 miles continuous as envisaged in the program, but overall I am pleased to be able to do some HM pace work, even after 2 hours of running. Was totally spent at the end.

Total 109 km in 8h52m (av 4.53)

(last 7 weeks mileage 89, 88, 98, 105, 91,100, 109 = avg 96.2)

28 January 2012

Week 5 of 12

Week 5 of 12, 55-70 miles modified program

Pfitz program: 11, 24, 8, 16 (4miles tempo), 11, 27 = 97 km
Actual: 0, 24, 9, 18, 10, 30 = 91 km

A recovery week according to Pfitz, but his schedules still calls for 97 km (or 60 miles) this week ! Missed one session of easy run due to travelling, so I am quite pleased with doing 90k.

Modified a couple of workouts: on Tuesday I incorporated the tempo session into the medium long run and ran slighly more tempo work (2 x 5k as compared to 4 miles secheduled); and on Saturday, did a few kms at MP at the end of my long run. Weather has been great this week, windy which made conditions a bit cooler.

Last 5 weeks mileage have been 89, 88, 98, 105, and 91 for an average of 94 km. Missed a couple of runs (and cut short a few kms in some runs) here and there, but nailed most of the key workouts. The next 4 weeks will be challenging with about 110-115 km (70 miles) scheduled in every single week ! (gulp). Hopefully I can survive this heavy training block for the next one month and still alive to do taper.

Mon 23-01-12
OFF, travelling

Tue 24-01-12
24 km medium long run with tempo in 113mins (av 4.43)
The schedule calls for 24km medium long run today and a tempo session on Thursday. After two rest days and eating a lot due to the lunar new year, legs were fresher and body felt full of pent-up energy (lots of crap !!). Decided to improvise by embedding the tempo within the medium long run. Adopted one of Daniels' workout, namely 30mins E, 20mins T, 30mins E, 20mins T. Splits were 30mins @ 5.11, 20mins @ 4.07, 30mins @ 4.58, 20mins @ 4.05, then finishing with couple of km easy. The tempo pace were a tad slower than I wanted to be, but it felt good to to complete the workout. Av HR for the tempo pieces were 164 bpm and 166 bpm respectively - which seemed low.

Wed 25-01-12
9 km recovery run in 50mins (av 5.32)
Easy run around home and the river.

Thu 26-01-12
18 km medium long run in 90mins with strides (av 5.00)
Short on sleep, so I was feeling zombie-esque. Ran the first 65mins averaging 5.10 min/km including 8 strides. Then ran the last 25mins at 4.30 min/km so that the run would be completed in 90mins.

Fri 27-01-12
10 km easy in 52mins (av 5.10)
Easy run along the river. Loved a windy day.

Sat 28-01-12
30 km in 147mins (av 4.54)
Long run done in progression style. Ran 5k segments at 5.30, 5.10, 4.55, 4.45 min/km then 6km at 4.15 pace. Finished with 3k+ cool down. Decided to test the water by doing some MP running after 20km. It was a grind, but I reckoned I could run a couple more ks, but decided not to dig too deep.

Total 91k in 7h31m (av 4.58)

21 January 2012

Week 4 of 12

Week 4 of 12, 55-70 miles modified program

Pfitz program: 21, 24, 8, 16 (5miles tempo), 8, 29 = 106 km
Actual: 15, 21, 9, 16 + 5, 7, 32 = 105 km

Four weeks have pased and I am beginning to feel some tiredness. Been struggling to wake up early in the morning, which caused me to shorten the 2 medium long runs on Mon & Tue (21, 24). Although at the end, I was able to catch up with the schedule by doing a double on Thu and adding a couple of ks on the weekend long run. Only one workout this week (a tempo), while the others are easy aerobic runs.

Next week is a recovery week, which comes at the right time for me. We are going away for the long weekend, so I'll only have about 5 running days next week. The program schedules 90-95 km next week, but I will be happy I can exceed 80k.

Mon 16-01-12
15 km easy moderate in 73mins (av 4.52)
Had very little sleep last night. A medium long run of 21km is scheduled, but I only had the time to do around 15 click. Ran the first 10k easy at 5.00-5.10 min/km (mostly on grass) including some pick-ups to wake up the legs. The ran the last 5k at around 4.30 pace for a total of 15k, which is 6km less than planned.

Tue 17-01-12
21 km medium long run in 103mins (av 4.55)
Had 24km in the program, but I didn't have a full 2-hour to run on a weekday. Ran 20mins segments @ 5.05, 5.00, 4.55, 4.50, and 4.45 min/km for a total of 21k at average pace of 4.55. Very tired.

Wed 18-01-12
9 km recovery run in 50mins (av 5.34)
Easy run around home and the river.

Thu 19-01-12
AM 16 km in 77mins with 35mins tempo (av 4.03)
Quite a warm, humid morning. Legs not too snappy from the recent increased mileage and training load. Happy to survive the tempo (albeit a short one) as my pace faded in the last 5-10mins due to tiredness. Av HR was 168 bpm with a high of 178 - a tad low, maybe because my legs couldn't run fast. Did 3k warm up and 4k cool down (very slow) for 16k total.

PM 25mins recovery run (av 5.23)
A short run to add some volume (make-up for Monday's shortfall), and hopefully flush the crap out of the system after thirs morning's tempo session.

Fri 20-01-12
7.4 km recovery run in 42mins (av 5.40)
Easy run around home and the river.

Sat 21-01-12
32 km in 155mins (av 4.50)
Ran from home, 2 loops of outer Botanic Gardens, Dempsey loop and a bit of riverside. Ran 30mins segments @ 5.15, 5.00, 4.45, 4.35, then 20mins of 4.25 min/km and last 15mins jogging. Would have liked to run the last 30mins at somewhere close to MP but legs, hammies, and glutes were burning. Running time excluded about 10mins of stoppages (toilet, drinks, stretching)

Total 105k in 8h45m (av 5.00)

14 January 2012

Week 3 of 12

Week 3 of 12, modified Pfitz 55-70 miles program

Pfitz program: 14, 22, 8, 19, 8, 27 (16k MP) = 99 km
Actual: 17, 22, 8, 10+6, 8, 27 (16k MP) = 98 km

A good week, as I pretty much met the scheduled mileage and wokout. Had a good 10mile MP run today, averaging 4.12 min/km - although it wasn't a continuous run as I had one brief break in the middle for a drink.Left ankle a bit sore afterwards, probably due to jarring. Might take it a bit easy for the next few days and run on grass.

A quarter of the program has gone (3 weeks out of 12) and still my chance of doing Seoul is 50-50. Probably will make a call in the next 3-4 weeks. By then, I would have a bout 6 weeks of solid training and a 12-13 mile MP session, which hopefully will become good reference points.

Next week's schedule (week 4) will become harder. In terms of structure, there will be a tempo run, 2 medium long runs - with distances rising to 21 and 24k, and 30k long run. The total mileage will hit 105 km, or about 5 miles lower than the expected peak (70 miles). The 2 medium long runs will also be a challenge in terms of getting up early and finding the time.

Mon 09-01-12
17 km medium long run with fartlek in 81mins (av 4.47)
Wanted a workout that is not too taxing so as not to be materially different to Pfitz's aerobic medium long run. Started with 5k easy, then went for a fartlek around Padang grass field. Did 2 sets of 5-4-3-2-1 mins with 2mins recovery between reps to make the session pretty much aerobically comfortable. The 'ON's were not fast - the 5-4-3 mins reps done at 4.00-4.15 min/km pace, while the 2 and 1 mins reps were at 3.55 and 3.45 pace respectively. Could really tell the difference of doing the workout on grass as the muscles and joints were less sore afterwards compared to doing in on concrete/bitumen.

Tue 10-01-12
22 km medium long run in 108mins (av 4.56)
Started the run at around 5am and did one loop of outer Botanic (Nasseem, Cluny), Dempsey loop and from/to home. Felt sleepy and sluggish for the first one hour or so. Ran the first 15k at 5.05 pace, then last 7k at 4.40-ish pace. Hamstring a bit tight.

Wed 11-01-12
8 km recovery run in 46mins (av 5.45)
Pace was slower than expected as my normal recovery pace is around 5.15-5.30. Had a sports massage in the afternoon.

Thu 12-01-12
A) 10 km easy in 50.40 (5.04); B) 6 km easy in 28.30 (4.45)
Supposed to be a 16-19 km medium long run, but was too knackered to wake up early. Split the session into a double - 10km easy in the morning, then 6 km at moderate pace, finishing with 4 * 20secs hill strides. Although, I am not hitting the scheduled session as a single, but I reckon I don't lose much in terms of training effect.

Fri 13-01-12
8 km recovery run in 44mins (av 5.32)
Easy run around home and the river.

Sat 14-01-12
27 km in 147mins with 16k MP tempo (av 4.12)
Second series of MP tempo - first was 8 miles done in tempo wave style a couple of weeks ago. Route was 2 loops of the Canal + 2 out & back Margaret/Dawson + 2 loops of the Canal. Ran the first 8k in 33.40 (av 4.13 min/km), then had very brief stop to take my water bottle and gel, and then completed the second 8k in 33.28 (av 4.11 min/km). Total tempo 16k in 67.08 with av pace of 4.12 min/km, av HR 165 bpm. I'd rate it as a hard controlled effort, not very hard, but I was working and was quite pleased when I finished. Did 5k wu and 6k wd for 27km for the day.

4.13/149, 4.12/157, 4.10/160, 4.14/160, 4.12/162, 4.13/164, 4.11/164, 4.14/166 = 33.40, av 160 bpm
< 60secs drink break
4.12/161, 4.13/168, 4.09/168, 4.10/169,4.14/170, 4.10/171, 4.11/173, 4.10/174 = 33.28, av 169 bpm

Total 98k (6 runs) in 8h8m (av 4.58)

08 January 2012

Week 2 of 12

Week 2 of 12, 55-70 miles program

Pfitz program: 19, 18, 8, 14 (4miles tempo), 8, 27 = 94 km
Actual: 9, 18, 7, 16 (30mins tempo), 8, 30 = 88 km

Missed one medium long run, therefore didn't hit the scheduled mileage. But I am okay with that as other sessions were accomplished. We had a bit of wind here throughout the week, and I really liked the cooling effect. Legs felt tired and tight, so it will be better to get a massage sooner than later.

Next week schedule (week 3) is similar to Week 1 with 2 medium long runs and MP long run in term sof structure. The differences are simply the increasing distance for the midweek long run (up to 22k) and MP run (10 miles at MP pace vs 8 miles in week 1) and overall mileage which rises to 99km per week (gulp)

Mon 02-01-12
9 km moderate with hill strides in 42mins (av 4.40)
The program calls for 19k, but only had the time to do half of that. Ran on the river path at moderate pace, finishing with 6 * 20secs hill strides

Tue 03-01-12
18 km medium long run in 86mins (av 4.49)
Ran in the afternoon (around 4pm) and found the weather wasn't too bad. I think I struggled more with humidity rather than heat. Ran the medium long run the Pfitz way, started at 5.00s, then 4.50s in the middle part, and about 4.35 pace in the last 5km.

Wed 04-01-12
7 km recovery run in 38mins (av 5.30)
A treadmill run in my condo's gym. Not sure about the machine's calibration, but my legs seem to enjoy the softer surface.

Thu 05-01-12
16 km in 75mins (av 4.44), including 30mins tempo (av 4.01)
Warmed up for 3km including some strides to The Canal. Pfitz 12 week plan schedules for 4 miles tempo, but I prefer to do a nice round number. I wasn't in tip top condition today, hence the effort was harder than anticipated. Ran pretty much at constant pace of 4.00 throughout. Tried to up the ante in the last k, but just didn’t have it. Av HR for the tempo was 168 bpm, with a high of 178. Warmed down for 5.5k including a bunch of strides.

Fri 06-01-12
8 km recovery run in 44mins (av 5.32)
Easy run around home and the river.

Sat 07-01-12
30 km long run in 2h27m (av 4.54)
Ran the first 15k at 5.00-5.10 pace, of which 12k was done on Padang grass field. Then ran the last 15k at 4.40 min/km pace along the Kallang basin path to the National Stadium and back. Felt tired.

Total 88k (6 runs) in 7h13m (av 4.56)

01 January 2012

Week 1 of 12

Week 1 of 12, 55-70 miles program
Pfitz program: 13, 18, 8, 18, 8, 24 (13 MP) = 89 km
Actual: 19, 8, 11, 17, 8, 26 (13 +/- MP) = 89 km

A good start to the program. Although, I didn't follow the program to the letter, but was able to balance trainign and life commitments. Didn't miss Pfitz trademark stuffs such as 2 medium long runs & a long run, and I managed to achieve the target mileage. Out of the 2 medium long runs scheduled, I only did one the Pfitz way (80-90% MP). For the other one, I incorporated some fartlek for variety. For the weekend long run, I modified the scheduled 13k @ MP to a 13k wave tempo (alternating 1ks at 4.00s and 4.30) to teach the body to get used to varying lactate levels (a straight MP tempo will be exposed to a constant lactate production).

Looking back at 2011, it was probably the most testing year for my running. No PBs, injuries, and a string of sub-par racing were the story of 2011. Surely for next year, the only way is up !

Happy New Year everyone!

Mon 26-12-11
19 km medium long run in 93mins (av 4.53)
Felt a bit rusty this morning and after 6k at easy effort, I wasn't feelin' better. Roads were empty on Boxing Day, so I just couldn’t resist doing a bit of quick stuff in order to rejuvenate myself :p Decided to sprinkle some fartlek with long recovery in order to make the workout aerobic - 4* 6mins with 3mins recovery in between. For the 6mins fartlek, I did it as follows: 3mins @ 4.05, 2mins @ 3.57, 1min @ 3.40-3.50 min/km. Warmed down for 5k to complete 19k of medium long run.

Tue 27-12-11
8 km recovery run in 43mins (av 5.27)
Easy run around home and the river.

Wed 28-12-11
11 km easy run in 54mins (av 4.54)
Didn't sleep well last night, hence I decided to defer the medium long run by a day. Ran in the quiet neighbourhood of One Tree Hill.

Thu 29-12-11
17 km medium long run in 85mins (av 4.59)
Ran from home to Padang and did around 8k on grass including 8*20secs strides. Picked it up to moderate pace (4.40) for the last 6k.

Fri 30-12-11
8 km recovery run in 43mins (av 5.22)
Easy run around home and the river.

Sat 31-12-11
26k long run in 2h04m, including 13k @ 4.15
Too lazy to drive to ECP, prefering to workout near home. Pfitz scheduled 13k @ MP, but I felt MP stuff is a bit too early to do at this juncture. Decided to do a wave tempo, alternating 1km at pace faster than MP and 1k slower than MP, in such a way that the total pace will average at MP. Ran out and back at Margaret Drive about 3 times and a bit. Splits (min per k, HR): 4.04/155, 428/161, 4.03/164, 4.24/162, 4.03/167, 4.26/165, 4.05/168, 4.43/163 (drink), 4.05/170, 4.29/169, 4.03/172, 4.29/171, 3.52/177. Total 13k in 55.15 (av 4.15 min/km) - av HR 166, high 180. Did 5k warm up and 8k cool down.

Total 89k (6 runs) in 7h23m (av 4.59)

26 December 2011

New routine

My last week before starting the Pfitz 12 weeks 55-70 miles program, that's 90-110 km per week in metric terms. And I am currently struggling to even do more than 70km per week !!

Still adapting to a new sleep/running/family routine.

Nowadays I gotta be home by 07.00 am to prepare myself for work and also to drop my son at school. Pfitz plan requires 1 workout, 2 medium long runs, and a long run, and this means that I have to get up earlier than usual on most days. For instance, in order to cover 18-24k medium long runs (which take 90-120nins), I need to get up before 04.30am so that I can start running by 05.00 am. Currently, I am having a hard time trying to cut on sleep and wake up early !!

The life adjustment was probably reflected in my training this week. Was feeling very sluggish during the tempo run on Monday .I also had a miserable long run on Christmas Eve as I experienced chest pain (right side, not left) and cramping. Don't think there is anythin' serious and should not stop me training for next week.

Mon 19-12-11
Off (unplanned). Heavy rain all day.

Tue 20-12-11
15 km (av 4.38) with 9k Tempo in 36.54 (4.06 min/km)
Because I missed yesterday's medium long run, my initial plan was to do close to 20k today. However, I woke up late, and only had the time for 60-75mins of training. For my tempo last week, I ran 7k @ 3.55, so I was aiming to do 8k at roughly the same pace. But I found it hard to get going today; weather was damn humid and my hip was sore; and I was struggling to hold low 4.00s pace. Av HR was 171 bpm today versus last week's 167 bpm, so that's 4bpm higher but the pace was 10secs slower !!! Extended the distance a bit to 9k in order to compensate for the slower-than-anticipated pace. The only plus point from today's session is that Pfitz tempo maxed out at 11k, and I have now done 9k tempo even before starting his 12 week program (albeit at slower pace).

Wed 21-12-11
8 km recovery run in 44mins (av 5.30)
Easy run around the 'hood

Thu 22-12-11
16 km medium long run in 75mins (av 4.44)
Woke up late again, so I only had about 75-80mins to run. In order to cover more ground within the limited window, I ran the first 15mins easy, then the next one hour at moderate pace (4.35 min/km). Felt relatively OK effort wise, so perhaps I should make running at 90% MP a staple for my midweek medium long runs.

Fri 23-12-11
6 km recovery run in 33mins (av 5.22)
Same story again (too lazy to get up!). Only had 30mins to run.

Sat 24-12-11
28k long run in 147mins (av 5.15)
Super duper humid this morning due to heavy showers overnight. Found it hard to breathe, and I got chest pain afterwards. As the pain on the right side, I googled that it was probably due to lung/respiratory issue (maybe the heavy air??). I also underestimated the humidity effect on sweating, as I got tightness/cramps after about an hour. Had to take a few stops along the way in order to stretch the legs.

Total 73k (5 runs) in 6h08m (av 5.03)

17 December 2011

Stand-by Training (Week 1 of 14)

I am keepin' one eye on Seoul Marathon on 18 March. I'd say the chance is around 50-50, because there are still too much uncertainties around life/family.work commitments at this juncture.
I have been training crap lately and also really struggling with motivation. For some reason, I only get excited when I am preparing for marathon. The training itself is a bitch, but I always enjoy the overall process, including creating both training plan and traveling/holiday plan that come with it!

Since my chance of doing Seoul is 50-50, I decided to focus more on aerobic stuff this time around. If I end up not going, I still get the benefit of aerobic development and use that as a foundation for another marathon later in the year (eg Gold Coast). I am considering to loosely follow the Pfitz plan (12 weeks, 55-70 miles) because it is a very aerobic-centric program (I've had his book for about 5 years, but I never actually follow his plan). With a standard structure of 1 workout, 2 medium long runs, and 1 long run per week, I hope I'll get pretty fit by the end of it.

With the above in mind, I will start working on 'STAND-BY TRAINING' in case I am running Seoul. If that doesn't happen, I don't think I have much to lose.

The key is that I really NEED A REASON to motivate me to train and get up every morning !! And for me, fortunately (or unfortunately) that reason is running an overseas marathon!!

Since there are 14 weeks left to Seoul, my plan is to spend the next couple of weeks to familiarise with the Pfitz structure (1 sess, 2 med long runs, 1 long run) before embarking on the 12-week plan (albeit very loosely).

Mon 12-12-11
12 km (av 4.30) with 7k Tempo in 27.30 (3.56 min/km)

Warmed up for 15mins to my Canal loop, then did 7k continuous tempo. Ran the first 5.5k at 3.58 min/km, before made a push in the last mile at 3.47 min/km. Quite surprised to find out that running 7k tempo slightly faster than my SCMS 10k race pace wasn't that hard (probably an affirmation that my 10k performance was crap !). Av HR was pretty low at 167bpm, helped by the cool weather. Pfitz plan schedules LT run between 4-8 miles, so doing a 7k today was a good intro to what will come.

Tue 13-12-11
15 km medium long run in 75mins (av 5.00)
Ran the first 11k easy in 56mins (5.06), including 8k on Padang grass field. Accidentally stepped on a pothole, which sent me flying for a few meters. I was wearing a skimpy split-race short and the fall caused bloody abrasion to my hip and thigh. Ran the last 4k on the way home at moderate effort (4.40 min/km).

Wed 13-12-11
Off (unplanned). Felt tired and struggled to wake up.

Thu 14-12-11
15.3 km medium long run in 71mins (av 4.42)
Only started running at 6.15am and had to go back before 7.30am, so I only had a window of 70mins. Pfitz' standard for medium long runs is between 11-15 miles (18-24 km), which probably needs 90-120mins for me to cover. Due to the shorter distance, I decided to add a zest of quality by doing the run in progressive fashion. Ran 2k segments at 5.30, 5.05, 4.40, 4.27, 4.15, finsihing at 4.05 min/km. Warmed down for 3k+ including 4* 30secs strides.

Fri 15-12-11
6.7 km recovery run in 36mins (av 5.23)
Easy run, doing 2.5 loops of Singapore River/Moh Sultan.

Sat 16-12-11
26k long run in 130mins (av 5.00)
Felt sluggish today, possibly from office christmas party. Very humid too. Felt like quitting the run at 16k, but the thought of a possible marathon spurred me on to last a futher 10k. Hopefully this 'ghost protocol' will continue to trick my mind for the months ahead.

Total 75k (5 runs) in 6h07m (av 4.54)

04 December 2011

Nothin' to cheer about

Week beginning Nov 14
M: 2 x 3 miles (4mins rec) - splits 19.15, 19.25 (av 4.02 min/km); Total 15k with warm up/down
T: 65mins easy (5.20)
W: 45mins easy (5.04), incl 5*20secs hill sprints
T: 5 x 1000m (2.5mins rec) - splits: 3.35, 3.39, 3.38, 3.40, 3.35 (av 3.37 min/km)
F: 35mins very easy (5.37)
S: 110mins easy-moderate (4.49)
S: off
Total 75k for the week

Week beginning Nov 21
M: 35mins easy (5.00), incl 5*15secs hill sprint
T: 5k run in 19.25 (3.53) - a test run at sub-39 10k pace
W: off (unplanned)
T: off (unplanned)
F: 3 x 2k (3mins rec) - splits 7.28, 7.38, 7.36 (av 3.47 min/km).. Totak 16k with warm up/down.
S: 40mins very easy (5.30)
S: 90mins easy (4.55)
Total 60k for the week

Week beginning Nov 28
M: off (unplanned)
T: 3.2k tempo in 13.15, 4*800m (3.00-3.05). Total 13k
W: off (unplanned)
T: 60mins easy (4.58)
F: 35mins easy (5.00), incl 5*1min on/off
S: off
S: SCMS 10k in 39.28

Another sub-par performance today. I thought I was capable of doing close to my PB of 38.20 in local conditions, but that wasn't the case. My interval paces in training were faster than when I did 38.20 (Melbourne) and 38.50 (Madrid), so I thought I had a chance.

Too lazy to download my watch and look at the splits. But it was not pretty. Was cruising at 3.50s pace for the first 5k, but in the second half the split blew up to around 4.00 pace. Just struggled physically and mentally in the second half period.

Physically, the glute was sore for the whole week and it was tight especially in the last 5k which didn't help. But guessing at the meltdown in the second half, I have a feeling that my endurance has decreased. My mileage is pretty low presently at around 60km per week. For me who has been doing 80-100km regularly during marathon training, doing 60km per week is a backward direction in terms of fitness progression. But that's life as I have to balance the demands of family, work, and personal passion.

Mentally, I also just wasn't that focused. Just didn't have the mental toughness to fight when the going gets tough. There is no self belief.

On the positive side, today's race marked my first sub-40 in Singapore. Previous 10k races were around 40-43 mins, either due to untapered marathon training, crowded race or inaccurate course. But given I am still about 2-3mins behind the standard of my local competitors (Seakins, Hong Leng) in the over 40 category, there is nothing much to cheer on. It just means that more, more, more, more and more hard work are required !!!