24 January 2008

Week 4 Base Training - Treadmill Affair

This week I ran less than I wanted to and also failed to do a long run.

Had five sessions on the treadmill and two sessions on the road. Surprisingly, I have developed fondness to 'dreadmill' running (ouchh...). It is much cooler running indoors (vs. running outside) and the gym has a nice view overlooking Sentosa Island. I love to play around with the speed, for instance starting the run at a tortoise pace and then gradually increasing the speed by 0.1 km/h every 1-5 minutes (depending on that particular session's purpose). I also found that my leg turnover is faster on the treadmill. Even at an easy pace of 5:00, I already ran around 170 strides per minute, so at a faster pace - my stride rate should be in the 180s.

On Saturday, I participated in the social/fun run relay event organized by SG Runners (running messageboard). The team had 3 runners and each runner did 2 x 3k laps. I did both legs in 11:21 and 11:42 . I planned to run them at CV or 10k effort, but was sucked into chasing people in the first leg so I ran faster than I wanted to. After around 30 minutes of rest waiting for the 2nd and 3rd runner, I ran the second leg at a controlled effort and on-pace. Overall it was a good test for the legs, although I am not really sure whether it generated a significant physiology stimulus given there was a LONG rest period in between.

Next weekend will be a wash since we'll be in Bangkok to meet the in-laws. In light of this, I plan to squeeze in as many miles as I can on weekdays. Hopefully, I can reach 300km in January - frankly not a lot of mileage but since I haven't done more than 300kper month since last August - I guess I'll take it.

53:00 Easy (av 5:18 - treadmill)

2 x 4000m @ Steady (4:48, 4:37, 4:26, 4:17) + 1000m @ LT (4:00)
Total workout: 13k in 62:00 (av 4:47 - treadmill)

Off (business in Jakarta)

Morning - 35:00 Slow (av 5:31 - treadmill)
Evening - 20:00 Easy + 20:00 Moderate + 4 strides (av 4:58 - treadmill)

30:00 gym work + 30:00 jogging (av 5:40 - treadmill)

VO2Max: 2 x 3000m in 11:21/11:42 (av 3:50 min/km) as part of SGRunners Relay
Total workout: 12k (lots ot waiting time)


48:oo easy recovery (5:21)

Total 66.0 km for the week
Total time 5:34:30
Av pace 5:04 min/km
Year-to-date mileage 252.0 km (av 63.0 km per week)
Year-to-date av pace 5:09 min/km

16 January 2008

Week 3 Base Training - Reality Check

Felt much better this week - the calf strain has virtually gone away enabling me to run pain-free. Did two quality sessions, CV intervals on Tuesday and Tinman Tempo run on Thursday, followed by my longest run in the last three months at (please guess)......a mere 24 km !! Yes, the stats pretty much showed my endurance shape which has spiralled into pariah status. A 2-2.5 hours long runs were my weekly diet back in Oz. But since I am here, long runs always proved to be the most difficult session, underpinned by the harsh weather and lack of motivation.

I began to use HRM in some of the key workouts this week. Basically I need to accept that my running pace in Singapore has slowed by 10-20 secs/km compared to Oz. Back then, I considered 5:20 min/km plus as a jogging pace, but now 5:30 is definitely not a recovery pace and is actually more like an easy pace. My long run pace has also slowed down from about 5:00 to 5:15-5:20 min/km. Another example was Thursday's Tinman tempo run - 6k @ 4:15 pace at av HR of 177 bpm or 90% Max HR. In early 2007, I had a LT test in the lab and my pace at 90% MaxHR corresponded to my LT and this was at 4:00 min/km. Hence, this is another example of 15 secs/km slow down.

Next week will be a busy week in terms of work so I don't know how much I can afford to run. Next Saturday, I will be doing a relay run (three man) organized by the local running messageboard. This is a social event, so I plan to run the relay leg at tempo training effort.

My training this week was as follows:

20:00 easy + 7:00 @ 5% grade (av 5:20 min/km - treadmill)

Morning (grass field) -
Intervals @ 10k pace: 4 x 1000m (3:51, 3:59, 3:53, 3:54, av. 3:55), 2:00 jog
Strides: 2 x 00:40, 4 x 00:15
Total Workout: 55:00 incl. warm up & cool down

Afternoon - 20:00 jogging (av 5:47 - treadmill)

Morning - 1 hour Yoga
Afternoon - 40:00 slow (av 5:34 - treadmill)

Steady Tempo: 6k in 25:33 (av 4:16/177 bpm)
Hill Reps: 4 x 100m
Total workout: 50:00 (av 4:42)

20:00 gym work + 45:00 slow (av 5:32 - treadmill)

2:05:00 Long Run (av 5:13)

Sunday - 42:00 easy (av 5:14 - treadmill)

Total 78.0 km for the week
Total Time 6h:46m
Av pace 5:12 min/km
Year-to-date mileage 186.0 km (av 62.0 km per week)
Year-to-date av pace 5:11 min/km

11 January 2008

Week 2 Base Training - Rehab

A week of mixed results, I guess. On the positive side, my strained calf got materially better after a couple of visits to the physio. The guy did a combo of torturing deep tissue massage, ultra sound and electric wave for S$70 (45 minutes session). While some areas of the calf are still tender at the moment, but overall, I can pretty much run without any significant pain or soreness.

On the negative side, I wasn't feeling that great over the weekend. Had sleeping problems and just wasn't feeling energized. Although, I could run pain-free but my body just didn't feel like running. Planned to do 105-120 minutes long run today but decided to call it quit after 70 minutes. My running motto for this year is the words of famed-coach, Arthur Lydiard: "Train, Dont' strain!"

I will visit the physio again tomorrow for possibly the final treatment. Since this week is pretty much a washed-out, I plan to to run 70+k next week including a couple of quality sessions.

My training (all at easy effort) last week was:

Mon: Physio treatment (no run)
Tue: 25 minutes elliptical
Wed: 40 minutes jogging + Physio treatment
Thu: 37 minutes easy
Fri: 55 minutes easy - moderate (out in 30:10, back in 25:40)
Sat: 34 minutes jogging incl 4 light strides
Sun: 72 minutes easy

Total 45.0 km for the week
Total time 3h:59m:00s
Av Pace 5:18 min/km
Year-to-date mileage 108.0 km (av. 54.0 per week)
Year-to-date av. pace 5:09/min/km

I also want to say thanks to a HK-based runner/blogger called 'by7' for writing a comprehensive outline of his marathon training. He recently ran Fukuoka marathon in 2:37 and finished 6th in the HK Half Marathon Championship last week with a time of 1:15.

05 January 2008

Week 1 Base Training (but dunno 'bout next week)

As mentioned in previous post, I'm targeting to do Gold Coast Marathon in early July which leaves me with about 6 full months to train & peak for the race. My plan is to do base training for about 2 months before moving onto marathon specific training for the next 4 months. Looking at my running log, I've been averaging about 70-80 kmpw between January to September 2007. Since returning back to Singapore, my average mileage has gone down to about 40 kmpw. In light of this, I aim to build my mileage back up again to around 80-90 kmpw by the end of Feb.

Ok....week 1 of the base training phase... We were holidaying in Hong Kong for New Year and the HK winter was really running-conducive. It was cool at around 10c and very dry - perfect! Also, the Disneyland Resort was really quite and there is a scenic man-made lake called Lake Inspiration (1.5k loop) within the resort. To take advantage of the conditions, I did CV intervals, followed by a moderate-progression run the day after. The calf strain still persists but I decided to run through it.

Tue 01/01: 46m:00s Easy Run (av 5:25 min/km)

First run of the year. A nice leisurely run on treadmill at 1.5% incline (The Langham Hotel) to burn the excess calories from fatty Hong Kong cuisine. Found a restaurant near the hotel called Guandong restaurant in Kowloon and gee, the honey glazed BBQ pork is heavenly !!

Wed 02/01: 35m:40s Easy Run (av 5:30 min/km)

Another very easy run on the hotel's treadmill, this time at 3% grade. Another round of Cantonese BBQ for lunch, this time at a small restaruant near the Mid-Levels in Central and it has Anthony Bourdain photo on its window.

Thu 03/01: 1h:01m:00s (av 4:32 min/km) incl. CV Intervals

20:00 warm up (4:55) from Disneyland Hotel to Lake Inspiration, then 3 x 1600m at CV pace around the lake. Splits 6:16, 6:22, 6:15 (av pace 3:57 min/km) with 1:30-2:00 jogs for recovery. Then 4 x 200m Repetitions in 0:41, 42, 42, 42 with 60secs rest, followed by 13:00 cool down (4:50) back to the hotel incl. x 00:15 strides. Haven't ran 1600s at this effort for ages hence was pretty challenging. The weather helped tremendously, unsure whether I could do the same workout in Singapore.

Fri 04/01: 1h:15:00s (av 4:51 min/km) incl one-hour Progression Run

Took advantage of the cool weather in HK by doing another quality workout after yesterday's CV intervals. 10:00 warm up (5:30) from hotel to Lake Inspiration, then 60:00 Progression Run (15:00 @ 5:00, 4:45, 4:40, 4:30 min/km), and ended with 5:00 cool down. Felt really comfortable effort wise, but calves pain re-appeared again. Was limping for the whole day. Flew back to Singapore.

Sat 05/01: Rest

No run to rest the calves, but did some stretching and push-ups.

Sun 06/11: 1h:40m:00s Easy Run (av 5:16 min/km)

Back to the hot and humid Singapore and struggled with the conditions. Ran from home to Botanic Gardens and back. Av HR was 159 bpm with 181 being the highest and for god's sake I didn't run any faster than 5:00 pace at all !! Calf was really sore.

Total 63.0 km for the week
Total time 5h:17m:54s
Av. Pace 5:02 min/km
Sunday weight: 68.8 kg (post run)

Went to see a physio today to check my calf strain and had deep tissue massage plus ultra sound/wave treatment. Looks like Week 2 of Base Training will be at very minimal mileage sinceI need to nurse my sore calf and prevent it from going bust. Probably I'll go against the doctor's order and try to squeeze in 1-2 runs this week (or maybe just cross training) in order to lessen fitness erosion.

Sore Resolution

Happy New Year to everyone!! May all of you have wonderful runs, injury-free year, and running PBs in 2008...

In my last post, I mentioned that 2007 was a forgettable year in terms of running. In order to get out of the rut, I plan to make the following changes to my running:

1) Becoming a MINIMALIST (ouuch....see below)

I love running in light-weight shoes like Nike Frees or racing flats (Adizero, Saucony Fastwitch). I wear them for most of my workouts including tempo, intervals, and recovery runs. For long runs, I normally use Asics Kayano for added protection. But frankly, I never enjoy the Kayanos. On the contrary, the minimalist shoes always feel so good and my training paces are typically a tad faster in them.

However, lately I've been experiencing soreness in the right calves. It felt so bad after the run that I had to limp for the rest of the day. After 1-2 days of rest plus Voltaren/Deep Heat gel application, the pain then disappeared. But the problem is that after a few days of running, the pain re-appears out of the blue again. It is really ANNOYING!

My guess is that the sore calves might be attributed to the running terrain in Singapore where it is virtually a concrete jungle (back in Australia, 40% of my mileage was on grass terrain). It seems my muscles are not strong enough to handle the surface. There is a small cricket field (Padang) about 2k away from my apartment. One loop is only 800m, so running around and around will be a bit boring but perhaps better than nothing. Also, since I've been here, my mileage has effectively halved from my old levels in Australia, and this leads to unwanted weight gain and in turn, added stress on the calves.
Ouchh...I'm limping right now, how long before the soreness goes away?
Any thoughts on the calf soreness issue? Is this a typical result from the switch to minimalism? Should I do calf raises?

2) Run more on TREADMILL

I've decided to become a member at Planet Finess, a gym near my office. I need to fork out around $65 pe rmonth but this will allow me to run during lunch time. Since I plan to do a marathon this year, running on daily basis will be a necessity. I also hope that by switching some of my training runs from concrete to treadmill, it will lessen the stress on my muscles and legs. In addtion, the gym has swiss ball/yoga classes and I plan to occasionally do them in order to strengthen my core.

Other 'smaller' changes for 2008 include:

3) Move my daily running log from cool running to runningahead.com

4) Try to join some of the local running group runs to make friends...

Ok..gotta go. Still in Hong Kong right now for holiday, will post more next week. Cheers for now.