23 February 2008

Week 8 Base Training - Feeling Lousy

Felt really lousy for the whole week, both physically and mentally. Began to feel the effect of cumulative fatique from the recent increase in training. Also, work has been very busy and stressful.

It seems that I've paid the price for the lack of 'training specificity'. I've been running too much on the treadmill lately (including Monday to Friday this week) and this morning I planned to do a much needed long run (2 hours +) in the Botanic Gardens. And I really learned something valuable today. Since running on the treadmill uses slightly different muscles than running on the road, my hips muscles and joints got very sore when I ran on bitumen/concrete pavement. In addition, the humidity impact from running in an air-conditioned gym is very different to the real world and I was already soaked in sweat not long after I started . After around 40 minutes of running, I began to feel very unmotivated and stopped for 10 minutes to rest. Was seriously considering to walk or catch a bus home. However, the humidity improved to a more tolerable level, I managed to run back home.

The lack of long run puts a serious dent into my preparation for the KL Half Marathon on 30 March. In January, I only managed to do a single 24k run and this month, I was only able to do a single 26k sightseeing run with friends (lots of rest stops). Although, the HM is still a good 5 weeks away, but I really need to up the ante in the next three weeks. My aim is to do sub 90 (I've done it twice in Australia but never in Asia) but given my lack on long run, this goal looks a bit of a stretch.

Anyway, here is my daily training from last week. Lousy, right?


40:00 jogging @ 5:42 (grade 2%)

AM: 30:00 easy @ 5:22 (grade 3%)
PM: 30:00 easy @ 5:07)(grade 2%)

60:00 easy @ 5:06 (grade 1.5%)

Stamina Intervals: 4 x 1600m @ 4:10 min/km, 400m recovery
Total workout: 55:00 @ av 4:40 (grade 1.5%)

AM: 30:00 jogging @ 5:47
PM: 20:00 jogging @ 5:36


82:00 easy @ 5:08 (long run cut short)

Total: 68.0 km for the week @ av pace 5:12 min/km
Year to date mileage 532.0 km @ av pace 5:10 (av 66.5 km per week)

17 February 2008

Week 7 Base Training - Mixed Week

A week with mixed results. Felt great early in the week despite doing 92k last week (highest week Since Sep 07). The CV intervals on grass were smooth and easy runs were really easy. However, fatique began to set in later in the week and things went downhill from there. Felt sluggish on Thursday and Friday and easy runs suddenly didn't feel too easy.

Went to KL for the weekend and there was a cross country race so I decided to jump in. This was one of the lead-up races for next month's KL Marathon hence lots of local fast runners turned up including a couple of Kenyans who are based in Malaysia. I was in the Junior Veteran Category (35-45) and according to the advertisement, the route was supposed to be 6.2k.

It turned out to be one of the least enjoyable race that I've ever done because it wasn't well organized. Firstly the distance was much longer than 6.2k and being a first timer without any clue about the route & obstacles, I thought that I took the wrong route. I didn't see anyone with the same colour bib (same age group category) until the last 500m. All the guys that I passed and ran with were the Open Category runners who ran 8.2k. At the end, the distance turned out to be 7.54k by Garmin and according to the locally-based runners who have run the same race last year. A second issue were narrow paths (fit one person only) hence it was difficult to pass people. Since we started at the same time with the kids, lots of them started walking not long after the gun which led to congestion. Thirdy, a couple of the grass hills were like walls and people had to crawl/climb and there were lots of steps as well. Finished the run in 34:33 in the 12th place for the Junior Veteran category. Slightly disappointed because I just missed out on the top 10 and the prizes.

Anyway, enought bitching! Here's my training for this week:

70:00 Easy @ 5:12 (treadmill 2%)

CV Intervals: 4 x 1k @ 10k pace, avg. 3:56 (grass)
Reps: 5 x 150m avg 30-31 secs

AM: Yoga
PM: 45:00 recovery @ 5:31 (treadmill 2%)

AM: Gym work
PM: 60:00 Easy/Moderate @ 4:53 (treadmill 1.5%)

49:00 recovery @ 5:27 (road)


FTAAA Cross Country Race, 7.5k in 34:33, 12th in 35-45 age group

Total 72.0k for the week @ av pace 5:08 min/km
Year-to-date mileage 464km @ av pace 5:10 (av 66.3km per week)

08 February 2008

Week 6 Base Training - Rat and Fat

This week is the Chinese Lunar New Year week: Thursday and Friday are public holidays in Singapore and combined with the weekend, we had a nice little break. Welcome to the Year of the Rat !! Took advantage of the situations by running more mileage than usual, including 21k on Thursday and 26k on Saturday. Also, (for a change) managed to do four consecutive days of outdoor running.

Had a couple of Stamina workouts, 5x1200m @ LT on treadmill on Tuesday and 3x3000 @ ~HM pace outdoor on Thursday. On Saturday, I joined about 30 other runners from the local running messageboard to do an undulanting, 'sightseeing' 26k run to celebrate the Year of the Rat in the western part of the island. Total time was 3h:30m but the total run portion was only about 2h:20m and the remaining 1-hour plus included drink stops, stairs walking, and waiting for the slow runners to re-group. Nevertheless, it was a good run as we tackled some really decent hills including the steep Vigilante Rd (80m elevation gain) and ~2k long Mt. Faber (100m elevation gain).

During the run, I also realized that my weight was on the 'fat' side when compared to the local Asian runners. At 70kg (of 'wagyu grade 1 quality') I was about 7-10kg heavier than others with the same height. My BMI is 24.5 which placed me at the edge of the overweight category. A 5k reduction to 65kg will put me in the healthy range, but I don't really know whether I can do this. Even when I was doing more mileage in Australia, my lightest weight was 66-67kg and that was usually after a long run when dehydration took place. I think I really need to do something about my weight ASAP. Weight loss leads to reduced oxygen cost of running and in turn, leads to faster and more sustained running. To kick start the process, I have decided to go alcohol-free from today.

My training for this week as follows:

AM: 40:00 easy @ 4:53 pace (1.5% incline)
PM: 27:00 easy @ 5:27 pace (3.0% incline)

LT Intervals: 5 x 1200m @ 4:03 pace with 300m jog (1.0% incline)
Total Workout: 46:00 (av 4:36 pace)

AM: Yoga
PM: 40:00 jogging @ 5:39 pace (2.0% incline)

Stamina Intervals: 3 x 3k @ 4:15 pace/approx. HM pace (road)
Total Workout: 21k in 1:39 (av 4:44 pace)

40:00 jogging @ 5:47, 73% MaxHR (grass)

'Sightseeing Run' with SGRunners (undulanting route)
Total Run portion: 26k in 2:20 excluding ~1 hour stops (rest, waiting for slower runners etc)

43:00 jogging @ 5:45, 71% MaxHR (pavement) + stretching/pushups/situps

Total 92k for the week @ av 5:11 min/km
Year to date 392k @ av 5:10 min/km (av 65.3k per week)

01 February 2008

Week 5 of Base Training: January Review

A fair start to the year.... 288k total for the month. Training composition includes 82% of slow-to-easy pace running, 11% at moderate-to-marathon pace, 2% at HM effort to LT pace, and 5% at 5k-10k paces.

My goal for January was to get fit after 3 months of slacking off during the transition period to Singapore and to be familiar with 5-6 running days per week. I think I've achieved these two goals, however I am still behind in terms of long runs. I only did two runs longer than 18k for the whole month !!! Long run is a bitch, still finding it tough to wake up early during weekends and when I start around 8am, the temperature is already in 30s (plus the humidity)

Will continue Base Training for the next 1-2 months before moving onto Marathon Training phase (3 months). My aim for February is simple: 1) Do a bit more running at HM/LT effort and most importantly 2) Long Runs or Die !

My training this week was as follows:

Mon: AM 35:00 recovery; PM 32:00 Easy/Hills
Tue: 65:00 incl. 10k steady @ 4:40 pace
Wed: AM 30:00 jogging,; PM 25:00 jogging
Thu: OFF (busy at work)
Fri: 60:00 easy incl. strides
Sat: OFF (holiday in Bangkok)
Sun: OFF (holiday in Bangkok)

Total 48.0 km for the week (av pace 5:12 min/km)
Year-to-date mileage 300 km (av 60.0 kmpw, av pace 5:10 min/km)