27 April 2008

JP Morgan Corporate Challenge 2008

An okay for week with two quality sessions: a 5.4k road race (JP Morgan Corp Challenge) and a long run in the weekend.

The JP Morgan Corporate Challenge was advertised as 5.6k but the distance turned out to be a bit short according to my Garmin and other runners who wore Polar footpod. The race was a charity event and attracted around 12,000 office people who ran, jogged, and walked the course in the CBD.

After 2.7k warm up, I went to the start line at 5:30 and it was packed already. Managed to bump some people and stood about 5 meters away from the start. Was squeezed in the waiting pack for a long 30mins. Weather was overcast and good. At 6:00 pm the race started. Km 1 was very crowded with runners, both fast and slow zoomed like there was no tomorrow. I had to zig zag left and right to pass people (split 3:51). Km 2 was still crowded and I wasn't feeling that comfortable at this point, perhaps the body was still adjusting to the pace (split 3:52). The turnaround was at 2.4k, the lane now became clear. Felt much better encouraged by office colleagues who saw me running as we ran past Singapore Flyer (split 3:51). Km 4 was uneventful as we ran back towards Padang (split 3:52). I had a side stitch in the next km and had to slow down a bit to get the breathing right in order to get rid of the stitch. Also lost a couple of seconds as I overan the Espalanade turn (split 3:56). Passed the 5k mark in 19:24 and I tried to save my energy in order to kick in the last 200m. But after a couple hundred meters I alrady saw the finish banner, so the course was slower than I thought. Saw the clock 20:4xx and sprinted to finish in 20:54.

In general, I was reasonably happy with the run given the fitness shape that I am in. I think I could have run it a bit faster.

The rest of the week were all easy, short runs except a 20k long run with a 8k tempo in the middle on Sunday.

Monday (concrete) :
35 mins Easy (av 5:24) incl 6 x 00:25 strides on grass

Tuesday (treadmill) :
40 mins Easy (av 5:19)

Wednesday (road race):
2.7k warm up
5.4k race in 20:54
4.0k cool down

AM: 20 mins Recovery (av 6:13) on grass
PM: 30 mins Elliptical

Friday (concrete/treadmill):
AM: 40 mins Easy (av 5:20, av HR 143 bpm)
PM: 20 mins Easy of hills on treadmill, 1.5-7.0% grade (av 5:18)

Saturday (concrete):
45 mins Easy (av 5:10, av HR 145)

Sunday (bike path):
20k Long Run in ~1h:38m (av 4:56) incl 8k tempo @ 4:22 min/km (av HR 170)

Total 70k for the week, 245k for the month, 1113k for the year

20 April 2008

Chickened out of the marathon

First off, congrats to my running buddies in Perth, Rob & Craig who both went sub 3:15 in Canberra marathon.

Since I decided to ‘kill’ my marathon dream (Gold Coast in early July) and to focus on short distance (5k-10k), things have got a bit easier - at least in mental sense. There is no more pressure to do 2-3 hours long run in the weekend, no more pressure to do a 90 minute run in mid-week etc. When I am tired and or in no mood for running, I could just do a 30 minute run without feeling guilty. My mind feels more refreshed and relaxed, knowing that I am free from the burden associated with high-mileage, marathon training.

Yes, you can call me a chicken…

But I am really struggling to train for marathon in Singapore despte having been here for 6 months...at least, at this point in time. However, I wouldn’t discount the possibility of training for one in the second half of the year.

Due to the shift in focus, my racing plans for the next few months are:

23 Apr: JP Morgan Corporate Challenge 5.6k (confirmed)
18 May: SAA All Newcomers Meet 5000m track (considering)
8 Jun: Saucony Passion Run 10k (registered)
15 Jun: Mt Faber Run – uphill (considering)
22 Jun: Punggol Central 5k (registered)
6 Jul: Milk Run 8.4k (considering)

Below is my training for the week:

Monday (concrete):
35mins recovery (av pace 5:31, av HR 145) - humid

Tuesday (track):
15mins warm up incl 2 strides
3 x 1000m at 10k pace with 200m jog + drink stop (av pace 3:53, av HR 172, Max 182)
Splits per 400m: 1:33, 1:34, 0:46 = 3:53, 1:33, 1:34, 00:46 = 3:53, 1:32, 1:34, 00:47 = 3:53
8 x 200m with 200m walk/jog recovery. Splits: 41, 42, 41, 42, 41, 41, 41, 39 secs
6mins cool down

The plan was to do 4-5 x 1k but felt stuffed after the 3rd interval. Decided to do 200s in order to salvage something from the session.

Wednesday (treadmill):
25mins recovery (av 5:38) in Mulia Hotel, Jakarta

Thursday (treadmill/road):
AM: 30mins easy (av 5:15) in Jakarta
PM: 20mins easy (av 5:11) in Singapore

Friday (track/hills):
10mins warm up
2.4k tempo in 9:49 (av 4:05, HR 171) – aborted due to heat/humidity
4 x 13om hills in 27, 25, 26, 26 secs

The plan was to do 5-6k at Stamina Pace (~4:10 pace) but the heat/humidity (9:30am) took a lot out of me and I decided to quit the tempo. Was too wasted even to do cool down.

Saturday (road):
26k Long Run in 2:10 (av 5:00) incl. 8k tempo @ 4:23 pace (av HR 171, Max 185)

Sunday (concrete):
AM: 30mins easy (av 5:23, av HR 138)
PM: 42mins easy (av 5:25, av HR 150) - humid

Total 75.1 k for the week, Year to date mileage 1042.6k (av 65k per week)

13 April 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Three signals emerging from my training this week:

1) The Good
Despite my continuing difficulties to adapt to Singapore running conditions, it was a nice surprise to see my tempo effort on Friday. I ran during lunch time, but it was overcast and humidity was low which bode well. Ran the 5k tempo on the track in 20:20 (4:08). The effort was fairly comfortable and I only began to fight after 10 laps. Whilst the pace was much slower than my old tempos in Australia, but it showed that I still have a good muscle memory. Comparison as follows:

11 Apr: 20:20 (4:04), av HR 176, Max HR 189 (Sing 27c)
13 Oct: 20:04 (4:01) , av HR 174, Max HR 186 (Perth 22c)
5 Sep: 19:56 (3:59), av HR 177, Max HR 184 (Perth 15c)

2) The Bad
The long run on Sunday was bad. Had difficulties sleeping on Friday and Saturday, but I don't think they are the only problems. My endurance is my archiles heel right now. Planned to do 26k but felt tired already after 12k. The humidity and tight glutes didn't help either, so I decided to cut the long run short at 17k.

3) The Ugly
After three physio visits, my shin splint has improved a lot. However, my glutes are still hurting and they don't seem to go away. The left glute is especially bothering, probably worsen by running on the track (anti clock wise). Most likely I have to accept that the glute problems will be around for the foreseeable future.

All of the above things seem to suggetst that probably I should focus on 5k-10k distances for now. How I can I do marathons and do those long training runs if the Bad (low endurance) and the Ugly (persistent glute pain) won't go away?

Monday (treadmill):
10 mins warm up
20 mins of 30 secs on, 30 secs off (on @ 16 km/h, off @ 10 km/h)
5 mins cool down

PM: Physio treatment

Tuesday (treadmill):
8k easy in 40:50 (av 5:07) with last 10mins at moderate pace

Wednesday (track):
10 mins warm up incl 2 strides
2000m at 10k pace in 7:41 (1:31, 1:32, 1:32, 1:33, 1:33 per 400m)
3 x 800m at 5k pace in 3:00 (1:29, 1:31), 3:04 (1:32, 1:32), 3:00 (1:31, 1:29)
2 x 400m at 5k pace in 1:29 and 1:24
All intervals were sandwiched with 1mins standing rest + 400m jog
7 mins cool down

I actually planned to do 5 x 1000m or 6 x 800m but the first interval was comfortable so I ended up running 2000m. In retrospective, this was too long and the rest period was too short, which made me struggle in the subsequent intervals. After three 800s, I was drained and decided to stop at 400m. Had a short rest and did the last 400m faster to close.

OFF - busy at work

Friday (track):
10 mins warm up incl 2 strides
5k Tempo in 20:20 (av 4:04, av HR 176, Max 189)
Lap splits: 1:37, 1:38, 1:39, 1:39, 1:39, 1:39, 1:38, 1:39, 1:38, 1:38, 1:39, 1:38, 00:40
Jog to the bottom of Mt Fabre
1.5km run up Mt Fabre in 7:37 (av 5:04, av HR 171, Max 189)
2.4k cool down

PM: Physio treatment

Saturday (concrete):
AM: 30 mins recovery (av 5:45, av HR 147, Max 160) - a crap run
PM: 18 mins recovery (av 5:58) - can't believe I ran this slow

Sunday (gravel):
17.2k easy in 1:29 (av 5:12, av HR 151, Max 177) - aborted long run

Total 62.2km for the week
Year-to-date mileage 967.5 km

06 April 2008


Not a good week. I've been struggling with glutes discomfort and shin splint in recent weeks so I decided to rest a bit and have physio treatment. In addtion, I've lost some running motivation since the KL fiasco. Running in Singapore is so hard, my running performances went backwards. Just felt like I am losing the plot.

My 'training' for this week:

Mon 31/03: Deep Tissue Massage
Tue 1/04: 50mins easy (av pace 5:28) with work colleagues (incl Mt Faber climb)
Wed 2/04: 30mins easy (av 5:20) on treadmill
Thu 3/04: Aborted track session, could only do 4 laps tempo @ 4:02 pace before retiring due to shin discomfort and heat/humidity
Fri 4/04: Physio
Sat 5/04: rest
Sun 6/04: AM 50mins easy (av 5:28) on concrete, PM 40mins easy (av 5:08) + gym work

Total 38k for the week, Year-to-date mileage 905k (av 65k per week)

Have scheduled a couple more physio sessions next week. Will try to do at least one quality workout since I have a 5.6k race in 2 weeks time (JP Morgan Corporate Challenge).