29 May 2008

Last hitout

A pretty good week. Despite heavy workload at the office, still managed two good quality workouts. There was no soreness from Sunday's 5.5k race - which is good.

On Tuesday, I ran a 30mins moderate pace tempo + hill sprints. On Thursday, I did one last Big Workout before a 10k race next Sunday: 2 x2.4k @ LT, 2 x 1.2k @ 10k, 2 x 0.6k @ 5k on a wet track.

I don't know what to expect for next week's 10k. I feel that I'm pretty fit due to a diet of tempo and CV intervals over the last 6 weeks. On the other hand, things can also go wrong due to:

- Hot weather on race day
- The 10k starts after 3 waves of 15k runners. The race is on bike path, so expect congestion
- Will be working in Jakarta, difficult to find time to run & normally eat too much buffet.

Anyway, my training for this week:

Monday (treadmill):
35 mins Recovery (av 5:35 min/km)

AM (pavement)

10 mins warm up
30 mins Medium Pace Tempo (av 4:22 min/km), av HR 163 bpm
7 mins jog to the hill
4 x ~75m hill sprints in 00:15 (Wishart Rd)
6 mins cool down
5 mins stretching/core
Total workout 11.8k in 55:15 (av 4:41)

Comment: No soreness from Sunday's race. Av HR was 163 bpm with a high of 171 which is lower than 170 bpm with a high of 183 during a 35 mins tempo run at same pace last month. Albeit a shorter run by 5mins, it looks like my fitness has improved.

PM (treadmill):
27 mins Recovery (av 5:32 min/km)
Comment: Decided to double because I missed Sunday's long run.

Wednesday (treadmill):

35 mins Recovery (av 5:34 min/km)
10 mins weights + 60 abs crunch

Thursday (track):
9 mins warm up incl 2 short strides (in the rain)

2 x 2400m @ LT pace with 400m jog
Splits: 9:46 and 9:38 (av 4:03 min/km)

2 x 1200m @ 10k pace with 400m jog
Splits: 4:38 and 4:40 (av 3:53 min/km)

2 x 600m at 5k pace with 400m jog
Splits: 2:11 and 2:14, av pace 3:41 min/km

8 mins cool down
10 mins stretching/core
Total workout 13.7k in 62 mins (av 4:31)

Good last workout before a 10k next Sunday. It was raining for the first 15 mins but then stopped. Garmin had a flat battery today so wore a Timex watch. Since it only has a stopwatch mode and doesn't have lap times, I had to count the splits manually. Felt pretty good for most intervals, although the 600s were too short to be challenging.


Saturday (pavement):
70 mins Easy (av 5:12 min/km)

Sunday (treadmill):
40 mins Easy (av 5:18 min/km)
80 abs crunch , 20 push-ups, 60 lat pulls

Total 64k for the week, 308k for May, year-to-date 1462k

25 May 2008

Clarke Quay 20 Run

Entered a small, low key race this morning, with the start point located about 1.5k from home. The event is called Clarke Quay 20, organized by Singaore Polytechnics School as part of the Singapore River Raft Race held in the weekend.

No taper, ran 62k total between Monday-Saturday and had no off days in the last three weeks. My aim was simply to get a feel of running at around 10k pace for a reasonable distance before a 10k race in 2 weeks time.

The run was supposed to start at 8:15, but was delayed until about 9am due to poor organisation. By that time, the sun was already out in full force. The route started at Clarke Quay MRT towards Fullerton Hotel, cross Coleman Bridge and back to Clarke Quay MRT via Read Bridge which included steep stairs. Two laps plus a final home stretch to UOB Building. There were only 25 runners in the male category, all college students, mostly less than half my age. The top 3 wins cash.

Started with the lead pack and after around 1k, there were only four of us. At the 2k mark, the top 2 broke away and left us about 50m behind. Was running neck by neck with the 3rd runner, and he was a total dickhead. He had no sportmanship and tried to block me all the time. When I ran on the right side and tried to pass him, he moved to the right, when I tried to pass from the left, he moved to the left and blocked me. He was struggling and dying, and I guess the only way he could get 3rd place is simply to stop and block peole from passing.

At km 3, I decided to have enough and bumped him at the shoulder and yelled 'Ran straight!'. He was dying and a minute later decided to walk as he had no hope of finishing 3rd. From then on, I ran alone with the the top 2 around 200-300m in front. My HR went to around 188 bpm at the 4k mark and I then decided to relax the pace a bit since 3rd place was safe.

Finished 3rd place, 1 min after the winner and 3mins before the 4th runner. Won $100 cheque (US$75)

Splits: 3:34/168, 3:49/176, 3:50/182, 3:50/187, 3:58/188 and 1:52 for the last 470m. Total distance was 5.47k including 2 sets of stairs.

Anyway, my training for this week:

Monday (road):
92 mins Long Run (av pace 5:01, av HR 150 bpm)

Didn't enjoy the run. It seems that my recent venture into speed training makes fat buring harder. Also mentally, track running is more motivating due to the need to concentrate to hit certain times. Last 3k at around Marathon Pace

Tuesday (treadmill):
35 mins Easy (av pace 5:19)
40 abs crunch

Wednesday (grass):
13 mins warm up incl 3 strides
2 x 15 mins Tempo (av 4:08) with 4 mins recovery
4 x 150m Repetitions in 00:30
12 mins cool down

Av HR was 162 bpm for the first tempo segment and 171 bpm for the second one. Really happy with the run as HR was relatively stable and didn't go through the roof.

Thursday (treadmill):
40 mins Recovery run (av 5:34)
5 mins stretching/core + 50 abs crunch

Friday (road):
50 mins Easy (av 5:02)
incl. 8 x (100m strides, 100 m jog) + 4 x 00:15 hill sprints
5 mins stretching/core

Saturday (concrete):
33 mins Recovery run (av 5:27)

Sunday (concrete):
3.6k warm up in segments (race kept gettng delayed)
~5.5k race in 20:56 (av 3:50) incl steps
1.2k slow cool down

3rd place overall, av HR 181, high HR 191. Won $100.

Total 72.3k for the week, 1398k for the year

17 May 2008

Good but Tiring Week

My preference is to do a very hard day followed by 2 very easy days like last week, but work commitments dictated my training week. Due to a couple of early morning meetings, I had to juggle my running and ended up doing 3 quality sessions in 5 days.

Did a short VO2 Max session on Tuesday, a moderate pace tempo run on Thursday, and then 4 x 1600m at 10k pace on Saturday. The latter session was especially tough (for my standard) and I was relieved to finish it. Unlike previous speed sessions where I could do the intervals progressively with the last ones being the fastest, my last interval on Saturday ended up the slowest and I had to work hard to keep it within the timing range.

Looks like my endurance has suffered a bit from the recent venture into speed training. My last long run (20k) was 2 weeks ago and since then, my easy runs were only around 30-50 mins. This Monday is a public holiday in Singapore so I guess it’s a good time to do a long run.

Next races are a 10k in three weeks time and a 5k a couple of weeks after that.

My training this week:

Monday (treadmill):
32 mins Easy (av pace 5:18)
50 abs crunch

Tuesday (bike path):

10 mins warm up incl 2 strides
8 x 400m at 3k-5k pace with equal time recovery
Splits: 1:26, 1:25, 1:26, 1:26, 1:21, 1:24, 1:26, 1:15 (av pace 3:30, last one 3:08)
10mins cool down

The plan was to do a VO2Max workout, e.g. 12 x 400m at 5k pace in 88 secs per 400m (or 3:40 min/km). But it turned out that I ran the intervals much faster than I wanted to, especially for the 5th and 6th intervals. Was tired after the 7th, so decided to close shop by running the 8th interval very hard.

15 mins upper body weights
20 mins easy jogging on treadmill (5:43)
15 mins stretching/core

Wednesday (treadmill):
50 mins Recovery run (5:28)
50 abs crunch

Thursday (track):
10 mins warm up
8k Medium Tempo Run in 34:23 (av pace 4:18)
10 mins cool down
5 mins stretching
Total 12k in 55 mins

Felt too lazy to run on the road due to traffic and heat (5.30 pm), so went to the track instead and ran clockwise. Felt really good. Splits per 1600m: 6:51, 6:56, 6:55, 6:55, 6:46.

Friday (treadmill):
27 mins Recovery run (5:37) - busy day

Saturday (track):
15 mins warm up incl 3 strides
4 x 1600m at 10k pace with 400m jog (av pace 3:55 for intervals)
10min rest (too tired to run or do strides)
30 mins cool down inc drink stop
Total 16k in 77 mins

1:33, 1:33, 1:33, 1:35 = 6:14 (av 169 bpm),
1:33. 1:34, 1:36, 1:33 = 6:16 (av 173 bpm),
1:34, 1:35, 1:34, 1:33 = 6:16 (av 179 bpm),
1:34, 1:37, 1:35, 1:33 = 6:19 (av 181 bpm)

Around 5 hours sleep but decided to run anyway since the sky was partly cloudy. Last week, I was churning out 1000m intervals at 3:50 pace comfortably but today I found the session was much tougher. 4 x 1600m at 3:55 pace turned out to be twice as hard and I was relieved to finish the session in one piece. Had to really work hard in the last interval to keep within the target timing. Was totally spent afterwards and even too tired to do any strides.

Sunday (concrete/grass):
40 mins Recovery run (av 5:35, av HR 141 bpm)

Total 67.3k, 1326k for the year

10 May 2008

Lovin' it

I think I am responding well to the switch to 5k-10k training, judging from a couple of track sessions this week.

The intervals are getting easier to do and I fell that I am getting stronger.

I also made a little tweak to my training after looking at Sean Wade’s training log (top US masters runner). Basically, after a hard day, I’ll take two easy days before I tackle another hard day. It seems to make a big difference as I now feel fresher on my hard days.

Did two quality workouts this week, 5 x 1000m at 10k pace mid-week and a 10k race simulation (6k tempo + 4 x 1k at 10k pace) in the weekend.

I begin to wonder whether all the crap running between January to March was attributed to the marathon training. Too much emphasis on long run and mileage done in an unconducive running environment like Singapore seem to break my body down as well as drain my physical and mental reserves. I always struggled running longer than 1 hour in Singapore as the combination of heat, humidity, and loss of fluid took a lot out of me.

44 mins Easy (av pace 5:14)
Course: treadmill, random with various inclines ranging between 0-4%

40 mins Easy (av 5:03)
Course: road incl 2 Mt Fabre climbs (between 1500-1600m each, raising 70-80m)
50 abs crunch + core

Ran during lunch time and it was blazing hot.

Wednesday (track):
10 mins warm up incl 2 strides

5 x 1000m CV intervals (av 3:52) with 200m jog
3:52 (93, 94, 45)
3:53 (94, 93, 46)
3:52 (93, 93, 46)
3:52 (93, 93, 46)
3:49 (93, 93, 43)

4 x 00:15 strides on rough grass
10 mins cool down
5 mins stretching

A good session, happy with the effort and strength despite quite minimal recovery period relative to my previous speed workouts in Singapore.

36 mins recovery (av 5:33)
Course: treadmill, random with inclines 0-2%
80 abs crunch + core

40 mins Easy (av 5:15), incl 5 x 60-70m hill sprints (~15 secs)
Course: Concrete, undulanting

Felt sluggish, with sore throat from the traffic pollution

Saturday (track):
10 mins warm up

6k sub-LT Tempo Run in 24:32 (av 4:05)
Splits: 96, 97, 98, 99, 99, 98, 98, 98, 98, 98, 98, 98, 98, 98, 96
Av HR 169, with a high 177 bpm

800m jog + rest (gel, drink)

4 x 1000m CV intervals (av 3:51, av HR 171)
3:50 (90, 94, 46), av HR 167
3:53 (94, 94, 45), av HR 171
3:53 (93, 95, 45), av HR 170
3:47 (92, 94, 41), av HR 172
All with 100m walk, 100m jog for recovery

3 laps of sprint the straights (100m), jog the curves (100m)
5.7k cool down incl 5 x 00:10 hill sprints

Total 20k in 1:31:50 (av 3:36)

Beautiful weather, 26c cloudy and windy (like Perth in spring). A great race simulation ! The av HR during the 6k tempo was 169 bpm with a high of 177 compared to a 5k tempo at the same pace in April with av 176 and a high 189 bpm. So a 10bpm improvement at the same pace, although the weather condition is much cooler today. The great thing is that it didn’t go above 180 bpm as I probably ran it below threshold. CV workouts after the tempo were tough but the pace was comparable to the Wednesday straight intervals session.

37 mins Recovery (av 5:33)
Course: concrete with some on grass.

Total 68 km before tomorrow’s run, year-to-date 1258 km

03 May 2008

Good signs

A good week with two speed workouts and a medium long run.

The highlight of the week was Thursday workout on a very cool, low humidity day for Singapore standard. Did a 5k LT tempo run on the track in 19:46 at av HR of 174 bpm and high HR of 187. This is much better than my last tempo run in 20:20 three weeks ago with av HR 176 and high HR 189 bpm. So about 2bpm lower but at faster pace (~34 secs faster), underpinned by cool weather and perhaps some fitness gain. In fact, the av HR from Thursday was almost comparable to the HR data from my tempo runs in Perth.

After the tempo run, I did 4 x 200m and for the first time did a couple in 36 secs (i.e. 3:00 min/km). Seems that my recent diet of hill reps and 200m reps which I did at the end of tempo/interval sessions have improved my basic speed. Now if I can only continue running at that pace for another 42k !! lol

Anyway, this week training is as follows:

AM: 20 mins jogging on grass (av pace 5:57)
PM: 30 mins recovery on treadmill (av 5:30)


AM: Hill Workout
15 mins warm up
3 x ~840m at Fort Canning Hill . Splits: 3:19, 3:22, 3:21, jog return in 5:00
5 x 170m hill (00:38, 38, 39, 38, 38), walk/jog rcovery
10 mins cool down

Tried something different as an alternative to track running. Ran from the bottom to the Fort gate - which is around 840m. The first 100m is flat, next 100m uphill (3-4% grade), next 200m flat/downhill, next 200m steep uphill (5-6% grade), last 200m gentle uphill (1-2%). Not sure whether the physiological stimulus is enough since only 10 mins of hard running were accumulated during the 3x800 but hopefully there is some neuro-muscular strength to gain. A good cardio/strength workout, will try to do 4 intervals next time.

PM: ~40 mins jogging with work colleagues to Labrador Park (av pace 5:49)

AM: 10 mins shakeout on grass - too hot
PM: 38 mins recovery on treadmill (av 5:26) + stretching


AM: LT/Speed Workout (track)
2k warm up incl strides
5k LT Tempo Run in 19:46 (av pace 3:57), av HR 174, highest 187 bpm
800m jog + rest
4 x 200m reps with 200m jog. Splits: 00:38, 36, 39, 36
800m jog + rest
800m fast in 2:56
4k cool down, total 15k in 70 mins

Very nice weather for running, cool and surprsingly low humidity. Splits for the tempo run (per 400m): 1:34/145, 1:37/166, 1:36/168, 1:36/170, 1:36/172, 1:35/174, 1:36/176, 1:36/178, 1:35/180, 1:36/181, 1:35/183, 1:35/183, 00:39/186. The tempo pace was actually steady at 4:00 min/km, but a strong final kick in last 200m (savings 10 secs) skewed the total time a bit. First time doing 200s in 36 secs.

PM: Pilates class + weights

35 mins recovery on treadmill (av 5:40) + stretching

AM: 80 mins easy on bike path (av pace 4:56) - sluggish
PM: 30mins easy on pavement (av pace 5:03) - humid

Total 78k for the week, 1190k for the year