29 June 2008

Pearl Izumi Run Series 1: 12k in Bedok

The plan was to run the 12k race at 4:10 pace, as a race simulation for a HM in 8 weeks time. I felt this is doable given that I did 8k tempo run at 4:09 pace on the track two weeks ago and it wasn't a big struggle.

Didn't taper but had to take Friday off due to work commitments (55k total before the race). Given the consistently poor organizations and inaccurate distances for races in Singapore, I followed Ewen's advice not to taper and forget about peaking. There are probably only 1-2 IAAF certified road races here, so will try to peak for those ones (and track races which are definitely accurate).

The course turned out to be very, very DIFFICULT with more than 30 twists & turns, 4 overhead bridges (stairs) and running through the lobbies of several apartments. I felt that I lost around 2 minutes due to the 'slow' course.

For readers outside Singapore, here is an example of public apartment (HDBs) where parts of the race course was ran today. The lobby of these apartment blocks are open space in order for people to meet, chat, and play mahjong..

The splits were very VOLATILE, with some splits varied by more than one minute due to the stairs. I am not good in stairs climbing so I walked on all of them and I had to hold the hand rails whilst going down.

3:48/168 (got sucked in with the lead pack)
4:02/176 (pace was okay since we ran on straight paths)
4:20/179 (the course started its twists & turns)
5:16/176 (60 secs lost due to stairs up the overhead bridge & drink stop)
4:28/177 (twists & turns)
4:41/176 (drink stop)
4:18/183 (getting warm as indicated by HR spike)
4:51/183 (30-40 lost due to stairs up the bridge)
1:21/189 (last 400m)

Total distance was 11.4k according to Garmin, but I am not too sure how the GPS measured the stairs climbing up the overhead bridges. Finished in the Top 9 out of 200 runners in 49:35 (av 4:19 pace), which wasn't too bad given I probably gave about 90% effort. With a fast course and slower early pace, most likely I could complete the run about 1.5-2 minutes faster comfortably.

So, what's next? My next two races are a 10k in 4 weeks time (questionable distance, gravel surface) and a HM in 8 weeks time (big race, so distance could be accurate). I plan to increase my mileage over the next few weeks and make myself comfortable to run at HR 170-180 for a longer period of time.

My training this week:

AM (track)
10 mins warm up incl strides
5 x 1000m at 8k pace Intervals (av 3:50 min/km) with 2:00 recovery
3:47 (av 163 bpm)
3:49 (166)
3:52 (168)
3:51 (172)
3:49 (175)
6 mins cool down

The plan was to do 6-7x1000m at 3:55 min/km to train LT, but went too fast in all of them. Last week mileage was low (fresh legs), so found it tough to control the pace (it was akin more like 8k pace). Recovery was perhaps a bit short and was struggling in the last rep.

PM (treadmill)
26 mins jogging (5:39)

Tuesday (treadmill):
50 mins Recovery Run (5:23)

Wednesday (pavement):
10 mins warm up
7k in 32 mins at around marathon pace (4:32)
3 x 00:30 hill repeats, walk/jog return
6 mins cool down

Felt sluggish due to humidity and stiffness. It seems I was slow to recover from Monday's intervals. Haven't run at 4:30 pace for a long time so probably the body needs to adjust.

Thursday (treadmill):
72 mins Easy Run (av 5:09)

No run, team building day with work colleagues

Saturday (pavement):
36 mins Easy (av 5:18) with strides
Garmin had flat battery, so pace was approximated.

Sunday (pavement):
2k warm up with strides
12k Pearl Izumi Run Series 1 in Bedok Town park
3k cool down

Total 71.4km for the week, 1687 km for the year

22 June 2008

No Run


Woke up at 6am this morning and got quickly changed into my running gear that I had prepared the night before. Seconds after I stepped out of the house door, guess what....a torrential rain started coupled with thunders.

Waited at home and continually checked the weather website until 7am (race started at 8). Finally decided not to go.

I am not afraid to run in the rain. The issue was how I would get to the starting point. The race location in Punggol is far (for the local standard) from where I live. I don't have a car so I cannot drive to the race and wait in the car until the race starts. Train station is 15mins walk from my place, but it rained cat and dogs outside. Also, the race dosn't have any bag deposit so I can't bring spare clothing, umbrella/poncho, bags etc.

It is very frustrating given that I've tried to peak for this race. Did a hard race pace workout 10 days ago, a tempo run 7 days ago, a light interval session 5 days ago and the rest of the week were short, easy runs to peak.

This is an evidence that how races can be disruptive to training. If I don't do the race, probably I could do a quality session or a long run on Friday or Saturday. At the end, I ended up with a measly 45k for the week without doing any quality workout at all.

All in all, 2 months of quality training for 5k/10k and there were no results to show. The 10k two weeks ago had the distance wrong and today no 5k due to rain. Bugger.

There is no more 5K for this year. There are a couple of 10ks in the next few months but hopefully the course will be fast and distance will be accurate.

15 June 2008

Business As Usual

Pretty much business as usual. Wanted to run more, but can't do it due to work & home commitments. A 5k race next Sunday then a 12k race the following week. Will run the 5k hard, the 12k race will be treated as a tempo run to prepare for August 24th Half-Marathon.

My training this week:

30 mins Easy Run (av 5:26 min/km)
Tired. Last week's long hours at work seemed to drain me physically & mentally.

Off - no time to run.

3k warm up to the track (incl 3 strides)

5 x 1000m VO2Max (av 3:41 min/km), high HR 192
Splits (per lap):
86, 88, 43 = 3:37 (av 174 bpm)
89, 89, 44 = 3:42 (178)
90, 89, 43 = 3:42 (180)
89, 90,43 = 3:42 (183)
89, 90, 42 = 3:41 (183)

Recovery were 400m slow jogs and 30secs drink stop for around 3:00 total
2.4k cool down (total workout 12k)
10 mins stretching/core
70 abs crunch + 2 sets weights for torso and hip

Had enforced 3 days off in the last 7 days due to work. For me, this resulted in fresh legs but loss in endurance. Ran the first 1000m too fast due to fresh legs and had to 'fight hard' after that. Wanted to quit ater the 4th interval but after extending the rest to 4mins, managed to complete the last one successfully.

35 mins Recovery Run (av 5:35)
20 mins weights

57 mins Easy (av 5:00) with 10 mins @ MP
Hot day, should have stayed indoors. Headache for the whole day.

42 mins Easy (av 5:05) with 6 x 00:10 hills

10mins warm up on the track, incl 3 strides

8k sub-LT Tempo Run in 33:08 (av 4:09 min/km)
Splits (per 1600m):
6:36/165, 6:38/170, 6:42/175, 6:38/180, 6:34/186
Av HR 176 bpm, High HR 191

28 mins cool down incl 3 light strides
Total workout 15.5k in 72 mins (av 4:38)

A good workout but found the last 1600m tough as evidenced by high HR (186 bpm average). Cloudy morning but humid.

Total 59km for the week, 1571 km for the year

08 June 2008

Gotta try again

A crap week with a crap race.

Was super busy for the whole week as we were preparing to submit a tender by Monday. Was in HK for the weekend and arrived back Sunday midnight. Then travelled to Jakarta for 3 days for work and didn't sleep much. Worked for 15 hours non-stop on both Friday and Saturday and didn't go to the bed until 2am the day of the race. Woke up at 6am and went to the race location. Did 3k warm up. Weather was good for Singapore standard.

My aim was to go through the first 5k in 19:40 in order to have any chance of going under 39:20. After a few ks, the body seemed to be in sleep mode and unwilling to run. Just wasn't feeling it today.

The markers were longer than 1km. When I passed the km 4 marker, my Garmin was already showing 4.4k. Passed the 5k mark according to my Garmin in 19:52 so I was already behind schedule. Then the distance markers get even worse. Passed the km 6 marker, when my Garmin showed km 7. So the course was already off by 1k.

Since the race is definitely longer than 10k and I wasn't really feeling it, I decided to cut my losses after km 7 and jog easily to the finish.

Total distance was 11.5k according to my Garmin. All the runners who used either 405, 305, 205 and Polar reported 11.5k for the route.

Gotta try again…..a 5k in 2 weeks time (hopefully the distance will be accurate)

This week's training:
Mon: 40 mins Fartlek (av pace 4:30 min/km)
Tue: off - travel to Jakarta for work
Wed: 60 mins Easy (av 5:11)
Thu: 33 mins Easy (av 5:08)
Fri: 39 mins Easy (av 4:53)
Sat: off - work all day
Sun: Saucony Passion Run: 3k warm up, 6k in 24mins + 5.5k easy to the finish

Total 50k for the week, 1512k for the year