27 July 2008

Mizuno Wave Run 2008

Had a scare early in the week. My left ITB was hurting like hell and I was unable to run. Even walking was really painful, especially going down the stairs. Fortunately, my massage therapist was available and I could arrange a one-hour session on Wednesday. The massage was really a torture and I had to take Panadol for a couple of days to get rid of the pain.

In essence, I was lucky to be at the starting line at today's Mizuno Wave Run 2008. There were around 5,000 runners in total starting at Temasek Polytechnic stadium. Before the start, the race organizer mentioned that the course is about 10.3k. Therefore, not an accurate 10k race but at least they are being frank upfront and it showed that they have actually measured the course. Temperature was good for Singapore standards, probably 25c. However, I really wasn't expecting a good timing today due to the big crowd and since 4km of the course is on gravel, sandy surface. Given my ITB problem earlier, anything near my Lactate Threshold pace for 10k is good enough.

Started near the front and passed the first k in 3:56 among hundreds of runners. The next 2km were on a very narrow running pavement which can only fit 2 runners at max. My pace slowed down to 4:05 & 4:10 as I found it difficult to pass people. Then we started to enter the Bedok Reservoir which is on gravel, sandy surface. Km 4-7 passed by effortlessly in 4:01, 3:56, 4:01, 4:05. Heart Rate were hovering at mid 170s which is typical for LT-type run. Felt a bit tired during km 8-9 as I began to feel the effect of humidity and the pace slowed down to around 4:07. I picked up the pace slightly in km 10 (3:58) as we ran back to the stadium. Passed the 10k mark (according to Garmin) in 40:30. Ran the last 0.3k in 50++ secs but got outsprinted by a 17min 5k runner near the end.

Finish time was 41:21, averaging 4:01-4:02 min/km for 10.3k, which is right at my usual LT pace. Average HR was 174 bpm or 89% Max HR - again consistent with LT HR. High HR was 187 bpm (in the last 300m) versus my Max of 195 bpm, so I wasn't pushing it at all. In short, I wasn't labouring and the effort felt comfortably hard. Given the relatively cool weather this morning, perhaps there was a chance for me to get under 40 for the 10k. Still, it is a bit frustrating to see that I am training hard just in order to be able match my Australian PBs.

Anyway, I felt happy given I was unable to run early in the week. I will try to crack my 10k PB in December (a side event of the Standard Chartered Marathon) where the course should be quite accurate.

Mon (track):
10 mins warm up
5k Threshold Tempo Run in 19:55 (av 3:59 min/km)
3 x 400m Repetitions in 83, 85, 84, one lap jog for recovery
10mins cool down (total workout 12k)

Light rain, so it was cool (25c) for Singapore. The plan was to do 4 x 1600m at Threshold due to a weekend race. But I felt good so I decided to turn it as a continuous run. HR ranged from 140 at the start to 179 bpm at the end, averaging 159 or 82% max - the lowest ever . Three months ago, I did the same run averaging 176 bpm (90% max). Similar tempo runs a year ago in Australia showed average HR of around between 165-175 bpm.
Thinking about it, I might have been glycogen-depleted, resulting in lower HR (did a long run on Sunday). Hence, the HR comparison is not that perfect.

Tue (treadmill):
40mins Recovery Run (av 5:34)
Regretted doing the 400s after the tempo yesterday. ITB was painful and sore for the whole day.

Wed (treadmill):
Off. Sports massage for 1 hour
Cannot run, even walking was uncomfortable. Called for an emergency massage and had a painful one hour session. Took pain killers.

Thu (pavement):
15mins warm up
30mins at marathon pace (av 4:29 min/km), HR 163
15 mins cool down incl 6 strides on grass
Legs were stiff and rusty from the massage. Decided to test the legs by doing a short MP run. Conditions were hot, av HR higher is than Monday's faster LT tempo.

Friday (treadmill):
45mins Easy Run (av 5:14)
10 mins weights

Saturday (pavement):
35mins Easy Run (av 5:11) incl 4 strides on grass

2.2k warm up + strides
Mizuno Wave Run 10.3k in 41:21 (30th Mens Open category)
6k cool down

Total 66k for the week, 1982k for the year

20 July 2008


Received an email from the JoongAng Seoul Marathon organizer:

Dear Sir,
I confirm that your registration and payment has been completed. We'll keep you updated about this marathon by email.
Best regards
JoongAng Seoul Marathon

So, the entry form is in. I have also successfully persuaded my wife to move forward the holiday date. We are now going end-August and coming back early September, giving me 7.5 weeks of training block (including taper) after the holiday.

The tough task is now how to properly train for the marathon. The good thing is that I am training for the Army Half Marathon on 24 Aug, so hopefully there is a natural training progression. Really gotta start ramping up those long runs !!

Anyway, training was good this week. Unlike other weeks, where I had to cancel or shorten my sessions due to weather/work/family etc, I was able to do all my targeted workouts. I've also shifted the time for quality workouts (interval, tempo) to the late afternoon after work (5pm). The weather is still hot but the humidity is lesser.

My next races are:
Mizuno Wave Run 10k next Sunday
Charity Run (tentative). Clown will be in town, looking forward to run with him again
Pearl Izumi 20k on 10 Aug (my plan is to run it at marathon pace)
Army Half Marathon on 24 Aug

Mon (treadmill):
40 mins Recovery Run (av 5:39 min/km)
15mins weights

Tue (pavement):
1.6k warm up
12k Tempo Run @ 4:20 min/km (av HR 166, 85% Max)
1.4k cool down (total 15k)

Cloudy and windy, which was a nice change. HR was steady between 160-170bpm throughout the run and was only in the 170s after 10k. Av HR for the 12k was 166, which is lower than 170 during a 8k run at the same pace 2 months ago. Interestingly, the HR was similar to the tempo runs in Australia where it was only 15c! But wait a minute, Singapore weather is never cooler than 25c. So either I have made improvement (despite no PB to show) or the HR monitor was wrong !!

Wed (treadmill):
45mins Recovery Run (av 5:32)
Abs crunches

Thu (track):
10mins warm up incl strides
6 x 800m intervals @ 5k pace with ~2:30 jog (400m)
89, 90 = 2:59
89, 89 = 2:58
89, 89 = 2:58
89, 89 = 2:58
89, 89 = 2:58
88, 86 = 2:54
Average: 3:42 min/km, av HR 171, high 185
3 laps of sprint straights, jog curves, then 6mins cool down

Was targetting 2:56 (3:40 min/km) but legs were a bit tired. Anyway, was happy to complete all six under 3:00. Recovery time between the intervals was right for me, I think.

Friday (treadmill):
36mins Recovery Run (av 5:38)
10 mins weights

Saturday (road/pavement):
2h:05m Long Run (av 5:07)

At last, a long run !! Longest run in 3 months - which showed how pathetic I am. The time did not include 4 drink stops and traffic lights.

36mins Easy Run (av 5:20)

Total 80k for the week, 1916k for the year

13 July 2008

Toying with marathon idea (again)

Inspired by the success of fellow bloggers --- Clown, by7, Epi, Trailblazer etc in their marathons, I've been thinking (again) to do a marathon later this year. There are a couple of regional marathons around November/December, such as in Bangkok and Singapore but gee, the weather in these places are hot and therefore, unconducive for marathon running. Given the strong Aussie dollars, Sydney & Melbourne marathons are too pricey to my liking.

That leaves me with the Far East where the weather is cool (autumn). There are Beijing & Shanghai marathons but the air quality is terrible. The only one that appeals to me is JoongAng Seoul Marathon on 2 November. Morning temperature is around 7c - which is 75% cooler than Singapore. It is a large marathon with over 20,000 runners. The route is a bit undulanting, especially in the first 30k but flat in the last 12k, finishing at the Olympic stadium.

The catch is that registration closes on 15 July, so I must decide really quickly. Personally, I think I am still far from marathon shape given I always struggle running more than 1h:30m-1h:40m in the heat of Singapore. Another complication is that we will be going on holiday between 12-22 September (hard to do running), which leaves me only with a training block of 5.5 weeks before the marathon.

My thinking is just to register for the race anyway (US$50) and decide around late August before deciding to book airfares, hotel etc. If I am not up to it, I'll just forfeit the entry fee.

Training wise, I did 80k this week - highest in 3 months. Longest runs were 1h:30m. Gotta start increasing the duration pretty soon, I think !

Mon (treadmill):
30 mins Easy Fartlek (av 4:46 min/km)
incl 8 x 1min HMP on, 1min MP off
Only had 1/2 hour to run, so decided to do something a little brisk but not hard.

Tue (track):
12mins warm up incl strides
7 x 1000m Intervals @ 10-12k pace with 200m recovery
3:51/155 bpm
Average = 3:54 min/km, av HR 174, high HR 184

5 x 200m Repetitions in 40, 42, 41, 42, 42 (200m jog)
13mins cool down (total 15k)

Felt good in the first four, jogging 1:20 as recovery. Last 3 intervals were harder, took 1:20 jog plus ~30secs drink/towel stop as recovery. Ran the 200s clockwise.

Wed (treadmill):
45mins Recovery Run (av 5:38)
15mins weights

Thu (treadmill):
1h:30m Easy-to-Moderate Run (av 5:09)
Weather wasn't cooperating, so ran indoor. Started at 6:00 pace ending at 4:45 pace. First 30mins av 5:30, next 30mins av 5:07, last 30mins av 4:52

Friday (treadmill):
37mins Easy Run (av 5:20)

Saturday (concrete):
36mins Easy Run incl. short sprints (av 5:13)
Incl 3 x 10sec hill sprints + 3 x 10sec grass sprint
Slept at 3am last night. Felt sluggish.

Sunday (track/road):
2.5k warm up incl strides
3 x 2400m Lactate Threshold Intervals with 400m jog + drink
94, 95, 97, 96, 98, 97 = 9:37 (HR 165-168)
95, 97, 97, 98, 97, 96 = 9:38 (HR 171-174)
96, 97, 97, 98, 96, 95 = 9:39 (HR 176-184)
Average = 4:01 min/km, av HR 174 bpm, high 184

4 x 200m Repetitions in 44, 44, 42, 41 (200m jog)
6.7k cool down (total 19k)

Legs felt a bit heavy from the start. Last interval was tough because the sun was in full force. The 200ms in 44secs were the slowest that I've done in a while due to tiredness.

Total 80k for the week, 1836k for the year (av 65 kmpw)

06 July 2008

Nothing much week

First off, congrats to my fellow bloggers who ran Perth & Gold Coast Marathons this morning !

As for me, nothing really exciting this week. Pretty much all easy running with a couple of 90mins easy runs. I was planning to do more mileage for endurance, but couldn't do so due to other life factors (wife was unwell, busy at work, heat etc).

Hopefully, next week will be a better week !

Mon - 45mins Light
Tue - 90mins Easy
Wed - 41mins Easy
Thu - AM 2 x 1k CV intervals then DNF due to heat, PM 30mins incl 25mins at HM pace
Fri - 35mins Light
Sat - off
Sun - 87mins Easy (HR 154 bpm)

Total 69k for the week, 1756k for the year