27 August 2008


Was on holiday for 12 days in Japan, hence training was very limited. Went to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Hiroshima.

On one hand, I felt the holiday is a major disruption to my training. I have a decent patch over the last couple of months and it feels diappointing to break that momentum. Furthermore, after this holiday, I will only have 8 weeks left to prepare for the marathon. On the flip side, since there were no peak races this year, I've been training pretty much week in week out for the whole year. Hence a short break was perhaps good for the mind and body.

Overall, I did a total 90k for the last 2 weeks - which is not exactly marathon training. I felt the holiday eroded my endurance slightly - judging from the workouts that I had in Japan. Out of the 4 runs during the holiday, I only had one solid workout: 3 x 5k @ sub MP on the narrow streets of Kyoto. The two runs in Tokyo were so-so. I wanted to run in Imperial Palace which had a 5k unintterupted loop but I had troubles finding the place by foot from the hotel. I ended up runnning around the local streets under a myriad of skyscrapers and overhead bridges and railway tracks (GPS was out of whack). I also found Japan summer was only slightly cooler than Singapore but was humid throughout.

8 weeks of training left to the marathon... I wish I can buy more time.

25/8: 35mins recovery
26/8: 45mins easy
27/8: 24k in 2 hours
28/8: off (fly to Japan)
29/8: off
30/8: off
31/8: off
1/9: 8k in 37mins (av 4:40) incl 2 x 1600m in 5:42, 6:00 w/ 3mins jog (Kyoto)
2/9: 18k in 82mins (av 4:33) incl 3 x 5k @ 4:20-4:25 pace w/ 2mins rec (Kyoto)
3/9: off
4/9: off
5/9: Approx 11k easy in 54mins (GPS went beserk in Tokyo due to skyscrapers)
6/9: Approx 15k in 74mins incl 5k tempo @ ~ HM pace (GPS went beserk again)
7/9: off (fly back to SG)

24 August 2008

SAFRA Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon 2008


Not a PB (about 1 minute slower), but given the temperature differential between Singapore (24-26c, 90% relative humidity) and Western Australian winter (5-10c, <70% humidity), I think the result was comparable or might be better than my running times in Perth.

My confidence was low this morning as I only slept around 2 hours. Watched Liverpool vs M'borrough until around 12, but couldn't sleep until about 2am+. I guess I got excited too much by the race! Woke up at 4:30am, drank a cup of coffee and ate a slice of bread. Left home around 5:15am and jogged 2km to the start point.

Given the crowd size (70,000+ runners doing 21k, 10k, 6k), I went to the start line 30 minutes before the start time. By then probably there were already close to 1000 runners in front of me. Felt like being trapped in a can of sardines but that's the way Singapore races are. Everybody (either fast or slow) always wants to start in front.

At 6:30 the gun went off and I went out at sub 4:10 pace for the first 2k. At km 3, there was a 300-400m bridge and my pace slowed down to 4:25. Passed the 5k marker at 20:44 (av 4:09) and still felt comfortable. After around 7k, my Garmin and the actual distance markers started to show discrepancy. We then went towards the East Coast Park and passed the turnaround point (chip checkpoint) at 9.5k.

Passed the 10k (according to Garmin) in 41:23 (second 5k in 20:39) so still sub 4:10 pace. At this point, my Garmin was 400m ahead of the distance marker and I passed the 10k road marker in 43:00. We now ran on pavement for the next couple of ks before going to the unpaved section of the race route. My pace started to slow down due to the uneven, sandy like surface which was also a bit tilted (the surface wasn't that horizontal). I also began to struggle due to dehydration. Passed the 15k in 62:14 (third 5k in 20:51). The unpaved section seemed to be endless and finally managed to get a drink and took gel at km 16.

We then went back to the paved road at km 16 and my Garmin was still off by 400m to the distance marker. I was suffering for the next 3-4 km and km 15-20 took me 21:16 (4:15 pace). I passed the km 20 marker in 1:23:10 and fortunately, the distance discrepancy was now narrowing to around 200m. Ran km 20-21 in 3:51 and passed the 21.1k mark according to Garmin at 1:27:50. Crossed the finish mat in 1:28:35 with Garmin showed 21.3k. Since I was zig-zaging throughout the run then the total distance should be accurate at 21.1k.

Av HR for the race was 175 bpm of 90% Max HR. Reached a high of 193 bpm while sprinting to the finish.

Thanks for everyone for the advices and good luck messages. Plugging the HM time to McMillan calculator put me in a 3:07 shape for the full marathon. The upside is that Seoul weather is cool at 7-15c, so should be conducive for running. The downside is that we will be on holiday for 12 days and upon returning, I will only have 8 weeks (incl taper) to train.

Splits (according to GPS):

1k - 4:05/155
2k - 4:08/166
3k - 4: 25/169 (300m hill)
4k - 4:02/171
5k - 4:04/168
6k - 4:05/171
7k - 4:12/172 (gel, drink)
8k - 4:05/173
9k - 4:10/175
10k - 4:07/175 (5k split 20:39)
11k - 4:14/175
12k - 4:14/176 (drink)
13k - 4:06/178
14k - 4:07/180
15k - 4:10/180 (5k split 20:51)
16k - 4:19/179 (gel, drink)
17k - 4:16/181
18k - 4:13/182
19k - 4:17/182 (drink)
20k - 4:11/184 (5k split 21:16)
21k - 3:51/188
0.3k - 1:05/191 (according to GPS)

Training this week:

Mon (treadmill):
55mins Easy Run (av 5:17)
2 x 30 torso rotation, 2 x 40 leg swings

Off. 30mins massage.
Tried a new masseur. He is from Traditional Chinese Medicine background and used point pressure techniques (different to the rubbing technique in normal sports massages)

Wed (pavement):
13.3k in 62mins (av 4:43 min.km)
Incl. 6k Moderate Pace Tempo @ 4:22 then 3 x 30secs strides

Felt sluggish for some reason and the Tempo run was harder than it should be. The av HR for the tempo run was 167 bpm compared to 169 for a 18k run (3 times the distance) at the same pace two weeks ago. Could be either due to muscle stifness from yesterday's massage or the 89% relative humidity. I hope this is just a temporary and one-off issue.

Thu (treadmill):
45mins Recovery Run (av 5:27)
80 sit-ups
Left knee cap was sore, after yesterday's run on hard pavement.

Friday (road):
45mins Easy Run (about 4:57) incl 4 strides
Garmin showed me running at 4:48 pace, but don't think I ran that fast this morning. Also, half of the run was on a hilly course and it was 90% humidity. Left knee cap sore.

Saturday (pavement):
30mins Easy Run (av 5:16)
5mins stretching

Sunday (road):
2.3k warm up
SAFRA Army Half Marathon in 1:28:33 (av 4:12 pace, 175 bpm) . 13th in Mens Closed (local) category.
2k cool down


Total 72.4k for the week, 2284k for the year

16 August 2008

One week to AHM

One week to go before the Army Half. This week I did two quality sessions:
1) Tempo/Intervals Mixed Workout: 5k moderate tempo @ 4:20 min/km + 3 x 1600m @ 3:55
2) Long Run/Tempo Mixed Workout: 12k easy + 2 x 3200m @ 4:08 min/km + 7k easy

Next Sunday is the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon 2008, which is the second largest race in Singapore with over 20,000+ runners (gulp). I assume that the race will be crowded with runners at all levels (fast and slow) wanting to start at the front area, so there will be a BIG BOTTLENECK (ggrrrrr…..)

For a change, I am trying to closely follow Tinman's HM peaking program. The plan is only for the last two weeks and a couple of people have gotten success with it (including Moby from CR Oz). It puts emphasis on volume maintenance rather than intensity. In fact, normal mileage is maintained until the last three days before the event. The plan is below in miles:

Week minus 1 ==> T: 8 ez; W: 2ez + 3 tempo + 3 x 1600m CV + 2 ez; T: 8 slow; F: 8 ez, S: 10 ez + 4 MP; S: 5 slow
Race week ==> M: 8 slow; T: 3ez + 4 tempo + 2 ez; W: 5 slow; T: 7 ez; F: 4 ez; S: race

What I did differently from the plan was less warm up/cool down for Tues due to heat, shorter recovery runs Thurs & Sun, and a longer/harder long run on Saturday (HM reps instead of MP continuous).

I don't know what to expect for next Sunday's HM. Back in 2006 in Perth, I did two half marathons between 1:27-1:29 under a different training regime. My current tempo and intervals are faster & longer than back then, but my long runs now are only about 22k due to the tough running conditions (versus weekly 30ks previously). Moreover, my mileage for the first 8 months of the year is about 400km lower than 2006. Hence, endurance seems to be my weak link. On the flip side, I did a HM last December here in 92+mins, but training is heaps better and I am better acllimatized this time around. All in all, anything near 90mins is a decent outcome for me, I think….

Can anyone give me an idea on what pace should I run for the HM?

Mon (treadmill):
36mins Recovery Run (av 5:38)
15mins upper-body weights

Tue (treadmill):
1 hour Easy Run (av 5:05)
5mins stretching/core, 60 leg swings
First 20mins av 5:24, second 20mins av 5:04, last 20mins av 4:50

Wed (road/track):
10mins warm up
5k Moderate Tempo @ 4:20
5mins walk to the track
3 x 1600m CV Intervals, av 3:55 min/km, av 176 bpm, high 187
Splits: 6:14, 6:17, 6:15 with 400m jog (2:30)
Cool down (total workout 14k in 63mins, av 4:30 min/km)

Cloudy but bloody humid! To make things worse, legs were still tired from Sunday's 18k tempo run. The effort for moderate tempo run felt harder that it was supposed to be. After 5 mins walk, did 3 x 1600m CV intervals and I was toast after the second interval. Just didn't have a lot of power in the legs, Decided to hang tough and completed the 3rd interval amid some difficulty.

Thu (treadmill):
30mins Recovery Run (av 5:40)
80 sit-ups

Friday (treadmill):
1 hour Easy Run (av 5:10)
Felt good. First 30mins av 5:27, last 30mins av 4:55

Saturday (pavement/road/track):
1 hour Easy Run (av 4:59/145 bpm)
2 x 3200m Cruise Intervals av 4:08 (13:13/168, 13:09/177)
35mins Easy Run (av 5:00/160)
Total workout 26.2k in 2:05 (av 4:47 min/km)

Ran 12k from home to Dempsey Hill to Cluny Park Rd to MoE track, did the cruise intervals on the track, 10mins rest to rehydrate, then 7k easy back home. The aim of doing the intervals after one hour run is to get a feel how the last 1/3 of the HM is like. Felt pretty buggered during the second interval.

Sunday (pavement):
35mins Recovery Run (av 5:22)
94% relative humidity !!!!

Total 83k for the week, 2211k for the year

10 August 2008

Pearl Izumi Run Series 2

A good week with three quality workouts:

1) 5 x 1k intervals @ 8k pace, av 3:51 min/km with 200m jog in 1:20 for recovery
2) 2 x 5k Tempo Intervals @ HM pace, av 4:10 min/km
3) 18k Tempo Run, av 4:25 min/km, av 169 bpm (Pearl Izumi Series 2)

Had a good run today at the Pearl Izumi Pure Run Series 2 in Kallang. Planned to run it at 4:30 min/km (or 3:10 marathon pace), but felt good from the start. Started at around 4:20-ish pace and the pace was pretty much locked-in from there to finish, despite 2 sets of staircases and 2-3 walking breaks at the drink stations. Never felt laboured with the exception of slight tightness in the hip. The distance turned out to be 18-ish km compared to the 20k advertised. Finished in 1:19:48 in in 8th place (I think), so a good training run for the HM in 2 weeks time and Seoul marathon in Nov.

Mon (track):
10mins warm up + strides
5 x 1000m Intervals @ ~8k pace (av 3:51)
Splits: 3:51, 3:51, 3:53, 3:52, 3:49 with 200m jog (~1:20)
2 x 200m Repetitions (40, 41) with 200m jog
8mins cool down (total workout 10k in 45mins, av 4:30 min/km)

Felt unenergized and the morning was super humid. The plan was for 6-7 x 1000m at ~3:55 pace but ran faster in all of them (akin to approx race 8k pace). Consequently, started to feel the legs burning after the 3rd interval and could only complete 5 sets. Afterwards, did 2x200m compared to my usual 4x200m of Reps post-intervals due to tiredness.

Tue (treadmill):
40mins Recovery Run (av 5:30)
10mins upper-body weights

Wed (bitumen):
10mins warm up
2 x 5k Tempo @ HM pace with 1k jog in between
1st: 20:40 (av 4:08 min/km, av HR 169 bpm)
2nd: 21:00 (av 4:12 min/km, av HR 178, high 187)
Cool down (total workout 14.4k in 65mins, av 4:33 min/km)

Ran during lunch time, 30c, 80% rel humidty, apparent temp 35c. Found a 800m of (light traffic) stretch of road and ran back & forth. The aim was 2x5k under 4:10 pace. Legs were a bit heavy and the body is yet to fully recover from Monday's intervals. Ran the first 5k in 20:40 with av HR 169 bpm - same HR as my 5k tempo run in 20:00 a couple of weeks ago. So definitely I wasn't in a good form today. The second 5k was an uphill struggle from the start and my pace faded after 3k. Continued running at slower pace before picking up the pace at the end to finish right at 21:00. Av HR for the second 5k was 178 bpm.

Thu (treadmill):
45mins Recovery Run (av 5:30)
5mins abs exercises

Friday (treadmill):
62mins Easy Run (av 5:05)
Felt average. Initially used Hill level 3 but decided to downgrade to level 2 to make it easy effort.

Saturday (pavement):
35mins Easy Run (av 5:12)
Av HR 140 bpm, did 6 strides

Sunday (pavement/road):
10 mins warm up
18.2k Pearl Izumi Run Series 2 in 1:19:48 (av 4:24 min/km), 8th place
10mins cool down

Total 81k for the week, 2128k for the year

03 August 2008

So-so week

So-so week. Couldn't run as much as I wanted to, with two off days :(

Did a good tempo run at HM pace on Thursday then a medium long run with Rob who is in town. It was nice to catch up with hime again. His improvement was indeed impressive.

Ran over 330km for the month of July and just above 2000ks year to date.

Was planning to do a 8.4k race this morning in Botanic Gardens, but couldn't make it. There is a 20k race (Pearl Izumi series 2) next Sunday which I plan to run as marathon pace training run.

Mon (treadmill):
30mins Recovery Run (av 5:38)
Busy day. No time to run.

Tue (treadmill):
93mins Easy Run (av 5:11)
First 9k in a slow 49mins (av 5:25), second 9k in 44mins (av 4:55)

Wed (treadmill):
35mins Easy Run (av 5:20)
Another busy day. Three treadmill days in a row.

Thu (pavement):
10mins warm up
8k Tempo in 33:17 (av 4:10 min/km), HR 169
4 x ~80m hills (00:17)
Cool down (total workout 13.2k in 60mins, av 4:33 min/km)

Hot afternoon even at 5pm. Started at 4:20 pace but the pace got naturally faster. Was tempted to run 10k (~41-42 mins) but stopped after seeing the HR climbing above 180 after 30mins. Still, av HR of 169 and a high of 182 bpm are lower than the same 8k tempo run 6 weeks ago (33:08) when I was averaging 176 bpm.

Off. Felt a bit unwell from yesterdays tempo run in hot temperature.

Saturday (pavement):
107mins Long Easy Run (av 4:55)
Ran with Rob who is in town for the weekend. Started at sightseeing pace for the first 3k along the river to Singapore flyer. Then ran to Fort Canning and Botanical Garden at a decent clip (~4:50ish pace).


Total 65k for the week, 2047k for the year