26 October 2008

Week 7 of 8 (Seoul)

Did 73k for taper, taking 2 rest days. The main runs were 18k (3 x 3k Threshold), 15k (7 MP + 5 HMP) and 23k long run. Despite the lighter workload, legs were still pretty tired.

Just realized that the Joongang Seoul marathon course is a bit undulating with 5-6 hills over 30-40m in elevation (start is 14m > sea level). My concern is that I’ve been doing all my runs exclusively on pancake flat terrain and track. As a last minute mitigation, I did a couple of runs on undulating route this week to get some familiarity into the legs. However, after my Sunday's hilly long run, my right butt got a bit sore. Hopefully the deep tissue massage on Wednesday will fix the problem.

I just went to check the weather in Seoul. Using today as example, the temperature is around 11-12c with humidity ranging from 60% at 8am to 40% at 11am. The 7-day forecast suggests the temperature to be the same (min 7, max 13c). In Singapore, the lowest temperature is about 24c (or 26c by the time I start my runs) with humidity around 70-90%, which makes the apparent temperature even higher. Tinman heat calculator suggests there is a 3% differential in performance levels between 80F/27c and 53F/12c. This translates to around 8secs/km difference.

Despite this, my plan is not to run MP much faster than what I have done in training due to a couple of reasons. First, I am still inexperienced in terms of marathons (3 marathons + 2 DNFs). Secondly, my preparation is pretty short (8 weeks), although it is a fairly solid block. And lastly, my long runs timing in Singapore hid the fact that I did a lot of stoppages/rest time during the runs. I simply can't run continuously for a long time due to traffic conditions and the need to re-hydrate. All the long run times that you see in my log do not include rest times. I don't really know whether I can run at solid pace for 3 hours plus continuously. I am just simply hoping the cooler weather will help me to delay the 'fading'.

Plan to do 30-40k next week pre-race. We'll fly to Seoul on Wednesday midnight and arriving Thursday morning. This will give me a chance to squeeze in a couple of short runs on Friday & Saturday. After living in the tropics for one year, the temperature in South Korea should feel like Artic-esque to me. Bring it on!


52mins Easy (av 5:11) + abs work
Treadmill, 0-2% inclines

Wednesday (11 days left):
4k warm up + strides
3k @ 30k pace effort (undulating route)
3k @ 1-hour pace (track)
3k @ 1-hour pace (track)
Splits: 13:00 (av 4:20), 12:02 (av 4:01), 11:56 (av 3:59)
Heart rates 159, 170, 173 bpm, jog/rest 3mins in between
5k cool down
Total running 18.3k in 1h:24m (av 4:38)

A super-humid morning. Found the effort on the first 3k to be manageable, but legs felt a bit heavy after that. I was rarely in the groove during the LT intervals but finished without a lot of strain. HR reached 186bpm during the last one.

36mins Very Easy (av 5:36) on treadmill + weights

Friday (9 days left):
15mins warm up
30mins @ MP effort, av 4:24 (undulating route)
5mins jog/rest
20mins @ HM pace effort, av 4:12 (flat route)
Total running 15.2k in 1h:09m (av 4:37)

The plan was to do a practice run of 2 x 7k MP. Did the first on rolling terrain, averaging 4:30 on the way out (mainly uphill), but the return leg (downhill) pushed the pace down. Went out a bit fast in the second interval (~HM pace) and decided to just lock-in the pace and ran on a flat terrain.


Sunday (7 days left):
23.3k Long Run in 1h:56m (av 5:00)
Ran on undulating terrain around Tanglin area. Consumed just water & salt tablets. Got tired in the second hour. Right hip was a bit sore from the hills.

Total 73.3k for the week, 680k for the last 7 weeks.

19 October 2008

Week 6 of 8

105km in 6 days, 4 main workouts.

Mon (20 days left):
3k warm up
4k Moderate Tempo (av 4:15)
3 x 1600m with 3mins jog/rest
splits: 6:00, 6:07, 6:06 (av 3:48)
7k cool down
Total workout 18k in 1h:25m (av 4:45)

This is Tinman’s peaking workout for HM, which I used for the Army Half. Ran the short tempo at just under HM effort around the outer loop of Botanical Garden (slightly undulating). After arriving at the SMU track, the plan was to do 3x1600m at 10k effort (~3:55 min/km), but ended up averaging 3:48. Felt good that I even had to hold back in the last 100 meters to keep the splits down.

34mins Very Easy on t-mill, abs work

Wednesday (18 days left):
27k Easy Long Run in 2h:15m (av 5:00)

The plan was to do 2x10k MP as my last hard workout on Thursday, but due to work schedule, had to move it to Wednesday. This proved to be a wishful thinking because I haven’t recovered from the speed session 36 hours earlier and the 3x7k MP run 4 days ago. After 4k at MP, I decided that my legs were not fresh enough to do this workout. Instead, I converted the session into a long run which probably wasn’t a bad substitute. Weather was warm, so I had a number of stoppages along the way.

Massage, 30mins jogging

Friday (16 days left):
2.5k warm up
14k at MP effort (av 4:25)
2.7k cool down, 3 x 100m fast strides
Total workout 19.2k in 1h:29m (av 4:38)

A make-up session for Wednesday’s failed MP workout. Ran 1/3 of marathon distance without any drink stop in 61:45 (av 4:25). Av HR was 162 bpm, with a high of 165-170 after 12k. For comparison purposes, previous similar-type runs yielded av HR of 166-169 bpm (during 12 & 18k runs) from 3 months ago.

OFF. My 37th birthday (getting old…)

Sunday (14 days left):
2.5k warm up
26k Moderate Long Run (av 4:44)
1.5k cool down, 4 x 30secs light strides
Total workout 30k in 2h:23m (av 4:47)

Followed Brad Hudson's Marathon Plan level 2 schedule to do the last long run at MP + 20-30secs per mile. Took two Accelerage gels and 1.1 litre of water.

Summary of 6 weeks of marathon training:

Mileage: 94, 91, 105, 98, 115, 105 = av 101 kmpw (high-low-high method to reduce tiredness & burnout)
Long Runs (Easy): 32, 35, 35, 27, 30
Long Runs (Quality): 27 incl 21 MP intervals, 32 incl 28 MP intervals, 31 incl 21 MP intervals
Tempo/Intervals: 6 sessions, around 20-40mins of sub-MP running

For taper, the plan is to do 70-80k next week then 40-50k before marathon. No races in the last 2 months, with the last one back on 24 Aug, a 1:28 HM. Might do a 3200m race on Friday.

Do you think that I have done enough in 6 weeks?

11 October 2008

Week 5 of 8

21 days to go....115km in 6 days, 3 main workouts:

1) 3 hours Long Run at Easy pace

Did the long run on race day minus 26, which might have been a tad too early because most running programs suggest the last and longest LSD to be done about 2.5-3 weeks out. Started the run at 4:30 am and ran it at a constant pace throughout. Heart rate was steady at 140-150 bpm before increasing to about 160bpm in the last 40mins due to tiredness and rising temperature. Consumed 2 gels, 600ml sports drink, 1 litre water, and 2 salt tablets. This is my second 3-hour long run so hopefully my body & brain will get a feel of how to run for an extended period of time.

2) 8 x 400m at VO2Max

Did a little dose of speed workout since I haven’t ran any races nor done any session faster than threshold pace in the last 2-3 months or so. Did the first 7 reps between 83-84 secs, then ran the last one hard in 74secs. Not really sure if this session is useful for marathon since the interval distance is very short and the pace is about 1mins per km faster than MP, but perhaps it’s good for variety and speed maintenance purposes.

3) 8k ez + 3 x 7k @ MP

Stole this workout from a one of the top HK-based runner called by7, who did 10k ez + 3x7k MP during his marathon prep for Fukuoka. He will be running Seoul Marathon as well as aiming for a kick ass 2:3x something. Unlike my previous MP long runs where I just warmed up for a couple of ks and then went straight to MP, this workout provided a different challenge with a longer warm up and the MP segment was done between km 8-30. Splits were 31:27/158 bpm, 31:22/162, and 31:10/168, totaling to 21k in 94mins (av 4:29 min/km, 163 bpm). Recovery time was 7mins consisting of 4mins jog + 3mins rest. Took gels before each MP segment and consumed 1.3 litre of liquids. The last 7k was tough given the mileage in the legs and I stopped briefly in the middle to get a drink.

Anyway, I have done 4 long runs (35k, 32k incl MP, 35k, 31k incl MP) in the last 2 weeks. For these long runs, I woke up at 4am and started the session at 4:30. One thing that I wouldn't miss about marathon training is having to get up so damn early ! Really looking forward to a longer sleep time during the taper.

Mon (Easy):
am: 20mins Very easy (av 5:40)
pm: 40mins Easy (av 5:24)

Tue (Long):
35.4k Long Run in 3 hours (av 5:07)

Wed (Easy):
45mins Easy (av 5:16)
Started at 6:00, worked down to 4:50. Treadmill 1% incline, last k at 5%.

Thu (Speed, Easy):
Warm-up, drills, strides
8 x 400m at VO2Max with 1:40 jog (straight path)
Splits: 84, 84, 83, 84, 84, 83, 84, 74 (last one hard)
Cool down

pm: 72mins Easy (av 5:10)
Joined the CBD running group. Knees were a bit sore due to the recent mileage increases and lots of running on concrete surface.

Fri (Recovery):
30mins Very Easy (av 5:40)

Sat (Marathon Pace):
8k warm up
3 x 7k at Marathon Pace (av 4:29)
Splits: 31:27, 31:22, 31:10 with 4mins jog, 3mins rest
Total 31k in 2:27 (av 4:45)

Sun (Rest):
OFF (going to Jakarta for a couple of days)

Total 115k for the week, 2878k for the year

05 October 2008

Week 4 of 8 (Seoul)

Two quality workouts (one good and one so-so), while the rest of the week is filled with short easy runs.

1) 32k Long Run incl 7k-6k-5k-4k-3k-2k-1k ladder at MP

Borrowed this workout from Ronaldo da Costa, a former WR holder who reportedly did 6-5-4-3-2-1km ladder during marathon prep. To make sure I can complete the workout, I sandwiched 3mins rest/jog breaks between the intervals in order to take gel & rehydrate. I have a high metabolic rate, so I prepared 3 gels, 600m sports drinks, and 1.5lt of water. I read that Ritz took gels very 5k for his 24miles long run av 5:05 min/mile before Beijing. So if Ritz does it, perhaps I should make sure I am well loaded too (ghaha)

For a change, it was a cool morning in Singapore (24c?) due to the rain overnight. Ran both 7k and 6k intervals well under MP and the effort felt naturally comfortable. Legs were fresh after 3 easy days and the weather was cool and cloudy. Recovery time was about 3mins of jogging and/or standing rest to re-fuel. The latter intervals got harder & harder and my pace got slower by a few secs per km but still under MP. Fortunately for me, the interval distance got shorter and shorter, hence the pain flew very quickly (yay!). Overall, I accumulated 28k or 2 hours worth of MP running. With warm up & recovery jogs, the total run was 32k in 2:24 (av 4:31 min/km), excluding stoppages. After the workout, I was tired but not entirely spent because I was well fueled and helped by the favourable weather.

2) 23k incl. 4 x 10mins at HM pace (threshold)

The plan was to do Tinman’s style big workout of 1hr ez + 6 miles of HM pace running. However, my body had not recovered fully from Wednesday’s session. The morning was terribly humid too. The 305 showed funny HR reading of 200 bpm+, perhaps the strap was very wet as it was soaked in sweat. Decided to cut the warm up at 5k, then did 2 x 2400m in 9:56 & 9:55 with 400m jog. Took a longer break to re-fuel and go to the toilet. Did the last two in 9:47 and 9:41, hence I accumulated about 40mins of running at Threshold effort. Finished with ~7k cool down incl 5 x 12-15secs hill sprints (total 23k). In retrospective, I should perhaps defer the workout by another day to allow more recovery, so I could do a longer quality session.

Two more training weeks to go now……wish I could have a few more weeks to train duh!

Mon (Easy):
50mins Moderate (av 4:46)
Ran some sections of the Singapore F1 circuit where the race was held last night. It was an awesome feeling running in the middle of the track with high fences and grandstands around me.

Tue (Easy):
40mins Easy (av 5:15)
Treadmill with 0-1.5% inclines. Conserving energy for tomorrow’s big workout.

Wed (Marathon Pace):
10mins warm up
7km at MP, av 4:22, 162 bpm
3mins rest/jog
6km at MP, av 4:24, 166bpm
3mins rest/jog
5km at MP, av 4:26, 169 bpm
3mins rest/jog
4km at MP, av 4:25, 170 bpm
3mins rest/jog
3km at MP, av 4:26, 172 bpm
3mins rest/jog
2km at MP, av 4:27, 172 bpm
3mins rest/jog
1km at HM pace, av 4:16, 174 bpm

All up, 32k in 2h:24m (av 4:31 min/km)

Thu (Rest):
OFF. 30mins deep tissue massage.

Fri (Easy)
45mins Easy (av 5:25, 140 bpm)
A crap run due to high humidity, bad stomach, sluggishness, and stiff muscles from yesterday’s massage. Cut the run short.

Sat (Threshold):
5k warm up
4 x 2400m @ HM pace in 9:56, 55, 47, 41
7k cool down in 5 x 12-15secs hill sprints
All up, 23k in 1h:51m (av 4:51)

Sun (Easy):
78mins Easy (av 5:14, 145 bpm)
Ran on parts of FI circuit again and along the Singapore River.

Total 98k for the week, 2763k for the year