23 December 2008


A frustrating 3 weeks.....

Had high hopes that my ankle sprain would improve rapidly, but the ligaments are still damaged/painful after almost 3 weeks. Spraining an ankle 2 days before a peak 10k race hurts, but the prospect of not being able to run for 2 months is even more painful.

Latest view from physio is that I might be out for another month from now, which will make it about 6-8 weeks off. She reckoned the soft tissues are still weak for running.

Two weeks ago (8-14 Dec), I went to see a GP and had an x-ray confirming no stress fracture or dislocation. The doctor said with RICE treatment, I should be able to jog within a week. This gave me a high hope that I could resume training quickly. I did no exercise whatsoever, but it turned out that I was still limping after a week.

M: off
T: off
W: off
T: off
S: 30 minutes
S: off

Last week (15-21 Dec), I went to see the GP again and asked for a referral letter for physiotherapy treatment (I need that letter, otherwise my insurance will not accept claims). She said to wait for another week as the swelling and blue/violet lines (from bruising) in my ankle has started to subside. I can't take any chance of losing my fitness materially and I duly began cross training. However, I found that they don't really push my heart rate up as much as running.

M: off
T: 20 minutes jog (virtually on one leg)
W: 30 minutes Arc Trainer
T: 30 minutes Arc Trainer
F: 30 minutes Arc Trainer + 60 minutes Spinning class
S: off
S: 30 minutes jog (still painful)

This week (22-28 Dec), I finally convinced her that I really need a physio treatment. I told her that I am a runner and I can't stand being a sedentary person and just stood there watching my fitness that I have built for years to be eroded away (I found going up the stairs tougher now). While there were no guarantees that the treatment will help, but I gotta take my chances. Had ultrasound, massages, and ankle strengthening exercises.

M: 60 minutes Arc Trainer
T: 35 minutes Arc Trainer + physio
W: physio
T: X-mas big buffet

Not a Christmas gift that I am looking for !

With this in mind, I might have to re-think about my plan for 2009. I was initially hoping to focus on 5-10k races for the first 3 months. But given the longer-than-expected rehabilitation, I really have to start from scratch again (short, slow runs, low mileage). Even after resuming training, I think it is still to risky to do any speed work with the weak ankles. Looks like I have to forget about doing any races for the next couple of months and instead just do base building.

Have a happy and safe holidays everyone

14 December 2008

2009 Plan (first half)

0 km this week. Had an x-ray on the ankle and the doctor confirmed that it wasn't a stressy. Nevertheless, after a week of inactivity, the pain has lessened during walking, but it's still a bit painful when I get ouf of the bed in the morning or when going down the stairs.

On the positive note, I think I should be able to start jogging in the next week or so.

Due to the temporary paralysis, I have some time to think about my plans for next year. I have penciled in Gold Coast Marathon (GCM) in July as my target race for the first half of 2009. The reasons are as follows:

a) My wife is expected to give birth in early April, hence running will be limited between mid-March and mid-April. This means that Seoul in March or Canberra marathon in April is not an option. Perth marathon usually falls on the same date as GCM, so it is still a possibility. However, Perth doesn't provide a big-race atmosphere like GCM, which is sometimes helpful for the morale, especially in the latter stages on the race.

b) Given the projected 'down time' between mid-March and mid-April due to the reasons above, GCM (or Perth) provides an advantage in terms of timing. Even after the down time, I still have a good 10 weeks to prepare for the race.

c) July also fits the family schedule perfectly. Our son will be three months old by then, so it's the right time to pick up the baby and mom and take them to Singapore.

Goal time wise, I'd like to target around 3:05 - which represents 10 secs/km pace improvement from my last marathon in November. A challenging, but not unattainable target.

My plan of attack is as follows:

1) Jan-Feb
I will focus on 5k-10k training for the first two months of the year, culminating in a 10k race in March. I plan to follow Brad Hudson 10k plan level #2 from the book "Run Faster". However, I won't treat these races are important races, given they are typically inaccurate in terms of distance anyway. I won't taper for these races, a PB will be a bonus but I won't kill myself if I don't do well.

16 Jan: SGRunners 3-person relay race (2 x 3.5km)
1 Feb: Macritchie 5k cross country

14 Feb: track meet
1 Mar: Newton Active 10k

2) Mar - April
I plan to loosely follow 20-week Brad Hudson marathon plan, mixing Plan #2 and #3. The key word is 'loosely' since I will have a down time for a month as mentioned above and I like to vary and mix workouts from other sources as well. I might not be able to run a lot during the baby delivery period, but since I will be in Melbourne, I hope I will be able to squeeze in a couple of 'big workouts' taking advantage of the winter climate.

3) May- July
After the down time, I will return to Singapore and re-join the marathon plan with 10-11 weeks to go. Based on the current schedule, I might do a couple of longer distance races between 10k to 20k as tune-up races for the marathon.

3 May: Macritchie 20k cross country
mid-Jun: PassionRun 10k or 15k race (no date yet)
5 Jul: Gold Coast Marathon

Note that this is the first time that I am planning my peak race about 6 months in advance. While I can solely do marathon training for 6 months, but my concern is that I might get burn out from the distance training. I hope that by concentrating on 5k-10k races for the first couple of month, followed by 2 months of light marathon training (including down time), and finally 10-11 weeks to do marathon-specific training, I won't overtrain but still sufficiently be prepared for the race.

07 December 2008


Only lasted 1k this morning, and walked back.

Despite the spained ankle, I decided to give it a go anyway. Walking was fine and I could do the alphabet movement with the foot, so that gave me some hope. Jogging at 5:00-ish pace was okay and I arrived at the start point with a 45 minutes to go. Took a couple of advil (ibuprofen) thinking that the pain would stay away.

Weather was very cool & breezy for Singapore standard, so very conducive for fast time. Unfortunately, my right ankle didn't co-operate and after 200m downhill start, I knew that I was gone. I virtually was limping and my running form was awkward because I could only run with one leg. I I tried to hang in for a while and passed the 1k marker in 3:55. But I knew that I couldn't run for another 9k with one fit ankle.

Not a great way to finish the season. Hopefully, I won't be sidelined for too long.

Guys, any tips for sprained ankle? Should I go to a doctor and will it self-heal? The pain is right at the 'ball' in the ankle area.

06 December 2008

Sprained Ankle :(

Damn ! Only a couple of days before the 10K, I sprained my ankle. :(

Near my home, there is a big constuction (7 towers apartment complex) work going on, so there are lots of cracked pavement, sand, building materials etc. On Friday, I slipped and landed awkwardly. Foolishly, I ignored the problem and continued the run (10k), even doing 400m at race pace and 6 x 100m strides.

When I arrived at the office, I began to feel the pain badly and I was hobbling all day. At home, I iced the ankle right away and applied some voltaren. I also elevated my lower leg and put an ankle band during the sleep.

This morning, the problem still persisted. I decided to go for a short run to test the ankle. For the first 5 minutes, the pain was excruciating and virtually I was limping. After around 10 minutes, it began to go away gradually. I did a couple of 15 secs strides at the end and I could feel the pain again (greater push-off and landing shock at fast speed).

So I am not really sure whether I can run tomorrow (i can definitely jog to finish). I will continue the RICE treatment whole day today and lets pray !