25 January 2009

Can't stand the withdrawal syndrome

I really can't take the withdrawal syndrome anymore....

Seven weeks and counting, my ankle is still about 70-80% good. Decided to ditch the physio. Decided to train on dodgy ankle like normal training but at reduced mileage.

My observations after this week's training is as follows:

1) My 'quality pace' has dropped by 15secs per km. Prior to the injury, I ran my short tempo at 4:00 pace and short reps (400s) at <3:30.>

2) My running form sucks big time. Today I did a 60mins run (longest in 2 months) and had to stop a few times to rest and stretch. Quads were hurting, hips got really tight, and I over-pronated than usual. It seems that due to the long lay-off, I have missed the feeling of 'how to run'.

And, of course, ankle still hurts especialy after interval and long run.

M - 60mins Yoga, 30mins easy 5:21
T - 40mins including 5k tempo 4:14
W - 40mins easy 5:30
T - 8 x 400m av 1:29-1:30 (ankle hurts)
F - 60mins spinning class
S - 30mins easy 5:20
S - 60mins 'long run' 5:10

Total 48k for the week

19 January 2009

Life as a Jogger

Not much running last week due to uncontrollable factors, both at home and work.

A measly total mileage of 97k in the last 6 weeks (16k av per week) since I sprained my ankle. It's really demoralizing mentally given I averaged around 90-100k weekly prior to the injury.

8-14 Dec: 0
15-21 Dec: 9
22-28 Dec: 0
29 Dec - 4 Jan: 27
5-11 Jan: 36
12-18 Jan: 25

I've cancelled a couple of races in Jan & Feb because of the slow recovery process and loss of fitness. It's so frustrating when something that you value a lot is taken out of you.

On a happier note, I received a cheque for 2nd placing at the treadmill endurance challenge. This brings my total winning for 2008 to $350 in cash + $400 in product vouchers.

As I started the year with a very low base, I just hope the only way for the rest of the year is up !

11 January 2009

Still struggling

Still struggling, both physically and aerobically.....

In the physical front, ankle is probably around 70%. It's okay for short slow runs, but still not ready for uptempo stuff. Did a 3k fartlek on Friday in the track, and the ankle was so painful that I had to walk for a cool down. Muscularly, I'm beginning to have some aching on the glutes and quads of the good (left) leg because it still has to carry the other leg.

On the aerobic side, I've built my runs to around 10k (longest run in 5 weeks) and the effort felt like a hard half marathon race. At the current rate of ankle recovery, probably I am still 3 weeks away before I can ramp up my long runs and mileage to around 90 minutes and 50k+ weekly respectively. After that, another 3-4 weeks to get back to my fitness level pre-setback.

Hence, in total I will lose around 12 weeks of training (quarter of a year) from the ankle sprain. Damn!

M: Yoga
T: 6k av 5:40 on treadmill
W: 9k av 5:28 on treadmill
T: off
F: 2k wu + 3k of 00:30 on/off in 13:12 av 4:24 (very painful ankle afterwards)
S: 6k av 5:06
S: 10k av 4:56 (effort felt like a half marathon race)
Total 36k for the week

03 January 2009

Learning to Run (again)

2008 Highlights:
Nothing much really, except for a marathon PB in Seoul. I'm still on the barren patch, continuing last year's trend of producing a measly rate of one PB a year (4k at Matilda Bay in Feb 07, ahead of Clown by a few secs).

My running year started at a very low, pariah-like level. I had troubles in adjusting to the conditions in Singapore and I didn't enjoy training at all (espcially long runs). The lowlights included a HM in 1:45 and a 10k in 49mins - how low can you go ?? My training began to pick up after the mid-year, especially after I began to slow down my Threshold pace from Jack Daniels' 60-minutes pace (Lactate Threshold) to a less painful, 90-minutes pace (aka HM pace) and my Intervals pace from 5k pace to 10k pace. In effect, the intensity was slower but the tempo/interval distances were longer. I felt less 'fried' and began to fall in love with running again, culminating in a 1:28 HM in August. Transitioning to marathon training was effortless as all I needed was to add long runs and longer warm up &Italic cool down to my Threshold/Interval sessions. Despite having only 8 weeks training, I managed to drop my marathon time from 3:17 to 3:11 - which is a BQ.

However, everything ended in square one when I sprained my ankle 2 days before the major 10k race and last race for the year. Had to spend the last month of the year in the sidelines. In terms of fitness level, I virtually ended back where I started from at the beginning of the year :(

First week of 2009:

The good news: I resumed running this week....

The bad news: I felt like passing out after each run. Even jogging pace felt like a hard race effort. After four weeks off, running is akin to a slow, death march. After a couple of ks at jogging pace, I already huffed and puffed, aerobically exhausted and wanted to quit. Ankle is still sore and swollen after each run, but the feel of not being able to run is even worse.

It is just so unfair that we (trained runners) lose aerobic conditioning so rapidly after a short period of inactivity. Even with a common injury like mine (sprained ankle), I was out for 4 weeks. I reckon it will take me another 2 weeks to be able to run on daily basis and more importantly, pain-free. After that, I probably need another 4-6 weeks to get back to my previous fitness and mileage levels. All in all, a simple ankle sprain will set me back for 10-12 weeks :(

Anyway, I felt like a beginner again this week. After one month off, my running form has became awkward while my endurance sucks.

M: off
T: 3 x 10mins jog @ 6:40 min/km, 3mins break in between (treadmill)
W: 4k jog in 25mins (6:10 av) on treadmill
T: off
F: 5k jog in 28mins (5:42 av) on treadmill + 30mins spinning
S: 7k 'easy' run @ 5:24 outdoor (felt like a marathon effort-wise)
S: 6k @ 5:30 including 'speed test' of 6 x 00:20 strides on grass

Total 27 km for the week (all against doctor's orders)