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)


trailblazer777 said...

Well done! on the 3.11 and 1.28 last year. Those efforts put you slightly ahead of Epi and right on Clowns tail, so that shows you are still primed for a big 2010 if you can get back the consistency and intensity for long enough as you did in the leadup to Seoul. I share that frustration with the injury setbacks, and the higher you climb the further you fall. The harder, longer journey it is to comeback. Thats the nature of sport at a level that is semi-elite or at the better end of the sporting population of the world.

your last 2 runs this week which are sub 6min per k are looking pretty good. be patient with the ankle though and icepack it every time you have pain. Maybe aim to run every second day and ride or swim on alternate days. Bet it feels great to be out there though, regardless of how slow...
All the best with 2009, with careful persistence, no reason why 2010 cant become your best year so far, and the ankle injury hopefully a forgotten dim memory.
Makes one realise how much we have to be thankful for when we can run most days.

Clown said...

Widi, great to hear you are up and running again, just take it easy and you'll be up to speed again in no time.

Ewen said...

That marathon PB was something to be proud of - really!

Yes, it is unfair about losing fitness so quickly. We're only as good as our recent training. Anyway, I'm sure you'll get back into a regular routine pretty quickly and more than one PB will come your way this year.