26 April 2009

Week 2 of 12

Did 90k av 5:00 during Week 2 of 12.

Singapore weather has been really hot and humid this week (perhaps end of moonson??). Although, I’ve been whining about this a lot of times, but lately it has been really horrendous. As a result, both of my workouts this week: intervals & long run with tempo - were negatively affected. I had to take lots of lengthy standing breaks in order to complete the sessions and the effort were harder that they were supposed to be (note that the rest times were not reflected in my running times).

My trusty 3-year old Garmin 305 died on Thursday. Have been waiting to get the new waterproof Garmin 310xt, but it will only come out mid-year. In light of this, I’ve ordered a new unit of Garmin 305 from Amazon as temporary measure. The watch will only arrive early next week.

Two weeks have elapsed and I must conclude that my training has been very mediocre. The aerobic fillers (40mins daily runs) are still too short for marathon training. In addition, I still need lots of breaks/stoppages in order to complete the long workouts such as interval/tempo and long runs. Only 10 weeks left to go now and I really have to up the ante. One positive is that I am now back to 90kmpw zone again (actually touched 100k on rolling 7 days basis). One negative is that I am still troubled by the conditions. I just don’t know how to train my brain and body to handle the conditions. Perhaps I should do more doubles !!

Mon (Easy):
45mins Easy Run (5:00)
Ran a new route with a few gentle hills for variation. Did 5 x 12secs hill sprints.

Tue (Intervals):
3.8k warm up
3.2k at MP effort (4:21)
1600, 1600, 4 x 400, 1600
6.6k cool down incl 8 x 100 strides
Total workout 20k in 91mins (av 4:35)

It was cloudy, thundery and was about to rain when I did the track session, so the humidity was really high (28c, 90%).The plan was to do 4 x 1600 at 10k pace. Did the first two in 6:14 and 6:16 (av 3:55 pace) with 2mins recovery and was completely stuffed. Decided to salvage the session by replacing it with 4 x 400m averaging 1:25 (3:32) with 1mins rest. This seemed to put some snaps into the legs and I did another 1600m again in 6:11 (3:52). Did the cool down in the rain.

27mins Recovery Run (5:30) on treadmill

Wed (Easy):
AM: 48mins Easy on treadmill (5:20)
PM: Pilates (one hour)

Thu (Easy):
40mins Easy on treadmill (5:23)
GPS died today, replaced the outdoor session with a treadmill run (can’t run without it). Planned to do a second run in the evening but other commitments got in the way.

Fri (Easy)
60mins Easy on treadmill (5:08)
Another run on treadmill. Gradually progressing from 5:40 min/km to around MP.

Sat (Long with tempo):
27-28k Long Run in 135mins (~5:00)

No GPS so ran an approximated distance with some track work included. Conditions were very tough again, 28c and 90% humidity when I left the house at 6am. An easy 40mins run to the SMU track, followed by 5mins rest, 2 x 15mins Tempo (av 4:09 pace) at the track with 5mins rest. Was cooked after the tempo and rested for another 10mins. Met a friend (Yuji) who was doing 800 intervals and joined for 2 with split of 3:05, 3:15. Decided to stop after the slow split and took another lengthy rest before running 11k back home. The running time excluded around 30mins of rest time, recovering from the extreme humidity.

Sun (rest):

Total 90k for the week

19 April 2009

Week 1 of 12

Did 88k @ av 4:55 during Week 1 of 12.

Happy with the mileage and the running frequency, given I just came back from a month of ‘holiday’ running and was nursing a damaged ankle early in the year.

However, Singapore’s hot weather capped my long run to 25k this week. I should have started the long run at 4 or 5am in order to avoid the heat. I also had a sub-par race in the 5.6k JP Morgan Corporate Challenge (distance turned out to be 6k), My average pace for the race was akin to my tempo pace and this was very disappointing, although I didn’t taper nor warmed up sufficiently. This adds up to a list of mediocre races in 2009 which included high19s 5k and 41mins 10k

Will decided which marathon race to do (Gold coast or Perth) in 6 weeks time. By then, I will have a better sense of my marathon fitness and also my travel plan. If work schedule allows, I’ll do GCM and visit my family in Melbourne at the same time. If work is busy, I will just make a quick weekend trip to Perth and registered for the race on the day itself.

Mon (Easy):
6k Easy in 31mins (5:10)
Ran at 10.30pm right after a 7-hour flight from Melbourne

Tue (Threshold):
2k warm up
3 x 7:00 at Threshold with 90secs recovery (3:57 pace)
4 x 200m Repetitions in 38, 40, 40, 39
2k cool down
Total workout 11k in 49mins (av 4:28)
Had to hold back to stop running faster. Ran the intervals by time instead of distance for a change. Accumulated around 21mins of Threshold effort, which I thought was about right given I had a race on Thursday.

25mins Recovery (5:32) on treadmill + stretching

Wed (Easy):
AM: 12k Easy in 59mins (4:55)
Last two days were ok in terms of weather, but this morning was back to Singapore standard with almost 100% relative humidity. Socks were soaked while shoes made squeaking sound due to the sweat. Shoe laces kept slipping also since it was very wet.

PM: Weights (upper body) + abs

Thu (Race):
1.5k warm up (40mins before start)
6k JP Morgan Corporate Challenge 2009 (23:38)
4.5k cool down
Really disappointed! Although, I didn’t taper for this but running 6k in a race environment averaging 3:57 min/km was really a sub-par performance. I’ve done numerous 5-6k tempo at this pace in Singapore, but only managed to do the race at the same pace! This year’s race has a new route starting at Esplanade and ending at F1 pitstop and as usual were attended by 10,000 runners/walkers. Did a short jog to the start line and just stood there for the next 40mins. Racing in Singapore is like this: all the runners, fast or slow would like to stand in the front and the start line is already full of people even half an hour before the gun.

The first k had 200m downhill and my split was 3:41. Passed km 2 & 3 in about 3:51 (one marker was long, another one short) including a hill. Km 4 has a long hill which slowed me to 4:07. Km 5 split was 4:13 and I just didn’t know why this was slow. Last km was 3:53. Note that the advertised race distance was 5.6k – which is a standard distance for all JP Morgan races all around the world, but the new route was 6k long as evidenced by distances recorded by Garmin/Polars and the winning times that are 2mins slower than last year. Thinking about it, my sub-par timing was probably due to the fact that I’ve lost the ‘guts’ to run hard (hurting) in races.

Fri (Recovery):
6.5k Recovery in 35mins (5:27)
Planned to run at an empty grass plot (to avoid pounding) but it was muddy and infested with mosquitos, so ran on pavement again. Sigh – Singapore is all concrete!

Sat (Long):
25k Long Run in 121mins (4:52)
Don’t think I am fit enough to do MP-type runs, hence the plan was to run parts of the long run at Steady effort (MP + 5-10%). Left the house too late at 6:30am and it was already warm and humid (90%). After 3k warm up (5:15), ran 16k at 4:30-4:40 pace with a couple of stops at km 8 and km 12. I slowed down in the latter part due to the rising heat and it was still not yet 8am! Was really drained and did a 6k ‘death march’ cool down under the strong sun, in order to make a total of 2 hours. Due to the weather, today’s run was much tougher than last week’s 31k long run @ 4:48 pace in Oz.

Sun (Easy):
11k Easy in 58mins (5:13)
Jogged 2k to Padang and ran around 500m diameter cricket field for about 6k, then jogged back. It’s so hard to find soft running terrain in Singapore! Also, did 4 x 15secs strides on grass.

Total 88k for the week

09 April 2009


Did a total 213k over the last 30 days in Melbourne, running 2-3 times a week. Will be flying back to Singapore next week. Wife and baby will stay in Melbourne until around July.

From next week, there are 12 weeks of full-throtle training until the marathon. With this in mind, this week I structure my training as skeletons for the actual marathon training. Basically it consists of core workouts without daily aerobic fillers (easy runs). Once I start the marathon training proper, then the rest days will be filled by aerobic runs since mileage is an important component for marathon.

Despite the cool climate, I haven't had the opportunity to do any tough & challenging workouts. Only slept around 4 hours on average, so my body wasn't really primed to handle a lot of training stress. So far, the sessions have been pretty mild in terms of intensity - just enough to maintain fitness. One good thing is that I have built my long runs to around 30k (today did 31k long run av 4:48 pace), which hopefully will bode well for the next 12 weeks of training. Will be interesting to see how my long run pace will start to decrease once I am back in Singapore.

My plan is to spend 2-3 weeks to get used to running 7 days a week again and build mileage to around 80-100k. Then I will focus on marathon specific sessions for the next 7-8 weeks before finally a 2-week taper.

Also, good luck to Epi who will be gunning for sub-3 in Canberra next Sunday.

Anyway, this week's training 'skeleton' as follows:

04/04: 19k Medium Long Run @ 4:50 av pace
06/04: 5k Tempo on grass @ 4:03 pace, 4 x 500m (1:52, 53, 53, 47), 10 x 10secs hill sprints
08/04: 13k Rolling Hills @ 4:30 av pace
10/04: 31k Long Run @ 4:48 pace

Total 76k for the week (in 4 runs)