12 July 2009

Post Mortem & Race Plans

Post race analysis and personal findings:

1) I found that the temperature differential (30c during training vs 10c during racing) will only allow me to sustain the projected MP for the whole 42k without bonking. Unlike other trained runners (e.g. by7), I still don’t have that ability to utilize the cooler racing temperature into running faster than projected MP. A heat chart by Tinman suggest that a change in temperature from 50F (Gold Coast temp 10c) to 90F (Singapore temp 30c) will cause a performance drop of 5%. Since I have been practicing MP at 4:20-4:25 min/km in Singapore, ‘theoretically’ the heat training in Singapore could enable me to do sub-3 (4:20 pace x 95% = 4:12 pace

2) My marathon HR in Gold Coast was 165bpm or 85% Max HR. My last max test was done 3 years ago and it was 195 bpm. I am not sure what my max is now but maybe it’s down by a couple of beats. Hadd training article and other lets run posts suggest that well-trained runners (with 190+ HR Max) can run marathon averaging 175bpm (87-88% Max). So my marathon HR is about 10bpm lower than those people.

The aforementioned points above may indicate a few things 1) Assuming if I was well-trained, I was too conservative during the race and didn’t realize the possibility that I could run a bit faster; or 2) I wasn’t very well-trained, hence I was unable to capitalize on the lower temperature and run at a higher HR; or 3) I am just one of those average joes.

Race Plans:

My next race is the Army Half Marathon in mid-August (did 1:28 last year). There are only 5 weeks of training left (including taper) to prepare for the race, hopefully I can match or slightly better last year’s timing.

No other races planned for the rest of the year. There are possibilities that I sprinkle a couple of short races here and there (e.g HM leg of Singapore Marathon in Dec or Freo HM in Sep if family allows). My wife and kiddo will return to Singapore at the end of the month, so training times will be slightly constrained and less flexible. My current aim is to do general type of base work consisting of moderate mileage, 2 day offs per week, in order to balance family life.

Have yet to decide on next marathon. What currently comes to mind includes Seoul International Marathon in March (flat course, sub-zero temperature in 2007), Gold Coast Marathon again in early July or perhaps Perth Marathon (not sure when).

Training this week:

M: off
T: off
W: 7.5k Recovery (5:28) in Melbourne
T: 12.5k Easy/Mod (4:48) with last 30mins moderate(4:40)
F: Arrived in SG, 6k Recovery (5:27) + massage
S: 5k Easy (5:00), 2 strides
S: 8k POSB Run for Kids race in 32:23 (4:03) + 6k wu/cd (5:40)
Total 45k

Despite just ran a marathon a week ago, I decided to do a low key 8k race. Initially planned to run this at about 4:05 pace to get HR data for next month’s Army HM, but got sucked in to a fast start. Felt good in the first half, but found no leg speed in the second half despite feeling as strong as an ox. HR was almost constant at 182 in the last 5k. Just couldn’t push harder. Finished 4th, about 50secs behind the 3rd runner and 3 minutes after the 1st runner. Splits: 3:53/167 (hill), 3:57/177, 4:00/180, 3:57/183, 4:04/182, 4:12/182 (hill), 4:07/181, 4:02/182, 10secs extra. I am not sure whether I can maintain this pace for 21k, so probably a 1:27-1:28 is an appropriate HM goal for me.


Clown said...

Great to hear you've recovered well and nice effort in today's race.

Come and join us in Perth next next year, it can be the 3 muskuteers running together again and all sub 3 :).

trailblazer777 said...

good to see you straight back into it, admire that...nice race on the sunday...would expect that for at least a week or three, you will lack some zip due to recovery from the Marathon...
some very interesting physiological discussion at the beginning there in your "post mortem" of gold coast...

My 2 cents; You will know this better than i will, but sounds to me like you didn't attack enough as you were not used to running at sub 3 hr pace, but due to the lower temps and less humidity?, you were capable? of the sub 3 maybe. If the HR was not over 170, then you probably could have worked harder thats my first thought...
So suspect you were up to the sub 3, just needed something to push you a bit harder...hopefully, yourself, clown and Epi can finally hit the elusive sub 3 soon. I think we all know its there.

Good race on the sunday especially only one week after the marathon. All the best with easing back into some good prep for the Army Half.

Scott Brown said...

Seoul in March sounds good! Just across the road from me. I'll look into it.

Well done at the Gold Coast. You are far from the average joes!

Ewen said...

You've pulled up well.

Pretty lucky this year with the weather at GC - last year it was quite a bit warmer.

The 87-88% runners might be those coming off big mileage, then with fresh legs from a taper, are able to push those HRs. Then again, maybe you did go out conservatively.

Might be worth testing your max again, as maybe it's down a bit.

Anyway, sub-3 is a possibility, that's for sure!

Julie said...


Congrats on your Gold Coast PB too! I had bought 2 running books from you previously. Your blog has been very inspiring to read. Systematic, analytical. Very good!