31 July 2010

10 to 10-10-10

Monday (threshold):
3.5k warm up
12mins ON, 2mins OFF, 3mins ON, 2mins OFF
9mins ON, 2mins OFF, 3mins ON, 2mins OFF
6mins ON, 2mins OFF, 3mins ON, 2mins OFF
3mins ON, 90secs OFF, 3mins ON, 90secs OFF
3mins ON
3k cool down
Total 20.5k in 93mins (av 4:33 min/km)

A varied pace Threshold session, alternating long intervals (12-9-6-3 minutes) at MP-10 secs/km and short intervals (3 minutes) at MP-20 secs/km, interspersed with 2mins jog in between. Always enjoyed this kind of session. Cumulatively, they added up to 30mins at 4:05 pace and 15mins at 3:55 pace for a total 45mins worth of Threshold work - an average of 4:00 min/km. If recovery jogs are included, the workout covered 14.1k in 60mins or an average pace of 4:15 (av HR 164, high HR 175). Very pleased with today's run considering that I did a 37k long run two days earlier.

Tuesday (easy):
60mins recovery treadmill (av 5:30 min/km)
Core work: planks, 1 set of Bataan & Myrtle

Experimenting with a longer recovery run (1 hour) instead of the normal 30-40mins. Otherwise, I will never see my mileage above 90k !!

Wednesday (semi-long run):
21k semi-long run in 1h:40m (av 4:48 min/km)

Beautiful and cool post-rain weather, with no UV at all. Ran the usual route of Chatsworth, Nassem, Cluny Park, Dempsey, and River Valley. After 4k easy miles to loosen the leg, then ran the next 17k between 4:30-4:45 min/km. Felt easy effort-wise due to the cooler weather. Could have run more miles but unfortunately, I had to go to work. I would say around 4:40s would be my normal long run pace if I still live in Aussie.

Thursday (progression):
10mins warm up
30mins progression run (av 4:10)
20 mins cool down including 6 strides
Total 13k in 59mins (av pace 4:33 min/km)

After warm up, did 10mins progressive at 4:20s-4:10s-4:00smin/km, covering 7.2k in 30mins (av 4:10 pace). A bit hard of a workout than I initially expected. Finished the run with 6 x 20secs strides.

Friday (easy):
40mins recovery on treadmill (av pace 5:32 min/km)
10mins upper body weights + sit-ups

Saturday (long):
32k long run in 2h:33h (av 4:47min/km)
consisting of 60mins easy (5:12), 2 x 5k MP, 45mins moderate (4:40)

Tired going into the run with 110k from the last 7 days in the legs. However, I decided to test the water a bit by aiming a marathon simulation run of 1 hour easy + 4 x 5k MP. My thought is that if I could ace this workout un-tapered, then sub-3 is a real possibility. However, that proved to be a wishful thinking. After 1 hour easy from home to ECP, I then did the first 5k at 4:18 pace and the second at 4:20 pace, so about 3-5 secs off pace but perhaps equivalent in effort considering the weather factor. I was completely wiped out after the second and decided to save the effort for another day. Humidiy was really high too and I was soaked. Finished the run with 45mins at moderate effort (4:40 pace) to total 32k for the day.

Sunday (rest):
105k for the week with 2 workouts, a semi-long run and a long run. An increase of almost 20% in mileage from last week and 30% higher than my average kms in last couple of months. Including last Saturday's long run, my rolling last 8 days mileage amounted to 142k (almost 18k per day). Overall, I handled the increase in mileage reasonably well. Slightly disappointed with today's planned marathon simulation run. If only I could complete the session with those kms in the legs, my confidence to do sub-3 in 10 weeks time would have sky-rocketed. Anyway, things do not always go you way. Or maybe I wasn't good enough on the day.

The plan for next week (week minus 10) is to do similar level of mileage (90-100k depending on life schedules), again focusing mainly on threshold sessions. I then plan to take a down week in week minus 9 to super compensate and do a tune-up race.

10 weeks left to 10/10/10 !!!

24 July 2010

Better Week

Monday (OFF):
Thai Food workout
3 x great food, with 4 hours recovery in between :)

Tuesday (Tempo):
2k warm up
25-20-15-10-5 minutes at MP, 5mins jog/rest in between
Total 23.2k in 102mins (av 4:24 min/km)

Last day of holiday in Phuket. Decided to do a long workout since I don't have a luxury of running on quite streets near my place in Singapore. Split times were 25+ mins at 4:15 pace, 20+ mins at 4:13 pace, 15+ mins at 4:13 pace, 10+ mins at 4:10 pace, and 5+mins at 4:03 pace. All up, 19k worth of MP work (non-continuous) in 80mins, av 4:13 min/km. A good workout to familiarize the body with MP, but the truth is I only covered about 40% of marathon distance !!! Fly back to SG in the arvo.

Wednesday (easy):
45mins recovery on treadmill (av 5:25 min/km)
60 v-ups with med ball

Thursday (fartlek):
15mins warm up
Mona fartlek
Covered 5k in 20:00 (av 4:00)
25 mins cool down
Total 12+k in 60mins (av pace 4:48 min/km)

Still not able to master Mona fartlek. Went a bit too fast in the early parts, both for the fast and float part. Unable to keep the floats during the 30s and 15s, died, and had to jog instead.

Friday (easy):
43mins recovery on treadmill (av pace 5:28 min/km)
15mins upper/lower body weights

Saturday (long):
37k long run in 3h:02h (av 4:56min/km)

Hallelujah! A long run at last. Cooler than normal weather this morning, some light cooling breeze, a bit of drizzle here and there and no sun. Was happy to run 32k, but continued on since the weather was unbelievable kind (25c, 90% humidity). First hour averaging 5:15 min/km, second hour averaging 4:50 min/km, and last hour averaging 4:40 min/km. Didn't feel as wiped out as normal long runs due to the conditions.

Sunday (rest):
OFF. Core exercises


89k for the week in 5 runs. A decent week for my standard with 2 workouts and a long run (finally !!). Since long run is my least favourite workout, I was very pleased with today's 37k run. One pin bowled, so hopefully another one or two 35k+ long runs in the remaining 10 weeks should suffice. For the rest of long runs, I am happy to keep them at the more manageable 26-30k range. In terms of quality, I did 24 km this week at a pace faster than MP. If I combine last Sunday's tempo run, my quality miles in the last seven days were 36k at an average of 4:10 min/km (out of total mileage of 106 km)

Another positive thing going forward is that my work schedule looks pretty good for the next couple of weeks, so hopefully I can capitalize on this by doing some decent sessions.

Training to date (7 weeks)
Intervals/Vo2Max: 16x300, 8x800, 5x1000, 12x400, 5k TT (18.33), Mona fartlek= 6 sessions average 5k
Tempos: 9k change of pace, 10k in intervals form, 4.4k trail race, 12k continous = 4 sessions average 9k
Long runs: 27, 31, 29k (with 2x20mins at HMP), 28k (with 90min at MP) , 37k = 6 sessions at average 30k
Semi-long runs: 24k, 24k, 23k (with 80mins MP) = 3 sessions average 24k
Mileage: 81, 89, 88, 57, 89, 77, 89 = average 81k per week

19 July 2010


By now, you would probably know about the infamous, Paul The Octopus  with oracle-like psychic ability to predict the outcome of soccer match. During the course of the World Cup, he predicted 8 out of 8 correct outcomes including the final, a 100% record or 1 in 256 chance !!

On a more humane front (literally), I managed to combine my psychic and analytical skills to win my company's Fantasy Football competition. The game entailed 'managers' to pick a team, select team formation, change/transfer players within certain budget and rules etc. Points were awarded when the players in the team scored goals, made assists, or in case of defenders, when they did not concede goals. During the course of the World Cup, I accumulated the highest points among 400 other 'football managers' from all around the globe.

For all my troubles, I won an all expense paid trip to Madrid, Spain to meet Cristiano Ronaldo in-person and watch his team, Real Madrid play in a Spanish League match. An entity of the company that I work for happens to be the sponsor of Ronaldo, the world's most expensive player (he was bought for US$132m from his previous club). So the trip probably involves some backstage access to mingle with the bloke. While I am not a fan of Ronaldo, but a free trip to Spain is too rude to pass and is a nice reward for all the sleepless nights watchng the World Cup (which sadly affected my training/racing too) and analyzing match statistics. Anyway, his autographed jersey is selling for $1k+ on internet, so if I can get him to sign a few.... haha

One issue is the trip probably will happen in October. If the chosen match falls on the 8-10 October weekend, then effectively I'll say bye-bye to Melbourne Marathon. If it is held one week earlier, I think I still can do Melbourne albeit jet lag problems from traveling between Asia-Europe-Asia-Australia. If the game is in the latter part of October, then no worries. Will get more clarity on the date in the next couple of weeks.

Anyway, 12 weeks left to Melbourne

Monday (easy):
40mins recovery on treadmill (av 5:43 min/km)
10mins upper body weights
60 v-ups

Severe DOMS and tight lower leg muscles from yesterday's race (12 up slopes and 12 down slopes, albeit mild). What annoys me is that I ran a hard effort, suffered shot calves, hammies, and quads and could only run the HM at my MP. I think 21k at MP should be a semi-hard effort and not almost a full-effort like yesterday :(

Tuesday (easy):
50mins easy (av 5:25 min/km)

Wednesday (long):
24k medium long run in 2 hours (av 5:00 min/km)

Decided to skip workouts and do an aerobic run. Legs are still affected by DOMS and I really need an endurance boost at the moment. Ran the first hour at 5:10 pace, second hour at 4:50 pace.

Thursday (fartlek):
15mins warm up
2mins 4:20s, 2mins 4:00s, 1min 3:50s, 1min jog, repeat for 6k
15mins cool down, 4 strides
Total 12+k in 56mins (av pace 4:38 min/km)

Busy day work and got stomach issues all day. Did a light fartlek at varying pace (MP, HMP,10k pace) for a bit of quality since I haven't done any workouts all week.

Friday (easy):
40mins recovery on treadmill (av pace 5:27)
60 v-ups, 60 squats, core exercises

Saturday (off):
Travel to Phuket, Thailand for holiday.

Sunday (tempo):
4k warm up
12k Tempo in 50:00 (av 4:10 min/km)
1k cool down
Total session 17k in 75mins (av 4:28 min/km)

Hard to motivate myself to wake up early during a holiday for a long run. Ran on quite road around the Phuket Laguna area. The morning weather is better than Singapore for a run - perhaps 1-2c lower temp, still humid but at least the sea breeze helped.

77k for the week. Suffered DOMS and tightness early in the week, hence only did one workout. Missed the long run again, which made it just one long run over 30k in 6 weeks.  Not good for marathon training! After today I only have 12 weeks left before Melbourne.

What keeps me sane is that my last marathon prep in Seoul was only 8-9 weeks long and I still managed to run 3.03s. But what made it worked well was that I had an uninterrupted training block without any traveling and office work was much quieter then due to festive season and Chinese new year.

Hopefully, things will enable me to train consistently in the next few weeks. It is unlikely that I could top more than 90k for weekly mileage, so I am hoping my training will have a lot of quality elements in it. Fitness wise, I am still far away from sub-3, so if I can get close to 3.00 and BQ again, then I'd call it a successful training. The marathon is also possibly at risk due to the Madrid trip, so we shall see.

11 July 2010

Good and bad

13 weeks left to Melbourne....

Monday (time trial):
5k warm up to CCAB track
5000m solo Time Trial in 18:33 (PB)
Lap splits: 87.2, 89.6, 88.9, 89.8, 89.7, 90.0, 91.2
90.9, 90.2, 90.5, 89.9, 87.4, 38.3
Av pace: 3:43 min/km, av HR 177 bpm
6k slow cool down
Total session 16k

After 3 days of not running, I decided to have a crack at my old 5k PB (18.45) from 2006. Based on my recent interval workouts, I thought 18.20 (3:40 pace or 88 per lap) would be a doable target. My plan was to cruise the first half at my old PB pace (90 per lap), then running to the barn in the second half. Unfortunately, 3 days of inactivity made me feel a bit flat (lower blood volume ?). Plus running round and round the track with nobody to chase and nothing at stake also made it a real challenge. With a target of 88 per lap, I only managed to do 2 laps <88 (first and last), with the rest at around 90.

It was a mixed feeling. Always happy to get a PB (12 secs) during training. But on the flip side, I knew that I could run faster than this. I couldn't get out of the 'locked' pace (90 secs per lap) during the middle miles, pushed the pace too late and I felt still have lots left in the tank. Since it wasn't too draining, I might do another TT instead of workouts in the near future. Anyways, Mcmillan equates today's run to 85.45 HM and 3.00.50 marathon.

Tuesday (rest):
OFF. Travel to Jakarta for work

Wednesday (easy):
60mins easy treadmill in Jakarta (av 5.02 min/km)

Thursday (medium run):
75mins moderate workout (av 4:42 min/km)
4k up, 7k MP tempo in 30mins (av 4:17), 4k down

Friday (easy):
60mins easy treadmill (av pace 5:05)

Saturday (rest):

Sunday (race):
2k warm up
Timex Tri-Run 21.4+ km in 91:02 (3rd Men Open, 5th overall)
Av pace: 4:15 min/km
5k splits: 20:23, 20:58, 21:28, 22:05, 1.4k+ in 6:07
4.6k cool down
Total 28k

Only slept for 3 hours, watched the World Cup 3rd place play-off till 4am and couldn't sleep after that. Tried to take a nap during the cab ride to the race venue, but the driver kept on talking. The route was ridiculous, 3.5k stretch of road and we ran out and back 6 times. In total, there were 12 rises (2 rises in each 3.5k course) and 5 hair-pin turns. The road was cambered too which caused some discomfort in the hips and sole of my foot. Tried to run at around 4.05 min/km and only lasted for about 7k. Then the wheels came off and it was simply a matter survival after that. After one hour, the 10k runners started their race and the 3.5k route became very messy. Passed the 21k in 89:06, so theoretically a sub-90 HM.

Totally disappointed with the race. Maybe the lack of sleep or Monday's 5k TT affected the outcome, but I really gave a hard effort today (close to 90% Max HR). Don't think I can do back-to-back 90mins HM, at least in Singapore conditions. Even after taking 2 salt tablets and 2 gels, I cramped badly during the cool down and also when collecting the prize. A bit embarassed that I laid down in the podium with calf cramps for everyone to see after collecting a Timex watch prize. The only positive thing is that everyone seems to be 2-5 mins slower today.

89k for the week with 2 rest days. One good  TT (PB) and one shitty race. Five weeks down and only 13 weeks left to the race. This week marks the conclusion of Phase 1 training where speed is the focus (4 weeks) and the beginning of Phase 2 training (5-6 weeks) where the emphasis will move to HM/threshold training. I think today's race showed that I really lacked raw endurance (evidenced by my pace's downward spirals). So far, my long runs were 27, 31, 24, 29, and 28k, so only 1 run above 30k. Other runs were mostly between 30mins to 1 hour. For the 5 weeks, my mileage averaged only around 80k (50 miles), which seems low for a sub-3 wannabe.

Gotta work much harder from now on!

01 July 2010

Short Week

Week 4 of 18 to Melbourne

An early blog since will be traveling to Indonesia for my brother's wedding, hence no running Fri-Sun.

Monday (easy):
40mins easy (av 5:05 min/km)

Tuesday (intervals):
15mins warm up to Labrador Park
12 x 400m (100m recovery)
Splits: 84.5 (29.9), 85.1 (30.9), 89.0 (29.8), 83.1 (31.3), 87.4 (31.6), 86.4 (34.2),
87.2 (34.9), 87.1 (32.1), 86.2 (34.3), 89.3 (34.5), 87.4 (31.9), 87.6 (34.2), then 200m in 42.0 to round up
20mins cool down
Total session 13.2k in 60:12 (av 4:40 min/km)

Ran on the flat road/path of Labrador Park. To reflect potential GPS over-measurement, I pressed the Garmin button at 405m (1% extra) for all the splits. Av time for the 400s were 86.70, with a total 5k worth of work in 18:03 (3:37 min/km). Including recovery jogs, the workout totalled 6.2k in 24:33 (av 3:57 min/km). Felt the legs and hearts burning in the last half as evidenced by longer time to cover the 100m jog.

Wednesday (easy):
40mins easy treadmill (av 5.25 min/km)

Thursday (long & threshold):
3k warm up
5k continuous tempo in 20:00 (av 4:00 min/km), at the Canal
10k easy (av 5:05)
4 x 1200m, 1min rest, at CCAB track
Splits: 4:45, 4:47, 4:46, 4:42 (av 3:58 min/km)
6k cool down
Total 29k in 2h:17m (av 4:45)

Because I will have total rest for the next 3 days, I decided to do a harder long run. The session is called Jack Daniel's spiced TLT sandwich, but I am not talking about Turkey-Lettuce-Tomato here. The TLT stands for tempo-long-tempo, and the original version has 10 miles long run sandwiched between 20minutes T-pace runs. I moderated it by reducing the easy filler run to 10k and doing the second tempo in 1200m batches. The latter was tough because I had 90minutes of running beforehand, hence I was pleased to complete the session. Had marathon-like cramps in the calves during cool down, decided to stop after 29k total.

Friday (rest):
OFF. In Jakarta

Saturday (rest):
OFF. Brother's wedding

Sunday (rest):

57.7k for the week with only 4 days of running. Despite the short week and lower mileage, the nice thing is that I still managed to do one good interval session and one long run. All things considered, I probably do not miss a lot. I realize that time flies really fast. I have passed 4 weeks out of 16 training weeks (+ 2 weeks taper), so about 75% of training time left. Happy with how the intervals and tempos are going, but the long runs are still on the short side (averaging 27k). Hopefully I can do at least half-a-dozen 30k+ runs in the next 10-12 weeks.

Next Sunday, I will be running the Timex 21k race. Ideally, I'd like to race a 5k/10k since I am currently in the Muscle/Speed Training phase. Moreover, I haven't done HM-specific training such as hard long runs or progression runs,which are actually in the next phase. However the beauty of doing the HM right now is that I can easily total 28-30k for the day with warm up/cool down. This means that I won't have to miss out on a long run. Timing wise, I will be happy with anything under 90 since my long runs are still too few at this stage.

Training to date (4 weeks)
Intervals: 16x300, 8x800, 5x1000, 12x400
Tempos: 9k continuous, 10k in batches, 4.4k trail race
Long runs: 27, 31, 24, 29k (with 40mins tempo)
Mileage: 81, 89, 88, 57 = average 79kper week