29 August 2010

6 weeks 2 go

Monday (threshold):
3k warm up with strides
11k In/Out Tempo Run in 45:33
av 4:09 min/km, av HR 170, high HR 184
2k cool down
Total session 16k in 72mins (av 4:31)

"In and Out" tempo run by alternating 1km at 10k pace - 3:50 min/km and floating recovery at 4:30 min/km. Splits (HR in bpm): 3:50 (158), 4:29 (158), 3:51 (166), 4:30 (163), 3:50 (170), 4:29 (165), 3:50 (172), 4:31 (170), 3:50 (175), 4:35 (171), 3:48 (179) = 11k in 45:33 (av 4:09). Legs were a bit heavy and it was a warm morning. The float recovery made me work my butt off ! Heart rates were in the 160-170s range even during the supposedly recovery section. A good change of pace workout, accumulating 6km of work at 10k pace and 5k recovery at moderate pace.

Tuesday (easy):
40mins easy treadmill (av pace 5:26)

Wednesday (long run):
25k easy-moderate in 2hrs (av 4:50 min/km)

Felt sluggish this morning. Was hoping to do some fast pick-ups at the end, but the body was simply too tired. 30mins at 5:05, 4:55, 4:45, 4:35 min/km (between 80% MP and 90% MP). At the end, I was pleased to insert a 2 hour long run on a weekday. Fly to Jakarta in the afternoon.

Thursday (fartlek):
1 hour easy run with light fartlek (av pace 4:56 min/km)
included 8 x 2mins at HM pace, 1 min jog

Ran on treadmill. To kill boredom, decided to sprinkle in 2 mins surges at HM pace, with 1mins slow jog in between.

Friday (easy):
45mins easy (av pace 5:10 min/km)
included 7 x 15-20secs strides, barefoot

Saturday (long tempo):
2k warm up
21k tempo at MP effort in 90:15 (av 4:18)
Av HR 162, high 171
7.5k cool down
Total 30.5k in 2h:20m (av 4:36 min/km)

Dead legs! My plan was to run 26k at MP effort but ended up only doing 21k. I was fine aerobically as indicated by low HR but my leg was trashed. After 13k, my calves began to tighten and the legs became heavy. My knees and ankles were aching too probably due to the jarring on the downhills. The route was undulanting again hence the reasons for uneven splits: 4:14, 4:15, 4:24, 4:16, 4:15, 4:15, 4:19, 4:24, 4:15, 4:18, 4:26, 4:14, 4:09, 3:58, 4:21, 4:33, 4:22, 4:20, 4:22, 4:15, 4:17 As you can see, I was unable to run anywhere close to my goal MP due to the tired legs hence decided to close shop at 21k. Had 3 brief drink stops during the tempo. . Did 7k cool down on fried legs to total 30k and it felt harder than the tempo session itself.

Sunday (rest):

100k for the week with 1 speed session and two long runs. The sum of quality kms were 31k at 4:10 min/km average. Began to feel the legs burning after 6 weeks of consistent training. Last 6 weeks mileage were: 89, 105, 109, 90, 90, 100 - average 97k which is high for a runner like me who only runs about 5-6x a week. I haven't got a massage in 3 weeks, which probably explain the reason why my legs are tight. The shorter than planned MP tempo run was a bummer given I was fine aerobically and I was able to run 24k at 4:16 pace a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, at least I got some goal pace running practice this week.

Two weeks left before Army HM. Have to get a racing flat soon so that I can use it in the HM and then in the marathon. My current stock unfortunately consists of lightweight trainers such as Nike Lunar Swift, Mizuno Precision, Lunar Elite etc which are a tad too heavy for racing. Currently thinking to get either Nuke Lunar Racer or Saucony Fastwitch for the marathon.

6 weeks to go now. The plan is to do workouts at HM pace next week, then slight taper and race the HM in the following week. After that I have two more weeks left for training hard before 2 weeks taper.

21 August 2010

Happy to get thru the week

Monday (easy):
30mins easy treadmill (av pace 5:30)

Tuesday (semi long run):
20k easy-moderate in 95mins (av pace 4:48)

Did the run at easy-to-moderate pace (slower than MP). First 30mins easy at 80% MP (5:05 min/km), next 30mins at 85% MP (4:50 min/km), next 30mins at 90% MP (4:38 min/km). I pulled a calf muscle from Sunday's run and the twinge got worsened today.

Wednesday (easy):
50mins easy treadmill (av 5:15 min/km)

Thursday (intervals):
10mins warm up, 3 strides
8*800 Yasso intervals, 2mins recovery
15mins cool down
Total 14k in (av 4:44 min/km)

On antibiotics due to throat infection and cough. My variation of Yasso with 2mins recovery instead of full recovery, but only did 8 reps. Done on the road and pressed the split button when Garmin showed 803-808 meters. Splits: 2.59.21, 2.57.02, 2.57.27, 2.58375, 2.59.12, 3.00.05, 2.59.47, 2.55.91 = average 2.58 per 800m. Total work 6.4k in 23:47 for an average pace of 3:43 min/km. This is not my best Yasso ever as a) recovery between reps was done very slowly at 6.20 min/km pace, and b) I was capable to do 8*800 with 75secs jog at similar pace a couple months ago. Actually not sure whether doing intervals with a sore throat was good idea either as more polluted air was sucked in.

Friday (easy):
38mins easy treadmill (av pace 5:32 min/km)

Saturday (long):
33k long run progressive in 2h:32m (av 4:37)
5k splits = 25:20, 24:25, 23:28, 22:45, 21:46, 21:15, 12:30 (last 3k)

Nice cooling weather with slight drizzle. The plan was to start easy for the first 5k, increase the pace every 5k and then finish around MP. Did the first 5k at 5:04 min/km, next 5k 4:52 min/km, next 5k 4:42min/km, next 5k at 4:34 min/km, next 5k at 4:22 min/km, next 5k 4:15 min/km, then last 3k at 4:05 pace. The pace for the last 3k was a bit overstated since I had to stop at 3 big intersections, hence it was more like 3 x 800m with break waiting to cross the road. Last 18k averaged 4:21 min/km or 3h:05m marathon pace. Was working hard but never really struggled. Total breaks were 10mins total (excluded from the timing), for drinks and stopping at various traffic lights.

Sunday (rest):


90k for the week with 1 workout and 1 long run. Basically happy to get a 'Pass' score and  complete a reasonable training week given all the circumstances - a) super duper busy at work; b) calf strain issues; and 3) throat infection/cough. Only managed to do 14k of this week's milage at race pace or faster, a significant step down from last week's 40k. On the flip side, the pace for my 2 long runs this week were faster than my customarily slog at 5:00 pace.

I looked back at my logs and compare the mileage I have done for this cycle and for my last marathon in Seoul (see chart below). I used the last 6 months data since most marathon programs are about 20 weeks long. Over 4 months period prior to the final 8 weeks, I ran a total 1340km (av 70 per week) during Seoul prep compared to 1507km (av 79) for Melbourne, which is 12% more. The week-by-week mileage fluctuates due to different races and down time done during the two cycles. But if you believe that recent mileage have more weight than the old ones, then over the last 10 weeks prior to the final 8 weeks, my mileage for Melbourne prep averages 87km as compared to Seoul's 67km, so I am running 30% more. Average pace for this period is virtually the same at around 4.55 min/km. So if intensity is roughly the same, overall mileage is higher and assuming I'll average 90k in the 8-weeks marathon specific phase, I think I might have a chance to PB.

Seven weeks left to go :(

15 August 2010

Good (training) and Bad (race) - Redux

Monday (long tempo):
2k warm up
24k long tempo run at MP in 1h:42m (av 4:16min/km)
3k cool down
Total 29k in 2h:09m (av 4:28 min/km)

A combination of empty streets due to public holiday (National Day) and cool weather (25c, 80% humidity) made it a perfect timing to do a long tempo run. Decided to run at MP 'effort', instead of sticking to a fixed pace for the whole duration of the run. I started with an open mind that even 4:30min/km is still considered as an MP effort The route is mostly flat but had a few undulations here and there, hence the reasons for uneven pace. Splits were: 4:19, 4:13, 4:17, 4:17, 4:15, 4:14, 4:17, 4:24, 4:16, 4:21, 4:09, 4:18, 4:27, 4:21, 4:15, 4:18, 4:13, 4:14, 4:14, 4:14, 4:18, 4:15, 4:11, 4:00. I was very surprised that how a conservative mindset helps me to finish strong. About half of the splits were sub or at 4:15 min/km (20ks under 4:20), with 4:27 being the slowest. Pretty much a continuous run, except for a couple of 60secs break at km 10 and 17 for gel and drinks (time excluded). Covered 57% of marathon distance at (almost) goal pace, but don't know whether I can handle another 18k. Will try another one nearer to the D-day to further hone-in goal MP.

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

Wednesday (easy):
10k easy (av 5:10 min/km)
including 4 x 15secs uphill sprints

Felt crap. I think Monday's long MP run which was preceeded by 35k on Saturday took a lot out of me.

Thursday (semi-long run):
21k in 1h:40m (av 4:44 min/km)
consisting of 1 hour easy + light fartlek + cool down

Cool but super humid weather. Ran 12k easy in about 60mins (5:00 pace), followed by a light fartlek: 3 x (2mins @ 4:25, 4:05, 3:55) with 2mins rec, then 3k cool down. Covered 4.6k during the 19mins of fartlek work (av 4:07 pace). A nice, little way to add some quality into the medium long run without taxing the body too much.

Friday (easy):
10k easy (av pace 5:15 min/km)
including 5 strides

Saturday (rest):

Sunday (race/tempo):
3.6k warm up
12.5k Waterfront Scramble, 51:15 (av 4:05 min/km)
3.8k cool down
Total 20k in 93mins (av 4:40)

Was hoping to use the race as Army Half Marathon dress rehearsal with a target pace of 4:00 (84-85mins half), but even after the down week, legs were still not fresh. Forgot to autolap Garmin so no km splits. But from memory, my pace average 4:00 for the first 5k, then 4:02 for the 10k, then had side stitch which slowed me down in the last 3k. I wasn't tired but the legs just didn't want to move fast. Based on this result, even a sub-87min local HM is mighty hard. Ran on my own for almost the whole race since the top guys (including Kenyan couple) were so far in front of me and there was nobody running ay my pace. Finished ahead of Trudy Fawcett (2.55 marathon and represented Great Britain in World Triathlon Champs) who was on comeback trail after injury. She adviced me to improve my biomechanics since my gait is not quick & light off the ground. She could hear the sound of my footstrikes even from half a mile away :(

90k for the week (down week) in 5 runs with 1 good workout and 1 crap race. After increasing mileage to 105-109km in last 2 weeks, I decided to make this week as a recovery week. Mileage was less, but the intensity was higher - hmm..wondering whether is this a real recovery week ????

The obvious highlight is 24k tempo at 4:16 pace (with only 2x1min drink breaks). I think to have a chance for sub-3, I need to run at 4:13 pace or faster in the first half (89mins), so 4.16 for 24k without taper and the fact I wasn't wasted at the end of the run, means I still have a shot (maybe small) at it. Sunday's race turned out to be another disappointment, which further re-affirmed the fact that I am better at training. But if I think from a workout perspective, it was a decent tempo workout and I should be ready to roll again in the next couple of days. One positive thing is that 41k of my fastest miles (45%) this week averaged 4:12 min/km - which is the most I've done in this cycle.

8 weeks to go. My plan from this point is to train hard in the next 3 weeks, then run the Army Half Marathon, followed by another 2 weeks of hard training, then finally 2 weeks of taper.

08 August 2010

2 months left :(

Monday (intervals):
5k warm up to CCAB track (av 5:08)
5 x 1000m at 5-10k pace, 200m jog
4 laps of 100m fast, 100m slow
5k cool down (av 5:30)
Total 17.4k in 1h:24m (av 4:50 min/km)

My initial plan was to do 1000m repeats at 10k pace (3:50) which is akin to threshold session, but went too fast for the first 2 sets. Therefore, I just made it a threshold-cum-vo2max workout by doing 5 sets at a pace between 5k pace (3:42) and 10k pace (3:50). Splits were: 3.41.8, 3.45.2, 3.46.3, 3.44.2, 3.42.5 - average 3.44 min/km, with 200m jog recovery done in average of 75secs (1 to 3 rest-to-work ratio). Total work for 5k was 18:40. Finished the run with 4 laps of spint the straights, jog the curves. Did most of the 100m in a blazing pace 18secs, which sadly is slower than 42k pace for the Africans :) Overall, a good little session without pushing too hard (only hit 176 bpm as highest HR)

Tuesday (easy):
1 hour easy (av 5:22 min/km)
100 abs bench

Wednesday (threshold):
9k easy warm up (av 5:15)
5 x 6mins HM pace (4:05), 2 mins brisk recovery (4:40) - total 9.6k in 40mins, av HR 169
3k cool down including 4 uphill sprints
Total 21.5k in 1h:43m (av 4:48 min/km)
PM: 5k jog on treadmill (av 5:45)

So far in this cycle, I have been relatively comfortable with doing tempo run at HM pace (4:00s) for around 30-45 minutes. Decided to vary the stress, by running 9km first before embarking on the tempo session. And the long warm up really made a huge difference! Was planning to do around 50mins of tempo work, but my legs were fried and I decided to close shop at 40 minutes. was dehydrated too, only brought one water bottle. The paces were around 4.03-4:06 for the fast segments and 4:40 for the recovery, for a total of 9.6k (av 4:10). Hit 184 bpm - higher than Monday's intervals (176). After some walking, did 15mins cool down including 4 x 20secs uphill sprints (walk recovery).

Lost 3k of body weight (after factoring 600ml of fluid consumed during the run) for 100mins worth of running. This puts my sweat rate at 2.1 litres per hour, so during today's run I lost fluids equivalent to 10 cans of coke. No wonder my training/racing times suck with so much fluid lost and inability to replace it. A good reason to avoid running a local marathon, at least for a heavy sweater like me !

Thursday (easy):
1 hour easy (av 5:22 min/km)
including 4 barefoot strides on grass

Friday (easy):
40mins easy treadmill (av pace 5:25 min/km)
10mins medicine ball exercises

Saturday (long):
35k long run in 2h:52h (av 4:55min/km)

Another long run in the bag. Pace was in cruisy mode, first hour 5:05, second hour 4:55, and last 50mins or so at 4:45 min/km. Stopped for about 10mins total for drinks, which wasn't included in the time (I only logged moving time and not elapsed time). Although, I mentioned previosly that long run is my least favourite session, today was actually a pretty enjotable outing. I think the 37k run a couple of weeks ago taught my brain that long run is something that is repeatable.

Sunday (rest):
OFF. Core exercises

109k for the week with 2 workouts and a long run. Not much quality this week compared to last week. My average pace this week is 109k @ 5:05 min/km, while last week was 105k @ 4:50, so about 15secs per k slower for 100ks - which is a huge difference in terms of fitness benefits. Anyway, that's history now. For next week, I will travel to Jakarta for work again and have a tune-up race in the weekend, so mileage will be probably down by 20-30k.

I measured my weight a couple of times this week. A bit disappointing that my weight remains pretty similar at 66-67kg, although, I feel like I am getting leaner. Living in Singapore where the cuisine is a fusion of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western, it' is so difficult to escape from liberal use of oil, curry, pork lard, ghee, sauces etc for day-to-day diet. I think I will hide my scale in the store room for a foreseeable future.

Congrats to Clown who smashed his HM PB ftom 86 to 82. You are on fire!

No dates for the Spain football trip yet, but they said it will still be in October. I have registered for the marathon before the early bird closed last week. My registration number is 3465 and I believe it has now reached 4400+ (capped at 4500 runners based on info from the MM website).

Two months to go and I am still not so ready!