26 December 2011

New routine

My last week before starting the Pfitz 12 weeks 55-70 miles program, that's 90-110 km per week in metric terms. And I am currently struggling to even do more than 70km per week !!

Still adapting to a new sleep/running/family routine.

Nowadays I gotta be home by 07.00 am to prepare myself for work and also to drop my son at school. Pfitz plan requires 1 workout, 2 medium long runs, and a long run, and this means that I have to get up earlier than usual on most days. For instance, in order to cover 18-24k medium long runs (which take 90-120nins), I need to get up before 04.30am so that I can start running by 05.00 am. Currently, I am having a hard time trying to cut on sleep and wake up early !!

The life adjustment was probably reflected in my training this week. Was feeling very sluggish during the tempo run on Monday .I also had a miserable long run on Christmas Eve as I experienced chest pain (right side, not left) and cramping. Don't think there is anythin' serious and should not stop me training for next week.

Mon 19-12-11
Off (unplanned). Heavy rain all day.

Tue 20-12-11
15 km (av 4.38) with 9k Tempo in 36.54 (4.06 min/km)
Because I missed yesterday's medium long run, my initial plan was to do close to 20k today. However, I woke up late, and only had the time for 60-75mins of training. For my tempo last week, I ran 7k @ 3.55, so I was aiming to do 8k at roughly the same pace. But I found it hard to get going today; weather was damn humid and my hip was sore; and I was struggling to hold low 4.00s pace. Av HR was 171 bpm today versus last week's 167 bpm, so that's 4bpm higher but the pace was 10secs slower !!! Extended the distance a bit to 9k in order to compensate for the slower-than-anticipated pace. The only plus point from today's session is that Pfitz tempo maxed out at 11k, and I have now done 9k tempo even before starting his 12 week program (albeit at slower pace).

Wed 21-12-11
8 km recovery run in 44mins (av 5.30)
Easy run around the 'hood

Thu 22-12-11
16 km medium long run in 75mins (av 4.44)
Woke up late again, so I only had about 75-80mins to run. In order to cover more ground within the limited window, I ran the first 15mins easy, then the next one hour at moderate pace (4.35 min/km). Felt relatively OK effort wise, so perhaps I should make running at 90% MP a staple for my midweek medium long runs.

Fri 23-12-11
6 km recovery run in 33mins (av 5.22)
Same story again (too lazy to get up!). Only had 30mins to run.

Sat 24-12-11
28k long run in 147mins (av 5.15)
Super duper humid this morning due to heavy showers overnight. Found it hard to breathe, and I got chest pain afterwards. As the pain on the right side, I googled that it was probably due to lung/respiratory issue (maybe the heavy air??). I also underestimated the humidity effect on sweating, as I got tightness/cramps after about an hour. Had to take a few stops along the way in order to stretch the legs.

Total 73k (5 runs) in 6h08m (av 5.03)

17 December 2011

Stand-by Training (Week 1 of 14)

I am keepin' one eye on Seoul Marathon on 18 March. I'd say the chance is around 50-50, because there are still too much uncertainties around life/family.work commitments at this juncture.
I have been training crap lately and also really struggling with motivation. For some reason, I only get excited when I am preparing for marathon. The training itself is a bitch, but I always enjoy the overall process, including creating both training plan and traveling/holiday plan that come with it!

Since my chance of doing Seoul is 50-50, I decided to focus more on aerobic stuff this time around. If I end up not going, I still get the benefit of aerobic development and use that as a foundation for another marathon later in the year (eg Gold Coast). I am considering to loosely follow the Pfitz plan (12 weeks, 55-70 miles) because it is a very aerobic-centric program (I've had his book for about 5 years, but I never actually follow his plan). With a standard structure of 1 workout, 2 medium long runs, and 1 long run per week, I hope I'll get pretty fit by the end of it.

With the above in mind, I will start working on 'STAND-BY TRAINING' in case I am running Seoul. If that doesn't happen, I don't think I have much to lose.

The key is that I really NEED A REASON to motivate me to train and get up every morning !! And for me, fortunately (or unfortunately) that reason is running an overseas marathon!!

Since there are 14 weeks left to Seoul, my plan is to spend the next couple of weeks to familiarise with the Pfitz structure (1 sess, 2 med long runs, 1 long run) before embarking on the 12-week plan (albeit very loosely).

Mon 12-12-11
12 km (av 4.30) with 7k Tempo in 27.30 (3.56 min/km)

Warmed up for 15mins to my Canal loop, then did 7k continuous tempo. Ran the first 5.5k at 3.58 min/km, before made a push in the last mile at 3.47 min/km. Quite surprised to find out that running 7k tempo slightly faster than my SCMS 10k race pace wasn't that hard (probably an affirmation that my 10k performance was crap !). Av HR was pretty low at 167bpm, helped by the cool weather. Pfitz plan schedules LT run between 4-8 miles, so doing a 7k today was a good intro to what will come.

Tue 13-12-11
15 km medium long run in 75mins (av 5.00)
Ran the first 11k easy in 56mins (5.06), including 8k on Padang grass field. Accidentally stepped on a pothole, which sent me flying for a few meters. I was wearing a skimpy split-race short and the fall caused bloody abrasion to my hip and thigh. Ran the last 4k on the way home at moderate effort (4.40 min/km).

Wed 13-12-11
Off (unplanned). Felt tired and struggled to wake up.

Thu 14-12-11
15.3 km medium long run in 71mins (av 4.42)
Only started running at 6.15am and had to go back before 7.30am, so I only had a window of 70mins. Pfitz' standard for medium long runs is between 11-15 miles (18-24 km), which probably needs 90-120mins for me to cover. Due to the shorter distance, I decided to add a zest of quality by doing the run in progressive fashion. Ran 2k segments at 5.30, 5.05, 4.40, 4.27, 4.15, finsihing at 4.05 min/km. Warmed down for 3k+ including 4* 30secs strides.

Fri 15-12-11
6.7 km recovery run in 36mins (av 5.23)
Easy run, doing 2.5 loops of Singapore River/Moh Sultan.

Sat 16-12-11
26k long run in 130mins (av 5.00)
Felt sluggish today, possibly from office christmas party. Very humid too. Felt like quitting the run at 16k, but the thought of a possible marathon spurred me on to last a futher 10k. Hopefully this 'ghost protocol' will continue to trick my mind for the months ahead.

Total 75k (5 runs) in 6h07m (av 4.54)

04 December 2011

Nothin' to cheer about

Week beginning Nov 14
M: 2 x 3 miles (4mins rec) - splits 19.15, 19.25 (av 4.02 min/km); Total 15k with warm up/down
T: 65mins easy (5.20)
W: 45mins easy (5.04), incl 5*20secs hill sprints
T: 5 x 1000m (2.5mins rec) - splits: 3.35, 3.39, 3.38, 3.40, 3.35 (av 3.37 min/km)
F: 35mins very easy (5.37)
S: 110mins easy-moderate (4.49)
S: off
Total 75k for the week

Week beginning Nov 21
M: 35mins easy (5.00), incl 5*15secs hill sprint
T: 5k run in 19.25 (3.53) - a test run at sub-39 10k pace
W: off (unplanned)
T: off (unplanned)
F: 3 x 2k (3mins rec) - splits 7.28, 7.38, 7.36 (av 3.47 min/km).. Totak 16k with warm up/down.
S: 40mins very easy (5.30)
S: 90mins easy (4.55)
Total 60k for the week

Week beginning Nov 28
M: off (unplanned)
T: 3.2k tempo in 13.15, 4*800m (3.00-3.05). Total 13k
W: off (unplanned)
T: 60mins easy (4.58)
F: 35mins easy (5.00), incl 5*1min on/off
S: off
S: SCMS 10k in 39.28

Another sub-par performance today. I thought I was capable of doing close to my PB of 38.20 in local conditions, but that wasn't the case. My interval paces in training were faster than when I did 38.20 (Melbourne) and 38.50 (Madrid), so I thought I had a chance.

Too lazy to download my watch and look at the splits. But it was not pretty. Was cruising at 3.50s pace for the first 5k, but in the second half the split blew up to around 4.00 pace. Just struggled physically and mentally in the second half period.

Physically, the glute was sore for the whole week and it was tight especially in the last 5k which didn't help. But guessing at the meltdown in the second half, I have a feeling that my endurance has decreased. My mileage is pretty low presently at around 60km per week. For me who has been doing 80-100km regularly during marathon training, doing 60km per week is a backward direction in terms of fitness progression. But that's life as I have to balance the demands of family, work, and personal passion.

Mentally, I also just wasn't that focused. Just didn't have the mental toughness to fight when the going gets tough. There is no self belief.

On the positive side, today's race marked my first sub-40 in Singapore. Previous 10k races were around 40-43 mins, either due to untapered marathon training, crowded race or inaccurate course. But given I am still about 2-3mins behind the standard of my local competitors (Seakins, Hong Leng) in the over 40 category, there is nothing much to cheer on. It just means that more, more, more, more and more hard work are required !!!

13 November 2011


Week beginning Oct 31
M: Off
T: Threshold 3*2mile @ 3.58 min/km, 2mins walk rest - splits 12.40, 12.38, 12.40 but I cheated for the last rep by taking a brief break after a mile; Total 15k with warm up and cool down
W: 65mins easy (5.25)
T: Intervals 7*600m, 200min jog with a friend. The plan was 8*600 @ 85s/lap but I got stuffed after 6th, skipped the 7th, and rejoined him for the 8th -splits 2.10, 2.10, 2.08, 2.11, 2.11, canned, 2.05; ended up averaging 87s/lap (~3.37 min/km).
F: 40mins very easy (5.40)
S: 90mins easy (5.00)
Total 60k for the week

Week beginning Nov 7
M:Threshold 4*2km @ 3.58, 90secs jog - splits 7.54, 7.56, 7.56, 7.56, then did 4*200m hill reps. Total 17k with warm up and cool down
T: 50mins easy (5.23)
W: 40mins easy (5.10) incl 6*15s hill sprint
T: Intervals 4*1600m, 4mins rec (400m jog + walking around)- splits 5.55, 5.55, 6.00,5.57 (av 3.43 min/km). Good session, hit 194 bpm during las rep !!
F: off
S: 100mins easy-moderate (4.48)
S: off
Total 65k for the week

Have decided that I won't be running SCMS 42k in 3 weeks time. Firstly, my training has not been up to scratch to run a marathon. A myriad of factors such as slow recovery post-Melbourne Marathon, hectic work, and family commitments all contribute to this. There are 8 weeks between Melbourne and SCMS, but during the 5 weeks, my longest run and highest weekly mileage were only 20k and 60ks respectively. There are only 3 weeks left to the race, which effectively killed any hope of an already mission impossible. To make things worse, my weight has gone up by 3kg due to little training after Melbourne marathon.

A second reason of not running is that the incentive just wasn't there. I have zero chance to PB over marathon distance given little training and weather conditions in Singapore. Since I 'only' ran Melbourne in 3.09, perhaps around 3.15 in Singapore is the best I could hope for. As a benchmark, last year's 3rd Master finished around low 3 hours, so 3.10-3.15 might be good enough for a top 10 placing in Masters Category, but with potentially only a couple hundred bucks in reward, the incentive is just not that there. (SCMS Masters category have a prize pool of $15k, with top 5 getting $5k-$1k, while between 6-10 gets a few hundreds).

As some of you have pointed out, maybe it's good for me to get away from the monotony of marathon training for a while. With no key races in the pipeline, perhaps it is a good time to work on speed and neuromuscular stuffs, and skip those long slow runs which can be draining in Singapore conditions. In light of this, I have started doing speedwork once a week with a friend (Ronnie) instead of doing intervals solo. He's a bit faster than me, so hopefully training with him will help me to improve my speed. Also, I hope doing track work on regular basis will help my marathon training later on.

With respect to the overall training, ideally I would like to do more mileage per week, but given life contraints, I am quite content running around 60ks per week for the next couple of months. The goal is simply to stay out of trouble (injury) and improve on my speed and neuromuscular strenght a bit. Haven't decided which marathon to do, but similar to previous years, the two regional options are SIM in March and GCM in July.

30 October 2011


Week of 10-16 Oct
Sun: Melbourne Marathon
Tue: 10k easy (5.12)
Fri: 10k easy (5.12)
Sat: 15k easy (4.52)
Total 35k

Week 17-23 Oct
Mon: 7k easy (5.28)
Wed: 11k fartlek (4.33)
Fri: 12k moderate (4.48)
Sat: 18k easy (5.15)
Total 48k

Week 24-30 Oct
Mon: 10k incl 12*400 (85-90), 1min walking rest
Wed: 16k (4.42) including 45mins tempo fartlek @ 4.20
Thu: 7k easy (5.27)
Fri: 6k easy (5.30)
Sun: 21k long (4.52)
Total 60k

Nothing much to report. As usual, post-marathon recovery is a bit slow for me. Legs were still quite weak, especially when doing long runs and climbing up hills. In addition, weather has been gettting very warm lately which made running conditions difficult.

Felt some pain in the ankle after the marathon, but after a couple of weeks, it went okay. However, I began to experience some soreness in the glutes this week, hopefully nothing major.

Next race is Singapore Marathon 42k in about 5 weeks from now. I actually registered for this race before signing-up for Melbourne. The original plan was to run it as long training run, but I kinda regretted it now. Have been struggling during long runs in last couple fo weeks. Legs were still not on their best shape, while the weather has been killing me. Will decide in next couple of weeks whether I will still do it as a training run or just bandit the 10k event.

09 October 2011

Melbourne Marathon

3.09.16 (net)
Overall position 372

As mentioned in last week's blog, I felt that my training this time around was inferior compared to GC '09 and Seoul '10 which yielded 3.04 and 3.03 respectively. In light of this, I thought 3.05-3.10 would be a reasonable target for Melbourne. At the end, I just managed to sneak in under 3.10. But the process of getting that timing was a total fiasco - a positive split of almost 10mins hahaha...

Before the race, my thoughts were either to follow the 3.00 bus and then see what happens, or pace myself to a 'safe' target such as 3.05-3.06 with an even pace strategy. When the gun went off, I still couldn't make up my mind. The start was pretty congested and my first k split was around 4.40 min/km (since my finishing position was 372, presumably there were 500-600 odd runners jostling for position in the first k). To my surprise, I saw the 3-hour bus also splitted 4.40 in the first k due to the congestion. I then decided to lurk behind them, allowing a gap of around 100meters. The first 10k was relatively easy since the course is flatish-to-downhill. Also St Kilda Road and Albert Park F1 circuit was pretty protected from the wind. We consistently churned 4.05-4.15 pace due to the easiness of the course and also to make up the lost time in the first k.

First 10k split 42:15 (official)

Side note: I had k-by-k Garmin splits, but they were not meaningful. They were off by about 100m by the first 10k, then continued to grow linearly. At the finish line, my watch showed 42.6 k, about 400m difference which is still within 1% of accuracy. Interestingly, when I read up the cool running forum after the race, all 305/310 watches (also Timex) showed 42.6k, but one guy who had 610 recorded an exact 42.2k !!! Maybe time for an upgrade LOL

Was still feeling great when we left Albert Park, but then my leg developed a blister and I stopped for a few seconds in order to correct the positioning of the socks. As we entered St Kilda beach, the gap between me and the 3.00 bus had widened to around 200m. The wind started to blow strongly and I was running in a no mans land in between the 3.10 and 3.00 buses without any protection at all. I still tried to churn 4.15 per k pace, but I think running alone against the wind took a lot out of me.

Second 10k 42.52, reached halfway exactly 90 mins.

After the halfway mark, I continued to struggle running in a no mans land against the wind. My legs began to tighten and they got heavier by each step. Negative thoughts started to emerge and my pace began to drift. With a 90min first half and with the expected headwind, HM-ers and FM-ers merging in the last 10k and a series of hills in the last 7k, I realized that getting low 3.00s might be a stretch. For some reasons, my brain told me to play safe and ran at 4.30 pace because it could still get me around 3.05. The 3.00 bus began to disappear from my sight (interestingly, the bus had 30 runners at the start and at the finish, only 3 remained and went under 3)

Third 10k 45.06

So, a slow down from 4.15 pace to 4.30 pace, but wait, it actually got even worse !!! LOL 'The Wall' continued its strong hold on my mind/body and I slowed down massively from then on. From 32k mark until the finish we then had a merging between FMers and HMers which started an hour later. Actually I had no complaints because at that point I couldn't run fast and pass people anyway hahaha. But running with thousands of 2-hour HMers kinda put me in the same running motion as them and my pace slowed to around 4.40-5.00. The hills, although they were not steep, kinda added an extra 'thickness' to the Wall.

Fourth 10k 48.21

Just couldn't wait to get over and done with the race, but to put more salt into the wound, the last 400k was uphill too hahaha.

Last 2.2k 10.26

In retropective, I am quite pleased with the outcome because I think I have finally defeated my injury issues that plaqued me in the last couple of years. I think I could have reached a better result, say if I targeted 1.32-1.33 first half in lieu of 1.30. But going at 3.00 pace (even when I am not up to it) and then hitting the wall really gave a different experience. While it wasn't enjoyable, but shuffling the last 12k of the race at 5.00 pace after averaging 4.20 pace for the first 30k was really an eye opener for me. Putting one step in front of another when nothing left at stake was I must say, an 'epic' experience LOL.

I am not sure whether 'the wall' that hit me was due to glycogen depletion since I took a few gels and sipped sports drinks throughout the race. Also, I felt that I carbo-loaded reasonably well this time. I think it was mainly attributed to a couple of things:

Firstly, sub 3.00 pace was too hot to handle for me, so blowing up was, sadly, an expected outcome. Secondly, I think I trained too hard during taper - was doing 18k @ 4.14 pace about 2 weeks out, 23k with 11k at 4.10  pace seven days out, and then even 3 days before the race, I ran 13k at 4.30 min/km  (couldn't help it running at 15c compared to my usual 30c) - this was essentially 1/3 of marathon distance at today's pace !! In retropesctive, the gamble to cram in workouts even during taper just didn't pay off. During race day, my legs were 'toast' and felt like lead after 25k.

Ewen actually spotted me at the finish line and he said that I looked comfortable and did not have that  'trashed look' a other runners. I felt fine after the race too. This sort of reaffirms that the wall wasn't a function of glycogen depletion, but more of muscular fatique, coupled with high energy cost of running (against headwind + went out maybe 5mins quicker than I was capable of TODAY)

All in all, I feel that the positives still outweigh the negatives. Finishing the race after almost 2 year battle with post-tib tendon injuries gives me some confidence that I can run better next time. As mentioned, my training wasn't as good and consistent as my previous marathons, so taking some risk by going out harder than what my form indicated, hitting the wall, but still finishing comfortably under BQ standard ain't that bad of a result, I reckon.

Thanks everyone for the support !

02 October 2011

Just a few days to go...

Mon (26 Sep):
OFF. core strength

Tue (27 Sep):
12k easy (5.32) @ river/padang
Surprisingly slow pace even after a full day off. Also, did some drills to prep for tomorrow's track work.

Wed (28 Sep)
2.6k warm up, strides (CCAB track)
6*800m (2.59, 2.58, 3.00, 2.58, 2.59, 2.55) = avg 2.58, av cadence 199
2mins jog in between
6*200m (40, 40, 39.4, 39.7, 39.3, 38.9) = avg 39.6, av cadence 200
2k cool down

Some speed work to freshen things up. Still bugged by cold and felt light headed during the intervals, so I was surprised to do 6 reps all under 3mins (3 miles of work at 5k pace). Ran the 200s controlled (39-40secs) and not all out to avoid risk of pulled muscles etc. It's interesting to see my cadences for the 800s & 200s are basically the same. Stride length during the 800s was 800m/ (200spm*3:00) = 1.33 meters, while on the 200s was 200m/ (200spm*(40/60secs))= 1.50 meters.

Thu (29 Sep)
40mins easy (5.10), Padang grass
Felt unwell. Headache and runny nose. Need to to see a doctor before it gets worse.

Fri (30 Sep)
40mins easy (5.32)
On antibiotics. Did some light drills in advance of tomorrow's workout.

Sat (1 Oct)
30mins warm up (5.30)
20mins tempo @ 4.15
15mins tempo @ 4.09
10mins tempo @ 4.03
5mins rec in between
30mins cool down (5.30)
Total 23k

Last workout for this training cycle. Still taking antibiotics, but in general, felt better. The 20mins and 15mins tempo included a moderate 200m long hill (Melbourne is undulanting between 35-42k). Actually planned to do 20-15-10-5, but decided to skip the 5mins effort since my HR was already above 180. With about a week to go, don't see the neccesity to push it.

Sun (2 Oct)
30mins recovery (5.22) , Padang grass

Total 68k for the week

Pheww...finally made it to the 1-week taper !!! The last 2 marathons have seen me injured 5 weeks and 3 weeks out, so I am very grateful to finally reach this stage.

Legs were generally okay, some soreness, but in general, the problematic post-tib tendon has been holding up so far. Hopefully can get the flu/cold under control in the few days.

Since I am only doing 1-week taper, plan for next week is have a 'drastic taper' by running only over every second day.

In last 9 weeks I have done 74, 80, 55, 95, 87, 114, 90, 85, and 68 km weeks, averaging around 80k per week. That's not too bad for my standard, but most of those kms were really easy, in the 5.00-5.30 min/km range. The slow training pace was attibuted to the post-injury rehab and the fact that I simply need to run slower nowadays between workouts. During that time, I probably had about 6-8 'good' workouts, the rest was mediocre.

Comparing to the GC 2009 and Seoul 2010, this training cycle produces the least mileage and slowest average training pace. But I am excited because I am given the opportunity to toe the start line after DNS/DNF in my last 2 marathons.

Weather for next Sunday looks warm at 23c - which is not much different from SG weather. Windy condition is also forecast, with headwind on the way back. Melbourne is Melbourne!

My plan is to simply determine the pace on the fly. Normally the first few kms can tell me whether the pace will be sustainable or too hot to handle. There are so many uncontrollable factors in the marathon anyway. Being able to start is already half a battle won.

25 September 2011


Mon (19 Sep):
OFF. Massage

Tue (20 Sep):
15mins warm up
Varied Pace Tempo @ The Canal
10mins @ 4.05, 5mins @ 3.55, 10mins @ 4.03, 5mins @ 3.50
Total 30mins continuous tempo, av 4.00 min/km
15 mins easy jog
5 x 00:30 hill sprints, walk down recovery
Total 14k

Had difficulties sleeping last night (over-trained a bit???), therefore I only had about 1 hour to run this morning. Decided to do something that offers the most bang for the buck - which, for me, is a tempo run. Came across this workout from reading R4YL magazine whilst doing my morning toilet dump prior to the run. Overall, it was a good short & sweet session combining threshold running and some surges at 10k pace.

Wed (21 Sep)
11k easy-recovery (5.25)
Along Singapore river and a bit of Padang's muddy grass field.

Thu (22 Sep)
OFF. Cold/flu.

Fri (23 Sep)
2k warm up
18k Tempo run in 76:00 (continuous)
3k cool down
Total 23k
4.09, 4.13, 4.13, 4.11, 4.13, 4.14, 4.14, 4.14, 4.27 (water fountain stop),
4.10, 4.14, 4.13, 4.14, 4.15, 4.16, 4.13, 4.16, 4.00

With couple of rest days this week (enforced by minor sickness), legs felt good and springy this morning. Drove to East Coast Park and did a long tempo on traffic-free bike path. With about 2 weeks left before the marathon, I was actually apprehensive about doing a long tempo. Firstly, I don't know my goal MP is - I haven't done a lot of sessions this cycle and in the most recent race, I recorded a PW for Army HM even on a short course. Secondly, I think I am walking a thin line between injury/overtraining and desire to cram in some quality sessions for the race in 2 weeks time. My immune system is surpressed (cold/flu) and I've had some sleeping difficulties lately.

Therefore, I just ran at a controlled HR at between 160-175 bpm. My cold weather marathon HR is normally around 165, but under Singapore conditions, I presume it would be 5-10 bpm higher. On the surface, the splits indicated that I might be aiming for sub-3 pace for the tempo, but honestly it was just coincidental that the average pace turned out to be that way. Tried to keep HR under 170 throughout the run but after an hour then it slowly began to rise. The plan was to do 20k but decided to play safe and end the run a couple of ks earlier. To test whether I still have some juice in the tank, I ran the last k at harder effort. Av HR for the 18k continous run was 166 bpm, which is similar to the HR recorded at Army HM, but today's pace was about 8 secs/km faster. Overall, the run didn't take a lot out me but it wasn't a walk in the park either.

Sat (24 Sep)
5k recovery run (5.40)

Sun (25 Sep)
33k long run @ ECP (av 4.51) @ ECP

Woke up late due to EPL last night and started running at 7am which is unusually late for me. Decided to do it at ECP, as hopefully the flat terrain will be easier on the body given there are only 2 weeks to go the D-day. Ran the first 15k at 5.00 pace, the second 15k at 4.40s, and the last 3k as cool down. Pretty hot day and I was punctured from 25k onwards. Also, had a 10mins toilet break during the run.

Total 86k for the week

A good week with 1 short tempo, 1 long tempo, and 1 long run. So thankful that I managed to finish another training week with my legs still in one piece and holding up well. I also battled cold/flu, so the reason for 2 rest days this week.

Need to tackle one more week of training left before I can confidently say that I will be toeing the start line in good health. That means a couple of more workouts on my plate for next week. My plan is to do intervals midweek, and then one final tempo workout in the weekend . I don't think a lot of benefits from next week's training can be realized in time for the race, so I need to make sure that I don't over-risk it and then fall on the very last hurdle.

18 September 2011


Mon (12 Sep):
30mins elliptical + 30mins treadmill run (av 5.45)

Tue (13 Sep):
8* (400m fast, 200m float) + 200m fast
91 (52), 88 (54), 89 (54), 89 (54)
90 (55), 90 (56), 90 (54), 88 (51), 38
Total 5000m continous in 19:50
Av pace - 400s @ 3.43 min/km, 200s @ 4.28 min/km
5mins recovery
800-600-400-200 cutdown (1min standing rest in between)
2.54, 2.11, 1.24, 0.36

Only reached the CCAB track about 6.30am, so I only had 1 hour to run before going to work. Did a short 2k warm up on grass, then straight into the Deek Quarters session, which I completed in 19.50 for the 5000m. A lot slower than the same session on the road in 19.35 a couple of weeks ago. But this is expected given I have residual fatique from a long run a couple of days ago, distance is more accurate than GPS, and today some spots on lane 1 was closed for some patching work so I had to swerve into outside lanes. Av HR for the 5000m was 170 bpm, which is about 89% Max HR (only reached a high of 182 today). Quite a low HR - but I think this is driven more by fatique and low glycogen (after doing 114k last week) rather than better fitness.

Did some maths on stride length. My cadence for the deek session was 194 strides per minute, which translated to 3850 footstrikes for the 5000m or an average length of only 1.30 meters !! I think Jack Daniels did a study showing that females' stride length were averaging 1.5m for marathon race distance :( Even on the 200m sprint today (212 strides per minute), my stride length is a paltry 1.60 meters !

PM: 35mins recovery (5.45), Sentosa broadwalk

Wed (14 Sep)
8k easy (5.23) around local neighbourhood, tired

Thu (15 Sep)
9k easy (av 5.13) @ Keppel Island
with 4 strides, drills

Fri (16 Sep)
Threshold fartlek (2400m 'cooked' in 5 ways)
1) straight tempo effort; time 9:55 (av 4.08)
2) varied pace (600m @ 3.50s, 300m float @ 4.40); time 9.54
3) progressive effort (increasing pace every 600m from 4.20 to 3.55), time 9.59
4) 1600m @ tempo effort, 800m at 5k effort; time 9.45
5) 2.4k worth of 30secs fast/slow fartlek; time 10.15
all with 2mins recovery (jogging/walking)
Total 12km of work in 49:50 (av 4.09 min/km)
Total 18k with warm up/down

Kind of bored doing tempo session at a constant effort on a 1200m road loop, so I decided to make it a fartlek style. Times were pretty consistent in all the 5 repetitions (9.55, 9.54, 9.59, 9.45, 10.15); eventhough they were all done in different format (last one was slower because of the equal jog recovery). HR were mostly in the 170 range, with a high of 183 in the fourth rep. Personally, I enjoyed this kind of session better than, for instance, running 6*1600m at tempo pace. Training alone really made pacing concentration a bit difficult. Also, I guess this kind of session could be beneficial because it involved some efforts beyond and above LT.

Sat (17 Sep)

Sun (18 Sep)
32k long run (av 4.50) @ District 9

Hot and humid morning. Was crusing at 4.45 min/km pace for 2 hours, then it became a death march due to the heat. Slept little last night.

Total 90k for the week

Overall, an okay week with 2 workouts and one long run. Speed workout times were slower than previous cycles, but I am not complaining. I know that I am less fit than where I was in 2009 and 2010 where I ran 2 marathons in low 3s. However, I'd say my training at the moment was not materially different to my pace and mileage from my prep to JoongAn marathon in 2008 where I ran 3.11. So, let's see where my training will take me in the next couple of weeks.

Three weeks left meaning there are 2 training weeks and then one week of taper !! Currently, I feel (finger cross) that my legs are holding up. However, until that taper week arrives I think I will be in a continuous anxiety state that my history of marathon jinx will repeat itself and my post-tib tendon could flare up anytime. Really need to toe the marathon start line in a healthy state in order to recover my morale and bring me out of this depression! However, I am a guy who likes doing workouts and gets confidence and satisfaction from doing them. My plan is to do a couple more of 80-100k in the next two weeks (including 30k+ lon run and long workouts), so my body will be on the edge.

11 September 2011

Fighting against the jinx

Mon (5 Sep):
8k recovery run (av 5.35) @ Keppel Island

Tue (6 Sep):
12k easy run (av 5.16) @ Labrador
included 5* 15secs hill sprints

Wed (7 Sep)
15mins warm up, strides
Threshold workout @ The Canal
4km in 16:02 (av 4.01), 4mins rec
3km in 12:02 (av 4.01), 3mins rec
2km in 7:56 (av 3.58), 2mins rec
1km in 3:50 (av 3.50)
Total fast running, 10k in 39:50
15mins cool down
Total 16k

PM: 6k recovery (5.45), treadmill

Legs felt better and springier this morning compared to last Sunday's crap race. Took a more cautious approach (since I've been overestimating my fitness !) by doinbg longer and easier recoveries. This made the session much easier and I still had plenty left in the tank at the end. HRs were between 170-180 for the fast segments.

Thu (8 Sep)
18k easy (av 5.05) @ Padang
24 laps of Padang grass field, must be the most number of laps I have run! Things that I need to do to preserve my legs.

Fri (9 Sep)
7k recovery (av 5.40) @ Keppel Island, with drills

Sat (10 Sep)
14k easy (av 5.05) @ District 9

Had to abort the long run. Felt underfueled and sluggish.

Sun (11 Sep)
33k long run (av 5.10) @ District 9

Forgot to turn off my Garmin yesterday, so the battery was dead this morning! Arrghh !! Decided to to run anyway and would calculate the distance by google earth when I got home. I was planning to run for about 3 hours or 35k and made this as my last long run longer than 30k. My only feedback on the duration and pace was basically asking the current time to passer-by every now and then. Unfortunately, the last person had her watch 10mins faster and I ended up running 2h50m. Mapmyrun calculated the distance at 33k, so my average pace came to around 5.10 min/km. However, the total time includes drink stops and trafic lights, so presumably I was moving slightly quicker than that.

Total 114k for the week

An okay week, dominated by lots of easy aerobic mileage. Only did one workout, a threshold session on Wednesday. I decided to play safe this week because I think I am still traumatized by 18 months of bad luck and injury jinx. During the last 2 marathon cycles, I injured my post-tib about 4-5 weeks out before the marathon and ended up not doing both races.

Four weeks left to Melbourne, meaning there are only 3 more training weeks plus 1 week of taper. I know that I won't be in tip top shape, but if I can get through the remaining 4 weeks without injury and run the marathon (in whatever time it will be), that will good for my morale. I will be running the race not for the time, but to re-build my confidence that has been trashed by the spell of bad luck in the last 18 months.

04 September 2011


Mon (29 Aug):
7k recovery run (av 5.30)
Heavy leg from yesterday's long run. Did half of the run on 250m grass field.

Tue (30 Aug):
15mins warm up, strides
Intervals @ CCAB track
1600m (6:07), 2mins jog, 1000m (3.47), 2mins jog, 400m (1.27), 3mins jog
1600m (6.14), 2mins jog, 1000m (3.48), 2mins jog, 400m (1.27), 5mins jog
5*200m (39, 41, 40, 41, 37), 200m jog
10mins cool down
Total 15k

Legs felt a bit heavy. I guessed I have yet to fully recover from the 33k outing 2 days ago. Legs just didn't have a lot of pop this morning. All the warm up, recovery between intervals, and cool down were done by circling the soccer field, hence today I ran a full 15k without putting my foot on asphalt. Cadences were 200 strides per minute for the 400-1600s intervals and around 210 for the 200s.

Wed (31 Aug)
7k recovery run (av 5.37)

Thu (1 Sep)
16k run with fartlek (av 5.05)

Sprinkled 5* 40secs hill sprints, 3* 400m hill repeats, 4* 20secs grass strides, and a couple of MP effort kms into today's run. Was suprised to see the average pace for the run was a wee slow at 5+ min/km given I did some fast running here and there. I guessed I am just slow.

Fri (2 Sep)
AM 6k recovery (av 5.40), treadmill
PM 6k easy on grass (av 5.10)

Sat (3 Sep)
OFF. But went out with family & friends for 12 hours, from breakfast to dinner, all over Singapore

Sun (4 Sep)
4.30am 2.5k warm up
5.15am SAFRA Half Marathon 90.14 (GPS distance 20.4)
7.30am 7k cool down jog
Total 30k (not continuous)

Total 87k for the week

My slowest Army HM timing ever!! (my times were never good anyway, but today was awful).

Even from the start, I knew that it's gonna be a tough day at the office. Felt sluggish, probably a combination of no taper and a long outing yesterday (driving around SG for gourmet hunting). Legs didn't have a lot of pop, felt stiff and were not fluid.

I also over-estimated my fitness level! I thought that even with normal training (no taper), I should be okay to complete a HM at around 4.15 min/km but sadly that proved to be a wishful thinking. Averaged around 4.15 pace for the first 10k, but found the pace too rough for today. I was basically done at that point! Decided to run at more comfortable effort for the remainder of the HM and ended up averaging 4.26 min/km. That's even slower than my actual marathon pace for my last 2 completed marathons in Gold Coast and Seoul :(

Only 5 weeks left to Melbourne and I think I might be struggling to run a decent time. The only good thing is that by not digging too deep today, I think I can resume workouts in about couple of days. Will see what happens in the next couple of weeks to decide a proper marathon time goal.

I also notice that my training nowadays has a trend akin to mood swings. One week great, the next week is full of crap. Don't know why but I am certainly not a man I was before.

28 August 2011

Good week

Mon (22 Aug):
9k easy, 4 strides (av 5.15)

Tue (23 Aug):
3k warm up, strides
Tempo Fartlek session
4000m @ 4.13, 3mins rec, 800m @ 3.54, 2mins rec
3200m @ 4.08, 3mins rec, 800m @ 3.57, 2mins rec
2400m @ 4.09, 3mins rec, 800m @ 3.58. 2mins rec
1600m @ 4.04, 3mins rec, 800m @ 3.56
(total quality segments 14.4k averaging 4.07 min/km)
2k cool down
Total 22k in 1.41 (av 4.36)

PM 35mins arc trainer

The plan was to run the long intervals at approx 4.00-4.05 pace and the 800s at 3.50-3.55 pace, but that proved to be a wishful thinking given where I am at! Ended up averaging 4.09 min/km for the long intervals and 3.57 min/km for the 800s. So that's about 5-10 secs/km slower than what I was expecting. One mistake that I did was that I took my drinks a bit too late at about 40mins into the fartlek which made me dehydrated. Cadences were around 190-195 strides per minute for the fast segments, slowing into 180 for the recovery segments.

Wed (24 Aug)
AM weights
PM 13k easy run (av 5.15), mostly on grass

Thu (25 Aug)
7k easy (5.15)

Fri (26 Aug)
3k warm up
Deek Quarters
continuous 8* (400m fast, 200m float) + 200m fast
82 (50), 88 (52), 87 (54), 89 (54), 88 (54), 89 (54), 89 (54), 88 (53), 42
Total 5k continuous in 19:33
3k down

A short, hard session! Averaged 3.40 pace (88seconds) for the 400s, and 4.30 pace (53seconds) for the float 200s. HR was a bit low, average was 173 bpm and only reached a high of 95% Max. Leg turnover was 200 and 190 strides per minute for the 400s and 200s respectively. Good cadence but still think my stride length is still short !!

Sat (27 Aug)
Off (planned). Decided to rest so that I am more energized to do long run tomorrow. Did 20mins core strength session.

Sun (28 Aug)
33k Long Run in 2h37m (av 4.46) consisting of
First 12k in 59mins (av 4.55); home-Canal-Margaret Dr-6th Ave-B Timah Rd
Last 21k in 1h38m (av 4.40) ; Rifle Range Rd out & back plus above

Good weather for a change, humid but at least cooler than normal. Felt pretty good until 26k, then got tired. Running time excluded 10mins of stoppages for traffic lights, buy drinks at 7/11 etc

Total 95k for the week

First time since the injury that I managed to put in a decent training week. Speed hasn't returned yet as evidenced by Tuesday and Friday workouts, but that's the way it is right now. Also, happy to finally do a 30k+ run. Next weekend I am running my first race since Perth DNF, which is the Army Half Marathon. I have only done a couple of workouts post-injury, so I am not too sure what kind of shape that I am in. Since there are only 6 weeks left to Melbourne and the fact that my training has been lousy in recent weeks, I might just train as normal this week and treat the race as a workout.

21 August 2011

Short Week

Mon: off (busy)

Tue: 4k warm up to F1 track, 5*1k intervals (av 3.47) with 1.45 rec, 4*200m (av 40sec), 4k cool down (with last 2k @ marathon effort)

Wed: 8k recovery (av 5.40)

Thu: 8k easy (av 5.28)

Fri: 24k long run (av 5.15)

Sat-Sun: off (travel)

Total 55k for the week

A hectic week, so running became a second priority. Tuesday session was my first interval in about 4 months, and I was pretty pleased with the splits. Friday was supposed to be a 30+k run, but bailed out after 2 hours. I started runnign way too late at 7am and the sun was already burning by then. Running in my area on weekdays is also not conducive due to peak hour traffic. Got shore throat afterwards due to car fumes,

Sling Jr came down with fever again, his school was actually shut for almost a week due to ill students. I will just play it by the ear next week in terms of running.

13 August 2011

Feelin' Better

Mon (8 Aug):
7.5k easy run @ treadmill (av 5.22) - started at 6.00 pace, ended at 4.50 pace

Tue (9Aug):
2k warm up, strides
14k Tempo run in 60mins (4.18)
3k cool down jog
Total 19k (av 4.38)

Today is public holiday and streets were empty, hence I decided to do a long tempo on the roads. The route started/ended at the doorstep of my condo and has some undulations here and there. Completed '1/3 marathon' (14k) in about an hour, excluding 2 very brief stops (less than 1min) at 9k for drinks and at 12k where I struggled to climb the slopes from Elber Rd to Oxley Rise due to fatique. Av pace was 4.18 m in/km but heart rates were on the high side - akin to Threshold effort, further evidenced by a high 186 bpm reached in the last k.

Wed (10 Aug)
7.5k recovery run @ Keppel Island (av 5.26) - light drills

Thu (11 Aug)
13k easy (5.02)
A couple of ks slow along the river, 10 easy laps of Padang grass field with 6 x 25secs strides, last 3k at  moderate pace (4.37) back home .

Fri (12 Aug)
5k easy (5.45) @ treadmill in Mulia Hotel Jakarta

Sat (6 Aug)
28k long run in 2h12m (4.43)

Ran from/to home + 3 loops of Botanic loop which is roughly about 7k (Nassem Rd, Evans Rd, Bukit Timah Rd, Cluny, Holland Rd). Did a wave-style run by alternating easy effort and harder effort.

15mins @ 5.20, 15mins @ 4.15
10mins @ 5.05, 10mins  @ 4.12
5mins @ 5.13, 5mins @ 4.03
15mins @ 5.12, 15mins @ 4.17
10mins @ 5.18, 10mins  @ 4.16
5mins @ 5.13, 5mins @ 3.58
10mins ez

Total 80k for the week

Overall, a much better week. It seems my aging body enjoys the new structure of 2 workouts a week. This means that I have 3-4 easy days between workouts for recovery and I think that's exactly what my body needs. I felt much fresher and more energized now. The extra recovery enabled me to make my hard days harder by putting more quality into the two sessions (long tempo + fartlek long run). Plan to do similar structure next week - probably a 90mins midweek session (intervals) and a 2hr+ weekend fartlek long run. Rest of the week will be short slow runs.

My strides rates during Tuesday's tempo was 192 strides per minute (Garmin footpod), Really needs to work on the stride length and midfoot striking (to avoid the braking action of heel strike) to get myself faster.
Only 8 weeks left....

07 August 2011


Mon (1 Aug):
AM 9k easy with strides (av 5.30)
PM 6k (av 5.05) incl 5 x (60secs + 20secs hill repeats)

Tue (2 Aug):
6k easy treadmill (av 5.44)

Wed (3 Aug)
9k (4.50) including 3k tempo @ 4.03

Thu (4 Aug)
12k easy (5.20)

Fri (5 Aug)
6k easy (5.20)

Sat (6 Aug)
26k long run (5.02)

Total 74k for the week

Felt very lethargic for the whole week. For some reasons, my body is rejecting anything faster than easy pace. Tried to do a LT session on Wednesday, but only lasted 3k since I found the effort was too rough for a 'tempo' (couldn't believe that I was runing 40min+ 10k for continuous tempo not long ago). Paces for my easy runs also slowed to mid 5.00s as the body refused to run faster. I am not enjoying my running much at the moment.

The tendon injury is still there and I could feel the aching but it's not painful nor causing me any grief. However, I could feel new niggles here and there, such as in the glutes, groin, and hamstring. It seems my body has 'aged' rapidly in the last year or so. However, unlike a fine red wine, my body is getting worse and weaker with age.

If my training doesn't improve in the next couple of weeks, most likely I will abandon my plan to run Melbourne marathon and maybe just do a 1/2 instead. It is just so scary that I just recovered from injury, and then realized there is only 9 weeks before a marathon !!!! I don't think I will be able to give sufficient time for my body to absorb and to benefit from training in such a short time frame.

In the meantime, I need to continue to keep my head down and tough it out. Let's hope I can shake out the doldrum and have a better luck next week.

09 July 2011

July Update

After taking two weeks off after Perth in order to rest the injured tendon, July was all about re-booting and getting back to fitness.

It's hard to say if my leg pain is completely gone, since my mileage is not that high at the moment and my workouts haven't really started. But so far, my legs hold up pretty well after each run. I always ice my leg after every run and have shifted some of the runs into a small grass cricket field. I haven't touched ibuprofen and voltaren for a month now.

In last four weeks, I have built my mileage gradually from 40k to 50k to 72k and 50k this week, while longest run was up to 2 hours (24k). Actually plan to do 28k this weekend, but unfortunately my son came down with fever and cold, hence also reason for low mileage this week.

10 weeks to go to Melbourne now. Not much time left!

Week 1 of July
Sun: 8k run (5.10)
Mon: 1 hour arc trainer
Tue: 8k run incl strides (5.00)
Wed: 1 hour arc trainer
Thu: AM 10k run (4.45), with 25mins @ 4.30; PM 40mins arc trainer
Fri: 1 hour arc trainer
Sat: 14k run (4:55)

Total 40k of running in 3h20m + 3h40m of arc trainer = 7 hours of aerobic exercise

Week 2 of July

Mon: 8k grass fartlek run (4.53) incl 10*1 min on/off + 20mins bike + 50mins arc trainer
Tue: 6k run (5.15)
Wed: 11k run (4.45) incl 4 x 4mins LT (~3.58), 90secs rec + 40mins arc trainer
Thu: 60mins arc trainer
Fri: 7k grass run (5.10), 10mins bike
Sat: 18k run (4:55)

Total 50k of running in 4h+ 3h of arc trainer = 7 hours of aerobic exercise

Week 3 of July

Mon: 10k grass fartlek run (4.56) incl 6*90 secs (~3.40s pace) with 2mins rec + 40mins arc trainer
Tue: 6.5k easy (5.24)
Wed: 12k run (4.52) incl 2*10mins LT on grass (4.05-4.10 pace), 2mins walk rec + 60mins arc trainer
Thu: 7.5k easy (5.26)
Fri: 12k treadmill (5.15)
Sat: off
Sun: 24k long run (4.58)

Total 72k of running in 6h5m+ 1h40m of arc trainer = 7h45m hours of aerobic exercise

Week 4 of July
Mon: 6k treadmill (5.45)

Tue: 8k grass with 6 strides (5.12) + 20mins bike
Wed: 15k fartlek (av 4.50) incl 3*6mins @ 4.00 (90secs jog), 3*1min @ 3.35 (60secs jog), 2*2min @ 3.50 (60secs jog)
Thu: off - travel to Jakarta
Fri: 7k with drills/strides (5.22)
Sat: 14k tempo (av 4.26) - Matt was sich so no long run
Sun: off
Total 50k of running in 4h10m + 20mins bike = 4h30m aeroboc exercise

20 June 2011


DNF at km 7.

I knew that I had a remote chance of finishing a marathon, but didn't expect to pull out so early :(

Tried to run early in the week, but leg was too painful. Decided to rest for the rest of the week and was also on anti-inflammatories diet, hoping that everything will come good on Sunday.

On Wednesday, about 30mins before our flight was supposed to take off, Qantas decided to halt all flights to Perth for 24 hours due to Chilean volcanic ash.

Qantas offered full refund for the tickets. I was very tempted to take the cash since the marathon was virtually a no hoper. Contemplated Gold Coast in 2 weeks time, but there was no guarantee that I'd recover in time, and more importantly, I haven't been training much for the last month so I wasn't gonna be in tip top shape anyway.

At the end, I decided to keep the ticket betting that everything will be alright on race day. Flew to Perth the next day.

On Friday, ran 9k in Perth at 4.45 pace (including a mile at MP) and legs seemed to hold up. Feeling a bit more optimistic, and hoping 2 more days on NSAID diet will reduce the inflmmation in the posterior tibialis tendon.

Meet the Perth gank for pasta dinner on Friday. It was a good boys night out, talking about running !

Sunday morning: did 1k warm up with B'man (who eventually ran 2.49) at 5+ pace and legs seemed okay. Lined up at the start with Epi (who finished in 3.00.30) and felt great for the first couple ks running at 4.12-4.15 pace.

Then I came undone in a flash. There was a steep downhill after Windan Bridge and the force sent shock waves to my legs - ankles, and posterior tibia as well as the anterior tibia. Legs were burning like hell. Hold on for another k but another steep downhill in East Perth put the nail into the coffin. Run, walk, run, walk for a while, before deciding to pull the plug at approx km 7.

If the pain happened say after 30k, probably I wouldn't mind grinding it out. But the shit happened so early and running another 35k or so it will not be an enjoyable (& rewarding) experience and akin to climbing K2.

Nevertheless, it was a good holiday. Been 4 years since the last time I was there. Visited all the restaurants we used to eat before, took my son for a walk in Kings Park, and managed to catch up with the Perth running crew.

So what's next?

The same injury (posterior tibialis tendon) has now caused me to pull out of two marathons (DNS Melbourne 2010 and DNF Perth 2011). Both of them were caused by over-worked muscles due to excessive heel striking (the tendon contracts eccentrically during heel strike)

The short term solution will be to rest before resuming normal training again. It took me about a month of total rest to recover last year. I managed to put in a good 4-5 months of training post-injury before breaking down again.

The long term solution is to alter my biomechanics into a midfoot striker. Not sure how easy this will be after running for 7 years and clocking about 25000 km  LOL. May have to look at options such as barefoot running, Newton shoes, learning about proprioceptive cues (falling forward running style) etc

In addtion to to the above, I might also have to look at altering my training regime. It seems 2 speed workouts a week is too much for my aging and aching body. I trained well during Melbourne and Perth preps but all came un-done in the last 3-4 weeks before the race (maybe Pfitz regiment of one speed and more medium long runs are more palatable??). Another modification is running more on softer surface. Last month I bought a car, and this would make travelling to training venues much easier. Once I gotten over my injuury, I might look at doing my long runs in Macritcihie forest trail or doing my tempo on the gravel surface of Bedok Reservoir - all of which would reduce the pounding.

If things go well and I can quickly recover from this shit, Melbourne Marathon on 9-10-11 will be the next marathon. That's less than 4 months away, so not very long to go !!

Gonna hang up my running shoes and go cross-training crazy for the next couple of weeks !!

12 June 2011

Week 12 of 13

1 week left !!!

35mins easy (5.08) - painful !!!

60mins easy (5.23) - PAINFUL !!!!

90mins XT (60mins arc trainer, 30mins stationary bike)

45mins XT (arc trainer)

AM: 13k in 60mins (4.37)
15mins tempo @ 4.06 min/km
15mins fartlek, alternating 90secs @ 3.50s, 90secs float @ 4.40s

PM: 45mins XT (arc trainer)


21k long run in 100mins (4.46)
(11k @ 4.55, 3k @ 4.45, 3k @ 4.30, 3k @ 4.15, 1k cool down)

Total 55k of running + 3 hours of XT

Week in Summary:

Life is a roller coaster.....

Early in the week: The posterior tibialis was damn PAINFUL (yes, capital letters). For Monday and Tuesday easy runs, I had to walk, jog, stop, walk etc for the first 20mins of the run. Calf, shins, and ankles were burning. It's the same shit I experienced prior to last year Melbourne Marathon which I eventually pulled out. Told my wife and colleagues that I probably will DNS the marathon.

Middle of the week: Skipped running for two days, did XT, RICE, ibuprofen

End of the week: Pain level declined from 100% to 85%. Did a small workout on Friday, not very comfortable. On Sunday, did a dress rehearsal, by swallowing ibuprofen, wore calf sleeves and marathon shoes. Could notice a drop in fitness on the back of reduced training in last 2-3 weeks (let's call it a 4-weeks taper)

Okay, I think I will be a starter comes next Sunday. The chance didn't look good early in the week, but things started looking up by the weekend. Hopefully in the next 6 days or som, the pain level will reduce to < 80%. Currently, I am no good to run in consecutive days since the muscles and tendons are painful due to the jarring effect. So probably will run 3 times prior to the race to give myself the best possible chance to run.

Not sure about my marathon goal time now because I won't know how the legs going to feel during the first few steps of the race. This will be my first ever marathon start with the legs not 100% healthy. Anyhow, Perth is the place where I fell in love and got obsssed with running, so it's good to come back ! I just need to be daring and do my best to tough things out.

04 June 2011

Week 11 of 13

2 weeks left !!!

OFF. XT: 10mins weights + 25mins stationary bike + 10mins climber + 15mins elliptical

4k warm up, drills/strides
8 x 400m, 100m jog (Padang field)
85, 87, 86, 88, 88, 89, 90,88
4k cool down
Total 12k in 57+ (4.48)

6k easy in 31 (av 5.10), Keppel Marina 1k loop

3k warm up with strides
10k continuous tempo in 40.57 (av 4.06)
3k cool down
Total 16k in 74+ (4.40)

35mins recovery (5.45), treadmill

5k easy in 26.47 (5.22)
5k MP in 21.40 (4.20)
4k easy in 22:10 (5.32)
4k fartlek in 17.20 (4.20), alternating 500m @ 10k-HM, 200m jog
3k easy in 17.00 (5.40)
3k MP in 12.45 (4.15)
2k easy in 11.00 (5.30)
2k of 40secs strides, 80secs jog in 9.40 (5.50)
Total 28k in 2h18m (4.57), excluding a number of stoppages to rest the ankle from pounding


Total 68k for the week

Week in Summary:

The good: This week's low mileage seems to have alleviated my dead legs problems as evidenced by a good tempo on Thursday and a fartlek long run on Saturday. So I reckon there is no issue with overtraining or low iron since my motivation is still there.

The bad: The dreaded tendon-ankle joint injury is back !!!

Similar to the last year's injury which put me on the sidelines for a couple of months, the posterior tendon has spreaded its web of pain to my shins and ankle. I would say the tendon and shin splints issues are currently 'manageable' as the pain is not that severe. Have been icing twice a day, eating panadol, and poisoning myself with voltaren gel.

The ankle is the numero uno problemo right NOW. It is painful and sore and it continuously being jarred from the road pounding. The ankle is also very weak and has very little strength to toe-off. However, it is not as bad as last year where I couldn't run at all. Perhaps the early mitigative measures such as icing, anti inflamatories, and training reduction all help to de-celerate the process before it becomes a bigger scale injury. I just need to make sure that I will nurse it for the next 2 weeks.

I am only able to secure physio appointment next Thursday. I will be leaving the following Wednesday, hence I doubt I'll get any quick fix within such a short time span. As desperate measures, I am currently experimenting with Phiten titatinum tape in order to hold the muscle and relieve pain (hopefully it's not a hoax like power balance).

Given the unexpected injury I would be happy if I can run under 3.10. However, I might go out at 3 hour pace since I don't think going out at 3.10 pace is that motivating. I am just hoping like last year's Seoul Marathon, I only fade by a few minutes to finish in low 3s.

HOPEFULLY my ankle and posterior tibialis can hold up for 42k :(

Clown/Epi/TB - I will arrive in Perth on Wednesday and return on Monday, staying at Medina on Barrack. Perhaps we can meet up for a pasta dinner on Friday and/or a beer or two after the marathon. Also, I don't mind running a bit around the river on Thursday or Friday :)

29 May 2011

Week 10 of 13

3 weeks left !!!

9k+ easy in 50 (av 5.30), treadmill

15k easy in 1h20m (av 5.20), Singapore River

Wanted to do a speed session, but body wasn't ready! Legs like lead and had no strength.

9.5k easy in 50 (av 5.16), Keppel Marina 1k loop, included 6 strides

3k warm up with strides
Fartlek (padang cricket field)
3 x 800m @ 10k effort (90secs rec) + 1600m @ HM effort (90secs red)
3k cool down
Total 15k in 71 (4.44)

Did the workout on grass in order to reduce the stress on tibia. Tried to do a minimum of 4 sets. but stopped after 3. My legs were like lead and 10k and HM paces were slower by about 5-10secs per km!

35mins recovery (5.42), treadmill

15k easy in 76+ (5.06)

An aborted long run. Super humid weather and my legs are still toast. Decided to cut my losses.

18k easy in 93 (5:10)

A re-dux long run, but legs still felt shitty. Felt lethargic, no strength at all and calf tendon was sore. Another stop loss

Total 88k for the week

Week in Summary:

A crap week. I only managed to do one workout and no long run! Legs were like lead and body felt knackered. Everytime I go out for the run, the shin bones were burning like hell. I had my tendon massaged and it was ok for a week, but it flared up again during the weekend. I think the cumulative pounding and fatique over this training cycle has trashed my muscles, connective tissues, and joints. The 'deal legs' feeling resulted in me doing lots of easy 5+ min pace this week.

My body was lethargic all week and seems to reject fast running at all. I eat meat regularly so I don't think my iron was lacking. Presumably doing ferritin test is too late at this stage with only 3 weeks to go. I think I simply get saturated with months and months of hot weather training. Frequent heatwaves and high humidity have taken their toll on my body. I am not recovering well on day to day basis.
I am contemplating to take a few rest days this week in order to let the body and legs recover. It's frustrating that I can't do hard sharpening workouts in a very critical period. And now there are only 3 weeks left !!!

To optimize whatever time left before the race, my plan is to do a down time this week, then training hard next week, and finally a very drastic taper during race week. Hopefully my training in the last 3 months are sufficient to allow me to still run a decent time. But first thing first, I need to find my legs and back !!!!!

22 May 2011

Week 9 of 13 Marathon Training

15mins warm up with strides
4 x 2mins at 5k effort with 1.20 rec
4 x 30 secs hard with 1.00 rec
3 x 4mins at HM effort with 1.20 rec
2 x 30secs hard with 1.00 rec
2.00 jogging between sets
5mins cool down
Total 13k in 61mins (av 4.43)

Ran during lunch time, 32c with a heat index of 40c. This workout is an easier version of the infamous Portsea fartlek (3x3mins @ 3k, 4x30secs, 3x5mins @ 5k). I was totally saturated at the end, socks and shoes were soaked with sweat.

20510 metres medium-long run in 1h42m (av 5.00)

In memory of Sammy Wanjiru (PB 2.05.10)

OFF. Flew to HK

2.4k warm up with strides
16k Tempo run in 67 (av 4.11 min/km), Bowen Road 4k route
1.6k cool down
Total 20k in 88 (4.25)

4.06, 4.11, 4.09, 4.09 = 16.35
4.25, 4.03, 3.58, 4.26 = 16.52
4.14, 4.18, 4.09, 4.15 = 16.56
4.20, 4.13, 4.06, 3.56 = 16.25

What a difference in weather can make! HK temperature is still considered warm at 24c, but probably this is my inner threshold - where anything above this I will simply get fried. Did 2 return trips of Bowen Road (4k running path) without any drinks nor stopping. Some of the splits were slightly off, due to trees.
 along the route

A couple of weeks ago, I did 8k at 4.14 pace in Singapore with an average HR of 165bpm. So I am reasonably pleased running 16k at 4.11 pace with an average HR of 162bpm. That's twice the distance, slightly faster pace but at a lower HR!

Unfortunately, I didn't manage to do a long tempo such as 24k at MP since I had to return to the hotel for a breakfast meeting. I landed in HK very late and checked-in at the hotel around midnight, so I couldn't wake up early enough. In that sense, I lost an opportunity to do a long, race specific workout there at a much palatable temperature.

12.4k easy in 62 (5.00), Bowen Road HK

A nice relaxing run with an average HR of 140s. Post-run recovery also seems to be quicker with the lower temperature.

25k Passion Run in 1.52.30 (av 4.30)
5k slow cool down
Total 30k

5k Splits:
21.37 - 22.56 - 22.55 - 22.55 - 22.07 (watch time, excluded 1min forced stop at traffic light)

My plan was to average around 4.20-4.25 pace for the 25k (5-10secs slower than goal MP) as a race simulation. However, I got to attend a birthday party early arvo and I arrived at the race venue very, very late. Just in time to start in Wave 3 or about 20mins later after Wave 1 was flagged off. This meant that I probably had about 5000 runners and walkers starting ahead of me.

Since Wave 2 started about 10mins ahead of Wave 3, I had a pretty clear route for the first couple of ks averaging around 4.15 pace, but from km 4-20, it was virtually running into a great human wall of Singapore. Had to zig-zag and ran mostly on the beach sand and grass to overtake prople, especially in the ECP sections. I probably averaged around 4.35-4.40 pace during this 15km stretch. In the last 5k the crowd got more scattered, and I was able to run with greater freedom. I wouldn't be surprised if I passed around 4000-5000 runners from the start to finish.

At the end, I averaged around 4.30 pace or around 94% of goal MP. Looking back, it wasn't that bad of an outing to run 25k at 3h10m marathon pace, facing a human wall and 30c temperature (37 heat index). I never struggled during the run and was able to converse normally with other runners. HR wasn't also that bad, averaging 164 bpm or 85% MHR (my typical marathon HR in cold temp was around 163-167).


Week in Summary:

96k for the week in 5 runs. Was initialy contemplating whether to do my long tempo (marathon simulation) in HK or during Saturday's 25k race. At the end, it turned out to be half-and-half. Due to time constraint, I only managed to do 16k (non-stop) tempo in HK at a pace somewhere between MP and HMP. During Saturday race, I ended up running at 4.30 pace, but given the crowd issues and racing un-tapered -  doing 60% of marathon distance at 95% goal MP without workoing too hard is perhaps not too shabby.

Overall, a decent week with 1 fartlek, 1 medium long run, 1 long tempo, and 1 hard long run. Adding Thursday (16k) and Saturday (25k) sessions, my quality kms were 41k in 3 hours - that's about 3h05 marathon right there.

The bad news is that I began to notice symptoms of posterior tibialis issues (in the same leg) like last year which caused me to miss Melbourne Marathon. I've taken anti-inflamatories (both Voltren pills and gel) as well as icing and treatment on the TENS machine. With 4 weeks to go, I am not gonna take any unneccesary risk and will only do workouts when I am ready. Finger crossed that it won't develop into anything serious!

15 May 2011

Week 8 of 13 Marathon Training

5k up including drills + strides
3 x 3k Intervals, alternating between HMP and MP
per k splits:
1st: 4.03, 4.12, 4.05 = 12.20, 3mins rec
2nd: 4.03, 4.11, 4.04 = 12.18, 3mins rec
3rd: 4.05, 4.11, 3.59 = 12.15 (stopped 30secs between each k as HR was too high for this effort)
Total 9k in 36.53, av pace 4.06
2k down (10.50)
Total 16k in 73mins

Suffered from food poisoning and gastric. Did a couple of intervals to toilet during the night and lack of sleep caused me to feel lethargic today. No sun, but the morning was very humid and super stuffy. Did the first couple sets at comfortably hard effort but struggled in the last set due to rising temperature and tiredness. HR spiked from av 170 (88% Max) in the first set, to 178 (93%) in the second set, to 180s (93%+ ) in the 3rd - which is way too high for a threshold session. Decided to stop for 30secs after every k in the last set to bring HR down a bit, but still reached 96% Max at the end.

Felt very shagged afterwards and even for the whole day. It's just so depressing that I ran at about HM pace but my HR was close to the Max. Resting HR continued to be 15bpm higher for the rest of the day.

8k recovery in 45 (5:37), treadmill.

AM: 19k medium long run in 94 (4.57)

Hot and stuffy weather. First hour at 80% MP, next 30mins at 90% MP. Still suffering from gastric issues.

PM: 5k recovery in 29 (5.47), treadmill

15mins warm up with strides
4 x 2.5 mins at 10k effort with 1.15 rec
10mins at HM effort
4 x 1min at 5k effort with 1min rec
2.5mins jog between sets
2k cool down
Total 13k in 61 (4.42)

Took easier recovery between reps in order not to over-stress the abdomen since I am still suffering from gastric issues. Averaged 3.50 pace flat for all of the 2.5mins reps and 4.04 pace for the 10mins sustained run. The 1min paces were slightly all over the place due to GPS hiccups (3.39, 3.35, 3.50, 3.43). There was a boat show at Keppel Marina meaning some sections were closed, so I ran the reps back and forth on a 700m long road.

7k recovery in 40 (5.40), treadmill

35k long run in 3hrs (5.10) - 2x Botanic + Dempsey loop
5k splits:
27.20 (5.28 min/km), 26.43 (5.21), 25.48 (5.10), 25.14 (5.03), 24.13 (4.51), 23.24 (4.41), 25.20 (5.04)

Since I always struggle with long runs, I decided to run much easily today in order to make the distance. Started at 70% MP (5.30 pace) for the first 5k, then upping the pace every 5k blocks until 90% MP (4.40 pace). Finished the last 5k with a bunch of 30secs strides and easy cool down. Weather wasn't too bad this morning with little sun. Happy to complete 35k LSD albeit with some stoppages and very slow pace. I plan a max of 3 hours to be my longest training run in this cycle, so I might as well get it out of the way.

Off. Core session

Total 103k for the week

Week in Summary:

Good news is that Sling Jr has recovered from his sickness and should be back at his pre-school next week.. However, I came down with gastric irritation this week. It was particularly painful on Monday during my tempo session as the combination of hard breathing and stress on abdomen increases the acid reflux.

Local weather continues to be unforgiving with record temperatures recorded. Mornings were always hot, stuffy and humid. The difficulty with training for a Western summer (Aussie winter) marathons is that May-Aug are typically the hottest times of the year. It's also the forest fire season, so the air will be choc-a-block with haze.

Overall, pretty happy with the training week. 1 tempo, 1 medium long run, 1 fartlek, one long run, and first time running over 100k per week this year. Next Saturday I have a 25k race - which I am hoping to run at MP pace as race simulation. However, the race will be held at 4pm in the afternoon so it might be too warm for my liking. Judging from the snaking queues during the race pack collection, the race looks like will be a super duper crowded one. Furthermore, the route will be on narrow bike paths at East Coast Park.
If my meetings are confirmed, I might be in Hong Kong this Thu-Fri. Mulling over whether I should just do my race simulation there (6 x Bowen Road). Temperature will be around 25c versus Singapore afternoon's 's 33c (feels like 39c), so the conditions will be slightly better.

Oh ya, we have booked our tickets to Perth. Less than 5 weeks to go now...

08 May 2011

Week 7 of 13 Marathon Training

4k up including drills + strides
Fartlek, alternating 800m @ 110% MP and 400m @ 90% MP
3.04 (1.52 float), 3.04 (1.51), 3.07 (1.52), 3.06 (1.52), 3.06 (1.52), 3.41 (1000m to make total 7k)
Total 7k in 28.28 (av 4.04) - 800s at 3.50-3.53 pace (except last one at 3.41), float 400s at 3.40 pace
5k down
Total 16k 8n 78mins

Stayed at hospital ward Sunday night as Sling Jr had chest infection and very high fever. Didn't sleep much as we regularly monitored his condition and sponged him to cool down the body temperature. After a night in the ward, we went home on Monday afternoon. Didn't have the motivation to do a long session, decided to do a varied pace fartlek instead.

AM: blood test, flu jab
PM: 8k recovery in 45 (5.37), treadmill

7k moderate in 32+ (4.38) - tight on time, only had 30mins to run

10k progression in 45 (3k @ 4.55, 3k @ 4.35, 3k @ 4.15, 1k @ 4:00)
1k down. Total 11k in 50 (4.34)

Off. Busy at work

8k easy in 40 (5.00), Singapore river

Off. Doctor's appointment

Total 50k for the week

Week in Summary:

This week Sling Jr is sick with chest infection and high fever, so running took a backseat. Temperature was 38-41 for most days, so I helped my wife to take care of him and be on standby in case we had to go to ER. Also had to make a couple of trips to the doctor and laboratory. By the end of the week, he is not as feverish), but still coughing badly.

Perhaps a low mileage week is not too bad for me, given my legs were like lead in last couple of weeks and the quality of my workout also deteriorated. Six weeks to go, meaning there are only FOUR weeks left for training (2 weeks taper) !!

Not much time left :(

Despite the under-preparation, doing Perth (that's next month !!) is still on the cards because I need a race result in order to register for Boston 2012. My fall marathon is likely to be Osaka or Seoul, but they are a few weeks past the mid-Oct registration for Boston, so I need to find a race sometime between now and Oct. One good thing is that my BQ 2012 is now 3.20, but given the revised registration structure, I probably need a 3.10 and under so I can register on day 3.

01 May 2011

Week 6 of 13 Marathon Training

AM - 8k recovery in 45 (5.37), Mulia Hotel treadmill
PM - flew back to Singapore

PM - 10k easy in 51+ (5.10), office-Labrador-office. Busy all day, ran at 5pm, short recovery time before tomorrow's AM workout.

5k up including drills + strides
8k MP tempo in 33.54 (av 4.14), 5mins walk break
3 x (3mins ON, 1min OFF, 2mins ON, 1min OFF, 1min ON, 1min OFF)
2k down
Total session 21k in 1h38m

4.5k recovery in 25+ (5.42); Sentosa boardwalk

Total 25.5k for the day (35.5k inside 24 hours)

Humid morning and heavy legs. Did the 8k tempo on Margaret Drive out and back twice plus a bit. After the tempo, went to my usual Canal loop and did the fartlek for quicker-than-MP stuff  on tired legs. Did the 3mins ONs at approx 4.05-4.10 pace, 2mins at 3.55-4.00 and 1mins at 3.45-3.50 pace. Very tired at the end! Coupled with a 10k about 12 hours before and 5k warm up, the workout felt really like a second half of a marathon!

Talking about HR, my HR during the 8k tempo was av 165bpm. Actually it rose from 161 bpm at the end of KM1 to 175 bpm at the end of KM8, so that's from 83% to 91% Max HR within a space of 30 minutes and I was running at constant pace !!!!!! Pretty sure this was attributed to the humid weather, increased body's core temperature and intense sweating. 91% Max HR is way too high in terms of MP effort. I guess I am of those guys whose running deteriorates exponentially in the heat compared to other local runners.

AM - 11k easy treadmill in 60 (5.27); started from 6.00 ended at 5.00
PM - 15mins gym work

AM - 7k easy in 36 (5.08) with 4 strides; Keppel Marina 1k loop

10k easy in 53+ (5.20), home to East Coast Park
4 x 2k at HM pace, 1k ez in between
11.5k easy in 60 (5.12), East Coast to home
Total 32.5k in 2h41m (4.58)

Tired legs. Planned to do 6 x 2k, but struggled to finish 4 reps. Had to work super hard in order to keep the 2k reps under 4.10 pace (aim was around 4.00). Aerobically I was ok, but my legs were damn heavy. Decided to shut shop after the 4th rep, and jogged easily home. Both hammies and butts were very tight, had to stop and stretch a few times during the run. Looking at my log, I only realized that I had run 113km in the last 7 days (Sunday-Saturday), that's probably the highest mileage since Gold Coast 2009.

Deep tissue massage (needed it badly)

Total 94k for the week

Week in Summary:

A so-so week. The intent was to do 2 big sessions - which I accomplished, but quality wise, I probably rated them 6 out of 10. Woke up late on Wednesday, hence only had time to run 21k for the session. The 8k MP tempo was more difficult than anticipated as indicated by the high HR and I had to work hard to complete the subsequent fartlek. I found the Sunday session to be harder than expected as well - rolling 4.10 pace felt like a sprinting effort !! Legs were like lead for the remainder of the long run.

6 weeks gone and now there are only 7 weeks left to the race. I think I am doing okay mileage wise given life constraints; 92, 88, 98, 88, 90, 94 = average 92k (thinking about it, my weekly mileages were probably too constant, that is no recovery week). During that period, I probably had half-a-dozen solid workouts, so that's about one workout per week right there, which is not too shabby in the grand scheme of things. However, I am still strugling in terms of long runs - only did a couple of 30ks that were pretty continuous effort. The rest involved too many breaks for drinks stops, stretching etc due to warm weather and aching legs.

I am about 80% decided to do the Perth marathon now. Journey times are shorter and fares are cheaper compared to Gold Coast. I am not sure I have improved enough to do a sub-3, so I don't think the extra couple of weeks for Gold Coast will make a huge difference.

25 April 2011

Week 5 of 13 Marathon Training

11.5k easy in 60 (5.16) with 6 strides, Keppel Marina 1k loop

AM: 15k easy-moderate in 73 (4.52), home-Dempsey Loop-home
PM: calf strain, 30mins TENS machine

AM: 7.5k easy treadmill in 41+ (5.32), foam roller
PM: calf strain, 30mins TENS machine

1.8k up, JP Morgan Corp Challenge 5.6k race in 21:14 (av 3.48) - ranked 19; splits 3.39, 3.46, 3.47, 3.45, 3.53 (crawford st hill), 2.20 (last 600m+) - good race, 6secs PB compared to last year, 2.6k down. Total 10k

27k long run in 2h15m (5:00) - woke up late and only left home around 6.30am. Melted under the strong sun, rested 5mins every 30mins for drink stops; drank 2 litres but still dehydrated. Legs like lead, only 12 hours rest since last evening race; in other words about 37k in a day
off, core exercises
3k up, 1k worth of drills/strides,  2 x (4 x 6mins Tempo, 2mins float). Effort wise, tempo at 105% MP while float at 95% MP. First set paces: 4.05 (4.28 float), 4.05 (4.29), 4.04 (4.32), 4.04, 3mins rest then second set: 4.04 (4.30), 4.04 (4.27), 4.08 (4.48), 3.58 - total 14.5k worth of work in 60mins (av 4.09 pace) - 0.5k cool down. Total 19k
Total 90k for the week

Week in Summary:
A decent week with 1 good race, 1 solid session, but a so-so long run. Ran the race controlled, and only let it rip in the last 300m. Very humid conditions, but the organization was top notch (full road closure, deep field) resulting in great racing atmoshpere. My colleague, Chris ran about 30scs faster than last year to win the race in 17.56 with a sprint finish. He was virtually toast at the end and was unable to socialize for a while. I wondered why I am never able to give 100% effort in races, for some reason my brain always told me to refrain myself everytime I am touching the red line.

Again, I am struggling during a long run this week. Took too many stoppages in order to complete the run. Probably doing a LSD 12 hours after a hard race didn't help either. Sunday session was good and the first marathon specific session in this cycle. Accumulated about 1 hour running at faster than goal MP.

Experienced some calf strain issues, so I've been using home remedy tools in order to fight it (tens machine, foam roller, the stick, compression sleeves). Learn the lesson last year, where I continued training hard and the strained calf caused me to alter my running strides, resulting in a prolonged ankle and tendon injury.

With 8 weeks to go, (most likely Perth) it's time to get the ball rolling. I plan to work more on marathon specific workouts, by doing 2 big sessions a week. These big sessions include long threshold session midweek (25-30k)  and a weekend long run sprinkled with goal pace running (30-35k). Rest of the week will be short runs in order to keep myself recovered to tackle the two big sessions.

Congrats to Rob for a big PB in Boston running 2.48 (that's 4.00 pace for 42.2k !!). Also, well done to Epi (muscle cramps after running 2.50 pace for first 30k) and Ronnie.

18 April 2011

Week 4 of 13/15 Marathon Training

AM -- 2.5k up, drills + 1k worth of strides/jog; Combo fartlek 2x5mins + 10mins of 15-90 secs hard + 10mins tempo; woke up too late at 6am, decided to do unstructured fartlek because I was tight on time - 1k down. Total 13k
- 2 x 5mins @ 3.45-3.49 min/km with 2mins jog in-between on grass (Padang)
- 1/2 Mona - 1x90, 2x60, 2x30, 2x15 with equal jog recovery (not float), also on grass, 2mins jog
- 10mins tempo @ 4.01 min/km, running along Singapore River concrete path back home
Total fartlek 8.5k in 36mins (av 4.14) including recovery jogs

PM -- 5k recovery treadmill (5.46), 10mins gym work

10k easy in 54 (5.23), Keppel Marina 1k loop

18k long run in 91 (5.04) - first 12k around 5.10 pace undulating route (Nassem Hill, Dalvey Estate, Nassem Rd), last 6k moderate at 4.48

AM -- 10k easy in 53+ (5.21), treadmill
PM -- core session

8.5k fartlek in 40 (4.45) including 4*3mins ON, 90secs OFF, Keppel Marina

6.5k easy in 34 (5.15), Singapore River

3k warm up, Run350 10K race in 40.21 (10.15k by Garmin, passed 10k in 39.56) - ranked 24, 4k cool down. Total 17k

Total 88k for the week

Week in Summary:

A so-so week, ended with another shitty race performance. Was in two minds as to taper for the race or just trained through it. At the end, I decided to do normal training and only tapered in last couple of days by virtue of skipping Saturday's long run. Was hoping to run somewhere between 38-39mins but I was really woeful today. The morning was super duper warm with 80% humidity. There was also no cloud cover (UV index of 12), hence I was melting under the sun. I usually train before sunrise (5 or 6am) and reach home by 7.30. Today the race started at 7.30 - which is way too warm for my liking.

The route information was a bit misleading. On paper, it looked like a fast course but unfortunately, the race organizer didn't close the road/traffic, so we all ended up running mostly on pedestrian walk. For strange reasons, the F1 track was not even used by the race organizer, and the route included a loop around the F1 car park, an underground carpark tunnel, and also a staircase in KM2 climbing into the Helix Bridge.

My splits for the first 5k were 3.51, 3.56 (staircase), 3.58, 3.56 (tunnel), 3.57 = 19.37, so at this point, I knew the race was gone. I was sweating intensely - my eyes were red due to the sweat and my shoes made annoying squeaking sound. When I saw the Kallang river, I felt like jumping into it in order to cool myself. I felt I had enough and I then decided to 'tempo' the remaining 5k, so that I could recover quickly and continue normal training next week. The next 5k splits were 4.07, 4.08, 4.03, 4.06, 3.54 = 39.56 by Garmin + 27secs for the extra 150m. Therefore, a positive split of 19.37 (hard effort) + 20.19 (tempo effort)

Av HR was 171 or around 88% Max, which is my normal tempo HR. Only reached a peak of 184 bpm during the race (vs 195 bpm Max)

Despite the crappy performance, I have to continue thinking positively. I always suck at racing and always rely more on the quality of my workouts. My training has been good over the last 4 months - mileages were 92, 88, 98, and 88 so about 90+ kmpw on average, so pretty consistent. For what it's worth, I ran a 41+ min 10k in Passion Run 2009 and a couple of months later ran 3.04 in Gold Coast.

I just saw the 'once in a lifetime' weather forecast for Boston marathon. With a 30 km/h tail wind all the way from start to finish, I am waiting to see the results - 2.4x for Rob and Craig and 2.5x for Ronnie :)

10 April 2011

Week 3 of 13/15 Marathon Training

12k easy in 63 (5.15) including 6 barefoot strides, Keppel Marina 1k loop

AM -- 2.5k up, drills + 1k worth of strides/jog; 12 x 400m with 40secs jog in Padang cricket field, 3mins rest, then into 3.2k tempo, felt good on this one- 2k+ cool down back home. Total 15k

86.6, 87.2, 88.0, 87.4, 88.7, 86.3
88.8, 87.8, 87.7, 90.4, 89.3, 82.6
= 17.30 for a total 4.8k worth of work (average 3.40 pace), 3mins rest
3.2k tempo in 12.48 (4.00 pace, 171 bpm)

PM -- 5k recovery treadmill (5.46), 10mins core work

10+k recovery in 55 (5.27) including 4 barefoot strides, Keppel Marina 1k loop

3k up, drills + 1k worth of strides/jog; 3 x 3k varied pace Tempo with 3min jog rec at the Canal loop; tried to hit multiple threshold paces at somewhere between MP and HMP, HMP, and between 10k-HMP; overall a comfortably hard effort - 2k down including 3 strides. Total 16k

12.06 (4.08, 4.01, 3.57), av HR 162 (154, 159, 164)
12.01 (4.06, 4.00, 3.55), av HR 169 (165, 170, 173)
11.59 (4.08, 4.01, 3.50), av HR 174 (169, 174, 178)
total 9k worth of work in 36.11 (av 4.01 min/km)

AM -- 7.7k recovery treadmill in 43 (5.36)
PM -- 10mins gym work

22k + 10k, total 32k in 2:40 (5.00) - a tale of two halves - cruised the first 22k in 1.45 (4.45 pace) but then ran into stomach problem (gel ??). Couldn't find a bush to poo (Holland Rd) and had to run, stop, run, stop every couple of mins to settle the stomach and prevent the shit from coming out. Finally found a loo after 6k in Botanic Garden then jogged 4k home. So not really one long continuous run.

OFF, core exercises

Total 98k for the week

Week in Summary:

A mixed week, with two good workouts but a SHITTY long run (literally). The good thing is that my body seems to have adapted to the recent increase in mileage and I felt I've shaken off the fatique. Mornings were much cooler (around 26-27c) nowadays and finally we got SOME WIND, which aided body cooling. This 'change in weather' helped greatly in my workouts. In fact, I found the efforts for both the interval and the tempo runs were less taxing compared to previous sessions.

This week I did my interval session on grass field (Padang cricket field) and my legs seem to enjoy the cushiony surface. From now on, I will try to do my intervals in order to save my legs from pounding, since the rest of my runs are either on asphalt or concrete. One issue is whether I am running the 'correct' distance/pace as one loop of the cricket field is only 500m as measured by Garmin (GPS is infamous for overestimating lap distance on athletic tracks). But I hope since the field is rectangular, the GPS still gives reasonable measurement as the turns are less sharp. For my session, I lapped my 400m at about 405-408m (so about 1-2% extra) to compensate for the possible error. For longer, slower reps, I can extend the loop by 300m extra by running in the rough, un-manicured grass block next to the cricket field.

Next Sunday, I will be doing my first race in 2011, a road 10k, and four days later on Easter Thursday, a 5.6k mile race. Both races are paid by my company, so I save a few bucks in entry fees and didn't have to queue to collect race packs !! Race entries in SG are so expensive nowadays and $50 is a norm even for short distance. My racing plan for this year is just to participate in those that are paid by company, which thankfully include some of the big races domestically. I only plan to pay for addtional races once I hit 40 in six months time. It's just not fair for a 39.5 years old guy to compete against guys in their 20s anymore ;)
All the best to Rob, Craig, and Ronnie who are running Boston next week. Hope you all got your PBs !

03 April 2011

Week 2 of 13/15 Marathon Training

AM -- 3.5k up, drills + 1k worth of strides/jog; 6 x 800m + 6 x 200m Intervals at the Canal loop - splits: 800s 2.58, 3.01, 2.59, 3.00, 3.01, 3.00 off 90secs walk; 200s 41, 41, 41, 42, 41, 40off 40secs walk; HAD AN OFF DAY - super duper humid and damp, was sweating intensely even during warm up and drills. Tired legs from 30k long run a couple of days ago; had to walk between intervals - 2.5k down. Total 13k

PM -- Travel to Jakarta

AM -- 10k recovery in 55 (5.30), hotel treadmill - started at 6 min/km, ended at 5 min/km
PM -- Travel to SG, flight delayed by 4 hours, arrived home at 2am in the morning !!!!!

AM -- 10+k easy in 53 (5.10) including 6 strides, Keppel Marina 1k loop
PM -- 10mins core work

AM -- 3k up, drills + 1k worth of strides/jog; 10k continuous tempo in 42.00 (4.12 pace) at the Canal loop; rest then 5 x 20secs hill - Another sub-par session - had planned for 15k at 4.10-4.15 but got very dehydrated and was a bit in discomfort due to sore hips - 3k down. Total 18k

AM -- 6+k recovery in 35+ (5.42)
PM -- 10mins gym work

AM -- 30k long run in 2.27 (4.55), home- 3 x 7k outer botanic garden loop (naseem, dalvey, cluny, holland) - back home, did 1-3mins pick-ups every 5mins, sore hips and inner tibia

OFF, deep tissue massage

Total 88k for the week

Week in Summary:

It seems the recent increase in training and milage has taken its toll on me. In fact, March mileage at 340k was the highest in 6 months and my miles from last October to February were 90, 230, 260, 210, 160. Therefore, my km-age in March increased by around 120% compared to the previous month LOL. Legs were tight and heavy throughtout the week. I also began to feel some discomfort around the glutes and inner tibia in the left leg. Finger cross that this is just a function of tiredness, instead of something more serious.

Had two sub-par sessions this week. On Monday, I had planned to do 8x800, but only finished 6 reps. 3.45 pace felt damn hard and I had to walk for recovery instead of active rests. In the past, I was able to nail these Yasso sessions comfortably even with 200m jog in about 90secs. Conditions certainly didin't help as weather was insanely hot and humid these days. On Thursday, I also cut short the distance of my tempo run due to tiredness in the leg and soreness in the glute. The long run was not too bad, although it was slower than last week. Anyways, at least, I got another 30k in the bag.

My son is starting his playgroup school and the class starts early. This means that I have to re-adjust my sleeping cycle so that I can wake up around 5am in order to train. Plan for next week is to do a similar mileage, and hopefully I can get rid of the glute and leg issues !

26 March 2011

Week 1 of 13/15 Marathon Training


AM -- 3k up, drills + 1k worth of strides/jog; 6 x 1k Intervals at the Canal loop - splits: 3.51, 3.52, 3.51, 3.53, 3.46, 3.40 - total 6k of work averaging 3.49 pace; first 4 reps at 10k pace off 90secs jog, last 2 reps at harder effort off 90s walk; highest HR 182 bpm - 2k down. Total 13k in 62

PM -- 5k recovery in 30 (5.47), 5mins gym work

AM -- 10k easy in 53+ (5.21), Keppel Marina 1k loop, very cooling after the rain and the run felt effortless
PM -- 10mins core work

AM -- 3.5k up, , drills + 1k worth of strides/jog; 10k continuos Tempo run in 40.40 - av pace 4:04 min/km (last k at 3.54); av HR 172 or around 90% Max; circled my usual 1.3k Canal loop about 7x - jog a bit then 4 x 100m hill sprints, walk rec then 3k down. Total 18k in 82+

PM -- 1 hour yoga stretch class

AM -- 10k easy in 54 (5.23), Keppel Marina 1k loop
PM -- 2 reps of James Boag beer with calamari for recovery at pub watching WC cricket

AM -- 6k recovery in 34+ (5.42)
PM -- 10mins gym work

AM -- 30k long run in 2.26 (4.52), home-holland rd-ulu pandan rd-clementi rd - upper bukit timah rd and back, did 1-3mins pick-ups every 5mins

Sunday -- OFF

Total 92k for the week

Week in Summary:

A good week with a couple of good workouts and a 30k long run. After medicore training in recent weeks, this is the first time that I am able to pull together some decent sessions. This week's mileage is also the highest in 6 months, so it's been a while !

Made a couple of tweaks. Initally, I was trying to replicate my training for last year's Seoul Marathon (3.03) under Coach SW by doing interval, tempo, medium long run, and long run, so that's 4 sessions in a 6-day running week. However, work is a bit more stressful this year and coupled with ageing legs, the structure is not that doable at this moment. Therefore, I made a little tweak by incoporating the tempo run inside a medium long run (currently still 18k, but this will increase to 21+ over coming weeks). The nice thing about this is that it gives me 3 easy days within a 6 day cycle to tackle the two workouts and the weekend long run. I also found having 2 easy days before a long run helps a lot!

Another tweak that I made is inserting some pick-ups in the long run. I often struggle during long runs, both physically and mentally (maybe because I train solo). One day I came across Charlie Speeding (london marathon champ) training log and saw that he often did long run with 1, 2, 4 mins fast pick-up every 5mins of steady running. So this morning, after a couple ks warm up, I ran 5mins ez, 1min pick-up, 5mins ez, 2mins pick-up, 5mins ez, 3mins pick up and repeat. At this juncture, my pick-ups were more like medium effort (around 4.30 min/km pace) instead of fast effort to keep them aerobic. But they were sometimes challenging especially when the pick-up portion happened at the hill ! The good thing is that I am not so bored doing my long run anymore !

Plan for next week is to do around the same number of ks. I will travel overseas for work for 2D1N, but I don't think it will disrupt my training.