29 January 2011


Have been spending 12-16 hours each day in the office to ensure my work is completed before I disappear on holiday for a month. Only ran 22k in the last six days.

Didn't manage to do the 5000m TT because I know the time would be shitty anyway. My training in the last month was crap due to a combination of flu virus and stresssful time at the office.

Talking about flu, it seems almost everyone got the flu. Last week, there were 20k cases reported in government clinics. That number is outside private clinics, hospital, and GPs.

No regrets of doing the 5k training eventhough, nothing good came out of it at the end. My alternative was  to do base training to get ready for marathon training block starting in March. But since I was ill with flu for 3 weeks and was super duper busy at work, I doubt I could do a lot of miles. Running 40-50k a week with some intensities is certainly better than running the same mileage at easy pace.

My hope for the next 1 month or so is to run at least 2-3 times a week. This could include running around the walking track on a cruise ship and of course, running on land. The good thing is that we'll be spending most of our time in Italy, which should have a lot of nice parks to run, for instance, our hotel in Rome is just a couple of blocks from Villa Borgesse. Not sure I will be keen to run in a place like Casablanca where it looks like to be polluted and crowded.

Hopefully, my fitness will not be eroded a lot in the next few weeks and I could ramp up my training smoothly when I return in March. The marathon is not far away, around 3-4 months by the time I get back and I really don't wanna start marathon training from ZERO fitness.

18 January 2011

Real World

Training hasn't gone well lately…in fact only ran a massive total of 10k in the past 5 days

I still haven't been able to completely shake out the fever and cough virus even after 3 weeks. Normally I would recover pretty quick if I took antibiotics, but for some reasons, this one seemed to take longer to go away.

Unfortunately, I spreaded the virus to my son. And he had a high fever of 40c for a couple of days. Standby-ed at home last weekend at home in case we had to take him to the hospital. The good thing, his condition has improved this week.

Work was super busy and stressful too. Meetings took place late into the nights and even on weekends. Had no time nor desire to run after a long day.

In terms of 5k training, I'd score myself between a C and a D, no denying that. My original intention was to follow Magill schedule, but ended up only doing 4 out of 6 scheduled intervals (5*3mins, 4*4mins, 5*4mins, 5*1k) and a only 1 out of 5 hill repeats sessions. Furthermore, his program is actually based on high-mileage (he runs 140-160k to train for 5k). At my level, I was aspiring to do a mortal level of 70k per week but only averaged around 50k in the last 2 months.

I still plan to do the 5000m track TT next week, but do not expect a good timing. Just doing it to keep some motivation up.

Talkng about motivation, for some reasons I only got excited and motivated if I am training for a marathon. For the last couple of months, I wasn't excited at all. I preferred to sleep in and feel lazy to wake up in wee hours to pound the miles.

It was nice catching up with Rob last weekend. We ran 21k at 4.30 pace which was a brisk pace for me, but definitely an easy pace for him, even with one hour sleep! Three months to go to Boston and he's already cranking 140km weeks, 4:00 min/km marathon at Boston is surely on the cards.

Hopefully, after the European holiday in Feb, I can confirm a marathon race/date and start to feel excited again !!!

07 January 2011

2010 Review & 2011 Goals

2010 Review:

3000m: 10.46 (5secs PB from 2009) - solo track TT
5000m: 18.33 (15secs PB from 2007) - solo track TT
10 KM: 38.20 (60secs PB from 2006) - solo TT by Garmin
Marathon: 3:03:49 (61secs PB from 2009) - Seoul Marathon

Mileage: 3618 (vs 3649 in 2009)
Weight: 68-70 kg, 15% body fat

In general, a pretty decent year with 4 PBs. I call it decent because although the improvements were small ranging from 5secs in 3k to 1min in marathon, but it has been a long time since I got more than 2 PBs in a single running year (last time was 2006). The fact that my PBs range from 3k-42k shows that I can improve in all distances even when I am about to enter 40.

HM distance continued to be the worst performing distance. Did 3 HMs in 2010 (91, 89, 93), all in Singapore. For 3k-5k distances, I am fine racing in hot weather, but anything further than 10k, my dehydration rate is just too fast and furious to handle. I didn't fell like spending $$$ specifically to travel overseas in order to run the HM.

Favourite race:
Seoul Marathon was the highlight. Freezing condition, but with a very deep field (3.03 ranked me in the top 900). It was an impromptu decision to run the marathon and I only had 8 weeks to prepare. Decided to take a risk by gunning for sub-3 but got undone in the 2nd half (89-94 splits). Running a marathon the day after my son's first birthday made it even more special.

The Madrid 10k race was a close second favourite race. It was a unique race for football fans, running from Real Madrid stadium and ending at Athletico Madrid's. I just returned from 1.5 months injury layoff and managed to run 38.50. This further confirmed that I am a crap hot weather racer because I could run 30secs off 10k PB even after a long lay-off. None of the local races stood out, except the Army Half which I reckon is the best orgranized race locally.

Lesson of 2010:
I had a great training block between April and August to prepare for Melbourne Marathon in October, but the injury struck in September. Went to several physios and sports doctors and they all said it was due to overworked calf muscles whiich resulted in poor landing form and tendon damage around the ankle and tibia. The stupid thing is that I didn't want to rest and still continued training/racing albeit at lower volume because I thought the pain will go away in 4 weeks (with training reduction). At the end of the day, the pain never went away and I became a spectator on race day.

One of the frustrating thing is that none of the local physios and sports doctor locally suggested me to visit podiatrists. In Melbourne, I decided to visit one and he gave me an off-the-shelf insole (with added padding) .Two weeks later, I managed to run again relatively pain free.

Main lesson is to deal with injuries quickly, decisively and occasionally gotta think out of the box. I’ve worked damn too hard to not take any small injury seriously. One or two weeks off is far better than being the fittest guy on the sideline.

For 2011, I am planning to invest more in recovery tools, such as deep tissue massages (every 2 weeks  during marathon training). I've also bought a tens machine and the stick to use at home.

2011 Goals:
5000m: sub 18 (not training specifically)
10k: sub 38 (not training specifically)
Marathon: sub-3 (ultimate)

Weight: 62-65 kg (<10% body fat)
Mileage: whatever it adds up to

Marathon races:
Perth/Gold Coast marathon in June/July
Oct marathon to celebrate 40 YEARS OLD
Singapore marathon in Dec

The ultimate goal is still sub-3 and I'll have a couple of shots this year (first time doing marathon more than one in a single year). Once we come back from European holiday in Feb, I will decide which mid-year marathon to do. The decision will depend on how bad my fitness will deteriorate after a month-long holiday. Perth gives me 15 weeks of prep (inlcuding taper), while Gold Coast gives a ouple of weeks extra training.

Then, I plan to do a marathon in Oct to celebrate the graduation of becoming an old man. Melbourne, Beijing (China) or Chuncheon (Korea) could be an option, but Melbourne currently looks the most viable again.. I don't wanna travel to US/Europe (Chicago, Amsterdam) since I need to save some money for a possible Boston 2012. Singapore marathon in December has no goal time and I simply want to compare how I fare against other veteran runners locally.

01 January 2011

C score for TT

Mon: 3.5k wu, 5k hard tempo in 19:15 (av 3:51), 6x200 (37-38) + 1 x 400 (80), 2k cool down, Total 13k
Tue: off
Wed: 40mins easy (av 5:22), treadmill
Thu: 3000m solo Time Trial in 10:47 (av 3:35.66), Total 11k, pm 30mins jogging
Fri: 30mins recovery (av 5:33), fever
Sat: 17.3k long run in 84mins (av 4:52)
Sun: off
Total 60k for the week

Did 3000m TT solo on Thursday in 10.46 at CCAB track…slightly under expectation

I set 3 time goals, namely an 1) A score of 10.30 (3.30 min/km) but hard to do given lack of 1500-3000m pace training (I did a bit on Monday for first time); 2) B score of sub 10:40 (~3:33 pace) which is achievable, and 3) C score of 10:45 (3:35 pace) which is the required 5k pace for sub 18.

At the end, my pace averaged out to be just a touch over 3.35 min/km, so a C score. Not sure I can run another 2000m at this pace in order to make 18 flat.

A couple of reasons/excuses:

1) Had a slight fever and took cold tablets the night before. Early in the week we went for a quick getaway in Sentosa Island, off 300m from the mainland (can you call that an 'overseas' holiday?). Had great time dining, swimming, visiting Universal Studios. However, the aircon at the Hard Rock Hotel was too strong and I came down with a fever and runny nose.

2) I think my 5k hard tempo on Monday was too hard. This was done at 3:50 pace or current 10k pace. And I followed this with a bunch of quick reps (200s in 37s). Probably 3 days was not sufficient to recover from this session for Thursday's TT.

3) I didn't execute the TT well, especially the middle miles where my 400m splits blew up to 88secs. I wasn't struggling but legs just wasn't primed to move fast and I was saving a bit of reserves for a kick in the last 200m. Unfortunately, my kick turned out to be lame at the end and I felt I still had a bit more in the tank. Splits: 84.06, 86.58, 87.20, 88.45, 88.15, 88.65, 86.30, last 200 in 37.57 (I started from 400m marker and not 200m marker). Probably should have ran to the barn from 400m out and not last 200m.

So what's next?

Plugging this time to Mcmillan, it predicts 18.47 5k (ouch). This is slower than my 18.33 PB done solo on the same track in the middle of this year (more mileage, less intervals). And if plug 18 flat 5k, the equivalent 3000m timing is 10.20. No way I can do this timing over 3k!!

On the positive side, I improved my PB by 5secs from 10.51 - which was done last year during a track race. So, bettering my 3000m time in a solo effort and when not 100% healthy probably ain't that bad. This PB (on the second last day of the year) means that I scored 4 PBs in 2010 yay

In sum, sub-18 goal looks a bridge too far right now. Basically, I need to run at today's 3k TT pace for another 2000m !!! There might be some possible improvements, from 3 more weeks of training until end-Jan, earlier kick (changing the start from 400 marker to 200, psychologically to allow kicking from the 'bell'), tapering (no hard workout 3 days prior), and maybe a kilo or two less weight (from better diet). At this juncture, somewhere under 18.10-18.20 looks more realistic, especially in a solo TT condition.

Might ease the training next week in order to shake out the fever and runny nose. Clown will be in town and I don't wanna take him for a long run at plodding pace.

Happy New Year everyone !!