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.