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.