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 !!!