25 August 2013


Havent posted for a while.

Not much running since GC half….Straight after holiday, I devised a plan to lose a few kilos in the hope to improve my running. My weight ballooned to 71kg and I was feeling 'meh' with my race performances.

I decided to eat heathly. Changes made were:
  • 1/3 of main meals (out of 14 lunch/dinner weekly) are vegetari
  • More wholegrain (brown rice/bread/pasta). No more white stuffs (white rice/bread) unless eating out
  •  Soy milk instead of cow milk
  •   Smaller meat portions
  •  Drinking natural remedies such as lemon water, apple cider vinegar, green teas

After a month, I’ve dropped my weight by 4kg to roughly 67kg +.

Didn’t run much during the period of weight loss because I was feeling sluggish and lacking of energy.

My weight has now stabilized for 2 weeks and I think I am ready to re-kick start my training again. Hopefully, with increased mileage, I can lose another couple more kgs

Week of 18-24 August

Sun, 6.30am
24km long run incl 2 x 7km tempo
28:48, 4mins rest, 28:40
av pace &HR: 4.07/169, 4.06/177
Tough workout for my current fitness level
Route: home to Gardens by the Bay to Tanjung Rhu and back
Weight: 67.4kg


Tues, 6.30am
Track workout 6 x 800m (total 9km)
2:55, 2:54, 2:57, 2:56, 2:55, 2:49 (200 jog)
HR reached  187 bpm last rep
Good workout, pushed hard in the last 400 (81s)
Weather: 27c, 82% rh (32c real feel)

Wed, 6.30am
9km very easy (av  pace5.40)
Weather: 27c, 88% rh (34c real feel)
Weight: 67.3kg

Thu, 4.pm
7km easy (av  pace 5.18),
On grass

Fri, 6.30am
9km easy (av  pace 5.18), with 4 x 30secs hill reps
Weather: 27c, 86% rh (31c real feel)
Weight: 66.8kg

Sat, 6.30am
25km long run with tempo
4k wu, 2*1k (3.55), 10k MP (4.15), 2*1k (3.55), 6k cd
HR averaged 170 during thr 10k MP
Weather: 27c, 86% rh (31c real feel)
Weight: 67.3kg (post run sub 65 due to dehydration)

13 July 2013


Ran 1.26.09 at Gold Coast HM, a soft PB

Target was to run 4.00 flat pace and followed the 1h24m pacer, but I felt extremely FLAT on the day. Could only keep up with the bus only for 5km, before letting the bandwagon went off. Slowed down the pace a bit but still did not fell good. Legs were stiff and breathing wasnt smooth. Ran the remainder of the race at not so painful pace to finish in 86 minute and change.

Not sure what went wrong. One possible reason is that I might run too hard leading up to the race. As usual when I went to cooler climate countries, I sometimes went overboard due to the easier running conditions. Did 20k of 5k ez, 5k tempo, 5k ez, 5k tempo on the Noosa Triathlon Route and National Park 7 days before and also ran 4*1km hard against strong headwind 5 days before. Didnt take any rest days, and on other days, ran on beautiful  trails in Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast which were occasionally hilly.

The strange thing, two days after the race, I ran 20km along Brisbane river and did a good progression run (1/3 at 5.00 pace, 4.30 pace, and sub 4.00 pace), with the last 1/3 at pace faster than Sunday's race despite limited recovery period. It seems that the Sunday race wasn't my day and I probably mis-timed the peak.

I was also tired from driving the day before. Went to the Natural Arch National Park and Tambourine Mountain on Saturday (~160km return trip). While the distance is not too far, but the driving was a bit stressful due to twists and turns as well as uphills and downhills, which required full concentration. The next time we go on holiday/racing trip, probably I'd try to arrive only a day or two before the race and then start the vacation/sightseeing after the race.

Anyway, what's done is done. My sessions in Oz were:

Sun: 20k in Noosa (5k ez, 5k tempo, 5k ez, 5k tempo)
Mon:  walked in Australia Zoo and Glasshouse mountain
Tue: 10k incl 4*1k intervals in Noosa
Wed: 10k in Noosa National Park trails
Thu: 8k on Federation Trail, Gold Coast
Fri: 8k in Burleigh Heads Natioanl park (including 2 climbs of Tumgun lookout)
Sat: 5k on Surfers
Sun: Gold Coast HM race in 86.09 (soft PB)
Mon: off
Tue: 20k in Brisbane (6k ez, 6k mod, 6k tempo)

24 June 2013

The smog, the haze, and the ugly….. (Week 2-3 of 5)

Due to the forest burning in Sumatra, Singapore experienced its worst haze in the history, with the PSI at 400+ levels or ‘hazardous’ levels’ (see picture below). Running is unhealthy in these conditions, with burning smell and bad air quality plus the added risk of inhaling dangerous small particles (pm 2.5) that can go into the lungs. For a couple of days, the country was in panic mode, with people queuing up for hours to buy masks, as well as stocking up on groceries/necessities.  Fortunately, the wind directions changed in the last couple of days and the air condition has improved significantly. However, a couple of states/province in Indonesia and Malaysia have declared a state of emergency by shutting down schools, work etc.

Despite the adversity, I managed to do a few runs by checking the hourly PSI data issued by the government. The good thing is that I do my runs pretty early in the morning and that’s when the smoke is lesser. While the wind may change its direction again and the heavy haze might come back in near term, however, I only have a few days left in Singapore before flying to Oz. Can’t wait to see the blue sky and smell the clean oxygen air !!!

Anyways, on the Gold Coast front, there is a very high likelihood that I will downgrade from the full mary to half mary. With ‘only’ 5 days of training and 1 long run over 30km, I don’t think I will be in good shape to run 42k. Another issue is that I am about 5kg above my marathon racing weight, which means higher energy cost of running at a given speed. The last time I went to a marathon with weights in the 70s, I bonked badly and ran 3.25 (Osaka). In HM, fuel is less of a limiting factor, so it should be less painful.

In addition, I’d like to enjoy my holidays by running on Noosa National Park,  running uphill to Mt Cootha, and these things wont be done if I am preparing for a marathon. In fact, I am contemplating to run a Parkrun 5k race the day before the event lol

I’d reckon I am about 90% sure to do the HM and the good thing is that race downgrade is allowed even up to the Friday before the race.

Week 2
Mon – off
Tue – 10km easy along the river (av 5.17)
Wed – 2km w/u, 35mins fartlek av 4.10 min/km by alternating 2mins @10k pace , 4mins @ MP, 3k c/d, total 14km
Thu – 15km easy with strides (av 5.03)
Fri – 8km easy (av 5.10) in Jakarta
Sat –  23km long run in 1h50m (av 4.48) - aborted
Sun – 6k very easy run (av 5.30)
Total 76 km for the week

Week 3
Mon – 4km w/u, 6km tempo av 4.10, 5mins rec, 3*1200m at 3.50-55 min/km, 2km c/d, total 17km
Tue – 6km very easy run (av 5.30)
Wed – Yasso 8*800s,  av 2.58 with 2.10-2.30 rec jog, total 12km
Thu – off, PSI at hazardous levels
Fri – 20km progression run (4km at 5.15, 5.00, 4.45, 4.30, 4.15 min/km) – ran at PSI 100-150, PSI hit 400 by 11am
Sat – 9km easy treadmill (5.32)
Sun – 24km easy long run (5.03), things cleared up

Total 88km for the week

10 June 2013

Week 1 of 5 to GCM

Did very little running in last few months…….losing motivation, recovering from injury, fantasy football season, busy at work…

Feb, March, April mileage averages were 40k per week. I ran mainly to avoid additional kilos to this already flabby guy. But now that fantasy football season is over and won’t start again until August, it’s a good excuse to lift my fat arse from the couch and start running again

Another good thing that after 3 months of chiropractic work, I am starting to run pain-free again

Last week jumped into a HM race and ran 91 minutes. For me, it’s not a bad result given how little I trained in last few months

Always had one eye on going to Australia for a holiday to escape the summer heat in Asia. Looking at the calendar, there is Gold Coast marathon in 5 weeks time…

With no long runs under my belt and super low mileage, I can expect to suffer big time in the marathon, but if I don’t do a marathon this year (not many race options in the region), I am concerned that my passion in running will evaporate rapidly

So I might just take a bullet, ready to be humbled and do a quick and abbreviated marathon training in 5 weeks.

The weakening Aussie dollar also makes the holiday affordable

Based on my HM result, a 3.10-3.15 marathon looks feasible assuming my endurance is at good levels. Due to short training period, training focus will be on 'tired legs running', for example running a tempo session, followed by a long run the following day or do a medium long run with intervals/tempo in the middle.

Plan is to do 90km weeks for Week 1-3, 70-80km in Week 4, then 1 week taper in the Sunshine Coast !

Week 1
Mon -  9km easy at 5:00ish pace from home to CCAB track, then 5*1000m  averaging 3.53, 2mins walking for recovery, 6km cool down to home, total 20km
Tue – 33mins very easy along the river
Wed – 2km easy warm up, 6km fartlek alternating 2mins at 3.50s and 4mins at 4.20s, 2k cool down, total 10+km
Thu – 12km easy along the river + Padang grass (av 5.18)
Fri – off, massage
Sat – 1k up, 6 miles race done at tempo effort (av 4.12), 3km cool down, total 14km. Plan is to tempo the race to put fatique in the legs before doing a long run next day
Sun – 33km long run in 2h50mins (av 5.10) - 1 gel for almost 3 hours of running to burn fats and put the body in glycogen depleted state

Total 95km

22 February 2013

The Hobby Jogger

A belated update….. after a couple of months without a post !

Training has not been going as good as I wanted. After finishing Osaka last November, I had one eye on doing Seoul in March. But due to a myriad of factors, I wasn’t capable to train to a level that I aspired to.

My shin/post-tib issues are still giving me a grief. Started chiropractic treatment in order to align the body and hip, but the pain never entirely goes away. Every time I try to up the ante, it always comes back and produces sequels of pain.

I also have lost my way a bit in terms of focus/motivation. Another (newer) passion of mine is playing Fantasy Football and I consider myself to be very good at it (ranked top 10 nationally and in top 200 globally, won a trip to Spain two years ago from winning the game etc). Between August and May are EPL football season and with the games being telecast late night or early morning local time, I am struggling to get up early to run, hence cutting short my sessions and long runs. The competition also requires lots of brain work. If you have watched/read the movie/book called ‘Moneyball’, you will know what I mean…

In addition, I found my body took more time to recover nowadays (life after 40 haha). On some days, I could not be bothered to get up to run and prefer to sleep in.

At the moment, I am quite happy to run as a hobby, doing about 60km per week. I am keeping an eye on doing Gold Coast Marathon in July, since it is a few months away and hopefully, my injury will heal and passion for running will come back by then. Football session will end in May, so it could help to resurrect my motivation to train.

Any tips to regain passion/motivation to train hard? Maybe I should start registering for races again lol