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