Monday, December 19, 2011

Malakoff KL 2011 Race Report

This is a yearly race organize by PACM. I took part in last year 7km and I can only eyeing on the 12km finisher medal. When the registration opened this year, I straight away register myself for the 12km category. I am taking this a part of my marathon training, so no plan to go very fast or PB.
As per my training plan, the menu for the Sunday morning is 19km. To make up the mileage, I arrived the venue early, started my warming up loop by 6am. The warm up loop done in 7 min pace, no stress at all except the 2 killer climbs right before the start and the end of the loop. I alerted some Rela, guess they may thought the race had started early. After complete the warm up loop and back into the Event area, the distance still short for 1km, so I continued to run a bit inside the resort area.

The time passed 7am, I took a short break when the ladies 12km category flagged off. Took a PowerBar from the sampling booth, and bounced into a very old friend before the men category flagged off. The starting line is jammed with runners. I can’t recall if we have so many runners in year 2010 version, but the congestion tolled 2 minutes from my gun time. Btw, I have no pressure and no target for this race. I just take it easy to walk until the gantry.

I felt comfortable with the slow start. I kept the very slow pace from the starting line until the end of the 1 killer climb. Then I pick up some speed from all descending and tried to maintain the speed on all climbing. I skipped both water stations on the first loop, as both were jammed up due to insufficient of manpower. I think this is a terrible mistake. I ran with my 500ml bottle during my warm up loop (which normally enough for 15~20km), took the PowerBar and finished the bottle before the flag off. I think it will be either my warm up session or the PowerBar lead to some extra demand on hydration. I felt slightly dehydrated with mild headache throughout the rest of the day. The 2nd loop is just a repeat but I actually felt thirsty and stopped at both water stations. Think next time need to plan my hydration properly.
Finish line. Photo by Jason.
Overall speed maintained around 6:10 min/km and finished the race in 1:11’56”. I ran slower compared to the 12km at the Men’s Health Night run. May be I found some other things from this race, the extra 7km I did before the start, or my ultimate aim isn’t here, I actually feeling great about this race.

On the race event, everything are well organized and the traffic control is ok. But we need to have a bit more volunteers at both water stations instead of the finish area (medal and goodie collection). Saw a photo that En Rustam was pull out from the race and to help the 1st water station, I am confident that we will have an even better 2012 edition.
This is the last running event I had for 2011. For sure, this event is a very good finale for my 2011 running journey :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2012 New Year Resolution – Part II

How to run a Sub-5 Marathon?
We joked on the 4:12:11. But will this be my FM finish time?
What is the average pace for a sub-5 marathon? 7min/km. I think most of the regular runners will have no problem on this pace for 20 or even 30km, but the challenge is to do it for the whole 42km. From my observation and study on the web, I need to work on 2 main components.
1. Working on Top Speed
As we improving our short distance top speed, the body will learn how to perform efficiently. But eventually the body will need lots of repeating interval in order to pick up a faster pace. So, the classical speed work will involve few repeats of 1km or 1mile, pushing the body to accept the fact that it’s needed to run faster. My current speed work is very ad-hoc and involved very limited repeats.   
2. Working on Endurance
Endurance plays a major part for long distance running. It will allow the body to running on high gear for longer period of time. This involved 2 types of training, Tempo run and Long run. Tempo run working on the threshold of the lactic acid that body can produce and burn out efficiently (more reading: Here). Long run will basically let the body get used to the exercise duration and distance. My current endurance level still lagging after 30km point and the Tempo run is too short to really challenge the threshold.

Instead of blindly drafting out my plan, I downloaded one from RunnersWorld, with the SCKLM in June 2012 as target race event. The plan give some 4 workouts per week and weekly mileage increased slowly from 35km to peak at 79km. Compare this with my current simple workout routine, the plan look great and it will ensure some recovery interval between top and low intensity. You can make your own plan HERE. Btw, the 29 weeks training plan is just… boring… Let see if I can follow it for the first 2 months, then I will review the effectiveness again.
The tough part will be maintaining the pace and interval along the Speed work and Tempo run. The GF405CX will able to help. You can plan you workout via the Training Center, push it to the unit and load it (via Advanced Workout on the unit) to guide you thru the session. The ease run and the Long run will be guide by Virtual Partner from the unit too. Hope the GF405CX can last for another 7 months without problem.
I need to cut 44 minutes from my FM finish time for a sub-5 marathon. This is definitely not an easy target but I think it is still achievable. You may ask, how about the target to sub-1 hour for 10k and sub-2 hours for HM? The result will come naturally if I stick to the training plan.

Dream Big, Work Hard & Play Hard!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2012 New Year Resolution – Part I

The year 2011 is about to end. I clocked so far 1790km, with the few more week to go, I think I should concluding year 2011 with 1900km. It’s hard to belief when I looking back on my training and running. I completed 15 races (and 1 more next week) in year 2011, with 3 full marathons and 5 half marathons.  The experience on running is fantastic and it gave me the chance to see the city & town on foot. On races wise, although some time we have some limited medal to chase for, but ultimately your only competitor is yourself. We learned how to face the demon especially in long distance running, keep ourselves focused and not gave in. We learned how to plan and play the game of running, so we can had the most fun (or torture you may say) out of this activity.

Now, it is time to plan for next year. I more or less promised to myself and the family that I will only join the race once a month, so planning is very essential. Ultimately, I would like to:
1. Complete at least 4 Full Marathon (tentatively, SCKLM, RJM, PNM & PBIM)
2. Achieve sub-5 in a Full Marathon
3. Achieve sub-2 in a Half Marathon
4. Achieve sub-1 in a 10k race

I had put in some tentative plan on the races I wish to do next year (based on their 2010/2011 event date). There are still some blank to be fill up, but I am not in hurry to fill them up. You may not know if some very good events only come out last minutes.
Jan 2012
New Year Newton Challenge 25km
Feb 2012

Mar 2012
Brooks Half Marathon
Apr 2012
Bidor Half Marathon
May 2012

June 2012
Standard Chartered KL Marathon
July 2012
Seremban Half Marathon
Aug 2012

Sept 2012
River Jungle Marathon
Oct 2012
Putrajaya Night Marathon
Nov 2012
Penang Bridge International Marathon
Dec 2012
Malakoff KL

By doing this, I can also avoiding the depression feeling as the Up Coming Registered Events list get depleted towards the end of the year. I don’t know about you, but I felt the emptiness after a big event passed. I need some other thing to look forward and I can focus myself to move on.

By putting up the planning, I can also do better financially. I am thinking of doing Standard Charted Hong Kong Marathon in year 2013, and bring my family to visit the Disneyland when I am doing my marathon. I need to start saving money for the trip now :P

Yup, I described my targets. Part II will be about how to achieving it. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Standard Charted Marathon Singapore Race Report

This is the major event for all my 2011 races and my 3rd Full Marathon. This is a short trip, arriving on Saturday noon, run the FM, and heading home on Sunday night flight. Surprisingly the Firefly offered good price on their ticket (SBZ-SIN-SBZ, RM210 all inclusive fare), so I don’t need to take the trouble of travel to KLIA or LCCT.
Walking  from MRT to Marina Bay Sands
Race Expo Entrance
82 counters to serve runners
I stayed in Little India for this trip. Race Pack Collection for SCMS is at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. There is no direct access of MRT to the luxury hotel, and we need to walk some distance to the Marina Bay Sands hotel. This eventually tuned my mind to walking mode. Why not just walk back to the hostel after the race pack collection? The distance on the map doesn’t look that far. Spent some time looking around in the Expo, shopping mall, and sure inside the Casino (didn’t try my luck in the casino because the exchange rate is killing the mood on that). Started to walk back to Little India around 6pm. Had my dinner at Bugis Junction and back in the hostel to prepare the running gear, and hit the bed on 9:30pm.
Christmas Tree at Marina Bay Sands Shopping
Complementary 300ml water from Casino
Perfect size for my running hydration
The rain finally stopped
On my way walking back to Little India
The Finish Line already set!
The Padang is ready!
The AWA area is ready!
The race day start at 3am. Prepared myself and start walking/jogging to the Orchard Road starting point. Reached the baggage deposit counter around 4:30am, the queue is very long. I spent 50 minutes to drop my bag. I was a bit tension when it getting close to 5am flag off, but after that, I realized this is just part of the race experience, so I waited patiently with other Singapore runners. As I slow jog from the hostel, I don’t do any warm up and proceed to the starting line. It took another 15 minutes to finally cross the timing scanner at starting line. Its 36 minutes late from the flag off. So I will not achieve sub-6 hours according to gun time, but my mind was clear that time. No need to talk about gun time, I only need to prove this to myself so I will only look at my watch for the total time. Btw, I am still secretly hoping that I can achieve sub-6 from gun time (and subsequently a great 5.5 hours net time), so I fixed my pace to 7:15~7:45 minutes, chase mode ON. I am ok to maintain this pace until the 27km (where the banana station located). I walked some short distance while consuming the 2 bananas and managed to restart the engine to continue running.

Finally, the dreaded ECP came to the end. When we ran into the construction area around 31km, I don’t know why but I lost the momentum to continue running. I am fully agreed with some opinions voiced by other runners, why on earth that we need to run in the construction area? There are surely lots of other interesting places in Singapore for the Marathon. The balance distances were covered by running 1.5km, walk 0.5km between water stations. I knew that I will not make it back before 6 hours from gun time. So I just enjoyed myself at a slower pace. And finally, cross the finish line by 6:18’57”, it’s just 30 seconds behind my finish time on PNM and the net time is 5:43’45”, a very happy sub-6 result!
From official photographer
At the Finish line, by Tey
Real time tracking system
Race result analysis, started late and ended up with passing lots of runners
Official Result
Overall, this is a very well organized event but it’s just too crowded.
1. Supportive crews along the route. The ladies were cheering words of encouragement, gave extra boost to me (but how come I don’t remember hearing of guys cheering? May be there are some, but my mind just unable to register it :p ).
2. Sufficient water stations on every 2km. Although some of the stations were extremely jammed, but the supply never ran out. Btw, I felt like the water station around the construction stretch were located more than 2km apart, but this could be my perception as that time I am walking!
3. Hassle free baggage collection post race (directly opposite with the baggage check-in).
4. Apart from the ECP and the Construction site, the route is great; we covered some famous area in Singapore by foot.

1. Overly crowded for 20k FM runners. Especially the 20km on East Coast Park, bottleneck on every water station.
2. Missing or no distance markers especially on the ECP and the construction area.
3. Finish line joined with other categories. So far this one I can only imagine as the Full Marathoners who do 3~4 hours will hit the peak wave of human wall from HM and 10k at the 37km mark until the finish line.

Btw, when I look back to this Singapore trip, I guess I did too well. I am actually walked 4km from the Marina Bay Sands back to hostel on Saturday, walked/jogged another 4km from hostel to Orchard Road starting point, and walked 2km from City Hall back to hostel on Sunday. If the walking counted, I should logging an Ultra Marathon with total distance >50km :p (walked lots too after the race for shopping at Bugis area). Running in the compression tight definitely helps, at least I am still able to walk normally after the marathon.

I am very happy on accomplished my sub-6 marathon. Now, it’s time to plan for next step.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nike We Run KL 10K Race Report

This event happened almost towards the end of my SCMS FM training, so I didn’t really put in any training for this 10k. I was at Bukit Aman about 5:25am for a decent parking and some warming up run, and to get myself used to the new CW-X tights. I looped the bird park loop for 4 times before heading to the starting pen.
Bird Park warming up, 4x loops = 9.4km
Nike We Run KL 2011
At the starting pen around 6:55am, the area was crowded with orange/red color people! I only get into the pen area after the official flag off. From there onwards, it’s jammed all the way to the flyover lead to KL Sentral. Hard to keep a decent pace and lots of attention needed to lookout on other runners. It was eased a bit after the first water station, then the feeling of packed race came on and off as the varies road conditions, especially on the narrow stretches on the Jalan Tun Sambanthan and Jalan Kinabalu which we shared the road with buses, motorcycles and cars.
Towards the finish line, photo by Jason Thai
Finally, we reached the wide opened road after Bank Negara. Also during that time, I saw the Reindeer in Sarong flied passed me. I think he must AWOL from Santa on the Christmas preparation to join this race :)  I stopped only once to refill my bottle and kept a consistence pace. I didn’t push the pace (also not much left to push after the 9k warming up at bird park loops) and finally reached the finish line in 64 minutes.
1GB Nike Lunar Glide 3 Thumb-drive upon completion of the 10k
Overall this is a very well organized event with sufficient water station and crews/supporters/musicians to keep the runners entertained. The only problem is still our running etiquettes. Runners simply stop at will in the middle of the road will caused problem in such a crowded event. Some even bended down to tight their shoes laces in the middle of the road. I can imagine there will be some unlucky person will definitely ran into these obstacles. I was extra alert and kept my strides short for any possible condition that I may be on this race.

This is my first run in Compression Tights, the result is positive and no issue observed. Before the run, I am anticipated running in full length tights may be very hot, but I felt ok and in fact a bit chilling through out the 19km. And yesterday, I completed another 21km in the tights with no issue too. Now I am confident to use it for the SCMS.

You can now downloading the PDF version of runners guide for SCMS (HERE). There will be 20,000 participants in Full Marathon category, and this will be a really packed event. I am really excited and there are only 4 more days. See you guys in Singapore!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Nike We Run KL 10K

This week will be the famous Nike 10K. The race sold out in 2 days time, so, I will expect the turn out will be quit good. I didn’t put too much of effort or plan for this event, but it’s a 10km happened towards the end of my preparation for SCMS, so I will only add in some additional mileage before the 10K to maintain my minimum weekly mileage. The plan is, reach Bukit Aman by 5am, loop a few loops at bird park until 6:30am then clean up a bit and head to the starting line. Not much expectation on the finish timing too. My previous official 10K race was Bareno in March, completed in 64 minutes. As I am in the mid of FM training, I will be happy if I finished the 10K within 70 minutes.

So far, the preparation of the SCMS went well. I had over the training peak and now is time to relax under slow gear. In fact, I think I am just too relaxed until many empty slots start to appear in my training daily and I only achieved 2/3 of my training plan for November. I think I will need to top up some extra over this weekend to at least recondition my body to take the 42k next Sunday. Weekend plan will be doing 15k on Saturday morning, 20k on Sunday morning (bird park plus the Nike Run), and 20k on Monday morning (my first try on the Newton Challenge Route at Bandar Kinrara). All these will be done in LSD pace (7~8 min/km) except the Nike 10K with target pace of 6.5min/km. It shouldn’t tax my legs so much before the big event.

I am getting my hand on the CW-X Expert Compression Tights from Choi’s year end promotion. The additional weekend mileage also for me to familiar with the compression tights. If I am able to get along with this, I will use it during SCMS. Will put up my review on the compression tights after SCMS.

I am looking forward to the Full Marathon and Singapore trip in 8 days time. 

Link to Race Report

Monday, November 21, 2011

PBIM Half Marathon Race Report

When I registered this event back in June, I don’t expect myself doing any Full Marathon in year 2011, I only go for another Half Marathon. But eventually I started my FM journey in September, so the feeling is mixed by relief and jealous when I walking around the starting line before the FM flag off.
Clouded sky, will it rain tonight?
I took FireFly to Penang on Saturday afternoon, reached the hotel about 3pm. The B Hotel (it is a budgeted hotel located opposite the Sg Nibong Bus Terminal, not the B-Suit Hotel) don’t have my booking records, same happened to few runners who booked online as early as June. Waited until 4pm only the issue resolved by downgrading my room to smaller room with shared bathroom. Dumped my bags into the room and I walked to Queensbay Mall for early dinner. The sky looked clouded and tentatively it will rain very soon. After a quick survey on the start area, its carbo-loading time :)
Serious Carbo-loading session
Back to the hotel after dinner. The hotel is renovated from a 3 stories link house, with at least 12 rooms. The hotel condition is so poor and I made a terrible mistake. First, the shared bathroom located on ground floor and my room located on the 1st floor. Second, the “room” was made of single layer gypsum board by boxing up the family area on 1st floor. As it located right next to staircase, I can actually tell what’s happening in the whole hotel. Third, the housekeeping is very poor and spiders’ webs are everyway (the photos on the hotel’s website only true if I came 2 years ago). Fourth, the hotel has no security and the access is free for all. I am on the bed since 7:30pm, but couldn’t sleep at all. Kids are running around, then some people having laugh conversation, and etc. like a drama on for the whole night. Finally, its 12:30am and the hotel start to get quiet down. Too bad, I need to wake up and prepare myself.
It is about 1.5km from the starting line, so I jogged slowly at 9min pace to the starting line for warming up. Hang around the area and say hi to familiar runners on the FM category. I felt relieved as I don’t need to run 42k now with minimum or no sleep, but I felt jealous too as I am only doing 21k. I promised myself I will back next year for a Full one. The FM flagged off on time and then followed by the HM on 3am. I stayed with 6:30 pace for the first 3km and then pushed up to 5:45 pace. May be due to lag of sleep, I found that I had some hard time to hang on with 5:45 pace, so the pace kept dropping from 5:45 to around 6:15. I completed the first 10k in 60 minutes right after the u-turn on the bridge. Tried to psycho myself to push harder when heading back to island, but didn’t work. Decided this is not my day and switched to 7min pace from 15km onwards. Felt some discomfort in the stomach around 20km, so used the run-walk-run strategy from there. Finished the 21km by 2:16’18” and felt great.
Got my finisher medal and headed direct to the baggage counter. Saw the hopeless queues as the 10k race is yet to start, and lots of runners trying to deposit their baggage. Lucky they dedicate a lane for withdrawal. No rain for the entire event, but the strong wind from sea kept us cool. This is the first time I felt my body cooling down so fast after the run, so I changed to a dry t-shirt to avoid caught the cold. Head back to the hotel to catch up some nap.
Overall, this is a good event and the experience of running on the bridge is unique. There are some complaints from FM runners, mainly on the out-of-water at varies water stations, finisher t-shirt giving out to non FM runners, joined & narrow finishing route with 10k and fun run (caused the walking human “wall” towards the finish line from 7:30am onwards, very tough to those exhausted 5:30~7:00 hours FM finishers). I will take note on these complaints and prepare myself for 2012 version (but seriously I hope the organizer do improved from the feedback, especially lots of them are repeated one).

Only one observation from me, the stress of the 1.5~3km on HM route are very dark. Some lamp pole out of service and we can’t see the road condition clearly. Worst still, the organizer assigned some scout to distribute 500ml water bottles here. I saw some runners ran on these poor scouts due to poor illumination. To me, the water station located just nice and no one needed those 500ml water bottles and it’s straightly a waste.

Learning from this race:
1. Don’t try new thing during a race and keep the routine practices. I brought a GU Chomps and use it for the first time. I haven’t used it and perhaps it causes my stomach discomfort (sure the lag of sleep contribute to this too).
2. It is tough to hope to have an improved finish time in HM, during FM training. I am training for a sub-6 FM, naturally my body is tuned to running at ~8min pace especially in long distances. It’s nearly impossible to reverse the tuned body overnight and hope it running on 5:40 pace for a sub-2 hours HM.
3. Touch & Go, or overnight trip for an outstation event is killing me. I already skipped some hassle by taking flight to Penang, but still the exhaustion is tough. So, I am planning to limit my outstation races next year. For PBIM 2012, I will bring along the family next year and stay longer in Penang before and after the event, for more makan & beach fun :)

Another 12 more days to SCMS.

Monday, November 14, 2011


This is one of the most famous race in Malaysia. I heard this race when I still in Primary school back in 80s. Once I had change to ride over the 13.5km Penang Bridge, I can’t belief there are actually lots of people will run the Bridge on this yearly event since 1985. After 1 year plus addicted to running, I will be one of the runners in this event on coming Saturday!

As I planned this race quite early, I am only registered to Half Marathon. By that time, I still planned to stick to 21k through out year 2011. No worry, there will always be a next year to run a full marathon on Penang Bridge. The race start at 3am (FM start at 2am), it will be tough to drive there from KL/Ipoh. So I will be taking the FireFly from Subang and reach Penang on Saturday afternoon, and return home on Sunday 3pm.

Game plan for this HM? Nope! I would like to focus more on my preparation for the SCMS, so this 21k will be on normal 6 minutes pace. No attempt on sub-2. Btw, I just got the confirmation from AECO that my unit arrived at their HQ and waiting to be transfer to Digital Mall. I will again running with my GF405CX and it will be easier to gauge my leading/lagging from sub-2 during the race. I may speed up on the 2nd half if I think I am doing well.

Not much training during last week as my brother getting married. Only managed slot in a long run on Saturday but can only do about 12.8k before the rain started. It had been a while I didn’t ran on Polo Ground in Ipoh. Felt it’s overcrowded during weekend morning 7~9am. I planned to run on Polo Ground until dawn then heading out to have some road running in Ipoh town, take about 8k and do few more laps back in Polo Ground to make up the 20k in total. From my observation, both main roads next to Polo Ground are not suitable for running. If next time I need to run around that area, I think I will run the inner roads only. I mapped few options to get a 10k road runs to prepare for my next round.

I will also take it easy from now on until SCMS. Maintaining 3x 5km during the weekdays and 10k + 20k over the weekend. My body will need the 45k weekly mileage to keep in shape & tuning, for at least 2 more weeks.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

LSD and Training

October was a good training month. Although I only did mostly 5km runs during weekday, but I clocking 50+ km per week with mainly Saturday-Sunday back to back LSD in 20~25km. I hadn’t done any LSD for 30km. So, over the last long weekend, I planned to use the PACM LSD at BA-Hartamas to challenge the 30km.

As usual, I wake up early but arrive late at BA car park. Start on 6:10am, so it will be a tough day for more then 30km. Anyway, it’s a beautiful morning for running with cooling from the previous night rains, and PACM was serving Gatorade in both water stations. I completed the 10km without any issue. Surprised to see the Petronas was under renovation, so no toilet and water to rinse away my sweat. I headed back to Jalan Duta and looping back to Hartamas after the Masjid via Matrade. Detour to Hartamas Shopping Complex for 7-Elevent. I don’t carry power gel so I needed some replenishment of fuel. Returned to Petronas only after 8:45am, and PACM water station actually ran out of supply and packed up early. I made up my mind and headed back to BA without any stops. Ended up I ran 29km in about 4 hours.

I would considered that I improved from 2 of my previous FM. I am now able to reprogram my mental state to follow the course I fixed before each run and complete them without too much of mumbling. This allows me to face the 25~30km without major issue and perhaps I will be able to complete the FM distances in 6 hours now. The reopen of PBIM FM registration actually tempted me to swap my category, but I held back as it’s too closed to SCMS. The PBIM will stay as a 21km speed works. Btw, AECO finally came back to me (after I called them twice) said the GF405CX will return latest by next week. So I will have a better manage of my pace in PBIM.

Also, the ITBFS seem to be at ease now and I am not nursing any injury on the rest of the parts. The legs & knees still felt soreness and tiredness after each long run, but nothing really serious. I will tune down the training intensity this week onwards to 30~40km per week until SCMS.

25 more days until SCMS.

Monday, October 31, 2011

PJ Half Marathon Race Report

I woke up 5am, and I know it very well that this is not my day. Even though the sore throat is gone, but the left nose still blocked. These are the flu bugs from my boy and its lingering since Deepavali. From experience, I should be ok to run with this condition, but need a longer warming up and tentatively sub-2 is out of my reach.

Reached the stadium around 6:10am and the road & parking to the stadium was already jammed. Lucky I still manage to find a parking. When I came off from the car, the warming up session in the stadium is just over and the emcee requesting all HM runners head to starting point located outside the stadium. With some quick warm up, I slow jog to the starting line. I am surprised with the number of HM runners at the starting line. There must be at least 1000 runners took part. This means the limited medal will also out of my reach.

We flagged off on time and I started from the very behind of the pack. We are heading to Federal Highway from the old airport road. We were diverted onto the motorcycles lane when we reached the Federal Highway. It gave me some tough time as the lane is narrow and kind of difficult to overtake others runners. The route is still dark until I reached the 1st water station and approaching the U-turn at the cable bridge. It took me 27 minutes on this stretch and 5 minutes behind my plan. As I don’t have an instant feedback on my pace, and the distance markers are limited. I only gave my best to keep running. I still have the sour taste on not giving my best during the PNM final leg. I would not want to repeat the same mistake and give up a race before the finish line.

The sun came out early by 7:30am, and all runners get toasted on the old airport road until we U-turn again in front of terminal 2. After toasted under the hot sun for an hour, I finally reached the exist point to the stadium. Step on the finish line on 2:09 and concluded my 4th HM. Deo is snapping some photo outside the stadium and he got my relieving look right in front of the stadium entrance :) 

I only managed to check my pace on Nokia post race, it shown that I am maintaining a good 6 min pace throughout the race. Also I didn’t walk at all for the whole 21km (only few steps after the Ara Damansara water station, the sun and the sweat got into my eyes). As my current training plan is focus to have a good FM finish time (sub-6 hours), so it will be hard to challenge the sub-2 target for HM. I know this HM result is properly my current best and I am happy with that. May be if I change 1~2 LSD into long 20km tempo run will help me to achieve the sub-2 in PBIM. But it may also hurt me due to over trained. Am I that dying for sub-2 HM? We shall see.
Another photo by Tey. Inside the stadium before the Finish Line.

PACM is organizing LSD at Bukit Aman-Sri Hartamas this coming Sunday. I plan to do a 30~35km on the route and this will be the last longest LSD before I tuned down the intensity of my training and rest for SCMS.

See you in coming races and training.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Preparation for PJ Half Marathon

The PJ Half Marathon will be in this weekend. To me, its biggest selling point will be having a chance to run on the dreaded (at least on working day rush hours) Federal Highway. Btw, I don’t think it will be a total road closure like the Adidas KOTR. So, we will need to deal with some traffic. Hope the organizer at least blocks up a lane for runners and perform traffic control on all the junctions.

My target will be to sub-2 hours in this HM. A 5.5min pace will grant me this sub-2 result but I don’t have the GF405CX to get instant feedback. So I plan to use the water station location, which located every 4km. I will have 22 minutes from one water station to another. I can also roughly depend on the HRM. Tentatively the hearth rate will climb and stabilize at 155~165BPM. It will be sign to slow down whenever it touches 165BPM.

October has been a very good training month for me. I clocked so far 199km this month, and sure will break into 220km per month after the PJ HM. This is definitely a good preparation for the coming Singapore Marathon, and I will slow down the amount of training after 7 Nov. Got some family event committed. It’s also time to start reducing the rate so that body starts to recover and back to best condition before the SCMS. Now, there are still 3 races (PJ Half, PBIM Half, and Nike 10k) between me with the SCMS. All these races will be serving as speed works for the marathon training. Training plan for the pass two weeks were adhered 100% in term of mileages. I will sure challenge the sub-6 hours Marathon finishing in Singapore. This round, there will be no alternative game plan. For SCMS, the game plan is fixed, run at 8min pace, adjustment only come if I am still ON after 35km. Simple and workable plan :)

See you on the PJ Half starting line this Sunday morning.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Putrajaya Night Marathon Race Report

Finally, the big event came and gone. I completed my 2nd marathon in 6:18 hours, outside of the targeted 6 hours cut-off time. It was a very well organized event and I guessed lots of runners enjoyed the run as much as I do.

Yes, I put in many thought to plan my game, but none of the plans was followed on the game day. I pushed too hard at the first 16km, the HRM shown about 150~160BPM although I am not going really fast (pace at about 7.5min/km). The body didn’t used to the night race and took more energy to ramp up. I should stay within or even at the lower bottom of my aerobic zone, 130~140BPM will be a very good start. After 16km, I start to felt I am struggling to keep running. I took the first energy gel at 18km and continue to push on.

Basically, after 22km, I started to walk a bit. I used the counting cons/lamp poles technique to keep myself within the control limit of walking. But the walking getting more frequent until the water station at 26km. Lots of runners passed me from this stretch. I know that I will not able to make it back to finish line if I kept walking that much. So, I popped in the 2nd energy gel at the water station, drove the walking option out of my mind, and ran to the next water station at a steady slow pace. On the balance of the distances, I am running from water station to water station and tried my very best to keep walking at minimum. Mid night passed and I only reached 28km mark. I knew I need to keep going to made it to the cut off time.

At the 32km, my left calf started to tense up and I knew it’s about to cramp up. So, I had no choice but to walk more from here. Got the PowerBar gel from the sponsor but I had to keep it for later. No point to push unless the tense eased up. Btw, I walked some the tense never eased up; really no choice and I popped in the 3rd serving of energy gel at 35km and pushed on. This time, I told myself I can’t stop or slow down if I really wanted to finish by 6 hours. I started to push harder and my hearth rate moving up to 165BPM range. There are 7 more kilometers to go, and I had 50 minutes left before 2am. Too bad, these final stretches are just as tough as the other part of the course. I can only pushed my pace to 7~8 min/km. At 1:50am, I still had 2km. From that point, I gave out running and only walking. I think I can still pushed on, and finished the race at about 6:10, but the driving force just drained out of me once I noticed I can’t made it in the cut off time.

With Tan at the starting line.
Through out the race, I am like duet with Tan from the start. We first met at the RJM on the dreaded 3km climb. He is very friendly and gave me lots of encouragement during that climb. This round in PNM, we met at the starting pan, wished each other good luck and took some photos. From there, we met in varies spots on the route. He is tough and going with very consistence pace. When I am walking at the final km, Tan again caught up with me. With his encouragement, I restart my engine and heading back to the finish line in running. He is really amazing and still able to surge to high speed at the last 200m, hence Tey (who finished his 5:27 FM, and start snapping photos, thanks for the nice photo) can took a nice single shoot for both us respectively. Thank you Tan for your company and encouragement over the 42km.
2:18am in the Morning, at PNM Finish Line. Photo by Tey.
Catch up with Chan too at the Starting Line, he is doing HM.

Learning for this FM,
1. Start slow at FM, stay at the bottom of the aerobic zone until you feel comfortable for the first 2 hours, then you can push harder. Btw, I do observe that my aerobic zone is matched with a slower pace through out the race. May be it’s a night running which the body is not familiar with. So, put some training that mimic to your racing condition is important.
2. If you cleared your mind and don’t keep think of walking, you can run very far and still keep going. In other words, FOCUS.
3. Planning is important. What more important is “Follow the PLAN”!

On the other preparation (apart from training mileage), I am surprised that the Nokia Phone with SportsTracker can stay up for 7.5 hours. I forgot to turn off the SportsTracker so its kept my driving speed too :P

My next race will be the PJ Half Marathon, follow by the PBIM (I took HM only), Nike 10k, then my 3rd Marathon at SC Marathon Singapore. Hope to put up a training plan and game plan to sub-6 hours in SCMS.

Have fun!