Tuesday, December 17, 2013

5000KM into Running

I started running for more than 3 years now. First I used Sport Tracker for mileages records, and then slowly I moved to DailyMile since March 2011. Why I faithfully login my training mileages? I used them to encourage myself to continue. Like what I read from Haruki Murakami’s book about running, me too got tones of reasons to not running every morning, but only few kept me going. Hence I need to carefully preserve those few. The statistic, analysis, equivalent numbers of donuts, TV powered, around the world, etc. do spark the interest of keep going. I also loved the interaction between runners in the DailyMile and met some great running friends like Lina, Nick and Kah Yen.
Now 3 years passed and I cumulated 5000km training mileages (with 200km of cycling earlier this year), just to reflect on my progress so far,
1. Started running with the intention to loss weight, now I am 18kg lighter than the time I started. 10kg from the first year, then it stayed around 70-73kg for 2 years until I started follow the training program and control my diet, now is 65kg.
2. Running getting faster. My first 10km race was about 90 minutes, and now its 55 minutes. My first 21km race was about 2:25’, and now its 2:03’. My first 42km race was about 6:31’, and now its 4:59’.
3. Completed 2 oversea FM, Singapore and Germany (Munich)
4. Started to felt that I had too much of medals in collection, and some time paying too much for a short race.
5. Calves, knees, ankles, lower back and some others parts I don’t know the name are suffering regular soreness (and some time pain), like all other seasonal runners does.

60 more days to my first Ultra 50km.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Year Resolution 2014

Only now I start to plan for my 2014, I awared that I had 2 sets of goals in both DailyMile and in my Blog.
Goals set at DailyMile,
1. 4x Full Marathon
2. Sub-5 in Full Marathon
3. Control weight at 65kg
I achieved all these goals (the weighing scale started to show 65-66kg now).
Goals set at Blog,
1. 1x Barefoot Marathon
2. Sub-5 in Full Marathon
3. Sub-2 in Half Marathon
4. Control weight at 66kg
I only completed 2 out of 4. Barefoot running take a back seat this year. Even though I still race on and off with barefoot, but it more like for fun instead of training up to FM distances. The next will be sub-2 HM, I completed the last HM in 2:03. Let’s leave it for next year.
I am now following the Hansons Marathon Method training program. The recent two PB are obviously from the training program. I am excited with the result so far. I was not really good in following training program, all my previous program will only lasted for 2-3 weeks. Now I am actually completed phase one of the Beginner program and partially into phase two (8 weeks into training). Missed few workouts but mostly are on schedule. The weekly mileages stacking up to 65km, and ran 216km in November. I expected more to come in December and January before shifting back to low gear for tapering in February for the 50KM in Titi 100.

So it’s again the time to plan for 2014, I am actually struggled to find enough races to fill up my once a month quota. There will sure be lots of shorter or longer races come up later, so I will live with what I had here for time being. For half marathon, I will skip Brooks HM and Seremban HM, adding in the Bidor, Ipoh KRI (not sure the date) and PNM HM (don’t want to back to back FM weekend). 3 x 42km and 2 x Ultra. The Taipei Marathon will be part of the family vacation plan :)

MPIB Run, 12KM
Titi 100, 50KM
Bidor Half Marathon, 21KM
Larian HKSAS, 15KM
B2E, 12 hrs Ultra
River Jungle Marathon, 42KM
Taipei Marathon, 42KM

Target for 2014,
1. Complete a sub 4.5hrs Full Marathon
2. Complete a sub 2hrs Half Marathon
3. Complete a 52min 10k
4. Control weight around 65kg

Don’t think I will venture into full time Barefoot running soon, will continue to focus on speed training to expose my limit.

Hope the new year will be as fruitful as 2013.

Happy running!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Race Report: GM Klang Run For It 7

If I took out all Setia Alam races (2x CICM), then this is my first race in Klang. I didn’t know why I always missed races in Klang, and this year I only did 2 half marathons, hence I sign up this race as soon as it open up. No target set for the race but as it was at the mid of my training plan, I would like to check if the training workout positively.

From the last week’s 10k, I knew better on my current fitness level. So the plan will be hold up an easy pace (<150BPM) for the first half, then speed up to the finish line after 12km. Only I wish to avoid the repeat the previous mistake of pushing too hard, hence the max heart rate should be 170BPM. I will be looking for another PB if I able to stay between 5.9-6.1 min pace all the way. Btw, the race is on a very flat route you normally don’t see in other local races.

The race flagged off on 5:35am, I started slow but steady around 6.5 min pace. Not too many runners in this category and the road are wide in this part of the town, the crowds eased after 1km. I sped up to the target pace of 5.9min. Heart rate was steady and stayed below 150BPM, and start to overtaking other runners. Said hello to few familiar runners until I met my colleague Fong. He is going with about 6 min pace, and I figured that I should stay at my current pace (I was still speeding, almost 5.5min pace right before I met him) hence we ran and pace each other at the 6 min pace. The race felt much easier when you had some company. We exchanged some stories and office gossip, 12km just past like that. We merged with 10km runners, and then is time for me to push on.

I knew that I had lots left in the tank, so I took my PowerGel at 12km and sped on alone. The burst only last for 1km, then not too sure what was the reason, may be I was too comfortable with the company, the formation of the blister on my toes or the route is just plain boring. I lost the steam to stay on 5.5min. I can only push my best to sustain the speed at 5.9-6.1min pace. The situation finally over after I stopped by the water station at 18km to refill my bottle. I then sped all the way to the finish line and completed with a PB of 2:03’35” (Fong did returned with a PB too).
Towards the finish line. Photo thanks to KelvinTan.my
Finisher Medal and PB for Half Marathon
Overall, the race is ok. I enjoyed the flat route, the friendly water stations volunteers and the check point volunteers (as they busy recording top runners from other categories, I reported my number just to make some fun out of it, the response was great). On the other hand, the organizing part got nothing to shout on. Water stations gave out 350ml bottles to all runners, some sections no marshals, traffic control only at most of the big junctions (this may not be an issue as we don’t observed heavy traffic during the race). And the best part was my medal… I got a finisher medal of 10km, on a race that I got my half marathon PB. Only realized it when I reached home and I wouldn’t drive all the way back to Klang just to exchange it. Anyway, I will still return to this race next year. I will push harder for my sub-2 HM target here :)

The PB shown the result from the training program, and I am heading to the right direction. Also I reconfirmed my targeted marathon pace with my 10k and HM race result, hence the 4.5 hours finishing time is achievable. I will continue to stick on my training program and enjoying few short races in between. 69 days until the big 50KM race.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Race Report: CICM 10KM 2013

This race becomes part of my office routine, another year into the corporate challenge. Some of the members not able to make it as the race rescheduled from September, we had 2 new team members this year. No pre-race meeting as we all knew that the Managing Director will be at the race site on that morning so we need to win! And we did, successfully defend the champion this year. The event is some how less eventful compared to last year. I think about 400-500 in the HM and 800-1000 in the 10k. Many withdrawn from this race as it not only rescheduled, but also moving back to Setia Alam from Putrajaya. We are 3rd times running the same route since CICM moved to Setia Alam from Bukit Jalil. And you can see how much the township built up from scratch.
Didn't bring the Official Event T :P
As I am mid way thru my training program, I took this as one of the training pace determination run. If the race result matched or better than my training pace, then I will continue with the current training pace, else, a revise may be required. The training pace I picked needed a 10k pace of 5:52, which converted to a finishing time of 58’40” for the 10k. So my plan was starting with 5.5min pace, and speed up to may be 5min pace after the 3rd water station heading back to finish line.

Reached the starting point 5:30am and walked around to finish my breakfast. Not long, the HM was flagged off around 6:15am (I still think is ridicules to flag off a 21k race in Malaysia after 6am). I started my warming up after used the toilet. We gather into the starting pen around 6:40am and flagged off on 6:45am. The start off was kind of packed, but lucky the traffic police block off the traffic on the main road. I started with 6min pace due to the congestion, but managed to catch up the plan 5.5min pace after flying off the descent. With the momentum I pushed a bit to 5.1min pace on the 2nd KM. Then I slow down and kept a decent effort on maintaining the 5.5min pace. The crowd was cleared. The heart rate was already 168BPM, but I was not panic like last year (knew very well that you need to push hard to get speed, and I held up that HR for few hours in my last marathon). I stopped at all 3 water stations for half cup of water, for hydration and regulate the heart rate. The heart rate actually stayed at below 168BPM until the 3rd water station at 8km before I decided to push harder.

The race was too short for a second wind, hence the decision to push harder was a difficult one. The speed again went up to 5.1-5.2min pace, but I was not able to maintain my heart rate this time. It’s burst from 170BPM all the way to 197BPM and my Garmin made hell lots of noise due to heart rate high alarm. No choice but to hold back and slow down. Finished the race with 55’28”, 8 seconds PB from last year race (I can continue with my training pace now and aim for a 4.5hours full marathon).
The paces for both races are very similar. 2 biggest lost time for this year race compared to last year, was the start up (I didn’t get to the front like last year), and I didn’t push after climbing the 2nd incline at the 5th KM. Overall pace kept very well at 5.4-5.5 min pace at 5-8th KM. And the heart rate kept very well below 170BPM until I pushed. One of the possible improvements will be the push (apart from starting in front). I should push earlier and not too hard. It’s really not a very good feeling when your heart rate went beyond the maximum (safe exercise zone).

Next week will be my 3rd HM for 2013. I will try to challenge my PB (2:07’19”), just keep going with the 6.0-6.1 min pace and I will reach another PB. Sub-2? May be next year :)