Sunday, January 19, 2014

Injury Update

I wished the last bar were from running, but all those 144km were did on a bicycle
For the longest time since I recording my running activities, I was not running for 2 weeks. Tried 2 times test run (last Wednesday and today) but the injured foot don't seem to fully recovered. After many reflection, I can more or less pin point the causes of this injury - over trained.

I am following the Hanson Marathon Method beginner training program since November 2013. The weekly mileage was ramp up to 85km when I was injured. I can't blame the mileages for my injury, and I only got myself to blame for. Why? The intensity of the training. My target marathon time was set to 4.5hours, hence I should follow the relevant target pace for all types of trainings in the schedule. My problem, not following the plan and not recognize my limit! All my training pace was at least 30sec faster than the target pace and that went to the extreme especially in the race. Example in MPIB, it was my 26km long run day with target pace 6:51min/km, but I was doing 5:40min/km for the 12km route, right after my 14km warming up. Both pace and mileages went up and tear down my body and resulted this injury.

The injury hinder my training for my first 50k Ultra. Out of running for 2 weeks (maybe more) will definitely undone some of the fitness level I gained. For now I can only depends on cycling to maintain my basic fitness. Good thing is the weight maintained even though the training intensity went south, and this reconfirm my weight lost approach worked!

Key learning from this injury,
1. Build up slowly during training. If choose to follow a program, followed thru.
2. One or 2 races during the training program is ok, but avoid back to back,  and avoid any race if possible.
3. Listen to the body carefully especially at the peak of the training. Pushing over an uncomfortable feeling at the peak of the training program will cause serious damage.

How am I going to deal with Titi50 in less than a month? Well, I will have to let my foot healed completely before any serious running. Scale back my target accordingly and may be have a good 9 hours walking in Hulu Langat during the race. Anyway, I will start to mix my workout with brisk walking before and after. Aimed to rehabilitate my foot for running with those brisk walking/weight bearing exercise.

Look at the bright side, I am doing my secret training for 2014 PowerMan. May be I will join for difference type of fun if my cycling training coming out good.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Race Report: MPIB 2014

This was a simple short 12km race around double hills area and Padang Merbok. I love to run in that area, but with the raising crime rate and shortage of parking, I cut back my visit since 2013. Race will be a best opportunity for me to visit and run in this area comfortably. The training menu some how indicate a key long run of 26km on that day, hence I will need to start earlier to complete a 14km, then continue with the 12km race.

Started the day early around 5:10am and decided to park at the parking next to the Lake Garden Club house entrance. The area was still quiet and I was the 3rd car at the parking. Started in the Lake Garden loop and I only encounter 3 others runners. Later I found out part of the Lake Garden loop is under construction, may be this was the reason of less runners looping there. I too don’t like the looping, hence made the decision to heading out. Knowing that the race marshals will soon start to set up the route, I should have no problem to warm up on part of the race route. The warm-up took place from Jalan Parlimen – Jalan Sultan Salahhudin, about 4km each loop, and I did 2.5 loops (last loop cut short from Padang Merbok to Jalan Sultan Salhhudin). Total warm-up distance of 14km finished by 6:50am and felt great.
Towards the finish line, thanks Tey for the photo
After I changed to a dry vest and reached the starting line, the 12km Men category already flagged off, and the lady already lined up. I got no problem to start with Women category (over heard that Jamie said the lady whom started with the Men category will be disqualified, hopefully the guys were ok to start with the lady). The start line was packed, and the first climb rights after the start really slow me down (lots of lady started to walk...). Initially I was still ok to hold back my pace at relaxed 6.5min/km, but after dodging thru lots of obstacles, the fire built up. I decided to speed up after the climb, cruising with 5min/km pace at the descend part of Jalan Sultan Salahhudin, and started to caught few guys who started earlier. I kept the fire on and entered the Bukit Tunku area, completed the stretch with 5.4min/km pace. And I think I went bonked after climbed the incline of Jalan Sultan Salahhudin for the 3rd times. Pace dropped to about 6min/km, and finally finished the race in 1:09’15”.
I am happy to found another gear within. According to the training manual, the long run and the weekly mileages was designed to simulate the last 26km of a Marathon. If I could firm out the realisation of this new gear within to appear in all my races, I will be still pushing hard on the last session of the marathon towards the finish line, without crashed into the Wall.

Anyway, after few weeks of high mileages training, the body decided to login a complaint. The left foot suffered a syndrome that similar to extensor tendonitis. Need to slow down and have a day or two off from running.

Caught by Mohan during my post-run icing (while waiting the traffic jam to clear off)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Race Report: Newton Challenge 2013

Newton Challenge was one of the race that offering the unique distances (15km & 25km) on the very challenging route in Bandar Kinrara. This was also the 3rd Newton Challenges in the past 2 years (twice in 2012) and I was running in the first one, now I returned to this race as it was one of the most challenging route with the Amah Hill and her two daughters.

This was a good testing ground to gauge my training result. I ran the first Newton Challenge when I was in relatively good form and took down all the climbs without much issue. Running on identical route served a good indication of one’s physical form. Anyway, the new route added in another climb towards the 20km just to make it more challenging. I planned to have an easy ride on this race to practice my target marathon pace (6.4 min/km). From the recent 2 races, I knew I don’t need to push too hard for this pace, but those were only 10k & 21k. I would like to find out if I can last for the 25k.

Closed to 1500 competitors lined up for 25km category. I started at the back as usual. The race field was packed from starting line all the way to the first water station, and then the pack eased up further when we turned at the traffic light to take down the first climb. I maintained a good average pace from start, at 6.3-6.4min/km. The situation started to be tricky after reached the top of the daughter hill. My legs felt extremely itchy, there descends was calling them to charge... no choice but just listen to the body and charged on. From there, the pace increased to 5-5.5min/km when descending, and 6.1-6.2min/km when climbing. Basically that’s what repeated for the rest of the distances left.
Towards the finish line, photo taken by Vivian.
Refuelling becomes very important when you are pushing for the race. I took a heavy breakfast (coffee with 2 tea spoons of Chia seed, plus 4 loafs of bread with cheese), but start to felt hungry after 12km. Took the PowerGel at 14km, but it can’t last until the end. The route joined with 15km category from 19th km onwards. I again felt hungry around 22km, and this time I didn’t had another PowerGel. No choice so I pushed even harder so that I can fill up my dummy at the finish line. Saw the water station at 23km, and I was hoping to see 100Plus, but only plain water available. Finally, got to the final turn and finished the race with 2:30’37” net time (gun time 2:32’16”, position, Men Open 164, overall 282; 12 minutes faster than previous). But I was disappointed to found no food at the finish line. Only watermelon was served, and I think I took at least half of a watermelon :P
The average pace from the race is 17 seconds faster than my target pace, and the heart rate averaged at 146BPM, with overall max at 161BPM. This showing that the training program hard brought me to a much better physical form. I am confident that I am doing fine now and heading towards my target of sub4.5. Looking at the pace chart, I think I will need some hill-repeats cause there will be more hills to climb in Titi50. Bukit Kledang at my home town will be my best friend come Chinese New Year :)