Thursday, June 4, 2015

Start of a New Racing Season

18 more weeks to my yearly highlight race SCKLM, and now is the best time to start another round of training cycle. The previous training cycle actually dragged much longer than 18 weeks and it’s kind of back to back so often I felt drained after each major event I trained for. This time, I took 2 weeks off (almost totally off) from running, and went for shopping instead.

I got myself a pair of Merrell Bare Access 3, and a pair of Newton Distance 3, with good discount. With the good experience from R68 in Bare Access, I decided to explore my shoes running options. As there are lesser channel nowadays to get VFF in Malaysia, plus the build quality is deteriorating, I need some other options.
Bare Access 3 like its previous version, was a minimalist shoes. But it’s not really that minimalist anymore in this version. It’s heavier and harder soles; narrower in both toe box and arch area; make it more like a racing flat compared to the usual barefoot running shoes.
Distance 3 on the other side, with lots more cushioning and softer soles, flexible toes box (it’s still consider narrow, but the upper layer actually quite flexible and you won’t felt your toes restricted inside), with the strange feeling to running on those 5x lugs system.

Both shoes providing great stimulation to difference part of my legs muscles and also the workouts. Together with the 2 VFF, I am rotating shoes on daily basis. This also helped by taken away some routine from the running. As I am now so used to VFF, I usually just ran. I don’t check my gait, my posture, my form usually. But now I will need to adjust myself in every workout. Not to the extent of changing my gait, posture or form every time, but at least I am going thru my running form check list again. Lower back straight, kept those feet land below my centre of gravity, body lean forward, head upright, kept a high cadences, etc.. But with all these shoes added into my arsenal, now my wife started to question me regarding the number of running shoes I had :P
I will still follow the Hanson Marathon Method 18 weeks advanced training program and SCKLM will be my target race. 2015 SCKLM will be using the same route like 2014, I will be able to estimate and plan better to face the challenge now. Hence I am moving up my goal to finish this marathon in 345. Btw, this year the SCKLM sold out in record pace, only 4 days and all categories were filled. 6500 participants will be running full marathon. As this year the starting pen will be go by estimated finishing time (just estimated, no proof required), I don’t expect to have any issue at the starting point. 

The key challenge like last year, located at 37km when we joining the half marathon participant for the last 5km. I hope my training will allow me to go faster than 345, than the human traffic should still be manageable. The peak actually around 345-415, the full marathoners speeding at 5:20-6:03min/km pace will be facing the half marathoners who will be finishing around 2.5-3 hours with the 7 to 8min/km pace. The 1-2 min/km pace difference is too big so we will be blocked. The water station will be packed. I will make sure I run with my bottle this year, and padded up my elbows!

There are some races lining up in these 18 weeks, total of 2x half marathons (Seremban & Malaysian Day), and 1x full marathon (Kuching). All these races had their own target now aligned to my 345 goal.

Let’s train hard and aim high!