Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A not so merry Running Christmas season

Merry Christmas! - sorry if its a bit late for greetings, its only now that I could get to write.

I'm on wave F - really a big race!
To start with, I finally got my FREE Condura Run 2013 kit last December 21.  Getting it really was an effort - left work early, left the car at Robinsons Galleria, walked up to Ortigas station, rode the train, walked up to Greenbelt 3 and back again.  Then again, its worth 1,350 if I am to pay for it, so its worth the effort - also registration is only up to December 23, so I really don't have time to do it any other day.

Now that I have a sure 21k slot for the Condura run, I had to continue with my training plan, which I did manage to finish a full week training:

Unfortunately, the 10k run hit me harder than I thought it would - I had the flu again.  It seems that my immune system really lowers down whenever I make an effort to improve my running.  I don't see myself overdoing it, yet my body seems to feel like it.  Worst part, my daughter Charlie also has the flu.

Up till today Charlie's still sick, and I'm far to worried about it for me to think about running.  Plus the weather is not too conducive - its a rainy Christmas-New Year this year. I guess running would have to wait - I have to take care of my kid and myself for now.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Condura Run 2013 21k for FREE!

Thanks to Pinoy Fitness' race kit promo (they do this contest via FB regularly), I will now be able to run my first 21k for FREE! (Although our company is given slots for this run as we carry the Condura brand).

I have been joining this promo in FB for the longest time.  It is only now that I got to win! In a very timely and important race - the Condura run is what made me run.  I didn't get to run 5k this year as it coincided with my father's birthday event.

I received an email from Jeff Lo of Pinoy Fitness last Sunday while I was about to sleep.  (This made me run 7k at race pace in the morning).  The voucher is for delivery to me within the day, hopefully i can receive it tomorrow.  Although I still have to go to Greenbelt in front of Asics to exchange the voucher for a race kit - I hate going to Greenbelt! :(  But no worries, this won't stop me from getting my FREE KIT! :)

Its a good thing that i already started training for the 21k.  I have been doing 7k runs in the morning, up from 5k from my usual runs.  Here's my training program (hit or miss):

I missed my Saturday 10k target as I was really not supposed to run that day, so i forgot to bring my bottle.  Grr!  But it did give me a good work-out.  Yes, it might not be the most immediate way to improve but what I really want to do is to be able to run a comfortable 10-15k.  If I can manage to run 15k at 1hr30mins, I think i'll do good.  My target time to finish 21k is 2hr05mins or better.

Here's to a good start for 2013!  I hope you have yours too!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cold December mornings are here

It's the time of year when its unusually colder in the mornings.  Although not yet that much, winter solstice is said to be felt on December 21 this year.

It has been  two runs that I had a hard time getting up - last Saturday, I was supposed to be up by 5:00am as I planned to run 10k easy; but I got up 6:00am instead and that made me run 8k.  This morning I was supposed to be up again by 5:00am, but got on the road 5:30am - giving me around 30mins time to run 5k against my target distance of 7-8k.  I'm into increasing distance slowly as I'm building endurance to go longer than 10k next year (wohoo 21k for the Condura Run!)

For this morning's short run, I decided to do tempo runs to maximize the short time.  Even without my low-batt Soleus and my sluggish morning, I could feel that i have improved much from my previous 5k runs.  Or it could be that I had no gadgets distracting me that I got to concentrate on my form and breathing?  Hehe!  Yeah, i'll make adjustments next time I wear it.

And that makes me want to run again tomorrow! Or maybe not - I don't want to get sick again from over-doing it.  Will try better (and earlier) on Wednesday.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Running with the HRM

So this morning I have been able to run using both my Soleus GPS and Polar HRM.  Kinda weird wearing 2 watches at the same time.  When i see runners approach me, I put my arm in my back to hide the other watch.  i don't want them to think that I'm a geek.

Yes, I'm not a geek - but I'm a data addict.  I log per km reads and aim to improve on it.  However, with the HRM, I will have a problem logging in per km.  This might be bad as I may want to have a GPS-HRM watch to replace both - and this will be costly!  Not to mention ugly as I have thin wrists.

Back to using them both, I fumbled in the  km1 as I kept on reading HR and pace, the chest strap seems to be slipping as well so I had to fasten the belt a little tighter.  It really was distracting.  After I fastened it, i decided to leave both watches and concentrate on running:

  • HR 80 when I got out of the gate
  • Lap 1 - 6:53 - fumble time, was too busy checking gadgets, didn't get a reading
  • Lap 2 - 6:07 HRM read 160.  Its just fine. 
  • Lap 3 - 6'23 HRM read 170 - I can handle this
  • Lap 4 - 5:40 HRM read 177 to 180 - ok slow down a bit
  • Lap 5 - 6:05 HRM was 175 when I began to cool down
  • Cool down - HRM was at 150  Total time 31:21 5.03KM
It is only now, after the run that I searched for a better guide.  And I found this site that pretty much covers the basic.

I made some computations based on different sites that I've read:

Sorry, don't mind the format please
Basically what I'm trying to say in the above chart is that my max beat is 185; according to 220 less age format.  There's a different computation in the bottom where there's a percentage of the age that is "said" to be more accurate than the age-based computation - slightly higher though.  Then there's the HR reserve format where you deduct the age and rest beat to get the HR reserve.  It is in the green highlights that I tend to follow.

In the final stretch of my run this morning (in the last 500m), I noticed that i am in the 177-180 beat and its my "strong-finish" mode.  I guess this is where I'm doing right.

Good to know that my 6:15 pace is under the aerobic for fitness level - I just have to run long at this pace to build endurance.  Anything higher should be done in intervals for speed training.

This report is very academic and could be open to revisions and improvements.  its a start while I fine-tune my max heart rate (maybe I'll use the OWN CAL mode in my Polar to get a personal and automated base).  I might use the 2-watch combo for another round, and put up markers on the road so I know exactly how far I've run so I don't have to wear it again with the HRM.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Missing runs this December

Happy December!

Yes, its the Christmas season once again, as always, being in retail industry does not merit me the full-happiness of the season.  December, while all my programs are already rolled-out, is crucial for planning for next year's program.  While planning is one of my best skill, getting it tuned along with other groups is what keeps me on my toes.  Also, business reviews a-plenty for the month.

As for my running, yes, I haven’t ran for the whole week!  While I planned to do it in Palawan, the hefty meals and beer that I had during my stay there made me lazy to wake up in the morning to do my run.  I really was in my worst eating condition there - and I can't blame myself, suppliers kept on feeding us!

I got home Saturday evening, which left me tired enough not to be able to run Sunday morning.  A little trip to the mall and a bit long sleep in the afternoon.  Came Monday morning, I was awake but decided to snooze.  I woke up 6am with no more time to run.  

So it is today, Tuesday that I managed to run.  Now I have come to use my Polar F6.  I set it under moderate 70%-80% exercise for a start.  While it was good for the first 500 meters or so, it was really a slow jog.  I increased speed a bit uphill and it jumped to 90%.  I relaxed down-hill and settled at 87%.  From there I maintained the pace until I get to km 3.

Seeing that I'm at a 6:30 pace, I increased speed.  HRM showed around 91% - I believe this is my 6:00 pace or faster.  I could maintain it at that level.

So it is there that I was able to finish 5km under 33 minutes.  I planned to use my Soleus together with the Polar to co-relate my pace and HR.  But I couldn't get my Soleus in the room anymore as Charlie was about to wake up.  For a more accurate reading, i'll use them both next run.

As for a race this month, negative.  There aren't that much running event available, and with my current condition, I don't think I can do a new PR - and that would devastate me. So for now, no more beer and controlled eating habits; those plus cold mornings will equate to extended sleeping hours and missed runs this December.  Lesson learned.