Thursday, February 28, 2013

Increasing mileage slowly and sick-free!

Its the first of March and I'm proud of the recent monthly accomplishments I made for the 1st 2 months of 2013:

December as I said in previous post was supposed to be the start of my 21k training.  Unfortunately I was aiming too far too soon, sickness and injury got to me.

January I started to go back to basics and run the usual 5k, with a few intervals and speed runs.  It went fine with no colds, flu or injury (aside from the sprain that's still hitting me when I land my foot wrong).

February even with the fewer dates I managed to log 74km, up 8% from my January mileage.  By the end of February, I finally got to run 10k at a comfortable 1:02 time.  I believe that came from my speed trainings plus increase in food intake - yeah, I've been eating much this past few days.

For March I plan to log 80km to 85km (50mi).  I'd get this by running:

  • Weekends - 10k x 4 = 40k
  • Weedays - 5k x 8 = 40k / 6k x 8 = 48k (if I can get up early to make it 6k)

Of course the distance above are targets, as it will depend on my moods and weather conditions.  I'm seeing the 21k dream run coming soon. :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Long, EASY run now justified

Yesterday I finally got to run my long run right - did 10k at a sustainable 6:07/km pace.  This after reading a post from Jeff Gaudette about how fast your long run is.  It seems that again I have been a victim of run-as-fast-as-you-can and you'll get to improve-in-the-fastest-time-possible scenario with my past runs.

It says that there's a long-term benefit of running slower than usual:

  1. Capillary development
  2. Increase myoglobin content of muscle fibers
  3. Increasing Glycogen storage in the muscles
  4. Mitochondria development
While I won't go into the details of these physiological benefits, I'll just plot a copy of the summary below on what pace these benefits can be maximized:

But I would share with you the summary of the paper:

That's a lot of research, percentages and numbers. If you're not as analytically inclined as I pretend to be, I've attached a neat chart to sum up the research.
The body of evidence is clear, your optimal long run pace is between 55 and 75 percent of your 5k pace, with the average pace being about 65 percent.
It's also evident from this research that running faster than 75% of your 5k pace on your long run doesn't provide a lot of additional physiological benefit. Therefore, pushing the pace beyond 75% of 5k pace only serves to make you more tired and hamper recovery.
In fact, the research indicates that it would be just as advantageous to run slower as it would be to run faster. 50-55 percent of 5k pace is pretty easy, but the research clearly demonstrates that it still provides near optimal physiological benefits.
If you're feeling tired and the long run isn't scheduled to be a hard day, don't be afraid to slow your long run down. My suggestion is to start on the slower side of the pace recommendations (50% of 5k pace) and slowly pick it up through the run if you feel good.
Consider this research when debating the pace of your next long run and make it count!

I have tried this on yesterday's run, started at a comfortable 6:0x pace.  Upon reaching KM3, I didn't feel tired!  I got to try a different route as I felt the ease, and felt confident that I can make it back just fine. (I go through a route that has direct access to commute should there be any problems I encounter while running).

So there I was at KM6, with good breathing and constant pace.  My tummy ached for a while, didn't matter though as I kept going.  So i ended up with 1:01:xx after a 10.1KM run. 

I also didn't have any of those colds or body pains that I used to have which is a good indication that I may be doing it right.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Run - just plain run

I woke up this morning feeling pumped!  As this run was supposed to be yesterday but got cancelled on account of rain.  So yesterday, I’m set to running in the morning even if I got home late due to a presentation rehearsal.  Even if I know that I’m gonna do something that will probably affect my legs in the morning – boom! :)

Anyway, I got up this morning on the first sound of my chirping alarm.  I did my morning rituals in prepping for a morning run and did my usual warm-up session.

It was then I realized that I didn’t make a plan on how to proceed today.  I was so happy with my weekend run and very much looked forward to running that I didn’t plan for it.

Anyway, as soon as I started running, I decided to do a tempo run.  Yeah, its been past 3 runs since I did a tempo so I decided to go for it.  First 2 sets was fine, did a 5:45 on the first 500m and a 5:20 on the 2nd 500m.  Slowed down back to the next 500m and pushed the next 500m.

On to the 3rd, I was forced to slow-down as traffic was unusually heavy.  It messed up my tempo.  So when it was free again, I just decided to go for speed to make up for it until the next kilometer.

On the 4th, I got a little side-stitch so I slowed down to recover.  I said I’d just go with speed again after.  Unfortunately, I bonked and could not sustain the speed (this probably from the “even ifs” I wrote back on top – it came back to me big time!).  So I just got back to easy run and decided to do an extra kilometer again to at least improve on distance (got a decent below 6 on this extra set). 

Doesn't end there - extra kilometer I ran messed up my schedule, got out of the house late as I had to at least clean the car, traffic was still a mess that I had to go around it, got in the office late - my second for the year!  Grrr!  And now I feel tired.  Still got a long day in work.

Going back, so it was I got a nasty time for the 6k run.  Just goes to show that not planning your run (as it is in life), plus stress factors not considered will give you unsatisfactory results (and a not so good day ahead).  So I’ll start planning for my next run 2 days from now – this I guarantee.

Monday, February 11, 2013

With great training comes great eatings

Its the 3rd week now that I have been speeding up my running base.  I have been running less than the 6-minute pace quite easily - this coming from the weekend easy run of 8k - including the usual stop light and rude driver pauses during that run.

And its been more than a week that I have been eating quite more than I used to.  Two days ago last week I have been feasting and filling up on McDonald's junk - I usually shy off this type of food.  Chicken, rice (make it 2), spaghetti, soda and a Flurry to top it off.  Twice for breakfast, light afternoon snack and heavy dinner is my everyday feeding routine.

Just yesterday, normally I don't get to eat this much on one sitting.  I mean TGIFridays have the same food and it didn't seem that its taste yesterday was that awesome for me to be able to eat this much - yeah there's more desert after this.

I have been reading that the key to a good recovery is to rest and to eat - yes, to increase caloric intake.  I don't really measure the foods I eat, I just eat them the way I want to.  Although I'm conscious enough not to eat the nasty stuff.  I make it a point to eat fruits whenever I see one.

Anyway, its good that I have the appetite to eat much now, unlike in the previous months where the wife and in-laws were noticing that I don't eat much.  It seems that my intake now is accordance with my training.  Now I have to check the quality of what I eat and not just to stuff my stomach with whatever I see.  Hmm, I'm  hungry again, good thing I have my 2nd breakfast on-hand - peanut butter!  Haha!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Joy in running

I'm at peace this morning.  (Yes, even after tweeting Globe about their missing LTE service in my location - been tired of reading their RT on subscribers enjoying LTE service, that its the fastest connection ever - I'm waiting for them to do a RT).

So my peace made me think about the joy in running.  What possible joy could i have in doing something that makes me out of breath, and gives me the cold, muscle and foot pains?!  Alright, let's give it a try:

  • My body's happy - Removes excess baggage - I used to have this belt bag/pouch kinda bulging in my waist.  I don't see them anymore
  • My lungs are happy - Cut down on smoking - I used to smoke around 6 to 8 sticks a day, now its down to 3 (my office is in the 4th floor, its hard to walk down all the time as I'm tired and with the leg pains I get from running, hehe!)
  • My liver's happy - Made me dread drinking some more - I like drinking but I don't like the effects of it in the morning.  Since I do my runs in the mornings, I schedule drinking not to interfere with my runs and recovery times - this leaves no time for drinking.
  • My tummy's happy - Been eating less rice and more fruits and vegetables.  Liquids has also increased most especially on days when I run.
  • Mommy and baby's Pizza party on
    Papa Teng's birthday
  • My wallet's happy - running is really a low-cost way to be healthy.  After I got the essentials - shoes, shorts, watch and even socks - All i need to invest is time!
Overall well-being is the end-result of running.  Knowing that I invested now in maintaining my health makes me feel good knowing that in the coming years I would be healthy enough to not get old early and have those heart ailments and stuff.  It also means that its possible for me to enjoy longer my daughter and her daughters in the future - Ahh, life's good! So is the pizza we ate last night on Papa Teng's birthday, Happy Birthday Papa! :)