Sunday, November 25, 2012

Week ending Nov 25, 2012 (taper week 1)

55k in 5:10 over 5 runs. Around 3,000ft in elevation. Overall, a surprisingly good week. I felt fresh and fast. I did a mini-Vo2 session, and hit the kilometer repeats at 3:47 fairly easily.I did a nice run with Kevin, in which hitting 4:50-5:00k pace felt easy and relaxed. This week will be 2-4 easy 5K's, with a few strides thrown in. Then Sunday it's the Macau Marathon!

After that, I'll rest a bit, and then switch focus to training for the HK and Lantau 100's, with a focus on ubber-long runs and lots of stairs.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Week ending November 18th

49K over 4 runs in 5:57 in time. Roughly 5,000 ft in elevation (two run commutes, one going over the cemetery  plus a TC to Shek Pik via Nei Lak).  One solid VO2 session.

Not a bad week of training, but as the last week before taper, I would have liked to have hit 80-110K. However, I was too sore to run on Mon/Tuesday, and had family obligations on Sunday.  Oh well!

On a side note, I've also considered more and more the thought of training for the mile/3000 from April to August next year, in order to gain better leg turn over, form, running economy and VO2. 

Week ending November 11th

62.6km over 5:48 in time in 6 workouts. Main race was Gold Coast. Also did a quality on Tuesday.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

New Balance Gold Coast 15K Race Report (Updated)

My main "A" race is the Macau Marathon on December 2nd, and as such, I was hoping to find a nice road 10K to use to predict my marathon finishing time, and thus my pace. After a bit of thought on the subject, I chose the Gold Coast 15K, which I though might be more accurate since it is longer, obviously.

This race is relatively flat, since it mainly goes along the side of a mountain on a catchwater. However, as with most catchwaters in HK, there are actually quite a few turns, slight undulations, and unevenness to the surface, which make it a bit slower than a purely flat surface.

My friend Kevin told me that I could get caught in traffic going up the first hill, and thus to avoid this, I showed up early, and after a brief warm up, and got a fairly good starting spot, only 5-6 rows back.  My pre-race plan was to go up the first hill easy (about the same as I would in training) then slip into a comfortable pace on the flats, hopefully hitting between 4:10-4:20k pace. Kevin told me that due to the crowds, it might be best to simply use the final 10K as a prediction tool.

Race day felt a bit "chilly" by HK standards (ie. 22 C/ 72F, with 72% humidity), ie. not cold in the North American sense whatsoever, but relatively cold. The wind was also blowing around 10-20MPH.

As the race started, it looked like my strategy would pay off. I went up the first hill hard, but not too fast, doing a 6:01 first K after gaining 270ft, and I was able to get into a comfortable groove on the flats, hitting 4:19 pace, which I thought was on the conservative side.

However, I quickly found that running sub-4:20 was getting hard. My legs would not turn over fast enough, and soon my mind was filled with negativity  I though about my tight hips, from Friday's 16.5K to Tung Chong via Pak Au Gou. I thought about Tuesday's hard workout, with 5 relatively fast miles. I thought about my lack of VO2 sessions, and how that was slowing me down.  I thought about how my targets for a 3:05 or 3:10, would have to be replaced with 3:20-3:30's.

I went through the first 5K in 23:15, and sooner after, the 4:20's dipped to the 4:30's in the last few K. I was able to go a bit faster towards the end (4:27), and in the final downhill (3:54), finishing in 1:08:02.

Overall, I was fairly disappointed.

However, later I mentioned how it went to Kevin, and he remarked that he ran this race in 1:09 and a few weeks later did a 3:12. Also, due to the first hill, the final result is more like a 1:06 on a normal course. If that is the case, then I'd be in for around a 3:17 marathon, according to Daniel's Running Formula. If you take the fact that I didn't taper and was a bit sore and tired and that it was windy, then I'd probably be even a bit faster.

In a nutshell, I gained that feedback that a 3:05 (4:22) -- ie. a BQ --  is unrealistic right now. I'll probably aim for a 3:15, and maybe even try to do a negative split, 1:40/1:35 marathon. To some extent this depends on how this last week of hard training goes before a two week taper. We'll see.

Update: 92nd out of 1245, 85th out of 1046 in gender, 28 and out of 318 in category.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week ending Nov. 4th, 2012

75.6K, 6:59 in time, over 5 runs, but not much elevation (around 2,000ft). A good week of training, including a 5K tempo in 20:40 and three by 6K at goal marathon pace 4:20, which was an exhausting workout.

I would have hoped for much more volume this week, since I only have basically a week or two of quality training before the taper period. Oh well!