After going through the first part of the things that I have done before PBIM 2013, which is goal setting, know your race course or route and prepare a training plan. Let us continue...
- When I was training at Mengkuang Dam some time in August 2013, I met Dr. Francis Yeng who is avid marathoner who holds a PB at 3:00. Before that, I was just joining a few good veteran runners from BM Leopard to run. Francis's appearance and experience sharing after the runs really help many runners there.
- I was asking for advices and training tip because I have a few weaknesses that I found it difficult to overcome. That seemed to be barriers that blocking me to achieve my sub-4 dream. Francis never stingy in his advices.
- He has done it before so he is likely to be correct than wrong. He said that if one wishes to do a sub-4 full marathon, that is easy, do 80km a week. Maybe just 5 x 10km and 1 x 30km, or a combination of that easy run should be major of the training plan and 25-30% of the weekly mileage is long run.
- I consulted him on my high heart rate problem and he said I have to do more moderate to long distance run with easy effort.
- I took some time to digest the information and convince myself to stick with the 80km and more longer runs thing. I emptied my glass (discarded all mental blockages and excuses). I told myself to just do it like you are a fool.
- From week 33 to 36, I tried to increase as much as I could without injuring myself. I did not go down but I was having a bad time, my fitness was not there, the mileage yo-yo too much, 69, 33, 59 and 27, I was doing all the last minute work to be SCKLM Sub-5 pacer. I dare not fail, I afraid that I am going to be famous for the wrong reason. I held on and slow down during the SCKLM week to stay injury free and I am glad that I finished it with a decent 4:55 (A little too fast, but I forgive myself because that was the first time to be an event official pacer)
- I tried hard to hit the magic number and as you can see, I never really did 80km per week. I know I have set a high bar, like people used to said aim for the moon, if you missed, you could land among the stars.
- I would say if you can run 80km weekly mileage, you can still walk and do your routine after the race. Just after PBIM 2013, I can still walk to take some drinks, talking standing, walk to my car, shower, take photos, cheer for others, etc. This is all plus points.
- You can see the sudden increase of the monthly mileage below, from 121 suddenly shot up to 249 and 295km monthly.
5. Know your weaknesses
- If you have attempted Sub-4 for several times and still failed, but others have made it. There must be something 'not right' somewhere. It is not right does not mean it is wrong, some improvement could be made.
- Your training plan has indicate that you need to train for the next 12-16 weeks and you have to cover 50-80km per week until tapering week. Sometimes, a plan is only a plan without result if it is not executed.
- I know my weaknesses, it might take some courage to admit it, or to brush away the ego to talk about it. I am OK, no one is perfect, admitting my weaknesses does not make me a lesser person.
- My HR is not stable. My hill running is weak. I perspire a lot. I was under mileage. I have too much commitment.
- By addressing each of the weaknesses, actually you can find a good prescription or solution to improve it. HR could be due to the pace control and aerobic capacity. Train to control pace and improve the aerobic fitness. Weak hill running could be due to weak quad and hip. Train more on hilly routes. I perspire a lot but there is no cure, I either train to drink less water or drink according to needs.
- For under mileage issue, got to know why cannot fulfill the mileage requirement. Lazy or not committed enough? Too many other activities? I stopped playing futsal for 10 weeks so that I can avoid injuries. I wake up earlier in no work days to run, maybe 4:30am or 5:30am. Sometimes, I ran twice, once in the morning, once in the evening.
- Of course, give your family priorities and find time to train.
- Now you know your committed weekly mileage and weaknesses. What should you do? What did I do? I plan my workouts to address each specific components of my running.
- In the training plan, you have easy run, threshold run, tempo run, interval and long run. How are you going to distribute the 80km or weekly mileage into each run? It is all depends on your needs.
- Easy runs should be scattered across your training plan to prepare yourself for a hard run the next day or as a recovery run after a hard run. Don't run faster than the conversational pace.
- Threshold run should be still conversational which you are still able to put up a word or two during the run. Do this maybe once or twice per week depending on your training plan. Boost running economy.
- Tempo run is a pace that is faster than the threshold pace which you are not likely to speak during the run. Do this once a week or to replace the threshold run. Considered as hard workout. Normally train speed and lung capacity.
- Interval run is could be 400 x 8, 800 x 6 or other combination which considered as hard workout. In my opinion, the useful training for full marathon, could be 800m x 8, 1000m x 6, 1600m x 6 etc. I train your body to adapt to run and recover from stress.
- Long run which could mean 15km or more. Pace slower or close to easy run pace. Mostly train your body operate aerobically, boosting run economy and spend time on your feet. Considered as moderate/hard workout, given the distance.
- For my own training, I focus majorly in easy run, threshold run and long run, with threshold run contributing the most to my fitness, but must be managed carefully.