Yellow Ribbon Prison Run ’13 marks the final back-to-back race I signed up for within a hectic 6 week window.
I never made a bad decision in my life, or rather, when I make a decision, I always take everything into consideration at that point of time, it always seemed rational. But when I look back in hindsight, some of the decisions I have made are seemingly ridiculous come to think of it. But I’ll never regret a decision, because for some reason when I made that decision, it was a thoroughly considered choice.
Yes, one of those ridiculous decisions was to register for so many races back-to-back. Racing every weekend can seem to be a whole load of fun. Its like living for the weekend. The euphoria of finishing is just something that I thrive on, as do many others.
But there is no chance for the body to recover from the fatigue from the race & leverage on that super compensation of your workout & raise your base level . Because by the time you have recovered from the race, its time to do your hard work outs again & there is absolutely no time to absorb the goodness of your workout. Consequently, your base level does not improve significantly.
My main consideration for these group of races was to smash my PB & get a SUB40 10k. I wanted to put myself in a position where I had as many chances to do it, which I eventually did in empathic style in the POSB PAssion Run for Kids ’13.
Now that I did a SUB40 10k, now what? where do I go from here? Yes, just a glance at the header of my blog says it all. The long term goal is to qualify for Boston, so the next target is to do a SUB1:30 half-marathon. The recent Boston Marathon successful qualifying times are 1min 28secs faster than the criteria. Hence, judging from this trend, I think its safer to be prepared to run a 3:00 marathon in order for Boston qualification. Technically, by a rule of thumb, your full-marathon time should be your half-marathon time x 2 + 10mins(max). If this rule of thumb is anything to go by, then I really should be looking at doing a 1:25 half-marathon.
I want to accomplish this in early part of 2014 so I can shift my focus to the full-marathon in the 2nd half of the year. Initially, I shortlisted a couple of races which fell in January or February 2014. But seeing that I have the 10K Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore to finish in December, I feel that a February race would be perfect.
Amongst the big races, two destinations in Asia that feels good would be Tokyo & Hong Kong. Due to the location & not much difference in time, there isn’t a huge need to adjust the body clock. The other perks would be the cool weather in February in both locations.
Having been to Tokyo earlier this year, I feel I familiar with the place & would definitely like to return there again. This coupled with the recent promotion of the Tokyo Marathon to become the Sixth World Marathon Major, it is definitely becoming an attractive race to go. However, due to the limited capacity & popularity of the race, race slots are balloted & allocated by luck. The best part of it, was that it only had the Full Marathon category, making this race ineligible for the criteria.
Shifting my focus on Hong Kong, quickly there was a race in mind, the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon (SCHKM). Having been constantly bombarded by race bibs hung in the office & former colleagues talking about the race, it has become an attractive destination for me. The best part is that I have not been to Hong Kong before in my life (yes, I have been living under a rock!) Now I definitely have an agenda for me to go. I was looking a smaller race meet in Hong Kong called the Hong Kong Half Marathon, a couple of weeks earlier, but it seems that it is a really hilly course, hence, I have dropped it as a consideration even though the field was much smaller. Yes, Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon it shall be!
Target race pace: I have a to do a 4min15s/km pace throughout the entire 21km distance. Similarly, this pace would also allow me to get a SUB3hr Full Marathon if closely followed. But I know pace seems easy when doing a 10k, but when carried out at HM or FM distance, can you keep this pace consistently?
Hence, I definitely think there is much to do going forward. Firstly, for the SCMS 10km race in December, I would be targeting a SUB38min 10km. Secondly, a 8min 2.4km is also on the cards (currently hit a NEW PB 8’22” this past week). I would be racking up the mileage, at much lower intensity as compared to what I have been doing (which are just intervals & short tempo runs).
To get to where I need to get, I intend to go on 15-20k Tempo runs, & weekly LSDs of 20-33k at the peak. Basically, a glance at my workload will look like its training for a full-marathon, but I will only execute a half-marathon at the end. This shift of focus on higher mileage at lower intensity is to dial up my aerobic capacity, which will allow me to do a 4m15s/km pace at a seemingly easier time.
The third & final thing is to stay injury free. This is key to building up on the hard training that is put in, definitely will be doing everything progressively. I have been focusing a lot on recovery techniques & will share this in the near future. Had a chance to a training clinic put together by Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore last week. Mok Ying Ren, Singapore’s fastest runner, gave a talk on “Recovery” which I felt was very helpful, & I will be looking to share some insight in the coming weeks.
Till then, peace.