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#RoadtoPIM: Week 11

The penultimate week.

Day 71: Monday (Feb 27) – 60′ Easy

I want to run my long overdue fast finish long run this morning. But it is raining cats and dogs so I do 30′ strength instead. Tonight then! Then I contemplate for too long and my mind is telling me that my body is tired. ‘Let’s do it tomorrow morning’. I am indeed feeling tired but I should have known that I only need few minutes outside to feel better. Tonight is actually a good time to run. Cooling and windy. Few stray dogs roaming the same streets but they are all on their best behaviour. I am feeling good. I should have done the fast finish long run. But I already set in mind to run 60′ easy before heading out. I do exactly that. 60′ easy. I will run the last finish long run tomorrow morning. Let’s hope I wake up early feeling strong tomorrow. Good night.

Strava

Mileage: 11.7 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 72: Tuesday (Feb 28) – Improvised Fast Finish Long Run

I drag the fast finish long run for far too long. There is another one scheduled in the weekend too. It is still raining in the morning so I have to drag it again to the evening. Fortunately, Kyserun Krew’s session is tonight. The 10k easy portion is done with Kyserun before continuing 10k TMP and 1.1k 10k pace by myself. It hurts especially during the last 1.1k.

Strava

Mileage: 21.1 km | Weight: N/A kg.

Day 73: Wednesday (Mar 1) – Rest

Yesterday’s fast finish long run is hard to my ageing body. I take a complete day off from any physical activity today.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 74: Thursday (Mar 2) – 5k Tempo

Last tempo session before the marathon. The plan instructs 3-5 miles tempo and guess what? I am too lazy and run 3.1 miles only. The bare minimum! The effort feels okay for at least 20 minutes though. Not where I want to be at T-10 but I am grateful to be where I am.
Stoked to bump into our national hero, DLCW at the track. Despite being heavily bandaged and still recovering from a freak injury, he is still working the hardest among other national shuttlers present. A stark reminder for you and me, mere mortals. Even the bests work their socks off.

Good luck for All England, DLCW! We all are rooting for you.

Strava

Mileage: 9.7 km | Weight: 52.8 kg.

Day 75: Friday (Mar 3) – 70′ Easy

Taking it easy today after yesterday’s tempo.

Strava

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 76: Saturday (Mar 4) – Hike Up Sg. Kanching

A well-spent Saturday with the family. 3.2km return hike up the highest waterfall at Sungai Kanching.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 77: Sunday (Mar 5) – Fast Finish Long Run

The last big workout of this cycle. 9k Easy + 9k TMP + 1k 10k Pace. First 18k are easy to the body and lung but when the pace cranks up to 10k pace, I suffer to maintain the pace. It is a good measurement though. So I know there’s a reserve in me to go fast for at least 1k. Let’s hope I can find it at KM41 on Sunday in Kuantan.

Strava

Mileage: 19.3 km | Weight: 53.0 kg.

Review

After 3 underwhelming weeks, I am glad that the penultimate week of this training cycle is a satisfactory one. 5 days of running with another day of hiking with the family and few strength workouts throughout the week. It’s not where I would like to be at the start of this training cycle, but I am just grateful to be where I am. All the hard work is done. Now is time to maintain the endurance and execute the race as planned.

Weekly Mileage: 75.1 kilometres. Running Time: 6h 18m.

#RoadtoPIM: Week 10

A week of trials.

Day 64: Monday (Feb 20) – 12′ Tempo

The plan is to run 40′ tempo at the track. However, my body is not up for it yet as I have just recovered from my illness.

Strava

Mileage: 6.9 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 65: Tuesday (Feb 21) – 22′ Tempo

Another attempt at 40′ tempo. I feel better than yesterday but decide to cut it short. I still feel rusty. At least I manage to run the 20′ minimum. 15′ strength workout follows.

Strava

Mileage: 10.4 km | Weight: N/A kg.

Day 66: Wednesday (Feb 22) – 65′ Easy + Strides

My legs are trashed from two consecutive days of hard attempts at tempo. 65′ easy to refresh the legs but disappointment still lingers hence the 5′ strides at the end.

Strava

Mileage: 13.5 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 67: Thursday (Feb 23) – Junk Miles

Supposedly another easy day yet I am carried away and run a lot faster than easy. Pay the price after 5.7 kilometres. The illness from last week puts a bigger mental dent than I have thought.

Strava

Mileage: 7.6 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 68: Friday (Feb 24) – Strength

Not running today. But I manage to squeeze 20′ worth of strength workout.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 69: Saturday (Feb 25) – Strength

Not running again. Two consecutive days of zero mileage. I am losing my mojo. But it is a good day bringing the family out for a little trekking at Bukit Nanas.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 70: Sunday (Feb 26) – 10k Easy + 8′ Fast

I oversleep. Then waste a lot of time contemplating where to run. I am not in the mood to run but drive to Putrajaya anyway. The plan is to run another fast finish long run. My body is aching since I only sleep for few hours. Less than 4 hours I think. I start to run at 07:15. The weather is nice and I find my rhythm midway through my run. But mind over matters. I already tell myself to run 60′ when I am still finding my rhythm. Then the temptation to watch marathon record attempt by Wilson Kipsang in Tokyo. Run 10k easy and finish the run with 8′ fast.

Strava

Mileage: 11.5 km | Weight: N/A.

Review

Failure to complete tempo workout early in the week sets the tone for the rest of the week. I seem to lose my running mojo. When it starts to become hard, I just quit. Not a good sign when the marathon is only a few weeks away. End up with only 1 key workout for the week. Even the only key workout is cut short. In whole, this week is worse than last week. Last week I missed too many workouts due to illness. Nothing much I could do about that. I have recovered but the residual effect creeps to this week. I fail to complete many key workouts because I am lazy. A Goal? Not a chance. I need to come with B,C, D, E Goals.

Weekly Mileage: 50.0 kilometres. Running Time: 4h 19m.

#RoadtoPIM: Week 9

Big week of this training cycle.

Day 57: Monday (Feb 13) – Rest

The plan is to repeat the Fast Finish Long Run workout that I failed to complete yesterday. However, I am not feeling quite well. Skip the entire day.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 58: Tuesday (Feb 14) – 45′ Easy

I hate running in the morning despite doing most of my runs in the morning. I used to be a night vigilante where I roamed the streets at night, but not anymore due to safety concerns as well as family commitment. Running empty is not the reason why I hate running in the morning. It is my morning ritual. No matter what I eat the night before, I have to spend some time in the toilet first thing in the morning. If I skip my daily morning toilet ritual, it will haunt me when I am out there running. This morning is an instance where I pay the price of skipping my morning ritual. I have to stop to find a toilet in the middle of my run. Fortunately there is a KTM station nearby but I have to cut my run short.

Strava

Mileage: 8.1 km | Weight: N/A kg.

Day 59: Wednesday (Feb 15) – Rest

I am not too sure what I eat wrong last night. I am awoken many times last night to visit the loo. I can’t sleep. Clearly, I wake up not feeling well-rested. I try to shake it off by taking a prolong rest but it becomes worse. Soon, I start to lose appetite and become weak. This concerns me knowing the importance of this week in term of training, as well as bringing the incomplete fast finish long run workout to this week. I already have a day off on Monday and I can’t afford another one today. But I am too weak to even get out of my bed. This is when I decide not to redo the fast finish long run from last week.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 60: Thursday (Feb 16) – Junk Miles

I am still having diarrhea and my body is still weak. I try to rest as much as I can but not eating properly affects my energy level greatly. I know that I have to go out and do some light exercises to shake off this illness. I go out to the nearest park for a short jog/run. On my way to the park, I realise that I do not bring my socks with me. So I decide to run barefoot. I manage to squeeze 3 kilometres despite hurting my sole running on uneven tarmac. I don’t have any problem running barefoot on soft surfaces like grass but at the end of my run, I hurt both of my knees. This run does not serve any purpose in term of the marathon training apart from an attempt to shake off this illness. Therefore they are 3 junk kilometres.

Strava

Mileage: 3.1 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 61: Friday (Feb 17) – 50′ Easy

I am still feeling week due to the calories deficit but at least I am feeling better. Yesterday’s junk miles help. I have a tempo workout scheduled for this week and today is the last day to get it done so that I have a day recovery for the Sunday’s 22 milers. I reassess my condition and take a decision not to rush things off. I haven’t fully-recovered yet. The most important thing now is to get my energy level back up again before attempting hard workouts. 50′ easy today.

Strava

Mileage: 9.7 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 62: Saturday (Feb 18) – Rest

I am not only losing fitness level, I am losing motivation as well. I take today off from running.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 63: Sunday (Feb 19) – 10 Miles

KL Car Free today. I intend to do my last big long run today which is 22 milers despite the fact that I am still feeling unwell. I wake up early and spend a long time in the toilet to prevent any unplanned toilet break during my long run. I start my run from Lake Garden but once I reach Lake Garden, I have to spend some more time at the toilet again. This is frustrating. I am feeling good for the first few kilometres. 45′ in, my tummy feels so empty. I know that I am in trouble and I don’t have enough calories to sustain my long run. I stop for 100Plus but it only quenches my thirst not my appetite. I run another loop of KL Car Free before stopping again for free 100Plus. I can’t do this. I am not in the right condition, I am not in the right mind. My energy and motivation levels are at all-time low. I call it a day after completing 10 miles. I actually walk the last few hundreds metres to complete the 10 miles.

Strava

Mileage: 17.7 km | Weight: N/A.

Review

Anything that can go wrong, goes wrong this week. It is supposed to be the biggest weak during this training cycle where I am supposed to peak in term of endurance, stamina and belief. Instead of peaking, I am physically and mentally at the lowest point of this training cycle. I only run 4 days this week and that includes a day of junk miles. In truth, I run 3 days this week with a total mileage of 38.9 kilometres and total time of 3h 23m. No cross-training or strength/core workouts either. I miss all key workouts too. Perhaps, my motivation takes as much hit as my endurance. I did not update my Instagram account at all last week and I did not take note of my daily weight. With 3 weeks left before the marathon, I believe that my A-goal is no longer attainable. I now have B and C goals. Even B Goal is probably too much. Time is running out but the only direction is forward. There is no point of lamenting the missing opportunities. It is now time to compromise. The tempo from this week will be carried forward to next week and I will have to combine my big long run with fast finish long run next week. Maybe not as long as 22 miles, but I aim for at least 20 miles. I hope I can shake this illness off completely soon so that I can get back on track soon.

Weekly Mileage: 38.9 kilometres. Running Time: 3h 23m.

#RoadtoPIM: Week 8

Hey hey hey. I think I have outdone myself this week. Last week’s update on Tuesday. How about that? Here’s what happened last week in training.

Day 50: Monday (Feb 6) – Rest

Body is getting too old and taking too long to recover. Although yesterday’s long run was not intense, my body is still aching from the duration of the long run. It is important to recover properly.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 51: Tuesday (Feb 7) – 50′ Easy

I start Week 8 with 40′ core/strength workout in the morning and 50′ easy with Kyserun Krew. It has been awhile since I run with these bunch. Always a good time. I arrive 10′ late and push a little bit in the first 3 kilometres to catch up with the group and ease off then.

Strava

Mileage: 8.8 km | Weight: 52.4 kg.

Day 52: Wednesday (Feb 8) – 50′ Easy

It is supposed to be 50′ easy but in actuality it is a laboured 50′. I feel sluggish and still recovering from last week’s training load. Going moderate last night to catch up with the group also contributes to the fatigue. Legs and breathing feel heavy.

Mileage: 9.4 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 53: Thursday (Feb 9) – Yasso 800s

Another 10 reps of 800m (3’11, 3’14, 3’11, 3’14, 3’11, 3’10, 3’09, 3’13, 3’09, 3’12) with 3’15 recovery between reps. I’m 3s slower compared to last Yasso I did few weeks ago despite the fact that I walk more instead of jog during recovery. I should feel stronger instead of weaker. What’s going on?

Strava

Mileage: 16.0 km | Weight: 52.2 kg.

Day 54: Friday (Feb 10) – Rest

I feel extra tired this week so I skip my morning run to recuperate. Come evening, I still ain’t feeling much better. I decide to take the day off from running and run marathon-specific workout, Fast Finish Long Run tomorrow.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: 52.6 kg.

Day 55: Saturday (Feb 11) – 40′ Easy

The plan is to run Fast Finish Long Run early morning. But my daughter woke up at 11PM last night and refused to go back to sleep. My wife and I tried to entertain her and put her back to sleep to no avail. By 1AM she was still awake. I was too tired and sleepy that I felt asleep before my daughter. Thank you Wife for persevering and finally succeeded in putting her to sleep at 2AM. I am not getting enough rest and run easy for 40′ instead.

Strava

Mileage: 7.1 km | Weight: N/A kg.

Day 56: Sunday (Feb 12) – Fast Finish Long Run (Incomplete)

I appreciate my wife for allowing me time and space to go out for hours to run. When she suddenly wants to play netball at Janda Baik even though I already have plan to run, I duly say yes to her. Instead of waking up early for fast finish long run, we wake up and drive to Janda Baik for a netball match and picnic. Later, we drive to Sungai Buloh to my uncle’s for a kenduri doa selamat. The kambing golek is worth the drive. By the time we get home, it is already 8PM. I have been awake for 14 hours and feel so tired. I am contemplating whether to run the fast finish long run or postpone it to tomorrow.  Although this week is a recovery week, the mileage is too low. After almost 1 hour of contemplation, I drive out to Desa Park City instead of Putrajaya. My tummy is not feeling well from the food that I eat at the picnic and kenduri doa selamat. I have to take a lengthy toilet break before running. It is not until 10:38PM before I start to run. It is too little too late and I am too little too tired and sleepy. The plan is to run easy for the first 10k and speed up to target marathon pace (TMP) for the next 15k before finishing it off with a mile or so at 10k pace. The first easy 10k is easy indeed, but when the speed ramps up to TMP, my tummy and rectum start to rumble synchronously. I need to go to the toilet again. I try to hold and it comes and goes. I am working hard yet I fail to hit my TMP. I am just too tired. Tiredness, drowsiness, loneliness and darkness are too much. After 7 kilometres into my TMP, I decide to call it a day. I am disappointed that I am not able to complete this marathon-specific Fast Finish Long Run workout and I will have to do it again as soon as possible.

Strava

Mileage: 16.9 km | Weight: 52.4kg.

Review

This week is supposed to be a recovery week where the mileage drops a little while keeping the intensity level the same. If Yasso is any indicator, I am 3 minutes slower/weaker despite resting more between reps (same recovery time, less jog, more stationary). It is a concern albeit a small one, but the biggest concern is my inability to complete the fast finish long run. Too many toos. Too tired, too sleepy, too many excuses. I felt like racing while trying to keep my pace at target marathon pace. Coupled with upset tummy, I quit halfway. On the bright side, I maintain running consistently, 5 days a week with a couple of strength/core sessions. I am going to run the fast finish long run next week.

Weekly Mileage: 58.4 kilometres. Running Time: 5h 3m.

#RoadtoPIM: Week 7

Day 43: Monday (Jan 30) – 50′ Easy

Recovering from yesterday’s Fast Finish Long Run.

Strava

Mileage: 9.0 km | Weight: 52.9 kg.

Day 44: Tuesday (Jan 31) – 60′ Easy

Taking it easy for two consecutive days as I am still recovering from Sunday’s Fast Finish Long Run followed by 40′ of core/strength workout.

Strava

Mileage: 10.9 km | Weight: 52.6 kg.

Day 45: Wednesday (Feb 1) – Rest

Taking a further rest from last week’s workload.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 46: Thursday (Feb 2) – 2 x 3 miles Tempo Intervals

Plan: 2-3 x 3 miles Tempo at 4’05-4’15 min/km with 4 minutes active recovery. Completed: 2 x 3 miles at (1st rep) 4’09 min/km & (2nd rep) 4’14 min/km. 1st rep is a breeze where upper body is relaxed yet I manage to keep the pace in check. 2nd rep is a bit laboured where my upper body starts to tighten up, heavier breathing and I have to work to stay within the pace range. I am still feeling good at the end of 2nd rep but laziness starts to kick in. I decide to do strength workout instead of running the 3rd rep. Overall, I am satisfied with today’s workout and for that, I deserve a plate of rojak sotong.

Strava

Mileage: 14.9 km | Weight: 52.6 kg.

Day 47: Friday (Feb 3) – 75′ Easy

Easy day after yesterday’s tempo intervals. The hardest thing is to step outside and take the first few steps. 

Strava

Mileage: 14.1 km | Weight: 52.4 kg.

Day 48: Saturday (Feb 4) – Ride Up Bukit Tunku

Taking the day off from running and cycle instead. It is my first ride of 2017 where I get my first fall and chain drop within 5 minutes of riding. Always love the suffer cycling up Bukit Tunku.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A kg.

Day 49: Sunday (Feb 5) – 180′ Long

I vow not to do my long run around KL City Centre as GPS is not accurate. But I wake up late and Putrajaya is too far away. Pace, distance are not important. The most important thing is time on feet. I am forced to take a toilet break after 1.8 kilometres. Since I have to stop for long, I treat is as a warm up. I run 3 loops of KL Car Free Morning plus few hundred metres for a half-marathon. The pace is always flattering but I know it is inaccurate. Stop at Dataran Merdeka to down few cups of free 100Plus before continuing my run around Lake Garden and ending my long run with 2 loops of Lake Garden for a total of 3 hours.

Strava

Mileage: 34.7 km | Weight: 53.9 kg.

Review

Another big week of training. Two key workouts , tempo intervals on Thursday and long run on Sunday. I slightly regret my decision to do 2 reps of tempo intervals when I still have a lot in the tank. I manage to get 3 hours time on feet but I need to cut down on stops and walks. One more big 22 miles long run before the race and I will try to minimise stops and walks. I am also happy to squeeze in my first ride of the year albeit a short one.

Weekly Mileage: 83.8 kilometres. Running Time: 7h 14m.

#RoadtoPIM: Week 6

Days pass so quickly. I am now in the middle of the training cycle, Week 6 of 12. Am I getting better, stronger? To be frank, I do not know. All I know is I got to believe in the process.

Day 36: Monday (Jan 22) – 20 Ffffff Miles

First 20 milers in this training cycle. I stop to replenish three times. Physically, I feel good. Mentally, it is boring to run Titiwangsa loop for 3 hours. I am glad I get this off my back.

Strava

Mileage: 32.3 km | Weight: 53.2 kg.

Day 37: Tuesday (Jan 23) – Recovery

Legs are still recovering from yesterday’s 20 miles. Run, jog, walk, repeat.

Strava

Mileage: 5.3 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 38: Wednesday (Jan 24) – 5k Tempo Pace Anaerobic Effort

Today’s workout is 3-6 miles tempo. Head out to do 5 miles. Run too fast in the first two kilometres and what is supposed to be tempo quickly becomes anaerobic. So I decide to stop after 5 kilometres and continue with strides and strength.

Strava

Mileage: 10.0 km | Weight: 53.0 kg.

Day 39: Thursday (Jan 25) – Rest

I still haven’t fully recovered from Monday’s long run and yesterday’s tempo impede recovery. Thus, I decide to rest today.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 40: Friday (Jan 26) – 1:1 Fartlek

I am back in my hometown for my sister in law solemnisation. The journey from Kuala Lumpur to Sungai Petani takes 9 hours with many stops. I get to rest for about 1 hour before heading out for this workout. I am too tired and my back is aching but I need to get this done no matter what. The uneven surface of the tarmac compounds the misery. I run by feel instead of relying heavily on pace. I do 14 reps of 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy and barely survive.

Strava

Mileage: 9.0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 41: Saturday (Jan 27) – 60′ Easy

I manage to squeeze 60′ of easy running before attending sister in law’s solemnisation and heading back to Kuala Lumpur. Few days prior, I received three emails from Strava that I had lost all three CR at three Strava segments around Cinta Sayang Loop. I lost them to a better runner. Those three CR are within reach but my long term goal is the only thing matters at the moment, not some nobody-cares Strava glory. I will be back for these three CR.

Strava

Mileage: 11.4 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 42: Sunday (Jan 28) – Fast Finish Long Run

Big workout today. 10km easy + 10km @MRP(marathon race pace) + 1.2km @>MRP. 10km easy is made easier when running with my brother, @_tamagi. Heart rate and breathing are okay when the pace picks up to MRP but when it’s time for 1.6km @10k pace, my legs refuse to cooperate and I have to settle for a slightly faster than MRP. A slight regret that I stop 400m short but overall I am satisfied with the workout. I am also delighted to survive the workout on empty stomach. Only have half a pear and few sips of 100Plus pre workout and doesn’t take any fuel or fluid during the workout. Cadence is a concern though. Highest cadence is recorded during easy portion before dropping during MRP, and becomes worse during the last 1.2k. It is supposed to be the other way round where cadence goes up with faster pace. More drills needed.

Strava

Mileage: 22.9 km | Weight: 53.9 kg.

Review

6 days of running clocking over 8 hours of running time. This is due to the 20 mile long runs that is supposed to be done last week. I am glad that I finally get my first 20 milers done. I am also satisfied with Fast Finish Long Run workout albeit a miscalculation. The plan asks for at least a 1h 45m workout which I fulfil but with a minimum distance of 14 miles. I only run 13+ miles. I should have add another while on MRP section. It is no big deal really. I don’t seem to be able to keep my weight down. I end the week with probably my heaviest weight of the cycle. 53.9 KG! This is because I have been devouring spicy oily unhealthy food when I go back to my hometown. Pasembur, yong tau foo, mee sotong, ayam penyet, nasi kenduri, seem-harmless-but-lethal kerepek pisang, and many more. I need to stop this binge eating if I really want to do this.

Weekly Mileage: 90.8 kilometres. Running Time: 8h 1m.

2017 Wishlist

It’s already February. I’m glad to report that I have not made any shoe purchase in 2017 yet. Last time I bought a shoe was Nike Zoom Streak 6 on 29th July 2016. That was 6 months ago.

I was a firm believer of one shoe do it all. I used to run in whatever rode best until it wore out like New Balance 1400v2, Nike Zoom Streak 5, and adidas adizero adios Boost 2. Trainers, racers were just marketing gimmicks by shoe makers to persuade people to buy more shoes. But as I am running more, I start to appreciate different kinds of shoes.

I expect to run around 3,000 kilometres (300 done in January already) this year with majority of the runs are easy runs, as well as long runs, speedwork and marathon races. I ran close to 3,000 kilometres last year with a 7-shoe (5 new, 2 carried forward from 2015) rotation, so I’ll survive with the same number of shoes, or maybe 8. Below are my shoe wish list according to its intended purposes:

Easy & Long Runs

I run easy most of the time and I like shoes that offer decent cushioning but not too soft. My current go-to easy runs shoe is Nike Lunartempo 2. Some say it is not that cushioned but to me, it is spot on. A tad more cushioning than that may be too much.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33

peg33

This is probably longest-standing running shoe model in Nike’s armoury. It is already in its 33th iteration. This shoe is out for quite a while already. I have tested the shoes on a treadmill at The Marathon Shop and from the 1-minute test, I like how it rides. It is lightweight for a trainer, comfortable, and soft especially at the forefoot where the zoom unit is (zoom unit at heel too). It is probably a bit too soft than I am used to, but may do myself good, to minimise fatigue in the legs.

Nike Air Zoom Speed Rival 5

speed-rival-5

This has been around for quite a while too. I actually stumbled upon it when I was in Tokyo but it was foreign to me then that I did not even bat an eyelash. Nike produce this for Japan market only. But it is available on Rakuten for cheap. The 6th iteration is actually coming out soon somewhere this year. I became interested in this shoe when people say it is similar to Nike Zoom Streak 6 which I love, only a tad bit softer. I love Streak 6 so much that I find myself wearing it for easy, speedwork, long runs. So Speed Rival 5 is going to be the best substitute as a trainer if it is true that it is similar to Streak 6. I have run a marathon in Nike Zoom Streak 6 and I find it packs decent cushioning to last the distance but perhaps a bit more cushioning will do me good. Thus, this can be a marathon shoe too.

New Balance Zante v2/v3

zante v3.jpg

I have a pair Zante v1 that I have retired. It is a little bit firm for everyday’s run but I like the snappy feeling that it provides. Zante v2 has seen some minor tweaks. If it is anything like v1, I will be happy for it to be in my rotation. Its 3rd iteration is coming out this year too.

Skechers GoRun 5

skechers

Skechers? What do you associate with the brand? Running shoes? Perhaps, not. They make very comfortable casual shoes though. That’s what synonymous to the brand. But since they acquire Meb Keflezighi their reputation as a performance (running) shoe maker has been rosy. I hear good things about GoRun 4 but I am put off by its pod-like outsole. It does not look durable. But for GoRun 5, Skechers has redesigned its outsole. It looks a lot more durable now. It comes with GoKnit upper too which makes it more comfortable. If anything that I read on the internet is to be believed, this is one phenomenal shoe.

Speedwork & 10k Races

I mainly do one speedwork session per week (sometimes two) which includes tempo. I almost wear down my only shoe for speedworks, asics Hyper Speed 7. It is now time to find a replacement. Over the course of the year, I am planning to run few tune up races too, probably 10k races as well as some half marathons. If my ultimate goal is to be realised, I should be able to run sub-40 10k, so I definitely need one fine shoe to do it.

New Balance Hanzo S

hanzo.jpg

Hanzo S is a replacement to 1600 line. I have not actually run in 1600v1/v2 before but the way it feels on my feet when I put it on, the lack of weight, the racy look, I am sold. It is one fine shoe. Unfortunately, I did not see the need to add it in my rotation, then. Now, I am in need of a fast shoe for speedwork and/or 10k races. Hanzo S is an ideal shoe, I think.

Nike Zoom Streak LT3

lt3

I am still smarting from my decision not to buy Streak LT2 when it was still on sale. To add salt to the wound, it was on sale for cheap before disappearing from Malaysia’s market. I have friends who love their Streak LT3. I cannot wait for it to be available in Malaysia.

Marathon

Four marathons this year, that is the plan. There is not enough time to try a new shoe for my first marathon of the year in March so I am saving my much-loved Nike Zoom Streak 6 for it. I am going to have to retire the Streak 6 after. That leaves me with three marathons and I think I am going to need two pairs for the three.

New Balance 1400v4

1400v4

New Balance 1400v2 is the shoe that reignites my love with running. I have fond memories with it. I may have worn better shoes since, but 1400v2 remains special. It is just like first love. You cannot simply forget it. I was waiting for 1400v3 to be available in Malaysia but for unknown reasons, New Balance Malaysia did not bring it in. Good news though, 1400v4 is now available in Malaysia in two colourways. 1400v4 has gained a bit of weight compared to v2 and v3, but reports say that it has a bit more cushioning that its predecessors due to the weight gain.

Nike Air Zoom Elite 9

elite

A lot of marketing was put in when Zoom Elite 8 was launched. I had the opportunity to try it during Nike 1 mile challenge. I did not like it. It is heavy and stiff.I find it weird because Nike market it as lightweight. Then comes Zoom Elite 9. A completely different design than Zoom Elite 8. A lot of reviews say that it is lightweight and fast. It is a love child of Zoom Streak 6 and Pegasus 33, marrying the last of Streak 6 with forefoot zoom unit of Pegasus 33. It is now available on Nike Malaysia online store.

 

#RoadtoPIM: Week 5

It’s already first day of Week 7 and here I am posting Week 5 review. Week 5 is not a good week in term of training.

Day 29: Monday (Jan 15) – Rest

My weakness to complete last week’s long run still lingers in the back of my mind. Consequently, I am losing a bit of motivation. I am questioning myself whether I really want this.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 30: Tuesday (Jan 16) – Midweek Long

Today calls for 90-105 minutes of easy. I need to find something to bring myself out of conundrum. Nothing lifts my motivation up other than running in groups. I wake up early to run with Kyserun ‘445 AM’ Krew. This is my first AM session in almost a year. 105 minutes go by quickly.

Strava

Mileage: 17.3 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 31: Wednesday (Jan 17) – Rest

Weather has not been on our sides. It keeps pouring.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 32: Thursday (Jan 18) – Yasso 800s

10 reps of 800m with each rep runs at target marathon time with equivalent recovery between reps. One of the predictors for marathon time. I run faster than target time though. I run a lot faster in the last two laps especially, one because following Ziq’s pace, the other one because kena cucuk. Overall, I feel good. If Yasso is any indicator, I shall be able to run a 3:08 marathon. Of course it is not an accurate predictor. It is a wishful thinking to think that I can run that fast. I am not there, yet.

Strava

Mileage: 15.5 km | Weight: 53.0 kg.

Day 33: Friday (Jan 19) – Easy + Not So Easy 500m

5’15 min/km effort translates to 5’00 min/km on synthetic track. Hard to keep the pace down. That’s why Yasso 800s done at track is an inaccurate marathon predictor. Marathon is not done on fast flat synthetic track surface. Get too carried away when my wife shouts last lap and go near all-out in the last 500m. Cadence is so low though.

Strava

Mileage: 10.2 km | Weight: 53.0 kg.

Day 34: Saturday (Jan 20) – Wrecked

Reckless 500m sprint towards the end of yesterday’s easy totally wrecks my legs. Easy to the heart but legs are sore af.

Strava

Mileage: 11.1 km | Weight: 52.7.

Day 35: Sunday (Jan 21) – Abandoned

Today I suppose to run my long run. However I oversleep and my tummy is not feeling well. I know that I will have to stop for many toilet breaks if I go out running. But I am actually being lazy. Making up too many excuses. I get too tired comes evening and abandon my plan to run long altogether. I will run my long run tomorrow.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Review

Procrastination gets better of me. I only run in 4 days this week with a meagre mileage of 54.2 kilometres and total time of 4h 41m. The only high point of the week is the Yasso workout. Although it is an inaccurate predictor, I feel good running it.

Weekly Mileage: 54.2 kilometres. Running Time: 4h 41m.

#RoadtoPIM: Week 4

Day 22: Monday (Jan 8) – Prelude to Strength

Today’s plan is not to run. I incorporate strength/core workout on days where I don’t run. But to make the core/strength workouts more effective, some sort of cardio has to be done before the workout. I only know one cardio workout that I am good at, which is running. So I go out for an easy run for 20 minutes before doing 30 minutes of strength workout.

In the evening, I bring Adlea and wife for a walk at FRIM. It is Adlea’s 101 to the nature. To many more outdoor adventures with wife and Adlea.

Strava

Mileage: 3.6 km | Weight: 52.7 kg.

Day 23: Tuesday (Jan 9) – Fartlek TakLek

Wheewww… This is a tough one. 16 x 1:1 fartlek, 1 minute hard 1 minute easy. Ideally I will like to have this done on the track. But nearest track is 20 minutes and RM 2.50 away. So I do it at a 800m shaded stretch nearby. The thick canopy poses a problem for the GPS. GPS is slow to react to changes of pace. Often time, I exceed the intended pace. Form is sluggish where I lock up my shoulders too tightly. It takes 10 reps for me to relax. However, once I am loosening my upper body a little bit, my cadence starts to drop. From 188 spm in the first few reps down to 174 in the last rep. This surely is a concern.

Strava

Mileage: 12.8 km | Weight: 53.0 kg.

Day 24: Wednesday (Jan 10) – Cardiovascularly Easy Musculoskeletally Moderate

50 minutes easy around the neighbourhood. Easy runs are cut short to prepare for a big 20 milers on the weekend. Although breathing is easy but my legs are still feeling from the trashing of yesterday’s fartlek. 15 minutes of strength workout follows.

Strava

Mileage: 9.9 km | Weight: 52.6 kg.

Day 25: Thursday (Jan 11) – Melancholy

Today is supposed to be tempo intervals session at the track. The program is to run 5 reps of 2,000m at 4’05-4’15 min/km pace with 400m recovery between reps. Unfortunately it is raining cats and dogs and I have to abandon the workout after 1-4/5 th reps.

Strava

Mileage: 4.9 km | Weight: 52.0 kg.

Day 26: Friday (Jan 12) – Tempo Intervals

Tempo interval is new to me. Before this it was either tempo or intervals. Today’s menu is 5 reps of 2000m at 4’05-4’15 min/km with 400m float recovery. I almost stop at 4th reps not due to fatigue, but laziness. I am glad that I do not listen to my inner voice.  I am happier that I keep those tempo intervals within pace range, bar 1st rep where I go slightly faster. I feel good throughout as I should be as this is not a vo2max workout. 12 hours post-workout, my legs are starting to feel the brunt of the workout.

Strava

Mileage: 17.7 km | Weight: 51.9 kg.

Day 27: Saturday (Jan 13) – Rest

Yesterday was a tough workout. I plan to cycle today. However due to indiscipline, I stayed up late doing nothing last night. I am too tired when I wake up in the morning. I decide to take the day off and be sedentary.

Mileage: 0 km | Weight: N/A.

Day 28: Sunday (Jan 14) – Weakest Link

According to the training plan, today is a long run day of 2-3 hours or 28.8-32.2 kilometres. But for the umpteenth time, I lack of discipline. I stayed up late last night doing nothing again. I oversleep and decide that it is too late to run a 20 miler. I tell myself to run it at night. I used to enjoy running at night especially when I was working in Labuan. But not anymore. I wait for my daughter to sleep and my wife to settle down before heading out of the door. When I reach Titiwangsa for the run, it is already close to 9:00 PM. The night is surprisingly humid than morning. My slowest long run pace is supposed to be 5’30 min/km but after few kilometres, I struggle to run the pace despite already working harder than usual. I stop to replenish after the 4th loop and it goes downhill onward. I don’t know how do people do it. Second wind, east wind, etc. Once I am defeated, there is no way that I am coming back. This happens in all four marathons that I have run. I stop and walk so many times before calling the long run off. 20 miles become 16 miles become 2 hours become 16 kilometres. This is the first key workout that I fail to complete in this cycle. I feel disgusted with myself for being so weak.

Strava

Mileage: 16.1 km | Weight: N/A.

Review

I run 6 days this week. But two of those days are warm up to strength and abandoned run. I end the week with the shortest weekly mileage and shortest running time in the entire cycle. I do not even reach my target of 70 km/week. I am most disappointed with myself for not being able to complete even half the distance of my long run. This is the end of Week 4 already, but instead of getting stronger, I feel weaker. This is not supposed to happen. I won’t re-do the long run and need to get over it soon and get on with the rest of the program.

Weekly Mileage: 65.3 kilometres. Running Time: 5h 43m.

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