Thursday, January 26, 2012

Speed training is scary!

Stepping into my 4th week of training, I have to say that the journey hasn't been too easy for me. There are two surprises I found... The first surprise is declined my fitness level since my last marathon in November; the second surprise is the difficulty of the interval (threshold) training.

To summarizes my first 3 weeks of training, I did my first half marathon in my first week of training. Well, I know that it's kinda crazy. But since my last marathon was just 2 months ago. I think, this first marathon would be my good indication about my fitness level. It was one of the Nike + challenges.

No set location, I just ran in my own area and then sync my result to the website. It could be my advantage to get a good time as I know my normal running area well. But it didn't turn out that way. I completed in 2 hours and 2 minutes, slightly outside of my normal time.   Well, I gave myself some grace for that.  From now on, it's just going to be faster and faster. So no more 2 hours for my half anymore!

My second surprise was my new training regime - interval (threshold) training.  It is a simple running between fast speed running and then recovery joy follows. The whole set will be repeated again.  The hardest thing for me is becoming out of the breath at the end of the speed training and it is very very uncomfortable and scary! However, more I do it now, more I realise that it is the key to run marathon fast! I believe that I can finish a marathon but the key for is how fast do I want.  Last year of my marathon training, I focused on the completion of the course.  Weekly long run is the most essential element in my training.  With it, I completed the course in a respectable time.  However, if I want to run fast and complete it fast, long run is not enough... threshold running and even with hills running will be the keys! So, here it is... scary as it is, for my 4 hours completion, it is the challenge for me, not only my physical body but also my mind as well.  Imagine, you are grasping every single breath as your body needs it so badly.  Errrrrrrrccccccccccchhhhhhhh! That's hurt!

New challenge to my body, new challenge to my brain! Mental strength is even harder to train than the physical body.  After my one month of running without the training plan, changing back to the training gear is challenging! Nike has launched a campaign, MAKEITCOUNT, which aims to motivate you for the new year! Different sport celebrities made their statements or pledges in order to fulfill the purpose of the campaign.  Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe, Mark Cavendish are just a few....

Well.. the photo shot with the pledge isn't just for the celebrities... but also for normal ordinary people... like me! So, I have a shot, not as so coooooolllllllllllllll as Paula's. The point is the pledge! The statement with me for this year! Here it is!

Run Fast,  Train Hard; make everyday count!

When I was writing this, I was indeed thinking of the hard speed training! So, it's the statement that I made for this year.  It is not only applying on my running training but actually other parts of my life! But it's always great to start on my training! 


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy 2012!

Happy New Year! 

Sorry for being so quiet recently from blogging. I'm amazed how Christmas baking and my work in hospital have been keeping me away from blogging. Considering we are still in January, I hope that you had a fantastic Christmas, a fabulous and energetic new year! January is always en exciting month, the old year has gone, and we all are excited about the coming new year. 2012 is quite a special year, especially in London, where Olympic games will be held in August. Hence, it is making my marathon running in this year more exciting and challenging. I definitely want to do so much more better than my debut year of marathon running, especially, it ended in such a high note (a PB was made). Therefore, I am aiming to complete my London marathon around 4 hours. Yes! 4 HOURS! It is a high aim for me, if there is no challenge, why bother to do training? Therefore, I have started my training already for my London April Marathon. From my last year training experience, I have studied many different training programs in order I can do better in this year, and yet it works with my crazy shift work schedule. I have even studied Paula Radcliffe's training plan in her latest book (who doesn't want to run like Paula?).
However, her plan just doesn't work with my shift work schedule. With some wisdom from a runner in the Nike running club, I was introduced a training plan that is challenging and yet fitting into my schedule. I won't say that it is going to be easy. To aim for a good time in marathon, there is no easy way to do it. Better timing, harder training. The training plan involves 4-5 runs a week, hill, interval and long runs. With the training plan, I also have registered to do couple half marathons before April in order to monitor my progress. 

 Apart from London marathon, I'm actually aiming to do about 3 marathons run and other runs this year... So far, this season, it will be looking like this... 
15/01/2011 - Nike+ half marathon 
19/02/2011 - Brighton half marathon 
04/03/2011 - Milton Keyes half marathon 
22/04/2011 - Virgin London marathon 
27/05/2011 - BUPA 10k City run 
18/08/2011 - Helsinki marathon (planning) 
11/2011     - Eden Project marathon (planning) 

 Here it is.. My year 2012. Maybe not that much of traveling but I believe that it is still going to be very exciting and challenging year. As I'm training hard for this London marathon, I would like to draw your attention on my charity, VICTA. Without their given opportunity, like they do for all children with impaired eyesights, I would not able to take part of this great event. As you are reading, please go to my personal website ( to support me and my charity.