Gold Coast Airport 5.7KM Fun Run 2019

I returned to run the 5.7K as a form of pre-marathon shakedown. The inclement weather meant that my plan to run with the Insta360 One X was scuppered since I don’t have the waterproof casing. Instead I relied on hand-holding the GoPro (without the gimbal) and the video came out all right. I ran 26:16 for the distance and got a good work out for next day’s big race. Taking into account carrying a camera, sling bag and water-resistant shoes! Enjoy the video!

*Follow this link to my Gold Coast Marathon Race Report.

GCM19: Weeks 1 to 3

“Training for a race will teach you the skills you need to be successful in life: Goal-setting, commitment, patience, sacrifice, work ethic, and often overlooked: recovery.” John Jefferson.

And just like that, Week 3 is a wrap. I’ve set several goals for GCM19 and the most aggressive one is to be able to meet the qualifying standards of Boston 2020,a lofty goal by any means. The secondary goal is to run a sub 3:30 marathon and the tertiary goal is to run a PR. To nail the biggest goal, I’ll have to run 20 seconds per km faster than my current best, and better my current PR by 13 minutes. It’s as  intimidating as it sounds, but I’ve run a Half Marathon just 3 seconds off the goal pace as recently as January, on just base mileage, over an undulating course and humid weather. I’ll know if that was a foolhardy fantasy to be entertaining come July 7th.

While I can easily cook up many excuses to say that I can’t and shouldn’t be entertaining such foolhardy thoughts, I’d rather focus on keeping a positive mindset and believe that I can somehow pull it off, no matter how misguided or delusional that may be. I’m no psychologist but this term – Self-Efficacy – seems to best describe my mental stance to the whole pursuit. Believing in it and whole-heartedly embracing the process and things may just work out. I hope.

The Hansons Advance Plan have got me running more than before, right from the very first week. On top of what’s prescribed, I’ve added a bit more to each day. As you can see from the logs below, the daily additions of mostly 1Ks are all miniscule but there’s more to it. Firstly, they all add up to the weekly mileage which I need. Having a rock solid base is priceless. Secondly, it toughens the mind. We’re somehow conditioned to look forward to the completion of the easy (yet boring) 10Ks and long runs. Adding that bit more will teach and toughen up the mind to accept being uncomfortable for just a little longer. Thirdly, the time spent on my feet – the basis of ultra training – can only toughen me up. Over the course of 3 weeks, I’ve logged 150% more mileage than the same period last year, when I made my breakthrough. Granted, I was training on the Beginner plan then. But mileage is mileage, and they come in extremely handy.

Naturally, I’ve been very very careful in taking on the additional mileage, all of which were logged as part of the easy days and none as part of an SOS which are already demanding as they were. I will not hesitate to opt out of adding miles should I really feel sick or really run down. Like what Coach Humphrey said, “You don’t want to be overcooked.”

If there’s one thing I’ve to be really watchful about, it’s sleep. Due to family commitments, that area will always be challenged, so it’s all about doing the very best I can. The training crew have been training and racing extremely well recently and I’m looking up to those who have broken their personal barriers like sub-3:30, 3:15, and sub-3:05. On top of that, we’ve had newly minted sub-5 and sub-4 hour marathoners as well!

Week 1

Planned: 63K
Actual: 71.57K
Difference: +8.6K

Nothing strenuous. All easy miles. 

Week 2

Planned: 66.6K
Actual: 76.18K
Difference: +9.58

First speed session i.e. 12x400m at 1K race pace, with 400m recovery. The 400s were executed in 4:30 > 4:13 > 4:17 > 4:17 > 4:23 > 4:25 > 4:21 > 4:25 > 4:15 > 4:25 > 4:08 > 4:30. Twice a day intake of protein (once post workout, another before bedtime), 2 iron supplements per week, 2 magnesium supplements per week, extra Vit C on alternate days.

Week 3

Planned: 73K
Actual: 79.8K
Difference: +6.8

First speed and tempo week. 8x600m @ 10K race pace with 400m recovery which I covered in 4:34 > 4:38 > 4:34 > 4:25 > 4:21 > 4:24 >4:22 > 4:23. I averaged 4:50 on the dot for the 10K tempo. The poor air quality didn’t make things easy but I got that very challenging session. Thankfully, the haze slowly disappeared over the course of the next few days and I was able to stick to the plan. Same eating regimen was applied but I introduced nuts to stave off the hunger pangs at work. This week saw the most miles logged so far but all good! However, I need to cutback on the mileage next week and stick to the planned 73K having adding miles since W2 Feb. It’s a belated move but the body needs a down week to recuperate and bounce back the following week.

That’s it for now. I hope to continue updating my progress as the I clear the weeks. If you’ve thought about running a PR course on a great location, think no further than the Gold Coast. Early bird fees still apply, so click on the banner below and get to it!

Previous Posts: End-Feb Checkpoint | Mid-Jan Checkpoint


I’ll be running my 9th Gold Coast Marathon this July! While the IAAF Gold Labelled marathon route is fast, flat and scenic where over 60% of runners achieve their personal best, I’ve grown to love the Gold Coast for its vibes. If you’ve not been to the Gold Coast, it will surprise you. Attractions are never more than a short drive/commute away from the city centre. From her world-famous beaches, to the tranquil hinterlands, and to the adrenaline pumping theme parks, the destination has it all. Come join me this July and register before end April to enjoy early bird fees. Details here: www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au

GCM18: Week 7 (SOS Week 2)

I was a little apprehensive about how my body would respond coming off the SCKLM 10K. The 2nd week of SOS will still include 1 Speed and 1 Tempo session. In fact, the week total will hover around Week 6’s i.e. 66K. The differences being:
1)  fewer but longer repeats (8x600m instead of the mind-numbing 12x400m)
2)  longer tempo (10K instead of 8K)
3)  longer long run (16K instead of 13K)

Monday
Menu: 7K Easy
Shoes: Clayton 2
Just some mild soreness post SCKLM 10K. The more I wear the Clayton, the more I find it mushy.

Tuesday
Menu: 2K Warm Up > 8 x 600m @ 10K race pace (400m recovery jog) > 2K Cool Down
Shoes: Tracer
800m pace/timing: 4:43/2:50 > 4:25/2:39 > 4:36/2:46 > 4:32/2:43 > 4:38/2:46 > 4:38/2:47 > 4:38/2:46 > 4:45/2:51
Pretty happy with how it went. The Tracer provided just enough snug fit without the feet sliding around. As I’m trying to wean myself off music during these speed and tempo sessions, I’m glad I was able to stick to a consistent pace throughout. It’s important to learn the art of pacing without the music keeping the tempo. Just let the body and mind synergize.

Wednesday: REST.
No running.

Thursday
Menu: 2K Warm Up > 10K @ Goal Marathon Pace > 2K Cool Down
Shoes: Zoom Elite 9
Boy, was this a tough one! It was partially my own doing. I had very little to eat the night before, with just a few fish balls and soy/tofu. After an inadequate 6-hour sleep, a forced myself to chew down half an energy bar before heading out. With the accumulated miles, with no small measure of quicker running the past few days, I definitely went into the run semi-depleted. My tempo was set between 5:09 and 5:12 and the splits below showed. Instead of cutting short the workout, a bit of slowing down was the better option undertaken over Km 7 and 8. Legs weren’t that bad, just that I needed to eat and get some precious sleep! 5:17 > 5:12 > 5:16 > 5:04 > 5:08 > 5:10 > 5:11 > 5:21 > 5:18 > 5:11 for an average of 5:13.

Friday
Menu: 7K Easy
Shoes: Clifton 4
Kept it as easy as I could. The Clifton is a brick compared to the Clayton, Elite and Tracer so that pretty much ensured that I kept things on the slow burn.

Saturday
Menu: 10K Easy
Shoes: Span

Sunday
Menu: 16K Easy
Shoes: Epic React
First 10-miler in the bag! The plan was to run the second half quicker than the first, within 5:30 to 6:40. It was a cooler morning compared to the past few days.

Week 7 with 66.8K covered, legs pretty good and let’s jump into Week 8 where 70Ks of running await!


2018 will be the 40th running of the Gold Coast Marathon (GCM). I’ll be returning for my 8th GCM and training plans have been drawn up. Won’t you join me for some Good Times? Hit the image below to get to the official Gold Coast Marathon website! Do join the Team Malaysia Facebook page to get all the local happenings, updates on training sessions, tips on travel and running the race on the Gold Coast.

GCM18: Week 6 (SOS Week 1)

While it may appear that actual training starts this week, the plan has been prepping us for the past 5. Going into Monday, I’d clocked 32K over 4 days (8K daily average). The Hansons plan sees the inclusion of Speed sessions early in the training, with 1 Tempo session (Marathon Goal Pace run in Hansons parlance) per week, and a Sunday Long Run. In between are Easy paced recovery runs and a single rest day. This format is what my training plans will be, right up to Week 1 of May.

The added challenge for the week were the 3 days’ attendance (Thursday to Saturday) at the Gold Coast Marathon booth at the Standard Chartered KL Marathon Expo, where was plenty of time-on-feet. Sunday saw me running the 10K category as part of my fundraising under the Run For A Reason program.

Monday
Menu: 7K Easy
Shoes: Epic React

Tuesday
Menu: 2K Warm Up > 12 x 400m @  10K race pace (400m recovery jog) > 2K Cool Down
Shoes: Streak 6
First speed session was a shock to the system. Having run most of the earlier weeks at an easy pace (as ordered), the first few reps were hard. It was only that I took my recovery seriously that I was able to clear this workout unscathed. Each of the 400m splits were followed by 400m no-jog recoveries averaging 2:35. The actual “work” splits were: 1:51 > 1:54 > 1:51 > 1:53 > 1:54 > 1:49 > 1:49 > 1:48 > 1:49 > 1:54 > 1:50 > 1:50 . In the end, I thought I acquitted myself pretty well.

Wednesday: REST.
No running but 25 minutes spent on the mat.

Thursday
Menu: 2K Warm Up > 8K @  Goal Marathon Pace > 2K Cool Down
Shoes: Zoom Fly
Pretty good workout bookended with truly relaxed warm-up and cool-down segments. Splits were 5:12 > 5:04 > 5:07 > 5:13 > 5:11 > 5:08 > 5:08 > 4:56. The only mild annoyance was the sliding around in the forefoot when cornering. A hint of soreness in the calves but I got the glutes firing.

Friday
Menu: 7K Easy
Shoes: Clayton 2
Followed by GCM Booth duty at the SCKLM REPC.

Saturday
Menu: 13K Easy
Shoes: Epic React
Followed by GCM Booth duty at the SCKLM REPC. Left earlier at 4:30pm to ensure I got  home earlier to rest.

Sunday
Menu: 13K Easy
Shoes: Zoom Elite 9
It was SCKLM and I’ve to make several changes to the tracker set ups. Split the 13K into a 3K warm up followed by the actual 10K. Felt great through out and will cover the race experience in a separate post. Overall, it was a great outing and most importantly, I know that I’m on-track!

Week 6 with 65.7K covered, legs pretty good and let’s jump into Week 7!

*I wore the Clayton 2, and Liteform on days at the SCKLM Expo.


2018 will be the 40th running of the Gold Coast Marathon (GCM). I’ll be returning for my 8th GCM and training plans have been drawn up. Won’t you join me for some Good Times? Hit the image below to get to the official Gold Coast Marathon website! Do join the Team Malaysia Facebook page to get all the local happenings, updates on training sessions, tips on travel and running the race on the Gold Coast.

GCM18: Week 4

Despite the low weekly mileage, the plan still managed to have a “pull-back” week which saw us dropping back down to 33K. Ironically, this was the hardest week yet for me. Stress at work ensured that I only had a good night’s sleep last week. There were plenty of tossing and turning and the downstream effect was tiredness and the occasional lightheadedness (which could also be due to an inner ear issue).

Again, there’s nothing to report on the running. I’ve kept to the pace and distance discipline. Sore quads and glutes from the strength exercises ensured that I stuck to the plan. So all’s good.

Week 5, let’s get going already!

*I ran exclusively in the Lunar Tempo the entire week.


2018 will be the 40th running of the Gold Coast Marathon (GCM). I’ll be returning for my 8th GCM and training plans have been drawn up. Won’t you join me for some Good Times? Hit the image below to get to the official Gold Coast Marathon website! Do join the Team Malaysia Facebook page to get all the local happenings, updates on training sessions, tips on travel and running the race on the Gold Coast.

GCM18: Week 3

The week saw the highest mileage logged so far – a massive 37K😂 . After 3 weeks, I’ve managed to stay on track with the Hansons Plan. There’s an extra incentive to get it done, when you purchased your training plan, you see. Granted, it’s still honeymoon phase so there’s been no intensity, and no structure other than easy running and cross-training.

Nevertheless, I make it a point to celebrate every completed week because things are so stressful at work. It’s therefore necessary to my psyche to just take one week at a time.

Other than several days of stomach issues, there were some signs that the fitness level is on the uptick. Nothing extraordinary to report actually. I continued working on hip mobility, massage, rolling and also with resistance bands. Runners often look at the elites’ running form and nice running locales without realizing the many hours put into “behind-the-scenes” that make them run the way they do. These unglamorous work are not Insta worthy I guess, but if I can scrounge another 45 minutes each week, I’d spend them on prehab than logging extra miles. I’m at an age where benefits and improvements are going to be reaped from time spent on the floor and mat.

Here’s to Week 4!

*Photo shows the shoes I ran in this week – the unsung Zoom Span and cushy but flawed Clayton 2. I’ve logged over 200K in both pairs.


2018 will be the 40th running of the Gold Coast Marathon (GCM). I’ll be returning for my 8th GCM and training plans have been drawn up. Won’t you join me for some Good Times? Hit the image below to get to the official Gold Coast Marathon website! Do join the Team Malaysia Facebook page to get all the local happenings, updates on training sessions, tips on travel and running the race on the Gold Coast.

GCM18: Week 2

The week’s mileage is slowly nudging up but still very very low. After mixing in some quicker paced runs last week, on account of very low mileage, I’ve returned to keeping to the pace discipline per the program. There were lots more “in-the-zone” running for sure. The iPod (yes, the one which refused to die on me despite the cracked screen) and the Jabra Sport Pulse continued to keep me occupied. Other than the Sport Rox, I’m not particularly a fan of the Pulse, what with the latter proving quite an uncomfortable and even painful fit on my right ear. As such, I’ve ordered the ultralight JBL Reflect Mini. Again. The first one kaput on me after a year’s service and although I have trepidation, the RM230 price tag is more palatable than the RM560 Jaybird X3. Now, if the JBL quits on me again, I’ll have an excuse to get the X3. But until then…

Back to the training part.

Analyzing the past week’s data, I’ve noticed that there’s been an improvement to my running economy, form-wise. Going through the Garmin metrics, the footpod has shown an increase in stride length, lower ground contact time (GCT) and a very balanced distribution of left/right GCT percentages. I’m totally sold on the targeted mobility workouts as mentioned by Jay Dicharry in his Running Rewired book so much so that I’ve stopped doing those static core routines.

You’ll notice that I’ve added just a bit more distance to the prescribed 27K. And my rationale as follows:

  1. The 32K logged are still very low, only 5K more than prescribed.
  2. All of the miles were run at the prescribed easy pace. Just a few pick-ups within the easy miles.
  3. 32K will be a smaller jump to Week 3’s 36K.

On to Week 3!


2018 will be the 40th running of the Gold Coast Marathon (GCM). I’ll be returning for my 8th GCM and training plans have been drawn up. Won’t you join me for some Good Times? Hit the image below to get to the official Gold Coast Marathon website! Do join the Team Malaysia Facebook page to get all the local happenings, updates on training sessions, tips on travel and running the race on the Gold Coast.

GCM18: Week 1

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.
Van Gogh

And so it has begun! The preparation for the annual Marathon time trial happening on the Gold Coast has kicked off. If you’ve followed this blog, I’m going with the Hansons Marathon Method (HMM), having purchased the Beginner 18-week Program from Final Surge.

I ran last year’s PR using a derivation of the HMM, based on a 12-week plan. I undertook that coming off a funk, so there were very little base mileage. The resulting PR came off consistency and a dietary tweak of more greens, and less meat.

This time around, I’ve a very loose base program which started November, faltered in December and saw a rather mixed January and February. Many things conspired to test my resolve – work deliverables that constantly ran into challenges, home fix issues and a lingering case of the PF. Not to mention the loss of 2 friends and a friend’s family member.

I was in survival mode in January and February and 30K weeks were all I could manage. I wasn’t able to extend a very good first week into the second and beyond weeks of the 2-month McMillan Base Program. As I battled the daily stresses, I felt that I could still force workouts through but I wouldn’t have been pretty and downright risky. Illness, staleness, were all real dangers. The HMM is taxing enough and pushing an 8-week base training comprising of 60-70K weeks before HMM even starts would be just plainly asking for burn-out. Coach Luke Humphreys repeated that a runner would want to peak after 15-16 weeks of training, not 7. 60-70K weeks even before actual marathon training starts were just too much for me.

There were still plenty of positives during the last 3 months. I remained healthy, which is the most important thing. Through conscious choices of food, I was able to maintain a consistent 60kg, give or take 0.3kg. Not in training doesn’t mean one can simply throw healthy eating out of the window. In early February, I finally managed to put the PF away through self-administered Trigger Point Therapy.

And so, here we are early March, the first week of HMM, with the most ardous running yet to come, at least for another 4 weeks. The first 5 weeks are what I call the “bedding-in phase”. Very easy and very short runs, 2 days of cross-training and a 1 day of rest. No issues so far, with the scheduled workouts completed with little drama. I took the 2 cross-training days seriously, focusing on what Jay Dicharry said in his book, Running Rewired, “Complementary Training”.

On to Week 2 then!


2018 will be the 40th running of the Gold Coast Marathon (GCM). I’ll be returning for my 8th GCM and training plans have been drawn up. Won’t you join me for some Good Times? Hit the image below to get to the official Gold Coast Marathon website! Do join the Team Malaysia Facebook page to get all the local happenings, updates on training sessions, tips on travel and running the race on the Gold Coast.

Base Phase: Week 1/8

Here we go again! This week saw the kick-off of the 8-week McMillan Base Program.

Mon
Distance Covered: 11.7K averaging 6:18. Average HR  135 bpm.
How It Went: Base training kicked off on New Year’s Day, along with the unveiling of the GCM18 Team Malaysia Banner. An easy run within the prescribed pace range. 

Tue
Distance Covered: 10.4K averaging 6:16. Average HR 136 bpm.
How It Went: The PF surprisingly behaved and an enjoyable run was had in the heavier Glide. Started the run at 5:15am to ensure adequate time to complete the scheduled session. Pace was pretty consistent on a cool morning and I wrapped up with a series of drills and stretching.

Wed
Distance Covered: 6K averaging 6:08. Average HR 138 bpm. Followed by drills.
How It Went: A little tired having tallied 50.4K the last 7 days. Took some minutes reviewing the scheduled base runs and decided to make the call to pare down the Wednesday runs from 1:05 to 50 minutes. 2 reasons: 1) The objective of base training is not to beat oneself out even before starting the bulk of the main training (and the HMM will be very tough!) but to prep the body and mind to accept and adapt to the rigors of marathon training. 2) These base miles are higher than even the first 4 weeks of HMM, which won’t make sense. To proceed with such high weeks and then come down to 20-30K weeks the first 4 weeks of HMM could risk a bit of a deconditioning on top of having to rebuild after 60K weeks. 3) The HMM will demand a lot on the body and legs where all components are equally important. I don’t want to risk burning out even before the start of the HMM or tiring even before Week 8 of HMM. Further adjustments will be made as I progress into Week 2.

Thu
Distance Covered: 10.5K averaging 6:13. Average HR 139 bpm.

How It Went: Stuck with the Zoom Span this morning. Need to wear this pair out before breaking in its replacement, the Noosa FF (a smidge lighter at 9.5oz). I’ve resolved not to pull another new pair of shoes unless I’ve retired the current ones, which is a tough thing to do. I so want to start putting miles into the Lunaracer 3 and the Noosa! Anyways, this morning’s run was enjoyable except for a close brush with an idiotic driver who nearly drove his MPV into me as he swerved too close into a corner. When I caught him later along another road, I shouted at him and he stopped about 40m, with me fully ready for a confrontation. He didn’t get off the vehicle, though. My legs felt fine, with the PF almost not making its annoying presence felt at all. The mild flu which I’ve struggled the last few days appear to have blown over as well. Immediate post race fuel was protein and I’ve a bit of time to stretch the hips and psoas as well. Tomorrow, I shall claim my much needed rest day!

Fri Rest!

Sat 
Distance Covered: 11.3K averaging 6:20, 137 bpm.
How It Went:
Yesterday’s scheduled rest day was key to how good I felt this morning. It was cool but humid. Nevertheless running a new route proved refreshing enough. Ideal pace for the Zoom Span again. Here’s to tomorrow’s 1:35 run!

Sun: 1:35 Long Run between 6:05 to 6:54.
Distance Covered: 15.4K averaging 6:11. 2K pickup @ 5:00 pace. Average HR 139 bpm.
How It Went: Easy pace was easy enough but the hip wasn’t as engaged as I’d like to. When the pace was upped, only did the body come alive. An average session but no less important one. 

Week Summary: Like the coach said, “Time on your feet is more important than pace in a long, steady run. Run easy and run long.” Can’t complain with 66.2K on first week of base. Not too bad. Body’s getting the conditioning it needs and the mind stays fresh with the slow running. With the exception of 1 day, I’ve managed to get in an average of 6.5 to 7 hours daily.


2018 will be the 40th running of the Gold Coast Marathon (GCM). I’ll be returning for my 8th GCM and training plans have been drawn up. Won’t you join me for some Good Times? Hit the image below to get to the official Gold Coast Marathon website! Do join the Team Malaysia Facebook page to get all the local happenings, updates on training sessions, tips on travel and running the race on the Gold Coast.

 

What’s Next After Macao?

I’ve moved on after the recent Macao DNF. I’ve been back to running with greater frequency and consistency is slowly but surely getting re-established. Going through the Garmin and Buckeyeoutdoor logs, I discovered that despite this period of reduced running, I’ve been averaging more miles than the same period last year. Perhaps I’ve been a little harsh on myself.

With things slowly restored to business-as-usual, I’m just letting the consistency takes it shape over the next couple of weeks. Between now and the new year, 40K weeks shouldn’t be that hard to move up to. That will segue nicely into the 50K weeks accorded by the 8-week McMillan Base Plan. The Base Plan will have plenty of easy running, building on consistency and time-on-feet. I’ll be following the plan honestly.

Once the 8 weeks are done, it’ll be time for the actual training to begin and for that, I’ve subscribed to the 16-week Hansons Program. I’ve opted for the Beginner Plan which will peak at 91K with the longest runs at 26K. Due to the unique concept of the Hansons, the plan will only work if the runner follows the prescribed workouts to the tee. The first 2 weeks consist of low mileage work and will double up as cutback weeks following Base Phase.

Hansons Coach Luke Humphrey repeatedly says, “Don’t make it harder than it already is.“ He’s not kidding. The workouts will tax the body and mind to take on the stress of consistent weekly mileage, stressing the legs to simulate cumulative fatigue. Easy days must be kept easy. Long runs must be run at prescribed pace. Midweek SOS workouts must include warm up and downs. And I’ll have to get enough sleep as recovery.

Gear-wise, everything is good to go. Most of my running thus far has been in heavier, bulkier and protective shoes. That’s the Zoom Span, Glide Boost (mothballed 2 years ago in new condition but now recalled to active duty), and the 2 Hokas – the Clayton 2 and Clifton 4. With the exception of the Span and Clayton, the rest are over 10 ounces in heft. The odd one in the collection is the NB Vazee Pace 2 Protect. The weather resistant upper will ensure that rainy days aren’t excuses to skip workouts. They’re all shoes that I don’t typically run in but I’ve to protect my legs and feet. The firmer Ride 10 will have to wait in the wings.

For faster running, the ones you see below are my trusted ones, each capable of covering distances between 5K to the marathon. Even my GCM18 race shoes (not shown here) are good to go.

On the injury front, the PF is finally, FINALLY (!), brought under control. It has taken a lot of effort on my part, from 4 times a day trigger point massages, stretching and mobility exercises. More than anything, I’m hoping that the issue will be fully resolved by end February, and I stay healthy all the way through July.

So as 2017 comes to a close, here’s wishing you the best in next year’s training and racing!


2018 will be the 40th running of the Gold Coast Marathon (GCM). I’ll be returning for my 8th GCM and training plans have been drawn up. Won’t you join me for some Good Times? Hit the image below to get to the official Gold Coast Marathon website! Do join the Team Malaysia Facebook page to get all the local happenings, updates on training sessions, tips on travel and running the race on the Gold Coast.