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.