Monday, March 21, 2016

Preparing for Sub-60 10km Race (PF 2016)

To say that this race gave me a lot of pressure is a serious understatement!  It took me a few weeks pondering on it before I decided to sign up for this event.  

And it was because I was getting faster in my 10km race, from a 1:02:39 finish time last December, to 1:01:16 finish time in February, I was just a minute or so away from my target finish time.

So I took the plunge, paid the registration fees, took home the race kit and didn't know what to do next! Haha!

I run only twice a week, a short mid-week run and one race over the weekend.  The mid-week may be an easy run, a
tempo run of 7 minute pace or speedwork via 200m x 10 times and would usually involve running up a steep hill.  Even with the steep hill, the 200m would be finished in 1:05 or less, then I would walk down the hill and repeat run again.

The races I join vary from 10km (to build speed) to 16km and 21km (to build endurance).  All with the ultimate goal of going sub-60 in the Pinoy Fitness challenge.  Usually in all these race, I try to go sub-6 minute pace for the last 3-5km regardless of distance I joined so that I could be familiar with running at this pace especially with tired legs.  I may not
always achieve it but in all times, these races helped my performance and I got to finish fast in them.  The goal for the last 3-5km is to be able to still run fast even with tired legs!

You may think two runs a week is insufficient, and I agree with that.  But i was also able to go to Gold's gym for one month and join some of their classes (spinning, boot camp) which helped my endurance and developed core muscles too.  

Once a week I play badminton too which helps in speedwork as I try to catch every shuttlecock heading my way!  It is usually in badminton that I am out of breath so I know that there is still room for improvement.

There is one 10km race (Amcham) that I joined before the Pinoy Fitness run and the purpose for this race was a tune-up race.  Basically I would race this with goal of finishing it in sub 60 minutes.  I will see if my target here is achievable and my effort level in getting to it.

I finished successfully this race with a finish time of 57:15 but it was short 400 meters.  Still, my pace was at 5:56 minutes per kilometer, which would guarantee a sub-60 in PF run.

Two takeaways though from this race:
1) It was mostly flat as just went around BGC area.  Or if there were some climbs, they wouldn't be that steep.  I had no idea yet on route map of PF run at time of this race.

2) My effort level was in the RED.  That means I was giving everything in the race and having a really hard and horrible time in it.  I was having a hard time at the last part of the race in trying to bring my pace down further.

So rather build confidence from that race, there was some self-doubt too as felt I wasn't strong enough or confident enough for PF.  But it was also a good tune up race as it had been a long time (years!) before I had done a sub 60 10km race.

Thankfully, I had two more races: Yakult 16km and Run United 21km.  With these two longer distance races, it should help my endurance and make me stronger!

I also use foam roller to remove the tight spots in my legs and lower back.  

For the final week of training, I did an easy 7km run in BGC Tuesday morning followed by two hours of playing badminton that same day (but in the evening).

On Friday morning, I did 3km warm up followed by 200m x 10 sessions of speedwork where 5 of these sessions will be going up a hill.  

Rest on Saturday so legs will be fresh come Sunday morning!

An extra challenge when the route map came up:

Kalayaan bridge!  My nemesis in all the races.  In the past years, I walk going up this as felt it was too steep and hard effort for me to run it.  Can't do that for this race!

Hopefully the hill sprints I did were enough to meet this challenge.  We shall see..

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