25 February 2009

some "Very Hard" training to do

Running in last Sunday's RUNew 5K race has made me realize that if I don't want to be gasping for breath all the way up to the Kalayaan Flyover on the March 22 10K Condura Run, I will need to practice some more.

Last Monday, I found myself poring over training information found in Runner's World, which is a super helpful source of training and nutrition materials for runners at all levels. In this site, I saw a nifty little tool called SmartCoach which automatically calculates an individualized training program for you based on existing data on your current running abilities as well as your training goal. I don't know anyone who's tried SmartCoach, so I'll probably be my own guinea pig. Haha. Anyway, a training program is better than none at all, and at least I'll get to train on my own at a time that's convenient for me. I usually get out of the office around 8 pm (sad face), and so from 8:30 pm onwards, I'm free to run.

Before the customized program was calculated, I had to answer a question on how hard I wanted to train. Obviously, I didn't want to be a sissy and go for "moderate" especially if I'm planning to go up that darned flyover.

And so I put "very hard" instead. Hahahaha. Good luck to me, right? So anyway, here's the program that SmartCoach churned out for me which I'm supposed to follow in preparation for my 10K Condura Run:

Workouts: All runs are Easy, Long, Tempo, or Speedwork
Dist: Total miles for the day
Dist/Time: 9mi @ 9:11 means "Run 9 miles at 9:11 pace."
Warm/Cool: Warmup or Cooldown. Generally 1 mile each.
Speedwork: "6x800@3:47 w/400 jogs" means "Run 6 repeats of 800 meters each, with a 400-meter recovery jog after each repeat."
Rest/XT: Rest day or moderate cross-training activity.
m: meters
mi: Miles

(MCN, you would know more about training programs like these, given that you're in the Nike Running Training Clinic, so any sort of feedback/opinion on this SmartCoach program is most welcome.)

I used my RUNew recorded race time as a benchmark; it's not my best personal record, but it's the most recent, so might as well use it. Runner's World utilizes the English System (i.e. miles) but the site also has a very convenient Pace Converter, which converts English units to Metric units and vice versa. So I was able to convert pace per mile into pace per kilometer and other pertinent data.

In layman's terms then:
2 mi@14:47 = run 3.2 km at 9.19 pace
3 mi@14:47 = run 4.8 km at 9.19 pace
3 mi@13:10 = run 4.8 km at 8.18 pace
7mi@14:47 = run 11.26 km at 9.19 pace
8 mi@14:47 = run 12.87 km at 9.19 pace


When I analyzed the program given to me, my initial reaction was "A 9.19 pace?! Jeez, I'm not a professional runner, but I can certainly do better than that!!!" Of course, I'm being matter-of-fact here--because my most turtle-esque pace ever, when I started running last October, was in the 8 range. So maybe, what this program is letting me build on is endurance for long, slow distance (LSD) running.

In a way, this program makes sense because in order for me to get used to 10K, I would need to have the endurance to go past 10K and learn to run 11K or 12K. (Argh, somebody please tell me if this program is making sense at all.)

I run an average now of 5K every other day, so 2-3 miles is not difficult. I will have to learn to run a 7 or 8 miler though.

So yesterday (Tuesday), I went to Legaspi Park to do the Easy Run expected of me: 3.2K at 9.19 pace per kilometer. And I failed!

Because as I was trying to keep to the 9.19 pace, I got extremely bored and my body even felt heavier going at that slow a pace. So I decided to liven things up a bit by running at a pace that was relaxing but not as dreary as 9.19. =P

I ended up running 5K on even concrete at an approximate pace of 7 minutes per kilometer. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Two days after a McKinley race, any run is easy enough. Haha.

Tomorrow, though, I will be doing a total of 5 miles (8K). But 2 miles out of the 5 are just warm-up and cool-down, so I should do fine. Will post updates on this program. Hopefully, it would prep me enough for the 10K four weeks from now.


  1. hey gina girl! i'm no expert but looks like VERY HARD training! i checked my own training log and i only got to that kind of weekly mileage this year, or after being in regular training for two months.

    really depends on how your body reacts to the training. just don't push too much. higher risk of injury if you progress at such a fast pace. that's what i hear from coaches and also from what i've heard so far.

    there's a veteran runner who sometimes comments on my blog (anonymously) who encourages a slow and steady progress.

    i tend to be impatient with things but i'm learning to be patient with running. i realize that's the only way to go, if i want to be in it for the long haul.

    just enjoy!!! :) hope this helps. or baka you can get rio to give you a free program! parang nice too to get a program from someone who has seen you running? try!

  2. Hi dear! Super thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it. I think I should look into lowering the planned weekly mileage; instead of 16-20, gawin ko 11-15 miles. And maybe instead of "very hard", "hard" na lang? Hahaha!

    The pace prescribed here is so strangely slow eh. But then again, I'm no expert. I'm also impatient eh (to the dismay of my obgyne), but yeah, I would have to agree that it's not good to push too much. Will super try to be as patient as possible, mcn.

    I was looking at the plan last night and the prescribed Week 1 Sunday long run of 7 miles won't definitely happen because I'm only running 5K in Botak. =P So I *do* have to make adjustments to this program.

    Sigh, maybe I'll ambush Rio one of these days and ask him. =P He keeps insisting I go for 15K!!! Wot. As if. I can barely catch my breath in 10K. If there's anything I'm not in a hurry to do, it's a 15K. Hahaha.

  3. hahahaha! grabe mag-push si rio sometimes. good and bad. :) but yeah, get a program from him!!! i'm sure he'll oblige. or threaten him that you won't get runrio for the next UNICEF Walk On The Child's Side. :)

    a program from him is the next best thing to attending the nike clinic.

    whatever your running goals and training sched end up to be, i'm sure you'll do well. enjoy!!!

  4. Thanks for the encouragement, mcn!

    The best thing about running is that everyone cheers for everyone. It's such a feel-good sport. Haha.

    Hope run night went well!