Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2012 Training Day 11: I can do this shit! 10K in 46:08!

Yesterday, I carefully thought through a strategy for attacking the 10K. I reviewed my times in the past two months and decided that doing a 10K in 47:50 would be a great start to say goodbye to the 48:XX that I have received in then last 60 days. I picked an arbitrary but conservative time.
Hmmm....47:50 translates to 2870 seconds which breaks down to 287 seconds per lap or 4 mins 47 seconds.
Hmmmmm.....4 mins 47 seconds. Positive split? negative split? Even pace?
I thought about it and decided I would make it an even pace then increase my pace from the 8th K if I still had energy. So, negative split. Plus, I want to learn to always finish strong.
It was raining for most of the day and for a moment, I debated whether to postpone the run to the next day.
But I felt I needed to run. Especially after seeing Asbel Kiprop and company training in the rain. What if I slide in the mud and sustain an injury?
I went anyway. Early enough. I warmed up for 400m then stretched. I was pleased to note that the field, despite the rain, didnt have slippery sections even though it had some muddy areas.
And off I went. When I saw I had cleared the first 400m in 1:32, I started decelerating. And after slowing Down, I cleared the first K in 4:23. 4:23???!!1 Too fast! Must decelerate. And I did and did 2ndK in 4:51. 4:51 is okay, just increase a little. The 3rd K was in 4:45 4thK in 4:40.
I wanted to start upping the pace from 5k. 5th K was 4:43.
No sign of fatigue even though I had no proper lunch. Okay, lets go. 6thK in 4:32. Slow down. 7th K in 4:41. Not bad. 8th K in 4:40 - too fast but not my fault.
Then I started upping it. 8th K in 4:29 and then 9th K in 4:21. Time? 46:08:87!
This is a more than 2 minutes improvement!
I am as happy as hell with this progress. I may just be able to do a 37mins 10K by August!
I can be fast!
I can see my avg heart rate peaked at 182 Bpm. Average pace 4:36 /Km Average Speed 13.5 Km/hr. The second 5K was in 22:43.
Tomorrow I do speed runs.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

2012 Training day no 10: 27K in 2:50

I did a 27k yesterday and completed in 2:50:42 at a pace of 6:19/Km. This is a good improvement compared to the 27K of 6th November which I completed in 2:56:29 at an average pace of 6:32/Km.
Unlike the last 27K, this time, I did not go past 7mins in any Km.
Yesterday, I did a 6:54/Km at the 15th Km (there is a humongous hill there!) but all the rest were sub 6:40/Km times.
So you know what? My next target is to do all the Kms in Sub 6:40 in my next 27K. That should be easy enough - and watch out for the hill at the 15th Km! So my strategy is to start with eliminating the outliers and then start shaving out seconds from my average times as I focus on finishing strong. This will really improve my average pace over time! I have 11 months to get it right!
What made the race all the more interesting is that I decided to learn how to drink water while running (I didn't have a choice anyway - or risk headaches caused by dehydration!). The water made a great difference! The run was so much more fun! And it was easier! I didn't know water could make such a difference! Even the sun which emerged early did not faze me this time! I didn't bother to run in the shade because I felt great and my speed and performance did not deteriorate!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

2012 Training Day 9: 200m Intervals in 34s

I did a 2Kms warm up. Then stretched then did interval runs until my legs felt like jelly. My legs are still quite weak speedwise so I hardly did ten intervals before I couldnt do much anymore.
200m in 39:47
200m in 47:14
200m in 36:30
200m in 34:50
200m in 34:25
200m in 42:38
200m in 34:00
This was a huge improvement for me and I am very satisfied about it. My best time over 200m two weeks ago was 38 seconds. Now its 34. If I can arrive at 30-31s in two weeks, I will be the happiest fella around. Training calculators tell me that I should be doing 200m in 32:04 so I have less than 2 seconds to improve on this. Maybe even next week I may be able to achieve it. Who knows?
I feel my legs are getting stronger and I am getting faster. Its a great feeling.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

10K in 48:45

I have added a Kg or two but it didn't stop me from doing an Okay 10K yesterday. Hp[efully, by end of Dec, I will be able to do a 46mins 10K.
I have shin pains and wobbly knees but nothing I can't handle.
I have now missed two long runs in a row. But I compensated well for it last week. This week, the torrential rains have made it impossible but no matter, we do what we can.
Machida squares up to Jon Jones above.
Lest I forget, I have included my paces and my HR values. For future comparison.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Training Day No. 7 - 16K

I was up at 5:20am today. This time, I made a point not to drag myself around too much. And when I stepped out, it actually felt like dawn even though daylight had penetrated every nook and cranny and chased the shadows away. I walked to the gate. Then I started warming up with a jog until my garmin got the satellites.
I started with a 5:45, then a 5:45 and the third K was a 5:10. Followed by a 5:05 then a 5:08 etc etc. At any rate, by 16K, I hadnt gone past 6min/K. I was happy with that.
I took my time to do lunges, crunches, pushups and to stretch.
My knees feel wobbly but I am glad about the progress this week.
I have a busy weekend so I know yesterday and Sunday I wont get any miles in. So it will be a good time to recover. Eye candy today are these marathon gods at work.

Total mileage for week 2: 14+14+10+16=54Kms

Tired - Bike

My alarm went off at 5:25am but I dragged myself around and my glazed eyes shifted lazily to the TV screen to glumly observe the minister of Lands, James Orengo say all the Syokimau title deeds were fake and the scam was conducted outside the ambit of the Lands office.
Amazing shit.
How come the fleeced buggers haven't rushed to burn down the offices of the directors of Mlolongo Brothers et al?
I tried to stretch but I was stiff. I went about it anyway. A piece of wood trying to act like rubber. I finally decided to change and walk to the gymn at about 6:15am. I plodded onto the stationery bike and my legs refused to move. After some 40 minutes of feeling weak, I had burnt a measly 200 calories.
Then I did some crunches and calf raises.
No energy. A good day for a break. So today I rest.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Training Day No. 6 - 10K

I was up at 5:28. I lazied around watching an interview of Mickey Rourke then stepped out. Daylight galore. I was feeling kinda stiff so I had spent some time stretching. I wanted to make it an easy 10K. My garmin totally gave me hell today. I couldnt set it right! And after 5K, it started raining...
I had to take shelter and wait for the rain to abate because I wasnt sure my garmin was waterproof and also didnt want to get my shoes soaked. After it stopped, I went on and finnished the run.
I ended up doing a 10K and stretched, cooled down and showered.
Then I gulped down a litre or so of water. But the real disaster came during breakfast.
I started well with a plate of fruits - mangoes, watermelons, pineapples and pawpaws. I normally take this in quantities intended to make me full so that I limit the amount of carbohydrates I take. Carefully consider the amount of fruits that can make a grown, active man full.
After taking out that plate of fruits, I swung in a bowl of cereals: half a biscuit of weetabix, some cornflakes, cashewnuts, macadamia nuts, raisins and some other nuts whose name I dont recall. I then gently asked for hot milk as I sprinkled sugar over this concotion.
As the milk came, I rose up without knocking anything over and gathered a glass of orange juice and 100ml of strawberry yogurt.
I then settled down at my table and spread the napkin on my lap and made quick work of the cereal and nuts mixture and asked for tea. Mixed tea, I helpfully clarified to the waiter.
They brought a kettle as I went to gather carbs.
I picked a plate and then served about three tablespoonfulls of scrambled eggs, which I nudged aside to allow some bacons to settle in.
I followed this with some fried Indian vegetable cookies, then carefully placed a  fat mahamri next to it. I then selected a juicy croissant and some other cake-like cookie that had some chocolate nestled in its heart. I then deftly cut a slice of sweet bread and arranged it next to that. I then scooped some marmalade and made it land next to the croissant.
I then paused in front of this sea of breads, cakes, cookies and other pastries and quietly surveyed my handiwork and decided it was not bad and walked back to my table.
Then I settled down and demolished all this without asking for any assistance.
And I escorted these with two cups of steaming tea.
Before I belched, I chased this mixture down my system with a cold glass of fresh orange juice and then surveyed the empty plates and cups on my table with some degree of self-sympathy and satisfaction at the same time.
Sympathy that I was actually quite a hog today. And this is dangerous. Even if I ran 10K in the morning and got rained on. Such kind of ruthless gastronomical appetite can make a man obese. Indeed, this is what politicians are made of.

Training Day 5: 14K

I was up at 5:28. Still got shocked that it was daylight when I stepped out. So I move the clock back again back 5 minutes tonight. Today I was stronger even though I had skipped dinner last night. Too much food here for breakfast and lunch - somewhat, I can't really control myself even though I try and ensure I stuff my face with fruits so that when I am taking high- calorie food like cakes, bread and rice, I am already kinda full.
At any rate, my garmin still took almost ten minutes to locate the satellites, which was kinda frustrating.
It had rained last night so it was kinda muddy but Mombasa doesnt have so much mud and I got places I could plant my foot on without splashing water or landing in sludge.
Like yesterday, by the time I had cleared 14K, I was soaked in sweat. My truck was wet like I had peed or popood on myself and so when I jogged to the gate of the Hotel, the puzzled guard looked at me questioningly. I believe I was quite a sight to behold. The bugger that said champions are made when nobody is watching should have been there to see the guards look at me like something that had dropped from the sky.
He cracked open the gate for me with hesitation, questioning me with his eyes but afraid to ask me who the hell I was because I could be some big shot who can kick his butt.

"Mimi ni guest" I offered helpfully as I waded in.

He took a look at me from head to toe. Clearly, he had never seen a guest like me, or in my condition. I slowed down to show him and his colleague that I wasnt gonna force myself in.

"Wewe ni guest?" He repeated without thinking. Still trying to absorb what his eyes were taking in. His bulging eyes walked all over me. Its like he was trying to decide whether he was seeing urine or sweat.

I jogged off, leaving them to wonder what kinda guest would leave the comfortable rooms and beds of the Hotel, and the beach, and the gymn and spa, and choose to go running on the road, and run so hard and sweat so much they couldn't tell if I had urinated on myself.
I stretched at the beach. Beautiful shit but I had no time to enjoy its expansive beauty.
Here is Geoff Mutai, currently Kenya's best Marathoner, followed by Moses Mosop, then by current World Record Holder, Patrick Makau.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Busy weekend - missed 27K now have to make up

I had a busey weekend. Had to quickly travel to my grandma-in-law's funeral. And travel back and go to Mombasa.
I am reading Haruki Murakami's book, What I talk About When I talk About Running. Its a small, well-written book. Simple, plain and expresses a deep enthusiasm and psychological benefits of running by this Japanese. I share so much with the author and he says what I would like to say about running. But his ignorance about running is apalling. I should complete it today. In my view its not worth the KShs 1000/=. Next time Sunny Bindra recommends a book, I will ignore his recommendation.
I am in Mombasa and because I missed the 27K yesterday, I have a non-written compensation plan.
I started today with a 14K in the morning. I was up at 5:35 to give myself adequate time for stretching but I was shocked that when I stepped out, it was already daylight. Today I will move the clock 10 minutes back.
I was not that strong, thanks to skipping dinner. But I met my goals. Tomorrow I will attempt a repeat. My garmin was not set so I lost valuable time setting it on the road.
If I do 14K, I should be able to do an easy one on Wednesday then speed runs on Thursday and then I cap it with another easy one on Friday. A crazy weekend awaits so it is likely I will miss my 27K again.
I dont know my timings because I formatted my laptop and didnt carry my garmin software CD.
I have started watching Bleach. Its the rage. If you dont know about it, its your loss brother.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

2012 Training Day 3: 200m Intervals

Got held up in the office so I arrived at the grounds late.
2Km Warm up
200m in 43s
200m in 41s
200m in 41s
200m in 38s
200m in 43s
1Km warm down, stretched and did some plyometrics.
I am doing speed runs for the first time ever so I want to ease into them. Nothing too crazy or ambitious. From what I experienced yesterday, and given that I did not make my 200m in 32s that I am targeting, I will stick to the 200m repeats for a while before I move up to 300 or 400m.
Total distance for the week 27+10+4=51Kms
Here is Makau en route to breaking the WR with Geb trailing in 2012 Berlin marathon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Baselines. Lest I forget

Now that I am taking off. Just one last look at where I am coming from. They say you should not forget where you are coming from, even as you surge towards your dreams and future:

2012 Training Day 2: 10K in 51:40:71

Went for training. Was feeling rather tired and slow and had decided to do a slow 10K when Borura showed up and pushed me. What is great about it is that it was a progressive 10K and the first 5 Ks were 5:xx and the last 5 Kays were 4:xx I loved it. We agreed that we will be running every Tuesday and Thursday. So I have a running partner! Great!
Here is a scene from Sunday's NYC Marathon.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My 2012 Training Plan is Ready!

Mine will be a year-long training. Here is the plan. I started yesterday with 27K. I can adjust it depending on my circumstances. I have divided it into four phases as below. All I have to do now is follow it, sacrifice, endure the pain and suffering and see what happens in the end. Remember what Scott Overall said.


________NOV-FEB_____STT_____________approx 43-50Kms per week
INTENSITY_________MAR-JUL____SMTWTF_________Ramp up Mileage to 100-110Kms per week
PEAKING PHASE_____AUG-SEP_____SMTWTF_________More Speedwork reduce mileage by 20%
TAPER+RACING_____SEP-OCT_____SMTWTF________Same as above plus races

PHASE (approx 43-50Kms per week)

Objectives - 1. Teach body to store glycogen in muscles thereby utilize fat more efficiently. fats 9 cals per gram vs 4 cals per gram for glycogen, this will allow you to use more fat in your fuel mixture so the glycogen that feeds your muscles will last longer to stave off exhaustion.
2. Glycogen depletion stimulates the muscles to store more glycogen-to help prevent future depletion. Because the faster you run the more glycogen you burn, running your long runs at a reasonable pace is a more effective way to deplete your glycogen stores (and hence stimulate the muscles to store more) than jogging.
3. Increase aerobic enzyme activity. Enzymes in the mitochondria speed up aerobic energy production. Long runs increase the activity of these enzymes, which improves the efficiency of the mitochondria. So you not only have more and bigger energy factories, but they are also more efficient.
4. Long runs increase the number of capillaries per muscle fiber, which improves the efficiency of delivery and removal. They are the transportation system for the cell, bringing oxygen and fuels in, and waste products such as carbon dioxide out Shuttle oxygen with more myoglobin. Myoglobin in your muscle cells serves a similar function to hemoglobin in your blood-it carries oxygen from the cell membrane to the mitochondria.
5. Long runs increase the myoglobin content of your muscle fibers, so more oxygen can reach the mitochondria to produce energy.

Style - moderate speed, not slow. Have bursts of 10-20seconds of speed speed in alternative weekends (fartleks) and alternate with even-paced runs imitating tempo runs. Endeavor to finish strong always.
The basic idea is that I will get faster over time as the body adjusts to the repeated stress of the workload.

- 8-10K - hard. Objective: Benchmarking, speed + endurance
Objective -  Increase my LT and my pace.


- 6 laps warm up, thorough stretching, start with 5 x 150m at 98% effort (with 1K goal pace 3:30), 1 min. Walking rest between. Double distance every 2 weeks until 1200m. Equivalent of 5K. i.e. 12 X 400 meters at 5K pace with 2 mins recovery between each, 6 X 600 meters or 5 X 1000 meters. Measure Progress over every 4 weeks. Stress your system, recover completely between sets, then stress it again. Start with fast and relaxed for some weeks first. I repeat, recover completely between sets.

Objective - Fortify the "quick energy" systems (creatine phosphate) and enable to buffer (and reuse) lactate better during races of all distances - adapting your body to higher demands and your leg muscles to faster turnover. Goal is to increase  maximal aerobic capacity (VO2 max).

RECOVERY WEEKS - Every 5 weeks. No hard sessions during these weeks. Reduce mileage to 70% of previous week.

Here is my TRAINING LOG:
Wish me luck and no injuries and we watch this magic happen.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Setting the Baselines for 2012 - 27K

I have decided to continue from where I am and build on my current fitness level instead of taking some long break, hogging my way through Christmas backed by a sedentary lifestyle and starting the New Year overweight and unfit, taking four months to come back to my current fitness level and shed some weight and then repeat this sorry-ass cycle of a story I have repeated before. And then post some mediocre performance at the end of the year.
Not this time. No way in hell. Not with what I am aiming for.
So yesterday I did a 27K in 2:56. I will be doing this every Sunday unless there is some good reason not to. The objective is to make sure I have a glycogen tank that cannot be questioned, and to activate more fibres which will be recruited when the body is stressed to meet the demands of the distance.
I have plans for speed but at this point, I want to set my baseline which I will be reviewing 10 months from now:


Distance_____1 Nov 2011___________Aiming at Sept 2012
5k___________23:36.73/4:43 pace___________19:02

10K__________48:20.74/4:50 pace___________39:33
21K__________01:48/5:05 pace_____________1:28
27K__________02:56.29/6:32 pace___________2:05

So Fuckin Help Me God. As Scott Overall Says Dream Big, Win Big.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Developing Training Plan for 2012

I have Tim Noakes' Lore of Running but I am hogging volumes of running wisdom at and will build a Training Plan soon. Voluminous shit, I tell ya.

So, reflecting, thinking, budgeting, weighing options, consulting, stepping back to get perspective, then going back to clarify an item and all that balancing act crap is in progress.
Is this picture thoughtful enough? Then I should use it.
Stay fucking tuned.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Now What? 2012 Plans

After my poor performance on Sunday, I need to map out strategies for improving my time next year. And I want to seriously target 90 mins for my half marathon in 2012. When I say seriously, I mean seriously. One thing I have realized is that that kind of time requires something more than most hobbyists and amateurs are willing to give.

This year was good for me though I got a hamstring injury two weeks to the race day but I dont think it impacted too much on my performance: that was just my fitness level playing out on race day. I continue believing that there is not much you can change as far as your fitness level three or four weeks to race day. It means between Ndakaini and Stanchart my fitness was about the same. And it showed.

The challenge I have now can be summed up in two words: TIME AND PLACE.
I need to run at least Eight weeks of 100K plus KMS per week around August 2010. Where and how (time) will I build up to that? I would like to keep Saturday my day off and Sunday my LDR day. If I do 30K on Sundays, the challenge is how to get time and place to pack in the remaining 70K between Monday and Friday. If I start from Feb with 50K per week the (injury-free) training plan should roughly go as follows: March 60, April 70, May 80, June 90, July 100, August 100-120, September 120 or >120, October Taper, and Race day sub 90mins Half.
Now how do I make that happen? I have a family and a Job.

I have the following options:
1. Run in the mornings - problem with this is security and my young baby who ensures I dont sleep much. If I do this, it will mean I wake up at 4:30 and be out at 4:50 and run for about an hour. I generally have no problem waking up at 4:30.
The biggest problem with this is that, whereas it worked quite well for me this year, vehicles from Karen and Rongai have discovered the road near my place and traffic jam will guarantee that I am late for work if I leave the house at 7am. This reason alone almost rules out this option. Advantage - I go home early to be with my family.
2. Run to work - this will involve identifying a place near work where I can shower and change to my official clothes. This is not that hard. Then I will need to find a bag for carrying my work-clothes - a backpack. Then I will have to contend with the irritating prospect of having security officers daily peering at my wet workout clothes at the entrance to the office. And I will need to plan for breakfast. Challenge - where to stretch and cool down. Evening travel - matatus? Advantage - I can adjust the distance without much issues. Advantage - I go home early to be with my family.
3. Evening running - public service and other places like UoN. This will require I sneak from work in order to get a decent workout. Main challenge is evening Nairobi Traffic Jam which will be chewing up to an hour of the time I should spend training. Then I arrive home tired. Advantage, I get to keep my car. Disadvantage, arriving home late.
4. Register in a gym near the office - Okay, I dont particularly like Treadmills because I think they differ from real running. This can be considered a last option since I want to avoid spending money on this.
5. Buy a treadmill - I can afford one (okay, I would have to sacrifice a number of things) but there is no space at home. Can I squeeze one in the guests bedroom? Challenge - when I have guests, I wont be using this equipment. Advantages are countless though because of the flexibility. I need to give this more consideration. Can I move away some of the furniture to make room for the TM? How much space do I need?
6. Running home in the evening - main challenge with this is going to work in the morning in a matatu. I need to give this more thought. This can work well though if I have secure parking so that I drive to work on day A and run home in the evening and run to work on day 2 and drive back home in the evening. challenge is, I dont have secure parking yet.
7. A mixture of the above. I need to give this more thought.

Any ideas? Suggestions are welcome.
Hmmmmmm.......the thinking continues...