Monday, April 29, 2013

Mental Orientation

I think I will have another go at the 32K this weekend, now that I finished the Sunday run fresh like someone from a beauty saloon and no soreness. And I am not going to hit a plateau at this stage of training.
I am aiming at sub 2:40.
General strategy is to gradually start picking up from the 13th Km.
Key points of concentration and effort:
The hilly 1st Kilometer (knee the air), Kilometer 16 then 18 to 28th Km. Focus, speed.
Then 28th K to 30th K, knee the air till the top of the hill (i.e. use quads) and divide the hill to three segments.
Need to do:
14-15K tempo today.
14 x 1000m on Thursday.
Do more jump squats, more lower abs exercises, ITBL stretches, heel-toe walks and the waist rotation. Pilates.
Rest. Get a 6 hour sleep on Saturday night.
Hammer it. Fight every kilometer. Stay in the pocket.
No need to clench teeth. Just let the lower jaw drop slightly and breathe through the mouth. Be one with the run. Pour everything into it and see what happens.
The mental focus begins now.

Cheers guys.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

32K in 2:46:43 - Avg Pace 5:12/Km

If ever there was a day I was supposed NOT to run, it was today. I had slept for only three hours after being in some bash till 3am. But that was nothing. I had set my alarm to go off at 5:35am. And at exactly 5:35am, it started raining. Can you believe that?
I went to the toilet and listened to the rain and felt my rising frustration. Which devil told me to start this running business? I asked myself. The rain had the whole of yesterday and the whole of the night to rain. Why pick now? Why? I asked the wall. The wall stared back without answering. Is this a message from God to me? Do I shelve this idea of running today? I got annoyed. Can I afford five weeks without 32k because of some pansy ass pitty patter of rain? Nope.
I decided to go run, even if I just swoosh and swaash in the mud. Ok. Fine then. How do I dress? Do I go with the garmin? Do I wear a jacket? I hate wearing jackets when running. So I dressed up, carried some cash and a paperbag and 300ml of water and walked into the wet dawn. Well, it turns out it was just a drizzle. I decided to run with my head and not my heart so I was to hold myself in check till 9k then start pushing. The first 2k were difficult coz I couldn't get my breathing right. My legs lacked speed but lets roll. I rolled fine and at 6k (wilson) I found it hadn't rained and almost went crazy and surged in excitement. I was alright but slowed myself down at about 15K not wanting to risk cramps. After that I dropped slightly then between 18 and 20K I was really slow. I just didn't have it. But after 21K, I was back and I did well until 25K. Aaaaanyways, I have slowed down a little but I am stronger and my endurance is intact. I was faster over the last 10k compared to five weeks ago.

I ran the last 32K 28 days ago in 2:47:36 at an avg pace 5:14min/Km and Sunday I ran it at 2:46:43 at an Avg Pace 5:12/Km. That is an almost one minute improvement in time and 2 seconds improvement in average pace. Let us look at my performance at Kilometers 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30th Km. In my run in March, I returned 6:24, 6:25,6:45, 7:54, 7:05 - that was a 34:23 5K! on 1st April I returned 5:52.3, 6:04.9, 5:54.1, 6:47.7, 6:20.4 which is a 30:57 5K. On Sunday April 28th I returned 5:41.7, 5:35.4, 5:29.2, 6:23.1, 5:54.5 which is a 29:02 5K. That is an almost two minutes improvement and that was the saving grace yesterday.
Here are the splits.

Split    Time   
1    5:20.3    
2    4:58.5    
3    4:44.6    
4    4:32.5    
5    4:48.9    
6    4:43.3    
7    4:38.2    
8    4:49.5    
9    4:49.4    
10    4:53.7    
11    4:56.7    
12    4:56.7    
13    4:53.7    
14    5:05.9    
15    5:10.6    
16    5:28.7    
17    5:06.3    
18    5:26.9    
19    5:24.8    
20    5:28.5    
21    5:22.3    
22    5:22.9    
23    5:18.8    
24    5:10.6    
25    5:21.7    
26    5:41.7    
27    5:35.4    
28    5:29.2    
29    6:23.1    
30    5:54.5    
31    5:52.9    
32    4:52.5    

I will take it. This is round two of training. Gotta achieve 27k in 2 hours by June.
My focus now is on hills and speed and to run harder next time because now I am feeling no pains after yesterdays run. It means I did not push myself very hard. I gotta do that next time. Carefully.
My groin pain is improving. I am stretching them groin muscles and exercising my lower abs.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Change in Training Plan

The weather is finally getting back to normal. And man, people are running!
My groin pain is giving me hell. But it has given me hell for four weeks now so maybe it will clear up with time.
Yesterday I wanted to do a one hour run but after 6K, I got a stitch which cleared at 7K, then I struggled  and I got my rhythm back at 9k.
I did 14K in 1:07 and made a decision:
I will be doing 14K every Thursday until I can do it in one hour. Hopefully, that can happen within May. Then I start 15K....
I am going back to 32K on Sunday. Run smart, not hard. Back to ground zero and back to basic principles.
I have decided that my lower abs are weak and I am working on them now and my groin muscles. I have totally ignored my upper body. I will see what best exercise to give it.
Now excuse me while I go grab some painkillers.
Inspiring Rob Watson videos:
Keep running guys.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Clock Cleaned

I did 300m X 10 then followed it up with 1000m X 5. I fizzled out in the sixth attempt at 1000m and was convinced I was just too weak but on looking back, It was a hard workout.
After the workout, pangs of hunger assailing me, I bought roasted roadside maize. Which I obliterated in seconds and threw away the cob. Then I dashed to the supermarket and grabbed strawberry yogurt. Then I drank some liters of water and chased them down with rice and beans which I had three cups of tea sprinting after. I was feeling even more famished! Before you could say 13.1 miles, I drank two cups of water. The hole that I had become felt even more empty. For the first time in over two years, I asked for the juice ya maji. I quickly prepared three glasses and downed them in quick succession. Only then did I feel like a somebody. Wa! Even 32k never empties me like this! Eh!
Keep running Ooh!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Attempting 14Km/hr

I did some pedestrian calculation while munching lunch and decided, between the soup and salad bowls, that do do a 1hr 14Km, what i needed to do was run 14Kms in 4:24 or lower. I decided that I can take a decent stub at that. And so I broke my task into two: cover the first 7k in 30mins and the next 7k in 30mins. And so I got to it at 4:30pm. It wasnt that hard 5k in 21:48 (PR!) but then Surprise surprise. I did 7k in 30:32 (PR!) and went like WTF!!! Then I lost concentration and started recalculating and realized I needed 4:17, not 4:24! 8K in 35:13 and I crossed 9k in 39:43 and 10k in 44:13 (PR!) and the rain became too much so I clocked it in at 11k. Not a bad tempo run. I will take it.

Sunday 21st April:
Problems. First, my bus arrived late. Then I couldnt find my garmin. When I did, it had low battery and was blinking. Legs that have been folded the whole night in a bus may not be the freshest. Then I set out too fast and developed a stitch by 4Kms. By 9k, my right shin was very painful. By 11k, I decided to call it a day rather than risk injury. So i was jogging 2 the mat stage. By 13k, the pain and stitch had gone. The garmin went off too. So I decided to go via city stadium to Muthurwa, ngong road, city mortuary, tmall and back to langatta. I jogged the whole way. Muthurwa wasnt so bad considering I passed there kitu 9am. Clocked about 30k in total. From the pain in my back and shoulders, I may have lost some long-distance fitness. But I am happy about my speed progression. I have to follow London marathon via the net. Keep runnin.
Thursday splits below.



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

12 x 1000m

In my moonlighting stint, I had a client to train on a new system I had developed for them. So I was on my feet for more than five hours then I did these 1k repetitions. They weren't that fast, but they were good and I am glad. I was completely exhausted and have just surfaced from 9 hours of sweet sleep.
Groin injury persists and so do the shin splints. What the hell.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sub 2:40 32K attempt goes Awry

I didnt take dinner the previous night - I had a late lunch. I woke up feeling fast and light. The weather is wet and cold so I decided I was gonna hammer the 32K without hydrating midstream. No water bottle for me. Thank you very much.
I did the first 13K in 1:01 and I was going well until stomach cramps assailed me just past 15.7K. I crossed 16K walking at 1:16 and by then, the run was over. I walked back home for the remaining 16K to ensure my legs cover the distance in whatever fashion.
But hold on.
It was my fault.
You see, last weekend, after taking many a piece of red velvet cake, I decided to show a bunch of unfit fellas clutching glasses of juice how to use a roller.
And I may have gotten overzealous as I went about it.
And hence the stomach cramps. I dont understand it but what I know is that I started getting cramps when I started using rollers and I stopped getting cramps when I stopped using rollers so I decided to stop using rollers. In any case, I walk around in a six pack without any problem. But my lower abs are weak I believe.
So, the moral of the story is, never teach anyone above the age of eight how to use a roller because if and when they decide to use it, they wont need you to show them how to use it.
Unless you are an entertainer.
But the 16K was solid. Lets see how this week goes. There is a niggling shin splint thats bothering me but I may just give this 2:40 another stab this weekend.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

270m x 10

It had rained in the afternoon and so many people were discouraged by the weather. I went to the pitch and found the upper part of the track dry. I wanted to do speed runs so I jogged round the track to see whether I could complete one dry circuit round it.
The dry part was alright. Murram is good!
Then I reached the lower part. Swimming-freakin'-pool!

So much for good murram tracks.

But being a runner makes you learn how to make lemonade out of lemon. I got a piece of stone and tried to draw a line. The murram was too hard.

So I quickly looked for a stick and stuck it just outside the track.

Then I jogged to the other end and got another stick and stuck it in the ground just outside the track.
I had just made my repeat distance! It turned out to be 270m.

My groin was painful and I started slowly (1:28) but ended with 54s repetitions.

The great thing is that the groin pain has reduced and I managed to hit the 2:46min/Km paces that I have not hit for quite a while - about seven months.

And I have the beautiful aches to confirm that I shook something up: pains in my pecs, lower abs, hamstrings and shins. And another thing; speed runs are one of the cures for weak shins.

Now I rest, let my shoes dry and recover for Sundays 32K.

Keep running fellas!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

13K In 58:25

I was determined to do a sub 60mins 13K. I needed the determination because the weather has been so, um, rainy of late. I even had to run with my phone wrapped in polythene paper in anticipation of the rain. In fact the last two Kms, I ran clutching my garmin to keep it from the rain (noo, I don't want to test its waterproofiness claim).
So anyways, the first 100m, I realized I was cruising at 18.5Kms/Hr and had to consciously slow down.
It turned out it was not that hard to do a sub 60 mins 13k. I even kicked in the last Km. I attribute all this to the hills I did on Sunday and last week. More hillwork definitely lies ahead. Its the way to go.
I was targeting 4:40mins/Km but ended up averaging 4:29mins/Km. I now need to average about 4:15mins/Km to pull a 14K in sub 60mins.
That would actually yield a 59:30.
But first, I need to do 13K in 55mins. So thats what I am targeting in the next four weeks.
Here are the splits for yesterday:
Lap Time
1    4:17.2    
2    4:26.8    
3    4:28.5    
4    4:33.6    
5    4:33.7    
6    4:27.0    
7    4:24.5    
8    4:36.1    
9    4:33.1    
10    4:32.7    
11    4:38.3    
12    4:37.1    
13    4:17.0    
Total Time: 58:25

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

Rubbish Weather - Tarmac Pains!

Yeah, so its pouring every freakin day and mud and pools of water and slippery running surfaces are the order of the day. And you are thinking WTF?
Dont give up.
Its times like these that I seek a field to run on. If the field is muddy, I seek a grassy field and run on it.
I last did that in 2008 though. Or I flirt with the tarmac like I have been doing and I have them crush my legs. I just wrap them up in bandages and walk for a day or two and they are back.
My glutes are painful and so are my shins. Because of the hills yesterday. I am glad they are painful because it shows I was able to reach some unutilized muscles - or the tarmac shatered the shins.
Keep running fellas. Read the message above.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hill Runs

I injured my shins from the Thursday 12K which was on tarmac. So they have been in pain even though shin splints and me are old friends. Today I went for hill runs. For the first time ever. I got a hill of about 350m and ran up it, walked down. Repeat  x 10. In the end, I covered about 16K, which felt like a warmup (considering 32K) and my body feels ready for that 32K in a weeks time. I stretched and did injury prevention routines. This week I want to do a sub 60 mins 13K and close that chapter so that I can start working toward a sub 60 mins 14K.
Since my travels are over for the next three months, weight loss plans are now ongoing.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

12K in 58 mins

In Malaba. Today's grind was a mostly uphill route. On Tarmac since it rained hard last night. I will take it.
Hitting the road back to Nai.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I was in naks this morning and since I had missed my runs for the last two days, today was a must. I left the hotel room @6am. It was still dark. I wanted to go really fast so I looked for a 1Km stretch as I jogged. And I finally did find one. It was a place with a slope and that slope gave me the first hill workout this year. It had a dirt section of about 800m. Rocky but okay. I had to dig deep to complete the workout because the hill did a number on me. And this is what I returned.
4:34, 4:40, 4:08, 4:46, 4:01, 4:45, 4:02, 4:49, 4:21, 4:54
After the run, I decided to jog back to the hotel. 4K later, I decided I was not gonna find it and so I got a boda boda guy to take me. It was a hard workout. Just what I was craving.
My weight is not good but I have been steadily improving for the past six weeks. I hope I get to nail that sucker somehow. Anyways, hillwork and weight will come in when I start plateauing.


Monday, April 1, 2013

32K in 2:47:36 avg pace 5:14min/Km

On Saturday night, it rained the whole night and as Sunday morning approached, I was split between postponing the run to Monday or going ahead with it. Plus, my groin was painful!
What to do?
I decided to go hammer it because there was no telling whether Monday would be any more condusive. Plus, if you wait for a perfect day, you will never get anything done. And one thing marathon training has taught me is that you learn to run in the storm, not wait for it to stop. Plus, a ship that can not ride a storm cannot make it to the destination.
So I walked to my starting point as I felt out my groin. Ouch. It ached. But since I was not going to be taking sudden turns in this run, I didnt expect it to worsen.
It had rained but it was not raining so I decided to stay on the tarmac and avoid slippery or muddy sections of the road.
I started conservatively knowing that I would start to push from about 16Kms. It went very well. From the 8th Km, it drizzled a little then it stopped. The road was good, the air was clean and I had a grip on the tarmac.
This time, I was strong throughout and even though the hills kicked my butt from the 23rd Km, I wasnt totally wasted. I was able to maintain a semi-decent pace and look and even manages a sub 5min/Km last lap.
I was strong when I finnished meaning I didn't leave everything on the road and that is something I have vowed to do next time as I seek to get faster and stronger. I was able to concentrate better and my feet werent as heavy as lead and I was not as scared of the hill.
In summary, 5K in 24:04, 10K in 48:49 12K in 58:42 15K in 1:13, 21K in 1:44 24K in 2:00:25, 28K in 2:23:43 and the 32K in 2:47:32.
I am very pleased with this because a fortnight ago I did the same distance in 2:57:21. My average pace on Sunday was 5:14min/Km compared to 5:32min/Km.
Last time, at Kilometers 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30th Km I returned 6:24, 6:25,6:45, 7:54, 7:05 - that is a 34:23 5K! this time I returned 5:52.3, 6:04.9, 5:54.1, 6:47.7, 6:20.4 which is a 30:57 5K. That is a good improvement. That is the toughest section because its hilly and my legs are most tired.
I now seek to do the same distance in sub 2:40 on 14th April. This time I should clear 25K in 2 hours flat. I will keep my training the same: tempo runs and repetitions during the week for speed and strength.
Keep running fellas!