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DNS - First Half Marathon Long Run

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Saturday Run Entry 

It was raining heavily. I had no business running against the strong winds and the heavy rains, yet the uncontainable urge within me to run 10Km prevailed. I was well warned not to run, less I succumb to flu and fever. I did not heed the warning and paid the price for my stubbornness.

I completed the 10K run under Habagat's fury.


Later that day, I got sick. First with the flu, and then later I was shivering with high fever. I was proud and fallen.

My hard-headed confidence cost me to miss the following-day long run.

Blessing

Whereas I do not believe in 'blessing in disguise', for I now trust that all things happen for a purpose under the watchful eyes of the Divine Power (and that all things work together for the good of those who love God), I missed my first 21K long run of 2013.

Then I also missed Monday's family-business appointment. We were suppose to buy a few cattle calves in Alfonso, Cavite. We are to expand our current herd of 18 cattle.

In hindsight, it still rained a lot on Sunday and Monday. Had I ran on Sunday, I will be more sick. For if running 10K in the rain gave me high fever, what can running 21K in the rain do to me? Also, had we purchased the calves early Monday morning, they will just get sick with cold under Habagat's fury (Poor little calves).

 Try Again Another Day
 

We just have to roll with the punches sometimes. You get hit hard, you just try to minimize the impact of the blow and learn from it. In my case, that's not letting my stubbornness get the better part of me.

This Sunday, Lord willing, I will be running my very first 21K run of 2013.
I was knocked down hard last weekend, but not knocked out.
I have a hard stubborn head after all.

Training Run Repeats

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Repeats

I once read how Ryan Hall, an American marathoner, likes to train with repeats. He described it as having two successive weeks of the same training run schedule. For example if Week One consists of

  • 10Km Easy Run on Day 1
  • 10 Km Easy Run on Day 4
  • 16 Km Long Run on Day 7
then Week Two will be consisted of the exact same type of training run, route, distance and training days.

What are the Benefits?
The key idea is to have a point of comparison.
 

  • Is your training plan working or not?
  • Are you achieving your training goals?
  • Is your plan effective?

How do you know without data to support your claims? Using Training Run Repeats, it is relatively easy to track and compare your training performance.

I have this training plan for Weeks Five and Six of my personal marathon training plan:

  • 7Km Easy Run on Day 2
  • 5Km Easy Run on Day 4
  • 7Km Easy Run on Day 5
  • 17Km Long Run on Day 7

I ran the 17Km Long Run of Week Five, in 2 hours and 7 minutes (7:30 minutes per kilometer, mpk, pace).
Last Sunday, I ran the 17Km repeat in 1 hour and 56 minutes (6:50 mpk).

I can at least say, that comparing my last two long runs of the same distance, I am progressing positively. My body is responding to the training runs and I am able to run faster. There is an exact same point of comparison.

In contrast with a different training plan, say 15Km Long Run followed by 17Km Long Run on the following Long Run day, the comparison is skewed. You can run the 17Km on a slower pace, but you can defend that it is okay since you ran a longer distance. You can run with the same pace as with the previous 15Km distance, but you cannot decisively say you progressed positively. You can run faster with pace as compared with the shorter distace from the previous week, and that's about the only time you can definitely feel that you improved.

Still, it is better to have your data taken on the same route and distance for basis of comparisons to eliminate other intervening factors in the comparison.

Weak and Strong Weeks

The training run repeats also allows us runners to have a weak performance followed by a stronger performance the next week. It builds confidence. We do not necessarily purposely run slower on the first week, but the idea is to run better on the following week. Based on experience, having run the exact same route and distance before, your mind and body knows what to expect and what to prepare for. Your body tends to adopt to these experiences and help you run better. Example: Knowing that a difficult hill waits on the last 3 kilometers of the route, I would conserve energy and then attack the hill with conserved power. Experience is a great teacher.

Another interesting fact is that when you've already run the exact same distance and route previously, you become more confident of running it again. With the training run repeat, that knowledge is still fresh and the experience is still alive in your memory, as you are just one week removed from running it.

Confidence Builder

It builds my confidence knowing I am able to run faster as the training weeks unfold. And I need it. I will now run 21 kilometers on my next long runs. With confidence, I will be running at least half of the marathon distance every Sunday morning from now on until the December marathon. I plan to run 21 kilometers this coming Sunday, followed by a repeat on the following Sunday after that.

It is a happy feeling to be looking forward to run 21 kilometers, having difficulties at the start of this training schedule running only 3 kilometers. At the start of this training, I am just running 500 meters then walk a few hundred meters, and then try to run another 500 meters. I was definitely not considering a marathon comeback at that stage of my training. Lately though, I am able to run seven to eight kilometers straight without walk breaks.

I am still building. But I am happy where I am in my fitness level now. I am still far away from my marathon form (not to mention speed), but I thank the Lord God Almighty, that at least I am back at the road and still running. That, my friends, is a blessing I used to take for granted.

 

 

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