2:14:10 at Murakami for another PB and a 3rd place in my age group. 1st in my AG was 2:02, 2nd was 2:10 so I was quite shocked to see my name up there. Turns out 4th was only 5 seconds behind me
Bike(Without T1/T2): ~1:03:30 (Garmin time)
Run: ~38:39 (they timing mat was about 400m ahead so run splits are a bit skewed)
Conditions were even better than Aizu and so much better than last year where I DNF and almost everyone I knew were 5-10mins off their usual time.
Overall, I was quite satisified with my race effort but there are a few things I need to work on for Phukett (especially my crappy transition times)
Looking forward, I’m going to start following a proper training plan.
Bike: ~20hrs/(15x on trainer/exercise bike, 2x outdoors)
(Didnt do any MAF test nor didnt keep track of my weight)
Finally a 26:xx swim! Swam on the outside and drafted off a few people along the way.
I have been knocking quite a lot of swimming sessions which has helped but need to keep up the frequency to maintain my swim fitness.
There was a bit of a tailwind going out at Murakami so I was able to hammer it in the first half of the course. I was passing quite a lot of people and by the turn-around, I was maybe 30-45seconds behind the pack. Died a bit on the way back but was happy about my bike splits.
On the training front, there was a lot of crappy weather over the weekends in September so didnt get a chance to do much outdoor cycling. I did do a LOT of sessions on the trainer though.
Despite the skewed/shortened run times, I think I still managed a sub 40 (first time in a tri?) which is what I was aiming for. Maintained a consistent pace throughout and a finishing 500m kick which got me 3rd place =)
Otherwise, my experiment with middle distance running is still continuing with some success. Was able to knock about 8 seconds off my 800m but in my mile TT, I started off way too fast (1:12) and blew up.
Gym: x4 sessions
Went on a 4day hiking trip to Yakushima, Kagoshima a week before Murakami. Carrying 10kg+ packs for more than 5hrs/day was more of a workout than I thought but had a great time.
Did my first sprint triathlon (as part of a triathlon ekiden) at the beginning of the month. Trained through it so wasn’t expecting much. Had a great time with other Namban teammates. Results-wise, I ended up doing a 1:17. Ok I suppose in hot weather but my transition times were terrible.
The main highlight of the month was finally having a decent Olympic-distanced triathlon race. Conditions were great up in Aizu, Fukushima which resulted in a big PB of 2:17:29 (exactly a 12minute PB!).
For September, I have one triathlon (Murakami) at the end of the month so I’ll keep the same training structure before moving on to my main Phuket buildup in October/November.
Bike: ~19hrs/(8x on trainer/exercise bike, 6x outdoors)
(Didnt do any MAF test nor didnt keep track of my weight)
Swam 14:18/750m in Numazu and 28:30/1500m in Aizu which was disappointing since I know I should be doing better. Suffice to say, I need to swim a lot more if I want to do well in Murakami. In the pool, I estimate I can hold 1:45 pace for at least 20mins so I think I can probably do 26:30/1500m. This would be a great goal to hit in open water.
Had a great month of biking:
1) 20km/32:07 (Numazu sprint triathlon: road bike, no aerobars, no disc)
2) 21km/30:38 (Arakawa: Huge tailwind on my TT bike!)
3) ~40km/1:02:33 (Aizu oly triathlon: quite a lot of downhill)
Feeling pretty good on the bike so hopefully I can continue to build up the miles in September with some longer rides in the mountain. Shorter intense session on the trainer has helped me out a lot so I’ll continue with these sessions on the weekdays.
Another crazy hot month in Japan. Still concentrating on short distance but with the heat, it’s been difficult to hold a fast pace. The 200m and 400m season bests were done in one evening speed work session (1min hard/easy x 5, 400m TT, 30sec hard/easy x5, 200m TT). This gives me hope that in cooler Autumn weather and on fresh legs, I might be able to break 28s/200m and 65s/400m. However, the focus for September will be 800m/mile which I’m still having a hard time cracking the times I want (sub2:30, sub5:20). If I hit these times and my legs are feeling alright towards the end of the month month, I might finally churn out a full 5km.
Gym: x4 sessions
I feel like I bulked up a bit. I’m hesitant to check my weight because I’m almost certain I’ve gained a kilo or two. Going into September, I’m going to go back into IF and try a different protocol: one huge meal in the evening and drinks/gels before/after workouts. Basically, this is the warriors diet. I’ll try it for 3-4 weeks before Murakami and will see how it goes.
Current weight: ~60.5kg (-1.0kg)
MAF test (per mile): [7:48(141bpm)/7:44(151bpm)/7:29(155bpm)] (~-12s)
Bike: ~14hrs/13x on trainer/exercise bike, 1x outdoors)
Getting better. Was able to knock out 5x100m @ 1:40 (20 seconds rest) at Sendagaya. Still suck with paddles but I can at least keep up with some swimmers in lane 2 during non-paddle swims. Also managed my first OWS of the year in Kamakura. Lots of crap in the water but swam alright. For August, need to work on speeding up the amount of time I take off a wetsuit.
Unfortunately had to work a few days on the weekends which threw off my outdoor riding plan. During the one outdoor ride I did manage to do, my rear derailleur completely snapped. It’s now fixed so hopefully I can ride a lot more in August.
Mile: 5:33 (+5s)
5km: FAIL (4km/14:40)
It sucks running in 30+ degree sauna-like conditions. My times are awful even though I’ve been doing lots of speedwork on the track. I finally found some good short ~60-80m hills around my area so for August, I’d like to incorporate all-out 10s hill sprints. Other than that, keep mileage around 50km/week and keep plugging away at speedwork without getting injured and hopefully by autumn, I can start dominating at the track.
Gym: x3 sessions
Feeling more fit this month but more tired. Had to up my caloric intake a bit more during my feeding hours (now around ~60.5). Im now at ideal weight so going into August, I’ll probably relax some of my restrictions a bit.
Decent first month of training considering I was very busy this month (overtime work, move).
Current weight: ~61.5kg (-2.5kg)
MAF test (per mile): [7:38/8:01/8:03 @ ~150bpm] (using a higher bpm standard but probably about 15-20secs decrease from last month)
Swim: ~25km (10x @ Shindaita, 3x @ Sendagaya)
Bike: ~15hrs (12x on trainer/exercise bike, 3x outdoors)
Started swimming at Shindaita again. My feel for the water is absolutely horrible and I feel quite sluggish. At the moment, at Sendagaya I can barely knock out 10x100m at about 1:50/100m. Im even worse than before with paddles as I barely keep up with other swimmers in lane 3. Anyways, It’ll be a while until I get used to swimming again so for now I’ll just keep swimming 3-4 times a week.
I havent taken out the TT bike out for a spin yet nor do I have any aerobars on the road bike but it doesn’t feel like my biking has regressed too much. However, any ride over a hour is considered “long” for me. Hopefully in July, I’ll have more free time on the weekends to get out to the mountains where I can work at building a strong foundation for later work to come.
5km TT: FAIL.
2 miles in 12:00 but slowed down WAY too much after that. Stopped at 15:18/~4km.
Mile TT: 5:28 (-5secs)
Ive been working on speedwork (200m-800m repeats) and neglecting endurance work. I know high volume running will get me back in running shape in no time but I’m going to try to continue with my little experiment: to run as fast as possible with the least amount of running. Also, I’m inspired inspired to focus on the mile. It would be nice to get it down to 5:09 by autumn.
Got about 4 sessions of strength training at Sendagaya. Also, from the middle of the month, I moved to Yoyogi Uehara (about 20mins from my old place). I didnt hire a mover so ended up carrying everything my hand. So, I most likely gain a bit of muscle especially in the upper arms.
On the diet front, I had about four dinners in total this month and not a single drop of alcohol entered my system. The 12-18hr of fasting every day hasn’t taken too much of a toll on my performance so I shall continue this in the summer until I hit around 59.5kg or so.
The last 1.5 months has been “fun”…
- Eating/drinking whatever the heck I wanted
- Staying up past 11pm and sleeping in after 6am
- Random workouts without any purpose
Current weight: 64kg (+5kg!)
MAF test (per mile): [8:07/8:35/8:24 @ ~143bpm] (+60secs)
Fastest 1600m: 5:33 (+20secs?)
5km: DNF (blew up after 9mins)
I did manage to do quite a lot of short distance speed work but Ive completely lost the motivation to run for more than 12 minutes without stopping. It’s time to end this downward slide and get back into shape. It’s also time to get back into triathlons so I’ll spend the rest of the year focusing on multi-sport.
- Lose 4kg
- Get back into sub 18:30/5km running shape
- Regain swimming sense
- Start building a huge base in cycling
Monday (PM): 1500m @ Sendagaya
Tuesday to Friday (AM): 60min swim @ Shindaita
Monday (PM): 20-30mins ‘fitness test’ @ Sendagaya
Tuesday, Thursday (PM): 45-60mins indoor trainer/sufferfest
Saturday (AM): outdoor ride @ mountains
Tuesday to Friday (AM): 15-20mins jog to pool
Wednesday (PM): Namban workout
Friday (PM): 30-45min Tempo Run or Mile Repeats
Sunday (AM): Trail Run or 90min road running
Monday (PM): @ Sendagaya
Eating window: 7:45-15:45
Target carbs: 150g
Protocol: Perfect health diet
In any case, I’ve hopefully hit rock bottom so I can only get better than the previous day..
There’s a lot that can be said about the 117th Boston Marathon but I shall try to focus on a race report. Thank you though for all the kind messages after the incident. I was about 2-3 blocks away when the bombings happened and was thankfully safe that day.
[Week 15 training summary]
Monday: ~6miles easy
Tuesday: ~6.5miles easy
Wednesday: ~6.5miles (inc. [1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m] @ 10km pace )
Thursday: ~6miles easy
Friday: ~4miles easy jog with my youngest sister in Toronto
Saturday: 25mins (inc. 2minutes @ 5:00/mi pace)
Sunday: 20mins easy jog around Harvard university
Ever since I started running, it was always a dream of mine to qualify and run the Boston Marathon. After running a qualifying time of 3:02:31 in Tokyo 2012, I immediately jumped at the chance to register. Happy to get accepted into the race, I also had my sights on breaking the elusive 3hr barrier. So, starting on Jan 1st of this year, training began with a conventional marathon training approach utilizing elements from legendary coaches such as Philip Maffetone, Pete Pfitzinger and Jack Daniels combined with unconventional changes to my diet (kudos to Harrisson for his input) which resulted in my best marathon buildup ever. I averaged about 75miles (121km) a week, peaked at 105miles (169km) and having achieved a few PBs along the way (5km: 18:17, 10km: 37:50, HM: 1:23:58), legs free of any major injuries, I felt I was in the best running shape I’ve ever been.
After spending a few days in Toronto, I flew up to Boston a day before the race. From the moment I walked into the expo and picked up my number, the atmosphere was amazing! Here’s a brief photo recap:
I’m happy to have made it to Boston.
Desiree Davila and Josh Cox providing some tips on how to run the course.
Ultramarathon runner Dean Karnases giving a humorous talk.
Getting a glimpse of 4x Boston Marathon Winner Bill Rodgers.
Writing down my target time.
Eating my last big meal at 2pm.
Preparing my race gear.
It all starts here after taking the school bus at 6am to Hopkinton.
Hanging out with Bob and Brent. T-3 hours before the race starts.
Start - Mile 6
With a bib number of 4029, I was in wave 1, corral 5 along with hundreds of other runners with roughly the same qualifying time. It took about two minutes after the gun went off at 10am before I crossed the start line. The first 6 miles/10km are mostly downhill and if there’s one tip I got from everyone that gave me advice, it was to take it easy in the first 10km. I went by feel and what felt like a very easy run ended up being 6:48/mi, 6:31, 6:34, 6:29, 6:39, 6:30 pace which was faster than marathon pace. I wisely resisted the urge to break into a sub-40 10km run and ended up with a 10km split time of 41:11.
Mile 6 - Mile 17
The next 11 miles were mostly flat with a few rollers and one significant downhill before the infamous Newton hills. The weather was excellent (hardly any wind, 10-15 degrees celsius) so I was able to run a little bit faster than my marathon pace. I was comfortable with this pace and was trying to maintain a steady effort. I hit the half-way mark at 1:26:50 which was only 10 seconds ahead of my 1:27-1:28 target. There were plenty of fast runners around me gunning for sub 3 so I was able to follow various people during this time. It was around this time that I caught up with Brett. After a few motivational words from him, I set off on my own pace. It turned out he was a few seconds behind me until mile 21. The Wellesley Girls at mile 14 were fun to see but after speeding up too much, I made sure to settle back into a steady pace.
Mile 17 - Mile 21
The infamous Newton hills are a series of four hills from the 28km to the 34km point. While not too difficult, it comes at a time when many people start hitting the “wall” or fading. I saw a few people that had gone out too fast and were walking up the hills. My goal going into the hills were to minimize the amount of time lost. According to my Garmin, miles 17-20 were 6:46, 6:44, 6:44, 6:43 which I was supper happy about. However, although I increased the intensity on the famous Heartbreak hill, I ended up running my slowest mile of the race with a 6:57/mi. But once I reached the top, I was ecstatic the hardest part of the race was finished.
Mile 21 - Finish
My 30km split was 2:03:59 and I got to 35km at 2:25:12. At the top of Heartbreak, I was doing the math in my head. Unless I got injured/cramped, sub-3 is in the bag. If I progressed into a 6:30-6:35 pace and finished with a strong sprint, I might be able to go sub 2:55. After all, the last 5.2miles into Boston is mostly downhill. I hit 6:37 on mile 22 but shortly after, my legs just didnt have it anymore. Though it was mostly down, there were still a few tiny uphills. So much for the sub 2:55. After seeing a glimpse of the Citgo sign which looked like it was really far away, the last 4 miles seemed to take forever in my mind: 6:46, 6:54, 6:51, 6:51. There were also a few brief moments where it felt like my feet were on the edge of cramping. Luckily, relaxing it for a few seconds mitigated the situation. Anyways, hung on and finished with a 2:56:01 (On my Garmin I had a 2:55:56..)
Soaked up the exciting atmosphere at the finish line with other sub3 marathoners before slowly walking back to grab my clothes from the bag drop. Went on a bit of an eating spree grabbing whatever foods/drinks they were handing out along the way. Hung around the area a bit longer before wandering into a shopping mall about 2-3 blocks away. I was eating lunch and my mind was quite out of it when the bombs went off so I didn’t hear anything. I didnt even noticed anything was unusual until I walked out of the mall and saw a squadron of police cars driving downtown. A short time later, I finally found out what was going on. With nothing else to do, I spend the rest of that afternoon gathering information and slowly walking back to Cambridge where I was staying. That evening, even though the city seemed to be on lockdown, I had a pleasant dinner with Bob, Anna, Brett and a few Japanese runners.
Now that I’ve done Boston, I don’t think I’ll ever find another marathon experience that has the same mystique and awe. It’s tragic what transpired at 2:50pm that day but I have no doubt that it will come back bigger and better than ever. Boston Marathon 2014?? (I guess I already qualified..=P)