How It All Started
The secret to sticking to a training plan is to register in an event one wants to train for with months to spare. With that done, money spent and words having gotten around you joining such, there is no other way but for you to bite your teeth and just do what you are supposed to, that is to train. On my part, that is duathlon. Just a few weeks ago, I registered in SwimBikeRun Tri Series 2013 for the sprint duathlon leg which will be held on April 17. So that gives me 2 months at most to train for it. So far I am a week delayed!
Some Inputs From The Web
The first step I did, which is usually the very first thing I do in almost all pioneering endeavor I am embarking on be it in sports or in other areas, is research through the internet. So I typed in 10-12 weeks duathlon training plan. I know for a fact that I won’t be able to have that amount of time but I can always cut corners (bad me). It is a proven fact that I can’t ever stick to what the program states and that I almost always tailor them to fit my physical capacity and time constraints (“I have a day job!” is my usual excuse.) Here are some I considered:
Free downloadable training plans at http://www.racingunderground.com/training/articles/dutraining.html
These training regimens are for my eyes only. I could never stick for the life of me to these plans and I don’t force myself to for I’ll just be miserable the entire time I will fail to accomplish part of it to a T. For the sake of not falling into my abort mode, I just pattern my very own plan to these regimented ones by top coaches following my formula 1 speed, 1 semi lsd/tempo, 1 lsd and 1 rest per week. Here let me share my week 1 training experience:
Day 1 Monday
Semi LSD of 1:20 minutes
Distance of 13 km
It is a great day to start training after taking more than a week off any running activity after falling under the weather. Coming off 30K and 21K LSD for 2 succeeding Sundays before my temporary hiatus, my legs is fresh and raring to go.
I was flying in my first loop in this 3.3K FTI training route. My legs are doing 180 steps a minute with no hitch to the beat in my music player/phone/gps downloaded at http://www.djsteveboy.com/podrunner.html
By the second loop, I am doing some sort of tempo run with a minute interval in between as I cannot maintain my 1st loop speed. I would do one block in sub 6 mins/km speed and take a minute breather in a 6:30 pace then another block in somewhere around 6:10 mins/km and the third in almost the same speed.
The third loop is almost the same as the second only that my speed’s slower and the rest between bursts of 10K speed longer. After the third loop, I did 2 more blocks in this 3-block route and cut the last one which had I not my run’s total distance would have been 14K.
I am never good at pacing myself. I run at the speed my body can muster at the moment and then recover after when I could not maintain such pace anymore. So it is my norm to start fast, do tempo or fartlek in between, and end with a recovery pace just to cover the distance.
Day 2 Wednesday
Bike LSD of 1:20
Distance of 39 kms
I am using my cheapie cheapie bike which is alloy and shimano tiagra group set. The frame is small for my size. I should be using a size 54 bike instead of a 42 being 5’8” tall. As of now, I have no choice but to train in it. Hopefully by next month I can afford to buy a proper frame for my bike. So there I tried my best to sit comfortably with my butt extending over the seat. The ride was fine averaging around 26-28 kph with bursts of 32 kph at certain points. My training ground is the building blocks around FTI area so there are more turns than straight pathways. I try to make the u-turns with speed not dropping 21 kph. Hopefully it is enough for me at this point. I am thinking of doing my April 17 duathlon’s bike course of 20 km in a speed averaging 32 kph. I have no idea what speed should a newbie like me aim for in such a distance.
Taking a rest break by the 1:20 time after tailing the hardcore FTI bikers for a block, I noticed something weird with my bike. Looking at my tires, the usual suspect, there I see the reason why. I got flat back tires and there’s no point in continuing with just 10 minutes to go for my bike semi lsd. I called it a day then and was satisfied with how things turned out despite the flat tire. Lucky for me my house is but some 10 minutes’ walk from where I did my training. Walking my bike home is not such a chore. Next time maybe I’ll start learning how to replace the tube so I won’t look like a “damsel in distress” every time this happens.
Day 3 Friday
Semi LSD for 1:30
I use to run 4 loops around my FTI training ground in my weekly semi lsd. After doing my first 42K at the tbr dm last year, something in my system got hay wired. The things I am accustomed to doing seemed difficult to. I use to run 21K with a sub 2:10 time. After a few half marathons, my time slipped to around 2:30 to 2:45! Even my 10Ks are done in a struggling fashion not dipping below an hour and mostly around 1:06 and slower! For this reason, I dismissed running for PR and concentrated on “fun” running. With my fellow fabulous running divas, races became picture opportunities and high five throwing throughout the route.
This year though I strived to bring back my usual 50K a week mileage and throw in an hour or two bike rides in between. Hopefully my sub 2:10 21K performance will be at arm’s reach this time around. After all it has been almost a year since dream marathon and I believe it is high time to test myself. In a week’s time I will try to find a half marathon and test myself if I am ontrack.
Day 5 Sunday
LSD for 12K
What supposedly a 2 hour lsd was downgraded to a semi-lsd of 12K. A fellow diva Red Ginger is running in the PhilHealth Fun Run so I contrived my 2 other fab friendships Blue and Leonard to coincide out lsd with this race and meet up with Red at the finish line. The route of the 18K race is the Roxas Boulevard so after meeting at the Guadaloupe Jollibee, the 3 of us rode the bus (on hindsight it would have been optimum had me ran) to MOA and ran from there heading to Rizal Park. On the way we espied another race brewing up around the CCP area. This is running extravaganza in the Philippines!
Upon reaching the Roxas Boulevard, we joined the rest of the runners moving towards Rizal Park. After some hesitation though, we decided to head the opposite direction and gear for the longer 10k distance. While on our way to the turnaround near the EDSA intersection, we tried to browse the opposite traffic for Red. We did see him after sometime but decided not to pace him since he is in his second loop back where we just came from. We reached the grandstand finish line after zigzagging the convergence of a multitude of 3k and 5k runners and after trying to find our way in the sidewalks of the park as the road where the runners should be was jam-packed with cars. Not contended with just running, we joined several health buffs doing aerobics exercises before the finish line while trying to watch out for Red. Some 45 minutes to an hour of this, at last, there we saw Red flying, or shall I say dragging his feet to the end line? Then we called the running off and on with a fabulous day with the Pedia Kamp at Boy’s town!
An Extended Training Week
Day 4 Monday
11 K Run for 1:10
I am kind of “bitin” with my run from yesterday so I did another semi-lsd for 11K which is 3 turns around my training area in FTI. I am kind of comfortable running this distance without a hydration bottle. Though it is not advisable, the cool morning breeze did not necessitate the need for it. The rest went uneventful – a 5 minute walk towards my starting area, some dynamic stretching stretching that I usually do (leg swings frontal and lateral, feet and hip rotations), 1 loop slow, another loop tempo and last loop recovery.
Day 5 Wednesday
1:30 Bike and 10K lsd
Might look formidable as written above but actually it is separated by more than 8 hours – bike in the morning and lsd in the afternoon. The bike ran smoothly with no more punctured tires. With the convoluted route characterized by lots of u-turns, I believe I did fine with 39 kms at 26 kph average. I tried to make uturns tighter at 23kph and head winded runs at 26-27 and tail wind aided 32 kph speeds. Well at the end of the training all I can say is “I tried!”
The lsd with the Wednesday Group of Runners started with great hesitation as I am not sure of my physical capacity to do two training in a day! This is my first time to do so! So I said I would not commit but I will be there in my running wear. After some warm-ups doing the regular high knees, butt kicks, karioka, etc., my heartbeat was raised and my feeling of nausea and weakness dissipated. Off I went with the group for a slow trip around BGC with me holding the sweeper capacity. I was glad I did it. I have one more reason not to doubt my body’s capacity to overcome psychological barriers.
Day 6 Sunday
As I have narrated earlier, after my very first 42K run, my running times all skydived and I have had not a great training year. But this year I plan to return with a vengeance. A wonderful opportunity courtesy of my fab running diva of a friend Red Ginger opened up for me to test my 2 weeks’ worth of training if it has some sort of borne fruit with a 21K Run For Juan test run and see if I have improved from my 2:30-2:45 21k marks to that estimating my PR of 2:08. This is the very reason I skipped a day of lsd to freshen up my legs for this task. The experience I had during the run will be related in a separate blog entry. All I can say for now is that it was a different kind of experience in a sense that I did something new here.
Result for my 21K run: 2:16! So far so good!