Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March19-25: Training Week 1 of 16

So I've started with my training for marathon #4 using the program from FIRST. Last week was week #1 which went as below:

Key-workout #1: warmup, 3x1mile with 1min rest, cooldown
Key-workout #2: warmup, 3k @ short-tempo pace (6:04/km target), cooldown
UP Oval run with the wifey: 5.6km walk-run
Key-workout #3: 21km long run with 7:04/km target pace (actual = 7:45/km)

TOTAL KM: 43.68

I had no problems with #1 and #2 as I was at or near the target pace most of the time. The problem, as expected, was the long run (#3). I missed the target pace big time by 41secs per km average (7:45).


I was doing well from km1-12 (on target pace), in which I traced the FIC 10k route in BGC. Don't worry I didn't bandit this one since I started late (I was at the backend of the race group and I carried my own hydration). I took my lone pack of GU at km 8, while alternating Gatorade and water for my liquids.

By the start of the 2nd loop of the FIC race route, I was somehow "not there" mentally, probably because of the fatigue trying to maintain 7:04/km. Without other runners by my side to keep me preoccupied, I slowed down. I took short walk breaks at first, but after 400 meters from Market Market (going towards the call center areas with a church nearby), I just lost it. I sat down by the sidewalk and was already wondering of going back home. It took me about 10 minutes before I got myself up again, negotiating with myself that I just finish 16km instead. It was alternating walk-runs by then.

I started a feeling a little better (the road along the British school was a downhill which put off the pressure) from then on but as I turned right on 8th avenue, I felt zoned out again. I saw Dennis "Running Fatboy" coming up as I trudged down the road (we would bump into each other again along 5th avenue). As I came up to the crest (near the Lexus building), I just surrendered and sat by the roadside again.

Time to throw in the towel, I thought. It was soooo difficult to keep pace. I decided then and there to shorten my 21km plan to 16km and head back home...walking.

I think it was fate when I passed by Mercato and thought of buying Coke, which I've read in Macca's "I'm Here To Win" as a great source of energy during triathlon races. I bought a can of Pepsi Light (since I was still on diet mode, hehe) and a bottle of water.

I was able to consume about half of the can, with the remainder I placed into one of my hydration flasks (the cover was partially open to allow pressure to freely leave the container). About 2-4 minutes after that, I felt a sort of Zing! that I started to run.

Pace was still slow, but at least I wasn't walking. I then concluded that, since I only had one pack of GU and that my Gatorade supply ran out, my glycogen level might've been depleted as well. This caused me to slow down considerably after km12.

I was then able to pass by a 7-11 store and bought myself one of those medium-sized bananas. Felt a little better after eating that. Then, as I was making my way along Rizal Avenue, I remembered the Ministop just before the McDonalds there. I went in and got myself a P14.00 pack of Cream-O chocolate-flavored. I ate the contents and just about 2 minutes after that, I felt a whole a lot better.

By "a whole lot better" would mean being able to clock 7:04/km (and even sub that) to close the remaining 4km of my run!

I finished the run at Mckinley Hill (where my car was parked) with the final lap registering 6:55-ish/km. The run itself is forgettable since I didn't meet my target pace but the lessons I learned on how important a fueling strategy is for a full marathon was precious.

I never have such issues during 21km races but for the 3 full marathons that I ran, I was like a zombie into the last 10-20kms of the race. GU alone won't help and I doubt that the race organizers will start filling aid stations with Coke/Pepsi. I must be able to find other possible ways to find a nutrition strategy which I can practice in my long runs.

It could be salt capsules, or even carrying a pack of Cream-O (since that obviously worked for me).

This week (week #2) calls for a 24km long run which I'll probably do this Saturday. I hope to be able to have the right fuel plan by then.


  1. yey on the power of caffeinated drinks and sugar! good lesson learned?

  2. Enjoying reading about your marathon training! Just recently started running again and trying to increase slowly to long distance running. Blogging about it at