Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Training Update - 01/31/2018

Training has been moving as scheduled for my next race, the Pinoy Fitness Sub1 10k on March 25. Run volume progression has been rather flat per week (long runs have been at 10k at the most lately) so my Trainingpeaks CTL chart reflected the same non-growth. Pace, however, has been improving (I think so, hehe) as reflected in my speedwork and tempo workouts, logging in with modest sub-6mpk repeatedly as much as I can. As the race is less than 2mos away I may have to dwell longer at this mad pace to be able to do a sub1 hour 10k in time for race day (which is riding on a bet with an officemate, hehe) and, of course, longer long runs to up the weekly volume.

I will be missing the Feb25 Phildua Leg1 in Clark due to family commitments so possibly no duathlons for the 1st quarter of this year. However, my bike sessions via Trainerroad have been improving for these past 3 weeks (a 13 watt increase since I started last Nov with the Low Volume Base Plan Phase 1! YEHEY!) and it's been reflected as well in my form/fitness chart in TrainingPeaks. Hopefully this progress continues as I try to balance my preparations for the above mentioned 10k race vs improving my bike FTP.

Weight, well, is still a problem. I'm still at 172lbs (as of this am's weigh in) and it's been really hard to keep away from snacking and eating like I thought I ran a full marathon. I really (REALLY!) need to start controling this so that all that run and bike training don't go to waste.


Friday, January 19, 2018

2018 Goals

I will set my goals differently this year such that I will also include fitness/training goals aside from my target races to join in.

And so, in no particular order, here they are:


  1. Milo 21k. I backed out last year as I (1) felt that I didn't have enough training to go sub-2:30 and (2) the medical requirements were too much of a hassle to do. Hopefully I will be able to toe the line this year. 
  2. BikeKing Duathlon. This is one duathlon race that I almost always sign up yearly. Great org and great venue (SCTEX?!?!!), this is definitely one of my A-races.
  3. National Duathlon Championships. My first ever duathlon was this one so it'll be good to come to race-friendly Subic again to see how I fare vs the best.
  1. One (or two) PhilDua Series races. This'll be good tune-up dua races to get used to race strategies whether nutrition, pace, or transition related.
  2. Pinoy Fitness Sub1 10k. My officemate and I have signed up for this March race on a bet. Training for this race will help me get my pace up in time for duathlon season.
  3. One local 21k race before Milo 21k. This is for tune-up as well.
  4. One international 10k or 21k race. Will have to see if this will be in sync with any of the family trips.
Fitness goals:
  1. Lose 15 lbs. I am now hovering at 170-172lbs which is over the BMI for my height. I REALLY have to manage my eating habits so that the calories I burned during training won't go to waste.
  2. Achieve a peak TP CTL of 75. This is a Trainingpeaks training parameter which stands for Chronic Training Load, or how fit someone is based on his/her training logs for the past 30 days. My CTL is currently at 48 so I have a lot of work to do here.
  3. Achieve a bike FTP of 210. This can only be achieved by religiously riding on the prescribed days set by my TrainerRoad plan. 
  4. Set a sub 2:20 21k and a sub1 10k. Yup, we'll see how this one goes.
  5. Ride for 100km. Had only achieved this once. I don't mind finishing another one. :)

Let's go!!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2017 In Review

Before I start blogging for 2018, it would be best that I do a quick recap of how I performed last year.

My goals for 2017 were:

  1. BikeKing Duathlon (DONE!)
  2. Powerman MOA (WASN'T HELD)
  3. Completing the PhilDua series (DID ONLY 1)
  4. Milo Metro Manila 21k (Mmmm, chickened out. Hahaha!)
  5. A RunRio 21k (NOPE, BUT DID 2 21k races for Q4)
  6. An international race perhaps? (DONE! Taipei 21k!)
  7. Powerman Clark (the full distance?) (Schedule conflict)

I did 8 races (running and duathlons combined) last year compared to 6 in 2016. I think I did fairly well considering that I improved my half marathon time in 2016 by 16+ minutes in 2017. Running the distance twice was a major milestone as well, since I haven't been that dedicated to the distance for some years prior to 2017. The half marathon is a "just right" endurance race for me since it is not time consuming in terms of weekly training, but it still is a long distance that you need to properly plan for it with proper pace (that comes from training) and nutrition strategies. Further, ideally, you could do 4-5 in a year versus probably 1 or 2 for a full mary. I don't want to close it at this point, but it seems that the 42k is already ticked off in my bucket list (4 times done, with the last in 2012) such that I don't feel like doing one anytime soon.

I scored two PRs in the duathlon (Duaman and PhilDua Leg2) but I could've logged 3 if not for the longer bike leg in the Bike King Dua. I logged a better pace in that race but it wasn't enough for the longer bike leg distance.

But if I were to summarize, 2017 was a good year for me in general. Although laziness and family obligations kept me from logging some of my workouts, I still nailed most of them ---even just by getting out of bed, getting my gear on, and walking out the door to run or ride. It could've been better of course, but it was all in all a good year.

Onto 2018.....

Monday, January 1, 2018

Race Review: Goodnight Taipei Half Marathon

The good:
  1. Afternoon gun start. Relieves the pressure of having to wake up early.
  2. Cold December weather at about 19C as this was in Taiwan.
  3. Water station (with water, bananas and energy drink) every 3km
  4. Finisher face towel upon crossing the line (along with the good looking medal).
  5. Great giveaways like the night light, and 2 big siopaos upon finishing.

For improvement:
  1. Online registration in English would be nice (had to use the Chrome translate feature so I was a bit worried on how/where to get my racekit. Good thing the organizer was very helpful when we chatted over FB messenger)

My race:

I was under trained (long run wise) and gained about 2-3lbs coming into this race. The only thing going for me here is that the race was (almost) entirely flat as it was held in a big recreational park in Taipei. The Dajia Recreational Park is a great venue for runners, bikers, and any other past time that you would like to do. It's about 2-3 (or maybe even 4?) times longer than our Rizal Park as we were able to run 21k in one loop.

Onto the race, it was great to know that Dennis (owner of Running Fatboy blog) was able to race alongside me as well. Per, his wife, was also there for support. 

I was planning to improve on my last 21k (2:27:15 at Nutrilife last Oct15) but it was going to be difficult due to the lack of conditioning as mentioned above.

But the mind is a very (very!) powerful thing.

As the gun went off for the 21k runners to start, I eased right into target pace in the first 3kms (about 6:50-ish per km). The plan would be to mimic my Oct 21k strategy by pacing myself in the first 16k then going for it on the last 5.

But my eagerness had other plans, especially after I took my first gel as early as km3 (first aid station). Other gels were taken at the km9 and km16 aid stations.

I improved pace, playing between 6:45-6:50 which was a far cry from my 7:00-ish pace last Oct for the first half of the race. By km13, I saw Dennis whiz pass by me (as expected based on the race times he posted from his HM races). It was good that I didn't give chase and opted to keep myself at bay with the pace range that I was at for fear of bonking in the latter kms.

Heart rate was amazingly low (at 135-145) from km1-15 as the cold weather and flat course helped me relax.

By km16 my heart rate eventually crept up in the 150s but I was still doing good pace wise. I knew I didn't have the long run preparation but I also knew that I had done 21k races many many times (although way wayyy in the past). My last 21k last Oct showed that I can still finish sub-2:30 if I willed it. 

This was the driving force that I kept telling myself (along with the hope that I can catch Dennis, but, for naught) as I drove home in the last 6kms of the race. The legs started to show a little bit of weakness but I was still able to keep pace, overtaking struggling 21k runners as I closed out the remaining kms. 

"This is your last race for the year," I said to myself, "Make it count! Come on!"

It was a battle to keep pace, although never in my mind did I think of stopping or walking. I was just hoping for a glimpse of the finish arc to keep my moral up but to no avail. Nevertheless, I kept my pace.

My Garmin beeped as I reached the 21st km. Still no sight of the finish arc.

21.3km. Still no sign. 

The race was supposedly for 21.3km so the thought that this may exceed further than that (22? 23 kms?) worried me. Still, I pushed on as I hoped that the organizers missed it only by a bit.

Alas, after 200 meters or so, I finally saw the arc. I made a sprint for it, overtaking another runner for good measure, with my Garmin stopped at 21.6kms upon crossing the line ---my longest run for the year (and possibly for the last 2 or 3 years!).

Garmin time clocked at 2:27:22 for the whole 21.6km distance although my TrainingPeaks app said I scored a PR for a half-marathon since my first use of it (2014) with a time of 2:24:04 (yey!). This was a big improvement (exactly 3 minutes and 13 seconds) from my Oct 21k race (yey again!).

This could've been a bigger improvement had I followed the long run training sked religiously and, more importantly, had I controlled myself from a lot of eating since October. Yup, lesson learned, but I will cherish this victory for now as a great year ender. :)