p pol The Adventures of Carboman: Structured Stressing

Monday, January 03, 2005

Structured Stressing

After listening to Coach Chan's advice and speaking to some experienced marathoners, training 80-90K weeks are beginning to hit home. The aim of high mileage training is to stress out the body and mind so that come race day, you'll feel as comfortable as walking in the park. OK, maybe not that comfortable but close to it. As one gets comfortable with the distance, speed comes naturally and if not, building a speed module into the program will not be too taxing.

I'd like to think of the high mileage sessions as structurally stressing sessions. Planned workouts instead of just logging the miles. I had the opportunity to do just that over the last 2 days when I decided to push the envelope a bit to do back to back 20Ks. With my Mom in town, the task of taking care of my son (who has taken to running and hopping) was solved thus freeing me to run with complete freedom.

I had the good company of like-minded friends for these 2 outings. The first run was on New Year's Day and I ended up completing the workout 9 minutes faster than the usual timing - new year, new vigour? More likely, I dragged into the pace by the other runners. I was determined to slow down drastically for the second run and did so successfully. I was pleased that the second workout took a bit out of me - a sign that I was working hard. Towards the final 4K especially, my lower legs were hurting as if in the 30th K of the marathon.

After finishing the run, Coach's entourage was just about to start their 30K. True to his philosophy, they were starting at 7:30am (heat training) and were reminded to run at their own pace. No one carried hydration packs as Coach had bottles of water and gel packs in his following van.

Towards the late afternoon, I was tired but didn't get the chance to catnap. Though my legs have recovered today, I've decided to skip training today as my resting heart rate was in the 50s this morning. It's been a great learning experience and I shall definitely pursue this method of training over the coming weeks leading to the KL Marathon in March. This form of training needs to be monitored carefully as there will be increased risks of the body and mind breaking down. Whilst I may not get the chance for another back to back 20Ks, there's always the chance to do a couple of 15Ks on weekdays.


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