Friday, August 5, 2011

Marathon Preparation

The month of August is going to be a barren month, race wise that is. Either I'm totally in the dark or there really isn't any races scheduled in my part of the world this month. Even the wife is complaining about lack of races ... LOL!

The earliest race that we have scheduled is The Siemens 10K which is only in September and even then it's closer to the end of the month. If anyone does know of a race in August, I would be eternally grateful if you keep me in the loop.

Anyways, at least the lack of races will give me time to work out a decent marathon programme for myself. I'm thinking of trying to run my first ever FM either before the year end or the beginning of next year at the very least. Other than reading through online marathon tips, I have no idea how to prepare for one.

I probably could run a FM in my present state but heck, I'd probably suffer just trying to finish it. I have this mindset of only wanting to attempt the FM when I'm completely ready and know for a fact that I can do it in a comfortable time. I want my first ever FM to be an enjoyable one and not something that I want to do just for the sake of having full marathon status under my belt.

And for that reason, I've been reading a lot about full marathon preparation. Like I said earlier, I have no idea how to prepare for a full marathon. I've done some research online and while there is a whole load of full marathon training programmes, they're all totally different in their approaches. It confused the heck out of me. Which one to follow? Which one not to follow? Is this the best training programme? Will this work for me? So many questions and so little answers.

In the end, I'm just going to go with the gut feel. I'll work on the basis of a progressive training programme. Slowly but steadily build up the mileage with more regular days of running, some speed and hill work with a few 30K long runs under my belt and learn to listen to what my body tells me. I don't know if that will work or not but I suppose I'll know deep inside when I'm really ready for a full marathon.

There are a few things on my 'to do' list and one of them is to complete my first ever full marathon soon. The other is to one day (and it's a big one day) to try my hand or rather legs in an ultra-marathon event, though let me just get through my first FM before even thinking along those lines ... LOL!

8 comments:

  1. Ala Nick. If got run this month, Muslims cannot join lah.... Then less participants to the run. xD

    Anyway, all the best with your preparation! :)

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  2. Lina, True also. But you know me la, itching for races one ... hahaha!

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  3. PBIM in Nov is a good one to consider for FM. Or perhaps the SCMS in Dec. It can be quite bewildering figuring out the training programs. Just too much information out there. But what u hv written there is a good start. Essentially, long runs, tempo and intervals in that order of importance. It's all about the mileage no matter what ppl tell u. Good luck in the preparation!

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  4. Francis - I'm actually seriously thinking about the PBIM for my first FM.

    Thanks for the tips. It's always good hearing from you guys who are FM runners on how to actually train for one.

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  5. It's good to hear you're starting to plan for a FM. PBIM and SCMS are both good choice, but the down side of PBIM is the starting time at 2am, and the SCMS is very packed race (can you imagine 20k people running the FM, and the place is selling fast).

    I am starting my training for RJM and I am aware that I will not be able to have a good preparation on this Marathon. So, I will just take it easy and enjoy the 5~7 hours on my feet, dropped my plan and I am going with my gut feeling now.

    Happy running.

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  6. Neoh - I've been wanting to start my FM training for ages and this looks like the perfect time to do it :D

    I was actually thinking of the RJM but it's just too soon for me. I'll try that next year :D

    All the best in the RJM.

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  7. You're right, it can be downright daunting. But like what Francis said, for the first one, just concentrate on building up the mileage. Sprinkle in the other types just to keep things fresh. Otherwise it'll be darn boring.

    Next is something which 80% of first timers never follow ie not to set a goal time.

    Most important of all are the long runs, aimed at conditioning the legs to keep working 3-4-5 hours come race day. I focused on speed so much that while I had it, I totally lost out on long runs and mileage leading to cramps. Cramps in my opinion can be attributed to lack of conditioning as much as on electrolyte imbalance. Most will blame fueling but if one takes an honest look at the log, the reason could be the lack of long runs too. Like in my case.

    So get those long runs in - the more you invest in them the lesser the pain on race day. When you run those, keep the pace easy. The aim is "time on foot" not speed.

    Will be eager to follow your training!

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  8. Jamie - Thanks for that bit of advise, trust me, it's much appreciated.

    I'm trying the endurance approach, to see how long my legs can keep going. I tend to concentrate too much on my pace and speed and though I know it's not going to help at all in the long run.

    I'm slowly learning to ignore my times and just keep going on and on and on like that Energizer bunny ... LOL!

    I'll definitely be putting in those longs runs, hopefully I'll be able to actually do it :D

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