Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Running: End of Week 8, Milo Half Marathon Training

With just three Sundays from today, the 34th National Milo Marathon Cebu elimination race kicks off on September 5th, Sunday, in Cebu. Thousands of runners will converge on the Cebu City Sports Complex that will have 400 21k runners kick off dust at 5:30 am, 800 10k runners at 6am, 5 and 3k runners thereafter. Osmena Blvd. will be flooded with the color green.

I can't wait for this race and the excitement is slowly building up. Not only am I running the 21k but I will also be joined by my wife and kids on this one taking the shorter distances.

Last Sunday ended my 8th week of training for my second half marathon try. To get a Milo Certificate of Finish and a Finisher's Gold Medal, I need to run my 21k in 2 hours and 30 minutes or less with a base pace of 7:00 min/km. Not easy especially for one who has just started seriously running.

Having that in mind while consuming my third banana for the day, I scoured online for training plans and found Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Training for Intermediate runners the most sensible (and doable) plan for me which calls for 5 runs a week composed of a base run, speedwork alternate with a tempo run, an easy run, a 5k pace and a long steady distance gradually increasing in mileage every week. Add to that was a strength and flexibility training regimen. This I could do, or so I thought.

Much to my dismay, I found out that training 5 days a week led me to injuries sidelining me for 2-3 days at a time. Once on week 4, when feeling I could run forever, I racked up my mileage to 32 km too soon and had me paying dearly for the succeeding week 5 (21 km total mileage) and 6 (15 km total mileage)-- dismal runs due to injuries.

Lagging behind on training, I jumped up on week 7 with 30 km total and got injured again on the first 3 days of week 8. Thankfully I ended that with a 21 km total. It's best to keep it conservative.

Now heading into week 9, I am planning to take it easy and allow my body to rest. Runners are hard-headed. When you tell them to rest, they will run. And when you tell them to run easy, they will run more.

This Sunday and the two Sundays after that will be devoted to long distance runs close to 20 km. And for that I need to be completely injury-free and pray the moon and stars align to give us better days ahead.

See you on the road, runners!