7:03 PM 19 December 2008 @ ULTRA Oval Track
Yes, on this day (26 Dec 08), you have 100 days before the Inaugural Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race!
I attended the Friday session of our “speed” training, barely two days before last Sunday’s Patakbo sa Kabundukan. After the usual warm-up easy run around the oval track for four laps and almost 40-minute stretching and drill runs supervised by Coach Salazar, we had a 5-minute rest for water break and personal necessities.
All the participants in the “speed” training were surprised to hear from Coach Espejo what we had to do. We were told to run 75% of the distance we had to run for the Sunday’s race with our best effort or race pace. The rest of the students did not have any race to participate for the coming Sunday but they opted to run 75% for an imaginary 10K race. Since I was scheduled to participate in the Patakbo Sa Kabundukan’s 21K Run, I had to run 15.75K with my best effort.
According to Coach Espejo, the reason why we had to this kind of speed training two days before race day was to simulate what the body would do and expect during race day. However, he advised us to follow it up with another 30-minute active recovery run on the day before the race at 70% effort.
On that Friday evening workout, I ended doing 16.25K with an average pace of 4:45 mins/km for the 1st 10 kilometers and slowed down to an average of 5:00 mins/km for the next 5 kilometers and later picked up my pace on the last kilometer at 4:50 mins/km. Overall, I had an average pace of 4:54 mins/km. The speed run training culminated with a one lap walking and stretching exercises.
After this Friday evening workout, I realized that my “speed endurance” was only good for 10 kilometers. I was not surprised about my assessment on my endurance because after I finished the MILO National Finals Marathon, my training were geared towards two successive 10K road races and most of my runs were active recovery runs after the Marathon Race and I never had any running workout for a distance more than 10 kilometers.
After assessing my endurance capability with the said speed workout, I formulated my race strategy for the Sunday’s 21K run—I had to slow down with my average pace on the 1st 5K and slowly increasing the pace on the 6th to 11thK, and race on my best up to 110% effort for the last 10 kilometers. If not for those jeepneys, tricycles, & garbage trucks along the route and lack of road marshalls, I could had made a better time on my last 10 kilometers. I experienced my first “negative split” in a half-marathon distance in this road race.
So, one of the “secrets” in our speed training is already out for other competitive runners to try and follow—run 75% of the race distance you have to compete two days before race day with your best effort (100%) and follow it up with a 30-minute active recovery run at your 70% effort a day before race day. This should be done if the road race for Sunday is a half-marathon and lesser distance road runs.