getting back my speed

The first thing that I did after arriving in Manila last Monday afternoon was to have a “deep-tissue” massage for two hours. During my adventure run, I did not have any massage along the way and just rested my legs overnight in every leg of the run.

On the following day, Tuesday morning, I had my active recovery run at The Fort lasting for 30:54 minutes and was able to cover a distance of 5 kilometers. My average pace was 6:09 minutes per kilometer but at the middle of the run, I was able to maintain an average pace of 5:32 minutes per kilometer for about 2 kilometer. It was my first step to shift my LSD legs to a faster pace to regain some speed in preparation for the 21K Road Race this Sunday.

In the afternoon of the same day, I joined the BR “speed” training at the ULTRA Oval Track but I was ahead in doing my workouts with the rest of the Team Bald Runner-Professional Group. I did a warm-up run, stretching, and speed drills. Later, I tested my speed by running two repetitions of one-mile run. The first rep was timed at 7:51 minutes with a distance of 1.7 kilometers as I was running on Lane 3 of the Oval Track. The average pace was 4:37 minutes per kilometer. I was surprised that I was not trying to catch my breath after running one mile. After one minute of rest, I did my second repetition on the same Lane 3 with the same 1.7 km distance and I registered a slower time of 8:41 minutes, an average pace of 5:02 minutes per kilometer.

Due to the heavy traffic of runners who are attending a running clinic and the usual runners at the Oval Track, I decided to stop my interval workouts and concentrated on doing stretching and Pilates exercises. Later, I was able to meet and talk about my experiences during my adventure run with the members of the Team Bald Runner-Professional Group.

I did not run on Wednesday morning. However, in the afternoon, I went to the Oval Track very early to continue my speed workout. First, I did my 1.7K warm-up run in 10:04 minutes with an average pace of 5:48 minutes per kilometer. After stretching and short speed drills, I did 5 X 400 interval runs with one minute rest on Lane 2 of the Oval Track and the following were the results:

1st rep—1:46 minutes—4:13 minutes per km

2nd rep—1:47 minutes—4:19 minutes per km

3rd rep—1:45 minutes—4:17 minutes per km

4th rep—1:40 minutes—3:55 minutes per km

5th rep—1:44 minutes—4:13 minutes per km

After a 3-minute rest, I finished my run with a 30-minute steady run where I was able to cover a distance of 5 kilometers. My average pace was 5:55 minutes per kilometer.

Early this morning (Thursday), I had another run at the ULTRA Oval Track with a tempo run. I was able to run a distance of 6 kilometers with a time of 31:08 minutes. It was a good run with an average pace of 5:11 minutes per kilometer.

With all these speed and tempo run workouts after finishing my adventure run, I think I could predict/produce a decent finish time on this Sunday’s Century Tuna Run. It could not be a PR but I am sure that I am getting my speed back again. The goal is to improve my latest half-marathon finish time I’ve registered in the Cebu Marathon last month.

See you at the Starting Line!!!


“It Seems I am Running Slower”

I am on my third week of my “speed” training with the Team Bald Runner and it seems that I feel that I am running slower but after uploading the data from my GF 305, I am surprised that I am getting faster every time I have my running workout!

I have received some comments from the readers of this blog that what I am writing are very “technical” in nature. Well, for a runner to improve his finish time, he or she has to be aware of his time down to the last seconds and also on the precision of distances being run during training as well as in road races. Running is a very technical sport and that is the reason why we compare ourselves with other runners through our finish times within a certain road race distance. The finish time is the “bottomline” in road racing. It is not how much pain you feel during and after the race; it is not the amount of water, bottles of sports drinks and packets of GUs and sports bars you consumed; it is not the number of pounds or kilos you shed off from your weight after running a race; it is not about your running kit and shoes; it is not how many runners you passed by/overtaken during the race or vice-versa; it is not who and how many runner-bloggers you saw before, during, and after the race; it is not about your injuries; it is not about knowing other runners during races; it is not about meeting your running friends;  it is not the number of miles/kilometers you run to prepare a road race, and lastly, it is not about those food you ate along the way and those “breakfast” after the race. Remember, a competitive runner is being  judged and evaluated by his finish time in a certain road race distance. 

After last Sunday’s 25th RUNNEX Executive Classic 10K Run at the UP Campus, I had my “active recovery” run at the ULTRA Oval Track last Monday morning for 30 minutes with 70% effort where I should be running a pace of at least 6:56 mins/km, almost 7:00 mins/km pace. Instead, I was running comfortably within my 80%-85% effort (5:42 mins/km) and I thought I was running slow!

On Tuesday morning, I arrived very early at the ULTRA for my easy endurance run but I was warned by the Security Guards that the Oval Track was closed for the whole morning because of an official activity in the area. I guess, the President was scheduled to speak to a group of government officials on Anti-Corruption. From the ULTRA Oval Track, I had to go to the Bonifacio High Street/The Fort for my workout. From the BHS loop, I went running along the streets of Global City until I reached McKinley Hill up to the C-5 Highway entrance and went around the roads of the said area before going back to the BHS. I was able to cover a distance of 12 kilometers. I thought I would have an average pace of 6:30 mins/km for the said run considering the terrain of Global City and McKinley Hill. But I was surprised to see the data from my GF 305 that I ran an average pace of 5:54 mins/km which is within my 80-85% effort.

On Tuesday evening during our “speed” session at the ULTRA, my “speed-group” was directd by Coach Ferdie Espejo to run a “pyramid” interval run consisting of running 3K-2K-1K-2K-3K, with a recovery jog/walk of 1 -1:30 minutes in between distances. We were asked to run within our 80-85% effort. The result was that our group had an average pace within our 90% effort and higher for the whole “pyramid” workout and we were still smiling after the workout!

Last Wednesday evening during our “speed” session again at the ULTRA, my “speed-group” was directed to run 5 X 400 meters within our 100% effort with 1:30 minutes as recovery jog/walk but it turned out to be enough time for us for our “water breaks” and brief runs to the CR. The average pace of our group was faster than our pegged “speed limit” and went beyond and faster than our 110% effort. We were running an average time of 1:40 minutes  per lap! After finishing such interval run and resting for 5 minutes, we had to do another 30-minute run within our 80-85% effort but we finished with an average effort of 90-95%.

I really appreciate what the coaches of Team Bald Runner are doing to the participants of this “speed” training. The coaches are exposing us to our lactate threshold through our interval runs and at the same time improving our endurance capability with those endurance runs with our 80-85% effort. As a result, all of us are improving in our finish times and our bodies are slowly adapting to our endurance limits in every speed session. I told Coach Ferdie Espejo about my “feeling” of running slower but such feeling is contrary to what the numbers say—a faster time results on my GF 305. He was laughing as he asked me and my “speed-group” to have another “diagnostic test” by next week.

My classmates at the “speed” sessions are just silent but they are smiling and happy from the results they are getting from their speed workouts. I know from their smiling faces and remarks that running, afterall, is fun!

Yes, running as a competitive sports is very technical…and it is fun!