Friday, June 27, 2008

My Sundown's Babe Chase to Finish!!!

Thanks to William n Colleen... Here is my Sundown's 84km Babe Chase Finish Video!!! Haaha,, i must have been a Big Pain in the Butt for this shwe meimei!!




Acupuncture Works?

Sprained my left ankle slightly when i joined the GSS 's wild crowd to shop for gift ! Confirmed i am a poor shopper!!

the Morning After, I was limping slightly. Decided to give acupuncture a try! Actual fact, i am more interested if acupuncture will help resolve my prolong foot metatarsal pains that have made her return after sundown 84's hibernation!

Went to see Yu Sinseh, Yueqi TCM located Bedok North Ave 4 Blk 84. The gentle n kind looking Physician with a strong beijing accent runs a one man show. He see the patients, provides the treatments like acupuncture n such, dispenses the Chinese Herbs and collects the fees!! Waited 45mins for my turn and explained to him abt mild sprained ankle n also my chronic foot pains. I was expecting to look at my foot , instead he attentively took my "pulse" first! After examining my ankle n foot, he explained that my ankle sprained is mild . While the foot's pains are due to 炎症,风 meaning Inflamation i think. He suggested acupuncture treatment for immediate relieve n medical herbs to blood circulations to the feet. Haha.. like all the doctors, advise me to run less and rest more between runs!!! I did the acupuncture treatment, he placed a needle at my shin area n 3 more needles on various points on the feet. No painful, just a "small bee sting" sensations. I was made lying with the needles for more half an hour, almost fell asleep! He woke me up, took the needles at Shins off. I was made to walk along the corridor with the remaining needles still in place as he observed n nodded with a smile. I refused the Herbal Medications as i dun know how to brew them.

I was told to rest for a few day! hahaa.. Dream jio-ed me for I Run that evening, i went and Ran!! No Ankle pains.. the foot pains no longer at the usual spots and have shifted closer to the toes areas?? Acupuncture Works??? Well, i am not Sure, but, it does no further harms!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

LT (Lactate Threshold) and RE ( Running Economy)!

Recently, attended the Training for Higher Performance Seminar by Coach Guy Oden, found the talk very Enlightening . He confirms that i must strengthen my Core Muscles to enhance my Running Economy in order to sustain faster pace ( without succumbing to injuries)It is the necessary Evil to raise LT in order to improve my marathon timings which seem to be stuck in 3hr 50min ranges!!!
Here is DKW's Summary of the Coach Guy's Talk.

How..2-Lessons_Runner i Found this article from Running Times Useful!!! Here is the Extracts....

Physiology lesson 1.0

Lactate threshold and running economy are more important than VO2 max. What It Means For You: Threshold training (tempo runs), high mileage, and power workouts are more important than long intervals, especially once your VO2 max has plateaued.

While VO2 max (the maximum volume of oxygen your muscles can consume per minute) has received most of the attention among runners and coaches, a high VO2 max alone is not enough to attain elite-level performances; it simply gains one access into the club, since a runner cannot attain a high level of performance without a high VO2 max. But, while you can improve your VO2 max, it is largely genetically determined. The other two major physiological players of distance running performance -- lactate threshold (LT) and running economy (RE) -- exert a greater influence on your performance and are more responsive to training. I have tested many athletes with an elite-level VO2 max in the laboratory but few of them were capable of running at the elite or even sub-elite level because they did not have a high LT or were not very economical.

From the time of the classic study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise in 1979 by some of the most prominent names in exercise physiology (Farrell, Wilmore, Coyle, Billing, and Costill), research has shown that the LT is the best physiological predictor of distance running performance. This threshold demarcates the transition between running that is almost purely aerobic and running that includes significant oxygen-independent (anaerobic) metabolism. It represents the fastest speed you can sustain aerobically. (All running speeds have an anaerobic component, although at speeds slower than the LT, that contribution is negligible.) Since the LT represents your fastest sustainable pace, the longer the race, the more important your LT.

Running Economy (RE) is the v
olume of oxygen consumed at submaximal speeds. In 1930, David Dill and his colleagues were among the first physiologists to suggest that there are marked differences in the amount of oxygen different athletes use when running at the same speeds, and that these differences in "economy" of oxygen use are a major factor explaining differences in running performance of athletes with similar VO2 max values. For example, research has shown that, while Kenyan runners have VO2 max and LT values similar to their American/European counterparts, the Kenyans are more economical, possibly due to their light, non-muscular legs that interestingly resemble those of thoroughbred race horses. The heavier your legs, the more oxygen it takes to move them.

RE is probably even more important than the LT in determining distance running performance because it indicates how hard you're working in relation to your maximum ability to use oxygen. For example, if two runners have a VO2 max of 70 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute and an LT pace of 7 minutes per mile, but Jack uses 50 and Martin uses 60 milliliters of oxygen while running at 7:30 pace, the pace feels easier for Jack because he is more economical. Therefore, Jack can run faster before using the same amount of oxygen and feeling the same amount of fatigue as Martin. I have yet to see a runner who has superior RE who does not also have a high VO2 max and LT.

1.1 Raise Your Threshold

Sample workouts to raise your lactate threshold (LT):

1. Continuous runs at LT pace, starting at about 3 miles and increasing up to 7 to 8 miles (or about 45 min.) for marathoners.

2. Intervals @ LT pace with short rest periods, such as 4 to 6 x 1 mile @ LT pace with 1 min. rest.

3. Shorter intervals at slightly faster than LT pace with very short rest periods, such as 2 sets of 4 x 1,000 meters @ 5 to 10 seconds per mile faster than LT pace with 45 seconds rest and two min. rest between sets.

4. Long, slow distance runs with segments run at LT pace (for marathoners), such as 12 to 16 miles with last 2 to 4 miles @ LT pace or 2 miles + 3 miles @ LT pace + 6 miles + 3 miles @ LT pace.

1.1a What's your LT Pace?

LT pace is about 10 to 15 seconds per mile slower than 5K race pace (or about 10K race pace) for slower runners (slower than about 40 minutes for 10K). If using a heart rate (HR) monitor, the pace is about 75 to 80 percent of maximum HR. For highly trained and elite runners, LT pace is about 25 to 30 seconds per mile slower than 5K race pace (or about 15 to 20 seconds per mile slower than 10K race pace) and corresponds to about 85 to 90 percent max HR. For many, it corresponds closely to the race pace they can sustain for one hour. The pace should feel "comfortably hard."

1.2 Improve your economy

Despite its importance, running economy (RE) seems to be the most difficult of the three physiological players (LT, VO2 max and RE) to train. While many runners and coaches think that RE is a reflection of running form, it is more influenced by those microscopic structures that influence oxygen delivery to and use by the muscles -- capillaries and mitochondria, the densities of which are both enhanced with high mileage. Research has shown that runners who run high mileage (more than 70 miles per week) tend to be more economical, which leads one to believe that running high mileage improves RE. In addition to increasing mitochondrial and capillary density, the greater repetition of running movements may result in better biomechanics and muscle fiber recruitment patterns and a synchronization of breathing and stride rate, which may reduce the oxygen cost of breathing. RE may also be improved by the weight loss that often accompanies high mileage, which lowers the oxygen cost. Since VO2 max plateaus with about 70 to 75 miles per week, improved RE may be the most significant attribute gained from running high mileage. However, it's hard to prove cause and effect, since it is not entirely clear whether high mileage runners become more economical by running more miles or are innately more economical and can therefore handle higher mileage.

Other forms of training, like intervals and tempo runs, can also improve RE since, as VO2 max and LT improve, the oxygen cost of any submaximal speed is also likely to improve. However, it is possible to become more economical without improving VO2 max or LT, as research on power training with very heavy weights and plyometrics has shown. Power training focuses on the neural, rather than the metabolic, component of muscle force development to improve RE.

1.3 Boost Your VO2 max

While LT and RE are more important than VO2 max, you don't want to ignore your VO2 max, which is important to reach your running potential and is largely dictated by your stroke volume (the amount of blood your heart pumps with each contraction of its left ventricle) and cardiac output (the amount of blood pumped by your heart each minute). Long intervals provide the heaviest load on the cardiovascular system because of the repeated attainment of the heart's maximum stroke volume and cardiac output (and, by definition, your VO2 max). In lieu of a laboratory test to tell you the velocity at which VO2 max is achieved (vVO2 max), you can use current race performances or heart rate. vVO2 max is close to 1-mile race pace for recreational runners and close to 2-mile race pace (10 to 15 seconds per mile faster than 5K race pace) for highly trained runners. You should be within a few beats of your maximum heart rate by the end of each interval.

Sample workouts to boost your VO2 max:
1. 3 x 1,200 meters (or 4-5 min.) @ vVO2 max with 3 to 4 min. recovery
2. 4 x 1,000 meters (or 3-4 min.) @ vVO2 max with 2 to 3 min. recovery
3. 6 x 800 meters (or 3 min.) @ vVO2 max with 2 to 3 min. recovery.

Physiology lesson 2.0

Runners with different muscle fibers have different strengths. What It Means For You: Tailor your training to match your muscle fiber composition.

There are two types of runners -- those who have superior speed, whose performance gets better as the race gets shorter, and those who have superior endurance, whose performance gets better as the race gets longer. Despite this, most runners, unless they are individually coached, follow some generic training program. However, those programs don't acknowledge differences in runners' muscle fiber types and their associated metabolic profiles. The types of fibers that make up individual muscles greatly influence your performance.

Humans have three different types of muscle fibers, with gradations between them (see Characteristics of the 3 Muscle Fiber Types). Slow-twitch (ST) fibers are recruited for all of your aerobic runs, while fast-twitch B (FT-B) fibers are only recruited for short anaerobic, high-force production activities, such as sprinting, hurdling, and jumping. Fast-twitch A (FT-A) fibers, which represent a transition between the two extremes of ST and FT-B fibers, are recruited for prolonged anaerobic activities with a relatively high-force output, such as racing 400 meters. It's a given that you have more ST fibers than FT fibers, otherwise you would be a sprinter rather than a distance runner. However, even within a group of distance runners, there is still a disparity in the amount of ST fibers. Some runners may have 90 percent ST and 10 percent FT fibers (marathoners), while others may have 60 percent ST and 40 percent FT fibers (milers).

Understanding your fiber type can help you train smarter. While most runners do the same workouts to focus on a specific race, your training and racing should reflect your physiology. For example, if you have 90 percent ST and 10 percent FT fibers, your best race will likely be the marathon and your training should focus on mileage and tempo runs. If you have 60 percent ST and 40 percent FT fibers, your best race will likely be the 800m or mile, and your training should focus less on mileage and more on interval training. If both runners want to race a 5K or 10K, the former runner should initially do longer intervals, trying to get faster with training, such as 1,200m repeats at 5K race pace, increasing the speed to 3K race pace or decreasing the recovery as training progresses. The latter runner should do shorter intervals, trying to hold the pace for longer with training, such as 800m repeats at 3K race pace, increasing the distance to 1,200 meters or increasing the number of repeats as training progresses. Thus, there can be two paths to meet at the same point.

2.1 What's Your (Muscle) Type?

In lieu of a muscle biopsy to determine your exact muscle fiber type composition, ask yourself the following questions:

1. When you race, a) are you able to hang with your competitors during the middle stages, but get out-kicked in the last quarter to half-mile, or b) do you have a hard time maintaining the pace during the middle stages, but can finish fast and out-kick others?

If you answered (a), you probably have more ST fibers. If you answered (b), you have more FT fibers.

2. Which type of workouts feel easier and more natural -- a) long intervals (800m to mile repeats), long runs, and tempo runs, or b) short, fast intervals (200s and 400s)?

If you answered (a), you have more ST fibers. If you answered (b), you have more FT fibers.

3. Which workouts do you look forward to more -- a) long intervals and tempo runs, or b) short, fast intervals?

If you answered (a), you have more ST fibers. If you answered (b), you have more FT fibers. (People tend to get excited about tasks at which they excel, while being more anxious about tasks that are difficult.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

KimChi's 2 Birds with One Stone!!

Haha... don't know what happened!!! I already registered for these 2 Korean Marathons which are one week apart!! More of my Running Kakis going Kimchi as well!!!
2008 Chosunilbo Chuncheon Marathon
Start : October 26(Sun), 2008, 10:00 A.M.
Distance : Marathon(42.195km)
Course : Chuncheon Main Stadium - Lake Euiam - Chuncheon Main. Stadium (Loop Course)
Qualifications : Any man and woman above 18 years old
Entry fee : 40,000 won
Time Limits : 5 Hours
The City of Chuncheon, once the capital of the old country Maek, is located at the joining point of the upper stream o f the Han river and the Soyang river, and also surrounded by lakes on three sides, thus boasting of the naturally beauti ful landscapes. Furthermore, with the population of 185,000, Chuncheon is the seat of Kangwon provincial office, functioning as a provincial center of administration, education and culture.

JoongAng Seoul Marathon
Venue : Seoul
Date : Sunday, November 2 , 2008
Start & Finish : Jamsil Main Stadium
Start Time : 8am
Race Route ... Jamsil Main Stadium → Lotte Department Store → Chunho 4-way intersection → Gildong 4-way intersection → Doonchon 4-way intersection → Olympic Park 4-way intersection → Tanchun Bridge → Suseo Station → Siheung 4-way intersection → Areum 4-way intersection (turning point) → Siheung 4-way intersection → Suseo Station → Tancheon Bridge 1 → Samjeon 4-way intersection → Jamsil Main Stadium

More Ultramarathon Race!

I getting all excited again about doing another Ultramarathon in 2009, this time an Overseas Ultra Event. Now,I am spoilt with Choices!!!
2. Two Oceans
3.Mongolia S2S

Looks like S2S is the most beautiful n Scenic... a Good Long Walk in the Nature Park!!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Passion Run 2008!

Here is the revolving CloseUp.. Very Interesting!!! Thanks, amaranthine!!!
Did the Passion Run this morning. Nice Weather for running. I was in the Wave One, the run was very smooth, did not face blockage like i experienced at last year's run. The race was well organised, Great Job by the The Run Organiser , Geylang Serai.
I was planning to run at steady even 5 min pace for this run. Less 3km into the run, i began panicky and was confused that i can't maintain this pace. Even Though, i was running within sights of faster runners like Trevor, Runalone, Dream and Ayin. All the Slow n Long Sundown Ultra training runs, must have slowed me, so i thought!!!! After losing sights of the fast runners, the famous n super fast Ultramarathoner, RR3 caught up with me. I happily trailed him with pride to the finish. Completed the Race in abt 1h 16min. ( on target, i guessed the distance markers in the early stages of the run were not properly placed .)
My Official 15km Passion Run 2008
Position 98 Bib 1262 David Ong 00:25:16 01:04:30 01:16:30
Dream n myself took a quick shower soon after our run. In dry n comfortable clothings, we positioned ourselves near the Finishing Area.. It was very fun cheering on the other runners!! ( haha.. the Pictures tell it All). Dream did well in catching those moments with his speedy n trusty cam!!
My Lucky Day too... Won my first Lucky draw prize at a running event.. one complimentary facial spa treatment n one free sport massage with physio consultation session. Hehee.. finally, got to practice my heavenly massage skills on a shwe meimei!!!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I-Run @ IBP!

Joined Dream to do the 10km I-Run @ IBP yesterday. Well Organised n Great Route for Tempo Run with just 2 interruptions, a traffic light stop n a railway bridge crossing. Will joined them again when time permits.

Date: Every Wednesday from 30 April onwards
Time: 6.00 - 7.00 pm
Flag-off Venue: The Atrium, International Business Park
Distance: 3, 5 or 10 KM at your own pace
Map: View map here

Monday, June 02, 2008

Sundown 84km Completed!

I completed my Sundown 84km Ultramarathon in 12hr 9mins! I was hoping for a sub 11hr but i guess my body was not well prepared or conditioned to achieve the target timing. Nevertheless, i gained a lot from this ultra unique experience, i understand how my body will react when running such long distance, effects of more than 12hrs of continuous pounding on concrete n tarmac surfaces, overcoming the zzz monsters during all night runs and more....
To complete any UltraMarathon Distance race is never an Easy Mission. Although we had planned and trained to better prepare n condition ourself for this Ultramarathon. But, still we were not be fully prepared, as we all discovered in this endeavour !! A slight sudden movement when the body is tired and cramps started to set in , no matter how the minor turns or bends maybe can caused major problems, and derailed our objective. I was doing Alright( on track to achieve the sub 11hr target) till i reached 69 km SGRunners's Support Station, when i decided to change into a lighter shoes for a faster finish. Not realising that my feet have swollen a lot, and that the shoe fit will feel very uncomfortable n become a constant irritant !! Thereafter, sadly.. along the sandy portion of bedok reservoir trail , I had to bend down several time to adjust the socks n loosen the yankz lace on the shoe that resulted in major muscle pull around the right butt area!! With the already weakened quads, every step after the 72km mark was embarrassingly painful, my run pace was as fast as my grandma's walking pace!!! I chosen to walk the last 12km to the finish to avoid major injury!!
Sundown Ultra's Postmortem:
1) Did our 25/5 strategy work well?
We did the first marathon loop with 25 mins run ( @ 6.5 to 7 mins pace) and recovery walk for 5mins according to our plan n completed the first 42km in 5hr 5mins. Comparing to my own Kedah's 50km Ultramarathon's experience where i ran at my own comfortable steady pace and completed the 50km in 5hr 6mins. I felt that i had the similar level of muscle fatigue at 50km mark in both instances!

HindSights : Objective of the Run / Walk was to reduce n minimise muscle fatigue as the route along coastal road n ECP is rather long n flat! The R/W Strategy works well along this flat stretch. As for the remaining portion of the route, the run is frequently interrupted by traffic lights n bridges, may be steady pace run strategy maybe more appropriate n more effective!

2) Should i have run through the pains?
After i experienced the unfamiliar sharp pains that radiated down from right butt area to knee, my pace slowed down tremendously. Not wanting to aggravate the discomforts into major injury and also the realisation that i will not be able a sub 11hr despite i was just less than 12km from finish!! I made a decision to walk the rest of the distance! The long slow walk was not just physical painful as the adrenaline wore off, but also emotionally embarrassing when other runners struggling and still running at their best efforts to the Finish!!!

Hindsight : Maybe, I would have continued running despite of my slow pace with short walk breaks, at least the adrenaline produced will lessen the pains . Walking is not for my Soul n Emotional Well Beings in this instance!!! Hmm.. Egotistic Male Syndrome!! The Butt Pains have receded, and i can happily confirmed that i am not a victim of ITBS yet!! :)

3) Anti- Inflammatory Analgesic KefenTech Plaster with 30mg Ketoprofen help prevent my forefoot metatarsal pains?

I have been experiencing forefoot metatarsal pains after every long LSD runs since last December . Although , the hot sensations and the pains at the forefoot will dissipate after a day or two, these pains and discomforts have been constant Nags and Worry!!!
On a friend's recommendation, i decided to stick the medicated plaster on both the foot n heel area proir the UltraMarathon. To my surprise, i did not suffered any forefoot or heel pains after this ultra long run??? It Works???

HindSight : The Ketoprofen Plaster Works! Hmm... Inconclusive , as it the first time i applied the plaster on the feet before a long run. Hope it is the Solution!


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