25K Dilemma

Friday, October 24, 2008

One month before the 2008 New Balance Powerrace, I got this crazy idea to enter the 25K. This distance is a dragon I have always wanted to slay, and crazy me thinks I better get this done now and be over it. Truth is, I have done the NB 25K twice - in 2003 and 2004, and twice I was half-beaten. Yes, I finished it - in 3:30 and 3:45, respectively, but in both instances, I failed to make it within cut-off time.

First attempt: I was not aware of the correct cut-off time the first time. I stupidly thought it was 4 hours and that my slow run pace of 7-8kph could hack it. This was mistake 1. Mistake 2 was thinking that all it takes was sheer will. After my debacle in my first race ever (2003 5K Milo Run in Baguio) ,where the cramping me finished by sheer will, I thought I was invincible. I progressed from 5K to 16K in 1.5 months, simply by running my leisurely pace of 7-8kph. I thought it was simply a matter of running longer. The 25K should be just a simple as that. Mistake number 3 was that I was about 30 minutes late and I tried to catch up with the others without the benefit of warm-up. I cramped at probably 15K. The only thing I was right about is that by sheer will I did make it to the finish line, even if the organizers have already started packing up.

Second attempt: I got the correct cut-off time the next attempt, but the stubborn I committed mistakes 2 and 3 again. My run pace was still slow and I started severely late again.

Third attempt: This is my third attempt and I am hoping that third time is a charm. I know I am risking a lot by attempting again so soon, considering that I just went back to running in August 2008 and I still have excess pounds to lose. But you and I know by now that I am stubborn. Besides, the next (2009) NB Powerrace should be a breeze for me already (if training goes as planned). Now where is the thrill in that? Some people thrive on challenges; I suppose I am one of them. There is a thrill in chasing after the seemingly unattainable. Achieving it gives one a chance to be immortal.

Dilemma: Training is my dilemma now. Do I pick up speed first before trying for greater distance? Or do I log in more kms first and go for speed later. One week has already passed where I tried to rev up my speed to 9kph - that's 8kph to 9kph in one week and I could already feel the stress on my body. I intend to avoid injury at all costs, but I needed longer recovery time with this speed thing I am chasing. Ideally, my relaxed pace should at least be 10kph, supposedly my year-end goal, but if I chase after 10 now, I will be a trainwreck come Nov 16 race time. If I prioritize distance now, I can probably count on some weight loss that can aid me in picking-up speed later, but I may not even have sufficient time for that. There is still tapering to consider. My God, how do I peak and taper within a month? If sheer will fails, there is still divine intervention. So help me God.


The foreign runner October 24, 2008 at 3:48 PM  

Hi there, I am sure you will find a training program on runnersworld for eight weeks. It wont allow you to log record times but ti will help you to finnish teh race strong. I think you just need distance now but you can gradually just move 10% up every week so I suggest to do some interval training once a week, long run once a week increase it by 10% a week. You dont need to do the full distance before the race as long as you can do one long run of 22km before race day at least two weeks before. That leaves you ample time to taper the last week. If you start now with a 14km first long run you will be already at a 24 km in six weeks. You need the endurance now and then the speed will come and the interval raining will help during the week for speed. If you feel good the entire race, you will automatically race faster.

Please next time start training a bit longer before the time .... All the ebst and I will see you at the NB. Please say hi when you see me as I think it will be easier for you to see me than for me to see you. God bless and keep exercising especially now more than ever.

Rico Villanueva October 24, 2008 at 6:43 PM  

Thanks for the advice, Phil. I plan to do long runs (15, 20 and 25K) for the last 3 weekends at my fastest comfortable pace. Pychologically, I have to finish 25K during training and I intend to do that by doing the 15K Kabahagi Ako Run and adding 10 after. Then I taper down within a week. I will throw in interval training once a week. This is the part I hate and dread. I am more of an endurance guy than a speed freak. I will pour it out during speed drills and rest the following day. The most important part of my training calendar now are actually my rest days - I'm beginning to appreciate how important they are. I am reading Runner's World, but as much as I want to follow those training plans, I have already broken most rules on the book by starting and deciding late. I hope my emergency plan works. See you in Clark.

Nora, the golden girl October 27, 2008 at 12:33 AM  

See you and Philip at the VSO, though I'm only running 5k.

Good luck in your training for the NB Power Race.

Rico Villanueva October 27, 2008 at 2:19 PM  

Nora, thanks. I need all the luck I can get. See you in VSO.

JavyO November 26, 2008 at 4:31 PM  

You can always do both :)

Long runs for the endurance, and speedwork for the speed :)

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