I usually have this post to start the (blogging) year. It's February, so I think it's still in that "early 2018" range. This review is skewed towards sports stuff since that's mainly why I kept this blog alive. But I think, I'll put some 2017 "reflection" and all those emotions/feeling/thoughts crap as well later to be consistent with previous years.
1) I love interpreting datas as a way to improve. Been doing it since Ironman 2016 training. There's a lot to learn by just observing trends or simply recognizing patterns. Through this, I hope to better understand my limits and visualize what consistency and progress looks like. This blog, in a way, is part of that effort: to also collect the intangible part of training/racing.
2) It also helps with goal settings and also serve as motivation + help be more accountable. By the end of it, I get to see the whole picture and use the insights gained for improvement. Solutions are already loaded on the internet and I'm not overly concerned with them. To apply a solution the problem must be acknowledged and current situation need to be objectively gauged. Sounds good, but in reality, difficult to do.
3) In 2017 the focus was to a) break 4 hours at SCKLM and b) finish 1st 100k - TMBT 100k. For the first half (sub4 attempt), I made up my own plan based on previous Ironman training. So there was no specific workouts and I would just try complete a long run each week and hit my goal marathon pace which was minimum 5:40/km for a sub 4. Not very wise.
4) For TMBT, I just did a lot of up and down on mountains and doing ultra races building up from 50k to 70k and eventually TMBT 100k. I was reading Jack Daniels (JD) Running Formula at that time and didn't have a training plan for TMBT so I did one of the marathon plans in JDs. So there were a lot of threshold stuff but no real speed work or specific hill training since it was for road marathon. Not very sensible.
5) In between, the fasting month was a great way to recover and set up for 2H2017. After TMBT, slowly pick up the miles and just had fun running.
6) Sub 4 marathon at SCKLM: In short, failed. My race day preparation + execution let me down (nutrition). But there were lots of positives. Mainly, I didn't dread the long runs anymore and can maintain a somewhat faster pace without major breakdowns. Main take away, no shortcut and training has to be systematic.
7) TMBT 100km: Finished. That was the minimum. Positives: I know where I'm at in terms of distance and elevation gained (definitely not at that 100km and 5000+m level yet). Learned a lot about prepping for a 100km and to be honest, the training was fun. Main take away, be specific to the demand of the race.
8) Table 1: Basically I did too much vert for the marathon training (sub4). It was too long (26 weeks) but mostly it was base building. Training was not specific enough tho. I realized in hindsight that, I can’t be doing just one workout and hope that it’ll be good race day. Hope is not a good strategy.
9) What's interesting is that I averaged 10hrs/week compared to 6:39 hrs/week for marathon during TMBT training. Big difference, but most of it were because I was on trail and that took a lot of time. Time on feet is a pretty general ultramarathon training rule and going up/down mountains guarantees that. Good vert number (1,507 per week), to me at least. It was a bit short (12 weeks) but I think the marathon training did help with building fitness. It is strength that I failed to incorporate for the TMBT training.
|Chart 1: 2017 Weekly and Average Mileage|
10) Chart 1: I like how I slowly build to 80km/week (week 1 to 15) with one down week every 4th week. Decided to maintain around 60km/week for marathon training. With rest/low week. No injuries but intensity/training load was not that big. Fluctuations is not good. Anyway, 60km/week is a good benchmark for future training.
11) Lots of spikes because I went to the mountains at least twice a week (2H2017). This is something I can/should fix. There should be a phase of progressive miles/time and plateu at a considerably high level for few weeks followed by a regressive taper. I went from 100km/week to 10km/week in a month and that’s just not right, I think.
|Chart 2: Cumulative Mileage and Time|
12) Chart 2: Main takeaway, training for a marathon: mileage is a good indicator/goal and ultras: time.
|Chart 3: Cumulative, Weekly and Average Elevation Gain|
13) Chart 3: Too much vert in the 1st half. Should’ve been working on running economy doing speed workouts with easy runs. Oh, well.
14) Doing vert in 2H2017 was a great idea. But wasn’t specific enough. Especially running downhill. I thought I could get by just training going uphill. Learned the hard way at TMBT.
|Chart 4: Weekly and Average Time|
15) Chart 4: Again spikes. No regressive taper. No weekly consistency.
16) Can't be all bad. I mean I did put in some effort into it. Here's what's good:
- Got no. 3 at KOKK 50k. Felt like crap especially towards the end. But nice to grind it out;
- 5th at TMMT 70k. Pacing went perfectly well. After finishing like crap at CULTRA decided to start at the back and take things one aid station at a time. Consciously decided to run the last 20km and ended up placing 5th;
- Prepping for a 100k. Developed a pace chart which I think can only be applied up to around 60-70k, 2000+m race. For the 100k, 5000+m races, need more data/experience; and
- Long runs. Man, do I enjoy going out doing time on feet in the mountains, despite hikers giving me the look when I try to pass them. Meanwhile, on the road, I can just insert some fast workouts during the long run so it ends a bit earlier. This way I can get to tesco or whatever domestic responsibility I have to attend to.
17) What's my barometer for success? placing? finishing? time? having fun? participating? getting some contents on social media? (i can't be posting my children's pics all the time ..haha). There's more to that and others which I want to extract from 2017 before I forget them (incl. 2018 plans, and ultra culture) but this post is too long already.