Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Concluding the running season 2015

As the running season draws to an end with the annual pilgrimage that is the Mumbai Marathon (SCMM), it is a good time to look back at the training that went into finishing the run. This blog post will also serve as reference to me for any future training. What follows is a boring long post about running. It includes a lot of numbers because I now understand that what cannot be measured cannot be improved.
To start with, my last full marathon race was in Bangalore with a timing of 4:37. This was on 18-Oct-2014. I had not trained for any race after this. However I wanted to better this timing in SCMM 2016. When I started training at the end of September 2015 I had my eyes set on clocking 4:30. My training included not so many regular runs as I wished to. If you refer to any of the popular running programs available online, they all suggest atleast 5 runs a week making it atleast 20 runs in a month. But I am happy with the fact that I could manage as many runs as I did.

To start with, I started sleeping fairly early. This required a lot of support from my family. We all decided to sleep by 9:30PM every night. No matter what, lights g off at 9:30PM. This helped me wake up at 4:45AM. By the end of a month I could wake up without the alarm. I used to do a 10K run between 55-65 minutes depending on the mood. Weekly training included atleast one 10K run, 1 hill run for an hour and one long run during the weekend. I did not miss these three runs. Any other runs were just an added bonus.

We started eating healthy at home. We do not have much of a choice outside (lunch is usually in the office canteen). But at home we avoided sugar, used less oil and included fruits after each meal. Infact I haven't bought sugar in about one year. All this helped me in being fitter for the run.

The long runs were with a fellow runner from my area who ran at a faster pace. My runs ended up being a little bit faster than I would have usually run. I incorporated a lot of stretches before and after the run. This helped in being injury free.

Another thought that occurred to me was training does not start or stop during the morning run. I incorporated training into my daily chores as well. I avoided the inter office shuttle and started walking between offices in the mornings and evenings. I stopped taking the auto rickshaw home. These two activities added upto about 3KM everyday. The secret recipe was stair climbing. My office is on the eighth floor. I climber these 8 floors twice in the day. Once after lunch and once after the evening tea break. This helped in strengthening my hamstrings and glutes. I did not have to take out time for strengthening due to this.

October saw me starting the long runs at a slower pace. I could manage about 20KM in a long run. This gradually moved on to 30KM by November. In December I was comfortable running 35KM+ without any problems. This built come confidence that I could achieve the magical 4:30 figure.

On the race day, I started out a little faster than I was supposed to. Luckily this did not come to bite me in the legs later on. The energy of the crowd got me going at a faster pace for about 10KM. I finished the first 30KM at a speed of 10Km per hour. Now I was sure I could manage lesser than 4:30. The next 9KM took an hour because of some elevation gain on the way. Also in the last 5KM sun is blaring at you with all the heat. So the last 5Km are the toughest.

All in all I am happy to have finished the run in 4:16:15. However the best is yet to come.

Race day Nutrition:
Oats at 2:30AM.
1 YogaBar at 5:30 just before race start
1 YogaBar spread across Km 10 - 20.
Salted Oranges whenever I was hungry. Might have totaled to about one full orange from 4 locations.
1.5L of water in 200ml bottles. Carrying the bottle along the way for a sip when required.
I dairy milk chocolate at KM35.

Per KM split (time taken per KM)
6:33 5:13 5:32 5:18 5:16 5:25 5:23 5:24 5:46 5:46
5:35 5:41 5:50 5:35 5:47 5:43 5:56 6:03 5:46 5:52
6:26 5:38 5:43 5:50 5:45 5:56 6:01 6:03 6:05 6:07
6:07 6:20 6:26 6:26 6:58 6:56 6:38 6:44 6:38 6:43
6:38 6:32 4:16(shorter distance of 670m)

Training runs:

Some pictures from the run which I cannot afford to buy:

Official timing from the race timing mats:

Timing from my GPS watch: