Need for speed

My Mentor: “Do you do any speed workout at all”

Me: (Speed workout – what does she mean???)

Me : “No”

My Mentor: “That’s why you are stuck at the same pace”



MM: 1 km warmup 2×200 Meters 2×400 meters 1×800 meters Speed is full out with 60 second walking in between. This will ignite your fast twitch muscles and make you faster. Every week a new speed session.

Today’s run:

Goal – Run fast and I did!

Prep :

Nothing special

During the run:

All was well till the middle of  the 2nd 400 – I was blown! I struggled with the 800 and then I jogged back home at snail pace.

Post Run

There was this mild nausea, but it passed off soon. Post the run, while climbing down the stairs at home there was a tendon pain near the calf – I was worried about the sudden cramp like searing pain that happened about 6 months ago. But no such thing happened, and in about 10 minutes I was OK.

The energy levels through the day were good. There was a mild pain in the right heel and both knees.

This run gave me a new area to focus on – I’m looking forward to the next Tue for a repeat and probably a little push further.



Goal : Weekend long run


  • This one took 2 full days of effort – a day of complete rest and a day of moderate strength training. The rest day was tougher – kept the eating super clean.
  • I kept a watch on hydration, ensuring that the electrolyte replenishment was on track during these slack days.
  • On the strength day, ensured that I paid attention to static stretching the hams and calves as per the advice of my FB friends
  • Slept well all week.
  • Substituted last night’s meal for a couple of bananas.

The Run:

  • I was in the right frame of mind from the moment I woke up. There are two issues I’m dealing with currently – one with the left knee and the other with the right ankle which is quite sore and I have the tendency to give in to the temptation of not running by rationalize aggravating the injury. And, I have also noticed that the pain usually is gone in a day, notwithstanding the fact that I run or not. So…
  • I carried along a bottle of OTC ORS mixed in water.
  • A light warm up with dynamic stretched has been my routine.
  • During the 1st part, I kept the pace even ensuring I was breathing well. I settled in to an easy rhythm quickly and the body seemed to be relaxed. All along, the run, I tried to maintain this relaxed pace and did not push the pace, though I felt I could run faster on some stretches.
  • The breath through the run was good, post the 15 k mark though I experienced a little difficulty momentarily.
  • There was a pain in the left knee during the run. The ankle hurt all along.
  • Also, around the 16 k mark I experienced a tingling sensation on my left toes – but it went away in a minute.
  • Towards the end, around the 18 km, the quads felt tight like it would cramp. Mindful that my posture had changed owing to the fatigue, I changed my stride, lifted the chest and relaxed the legs and that sensation passed away.

Post run

  • No stretches as there was an urgent family chore that needed attention.
  • Post run, meal was 2 bananas  –  I was famished!
  • The energy levels were low through the day – guess the 1st time the body has gone this new distance and hence a longer turn around to recuperate.
  • The knee and shins were hurting – ice-pack treatment tomorrow.
  • The ankle was slightly less painful post the run.

Tomorrow, we run again – albeit a slower run just to ensure that the muscles are supple and reaping the benefits of the rhythm that any long duration exercise gives you.

I’m excited!!! This is the 1st half-marathon of my life! I’m on track for the race on 15th of Oct.

fitbit run timing - 15 July '17

I’m grateful to my friends on FB and here who have been guiding me with their experience. I hope to improve in the next few weeks while being safe!

Planning and executing a weekend long run

Goal: To cover 15 km at a moderate pace
Planning: Since I had an episode of cramps earlier this week, I wanted to be sure that my goal was not disturbed by a mid-run cramp or fatigue.
So I stuck to the advise of keeping myself properly hydrated all day yesterday and indulged in the banana-coconut water combo a few times. With around 7 hours of sleep under my belt, I set of this morning with a pain around the right ankle and inside of the knee. To stay hydrated, I carried a bottle of water mixing some OTC dextrose powder in it.

The Run:
With an easy stride and lower cadence, the 1st 5 kms were easy. This is about the time when there is a small gradient on the route and normally I get a little winded going up this slope. But, unlike normal days, I lowered the cadence even further but making sure that my posture was not affected and I wasn’t bouncing too much.
The rest of the run at a good rhythm was fun, the breathing easy and pains with which I stared vanishing giving way to newer ones.
Every time my watch told me I’d completed a kilometer, I’d force my self to drink some water. I eventually ran out of water around the 11th km.

Post run
I stretched by hamstring and calves.

The ankle is a little sore, hope to be rested and ready for Monday.

fitbit run timing - 08 July '17 - resized

Cramps – wonder cure

The last run was frustrating! I cramped at the mid-way point just when I was holding a nice rhythm. And later when I spoke about it with a friend, he told me it was caused by Potassium imbalance and recommended ingesting more Potassium – Bananas and coconut water were his recommendations. Another friend (here on WP) suggested using magnesium oil and OTC electrolyte supplement. Since the bananas and tender coconut water were more easily accessible I went for it – had about 3 bananas and only one tender coconut, I also added a little extra sodium to my  diet. Another important inclusion was added sleep. Also, before I hit the sack I popped a Combiflam as the calf was slightly sore.

Things worked out! When I woke up this morning, the calf was OK. After gingerly warming up, while testing my calves all along, I started with the goal of running easy while keeping an eye out for the pain. Reminding myself of the Chi practices, the posture and gait, to limit the calf use while running I set off at an easy pace. Soon I realized that I was striding ok and the pain which was mild at the start was non-existent. Despite the bad traffic and the fear of cramping again, all the while reinforcing the posture recommended by Chi trainers, I ran 10 kms in 58 minutes!

fitbit run timing - 06 July '17!!!!!

So, in summary, the wonder cure:

  • Bananas
  • Tender coconut and
  • plenty of water and rest

I’m not a health professional, but there it worked for me. The goal now is to not slack on the Potassium intake and be mindful about it and the other key nutrients. Here is a recommendation I received:

  1. Racing weight cookbook
  2. The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition


A sudden cramp

“The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy… It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.”
Jacqueline Gareau

This morning’s run was intended to get back in the groove after a 2 day break and an earlier short run. The goal was run 8-9 km at a slow pace and followed by another similar distance but faster pace on Thursday before going 15 km on Saturday. Everything thing was ok till the half way mark. At the 5 km, there was a sudden sharp pain in my right calf –  I think it was a cramp and hope that it is not a tendinitis flare up. I walked for about 6-7 minutes hoping to wave down a motorist, and hitch a ride back home – that ploy did not work. So then, I mustered enough courage to give my calf a quick rub, apply the chi/pose running technique: Engage the core, bend slightly forward and use the hamstring. I was able to hobble back home.

A friend informed that Potassium deficiency causes such incidents and one should rely on bananas and coconut water. I intend to put this advice to use tomorrow still hoping to be ready for the 9km fast(er) run on Friday.

So looking forward to get back on Thursday stronger and get a PB for the 9 km mark!


Made it through a tough 5k run

Goal : Weekend long run


  • Yesterday, I made a few mistakes including sleeping late last evening and lesser than usual water intake.
  • In the morning, as a result , I woke not feeling rested. Also, the advice of gradually and carefully upping the weekly mileage increase played in the back of my mind.

The Run:

  • I decided to go and run despite not being the best of physical state and mood.
  • Easy distance and slow speed, with no need to strain.
  • The breath through the run was good, never experienced shortness of breath.
  • There was a pain in the right knee during the run. After the run there was no pain.
  • The heel and the ankle hurt during the run. Overall, my legs hurt and felt heavier.

Post run

  • No stretches
  • the energy levels were only moderately high through the day.

I’ve decided to skip tomorrow’s run and just rest without any other training. Hopefully, I’ll feel better after the rest.




Pushing it a little more this morning

Goal: Follow the previous 8 km with a little extra as part of the training plan


  • Previous night – moderately heavy but early dinner
  • Morning – a liter of water after waking up
  • Dynamic stretches – lunges, side-lunge, high-knee, knee bends, butt-kicks
  • Kept a tall upright posture with a very slight forward bent, while consciously engaging the core muscles.
  • Even pace all along, making sure that I enjoyed the run.
  • The goal was only to ensure that I exceeded the last run distance.

fitbit run timing - 29 Jun '17

After run:

  • As I kept the pace very easy, there was no pains at all – it thrills me that I’m able to do this distance more easily now.
  • Engaged in some stretching post run – static stretches for calves and quadriceps.
  • Energy levels were good through the day
  • Super Happy to have done the 9 kms today – a few years back when I was much younger, I couldn’t do it.
  • Looking forward to the week long run – targeting 12 km!!!