Running plan

I’ve have chosen to use the this plan to run my 1st half-marathon. Today was the 1st day of the plan and started here

training - start

Tried to keep the pace easy for the 1st half – 11:00 min/mile and a little faster in the 2nd half around 9:00 min/mile. The calf started acting up in the 2nd half with the tendon pain recurring. A cold pack post run didn’t do much to relive the pain. Getting a doctor’s appointment at the earliest is important now.
The post run stretching is also something that is missing in the routine. For the strength training, I’m looking at kits online. It also means that before buying the kit, I need to understand the strength training routine needed for running.

The routines I’m currently evaluating are:

The idea is to pick a sustainable initially easier routine and then look at advanced routines thereby avoid injury and fatigue.

The strength training kit, I’m looking to order is this.


My 2nd 10K


TCS World 10K 2017, this was the 2nd 10K after my debut in the same event last year. I clocked 1:04:41 this time. Overall, it was very satisfying to have trained, albeit very moderately owing to a calf strain, and to have completed the event.

Tried some changes with the diet too by changing the carb intake till a few days before the event. Since carbs are expected to fuel the run, I stuck to rice for 3 days prior to the event and supplemented potatoes for the extra carbs. It did not make a lot of apparent difference though during the race, but the post race recovery was quick, not sure if it was the carbs. Another change was vitamin D3 supplement. I was diagnosed with low vitamin D3 about a decade ago and prescribed Vitamin D3 oral supplements with instructions to be in the sun for 30 minutes everyday. This time during the training run, I repeatedly had calf strains. Reading online to understand the issue, it seemed to be like a case of Achilles tendinitis. Any additional strain like an uphill run would result in acute pain for about 2 days. The doctor advised me to go through the course of the oral supplement which I’d resisted all along.

The training sessions, while preparing for the race, were interesting as I stuck to my 5 km goal for every run. While the recovery in the practice runs after the 5 km was never an issue, the actual 10K race gave me sore knees and muscles – its a couple of days since the event.

The race was different this time, as I focused on breathing well throughout the race and not worrying too much about keeping my heart rate in check. As advised by most runners, the two stage view of the race helped – the 1st stage being till the race midpoint. Stage 1 pace was evenly paced around 10:15 min/mile (per my Fitbit surge). While the fatigue started to creep up, this still was ok considering that this was the practice run distance. The 2nd stage was labored especially after the 7 km mark and I stopped at least twice. The pace was also slightly faster (9:03 min/mile) in the 2nd stage as the push was to go sub-60.

The tendon and the calf area were mostly cool and only towards the fag end did the pain come back. I’d popped a analgesic the day before as there was soreness in the calf area from the previous practice run from two days ago. Also I used a different shoe as opposed to my regular trainers. I used the Lunar Glide for this run and the added heel support worked in my favor.

For now I’m just sticking to some hand exercise and stretches to avoid injury.  Some changes I will start to make when I restart the training on Thursday:

  • Speed sessions
  • Long runs over the weekends – at the bare minimum 10 km.
  • Weight training for running
  • Running drills
  • Dynamic stretches.

Also, I’ve in my cross hair the next 10K which is a couple of months from now.

Match the 450 words per day target…

Getting back into the routine of writing daily, and to do it as they say – allocate time of the day and space for this activity.
My goal is to pen/type 450 words each day about my pursuit to reclaim my life. So here goes…
This morning I resumed by riding and did an “easy” ride of a little over 11 miles. What was good about the ride was I could start as planned, mercifully no rains and associated bad road conditions, and the ride was as good as the previous ride in terms of average speed and average bpm. The highlight was climbing the flyover. I bettered my record on that lap and I made it today in about 4.5 minutes as opposed to the previous 5.5 minutes. But, the energy levels at the fag-end are not good at all – the stats say that the average speed plummets by half. On this lap, I need to sprint, but usually I’m just grinding it and average speeds of 9-10 mph. The route is a challenge too because I need to cut across busy traffic and as a result I lose my momentum. The idea going forward is to use last lap after the traffic as a cool down lap which means that the toughest mile would be immediately after the flyover. Should be interesting to try this out tomorrow – going flat-out after the currently hard flyover climb.
The plan is to improve the average speed each day and also the time in the saddle – average speed to 17 mph and ride time to 90 minutes.
With the current level of cardio vascular conditioning, two factors I think would help the average speed during the ride is – improved average cadence and smarter energy expenditure. With no indication of the wattage, the energy levels are a little messed up – I NEED A POWER METER. Till such time I get one, I would have to rely on hindsight i.e. see the speeds on the segments using fitbit & Endomondo trackers and plan the ride each morning to ensure that I remain below the speed threshold on fast segments so that I can conserve energy. And off the bike I need to improve the carb intake and improve my leg and core strength. The strength improvement project in itself is going to be slow and the current research I have on the topic is minimal. Joining a runners club and gym with a PT is the current plan to work on these areas rapidly. The short-term goal is improve the average speed to 15 mph by the 15th of September – tough considering that I may need to travel and personal commitments that are lined up, but then what is the fun in easy work. The key is to keep the focus and make small improvements daily – food, active minutes, water intake and total calories burnt (current goal is 3500 per/day a target I miss on most days).

I’m trying to be fit

I’m tracking my 100 day fitness challenge here…

At 5’6” and 76 kgs, my 42 year old body needs a reboot. I’m a programmer and I’m prone to making excuses to spend time sitting put – just this one feature, this defect, another mail, one white paper, another presentation and so on.

My current fitness levels are good enough for me to climb up a flight of stairs, sloooww jog 100 meters without cramping and coupled with disturbed sleep and the stress of life in general (read traffic) things are a little out of whack, but then who else can be trusted to turn this around.

Incidentally, as I was starting to write, my Fitbit Surge that was expected to be delivered on 19th came in early – Thank you Amazon!

Can’t stop thinking – “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist