January Training & Race Got Cancelled

Race cancelled? Not up to 3rd Feb (Monday) as Victoria 162 race organizer instead given the option for runners to delay race entrance to 2021 in dealing with the coronavirus situation. Of course, I didn’t take this option because I wanted to race. Come Tuesday, my inbox said the organizer is “beyond disappointment” of being unable to showcase “a grand tour of the beautiful Victoria Harbour for the 3rd time”. In my opinion, it got to be cancelled and a wise decision yet brave but tough one has been taken. So, what supposed to be my first 100 miler race is now not going to happen. C’est la vie!

Anyhow, my January training has been great. It’s all about building base slow and steady while incorporating some speed work, strengthening and conditioning. I’ve also taken an extra step in rehabilitating my ankle injury which to date is showing positive progress – fingers crossed.

Ankle Rehabilitation


Not much injury in the past 4 years thankfully. So I haven’t been in the lookout for physio for quite a while. I met Dave Lee during New Year Training Camp in Chiang Mai, who happens to be a physiotherapist at Ufit.

While I’ve been treating my injury passively ‘sort of’ DIY through YouTube during last 3 months of 2019, I thought that it was wise to consult professional especially with big races coming up in the year. It has been months of running downhill in pain and sometimes waking up in the morning feeling pain in the ligament. And so I heard from Dave that ankle injury (like sprain, strain, or fractures) is the most improperly treated injury because patient tend to ignore the rehab process despite the injury itself is healed. That was the case of my ankle.


Since working with Dave on this, day after day improvement has been positive. The ligament pain level decreased so as the stiffness. I’ve performed regular rehab routine exercises such as non-weight bearing flexing, inversion, eversion, full weight-bearing calf raises, balancing on one leg/injured leg try to roll folded socks. I’ve regained some mobility, and balancing has improved substantially. The ankle felt stronger (though not fully 100 per cent) when hitting uneven trail and stairs repeat in the weekend. I was back on trail with confidence in the last 2 weekends. Now that the ankle is a bit stronger, more plyometric exercises will be incorporated so I can be back running in full swing!

Speed Workouts


Coming from New Year training camp in Chiang Mai, I was pleased with the vertical and long slow run back-to-back training. Speedwork is very important even to long-distance runners. Sadly it was ‘neglected’ in my ultra training since I’ve not focused on road races in the past years other than doing occasional hill repeats.

I began incorporating the following, at a minimum of twice session in my weekly training (some which I put as a note to self to do in next remaining training block):

Treadmill work: RunnersWorld: 3 x 3-2-1 session (3,2,1 minutes fast pace followed by 3, 2, 1 minute recovery pace)

Trackwork: 10 x 400s or 5 x 600m. Pyramid Interval 1600/1200/800/400/400/800/1200/1600 with rest between each.This is good to practice on form and breathing in that humidity of tropical island!

Hill Repeat: RunnersWorl’s Hills On Hills On Hills On Treadmill 3 times of 1 minute at 2%/4%/6% incline, 1 minute 4%/6%/8% incline, 1 minute at 8%/10%/12% incline, 1 minute 1% incline. This is great to build strength.

Combination Workouts: 5 x 1k at fast speed followed by 3 x 15 minutes steady tempo intervals, finished off with some fast hill sprints. This is great to mimic trail race as per ultra runner, Hayden Hawks in RunnersWorld article.

Strengthening and Conditioning


I attended strengthening and conditioning sessions once to twice a week at a minimum in the past 2 years with F45 – aka the best HIIT in town. They supplement my running to prevent injury, make me stronger and more efficient runner.


I attended strengthening and conditioning sessions once to twice a week at a minimum in the past 2 years with F45 – aka the best HIIT in town. They supplement my running to prevent injury, make me stronger and more efficient runner.

The resistance training certainly helps with my upper body strength and those much needed lower body muscles for runners – gluteus, quad, hamstrings and calf.

The cardio session is ‘short’ but intense with a focus on combining strength, cardio, agility, speed and power such as Hollywood, Varsity, Athletic, and Empire. They often come with total-body cardio conditioning and plyometric exercises such as tuck jump, box jump, squat, skaters, and sit-outs which will leave me out of breath at the end of each class. In my opinion, they complement with trail run mental aspect of dealing with ‘surprises during races’ because every week workouts are different and innovative. Plus, running is a solitary exercise and coming to this sort of classes give me some boost when working out with fit and fun people – oh yes that pumping loud music!

Core

I heard in the podcast by AIMP Coaching by Chris Hauth a while back, that the only workout he never misses out is the core related workout. That’s right – core matters because it’s the powerhouse that’s crucial of every movement. I have been a core fanatic during road race day (yup, those days I can fit in my skinny jeans), but not so much these days. I’m not talking about that sexy six-pack, instead having strong and tight abdominal. Which is all about deep core ab muscle (transverse abdominals) and engaging pelvic floor. Therefore incorporating these in my weekly training repertoire (but not limited to):

  • Plank: Middle and two sides ( 5 to 10 x 1 minute) and perhaps increase as get stronger to 2 minutes
  • Legs Raise: Legs as straight as possible, and lift them until they are pointing at the ceiling with toes pointed, and then bring down in control motion without arching lower back. Set of 3 x 10.
  • Pilates 100: Not only this engage the transverse abdominals, it embodies the pilates principle of breathing, concentration, control, precision and flow.
  • V-Up: Lift the weight of both arms and legs by using abdominal muscles.
  • Hanging Leg Raise Machine/Captain’s Chair: Aim 3 x 10 reps with the leg straight with hang on skeleton not arm muscle. I would do this if I go to the gym.

Run & Vertical

In January, I still haven’t loaded much mileage – weekly distance is only about 70km and 1000m to 1400m average weekly elevation. This should be gradually increase leading to Victoria 162 Race in Hong Kong at the end of Feb (though this is now cancelled).

Signing off as I am keying this in my hotel room in Jeddah. Keep track on SOTG’s Instagram as I am planning to update you on this week trail adventure in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). And I shall be in HK to race in 2021 for Victoria 162.

Happy February Training.

Live to thrive,

SOTG.x

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