The Tailor Motivation

After running for a while now, I came to realise that I needed motivation regularly to keep running, be it a new running route, a new running gadget, a new pair of running shoes or even a change in the training schedule. Recently, it came from a very unlikely source – the tailor.

The last time I went to the tailor was back in 2011. Surprisingly, they still have the record of my measurements then. The tailor, who did the measurements then, even added three Chinese characters on the record that said I have spare tire. Brutal, but honest.

I mentioned to the tailor that they will need to re-measure since I have lost some weight, so he did. However, he simply refused to believe the measurements as he said it deviated too much from those on my record. He measured again and again, while referring to my old records again and again. Finally, he was convinced after I told him I have been running.

I know I lost weight, as a matter of fact, I lost 12kg since I started running regularly at the end of 2012 even though I have a lot more to go before my ideal weight, but I did not realise I lost that much till I compared my current measurements with the one back in 2011. It definitely did wonders to my ego, but most importantly, it provided me with another motivation to keep running.

The next time if I have any doubts as to why I am subjecting myself to the pain, the misery, the cramps from running, I just need to think of my tailor.

It Will Never Be Perfect

I was reading this book about running. I hardly have any time nowadays to read, so when I do get the time, I want to make sure it has something to do with what I am currently interested in.

The author mentioned that there will never be a perfect time to run. There will always be something that prevents from having a perfect run, be it the weather, a muscle ache etc, but what runners do is to just take everything in their stride, and run. It is this ‘can do’ approach to running which runners should also apply it to their life.

It’s true. After running for more than a year and half, there is always something that gets in the way of a perfect run. If it is not hot, then perhaps there is rain. If there is no rain, then perhaps I have not recover sufficiently from the run yesterday, or if I did, then perhaps the calf muscles are still aching. If I was to find an excuse not to run, I will have the whole book as thick as the dictionary to choose from.

It is the same with life. There will never be a good or perfect time to do anything. If I am forever waiting for the perfect moment to do something, I will most probably end up doing nothing. I will just have to know what is lacking, what is bad, find workarounds and just go ahead and do it.

Learning life lessons from running. Another benefits of running.

Running Plan

I started running again after 2 weeks. I was down with flu, which took more than a week to recover. And I gave myself a few extra days to recover fully. Just in case.

During this down time, I went about reading up on a training plan. I never had one, I thought all I have to do was to run, and run, and as long as I am running further, running faster and running more, then everything will just work out.

However I have been noticing I am not improving. My run times have stagnant, and I could not increase my mileage. Perhaps I need a structured training plan.

I did read up previously on a training plan, but as with all other information from the Internet, everyone has their own training plan, their own thinking of what a training plan should be like. It was really confusing so I gave up.

During this down time, I went reading all the training plans on the Internet and in books again, picking up the similarities. I concluded a training plan should consist of the following:

1) At least 1 tempo run per week

2) 1 hill/track/interval run per week

3) 1 long run per week

4) Fill up the rest of the week (depending on how many days I am running per week) with base/easy runs

So a typical week should look something like this (assuming 6 days of running):

Monday – Tempo Run

Tuesday – Base/Easy Run

Wednesday –Hill/Track/Interval Run

Thursday – Base/Easy Run

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Long Run

Sunday – Cross Training/Trail Run

For the rest day, it is either I rest completely, or I should do something call ‘Active Rest’, where I basically should be doing core strengthening exercises. On the subject of core strengthening exercises, I should be doing this least 2 to 3 days a week. For Sunday, I should be doing some kind of cross training, like cycling, swimming, yoga or running trails, any exercise that does not involve the same group of muscles as road running.

As for total mileage per week, there are quite a lot of conflicting information on this one, but it seems almost everyone agrees it is beneficial to run more, though for people like me with time constraint, I should be training wisely, and try to gain as much as possible from each run. Also, a rough guide is the total mileage should be at least twice of the distance that I plan to race, so since I will be doing 21km this year, I should have a weekly total mileage of at least 42km. A running week will therefore look something like this:

Monday – Tempo Run 7km

Tuesday – Base/Easy Run 7km

Wednesday – Hill/Track/Interval Run 8km

Thursday – Base/Easy Run 7km

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Long Run 15km

Sunday – Cross Training/Trail Run

To prevent injuries, the total weekly mileage should increase gradually, with the fourth week total mileage reduced to the same as the first week, to prevent injuries by giving the body some rest. I am still trying to find out what the mileage should be for the fifth week though. So the total weekly mileage should look something like this :

Week 1 : 30km

Week 2 : 35km

Week 3 : 40km

Week 4 : 30km

Week 5 : 37km

Week 6 : 42km

Week 7 : 30km

I am still trying to verify if my assumption on the total weekly mileage for week 5 onwards is correct.

I shall not go into detail what are the various types of runs listed here. Googling the various types of runs will bring lots information on them. There are also a lot of other types of runs which I have not put into this plan, for e.g. Fartlek run, as I want to keep my initial training plan simple. I want to see the results of this training plan I am putting together before I decide on whether to tweak it further.

That is the beauty of running, I tweak a bit here and there, and I can feel the results eventually. Always cause and effect.

Running A Marathon

“A marathoner is a marathoner regardless of time. Virtually everyone who tries the marathon has put in training over months, and it is that exercise and that commitment, physical and mental, that gives meaning to the medal, not just the day’s effort, be it fast or slow. It’s all in conquering the challenge.”