Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Training Jiha

While I was in New York enjoying the post-marathon celebrations with friends, Jiha asked me if I would help her train for her first marathon in the spring of 2010. I gladly accepted because this is what I plan to do more frequently.

Jiha has already built up a good mileage base and she is pretty fast from the times she has provided me. I used the FIRST training principles to inspire me to build her program which focuses on increasing her speed and also giving her time for her family, job, and other activities.

Here it is below:

I also asked Jiha if she would be so kind as to report her progress as comments on this post. Let's see how her training develops, and good luck Jiha!


jiha said...

Hi Patick
My training is going well so far. TR is definitely challenging. I'm running much faster than normal and it's hard to hold it there for a mile then repeat it. Sometimes, I get ankel tenderness afterwards. Wonder if that's normal? Found a running buddy n we do long runs together. We did 13 miles in 110 minutes last week. Much too fast for me but she is very strong.
I find it hard to keep the intensity up and not slow down when I'm on a bike. Any tips?

Patch said...

Hi Jiha,
Remember that Tempo runs are supposed to be "comfortably hard". If you are going past this point, you are probably in speed training pace and it is no wonder you can't keep it up for the distance. Try slowing it down a tad to a pace you can maintain for the entire mile - even if you think you could run faster at the start of the repeats, remember a mile is a long go so don't go out too fast! Plus you have other repeats to do so you don't want to fizzle out either...try some sports drink before and during these trainings. Maybe that's give you a little boost as well.

As for the ankle tenderness, I would have to know on what type of surface you are running. Do you have an old injury there? At what point in the run does it hurt (start, during, after) These observations will help diagnose the problem. We need to address this as quickly as possible so as not to aggravate the situation. Let me know.

Be careful with running buddies! It is too easy to let your pace get influenced by faster runners. I do it all the time....Always remember what type of training you are doing. Your long runs are prescribed to increase your endurance. If you go too fast, you will also fatigue your system for the other trainings to come later in the week..Ask your buddy to run at your pace or to double back if they insist on keeping their pace. You can even make a game out of it if they are doing a different type of training than you are.

As for the cross training. I think it is normal at this point. If you are not used to cycling, you have to give your body time to adapt to this type of exercise. I find music helps me maintain a tempo and makes the time go by quicker. Remember, you are striving for intensity so you an mix it up every once in a while by shifting your position or standing while pedaling.

Keep it up, you're doing great!

jiha said...

Well, intervels is the hardest one for me. To run 7:11 I need to go at 8.4/mile pace on trademill and that's just little too fast to hold it for a whole mile then repeat it. I'll try slowing down a little bit. It's definitley not 'comfortably hard' pace.

As for my buddy, you're right. I don't need to keep up with her pace. I know my speed will come as the training progress so I'll ask her to go at my pace next time.
Good advice as always.

As for ankle tenderness, it's hard to point out exactly where and when. It's just little bit tender druing a fast run and little worse later. I think it's more towards front but I've never had a ankle problem before. Just didn't want it to get worse. Let's see how it holds up. Might be because of the fast running or trademill running.

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I ran the whole big loop at the central park. It felt so good. It felt amazing. Greg showed me where the finishing line is for the New York Marathon is. One day, hopefully, I'll be running that one too.

Patch said...

hi Jiha,
Happy New Year! Hope you are not finding running in the snow too difficult! It really is a nice experience to be out there once you get going...you just have to convince yourself to get out the door...

Make sure to note your revised interval pace on your plan so we could track your improvement when your can step it up a notch in a few weeks.

So I gather from you comment that your ankle has a general soreness, not a pinpoint pain. That is good news...any swelling? does it get worse during the runs or does it sort of just fade and then you feel it again after you've stopped. Just one foot or both? did you try some stretches? can you bear your body weight on one foot and do some flexions when it hurts, or can you not stand on it? Let me know if it's getting worse as the weeks progress. check out this site to help diagnose further :

jiha said...

Happy new year to you too. Well, it is tough running outside when it's cold(by NY standard) specially with snow. Breathing seems to be more labored too. Don't know how you do it in Montreal. You're brave.

I guess I spoke too soon when I said the training was going well. Two weeks ago, when I was doing the long run, around 11 mile point, I had sudden muscle pain in my quad then up in hip joint then couldn't walk for a while. Eventually made it home on a very slow jog but that really scared me. Also ankel tenderness is still there. It's not a sharp pain but more like dull discomfort which usually starts in the middle of the run and it is kind of there the whole time. It seems worse during and after interval training so I have stopped it for now and just running at moderate speed and when I feel it coming, then slow down a little. It's where the foot meet the leg part, front of the ankel. It's really not bad enough to see a doctor or anything but I'm afraid to push myself for speed trainings now. Any suggestions?

Patch said...

Hi Jiha,
That part of the foot is very a complex system of bone, muscle, cartelige, tendons, and ligaments. From what you describe it might be some kind of inflammation as a result of the harder pounding when you are running faster but it's hard to say. By any chance, do you take longer strides and land with your heel far out in front of your knee when you go faster? I am suspecting this pain has something to do with your stride...If you can, I would recommend seeing a health professional just to properly diagnose it and then to take the appropriate measures to avoid aggravating it.

okay, so here's my encouragement nugget of the day - At this point, it's important to take stock of your progress and to keep your goal in perspective. The worst thing to do is push too hard to the point that you never make it to the start line. All the more reason to not run more than the prescribed 3 days and to ensure you do your cross-trainings. On the other hand, it is also very easy to say you need to take it easy. Listen to your body, it knows. Your head might not like the cold, and prefer to snuggle up by the fire but your body knows when and how much it needs to train and when you need to tone it down. So listen to your body and, as you said, "the courage" will come.

jiha said...

By health professional, what type of person do you mean? Some doctor or running coach? Have you ever seen a cairo practor for running related injury?

I haven't run outside for two weeks but keep running on trademill for the time being. We have one at home. As you said, I don't want to not be able to run at all because I was pushing too hard too early but nor do I not want to train and slow down. Running really makes me feel happy. I've been running three times a week even if it means slower run and not a 13 mile on weekends. I'd love to get back on full training soon. Also started swimming for the first time in a long time.

By the way, how do I post my progress here? Can I actually do it on the chart you made or just write down the comments?

Patch said...

Hi Jiha, by health professional I mean a doctor or physiotherapist. I see my chiropractor regularly for a tune-up adjustment (every few months) because I have a some body alignment issues but I am not sure what they can do for the extremities...As for your progress you can just keep notes on your plan or you can open up an online training log at Running Ahead (see my mileage total on the sidebar)that you can give read access to if you like. Whatever works for you...this is supposed to be fun so keep it simple. ;-)

jiha said...

Hi Patrick
It's been a while. I went and saw the non surgery specialist for my ankle problem and he suggested to do a lot of stretching and advil and stuff. It had spread to my shin then up to my thigh and I was feeling real afraid I wasn't going to be able to run the marathon.
So I took it easy for couple of week then totally revised my plan to run it within 4 hours. It's more important to get there then not get there at all and also the speed was too much for me. Now it's definitley less intense yet still challenging and after working out, my ankle is still sore but not painful like before. I did total of 25 miles last week and it feels good.
Found a local high shcool track to do track repeat with a friend and it's a lot of fun. Instead of holding it for a mile, we do 400m runs for a number of times.
What's your next one? It sounds like you haven't decided yet.

Patch said...

Hey Jiha,
Great to hear from you. I was wondering what was up. Glad you consulted. Did they diagnose what it was? I still find it odd that the pain is migrating up your leg. That can't be good...Anyway, you are absolutely right to scale back, keep listening to your body and you'll be fine.

Let me know if you have any questions and remember that if you are keeping your intervals at 400m, you are working your aerobic system moreso than your anaerobic threshold - which is to train yourself to run while fatigued. You might want to introduce 800s and then 1200m and then 1600m - albeit at a slower speed than we originally planned just so that you will train yourself to dig in on the final miles of the race. Keep me posted ;-)

Patch said...

Here is an email I received from Jiha after she completed her marathon...

Hi Patrick

It is over, thank God. Just like having kids, people warned me it's going to be hard but when you do it, you realise it's only so much harder.
It was so hot yesterday. Starting temp 70 and finish was 82. And humid.
I did it in 4 h 35 m, much slower than I expected but oh well, it's still by PR.
I had to walk a lot and started to feel drained around 13 mile and felt I couldn't go on on 17 already.
It was really really tough and my partner who was going stronger than me felt apart completly at 21mile and had to walk too long with her.
Anyhow, glad i've done it.

Wanted to thank you for all your support and guideance during my training. Couldn't have done it without you.
You were almost a stranger to me but you helped me more than anybody. Took me completely under your wing. I can't thank you enough.
Again, thank you for walking me through this process and enouraging me when I almost gave me.

We're planning a visit to Montreal this summer. I'll let you know. Would love to get together with you.


Thanks for the kind words Jiha,the pleasure was all mine!