Monday, December 29, 2008

Yearly Summary

The year in figures
- Distance run 4080km (vs 3550 in 2007)
- Workouts around 300 (vs 280/290 in 2007)
- Km/workout: 13.6km average
(Comment: In those 10 months were I was running, I was really consitent. it is a pity that I lost 2-3 months among the different injuries)

- races: 2 victories, 5 times 2nd
- PB in 5k, 10k, HM (sic... not in Marathon), 

Overall comment:
Well, in the figures all sounds good, but I am not really satisfied. In 2007 everything went to my plans, but in 2008 most of the time I had the bad feeling of having blocked by injuries right when it was the time to harvest the fruits of my work.
With the work done during the summer I was able to reach a "higher" level, where my racing style was more based on "running to win" than "running to do my best", but at the end I could not see the outcome in cool weather.
I think that I worked too much on the endurance and neglected hill sprints, general strenght and strides/fast work. The latest injury must also be related to this... because I was losing neuromuscolar condition.

So my "action plan" for 2009 would be:
- resume running and gradually reach a mileage of 100km/week and keep it consistently until end August. Than increase a bit more to prepare for a winter marathon (ideally Fukuoka).
I will try to run the first 4 weeks only "easy" and than gradually introduce  interval training and faster workouts + strenght training.

- I still do not know how to improve my running biomechanics. The physioterapist recommeded me to use orthotics and to add a 6mm lift to my right shoe to compensate for the leg lenght difference.  But how do you accomodate 6mm lift in a shoe ???? I tried but it is very weird feeling
I may try again with ortothics  made by different materials to see if the feeling is better. Or maybe just keep going with my 3mm heel lift (as in use now).  

- dedicate more time to strenght and core training (2 hours/week, ideally)

- dedicate more time to strides and repetition training (100m/200m sprints)

- in summer, reduce the workload compared to this year because I think I was too tired. With 30C/95%rh, probably the real impact on the body is x2 of the actual distance... I will try to make more use of my treadmill. It is boring but at least you can run in a less extreme environment and avoid the huge loss of water while running outdoor.

- also for the Summer, I will focus on short intervals at varied paces. It makes no sense to run more than 1k/2k fast without rest becuase the performance horribly degrades for the heat after few minutes of hard running.
I will avoid Tempos or long intervals and try to keep "neuro-muscolar" fresh. For a specific endurance period, the 2 months of October and November should be enough.

Race Summary 2008
- 6/Jan, HK Half Marathon Champs: 6th overall, 1h15'28". I was still tired from the 30K race of the previous Sunday so I suffered a lot, but the performance was very solid. It was a major local race, so the placement was realistic compared to my potential.

- 20/Jan, CC Half Marathon: 2nd overall. Hilly course, very good starting field, but that day I felt extremely well. I managed the effort very well, with a controlled initial 14k and than push very hard in the final 7k, leaving behind many talented runners. Felt very very confident.

- 9/March, 10k Shatin. 2nd overall, 33'36". This is the race where I have most of the regrets: we battled for the victory for 9900meters and I lost in the final kick. I did the mistake to train too much during the week, so I lacked the freshness for the final sprint...

injured. missed Krakow Marathon

-13/July: 10k. 5th overall, 35'03". Comeback race after the injury.  It was hot and I was decently satisfied with a solid performance

-17/July, 10k. 4th overall, 34'57". Very hot. I was beaten only by invited overseas runners, leaving behind most of the best local runners. So I felt confident to be able to make a good season. Time itself was disappointing because I was shooting more for a 34'30", but I was likely tired by the week.

-7/Sep, 5k mixed X-country. 2nd overall. Half disaster... I hate running in the afternoon and I did not digest the lunch properly. Maybe the first short race in my life where I had to stop to breath... the fact that I arrived anyway 2nd and improved my time by 32" with the year before was a sign of extreme fitness.

- 21/Sept, 5k hilly. 1st. Felt good and attached from the start on the big climb... the last km was painful becuase almost out of steam, but I had already a big gap

-28/Sept, 10000m track. 1st in 33'55". It felt wonderful to win a track meeting. I was very fit and lead alone the whole race. It was hot, so the time was really good

-11/Oct: 5k flat. 2nd overall in15'51". Never felt better. I did not even push 100% and come out anyway with a huge PB. Tagged with a good pack for 3k, than boosted away

injured. Missed Seoul Marathon

- 23/November. Half Marathon. 2nd overall in 1h14'28". Beaten only by a Kenyan is acceptable. This race remains a mystery: I was already crippled and missed many workouts, so I do not know why I felt good enough to run well. The achilles were not that bad and I shuffle run... so in retrospection was really a great race (maybe worthy of a 1h13' or less in ideal conditions)

-7/December: Singapore Marathon. crawled to the finish line in 2h57'.  It will be a souvenir for my older years: selected by HKA to run in their official team. VIP treatment all the way. It was a pity that my tendons lasted for 30k only; I wanted to finish anyway, but those 12k were of extreme pain...

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